It’s usually difficult to keep the New Year’s resolutions. But Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a Kenan Distinguished professor of psychology at UNC, is offering an opportunity to get paid to work on your 2016 goals.

“Sometimes people spend money to try to achieve their new year’s resolutions,” Fredrickson said. “Members of our community have a chance this season to make good on some of their goals for being healthier and happier and get paid to do so if they qualify for one of our studies that we’re enrolling for right now.”

These studies are just part of the work Fredrickson is doing with UNC’s Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology, or Pep, Lab.

The lab monitors things like heart rate, blood pressure and hormone levels in order to study relationships between people’s daily emotions and physical well-being.

Fredrickson, who’s been studying positive emotion for over 20 years, said even simple pleasant tasks can improve your overall health.

“You know there are all kinds of ways that we can learn to prioritize our mental health more every day and part of that is by prioritizing experiences,” she said.

She said these experiences can vary greatly, depending on what you enjoy: Anything from a walk in the woods to playing piano.

“So often we make a to-do list that’s just about achievement and not about what we might feel,” she said.

So, in order to both help people feel better and collect data, Fredrickson and the Pep lab are holding a research study at their lab on East Franklin Street.

To find out if you qualify, go to

And, even if you don’t, Fredrickson says you should still make time for those hobbies that make you happy. Even if they don’t involve exercise, they can still lead to a healthier you.