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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

Pushkin Industries

Society & Culture, Education

4.7 • 14.4K Ratings

Overview

You might think you know what it takes to lead a happier life… more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations. You’re dead wrong. Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale -- the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history -- Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness.

177 Episodes

How to Make America's Young People Happier Again

The US is sliding down the world happiness rankings - but it's the unhappiness of young people that's really dragging down the average. What has happened to make Gen Z so sad? And what can be done to turn the situation around? Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (director of Oxford University’s Wellbeing Research Centre) has been analyzing the figures for the World Happiness Report. He offers advice to young people and parents, and looks at what happy young Lithuanians can teach the rest of the world.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

Can Happiness Ward Off Dementia?

Age is the main risk factor for cognitive decline. So with more people around the world living longer, cases of dementia are set to rise. There's currently no cure - but research suggests that happiness can reduce the impact of this awful illness. Psychologist Emily Willroth helped write a chapter on this topic for the 2024 World Happiness Report - and explains how making friends, helping others and engaging in fun physical activities can slow cognitive decline, even when the disease has taken hold. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

What Can We Learn From the Happiest Country on Earth?

There are certain nations which always top the rankings in the World Happiness Report. What are they doing right, that other countries are getting wrong? And what can you do to make your home country happier? John Helliwell of the World Happiness Report explains how things like wealth, freedom and friendship combine to make a happy society - and how tiny changes in your home, neighborhood or workplace can have a huge national impact. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

Pushkin Hosts Celebrate World Happiness Day

The Happiness Lab’s Dr. Laurie Santos brings together other Pushkin hosts to mark the International Day of Happiness. Revisionist History’s Malcolm Gladwell talks about the benefits of the misery of running in a Canadian winter. Dr. Maya Shankar from A Slight Change of Plans talks about quieting her mental chatter. And Cautionary Tales host Tim Harford surprises everyone with the happiness lessons to be learned from a colonoscopy. Hear more of The Happiness Lab HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 March 2024

The Happiness of Subtraction

We often think adding more things to our lives will make us happier - more trips, more activities, more possessions. Sadly our minds find it hard to comprehend that having less and doing less is usually a better option. Dr Laurie Santos teams up with economist Tim Harford (host of Cautionary Tales) to examine why we find subtraction so very hard, and share tips for finding happiness by cutting down on our commitments. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2024

Why the "Good Enough" Relationship Beats the "Perfect Partner"

Fairy tales and Hollywood rom coms have taught us to expect perfection from a soul mate, but sex and relationships therapist Todd Baratz says we need to be more comfortable with the idea that a "good enough" partner will do. Todd once bought into this perfection myth - wanting a boyfriend to meet all his needs without even being told. These expectations helped end the relationship. Now Todd (author of How to Love Someone Without Losing Your Mind) says we need to accept that our loved ones will be just as flawed and human as we are. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

A Supercommunicator's Guide to Love and Dating

Some people ask searching questions and then really listen to the replies. These so-called supercommunicators make great romantic partners, so can anyone learn to be more like them? Journalist Charles Duhigg (author of Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection) was unhappy with how he and his wife were talking, so he studied his mistakes and adopted the habits of supercommunicators. He explains to Dr Laurie Santos how we can all make small changes that will improve our dating and romantic lives. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

Can Couples Learn to Argue Better?

No matter how much you love your partner, your relationship will never be totally free from disagreement. And nor should it be, say researchers Dr John Gottman and Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman. We actually just need to learn to argue better. The Gottmans join Dr Laurie Santos to talk us through how to raise complaints with our partners and how to react when they complain about us. Further reading: Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict into Connection by Dr John Gottman and Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

Love Lessons from the "Masters of Relationships"

Some people are just good at building and maintaining healthy partnerships. In their 'Love Lab", the married researchers Dr John Gottman and Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman have seen how certain couples interact in ways that mean they'll happily stick together for decades. The Gottmans join Dr Laurie Santos to explain what we can learn from these "Masters of Relationships" - so that the stresses and strains of life don't destroy our intimate partnerships. Further reading: Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict into Connection by Dr John Gottman and Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

