Professor Sarah Pressman

Mental Health

Dr. Sarah Pressman is an Associate Professor of Psychological Science at the University of California, Irvine.  She received her MS and PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Health Psychology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Pressman seeks to understand how positive emotions are beneficial for objective physical health and the possible physiological and behavioral mechanisms by which positive feelings “get under the skin” to influence biology. Dr. Pressman is especially interested in the role of positive psychosocial factors in protecting individuals against the physical and psychological harms of stress.  Dr. Pressman has received numerous awards for her work included the Early Career Award in Health Psychology from APA’s Division 38, and the Early Career from the American Psychosomatic Society. Dr. Pressman’s research findings have been published in top psychology journals, and featured in media outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN. Dr. Pressman received an AXA Research Fund Award for her project: Exploring the Complex Interactions between Positive Affect, Stress & Health


Always look on the bright side of life

For decades, researchers have been studying all the detrimental ways that stress can make us sick and lead to pain, and minor and major illness. 

Positive Affect and Health: What Do We Know and Where Next Should We Go?

Positive affect (PA) is associated with better health across a wide range of physical health outcomes. This review reflects on why the study of PA is an essential component of our understanding of physical health and expands on pathways that connect these two variables.

How to cope with stress and live happier, healthier lives?

Work, school, university... Stress is a familiar feeling for many of us. Though inevitable, it can be accommodated to avoid undue hardship and to prevent long-term damage to our health.