"Dwelling-mobility": An existential theory of well-being

Les Todres, Kathleen Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we offer an existential theory of well-being that is guided by Heidegger’s later writings on ‘‘homecoming’’. We approach the question of what it is about the essence of well-being that makes all kinds of well-being possible. Consistent with a phenomenological approach, well-being is both a way of being-in-the-world, as well as a felt sense of what this is like as an experience. Drawing on Heidegger’s notion of Gegnet (abiding expanse), we characterise the deepest possibility of existential well-being as ‘‘dwelling-mobility’’. This term indicates both the ‘‘adventure’’ of being called into expansive existential possibilities, as well as ‘‘being-at-home-with’’ what has been given. This deepest possibility of well-being carries with it a feeling of rootedness and flow, peace and possibility. However, we also consider how the separate notions of existential mobility and existential dwelling as discrete emphases can be developed to describe multiple variations of wellbeing possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

© 2010 Les Todres and Kathleen Galvin. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Phenomenology
  • Heidegger
  • well-being
  • home
  • homecoming
  • homelessness
  • existential theory
  • dwelling
  • mobility


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