My Connection Statement

I work with HR and workplace wellness manager managers wanting to improve staff morale and productivity, reduce stress and build resilience and cohesion.

I do this by delivering fun yet effective tailored in-person and online laughter yoga workshops that deliver proven mental, physical and social health benefits.


I also work with community/neighbourhood centres who organise wellbeing progams that support their clients, who may be aged or have a disability or English as a Second Language, and who are seeking activities that are inclusive, connecting, adaptable, accessible, affordable, evidence-based and FUN!


About Me - My Biography

First up, yes, my parents actually named me HeatherJoy at birth (and truth be, for years, I neither appreciated or used the add-on!).

After decades slaving to headlines and deadlines, I’m developing my laughter lines — although not as a comedian or script writer :)

I am a certified Laughter Yoga teacher who had the awesome privilege of training in India with the medical doctor who developed this regimen and I use that practice, along with science of happiness and positive psychology studies, to deliver face-to-face and online group ‘laughter sessions’, for mental and physical wellbeing. My business is called The Happydemic. 

I came to laughter yoga originally when a journalist. I’d written a story about it and rather than move along to the next storyline, I just had to experience it. There was one small social group in Brisbane doing laughter yoga and I felt awfully self-conscious until I lost myself in the intentional laughter and clapping and playfulness. At that time, I was freelancing, raising two children alone and looking after an ill parent, and I was stressed to the gills. LY was like a lifeline thrown to me and I grabbed it with both hands.

I ‘launched’ The Happydemic in 2016  after Mum’s passing (and my advanced training)  but have focused on it alone only since November 2018. In that time, I’ve delivered sessions to people as varied as executives of ASX20 companies to women’s shelters, residents in dementia units to rural women’s conferences.

Although I’m Brisbane-based, the rise of ZOOM really makes a difference to how and who I reach.

COVID restrictions permitting, I still run a free Saturday morning social laughter club in my suburb (four years strong): it’s my way of giving back to my community. I’ve loved seeing people connect, make friendships and feel less stressed and less alone. I dream of ‘laughter clubs’ being in all towns of Queensland (at least). FYI: LY is practised in 110 countries including Rwanda and Syria, and in India, one family court judge (or equivalent) sends warring couples seeking divorce to LY to learn to communicate better for the sake of their kids!!!


My Expertise

Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, trained by the founder of Laughter Yoga, Dr Madan Kataria

Mental Health First Aid Certificate

Science of Happiness Certificate, University of California – Berkeley

“University of Life”

My Passions

Mental wellbeing

Accessibility of programs to diverse communities — e.g. ethnicity, rural


My Interests

Beyond mental wellbeing — because without that, we have little —  my community volunteer capacities reflect my interests such as being a conversation buddy with someone learning English as a second language, a community kitchen (cooking is my love language and I’ve a strong social justice streak. I seek out water for exercise and relaxation; I devour books for relaxation too.  I ride my e-bike as much as possible to local appointments or just for fun, because it’s good for me (mentally and physically) and good for the environment.

How I Can Help Other Members

Supportive  of others’ dreams and achievements, empathetic to struggles, I’ll be put of your cheer squad.


You’re welcome to join the last of my free community zoom laughter playroom sessions for 2020 — held weekly since April 2020 to lift spirits and create connection. 5pm Brisbane time for 30 minutes

Dec 6, 2020 05:00 PM

Dec 13, 2020 05:00 PM

Meeting ID: 880 7705 3699

Passcode: 370988

Why I Became a HerBusiness Member

Working solo for most of the past 20 years in my previous career (journalist/editor/author/copywriter) was isolating. I seek connection that’s not about how many referrals I gave or made like so many breakfast networks I’ve tried, but one that’s nurturing and authentic. I  get the sense that that is here.

My Member to Member Offer(s)

Watch this space