The Sweet Smell of Happiness

Does happiness have a scent? Dr Laurie has been trying to remove the bad smells in her life and bring in more fragrances that enhance her wellbeing. But she's noticed that some of the smells that bring her joy can being a little weird - like musty books and rotting seaweed. So what's going on in noses and brains? Laurie turned to neuroscientist Dr Rachel Herz (author of The Scent of Desire) to explain why we respond to certain smells and how we can use scent to reduce stress, boost our happiness, make us perform better and even to find the perfect mate. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2024

How Getting Active Can Make You Happier

Busy scientist Adam Aron had too much on his plate to think deeply about climate change - until he read a scary report about what lay in store for the planet if no one acted to cut greenhouse gases. So Adam did more and more to fight climate change, until activism became his full time occupation. And the move made him happier and more content. We can't all give up our normal lives to stop global heating - but even making small contributions to the cause can make us feel more connected, more fulfilled and happier. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

Being Green Doesn't Mean Sacrificing Fun... or Cutting Out Meat

We often think of fighting climate change as a drain on our happiness - it'll mean sacrificing the things we love, like air travel or eating hamburgers. But researchers Jiaying Zhao and Liz Dunn have pioneered the idea of "Happy Climate" that shows us ways in which doing good for the planet can make us feel great. Changing how we fly, drive, shop and eat in very small ways can make us enjoy our travel, our friends, our wardrobes and, yes, even our steaks, more than ever before. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2024

Why our Brains Don't Fear Climate Change Enough

Humans are great at reacting to mortal danger... but only sometimes. Unfortunately, some risks to our safety and wellbeing don't set off alarm bells in our brains. Climate change falls into that category. Why is that? Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert explains how some dangers trigger us, and some don't. In discussion with Dr Laurie Santos, he also outlines ways in which we can be made to care more about threats to the planet and maybe react to them in more positive, happiness-inducing ways. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 2 January 2024

When Stalin Killed the Weekend - A Happiness Lab/Cautionary Tales Crossover

Time off work is vital for your happiness. So what would you do if you couldn't take the same rest day as your family and friends? Would you quit your job? What if it was the murderous dictator Stalin giving you the order? The Soviet Union wanted its factories to run every day, so workers were stopped from taking the same day off - killing the weekend as we know it. In a crossover between The Happiness Lab and Cautionary Tales, Dr Laurie Santos and Tim Harford discuss the pros and cons of everyone downing tools together and why holidays matter so very much. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 18 December 2023

Build The Life You Want from Oprah's Super Soul

Enjoy this episode of another show you might like: the Build the Life You Want Super Soul Podcast. Oprah and Arthur Brooks offer listeners a better understanding of the science behind happiness and why Arthur says, “Happiness is not a destination, happiness is a direction.” Together, they take questions from people across the country who have read Build the Life You Want and are curious how to apply topics from the book to their own lives. They discuss the “The Four Pillars of Happiness: Faith, Family, Friends and Work that Serves” as well as the power of metacognition which Oprah calls “one of the biggest contributions to people getting happier.” Arthur Brooks explains how using “emotional caffeine” can lead to greater happiness and how having “a better storage of emotions” can block anxiety and depression.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 15 December 2023

Is There a Gen Z Happiness Crisis? Dr Laurie Meets the US Surgeon General

Have we created a culture where young people prioritize good grades, social media likes and constant hustling over the important wellbeing pillars of sleep, friendships and free time? Dr Laurie Santos joins the US Surgeon General on his podcast House Calls with Dr. Vivek Murthy to ask how we got here and what Gen Z can do to get out of this happiness crisis. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 11 December 2023

