Miriam Akhtar

Miriam Akhtar MAPP is a positive psychologist, wellbeing expert, keynote speaker, trainer and educator. She is one of 100 global experts in positive psychology, who were invited to contribute to The World Book of Happiness and The World Book of Hope.

Miriam was one of the first positive psychologists in Europe, graduating with distinction from the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), a course set up by Prof Martin Seligman to make the world a happier place and was a founder member of the International Positive Psychology Association. Miriam is also qualified as a facilitator of the Penn Resilience Programme  which came to the UK via the Local Wellbeing Project, led by Professor Lord Richard Layard, co-founder of Action for Happiness. Her day-to-day work is as a trainer, coach and consultant, designing wellbeing and resilience programmes for a range of clients.

“Miriam is a real expert in her field. She has trained me and is excellent”. Melanie Franklin, Author, Director, Agile Change Management.

Miriam is an educator, engaged in training up the next generation of positive psychology practitioners. She is on the faculty of the Executive MAPP at the University of Lisbon and has been invited to give lectures at the University of Oxford, Bristol Medical School, the London School of Economics, the University of Bath, the University of Kent at Canterbury, Brunel University, the University of the West of England, Sheffield Hallam University and the London College of Fashion.

“Miriam is the best positive psychologist in Britain. She is passionate about growth and has a wonderful way of using her knowledge to inspire.” Lucy Barfoot, Director, Lightbox.

Miriam is the author of 6 books including the ground-breaking Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, recommended by Books on Prescription founder, Prof Neil Frude and the subject of a  bibliotherapy study. What is Post-traumatic Growth tells the story of how people can grow through adversity and includes resilience tools to support people on the journey to post-traumatic growth. Her most recent is the best-selling Little Book of Happiness, which has 12 scientifically grounded habits of happiness. Miriam has also contributed chapters to The World Book of Happiness, The World Book of Hope and Gratitude, How to Appreciate Life’s Gifts. She is one of the featured experts in PsychologiesReal Calm.  

Miriam is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and a former director of the Happy City Initiative, a social enterprise which has since become the Centre for Thriving Places. She is based near Bristol, where she is a Happiness Champion and part of the team that won the 2015 European Green Capital bid with a mission to create happier, healthier cities. Watch some video clips below of Miriam on BBC Points West and talking about the inspiration behind the Happiness Habits at the School for Social Entrepreneurs.