About “Positive Spin”

A Blog about Positive People, Places, and Psychology



Positive Spin features content focusing on optimistic subject matter. Inspired by the science of Positive Psychology, and authored by an admitted pessimist, Darren C. Positive, with original art work by Eric M. Spin is a creative project by EMDC Media: “Incredibly independent” GTA/Toronto media productions.

In addition to articles with an emphasis on the principles of positive psychology, Positive Spin will publish articles on positive people, places, or events related to Toronto, the GTA, and abroad.




                    Photo Credit: Ajifo


Mindfulness is defined by Psychology Today as a state of open, active attention on the present.[i] I know…its lame to start an article with a rote definition. How about a fatalistic proposition instead:


A lack of mindfulness can kill you!


Epicurus: “Garden Variety” Happiness


Bad advice

Photo Credit: Ian Kennedy. CC 2.0

Being happy is difficult for a lot of people—an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally[i]. It is also the worldwide leading
cause of disability[ii], killing even more people annually than bad shellfish, or expired milk[iii]. Another problem is that a solution is difficult because there seems to be more self-help experts now than ever before. With each passing year, another idiot publishes a book on Amazon—claiming to have the algorithm for a perfect life.

The Positive People Interviews: Bruce Hunt

Positive Spin is happy to present… the first installment of our newly launched interview series: “The Positive People Interviews”, featuring  Q and A with positive people from around Toronto and the GTA. First Up we have BRUCE HUNT: “The Speaking Coach”

Original Art by Eric Mckay

Our first interview is with Bruce Hunt, a great guy, and even better personal speaking coach. Bruce offers one on one coaching, as well as public speaking workshops, facilitated through his meetup group: Ignite Your Inner Speaker. His company is called Toronto Speakers Academy.

I met with Bruce at the Centre for Social Innovation, and we had a great talk about what he does, how he started out, and about having confidence, and “conquering the fear” in life.

Bruce was very open and friendly, and discussed the process of how he overcame a fear of public speaking in his own life, leading him to inspire and help others. Here are the best parts of
the interview—in the form of Q and A.


Practicing Gratitude Helps Foster Happiness

Photo Credit: Steve Maraboli Released under a Creative Commons 2.0 License


At The University of Windsor, I took an introductory course in Positive Psychology taught by Professor Kenneth Hart, who is currently an Associate Professor at the University. The course offered tremendous value, encompassing many indispensable positive psychology principles and techniques, which if practiced, can significantly improve your perspective in life.


Positive Psychology 02-46-107[1], is still being offered at UWindsor, and Professor Hart is a great course instructor, whose’s pedagogy offered a unique experience, including exercises such as his well-known gratitude session night, where he encouraged the class to bring in their loved ones and openly express their gratitude for the positive influence they had in their lives—in front of the 450 or so in attendance at the university’s Erie Hall.


5 Prominent Names in Positive Psychology: And Why They Matter


  1. 1. Martin Seligman

                                         The Father of Positive Psychology

“The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe that bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback or a challenge, that its causes are just confined to this one case.” – Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism, 1991


It makes a lot of sense to start off with this man. Born in 1942, Albany New York, Martin Seligman attained his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, having previously attended Princeton for his A.B.[1] (more…)

Tig Notaro and Toronto Hot Docs

tig_notaroComedian Tig Notaro’s new film, “Tig”, screened this past April at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, as a part of Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival.

Tig Notaro (right) and Fiancé Stephanie Allynne at Toronto Hot Docs International Film Festival-Photo Credit: Christian Pena-From the Hot docs Photo Gallery

Tig Notaro (right) and Fiancé Stephanie Allynne at Toronto Hot Docs International Film Festival-Photo Credit: Christian Pena

I was lucky enough to attend the first screening on opening night, and the positive narrative which characterizes this film, makes “Tig” a perfect story for this blog.

On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, I sat down in the lower section of the Bloor Hot Doc’s theatre, knowing little about the history of the festival—and even less about what to expect attending an opening night feature. What took place over the next 95 minutes—and after during the Q and A period—was truly a great experience. The positive message of this film reverberated through the entire theatre, and everyone in attendance. (more…)

Go Someplace Positive: Like Studio 89 Café

Sometimes the key to feeling better is simply finding the motivation to get out of the house and go someplace. If you’re lucky, you might end up finding a place where you can be surrounded by positive, like-minded people. Getting out of the house and taking a small risk in trying something new, presents you with a chance to potentially discover a new hangout or activity that you could end up really enjoying over the long term, maybe even end up becoming passionate about. The minimum result—you are at least making a concerted effort to be more engaged with life, which is often a positive experience.



Constructing a Personal Narrative around Tragedy

Dear Reader,

I hope that you had a great Easter weekend with your loved ones, and that you were able to take a moment to appreciate the most important people in your life. I also hope that everyone was safe, responsible, and happy to just be together—not worrying about the weight and monotony which often takes the colour from life.

In this post, I would like to pose a serious question which may sound negative at first glance—but I assure you that it is not my intention to be morose. The question is: How do we overcome the moments in our lives so traumatic they hijack our thoughts and behaviours—rendering us speechless? Those life-changing traumatic experiences that pervade deep within the bones, sometimes lasting years if not properly dealt with.

Think of any moment that has had a devastating impact on your happiness and well-being. I’m confident that I don’t need to provide too many examples of what types of moments will qualify; most of us can probably conjure one up at the mere suggestion.

Got one? Good—well it’s not exactly good, but you’ll see the relevance soon enough.