Soon after I learned about the Happiness Break at Borgo Egnazia—one of my favorite resorts in Italy, and in fact in the world—I booked a trip to Puglia. This is 2020, after all, and we could all use some help with happiness.
I was also intrigued by the premise. Plenty of spas promise wellness. Not so many emphasize happiness as a skill and a practice that can be developed and nurtured. But here was a place that was touting its bona fides in the science of happiness.
And while I love a good boot camp, detox or jump-start-style health retreat, I also liked the idea of a program that would be adding to my life, not taking anything away. After two months of confinement this spring, I wasn’t particularly interested in cutting anything else out of my life.
That idea was central to Erica D’Angelo when she became the well-being director at Borgo Egnazia. She also has a background in tough-love, vegan, juicing, detox retreats, and she came to see that approach as unsustainable. “Restriction causes stress,” she says. “That’s why diets don’t work.”
Instead, her science-based approach draws heavily on the research into happiness and the pillars that support it. Rather than looking for weaknesses that need to be fixed, she and her team look for existing strengths and resources that can be…
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