Wellbeing for life


An image of a light within someone's hands

The 'Wellbeing for Life' research theme brings together researchers with a common interest in studying aspects of wellbeing across the lifespan. Here, wellbeing is considered as a broad concept and includes emotional, social, psychological and physical wellbeing at an individual, collective and/or societal level. 

We are engaged in a variety of research knowledge exchange activities including, for example, the development and delivery of wellbeing programmes and resources; empirical examinations of individual differences in wellbeing; explorations of risk and protective factors that influence wellbeing in applied contexts (such as within education and workplaces); and societal influences and impacts of wellbeing (such as prosocial behaviour and pro-environmentalism). Much of this research has also examined the role that these strengths play in countering adversity and/or in promoting wellbeing.

The psychological strengths studied within this research theme include, but are not limited to, resilience, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, self-compassion, gratitude, authenticity and empathy. The aspects of adversity that are examined by members include, for example, mental and physical health conditions, emotional disorders and stress.


Contributors to this theme share the collective goals of increasing collaborative working and developing impactful research that has the possibility of shaping theory, policy and/or practice.


Example topics include:

  • Interventions, programmes, or therapeutic approaches designed to foster wellbeing, mental health, psychological strengths and/or counteract adverse life experiences;
  • Short and long-term outcomes relating to the development of wellbeing and/or the employment of psychological strengths (e.g., emotional competencies, educational attainment or engagement, mental health, relationship building/maintenance and prosocial behaviours);
  • Critical explorations of wellbeing and/or psychological strengths or traits that are linked to wellbeing, such as the relationship between emotional intelligence and emotional manipulation and how gratitude links to ingratiation;
  • Importance of wellbeing and/or psychological strengths at organisational or societal levels (e.g., factors that function to increase or decrease wellbeing within workplace environments, use of strengths to enhance team working, leadership, commitment to communal goals such as pro-environmentalism).

Associate Members

Dr Kazia Anderson (University of Leicester)

Dr Liz Gulliford (University of Northampton)

Dr Gordon Ingram (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)

Dr Kate Muse (University of Gloucestershire)

Lucy Swancott (PhD student; University of Leicester)

Dr Christopher Thomas

Current projects

  • Positively resilient? Examining psychological adjustment to workplace changes after COVID-19 (Davis, Morgan, Simmons et al.)
  • Experiences of implant loss following reconstructive surgery (Mahoney et al.)
  • Examining how gratitude is experienced on social media (Morgan, Davis, Muse et al.)
  • Practitioner Training Intervention in Anaphylaxis (Mahoney et al.)
  • An online ‘positive education’ programme to promote wellbeing in university students (Morgan & Simmons)
  • A cross-cultural exploration of the understanding of gratitude (Morgan et al.)
  • Gratitude and Long-Term Mate Choice (Morgan & Farrelly)
  • Mate choice, prosocial behaviour and pro-environmentalism (Farrelly et al.)

