The Happiness Trap Review: How To Overcome Anxiety & Stress in 8 Weeks – Does It Work?

The Happiness Trap Review – According to Our World In Data (2017), anxiety disorder counted 3.8% among the global population with 4.7% of it were females. That includes me and probably some of you.

Even though anxiety disorder is considered a common mental health problem worldwide, a study by Sandra M. Meier, Ph.D. and Manuel Mattheisen, MD, et al; had concluded that it significantly increased the mortality risk each year.

It means that having a severe anxiety disorder might lead people to attempt suicide, or at least having a suicidal thought.

And that’s not what I’m going to talk about today.

I received a notification from a friend telling me about the online course talking about happiness. It was an 8-week healing program called The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris who is also the author for the same title book.

So, I gave it a try for 2 weeks and let me tell you how I successfully cope with anxiousness in my mind during those days.

If you are having uncontrollable outbursts and anxiety disorder, please continue reading my review!




First of all, what is the Happiness Trap Program?

dr russ harris the-happiness-trap

A dedicated online program for those who are suffering from mental illness including anxiety disorders and depression, stress, feelings of emptiness, loneliness, lack of purpose, and you name it. 

It is more than a common healing program without all the positivity bullshit they kept telling us. Instead, The Happiness Trap offers a unique approach based on the ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) that has effectively treated common mental disorders.

The Happiness Trap Program is the continuation of the same title book to help further readers tackle down their shortcomings. Although each can be used as standalone self-help therapy, the online program offers interactive videos and exercises for participants on each module.

This online program has over 50 modules and 300 exercises within 8 weeks. Each module, however, only takes less than an hour which is easy to start. Besides, the materials present in the form of videos, audios, and texts to help the participants get the most of it. They also provide a community group and service center regarding the program.


Who is Dr. Russ Harris?

dr russ-harris

He is the same person who writes a best-selling book: The Happiness Trap that sold over half a million copies worldwide. Dr. Russ Harris is also a doctor graduate, therapist, and now a trainer of a health professional.

His encounter with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was when he set off his journey to find out why he was unhappy and what everlasting happiness was amid his successful career in 1989. He found out answers through this encounter and was deeply engaged with the program until he became a professional health trainer.

It was until he came out with an idea to bring the popular-among-trainer model: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) into a book with a hope to help more people. Therefore in 2007, Harris published his most acknowledged book The Happiness Trap that reached success worldwide.


Inside The Happiness Trap Online Program


anxiety program


The 8-week program comprises 7 modules on each week and a review at the last week. Here is the complete guide of the programs:


Week 1. What is Happiness


  • Module 1 – Before we start (4 exercises)
  • Module 2 – The road ahead (2 exercises)
  • Module 3 – Happiness and hurt (3 exercises)
  • Module 4 – Why it’s hard to be happy (4 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Happiness: fact and fiction (4 exercises)
  • Module 6 – Life directions (10 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Let’s get clear (4 exercises)
  • Module 8 – Wrapping up (5 exercises) 

Harris explains the basic yet deep question that potentially haunts people to death: happiness.

The older always told us to pursue your happiness, to seek out what makes you happy, and do what makes you smile. However, one cannot simply get happiness without being hurt which people consider this a setback.

This mindset, however, had been the cause of feeling overly cautious as people are not happy equals to something wrong with them. It is also the reason why people look out ‘negativity’ negatively.

This week, we are going to learn what makes people negative think, what pain is, and all the feelings along the way.



Week 2. Dropping the Struggle


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (1 exercise)
  • Module 2 – What’s in your control (7 exercises)
  • Module 3 – Blocks and barriers (5 exercises)
  • Module 4 – Suffering is universal (10 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Dropping the anchor (5 exercises)
  • Module 6 – How to drop the anchor (10 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Wrapping up (4 exercises) 

Have you ever felt being anxious all of sudden? Then you started getting more anxious because of ‘that anxious feeling’. After that, you were angry because you felt anxious because of a sudden feeling of being anxious. It went way round and round.

It is called the emotion loop.

However, you can drop those infinity feeling by switching off your struggle. In this course, Dr. Russ Harris speaks about how to accept what we can control and whatnot. That being said, if things went wrong without your knowledge or it just went bad, what we could do is let those emotions be there. Try to not neglect our feeling and accept the pain are the key to embracing life.


depression program



Week 3. Handling Your Mind


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (1 exercise)
  • Module 2 – Blocks and barriers (7 exercises)
  • Module 3 – What hooks you (15 exercises)
  • Module 4 – First step in unhooking (10 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Going further with unhooking (14 exercises)
  • Module 6 – How to observe your thoughts (6 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Wrapping up (4 exercises) 

You’re going to learn how our minds have evolved to think negatively and why positivity often fails. As Dr. Russ Harris explained earlier in the video about happiness, negative minds can be a reason why humans still exist today.

