Pratap Singhal, MD, is a medical doctor, happiness coach and author. A physician and family practitioner with fifty-five years of experience in health care, he practices conventional medicine as well as complementary and alternative medicine. He specializes in hypnotherapy, homeopathy, smoking cessation and weight management. Dr. Singhal is the author of three books exploring health and happiness and is the host of a YouTube channel called Absolute Happiness.

Dr. Singhal was born in Dhuri in the Indian state of Punjab in 1940. His father, Mahasha Kundan Lal Singhal, and his mother, Lajwanti Singhal, raised a large family of ten children. His father was a social reformer and one of the founders of a school in Dhuri affiliated with the Arya Samaj denomination of Hinduism. Dr. Singhal and his siblings received their primary education at the Arya Samaj school.

As a child, Dr. Singhal witnessed religious violence during the partition period. In 1947, India became independent from the United Kingdom, and the Indian subcontinent was partitioned into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Religious strife, riots and mass migration ensued. When the house of Muslim neighbors was pillaged and the parents and brothers killed, the two young girls of that family sought refuge at the Singhal household and eventually were brought safely to Pakistan.

Dr. Singhal was raised on the Vedic principles of the Arya Samaj. He explains, "It is based upon a philosophy that you have to be the best, and you have to do the best for others." Dr. Singhal describes how his father's beliefs shaped him: "Every day he would tell me educational stories for the purpose of training me, educating me. What is the wisdom in the Vedas, [what] you call the Bible here [in the United States]. There's a lot of wisdom. He gave me a lot of information, lots and lots. My brothers are like that, too. We have a very good atmosphere at home. I learned a lot from my father and my brothers, the wisdom of life. … That is different from being street-smart, but how to deal with challenges, how to deal with life situations, the stresses of life."

When Dr. Singhal was in middle school, tragedy struck the family; his grandmother and nephew were killed in a car accident. Dr. Singhal recalls how his father responded, "He invited a spiritual master to stay with us for a week. We'd have morning prayer, afternoon prayer, evening prayer, and we'd have discourses from him to tell us that these accidents are part of life and we need to get over it. It gave us a lot of strength and a lot of positive messages, and we got through." With these lessons, he learned to seek solace in spirituality and to transform despair into happiness.

After graduating from high school, Dr. Singhal went to D.A.V. College in Muzaffarnagar. He realized his calling to become a doctor when he was a teenager and was encouraged to pursue medicine by an aunt who was a nurse. He went on to medical school at Government Medical College in Patiala. He did his residency in ophthalmology and then rotating internships in surgery and obstetrics. He worked as a doctor for the government, first in Himachal Pradesh and then in Haryana, before immigrating to the United States.

Dr. Singhal is proud of his early medical career in India. He served as the only doctor at a government-run dispensary hospital. People seeking medical attention would travel long distances by foot or cart to seek medical care. "You have no idea how people appreciate it because they have no place to go," he recollects. "I treated every disease, diabetes, heart attacks, pneumonia, because these people did not have the privilege or the resources to run to a big hospital."

Through the help of an uncle, Dr. Singhal immigrated to the United States in 1969. He stayed in California briefly until finding a job at Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia. His wife and oldest son initially stayed in India and then followed soon after. Dr. Singhal adjusted to the long hours and grueling work of an internship. "Here, I was just a nobody. In an internship, you're a nobody. You are the bottom on the ladder." He discusses some of the challenges he faced in acclimating to life in America, "I have no status. Nobody knows me. I felt nobody wants me because my English was not the best at that time."

From 1970 to 1977, he worked as an emergency room physician at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. When an opportunity for a better position arose, Dr. Singhal and his family moved to West Virginia. After a brief stint in the emergency room at Cabell Huntington Hospital, he became co-director of the Emergency Department at Fairmont General Hospital. By then, he and his wife had three sons. In search of better educational opportunities for their children, the family moved to Pittsburgh, and Dr. Singhal commuted to West Virginia.

In 1980, Dr. Singhal and his family relocated to New Jersey. He became the emergency room physician at Princeton Medical Center for a year. Then, he took over the medical practice of a retiring doctor in Belleville.

In 1985, Dr. Singhal and his wife helped found the Arya Samaj of Essex County, now known as the Arya Samaj of Garden State. Initially, the programs were held at the Singhal house in Glen Ridge. After renting a Masonic temple in Belleville, the congregation bought the temple in 1998 and named it the Om Temple. "When we started the Arya Samaj here, most of my patients became part of the congregation," Dr. Singhal explains. "I have very deep relationships with my patients, not only medically but emotionally and spiritually."

"Enjoy life in happiness and happiness in life" is Dr. Singhal's mantra. Drawing upon experiences and lessons from his upbringing, the pursuit of happiness has been a life-long endeavor. He is the author of three books on health and happiness. When Dr. Singhal gave a talk on happiness at Clara Maass Hospital, the audience was receptive, and someone suggested that he write a book. In 2011, he wrote his first book, Health, Happiness & You: Everything You Need to Know. He went on to write How to be Happy Today and Every Day with A New 7 Minute Magical Plan (2021) and One Solution to Many Diseases: Presented in 24½ Inspirational Stories (2021). Additionally, Dr. Singhal has created a series of seven videos on YouTube about bringing joy and happiness to one's life ( He describes his guiding principle, "Happiness is a privilege for human life. There's no other life, no other entity on this earth, maybe in the whole universe, who has this privilege. If we don't enjoy that privilege, we are not doing a favor to ourselves."

Dr. Singhal's interest in homeopathy stemmed from a personal experience long ago. Early in his marriage, when he was still living in India, he became very ill. After conventional medicine failed to provide any reprieve, his wife sought out the help of a homeopath. He remembers, "Within five minutes, I was on my feet. … That changed my life. ... I started studying homeopathy … Not only did I start studying complementary medicine, homeopathy, fasting, nutrition, and self-healing, but I also began to study Vedas, the bible of Hinduism." He incorporated complementary and alternative medicine into his repertoire and has always been interested in the underlying philosophy of medicine. While there are barriers to alternative medicine in contemporary healthcare, Dr. Singhal stresses that he seeks to provide choices for each patient in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

In recognition of his contributions to health care, Dr. Singhal has been featured on two magazine covers. He was the recipient of the "Hypnotism Research Award" in 2018 by the National Guild of Hypnotherapists, the largest global organization of hypnotists. He also appeared on an episode of "Despite the Challenges" with host Ritu Chopra (

Dr. Singhal and his wife Sushum have been married since 1965. They have three sons, Arun, Sunil and Dhruv, each of whom have gone on to earn medical degrees and become surgeons.

"The most important thing that you need to achieve in life is not money, education, or social status," Dr. Singhal emphasizes, "but how you can bring happiness in life. Happiness is the key element. Also, you cannot be happy either if you are not a good person. If there's something evil or malice in your mind, you cannot be happy. It also has a double benefit. Not only happiness gives you a positive life, a good life, but it also makes you a good person."