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Christine Carter, PhD
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A sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, Ph.D., is the author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Work and Home (January 2015) and Raising Happiness (2011).

After receiving her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she was a Senior Fellow, Dr. Carter worked in marketing management and school administration, going on to receive her Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Carter has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, as well as Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Fitness, Redbook, and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “Dr. Oz Show”, the “TODAY” show, the “Rachael Ray Show,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”, PBS, as well as NPR and BBC Radio.

A sought-after keynote speaker, Dr. Carter loves to share her work with new audiences. Combining scientific research and practical application, Dr. Carter offers audiences not just a way to cope with modern pressures, but a way to truly thrive. Speaking to executives, general audiences, and working parents, Dr. Carter looks at living life from our "sweet spot"—that place of both power and ease.

Dr. Carter also writes an award-winning blog, which is frequently syndicated on the HuffingtonPost,,,, and several other websites. She has been nominated twice for an award from the American Sociological Association for public sociology.

She lives with her husband, four kids, and dog Buster in Marin County, California.

For more information, please explore this website -- and don't miss the free resources!

Entries by Christine Carter, PhD

Resolutions Slipping? 5 Quick Ways to Stay the Course

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 9:37 AM

(Especially when you are REALLY REALLY tempted to drop it!)


We all understand that when we first attempt to drive a car or ride a bike, we'll make mistakes. Behavior change is no different; it's a process of slipping, learning from the mistake,...
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Are You Setting the Right Goals?

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 11:28 AM


Could you be setting better ones?

I've always found the idea of setting goals appealing. But -- and I hate to admit this -- it has been years since I set real goals for myself, personally or professionally. And by "years," I mean...

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20 Questions to Ask This Holiday Season

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 4:33 PM


Our friends and family know what to expect when they come to our house for a meal: Jeffersonian conversations. Thomas Jefferson seated all his guests at one table for dinner, where he asked each guest a single question for all to hear

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3 Surprising Ways to Feel Less Busy

(7) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 11:01 PM


Busyness stinks.

Although people tell me all the time they like feeling busy -- perhaps because it makes them feel important and significant -- I'm not buying it. Would you ever choose busyness over a more relaxed form of productivity? When life...

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8 Ways to Achieve More by Working Less

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 5:37 PM

A day lived in the sweet spot

I spend about five hours a day slacking off.

Really: I spend that much time doing stuff I enjoy, that isn't on a task list anywhere. I walk through the beautiful university campus near my...

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How Being a Stepmom Makes Me a Better Parent

(4) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 12:10 PM

This Mother's Day, I may not get to see my stepchildren, as they will likely be celebrating with their mom. But I will be thinking about them a lot, about how they've given me the opportunity to become a much better mother.

(An aside: Originally I wrote that my stepkids...

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3 Risky Ways to Fall Deeply in Love

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 4:48 PM

Love comes from action, not waiting to be adored.

Love On The Rocks

Photo by James Marvin Phelps

Love feels magical and biological -- something that just happens to us, something beyond our control. Research shows, however, that...

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Don't Fool Yourself: Technology Must be Used Strategically

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 10:08 AM


Photo by Bruno

A Pew Research Center report released earlier this month on social media use and stress has gotten a lot of play in subsequent media coverage, with recent headlines even happily declaring that...

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Want Success and Happiness? Be Divergent, Not Perfect

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 2:20 PM

Don't be an "ideal worker"  --  instead, embrace your unique qualities.

One of the tenets of my Sweet Spot Manifesto is, "Accept that you are divergent. Go with it." A lot of people are asking me what I mean by that.

My daughters  --  and all their middle...

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The 3 Most Important Things for Keeping Resolutions

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 2:26 PM

You already know this: More than half of people who make New Year's resolutions give up on them by June. Don't join this failing 50 percent in 2015! Instead, follow these three research-based strategies for making resolutions that stick.

1. Make your resolution a habit, not a goal.

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The Easiest Way to Deal With a Difficult Person

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Photo by Jessica Ondrejicka
How come your family knows how to push your buttons? Because they installed them... I had a great teacher in India who said to me, 'If you think you're spiritual and evolved and enlightened, go home for...
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Why Happiness Is the Wrong Pursuit

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 12:00 PM

Photo by Patrick
Photo by Patrick
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." -- Helen Keller

Money doesn't buy happiness. Obvious, right?


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How to Practice Extreme Gratitude

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 1:58 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 4.08.21 PM

Ahh, the holidays. For many of us regular gratitude practicers, this extra grateful time of year can seem like a bit like more of the same... Sometimes our gratitude practices can become a bit routine, not quite as juicy...

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Feel Starved for Time? Here's a Surprising (and Easy) Solution

(3) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Photo by Scott King Photo by Scott King

Although I presumably spent most of my childhood daydreaming, I seldom do it anymore. Occasionally, I'll catch myself spacing out in the shower, just standing there, and I'll try to hustle myself back...

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A New Theory of Elite Performance

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 4:37 PM

As the kids head back to school, I'm thinking about what really leads to success -- as well as happiness. Part one in a three-part series.

When we look at people who are at the top of their field, what do we know about how they got there?

We used...

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Failure Makes You a Winner

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 4:59 PM

The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles. -- Garth Stein

What quality does Buddha share with Luke Skywalker and Joan of Arc? What links Harriet Tubman with Harry Potter?

It has nothing to do with enlightenment or magic. It...

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My Love-Hate Relationship With Mother's Day

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 4:27 PM

How we're turning it into a kindness scavenger hunt.

I hate to admit this, but I've come to feel entitled to breakfast in bed on Mother's Day (complete with gifts and a clean kitchen afterwards), a family hike (no whining, everyone...

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Three Quick Tips for Saving the Earth

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 3:43 PM

Outsmart the brain boobie-traps that make you wasteful

Last Saturday night at a birthday soiree, I got to sit across from one of UC Berkeley's cutting-edge ocean researchers. I asked him to explain to me how climate change is affecting fish populations, and he responded by saying that "climate...

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Influencing Teens and Tweeners, Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 12:13 PM

In my last post, I introduced the idea of "motivational interviewing," a way to engage with adolescents to make them feel heard, understood and, ultimately, receptive to your parental wisdom.

This technique, which has been proven effective in clinical psychology, is particularly useful when we want to influence our...

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I Don't Care How Big the Market Is, Those Are My Daughters

(16) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 8:36 PM

Our 12-year-olds think thong underwear makes them cool.

Two 6th grade girls in my daughter's class recently got in a snit in the locker room after PE. Apparently, one girl (let's call her Janet) was wearing boy shorts with "love" emblazoned across the bottom. She claimed these ultra-cool undies came...

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