Having negative thoughts once in a while keeps us being alert towards the surrounding situation. We keep ‘suspicious’ so that we can prepare for the best.

But, having excess negative thoughts will eventually harm us. Therefore, the best thing we can do is to disrupt worrying, rumination, and any other unhelpful thoughts. And these modules will help you figure that. 



Week 4. Here and Now


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (1 exercise) 
  • Module 2 – Psychological smog (7 exercises)
  • Module 3 – Blocks and barriers (1 exercise)
  • Module 4 – Life as we know it (4 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Focusing (5 exercises)
  • Module 6 – Engaging (5 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Savouring (5 exercises)
  • Module 8 – Applying mindfulness to problems (3 exercises)
  • Module 9 – Audio library of mindfulness exercises (2 exercises)
  • Module 10 – Wrapping up (4 exercises) 

After you understand a glimpse of happiness, negative thoughts and its origin, and accept whatever it is in your head, it is time to live in the present.

Let me tell you why it is easy to start thinking negatively and being anxious. Well, it’s because we people are so hard-headed to keep the thing on its way.

We are anxious about what happened at work tomorrow, while here we are sitting in a cafeteria, having a hot-plate of sirloin steak with a Mediterranean juice on the side. Instead of enjoying our lunchtime, we keep our minds busy with unnecessary things about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

While others might be unemployed, have less-money, let alone have a freaking sirloin steak for a meal; we have all those things.


stress handling



Week 5. Follow Your Heart


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (2 exercises) 
  • Module 2 – Your inner compass (5 exercises)
  • Module 3 – Blocks and barriers (1 exercise)
  • Module 4 – Values and goals (5 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Going deeper (6 exercises)
  • Module 6 – Getting clear on values (7 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Connect and reflect (4 exercises)
  • Module 8 – Values conflicts (3 exercises)
  • Module 9 – It ain’t easy (3 exercises)
  • Module 10 – Wrap up and take home (5 exercises) 

What I love about The Happiness Trap Program is that the course is precisely made step by step for beginners, from knowing nothing to learning bit by bit.

The present week teaches us about following your heart: find the meaning and purpose of your life. Sounds cliche… I know it, right?

But it is obvious to understand WHAT we want to do in our life so that we can DO and SERVE ourselves by devoting and committing to that goal. Because purpose-less life could lead people into depression as if they are not worthy in this life.

Therefore, a saying “find your purpose to live” might be a great tip to follow. 


Week 6. Opening Up and Self Compassion


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (5 exercises) 
  • Module 2 – The comfort zone (5 exercises)
  • Module 3 – Blocks and barriers (1 exercise)
  • Module 4 – Leaving the comfort zone (4 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Growth vs. stuckness (2 exercises)
  • Module 6 – What is acceptance (11 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Bonus module: understanding and exploring emotion (1 exercise)
  • Module 8 – Self-compassion (6 exercises)
  • Module 9 – Wrap up and take home (4 exercises) 

The following exercises urge us to do what only matters, even it’s hard. Sometimes it will leave us being forced out of our comfort zone.

However, those things that keep stopping us from doing what important to do are better thrown at a trashcan. DO what matters to you NOW!

Stop making excuses like I’m feeling blue and having the anxiety to delay what should have been done. Try to motivate yourself from within, because it’s only us (and God) who know the best of ourselves.


anxiety weekly



Week 7. Bringing It All Together


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (4 exercises) 
  • Module 2 – Your life direction (2 exercises)
  • Module 3 – Blocks and barriers (1 exercise)
  • Module 4 – Challenging situations (8 exercises)
  • Module 5 – Getting a grip on goals (9 exercises)
  • Module 6 – Overcoming barriers (6 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Wrap up and take home (4 exercises) 

This is maybe a bit difficult to follow as most of the course ask us to open and start loving ourselves. There is a chance for you to stop midway because you think it’s nonsense to transform pain into an ally.

There is no freaking way. I understand that.

To accept a negative thought as it is was quite hard, and turning what hurts us into something positive is another thing.

However, it is what makes people strong and survives. Remember Kelly Clarkson’s what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? That’s just how it is to forgive whatever hurt and pain that life gave to us.

After all, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, right?


anxiety weekly 2



Week 8. The Ongoing Journey 


  • Module 1 – Welcome back (1 exercise) 
  • Module 2 – Blocks and barriers (1 exercise)
  • Module 3 – The “observing self” (5 exercises)
  • Module 4 – Time to reassess (3 exercises)
  • Module 5 – What’s left to do (1 exercise)
  • Module 6 – Looking back on week 1 (5 exercises)
  • Module 7 – Looking back on week 2 (5 exercises)
  • Module 8 – Looking back on week 3 (8 exercises)
  • Module 9 – Looking back on week 4 (8 exercises)
  • Module 10 – Looking back on week 5 (8 exercises)
  • Module 11 – Looking back on week 6 (8 exercises)
  • Module 12 – Looking back on week 7 (5 exercises)
  • Module 13 – The ongoing journey (1 exercise)
  • Module 14 – Some parting thoughts (4 exercises) 

This ongoing journey compiles the lessons we have learned in the past weeks. Out of all the modules, this week does take part in accessing how mindful we are after learning and practicing the courses.

