Susanna Halonen is the one and only Happyologist®. She is a happiness life coach and keynote speaker. She uses the science of positive psychology to help you to kill your self-doubt, embrace positive thinking, and build a lifestyle you love. She is the author of Happiness is Here and Screw Finding Your Passion. She is a published researcher, a TEDx speaker, an online columnist, and a regular commentator in the media from the BBC to The Huffington Post and more. Her corporate client list ranges across industries, including American Express, BMW, Kellogg’s, Lululemon Athletica and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to name a few. In her free time she is a competitive dressage rider with Olympic ambitions. She adores dogs and believes we can learn a lot from our four-legged furry friends. She inspires and educates her loyal following through her blog at Happyologist.co.uk.
What do I do best?
I make happiness happen – for myself, for others, and for the world. As the Happyologist®, my mission is to make the world a happier place and hence everything I do is with this in mind. I excel at exploring the latest positive psychology research and turning their complex findings into simple, practical tips you can embed into your day-to-day life. I’m a great communicator and I feel deeply so I love spreading my insights through my writing, my one-to-one coaching, my online courses, and my keynote talks. I love doing the work I do because I do it so well naturally. I love helping you to kill your self-doubt, embrace positive thinking, and building a lifestyle you love – especially because I’ve been through the journey myself and I know firsthand how transformational it is.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Sisu. Sisu is a Finnish trait (I’m Finnish by blood) that mixes fierce determination with grit, courage, resilience, and persistence. When you’ve hit a wall and all the odds seem against you, sisu comes alive. What must be done, will be done, regardless of what it takes. It’s a magical-like quality that helps you to stay strong and determined on your path. You can’t control what you are faced with but you can control how you choose to react to the things that come your way, and reacting to things with sisu helps you to confidently deal with the imperfections in your life. All my life, I have practiced sisu. When I know what I want to do, I go after it without hesitation or questions. Yes, I might still have some self-doubt and feel some fear. But I don’t let that stop me. I get my sisu out and get on with things. When challenges come my way, I see them as opportunities for growth and practice sisu to overcome them. This is what gave me the courage to leave my corporate path and set up my own business. This is what enabled me to become a successful Happyologist. Last but not least, it’s also what made it possible for me to become an elite athlete.
What are my aspirations?
I want to leave my mark on the world. I want to spread happiness wherever I go. I want to help people to feel more confident in who they are and trust their intuitions. I want to grow my business so that I can have a small team that manages everything except the delivery of my coaching, online courses, keynote talks, and writing. I want to do what I do best and nothing else.
My ambition is also to take part in the Olympics. I currently compete at a national level in the equestrian sport of dressage and my aim is to reach international level. There is nowhere I feel freer and more in-tune with who I am than on my horse. I love it.
My Biggest Success?
My just released book Happiness is Here: A 30-Day Guide to Joy and Fulfilment. I had to overcome many barriers to get it to where it is now: out in the world! Initially, I signed with a literary agent who was to help me get this book out. However, the relationship quickly turned sour as she ignored the messages I wanted to share with the world and pushed me to write a book that apparently the market wanted. At the start, I tried. Luckily, I quickly realized the book she wanted me to write wasn’t the book I was meant to write. I built up my courage and fired her. I took a few months off writing to get my head clear before starting the book I had been yearning to write all along. Now, it’s finally here and I couldn’t be more proud of it. I’m proud of the book itself but I’m also incredibly proud of having had the guts to walk away from her and stand strong by the messages I was meant to share.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Five years ago, I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. I was about to marry the wrong guy. The venue was booked, the dress was ordered, and the invites had gone out. Yet something felt off. I couldn’t eat, sleep or focus. Everything felt like a struggle and I was permanently nauseous. I couldn’t understand what was wrong – until my friend asked exactly the question I was meant to hear. We were catching up over coffee and she was asking about the wedding and honeymoon plans. I avoided the question and mumbled something about, “It’s funny how you stop wanting the things you do.” She didn’t let that slip and asked me to explain further. That’s the moment I knew the truth. I could no longer run away from my bad gut feel or not listen to my intuition shouting don’t do it. I broke the engagement, cancelled the wedding, and left the toxic relationship. Now, I listen to my intuition more than ever. It’s like a compass shining light on the path I’m meant to take. Listen to it. It’s there for a reason.
When you have a decision to make or you’re doubting what you should do next, do this:
Put your hand your heart and say: “This is what’s important. What does my heart say?”
The more you do this, the easier it becomes. You’ll learn to listen to your heart and to your intuition, and you’ll make better, more confident decisions as a result.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
These vary quite depending where I am at my life but there are definitely a few constants:
My partner: He is an incredibly positive, confident, and determined man that goes after what he wants. He also has his own business and has overcome many odds to turn it into the success it is today. He is also my biggest supporter and fan. He is always showering me with compliments and he never lets me forget the things I’ve achieved. He is my best cheerleader.
My mom: She is the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful person I know. She passed her love for life and ability to feel to me and I love her for it.
My dressage trainer: He knows how to get the best out of my horse and me – and any horse and rider for that matter! He teaches me to ride with feeling and many of his lessons in riding are equally relevant in life.
My bestie Hanna: I call her the Lapland shaman as she is the happiest, most intuitive person I know. She also doesn’t let other people’s opinions or judgments get her down, and she’s never afraid to go after what she wants.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
The holiday home I have with my partner in Dordogne, France. The minute we arrive, our heart rates drop, our muscles relax, and our minds get clear. It is the most sacred, healing place I have ever experienced. It is surrounded by lush, calming greens, and the sun shines most days. Our gardens are filled with wild flowers and bright butterflies. Our tall, charming trees sway in the wind and hearing their leaves rustle makes us pause. It is quiet, it is peaceful, it is magic.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I never leave my house without a journal and pen. I love to free write the old school way and I find I am so much more creative when I do that.
My Current Passions?
Riding, writing, and dogs. Riding horses has always been a huge part of my life and it still is to this day. It is my happy place where I am immediately mindful, intuitive, and at peace. Writing is another big love. I’ve always loved to write, from fiction to nonfiction to even some poetry! I feel like it’s one of the things I do best and I can not wait to bring more books out into the world through it. Last but not least, I love dogs. I don’t have one right now but my partner and I use a service called Borrow My Doggy in London, England where we live. It connects time poor dog owners with dog lovers with some spare time.
Because of it, we have been dogsitting an adorable Labrador called Apache for the last two years. He’s definitely part of the family now.