ABSTRACT

This chapter, the introduction, sets the scene for the psychology of wellbeing. With the value of the global wellness boom at $42 trillion and growing, it asks how we can sift the science from the snake oil and the fake news from breakthroughs. The chapter defines the terms of the debate with working definitions of psychology, wellbeing, the self, and research and proposes two ways to make sense of the information discussed. These are the use of storytelling and self-reflection. It begins with the reader’s own definition of everyday wellbeing as a platform to discuss academic definitions. It also explains the differences between academic psychology and pop psychology and how the book aims to bridge the gap. It is still based in psychological evidence but adopts a more conversational style, and with readers’ reflections and practical tips it offers a subtle nod to the self-help genre. The chapter concludes with a summary of the book’s content: critical questions, storytelling, stress and coping, how to make the most of a self-help book, and human flourishing.