Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 373–384



DOI: 10.1023/

Cite this article as:
Veenhoven, R. Journal of Happiness Studies (2003) 4: 373. doi:10.1023/


The term 'art-of-living' refers to capabilities for leading a good life. Since there are different views on what a good life is, there could also be a difference in the capabilities called for. In this paper I distinguish two main views on the good life: the 'virtuous' life and the 'enjoyable' life and describe variants of each. I explore what competencies are required for living such lives and conclude that these differ indeed. So there are different arts-of-living.

The set of capabilities required for leading a happy life can be identified by means of empirical research. This capability-profile comes close to the notion of 'positive mental health'.

art-of-livinglife skills happinesspositive mental health.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands