Episode 21 - Leading by Example and Bringing Transparency to the Forefront of Finding Joy with Acacia Parks of Happify

podcast tracyholland Jun 16, 2021

In this episode of From Potential to Powerhouse, we have a true powerhouse in our presence, Dr. Acacia Parks. Acacia is the Chief Science Officer of Happify Health, a digital therapeutics company, which brings cutting-edge research-based behavior change strategies to businesses, consumers, and health plans. Acacia not only studies the areas of joy and happiness, she brings those studies to fruition, helping powerhouses like ourselves find joy. As someone who lives with bipolar disorder, she is passionate about leading by example, modeling the same self-care that she expects her team members to practice.

Today, you’re going to hear about Acacia’s story, not only how she overcomes her bipolar disorder by being in the know about her diagnosis and addressing her symptoms, but also how she’s built a multi-million dollar company despite her bipolar disorder. She is at the forefront of the company as an entrepreneur, founder, and thought leader, talking openly and honestly about her bipolar disorder and how she manages it through therapeutics and addressing her diagnosis head-on. Tune into this true powerhouse episode with Dr. Acacia Parks!

In This Episode:

[02:46] Acacia is a woman wearing many different hats. What does she tell someone when they ask her the question “what do you do?”.

[04:12] People in the media are starting to speak up about their anxieties and putting their mental health first.

[11:09] In Acacia’s youth, did she follow the rules or break them? A look at her story growing up.

[21:48] At what point in her life was Acacia diagnosed with bipolar?

[30:09] Building Happify and building her academic career at the same time.  

[40:13] What it means to find joy and happiness and break down that happiness into different parts.

[46:23] What is the measure for happiness?

[51:21] How the impact of your perspective and how you see the world can completely shift how you feel.

[59:22] Feedback for those who have bipolar disorder.

Key Takeaways:

Acacia is in the business of reducing the total amount of distress in the world by helping people with depression and anxiety reduce what they’re feeling and finding people living in stressful situations and teaching them resiliency and everything in between.

Giving people researched based practices that have been out there for decades, and putting them into the hands of the people who need them most.

Finding ways of coping and addressing Acacia’s bipolar disorder that have enabled her to live her life as normal and productively as she can.

Science shows that people who are happy live around seven years longer than people who are not.  

How the impact of your perspective, how you see the world and your circumstances, can completely shift not only how you feel, but what your outcome is, what your performance is, what your level of satisfaction is and how you can find the greatest parts of who you are in your day to day.

There is a shortage of therapists today and two thirds of the people who need  treatment aren’t getting it.


Acacia Parks is Chief Science Officer at Happify Health, a digital therapeutics company that brings the cutting edge in research-based behavior change strategies to large businesses, health plans, and consumers. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and was a tenured professor before switching to the private sector. As someone who lives with bipolar disorder, she is passionate about leading by example, modeling the same self-care that she expects her team members to practice.


For more Acacia Parks, visit her on LinkedIn. Also be sure to check out Happify 

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