Feeling good in difficult times: Positive psychology, mental health, and reading for pleasure during the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Cassandra Larose


Positive psychology, Mental health, Pleasure reading


The declaration of a global pandemic of the respiratory virus COVID-19 in winter 2020 resulted in a number of restrictions including social distancing and isolation in much of the world. The mental health impacts of these measures is not yet fully understood, but initial findings suggest an increase in anxiety, depression, and loneliness. By addressing basic concepts from positive psychology, including the upward spiral theory, this article identifies positive emotions as a way to buffer against stress during difficult times. Recreational reading that makes readers feel positive emotions is suggested as one way for information professionals to support readers during a time of uncertainty.