Happiness Academy Retreat

Journey to Happiness in 12 Steps

14 - 20 October 2019

Gut Pohnstorf, Alt Sührkow (near Berlin and Hamburg, Germany)

For Individuals and Families 

Recharge your batteries and refresh your mind while exploring and learning how to find more meaning, joy and satisfaction in everyday life and work.

  • Have you ever wondered about what really makes you happy?

  • What are some of the scientifically proven ways to impact our level of happiness?

  • Why do we sometimes miss out to have more engagement, presence and enjoyment in our life..and how to avoid that trap?

  • How can we, through small and simple changes, build in more happiness and joy into our days?

  • Would you like to explore that on a relaxed and immersive retreat, in an engaging, interactive and joyful way?


That is exactly what this retreat is for!

In partnership with Hive Alum Mirna Smidt, founder of Happiness Academy, we have created the “Journey to Happiness in 12 steps” retreat for individuals and families. We will create a beautiful, warm, friendly and relaxed environment, rich in curiosity, learning and personal discoveries about positive psychology and your own happiness.

What I Will Learn?

You will leave from this week with a better understanding of what are true sources of your happiness and with many practical ideas, tips and tricks on how to infuse a bit more of happiness into your everyday life and work – but also refreshed, recharged and feeling great. Life is just too short and too precious to not be happy. Your days are too valuable to not feel that you are thriving and living life to the fullest. And it’s not just about feeling positive and perky or happy – science shows us that being happier leads to success in other areas of life. From career to family, happiness makes individuals more creative, open and provides new perspectives on new opportunities.

Yet happiness is sometimes so complex and elusive… can it really be pursued?

In fact… it can! Science of positive psychology figured out what patterns, habits, ways of thinking and behaviours might be conducive to our happiness. Building your own happiness remains an individual journey of exploration, creation, learning and building new habits focused on what makes you happy.

This retreat will help you in exactly that – make you happier by mapping out your own journey and taking your exploration a step further. The focus will not only be on understanding the causes of happiness, but on your learning and the implementation of the skills and approaches learnt that promote happiness in your own life, while also exploring them in practice in a relaxed, engaging way.

Learning Goals for the Week

Throughout this week, you will:

  • Learn what are scientifically proven sources of happiness and how to apply them in your own life

  • Develop deeper understanding about which elements impact your happiness

  • Learn how to introduce more mindfulness in your life and how it relates to happiness and develop more capacity for enjoyment and presence through mindfulness and gratitude

  • Explore how to have more flow, engagement and positive emotion in your life

  • Develop stronger resilience to life challenges

  • Advance your relationship with yourself, liking and loving yourself just a little bit more

  • Boost your relationships by making them more intentional, meaningful and joyful

  • Explore what makes your life meaningful and plan how to implement more of that in everyday life

  • Leave equipped with practical methods and techniques for raising own level of happiness

  • Discover new happiness boosters and ideas on how to create happy moments

How will your days look like?

Goal of Happiness Academy is for you to move forward with your life happier and with habits that foster happiness.

At this retreat, we will do that by combining learning with exciting, joyful and relaxing experiences and great conversations. Sessions will be conducted inside and outside depending on the weather conditions. We ask you to come with an open-mind and feel part of the community - we will cook together, explore our surroundings and share our talents and passions. 

There will be two 2 hr learning blocks each day which then also leaves a lot of room for relaxation, exploration and conversation.

Monday – Day 1

 Step 1: Exploring Happiness  - Exploring positive psychology – the science of happiness. Warming up for the journey; understanding the 12 pillars of happiness. Get to know your Tribe for this week.

Tuesday- Day 2

 Step 2: Presence and Mindfulness  - Diving into mindfulness and experimenting with it. Being more present and savouring moments more.

 Step 3: Positive Emotions  – Understanding the role and power of positive emotions. Using habits and your own focus to develop more positive emotions.

Wednesday – Day 3

 Step 4: Playfulness and flow  – Exploring the mindset of playfulness and playing with it. Immersing yourself in the enjoyment and awesomeness of flow state. Understanding flow state and how to hack it.

 Step 5: Being own best friend  – Exploring the relationship with yourself and making it more kind and loving. Self-compassion and self-acceptance. Forgiveness to self and others. The power of self-talk and how to make it more positive.

Thursday – Day 4


 Step 6: Mindset for happiness and mastering your thoughts  – Exploring your own thinking patterns. Learning new powerful thinking patterns, tools and techniques. Understanding mindsets beneficial for happiness. Strengthening your own growth mindset, optimism, positive thinking, mindfulness, and other mindsets beneficial for happiness.

 Step 7: The power of gratitude – Understanding the importance of gratitude, as well as research-based ways to boost it.
Notice: this module will be a bit shorter, so we will combine it with 2h alpaca walk.

Friday – Day 5

 Step 8: Uncovering your strengths to develop the best version of you  – Importance of focusing on strengths. Discovering, developing and using your strengths more.

 Step 9: Resilience and thriving at challenging times  – Understanding the foundation of resilience. Exploring your own style of resilience. Learning how to become more resilient. Tools and techniques for resilience.

