Favorite State of Flow Books
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Csikszentmihalyi, the father of flow, was a prolific writer. We love this book of his, one of his first about flow. It gives an intimate peek into how he arrived at the concept of flow and how it fits into a good life. If you’re intrigued by flow, it’s absolutely a must-read.
Advances in Flow Research
The science of flow has evolved a lot since Csikszentmihalyi first wrote about it. For a newer book about the field today, we love this one. It tackles topics like flow and personality, the social aspects of flow, and flow and technology. It’s definitely on the dense side, but for the deeply interested, you can’t do better.
Favorite State of Flow Conferences
European Flow Network Annual Meeting
The European Flow Network is made up of academic researchers and providers who aim to advance the study of flow and its applications in the real world. The passionate group typically holds an annual meeting in late November, where they share the latest advancements in flow. If you want to know the latest about flow, it’s the place to be.
Favorite State of Flow Orgs
Positive Psychology Center
The study of flow is part of a branch of psychology concerned with human flourishing called positive psychology. UPenn is one of the epicenters of positive psychology, so you can trust that this website is filled with reliable resources, including a bunch of free readings and videos about the PERMA theory of well-being. The “E” in the name stands for engagement, which refers to flow.
Favorite Flow Movies and Videos
This Pixar movie about a jazz pianist covers some heady themes, and flow seems to be one of them. One academic paper published in December 2022 in the International Journal of Music Education explores the implications the film’s themes — including its flow elements — have for music education. We love how accessible this movie makes a sometimes amorphous concept. When you watch, look out for “The Zone,” and we think you’ll see what we mean.
TED Radio Hour: ‘What Makes A Life Worth Living?’
Over seven million people have watched Csikszentmihalyi’s TED Talk covering flow. In about 19 minutes, you can hear the high points on the state of flow directly from the man himself. It’s a powerful talk and a special treat to learn about flow like this, particularly now that he has passed away.
Favorite Apps to Find Flow
It may be more enjoyable to find flow when you’re with others than by yourself, according to some research, including one study that found people who played paddleball reported more joy during social flow than solo flow. Meetup makes it easy to find fellows in your favorite flow-y activities. You can join and create groups centered around what you love to do and attend in-person and online events, all for free.
Inbox When Ready
Flow requires focus, something that can be hard to come by in a world filled with notifications. To find and stay in flow, you can use tools to limit these distractions. We love that this browser extension can help control the time you spend on email so those new message notifications don’t pull you out of flow before you’re ready.