Last weekend Quirks and Quarks (CBC radio's science program) did a fantastic segment on the science of happiness: why evolution created organisms that can experience happiness, what happens to your brain when you're happy or depressed, and why happy pills are unlikely to work (and why being a Zen master does, kinda):
Research into happiness hasn't been a traditional subject for psychology, but it's become something of a hot topic. We speak to several scientists on the cutting edge of happiness research.
Dr. Daniel Nettle, a reader in Psychology at the University of Newcastle, is the author of, Happiness, the Science Behind your Smile.
Dr. Daniel Gilbert is a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of, Stumbling on Happiness.
Dr. Angela Clow is in the Psychology Department at the University of Winchester in London and studies the physiology of emotion, including happiness.
Dr. Richard Davidson is the Vilas and William James Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and studies the neurology of happiness.