11 Scientific Facts About Happiness That You’ll Want to Know | 11 May 18

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8 Good Things is a curated bi-weekly newsletter of inspirational and informational articles, videos, and quotes. Content falls into three buckets, which are reflective of my company’s offerings. Sojourn Explorers is about travel, technology, and exploration. Picture Happiness is about conscious-centered living. Sojourn is about photography, storytelling, and the entertainment industry.

Announcing. For thirteen years, I have been studying Happiness. The last two have been spent working towards a PhD in Conscious-Centered Living. In that time, I wrote a thesis comparing the types of meditation practices that I teach: Mindfulness, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Prayer of the Heart. Followed by a dissertation on the elements of cultivating and sustaining Happiness. I am delighted to say that I now have three new initials after my name. My hope is that I can take what I have learned and help others to live better, more fully.

Make sure to scroll all the way down to see my upcoming trips and programs.


1Two Men, One Boat, 3000 miles: The Tempest Two. I recently met The Tempest Two, Tom and James, at a conference in Boulder, where they gave a presentation about rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic after making a beer bet. Mind you, they had never rowed a day in their life. While I laughed the entire time they spoke, their message was everything I believe about traveling and doing things out of your comfort zone.

2New Alarm System May Stop Poachers In Their Tracks. “A multipronged high-tech system installed in a South African reserve has helped cut the number of poached rhinos to zero.” I have a soft spot in my heart for those on the frontline saving our wildlife—in particular, the African rhino. A few years back, I did a three-part series for Animal Planet, Battleground: Rhino Wars. The article here showcases a new system, described as a “souped-up home burglar alarm system” that is now effectively being employed in the general area of South Africa where we filmed, the Greater Kruger.


311 Scientific Facts About Happiness That You’ll Want to Know. This is a pretty good list, though there is one that I do not wholly agree with. Number Five, “Happy Are Those on Hourly Wages” because they “are able to better focus on the worth of their time in each paycheck, thus promoting Happiness.” While it sounds good in principle??? I think this is a hugely limiting thought—especially if you are earning minimum wage. Why would ever think you are only worth eleven dollars an hour? As corny as this reads, you are priceless and so is your time.

45 Things to Stop Saying Today If You Want More Success and Happiness. Wow, as someone who studies and reads extensively about Happiness, this article is spot on. What you tell yourself is what you come to believe about yourself. Often it revolves around not being good enough or worthy enough. Let me just say right here, right now. You are both, good and worthy. Maybe you forgot this bit as you got piled on in life. However, if you take the time to dig, you will find the treasure that you indeed are, and you can take that one to the bank! All puns intended.


5On the Radio with Two-time Grammy Nominee, Jim Brickman. The last time I was in Cleveland (my other home besides LA), I had the good fortune to be invited to chat with Jim Brickman about my experience being a producer during the early days of Survivor, Happiness, and 8 Good Things 😉

Also, I may be joining Jim for his New Year’s Eve Weekend in Phoenix, helping fans start the year with Happy Intentions.

6‘Avengers,’ the Most Lucrative Movie Franchise Ever, Is Wrapping Up. Why? I have always loved the escapism of these films and sad it is their last curtain call, though they are going out with a bang. As Marvel Studios’ president put it “Telling a great story requires a great ending. When you dedicate yourself to that, it shifts the way you think.” You will have to read the article to understand what that means. Warning, this is a super long article and super interesting if you are a fan. One other thing, yeah! for the Cleveland homeboys, Directing brothers Russo, Anthony and Joe.

7Movies to Watch with Mom This Mother’s Day. One is Mamma Mia. Being the Greek girl that I am, of course, that is my pick. It takes place on the island of Skopelos in the western Aegean Sea. Ahhhhh, such a gorgeous part of the world.

Since we are talking about Greece, did you know celebrating moms goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans?

8A Father, A Son, And Their Odyssey. Continuing on the topic of all things Greek. If you have time to sit and read, this is a beautiful story about a son taking his eighty-something father on a fantastic Mediterranean voyage shortly before his passing. (Thank you for sharing, Mike M.)


“I make myself rich by making my wants few” ~ Henry David Thoreau.
I live by this quote and have most of my life. There is a lot to be said about keeping things pared down. I do not own much of anything. My most expensive material possession is my 2005 Chrysler Crossfire, which I love and so do the valets! I keep my asks of people selective and to a minimum. Where I do spend and do collect are experiences.
My most expensive experiences, priceless beyond measure.

Sojourn Experiences


Greek Islands | Inquire About Dates
Hit the pause button to sail and hike the islands in the Aegean Sea. Explore with me. Meditate. Do restorative yoga. Eat great food, and do like Zorba. Dance! Opa!! Bring together a group of six friends and set course on your own Greek Odyssey.


Photographic Safari and Mindfulness Workshops
Kenya | Botswana | Inquire About Dates

I took this photo on the last morning of a recent trip to Africa — my favorite place in the world and love sharing it with others as well. Great Plains Conservation’s Wild Studio was started by award-winning National Geographic filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. This is an experience that I put together. It combines learning the secrets of great wildlife photography from a Wild Studios pro along with my Mindfulness teaching. Please join us on a uniquely curated safari that will tap into your true inner-photographer. This adventure can be shared with a group of friends or done as a solo sojourn.

Sojourn Programs


Happiness: The Art of Life Balance
I am committed to helping those who sit in the overwhelm, continually feeling out of time, and always stressed. As a longtime television producer, I have been there many times over and have spent a decade plus studying what to do about it. Now, I work with professionals, helping them get out of the crazy and into the happy (and yes, I still produce shows). I have designed a program that can fit into anyone’s schedule and joined anytime. For a complimentary session, please contact me.


By Appointment
Offering private sessions in Mindfulness, Primordial Sound Meditation, Prayer of the Heart Meditation, and Restorative Yoga. Available in-person, or on Skype and FaceTime.

Happy Weekend! Love,
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More About Us | +800-869-0538


Maria Baltazzi, Maria Baltazzi, PhD, Founder
Purveyor of Happiness and Conscious-Centered Living

Emmy-winning TV Producer, Happiness Mentor, Transformational Travel Guide

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Transformational Travel Council
North America Ambassador


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