L. Weiss

PhD student

Presence: Mo. / Tu. / Wed. / Thu.
Building: Cubicus, room C139
Telephone: +31 (0)53 – 489 3913
+31 (0)53 – 489 4470 (secretary)
Fax: +31 (0)53 – 489 2895


After graduating cum laude in ‘Positive Psychology and Technology’ and ‘Learning Sciences’ at the University of Twente, I started working as a PhD student at the department of Psychology, Health & Technology, in the Centre for eHealth and Well-being Research. During my master research and internship, I focused on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in people with chronic pain.

My field of expertise is positive psychology. I am especially interested in improving emotional, psychological and social well-being and resilience in vulnerable groups. We use evidence-based methods to improve well-being and counteract risk factors for a low well-being such as health problems and loneliness.

I train people from the health sector in a happiness-based approach. They learn to use strengths and intrinsic motivation, instead of focusing on the problems. I also help communities implementing projects to improve the well-being of their citizens.

Research project

My promotion research is an evaluation study on the effects of the Happiness Route, an intervention based on positive psychology. We are working together with eight municipalities throughout the Netherlands. The intervention is directed to people who are socially isolated, who have health problems and often a low socio-economic status. In the Happiness Route, trained counselors examine what participants want with their lives by asking them: “What makes you happy?” instead of focusing on their problems. As a nudge towards activation, they can spend up to 500€ for an activity they are passionate about.

In this RCT, participants of the Happiness Route will be compared to participants of the control condition, who receive optimized care-as usual. We will examine if the happiness-based approach is more effective than the problem-based approach in terms of well-being, loneliness, resilience, depression, social participation and health care consumption.

I use both quantitative (RCT, meta-analysis) and qualitative (interview study) methods to examine the effects on the happiness-based approach on people’s lives.

My promotors are Gerben Westerhof as my daily tutor and Ernst Bohlmeijer. This project has been set up in collaboration with Arcon, where I work together with Aad Francissen and Eddy Wezenberg. The project is funded by ZonMw.


PhD student


Weiss, L. A., Kedzia, S., Francissen, A., & Westerhof, G. J. (2015). Improving the Health Care Sector with a Happiness-Based Approach. In Well-Being in Contemporary Society (pp. 59-71). Springer International Publishing.

Weiss, L. A., Westerhof, G. J., & Bohlmeijer, E. T. (2013). Nudging socially isolated people towards well-being with the ‘Happiness Route’: design of a randomized controlled trial for the evaluation of a happiness-based intervention. Health and quality of life outcomes, 11(1), 1-11.