Can you find joy amidst tragedy and grief? What does joy look like? What does it feel like? What happens to our brains when we experience it?

Is Banksy a sly joker or political activist? Is it better to win or take part? Does learning another language make us happy? What has quantum physics got to do with happiness? Read on: all will be revealed.

Written by Abbey students, this publication celebrates the spirit of our community: the way we learn, discover, develop our understanding of the wider world.

Joy: the most important element in Abbey life and the best window into all that happens here.

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Do other animals experience joy?

A debate has been going on for some time about whether animals, other than humans, feel emotions such as sadness or happiness and if they do whether it is anything similar to humans.

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Banksy - Joyful joker or political activist?

A pseudonymous artist, with his name and identity silenced from the rest of the world. His art speaks such volumes to have his message linger incessantly in our minds without a murmur from his mouth, or even his physical presence.

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The World's a big place, right?

The single most important thing that lockdown has taught me is that to picture myself as a very small part of a very big World and Universe gives me perspective on life. No matter how bad things might seem, there is always someone somewhere who needs our help.

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The chemistry of joy

Joy is something that is felt by everyone. You may feel it when you’re talking to your friends or when you’re doing your favourite hobby. It seems so simple, you do something you like and you feel joy. However, it is in fact quite complex and it is controlled by a series of chemical reactions.

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What is fashion? Well it’s a variety of many different artistic elements. Fashion can be broken down into different levels, such as designing, developing, producing, selling, buying and styling. These levels all have their own stages as part of the full process of fashion.

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Food - A fallacy of glee

Though published almost a century ago, A Room of One’s Own was correct. Through food and dining, humanity has found joy and love for millennia, but whether this joy is founded through taste, company or memory is uncertain.

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Life & scale

Life. A splendiferous event. The word ‘life’ is simply a way to distinguish organisms from inanimate objects. But what is life? What does it mean to be alive?

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What did people in the past do to enjoy themselves?

When we sit down to watch the most recent hit Netflix show, what would people in the past have done? When booking your holiday to Spain do you ever contemplate where you might be heading off to if this had been the Victorian era?

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Is the pursuit of happiness our primary goal?

Whether you are a passionate philosophy student or you have been sitting staring out the window during a mindfulness assembly, I’m sure you have had the opportunity to contemplate complex questions like “what am I doing here?” or “what is the meaning of life?”.

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Can quantum physics hold the key to happiness & joy?

It seems peculiar to suggest that a subject so far detached from the everyday reality of the human experience, particularly of one’s psychology, could be integral in improving wellbeing, but Dr Chris Gilbert, writing for Psychology Today, suggests it can.

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The cost of the pandemic. Is anyone smiling now?

In the Chinese language, the word for “crisis” consists of two characters: one representing “danger”, and the other “opportunity”.

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The joy and power of the written word

The written word is the underlying force of change in our world, silently shaping our lives from cradle to grave. From Austen to Orwell, Darwin to Descartes, the power of the written word to expand our horizons, socially, politically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually provoking the individual, is undeniable.

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