Hamburgers of Happiness

Wellness WednesdayDoes it make you happy when you bite into your favorite hamburger?

Tal Ben Shahar, a psychology professor from Harvard University, created a model for happiness, which compares happiness to hamburgers.

If you want to take a bite out of the happiness hamburger, you have to consider both your present AND future benefit. There are some hamburgers that are terribly delicious and also terribly unhealthy, so they are good at the moment but bad for the future. There are also some hamburgers that are so healthy that they taste bad, so they are good for your future but bad now.

When making choices that will lead to your happiness, you want to choose the hamburger that is both healthy, to benefit your future, and delicious, so that it is good now.

A regular routine of aerobic exercise (walking, biking, running) will help you feel better now and it’s also good for your future. Binge-watching an entire season on Netflix and eating a plate of cookies is good now, but bad for your future, especially if it becomes a routine. Working late hours and sacrificing all your free time to save money is good for your future, but bad now.

Wellness is dependent on our ability to balance both present and future benefits. As you establish new habits and routines devoted to making yourself happier, do your best to choose something you will enjoy now that is also good for your future. Take a big bite out of that happy hamburger!

Wellness Wednesday is provided by the Jordan School District Health and Wellness team. For more information visit