You are Part of the Happiness Experiment


Norah Craig

A Gary King Happiness sign on 20th avenue north and 9th street.

Have you ever noticed a red and white sign that reads “Happiness?” Maybe on ninth street or even in your neighborhood? There are over 250 of these signs plastered around St. Petersburg, all part of Gary King’s Happiness Experiment. Gary has been working on this project for just over three years intending to create a positive impact on those who see his signs. You are a subject of Gary’s Happiness Experiment. Have you felt the happiness? 

Gary King began the Happiness Experiment because he “was attempting to treat [his] complex PTSD by constantly handling the word ‘Happiness,’ as he stated in an interview with Happier Place. Gary also lost his son to suicide, contributing to his mental struggles. Gary hopes to create a positive impact and promote happiness not only for himself, but for the entire city of St. Pete with these signs. Students at St. Pete High have been subjects of this joyful impact. Student Dylan Shapiro says that every time she sees them “they make [her] feel happy.” Another student, Sofia, says that when she sees them, she appreciates “that someone took the time to hang them up.” It seems that Gary’s goal is being accomplished. 

Gary is also the author of The Happiness Formula, a highly recommended book by readers. Based on his own life and research, he wrote this book to help others learn the practices of forgiveness, truthfulness, and self-worth, all to live a happier life. His work is truly amazing as people often forget to do the little things to make the world a happier place. It just so happens that these little things often make big changes.

If you have never noticed a happiness sign before, or simply would like to see it again, consider visiting a location with a sign, which can be easily found online. If you feel inspired, Gary has started selling his signs for others to hang up, found in some shop locations such as Christy’s Enchanted Notions.