Recent Publications

  • Causer, H., Muse, K., Smith, J., & Bradley, E. (2019). What is the experience of practitioners in health, education or social care roles following a death by suicide? A qualitative research synthesis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(18), 3293.
  • Davis, S.K., Morningstar, M., Dirks, M. & Qualter, P. (2020) Ability emotional intelligence: What about recognition of emotion in voices? Personality and Individual Differences, 160(109938).
  • Davis, S.K., Morningstar, M. & Qualter, P. (2020) Ability EI predicts recognition of dynamic facial emotions, but not beyond the effects of crystallized IQ. Personality and Individual Differences, 160(109968).
  • Davis, S.K., Nowland, R.A. & Qualter, P. (2019) The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Maintenance of Depression Symptoms and Loneliness Among Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(A1672), 1-12.
  • Davis, S.K. (2019) Emotional Intelligence and Attentional Bias for Threat-related Emotion Under Stress. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 59(3), 328-339.
  • Bhogal, M. S., Farrelly, D., Galbraith, N., Manktelow, K., & Bradley, H. (2020). The role of altruistic costs in human mate choice. Personality and Individual Differences, 160, 109939.
  • Bhogal, M. S., Bartlett, J. E., & Farrelly, D. (2019). The influence of mate choice motivation on non-financial altruism. Current Psychology, 38(4), 959-964.
  • Farrelly, D., & Bhogal, M. S. (2021). Mate choice enhances pro-environmentalism. Pre-print available via https://psyarxiv.com/
  • Farrelly, D., & King, L. (2019). Mutual mate choice drives the desirability of altruism in relationships. Current Psychology, 38(4), 977-981.
  • Bhogal, M. S., & Farrelly, D. (2019). The psychology of prosocial behavior: An introduction to a special issue. Current Psychology, 38(4), 910-911.
  • Bhogal, M. S., Farrelly, D., & Galbraith, N. (2019). The role of prosocial behaviors in mate choice: A critical review of the literature. Current Psychology, 38(4), 1062-1075.
  • Gulliford, L., Morgan, B. & Jordan, K. (2020). A prototype analysis of virtue. Journal of Positive Psychology.
  • Gulliford, L., Morgan, B., Abbott, J. & Hemming, E. (2019). Ingratiation, Self-Monitoring and Social Intelligence: A Prosocial Relationship? Current Psychology, 38(4), 1021-1032.
  • Gulliford, L. & Morgan, B. (2019). The ‘positive’ valence of gratitude. In Brown, N. J. L., Lomas, T. & Eiroá-Orosa, F. J., (Eds.). The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Positive Psychology. London, UK: Routledge.
  • Hudecek, M. F., Blabst, N., Morgan, B., & Lermer, E. (2020). Measuring Gratitude in Germany: Validation Study of the German Version of the Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item Form (GQ-6-G) and the Multi-Component Gratitude Measure (MCGM-G). Frontiers in psychology11.
  • Kühne, F., Lacki, F. J., Muse, K., & Weck, F. (2019). Strengthening competence of therapists‐in‐training in the treatment of health anxiety (hypochondriasis): Validation of the Assessment of C ore CBT S kills (ACCS). Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 26(3), 319-327.
  • Lea, R., Davis, S.K., Mahoney, B., & Qualter, P. (2019) Does Emotional Intelligence Buffer the Effects of Acute Stress? A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(810).
  • Margana, L., Bhogal, M. S., Bartlett, J. E., & Farrelly, D. (2019). The roles of altruism, heroism, and physical attractiveness in female mate choice. Personality and Individual Differences, 137, 126-130.
  • Misca, G., Walker, J., & Kaplan, C. (2019). “Experts by Experience”: The Involvement of Service Users and Families in Designing and Implementing Innovations in Family Justice. Family Court Review, 57(3), 414-424.
  • Muse, K., Scurlock-Evans, L., & Scott, H. (2021). “The most important question is not ‘how?’but ‘why?’”: A multi-method exploration of a blended e-learning approach for teaching statistics within Undergraduate psychology. Psychology Teaching Review.
  • Owens, R., Driscoll, H., & Farrelly, D. (2019). Variation in Women’s Mate Preferences Over the Development of a Monogamous Relationship Corresponds with Changes in Men’s Life History Strategy. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1-8.
  • Scherman, R., Misca, G., & Tan, T. (2020). The Perceptions of New Zealand Lawyers and Social Workers about Children Being Adopted by Gay Couples and Lesbian Couples. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. Article no. 520703. ISSN Online: 1664-1078.
  • Walker, J., & Misca, G., (2019). Partnership in Practice: European Perspectives. Family Court Review, 57(3), 294-300.
  • Walker, J., & Misca, G. (2019). Why Listening to Children and Young People is Important in Family Justice. Family Court Review, 57(3), 375-386.


Information for prospective PhD students

We welcome proposals from propsective students with interests in any areas aligned to our theme.   Please see the research school pages for details on how to apply.  The following provide ideas for self-funded proposals:

‘Positive Higher Education’: The Role of Universities in Developing Character Strengths and Wellbeing (Supervisors: Dr Blaire Morgan, Dr Bérénice Mahoney)

 Emotional intelligence in bipolar disorder (Supervisors: Dr Sarah Davis, Professor Lisa Jones, Dr Katherine Gordon-Smith) 

The emotionally intelligent social media user (Supervisors: Dr Sarah Davis, Dr Blaire Morgan, Dr Kate Muse)


For more information about this theme, please contact Dr Blaire Morgan