Remember that there is a short survey at the beginning of how stressful we are, a different survey available at the end of the course. It is to compare the change we made within those weeks.

There are a total of 72 modules and 345 exercises during an 8-week program, these include homework, notes, and troubleshooting on each module. Therefore, all I can say is that Dr. Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap is a very compact online program.



My Experience within 2 Weeks of The Program(*)


dr russ harris act


I had always been overthinking to something I really want, for instance, I would calculate the success rate for an action. Even though it doesn't apply to my daily habit since I am more a spontaneous person. However, if it is related to my life goal I'd become super persistent and serious about that.

And it becomes painful when the reality doesn't look like what I pictured before. I tend to be anxious about the shortcomings along the way. So, as you guess… My head is just going ‘what if'… ‘what about'… and without realizing it, I couldn't sleep at night and I became restless. That is why I want to change myself.


Before I decided to enroll in The Happiness Trap Program, I read the book version which I thought was great. After finishing the book, I considered enrolling in the online course with the hope to get the most from the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach.

The book has plenty of theories about emotion and feelings. It also presents numerous bullet self-questions that made it more like a how-to-do book.

On the other hand, the online program offers interactive videos comprising all the theories from the book, which of course is easier to follow. It is because the book version is the type I will forget about after finishing it.

Besides, the people’s video stories are available to watch inside the program which makes this online version is way much better than the book. As I would get insights from them specifically about my problem.

So, I have finished 3 weeks’ modules within 2 weeks and have done the missions too which I believe was the key to coping with my feelings. These are the missions I have done.


Week 1. Choice Point

Week 2. Dropping Anchor

Week 3. Observing Your Thoughts

In conclusion, I learned that having negative thoughts is normal and it’s okay to feel blue once for a while. What not okay is that those thoughts consume you from being alive. It might be distracting for a moment but if it harms you in a certain way, then it is not okay.

Stone-aged people use negativity to survive from the wildlife, however, having constant thought won’t be relevant to this day. 

The reason why it took me 2 weeks to finish 3-week modules is that I tried hard to practice the mission each day. Although you can play all the modules in a week before start practicing.

It is okay to digest some of the weeks’ modules before starting the exercise or pause each section to dig deeper, however, the author strongly recommends the former. Besides, it only took 1-2 hours session for each week’s module. 

After practicing for 2 weeks, I feel much better than before in terms of handling my emotions. I no longer get uneasy every time negative thoughts come across my mind.*

I have learned to accept those feelings; including the pain one. Even though I get worried at times, it is considerably managed. 

Also, me having anxiety has lead to procrastination which isn’t healthy at all. Because the more we procrastinate something, the more useless free-time means more unhelpful thoughts coming around. Therefore, I managed to do the thing I love: learning art.

The cons thing about this program is the overwhelming modules with tons of videos for each course. I found this a bit difficult to follow. 

Not surprisingly though, they know it would happen to many of us that’s why a troubleshooting section is available there.


Pro tip: do not run the course more than 3-week modules in one sit or two even though each week section would not take more than 2 hours max. It is better to understand each course and apply it to daily life than finishing all of them in an instant.


Remember that it is an interactive video course, not a book that you can finish in a day or two. Daily practice is important to help you overcome your problem.



What Did Others Say About The Happiness Trap?(*)


the happiness trap dr russ harris


“I am doing this for the second time as I wanted to delve into a deeper understanding of the content. I have learned so much more the second time around. Thank you”

Petra Ervanius – (Stockholm, Sweden)

“Hi Everyone, I must say I am grateful for this course, I did another course a half a year ago where the teacher always said stuff like: just repeat positive affirmations and everything will be just fine. I have this gut feeling which always told me that something was off. Now it feels right, as all in this program are non-violent as in nonviolent communications. I wanted to say thanks for this! And I appreciated the spin with the plane crash for the funeral speech, did not see how we could get out of there alive ”


Mersina Achele – (Sydney, Maroubra) 

“It resonates with me, I particularly like that Russ doesn’t do the “positive thinking” stuff and drives home, each week, the futility of labeling your thoughts and actions as “bad, wrong, negative”. It has brought me a lot of comforts.”


Jacques Caron – (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

“I love the program it is accessible, simple, easy to follow and easy to apply. I already had a good idea regarding my values and living a value-driven life. The program has helped me get even clearer on my values and how I can choose to connect and live them with every choice I make throughout the day. The program has given me a greater understanding overall of how I can live my life more fully through all its ups and downs.”


