Nick Baylis

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Nick Baylis in 2006

Nick Baylis FRSA (based in Cambridge, England) loosely describes himself as a well-being explorer, teaching what he calls ‘the skills of well-being’ in educational, healthcare and business settings, the world over.

Though the first person to teach Positive Psychology in the UK, Baylis might also claim to be the first insider to critique the new approach as entirely inadequate for understanding and transforming lives. Baylis prefers to explore the applications of what he calls Well-rounded Well-Balanced Well-being – a multi-disciplinary, passionate approach that endeavours to reach far beyond Psychology and Science, so as to integrate into those perspectives the practical insights from the Arts, Faiths, Philosophies, Therapy and Education.

His basic view is that happiness skills can be learned. It is not money, fame, nor success which brings happiness, although one needs a certain minimum amount of money to attain the basics of life. He considers relationships, sleep, flow, exercise and attitude towards outside stresses as important to happiness.


Baylis was educated at St Albans School, the University of Exeter (BA), the University of East Anglia (MA, 1994), the Open University, and Jesus College, Cambridge (MPhil & PhD).


He is the author of the Rough Guide to Happiness, published in April 2009. His present handbook for a general readership is Learning from Wonderful Lives

Baylis has been strongly associated with Wellington College since 2006, whose new headmaster, Dr Anthony Seldon, invited Baylis to introduce the skills of well-being to the school curriculum,[1] staff and parents. That summer, students earned their best ever A-level and GCSE results.

As a practising one-to-one therapist as well as a lecturer, Baylis wrote 100 columns for The Times (London) between 2003 and 2005, and for two years thereafter wrote a monthly page for The Australian.

In November 2003, Baylis co-hosted a Royal Society conference on The Science of Well-Being with Felicia Huppert and Barry Keverne.

In May 2001, Baylis became the first person to teach Positive Psychology (pink triangle) in the United Kingdom, as an Affiliate Lecturer within the Social & Political Sciences Faculty of Cambridge University. He has taught a related course at Cambridge every year since, most recently within Professional Studies at the Cambridge University Institute of Continuing Education.

In 2000, he researched and founded which still offers freely available life-advice at that website, intended for schools.

In the early 1990s, sponsored by Levi’s Jeans and Working Title Films, Baylis became a writing tutor in Feltham high-security young offender prison in west London, personally founding the prototype for the Trail-blazers mentorship programme (in 1998) which has gone from strength to strength.


  • Learning from Wonderful Lives: Lessons from the Study of well-being (a self-help handbook published by Cambridge Well-being Books, 2005; only available via Amazon), ISBN 0-9550503-0-8
  • The Science of Well-Being (an academic text published by Oxford University Press, 2005), Amazon ISBN 978-0-19-856752-3
  • The Science of Well-being (an academic text published as Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society, 2004)

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