As a self-confessed news junkie, it hasn't escaped my notice there's been lots of media coverage on the subject of happiness recently.

Professor Lord Richard Layard, who's been dubbed the "happiness expert" visited the RSA this week to promote the new edition of his book on happiness. This tied in nicely with his recent Action for Happiness campaign, launched by Layard and others.

Cynics may say the Prof's profits from selling 125,000+ copies to date has made him happy, yet the essence of the Happiness campaign is commendable.

Happiness, they say, is achieved partly by advancing the wellbeing of others, or at least removing the reasons they are unhappy. They encourage people to spread a little happiness by performing kind acts, volunteering and showing appreciating to other people (isn't the latter just basic good manners?).

The Professor's book is also big on using studies to illustrate the fact that societies with the lowest divide between rich and poor are also the happiest - not just for the poor, but also for the rich. I've just written a leader in the latest issue of Journal of Family Health Care (my first!) which cites a study along similar lines.

As we approach Easter, it's wall to wall sunshine, which always seems to lift our spirits. But when we return to work, dare I suggest the Action for Happiness suggestions may actually work and lift us from our post-Easter blues?

Well, isn't it at least worth a try? Happy Easter everyone!

Written by Penny Hosie on 21.4.11 Comment on this blog by sending it to: