CoverIntroductionWellbeing and Its Importance in SchoolsWhat models/frameworks exist to promote school wellbeing?What is the best approach for my school or district?Valuable Tools and ConsiderationYour Call to ActionStudent Wellbeing InterventionsPositive Emotion Three Good ThingsCounting BlessingsEnvisioning Your Best Possible SelfUnderstanding HumorThree Funny ThingsOutdoor LearningBringing the Outside InBibliotherapyEngagementRecognizing and Utilizing Personal StrengthsARCS Model of CuriosityCarousel BrainstormingGenius HourPerspective Taking and Role-PlayArts IntegrationDrawing and Coloring TherapyCulturally-Enriching and Arts-Based Field TripsCulturally Responsive PracticesSocial Belonging InterventionEmotional Self-Regulation: RULER methodModeling Emotional Self-Regulation SkillsTeacher PraiseRelationshipsModeling Love, Kindness and ForgivenessActive Constructive RespondingDialogue JournalsSecret Strengths SpottingPeer Praise NotesActs of KindnessVolunteeringFast FriendsBuddy BenchMeaningEducating Students about Benefit AppraisalsGratitude LettersSavoring StrategiesTaking in the Good (HEAL)Mental Time TravelBrief Mindfulness ActivitiesMindful BellMindful BreathingBody Scan RelaxationMindful Walking/MovementFive Senses MindfulnessMindful PhotographyMindful Self-CompassionAccomplishmentFuture Thinking & When/Where PlansHope MapG-POWER Goal SettingEmbedded Self-Regulation StrategiesGrowth MindsetGrit and Deliberate PracticeDeveloping Students' Resilience and Coping SkillsHealth and VitalityHealthy Sleep HabitsClassroom Physical ActivityYogaCreative Playground EquipmentHealthy Body Image InterventionStudent-Led Health ProgramSchool-Led Interventions for Teachers and StaffSupporting Teacher AutonomyMindfulness TrainingCompassion TrainingHumor TrainingIncentivizing Physical ExerciseIndividual Interventions for Administrators, Teachers and StaffPositive and Reflective JournalingSelf-Regulation and Coping StrategiesSelf-AffirmationSelf Compassion LetterDiscovering and Utilizing Character StrengthsJob CraftingMindfulnessAdditional Interventions to ConsiderDedicated Wellbeing SpacesIndividual Wellbeing Plans for School EmployeesOther ResourcesPROSPER

Five Ways to Wellbeing

The New Economic Foundation, a think tank based out of London, UK, developed the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” model (Aked et al., 2008). The “Five Ways to Wellbeing” include:

  1. Connect: Build connections with those around you (friends, family, coworkers, etc.) and your local community. 
  2. Be Active: Take time each day to be physically active. Choose something active that you enjoy such as exercising, taking a walk, dancing, playing a game, etc. 
  3. Take Notice: Savor and be mindful of life’s moments. Be present and aware of the world around you. 
  4. Keep Learning: Learn something new or take up a new hobby or skill. 
  5. Give: Reach out and help those around you, volunteer in your community, show gratitude to others. 

A more comprehensive explanation of each of these “Five Ways to Wellbeing” can be found by visiting the New Economic Foundation report. 

To establish this framework, researchers at the New Economic Foundation reviewed over 400 scholarly papers and met with key leaders in the field of positive psychology to identify the key contributors to individual wellbeing(Aked et al., 2008; Stephens, 2020). The common themes they identified were social relationships, physical activity, awareness, learning new things, and serving or giving to others(Aked et al., 2008). These themes were then consolidated into the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” model. Each aspect of the model was chosen because it was found to be evidence-based, universal (applicable to many different populations and age groups) and targeted to the individual (Aked et al., 2008). Though this framework is not necessarily specific to positive education, the universal nature of its key components makes it applicable to schools, both for students and staff. 


Aked, J., Marks, N., Cordon, C. & Thompson, S. (2008, October 22). Five ways to wellbeing: communicating the evidence. New Economics Foundation. 

Stephens, S. (2020, March 30). Five ways to wellbeing at a time of social distancing.  New Economics Foundation. 

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