Here’s How Pharrell Williams Helped the World Get ‘Happy’


Many people have heard Pharrell William’s Academy Award-nominated song “Happy,” but his efforts to cheer up the world go a little further than that. The Grammy winner recently partnered with the United Nations Foundation to help spread the word about the second International Day of Happiness, and his efforts are still being celebrated around the world today. Though, commemorated Thursday, the International Day of Happiness is now over for Americans, it wouldn’t be so bad if the happiness lasted past those twenty-four hours.

According to, the first International Day of Happiness was celebrated on March 20, 2013, and it was part of the United Nation’s goal to recognize happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and call for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes … happiness and well-being of all peoples.” The launch of the first International Day of Happiness was a successful one last year, but the second annual holiday enjoyed even more fanfare, thanks especially to Williams and also social media.

As highlighted by, the UN Foundation teamed up with Williams to use his song “Happy” to help celebrate the International Day of Happiness, and together, they created of countdown of 24 Hours of Happiness, releasing a new video version of Williams’s song with every passing hour of the day. People were encouraged to upload their video versions of the song to the 24 Hours of Happiness site all day, and Williams himself chose which of his favorites to share on the site each hour. The entries poured it from all over the world, and you can still see Williams’s top choices on the site today. Here’s the first that he shared from New Zealand early yesterday morning:

Pharrell and the UN Foundation also had social media to thank for the happiness felt across the world yesterday, as the hashtag #InternationalDayofHappiness was trending all day Thursday, and many visited the UN Foundation’s site, sharing its videos, donating to the UN’s humanitarian efforts, and uploading their own takes on the song. Even major civil rights figures joined in on the fun, as USA Today reported Thursday that staffers for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the last surviving organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, had a belated birthday celebration for him in his office when they put on Williams’s “Happy.” They caught all the action on tape, which USA Today shared.

It’s not too late. Get your fill of Williams’s song today, and make sure you get happy.

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