The Art and Science of Joy | Ep. 186

Sima is excited to have Andrew Cannon and Debby Schlesinger-Hellman, the Co-founders of the Art and Science of Joy and EQJOY, joining her today!

Andrew and Debby are on a mission to empower people and inspire them to live more joyful lives! They use the art and science of joy to help individuals and companies elevate their personal and business success. In this episode, they talk about what joy is, what they are doing, and what inspired them to do it.

Andrew’s inspiration

Andrew’s inspiration for what he does comes from his journey to find purpose in life. He loved his career in the market research industry but needed to do more. His struggles led him to realize that he needed joy in his life. He also needed to use his talents and connections to bring joy to others.

Debby’s inspiration

We are all born with a certain percentage of joy in our DNA. Debby was fortunate to be born with lots of it. However, a few decades ago, due to circumstances, she started feeling less of it. About five years ago, she felt the need to build more joy for herself and realized she could help others do the same. She and Andrew are both research-minded, so they began talking about how they could use the art and science of joy to make the world a better and more successful place for individuals and businesses.

An alternative reality

Andrew started doing a podcast and spoke to experts on topics like gratitude, empathy, nutrition, crisis, family life, and what they did to help themselves. Talking to those people helped him find an alternative reality that was a much better space!

Elevating people

Andrew and Debby elevate people, give them a voice, and offer them joy through their connection to the research industry and the people within it.

A powerful industry

The research industry is powerful! Each year, about 30 million people get touched through research in the US alone!

The Year of Joy

The Year of Joy is about making 2023 a joyful year of not getting pulled into life’s challenges and focusing more on the good things we can do for ourselves and others. It is not about ignoring the challenges but accepting them for what they are and understanding that they are external and beyond our control.

The doors to the Year of Joy online community will open on the 17th of January, 2023, and millions of people will be invited to join.


Joy is about being able to manage our emotions and feelings. It starts with the children, so Andrew developed a game to teach young children (and their parents, caregivers, or teachers) emotional intelligence. Then he and Debby decided to give it away by making it a non-profit.


Their goal for EQJOY is for the next generation of parents to instill emotional intelligence in their children and ultimately make the world more joyful within the next three to four generations. Another goal is to give the game to every child in the first grade worldwide.


It takes time and effort to build joy. Self-love is a fundamental requirement.

Although joy differs for everyone, research has shown that everyone has four building blocks of joy in common:

  1. Sense of well-being
  2. Sense of belonging
  3. Having a positive impact on others
  4. Having fun in life

Everyone needs a sense of well-being and the ability to love themselves. However, many individuals struggle to achieve that alone. That is why a sense of community is vital to inspire people looking to improve their well-being.

The most joyful people are those who positively impact people, the planet, or both.

Making a difference

Debby and Andrew hope to make a difference by allowing others to make a difference and giving people access to things that will help them become kind humans.


Everyone experiences pain in life. However, we can manage that pain, get pat it, and ultimately choose whether or not we suffer.


Some CEOs get Andrew and Debby’s message and understand that joy is a powerful tool for engagement, while some do not. Andrew and Debby do not try to convince anyone who does not get it that joy is a thing.

Bio: Andrew Cannon

Andrew is co-founder of the Art and Science of Joy and EQJOY Co.

Andrew has spent his career building a deep understanding of people’s values, attitudes, and behaviors to help business people make better decisions. Over the last few years, Andrew has used this knowledge and his research skills to deep-dive into the art and science of joy.

Andrew’s journey in business has taught him many lessons about leadership; about the importance of purpose and people, as well as profits, and the role joy can play in companies to elevate both personal and business success.

Through his own struggle with depression, Andrew has learned the fundamental truth that without a strong love of self and a sense of authentic belonging, one cannot hope to lead a joy-filled life.

With these experiences and beliefs, Andrew is on a mission to use his passion and his skills to inspire and empower others to live more joyful-filled lives. The Year of Joy project kicking off in January 2023 is one way this mission is being fulfilled.

Andrew is also the creator of the EQJOY card game, a tool to help children develop their emotional intelligence through power play.

When not working on bringing joy to others, Andrew can be found working on building his own joy muscle: enjoying time with family and friends, nature, travel, and music to name but a few things which bring Andrew joy.


Debby is co-founder of the Art and Science of Joy and EQJOY Co.

Debby’s background in business has given her experience in coaching, mentoring, and building teams. She is currently interested in bringing that knowledge along with new learnings to advance more joy to both individuals as well as teams.

During Debby’s time developing leaders she has found that people are searching for more belonging and a sense of purpose in their everyday life, including the workplace. With this knowledge Debby is passionate about helping others find a path to that more joy-filled life, looking to have a positive impact on many.

The past couple of decades has highlighted the lack of Joy for many and filled it with fear, anxiety, and stress front and center. Debby has learned that taking the time and effort to rebuild the joy muscle through conscious work on well-being, belonging, positive impact and fun has helped her live a more joy-filled life.

With this knowledge, Debby is dedicating time to bring this knowledge to others in a way that will encourage them to build that Joy muscle and bring Joy to their lives and those of their loved ones. The Year of Joy is the perfect vehicle to allow many people to join in changing the Joy level of their journey.

Debby is passionate about working side by side with Andrew on EQJOY, a tool to help children develop their emotional intelligence through power play. If we are successful in guiding our children to emotional health and well-being, we will see them grow to be much healthier and more joyful adults.

While Debby is continuously working on her Joy journey you will find her collaborating with others on expanding their Joy through nature walks, discussing books, having fun-filled meals together, traveling to new places, and sharing stories.



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