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HappinessHabits613 to bring more joy and fulfillment to Ottawa and the world

By Andrew Monro on August 8, 2017

Andrew Monro is Apt613’s correspondent at Impact Hub Ottawa, writing about the many innovators that call Hub home. Hub is a co-working space at 123 Slater Street for projects with a positive local and global impact.


“We grew up with this formula for happiness – when we are successful we will be happy. But what we’ve realized is that happiness is what makes us successful and changes the nature of success. So let’s work on happiness each day and shape our lives so that we can derive joy from our day-to-day experiences, and do this together.”

HappinessHabits613 is a community-driven initiative to cultivate habits that support and promote happiness. Throughout August, the initiative includes events built around different things meant to help people intentionally and deliberately cultivate happiness. The month-long time frame is also very deliberate, based on the premise that it takes, on average, three to six weeks to form a habit.

The philosophy of the initiative is based on the nine Principles of Happiness:

  • Gratitude
  • Meaningful Experience
  • Mindfulness
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Altruism
  • Simplifying Your Life
  • Connecting to Nature
  • Social Connection

HappinessHabits613 was started in 2015 when life and happiness coach Manal Nemr, holistic nutritionist and chef Amy Longard, and yogi Kate Durie sat down after a happiness workshop led by Manal. The three agreed that they wanted to build on the happiness workshop, involve more people, and support each other through a month-long initiative to promote happiness.

“We want to make Ottawa the happiest city in the world.”

The overall principle of all the HappinessHabits613 events is social connection, with each of the other eight principles incorporated into the events themselves. One of the major successes of HappinessHabits613 has been the increasing number of people involved – “it started as just the three of leading the events, but as we’ve gone on, more community members and participants from past years have joined and helped out,” says Manal. One person they are immensely grateful for is Clary Chambers, an event coordinator who now helps them with the immense logistics of organizing consecutive community events.

The team is also grateful for the generous support of many local business and organizations who are supporting or have supported HappinessHabits613, including Impact Hub Ottawa, Culture Kombucha, local Artist Coblou, Saaboon, Urban Juice Press, Pure Kitchen and many more.

L to R: Amy Longard, Manal Nemr and Kate Durie. Photo by Caroline Yung.

L to R: Amy Longard, Manal Nemr and Kate Durie. Photo by Caroline Yung.

The first HappinessHabits613 event happened on August 2nd at Impact Hub Ottawa and every event is open to anybody that wants to attend. For more details, you can visit their Facebook or Eventbrite pages. Emphasis is placed on making sure events are safe spaces, inclusive, and you are encouraged to bring a “happiness buddy,” with you, as well as be open to making new friends.

“We want to make Ottawa the happiest city in the world.”

They have also launched a new hashtag for Twitter and Instagram, #myhappinesshabits, so people anywhere can participate in the community. They invite you to post ways you cultivate happiness on a regular basis, and want to feature them throughout August.