Saturday – Day 6

 Step 10: Living a (more) meaningful life  – Meaningful goals and contribution. Dreaming big. Life vision. Your Best Self. Connecting meaning with own strengths and values.

 Step 11: Positive relationships  – Meaningfully connecting with others.
Understanding the importance and impact of relationships to our life. Making our relationships – romantic, friendships and all others – more intentional and meaningful. Learning small impactful tools for strengthening your own connections.

Sunday – Day 7 

 Step 12: Bringing all 12 steps together  – Making sense of the whole journey and understanding which steps are the most relevant to you.
Designing next steps. Creating plans to take away. How will you transform this learning experience into your everyday life?


Optional stay for one more night (until Monday) is included, but the program will officially end on Sunday lunchtime.

The retreat will offer you a framework for exploration of your own happiness – a well developed structure through which you will explore all different areas of happiness with a guidance of a Mirna Smidt, founder and lead facilitator of the Happiness Academy, and through exchanges and a support of a wonderful small group.

Journey in 12 Steps to Happiness course by Happiness Academy is:

  • based on the science of positive psychology

  • focused on building habits, reflection on personal causes of our happiness and new ideas/insights

  • using methods that we have successfully tested in our own lives, as well as with hundreds of participants

  • dealing with physical, mental, emotional and social aspects that impact our happiness

  • built on experiential exercises and immersive experiences, followed up by own reflection and engaging conversations, discussions and sharing

Can we bring children?

Yes, children are welcome to join the retreat, but not participate in the learning blocks (two 2 hr sessions per day) for adults. 


For children age 3 - 16 we will provide a program during the two daily 2 hour learning blocks including art lessons at a local gallery, visiting farms, games, and exercises focusing on increasing their own joy and happiness coupled with growth mindset approach. Do note children must be potty trained to participate. Children under 3 should have their own supervision or we can try to help you find a local babysitter. 

Participants age 16 and up can participate in the regular adult program.

What does the program include?

  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner during the program

  • Lodging for 7 nights 

  • Transportation to and from the train station Bahnhof Langhagen or Bahnhof Teterow to the retreat location (trains arriving from Berlin or Hamburg)

  • All Happiness Academy programming, activities and materials during the program

  • Supervised children's program for children 3-16 during regular learning blocks. 

How much does the program cost?

We've curated this experience to be as affordable as possible. In order to encourage participants to sign up as early as possible to help us plan the event, we provide early bird tickets at significantly reduced price and limit them in number. 

Early Bird (limit 6): 990 EUR per participant

Regular (limit 10): 1090 EUR per participant

Last Chance (limit 4): 1190 EUR per participant

Private Room: + 100 EUR per participant 

If you're joining as a couple or a pair of friends and do not mind sharing a double/queen bed, we are offering you a discount:

Couple/Pair Early Bird (limit 6): 890 EUR per participant

Couple/Pair Regular (limit 10): 990 EUR per participant

Couple/Pair Last Chance (limit 4): 1090 EUR per participant

Children (age 3-16): 300 EUR per child

Children (under 3): 100 EUR per child

Refund Policy

100% refund 80 days before the event

70% refund 60 days before

50% refund 30 days before

You can always transfer the registration to another participant at no extra charge.

If you have financial difficulty to pay the full fee up front, please reach out to via info@HiveEurope.org and we can set up a payment plan. 

Your Instructor - Mirna Smidt

Mirna Smidt is an interpersonal skills trainer and coach in love with the development of her own and others people’s; skills, as well as new experiences and travel and is full of positive energy.

In parallel with a successful corporate career in an advanced technologies field, she acquired over 10 years of experience in training during which she has collaborated on numerous international learning projects and with many companies and startups in diverse industries. Mirna is one of the first people in Europe to complete a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge.


Mirna is a certified trainer since 2008, an NLP Master practitioner and holds a range of coaching and training related certifications. She is the founder of Happiness Academy, an initiative through which she is designing and delivering a broad range of positive psychology educational events and materials. Mirna also started Trainer’s Toolbox, a project through which she is developing creative tools for trainers and coaches.

I attended two workshops with Mirna that were absolutely worth it. In both of them, she made sure to understand the audience to tailor the content to our needs. She created the perfect atmosphere: On the one hand, a safe and even fun space where we could self-reflect and have enriching discussions. On the other hand, a dynamic space where we would not get stuck in overthinking so we could focus on action.

Laura, Spain


Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to info@HiveEurope.org.

Mirna is a very enthusiastic person and she always shares her energy and passion with people who surrounds her! In a very limited time she can explain a complicated theory and demonstrate how this theory works in practice.

Svetlana, Russia

Mirna is an excellent and passionate trainer. In her training sessions you will find a fruitful atmosphere for learning, experiencing and sharing.

Also, be aware that Mirna’s positive Attitude is highly contagious  And last but not least, what I like most about her, that she is very authentic and lives what she preaches.

Christoph, Austria

The Hive Mission:

Build the world's most impactful community of purpose-driven leaders


The Hive Vision:

A happy, healthy, and fully alive world for all people
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