Conor O’Mahony – (Cork, Ireland)



Is This Program For You?


happiness trap program


Basically, if you are:


  • Very anxious about everything

As I explained earlier, some of us cannot be calm over a little thing, let alone a worrisome thing. You might feel super anxious about tomorrow’s work, Tuesday meeting, and even a big thing like will your job pays the bill or not. It’s okay, everyone feels that. 

I repeat you are not the only one anxious about the damn things because I do, we all do.


  • Feeling loneliness

Getting older comes with bigger responsibilities, which means much work to do, also means less having fun or making friends. Adults tend to feel lonely at a certain time, and this might cause depression as they keep everything to themselves.

However, understanding that being alone doesn’t mean lonely is important because both terms are different things. The Happiness Trap by Dr. Russ Harris will help you overcome those situations and make you accept them as normal.


  • Having unbearable stress

We can get stress over everything; job, children, health, relationship, and so so many more the world offers us. But, trust me it’s normal to be stressful in a way or another… only if we keep those feelings manageable.

Aside from all the above reasons which I believe there are more reasons to be anxious and all, you should consider The Happiness Trap Program because it has so much to offer. 

The program provides weekly homework to train our habit and lots of video exercises with real testimonials.



How to Enroll in The Happiness Trap Online Program?

act happiness trap

Visit this link to register yourself in Dr. Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap Program. You will get an email with an access link shortly after purchasing the program. However, it only includes the online video course with full 6-month access.

amazon dr russ harris

If you want to read the book, please click here to purchase it via Amazon. 

The online program cost is $295 and kindle book version is $10.21 so it will go around $300 in total. The price is quite expensive, however, it is less pricey if we compare to the cost for a therapist appointment.

In my experience, I purchased a kindle version of The Happiness Trap book before deciding to enroll in the online program. The book, however, contains too much explanation and bullet questions I need to answer. The thing is I don’t bother answering them as it becomes unbearably tedious.

Hence, I decided to give the online program a try.


Final Verdict

There are plenty of similar courses offered, but I find The Happiness Trap Program applies to my daily life so far. I have tried meditation music, a video-maker motivation tool, and read a self-help book about positive thinking yet this online program gives the most outcome of all.

I relate to the stories in the program and feel represented.

Also, I think the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is brilliant because that’s what people should know: accept themselves.

Even though the hundreds of exercises sound scary and overwhelming at some point, this program provides a troubleshooting section to reassure us to keep going. Probably, that what makes The Happiness Trap Program is different from the similar self-healing programs out there.

It took me 2 weeks to feel a bit better than before, at least I no longer freak out whenever a negative thought comes across my mind. I consider this as a big change.*

Lastly, the program is only accessible for 6 months which is quite a shame. That means I have to repurchase when my symptoms are back after these months, not that I want it to happen. Also, the 100% money-back guarantee only available within 48 hours after purchasing the program. But, if you want to retake the program they will provide a 50% discount coupon just by contacting their support team.

Check also my other review about healing program using a music meditation here.







The Happiness Trap Program is solely for education and motivational purpose, person who suffers from severe mental illness should meet their physician. The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy may not work for everyone, this therapy, however, should not be regarded as a clinical cure for illness that requires health professionals. The result may vary from each person depends on their initial condition, the exercises, and commitment to this program

8.4 Total Score

  • Applicable
  • Gives a positive impact (I personally felt change)
  • Created by a legit author
  • Book version is best-seller worldwide
  • Weekly program only takes 1-2 hours
  • Provides hundreds of exercises and up to 70 modules in total
  • Provides troubleshooting at the end of weekly modules
  • Online program is quite expensive
  • Kindle book version contains a lot of bullet questions and explanation which makes some readers bored too soon
  • The online access only available for 6 months, however, there is a discount if you want to repeat the program
  • 100% Money back guarantee only available within 48-hour
User Rating: Be the first one!
  1. This reads like an advertisement for the Happiness Trap program, which costs $295. Is it an advertisement? If so, you need to disclose this or else the value we call “honesty” is not in force. I really would like to know if this site is compensated by the producers of the course.

    • Hi David

      We have affiliate disclosure on the footer link, yes we do get compensated when people buy through our link
      But for few program like happiness trap program we don’t get compensated for reviewing. And i just want people to know about this program
      because i feel the product is quite good, and it also help me when i got anxiety last time

      And Although for other product we get compensated , let me clarify
      that when we review we always buy and try the program with honesty,
      it took several weeks and up to 1 – 2 month to try ,research, test, and creating review
      unlike any other reviewer who don’t really test and buy the product

      But again like we said the result always varied between each people, We just want people to get information
      before they buy the product, whether it is good for them or not
      so our website is not an advertisement

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