A museum of happiness? World’s first will open in London after crowdfunding success

Tom Lawson

The world’s first museum for happiness will open in London after a successful crowdfunding campaign

The science, art and history of happiness will take centre stage at the world’s first museum dedicated to the subject, after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The Museum of Happiness will be located in Arlington House in Camden, north London, providing a space to explore the importance of happiness, and how science-based techniques can help people find greater happiness in their lives. Arlington House is the UK’s largest homeless hostel. Founders also hope the museum will help reduce isolation and depression among members of the capital’s homeless community.

We are creating a place where people can explore the science, art and history of happiness

Due to end midday tomorrow (10 June), the crowdfunding campaign has already surpassed its £25,000 goal and has since announced a £35,000 stretch target.

“Not only are we creating a place where people can explore the science, art and history of happiness in fun ways, but we will also be working with very vulnerable adults, who were recently homeless, helping them to rebuild their lives and integrate back into society,” said museum co-founder Vicky Johnson.

The project’s journey began two years ago when Johnson, along with co-founder Shamash Alidina, launched the world’s first pop-up Museum of Happiness in Spitalfields Market. Its programme of pay-it-forward classes and donation-based events, including weekly mindfulness classes, yoga and art therapy, attracted some 7,000 visitors. It meant that, in 2016, the pair were able to open the museum’s first permanent home within The Canvas Cafe in Shoreditch, a social enterprise and London’s first ‘happy cafe’.

Our vision is that, one day, every city in the world will have its own Museum of Happiness to explore this vital part of being human

With demand for the Museum of Happiness now outstripping capacity, say organisers, they have decided the time is right to move again to a larger permanent location.

The not-for-profit organisation wants to offer free wellbeing classes to those recently housed after being homeless; happiness classes to schools in deprived areas; and create an indoor ‘tropical paradise’ for members of the public to enjoy. Visitors will be able to relax in hammocks against a palm tree backdrop, they say.

“Our vision is that, one day, every city in the world will have its own Museum of Happiness to explore this vital part of being human,” said co-founder Shamash Alidina.


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  • Ginny Sassaman

    I love your work! I think you’ve signed our GNHUSA Charter for Happiness, haven’t you? Yay!!! I plan to highlight your Happiness Museum piece on our blog site (http://gnhusa.org/news/) … Perhaps we will find ways to collaborate some in the future … Wishing you well!

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