We’ve all been told at one time or another to think more positively. And no wonder, considering the evidence that it can help people feel happier and less depressed. But new research is finding that the practice can have the opposite effect. Recent studies show that positive affirmations (such as “I’m lovable”), positive psychology exercises (like listening to uplifting music) and cognitive therapy workbooks that encourage users to think about and dispute negative beliefs can actually make you feel worse if they’re not the right approach for you. Here’s what you need to know to make positive thinking work for you.