I research writing & happiness. Here’s more of my academic background.

At present I am completing a Ph.D. which combines creative writing with positive psychology. Through an analysis of qualitative interviews as well as placing this in a wider theoretical framework, I am creating a model of psychological wellbeing or ‘flourishing’ through creative writing. My previous research explored positive emotions in ‘expressive writing.’


M.Sc. Applied Positive Psychology (with Distinction) University of East London
B.A. (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing (1:1) Bath Spa University

Publications & Presentations

Hayes, M. C. (September 2016) ‘The Flourishing Writer: Constructing Grounded Theory (GT) in Creative Writing Studies.’ Paper presentation to the ‘Writing Between the Lines: Exploring Creative Writing as a Research Methodology’ conference, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales.

Hayes, M. C. (June 2016) ‘‘Becoming more’: Towards a positive psychology of creative writing.’ Workshop presentation to the 8th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Angers, France.

Hayes, M. C. and Hefferon, K. (December, 2015) ‘Not like rose-tinted glasses… like taking a pair of dirty glasses off’: A pilot intervention using positive emotions in expressive writing. International Journal of Wellbeing. 5(4), 78-95. DOI:10.5502/ijw.v5i4.4

Hayes, M. C. and Nicholls, S. (June, 2015) ‘Creative Writing Lab: Developing models for creative writing in the world.’ Paper presentation to the ‘Creative Writing in the World’ conference, York St John University, UK.

Hayes, M. C. and Hefferon, K. (June, 2015) Broaden, Build… and Bridge? Positive Emotions in Expressive Writing. Poster presentation to the 4th World Congress on Positive Psychology, Orlando, USA.

Get in touch…

I’d love for you to contact me if you are interested in this research area.