ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In red and yellow, signs with the word 'Happiness' are popping up across St. Petersburg.

  • Gary King behind "happiness" signs in St. Pete
  • King lost son to suicide in 2012
  • He says he is trying to make a difference
  • More Pinellas County headlines

“A word can change the way a person feels," said Gary King. 

King is the man behind the signs. The purpose of them is simple and it happens when a person sees one. 

“They smile. And that is why I call it the happiness experiment," said King. 

They are placed in high foot and car traffic areas in St. Pete. 

"A little cheer never hurt any of us," said Mark Haney, St. Petersburg resident. 



“Happiness, yeah, it put a smile on my face, that is for sure," said Austin Noga, St. Petersburg resident. 

“Happy! Yeah we feel a little happier yeah," said Jymi and Kelly Spica, St. Petersburg residents. 

A cheerful scientist of sorts, King, one would think would be the happiest guy around to do this. 

“I am happy, but I have to tell you, happiness, you are not supposed to be happy all the time. Because life brings you challenges," said King. 

In 2012, King faced one of his biggest challenges. His son, Jason Allen King, went out to the Skyway Bridge and died by suicide. 

“Every hour of every day I miss my son," said King. "And I chose to do whatever I can do, to make a difference in this world. And there is one of the things I chose to do.” 

Hanging signs is his own form of therapy. 

“Off to the next happiness location," said King. 

King is an author of The Happiness Formula. He works as a mentor and coach of life skills.