Oh happy day! Londoners encouraged to shrug off cares and pursue pleasure on International Day of Happiness

Londoners feeling downcast at failing to witness today’s solar eclipse are being encouraged to turn their frowns upside down and pursue some pleasure this International Day of Happiness.

What began as a United Nation’s initiative in 2012 to encourage people along their personal pursuit of happiness has blossomed into a global day of fundraising, cheerful initiatives and selfie-taking.

Not-for-profit group Action for Happiness are using the day to promote their movement of spreading joy.

The London division were out in force this morning armed with banners and placards to share the love with commuters.

One person tweeted: “Our happiness is part of something bigger. We’ve been spreading the love in London today.”

Another person posed with a sign that read: “Your smile does eclipse the dark in someone.”

Backed by the Dalai Lama, the organisation takes the notion of happiness very seriously, funding scientific studies and encouraging people to participate in its 12-stage happiness programme.

But if you’re looking for an instant pick-me-up The UN’s specialised happiness playlist is sure to get you smiling.

Collated by Grammy winner and Happy singer Pharrell Williams, the playlist is available on online radio-station Pandora and includes hits from the O’Jays, Ray Charles and Jamiroquai.

Several sites across London are also looking to add to the cheer.

The Canvas in Hackney dubs itself ‘the happiness café’ and has produced a self-esteem art instillation compiling happy thoughts.

As well as free massages all afternoon, the cafe will host a  laugh-along session from 6pm.

A little further south in St Martin’s Court, revellers can partake in an all day schedule of ‘funtivities’.

Hosted by the fashion road’s luxury boutiques the schedule includes zen-boosting tai chi, meditation classes throughout the day and free canapés in the evening.

Picture courtesy of Dawn Ashley, with thanks

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