my story

I am Emma O’Connor, Aussie in Edinburgh, mother of 2 not so little boys, chefs wife and author by accident. I am on a mission to make the world a happier place… Because life is for Happiness.

As is often the case, our journey to happiness began in difficulty. In 2014, at the age of just 9, our son became anxious. His anxiety was so debilitating he was unable to attend school, visit friends or go to clubs…. and on some days just getting out the front door was a real challenge. I refused to believe the accepted vernacular, that he would ‘always suffer’ from anxiety, and would just have to learn how to manage it… Given his age, his entire life seemed a very long time to suffer! So I started to research other ways.

Everyday Happy: The Book

The more I researched, the more apparent it became that focusing on what had gone wrong, and trying to find the cause of his anxiety was not going to work. On stumbling upon happiness as a set of practical tools for better work and life, I asked myself “could this work for anxiety too?” It turned out it did! By simply changing our focus as a family, ignoring the anxiety and looking at the positives in our daily life we started to turn things around.

It was a game changer… Simple, practical and fun things we could do at home such as gratitude and kindness could actually improve his mental health, and change all of our lives.

I had gone from desperate to empowered… I knew what to do.

My first book Everyday Happy: A Journal for Happiness was born from this experience. I heard myself say “somebody needs to put all this in a book… Ohhh”. I had to be that somebody.
The book represents what I felt was missing in my search. A simple, empowering tool for doing… Not just reading. For All people… For almost any age.

With the ‘anxiety’ books and tools focusing so much on the problems and unwanted behaviours rather than any solutions, I felt it was hard to find a way forward. I also found them very adult focused… With the expectation that I would control my anxious child, and a decent amount of parent guilt thrown in. They were not helpful for me.


Happiness was the answer!

I have recently expanded the ideas behind Everyday Happy into a Children’s “Pathways to Happiness” digital course and am launching “…For Happiness” a label developed with the idea that happiness can be found doing anything…

My hope has always been to help support and empower anxious children and their families, using happiness as the tool.
As an advocate for children and young people’s mental health I have run free parent support groups and hope to open a dedicated centre for mental health and happiness.

To me, happiness is the stuff of life.. the true purpose of it.

Life is For Happiness.