Happiness Mentoring

Empirical Coaching Framework

What makes people happy and what does not?

Coachings are helpful in order to answer this question. However, it is not that easy to find suitable interventions for a specific client.

The Happiness Mentoring aims at both supporting Coaches’ interventions by means of an empirical framework and giving clients an accurate understanding of the effects of their coaching.

Thereby, we wish to investigate what makes people happy and what does not in order to contribute to the happiness, health, and productivity of our society.

Explanation of the idea of happiness mentoring to coaching-clients.


The Fundamentals

Everybody wants to be happy

Nowadays, burn-out and depression are major consequences of the huge psychological demands of our society. The world health organization (WHO) predicts that depression will be the major illness in industrial countries until 2030.

This has huge consequences for our society. People that suffer from burnout and depression are unhappy, unhealthy and thereby unproductive (Allianz, 2011).

Consequently, we should try to make people happy and not to not make people unhappy (Ludwigs & Veenhoven, 2015).

Our Aim

Individual suited coaching - research based

Coaches of many different disciplines have been educated in order to pursue exactly this objective of helping people to be happier, healthier, and more productive.

Unfortunately, Coaches oftentimes lack the capabilities to evaluate their coaching interventions in accordance to empirical guidelines.

The lack of an empirical data basis results in the fact that it is difficult for insurance companies to fund different training- or coaching interventions.

The Happiness Mentoring aims at bridging this gap by giving an empirical framework. This framework was established by a longstanding research that was conducted in cooperation with different prestigious researchers and institutes.

Thereby, in the long run more coaching interventions should be funded by insurance companies. Moreover, a data basis will be established which demonstrates which coaching interventions make whom, at which point in time, and where happy - and which do not.

The Model

Our Model: The “Happiness Lights“

Our “Happiness Lights” psychological model provides the scientific framework for the Happiness Mentoring programme. In this model, people are grouped into three different zones, according to their respective happiness level.

Happiness Lights

Green Area

Happy people live healthier lives. They are resilient and perform at higher levels. They have high motivation and are passionate about what they do. Happy people are represented in the green area of our “Happiness Lights“ model. There is no need for intervention from a psychological point of view.

Red Area

In the red area, however, we find people who feel unhappy and suffer from a lack of motivation and from mental illness. This is where the public health system gets involved providing therapeutic measures financed by the health insurance providers, e.g. psychiatric interventions such as psychoanalysis or behavioural therapy.

Yellow Area

The majority of people in our society are placed in the intermediate stage marked by the yellow area. They are neither really happy nor mentally ill. But some of these people are in danger of drifting into the red area. Others, however, might just need to take that one extra step towards a happier life – the final push to move up from the yellow to the green area.

Exactly at this point, our solution starts: By means of the Happiness mentoring we help in order to establish an empirical basis that shows what is helpful for people in a particular area and what is not.

Easy explanation of the methods for coaching clients.


Happiness Mentoring


The Happiness Mentoring aims to achieve two things:

1. Support coaches by the application of empirical modules for their interventions

2. Give clients an accurate understanding of the effects of their coaching

Our modules are specifically adaptable to particular coaching interventions.

From the client’s perspective and ideal procedure can be obtained by the following scheme:

Empirical Framework

First Session

First Session

At the first session you will tell us about a typical week in your life. It’s up to you how much detail you want to go into. It’s also your decision whether you want to give a neutral report or if you want to share your emotions with us.

Following this, we will discuss the various scientifically relevant factors that influence a person’s happiness.

Example: “Physical Fitness”

  • How important is your physical fitness to you?
  • How satisfied are you with it?
  • How much of your time do you allocate to it?

This is how we establish which factors play a part in your life – and together we develop your individual happiness-profile.

App-Data & Biological Markers

Weekly Reviews

Happiness Analyser

In the weeks following our first meeting you will use the „Happiness Analyser“ – our analysis smartphone app – on a daily basis. This is how we document and measure the subjective well-being you experience in different situations of your daily life.

Following sessions

Happiness Review

Once a week, we then analyse and review the data in one of our mentoring sessions. Based on the qualitative data and your personal experiences we will analyse and discuss how you spent your time and who you spent it with – and how happy you felt during these moments.


Together we will derive intervention strategies that are designed to help you spend your time feeling happier and more content.

03.Intervention Details

Real to ideal time-use

Time Reallocation

Time Reallocation

Allocate more time to those activities that are important to you.

Activity Replacement

Activity Replacement

Replace one activity with an alternative that, according to our research results, gives you a more satisfying experience.

Quality Enhancement

Quality Enhancement

Improve the quality and intensity of the time you spend on specific activities.

The Team

Happiness Mentoring is a programme developed by the Happiness Research Organisation ( based in Düsseldorf, Germany. In diverse research projects the research institute closely examines people’s everyday lives and gains insight into their individual sense of happiness. In cooperation with renowned scientists and experts specializing in various fields, Happiness Research Organisation moves the relationship between happiness, health and productivity into focus.

Research Partners & Cooperations of the
Happiness Research Organisation

  • Prof. Dr. Ruut Veenhoven Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof. Dr. Ronnie Schöb Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schupp DIW / SOEP
  • Prof. Dr. Rhonda Phillips Purdue University
  • Prof. Dr. Richard Lucas Michigan State University
  • Prof. Dr. Marc Hassenzahl Folkwang Universität der Künste
  • Prof. Dr. Grit im Brahm Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewind Bergische Universität Wuppertal
  • Prof. Dr. Carmelo Vazquez Complutense University of Madrid
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Kocher Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Prof. Dr. Seung Jong Lee Seoul National University
  • Prof. Dr. Youngwha Kee Soongsil University
  • Prof. Dr. Young-Chool Choi Chungbuk National University
  • PD Dr. Ralf Klamma RWTH Aachen University
  • Dr. Martijn Burger Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Dr. Susana Garcia Diez Statistisches Bundesamt
  • Dr. Clemens Hetschko Freie Universität Berlin
  • Dr. Oliver Haas Corporate Happiness
  • Dr. Michael Derntl RWTH Aachen University
  • Dr. David Richter DIW / SOEP
  • Dr. Scott Cloutier Arizona State University
  • Dr. Bernd M. Lindenberg
  • Dr. Ilona Bürgel
  • Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen
  • Martijn Hendriks Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Kathi Wachnowski Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Randall J. Birnberg M.A.
  • Michael Tomoff

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Grafenberger Allee 342 | 40235 Düsseldorf | Germany

(+49) 211 641 360 81 (Mo-Fr: 10am-5pm)