How Eating Got Complicated

For our ancient ancestors food was just another thing they needed to survive - like sleep, shelter or warmth. But in the modern world, food has become a source of anxiety. Do we eat too much, or too little? And are we feeding ourself the "wrong" things? Dr Laurie Santos has plenty of thoughts on our complicated relationship with eating and shared them on a recent episode of the PRX podcast Food, We Need to Talk. The show turned out great, so we thought we'd give you the chance to hear Laurie's chat with the hosts Juna Gjata and Dr. Eddie Phillips. Just like The Happiness Lab, Food, We Need to Talk relies on the latest science to tackle issues like body image, nutrition, exercise and addiction. You can listen to other episodes of Food, We Need to Talk wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 4 December 2023

Awe and Psychedelics with Michael Pollan

Laurie's former student and friend, Dr. Maya Shankar, has a Pushkin podcast we love called A Slight Change of Plans. If you like The Happiness Lab, then this show is right up your alley. In this episode, Maya and author Michael Pollan discuss the fascinating science of psychedelics and how they have the power to transform our minds and improve our mental health. You’ll also get a glimpse into Michael’s personal experience with psychedelic trips and how they unlocked a singular kind of joy within him. Plus, you'll hear him try and convince scaredy-cat Maya to give them a try. You can hear more from A Slight Change of Plans wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 1 December 2023

Giving Away Cash Makes You Happy... and Transforms Lives

YOU can boost your happiness and transform the lives of people in one African village with a cash gift by going to givedirectly.org/happiness Giving money to others makes you happier than spending the same cash on yourself. That's been proved by science. But new research also shows that giving people in need cold hard cash is an amazing way to help them improve their lives. We explore why trusting people to help themselves is a cheaper and more effective way to solve poverty - and hear about Kibobo in Rwanda, where any money you donate will have a huge impact. Read more about Kibobo at givedirectly.org/happiness Former British politician Rory Stewart used to manage billions of dollars in aid money - and like other international donors thought poor people needed to be told what to do with charitable gifts. He was shocked how effective no-strings-attached cash turned out to be, and now promotes "giving directly". He was also surprised how good giving away even small amounts of money made him feel. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 27 November 2023

Make America Happy Again

We're distrustful, unequal and isolated. That's according to the figures showing a decline in happy community feeling since the 1960s. But can we do anything to regain the healthier communal lives enjoyed by many of our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents? We talk to a hopeful trio - an economist, a political scientist and a US senator - about how we can reduce social isolation, temper political division and prioritize the kind of mixing and meeting that makes neighbors into friends. Further reading: Robert Putnam Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again. Lord Richard Layard Can We Be Happier? Evidence and Ethics and Wellbeing: Science and Policy (co-authored by Jan-Emmanuel De Neve).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 November 2023

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Cheers was a sitcom hit in the 80s thanks to a theme tune promising that the fictional bar was a place "where everybody knows you name". Venues like pubs - away from our homes and workplaces - are vital for building our social networks and making our lives richer, easier and more fun. But these so-called "Third Places" are in danger. Neighborhood hangouts are closing and membership of clubs, associations and unions is falling. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam has been watching this worrying decline across a lifetime and warns that we need to act before it's too late. Robert is author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again. He also inspired the 2023 film Join or Die. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 13 November 2023

Don't Make Friends Where You Make Your Money?

Work and friendship don't mix, thought Katherine Hu. A recent graduate, she found it harder to form bonds with colleagues than she'd expected. But then she concluded that not having friends at work helps you set boundaries and remain professional. After all, work is fundamentally a financial transaction, right? Well, we spend many of our waking hours at work - and the science suggests that if we decide not to use that time making meaningful friendships then our health and wellbeing could suffer. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2023

Ask for Help... and Spread Happiness

Jia Jiang dreamed of being the next Bill Gates... but an entrepreneur needs the courage and confidence to ask for help. Jia was terrified of rejection - so couldn't fulfil his ambitions. That is, until he decided to beat his fear by seeking out rejection after rejection for a full 100 days. Many of us share Jia's nervousness about appearing vulnerable and needy, but the science suggests that we and the people around us would be happier if we asked them for help more often. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 30 October 2023

The Introvert's Guide to Extroversion

Jessica Pan hated social gatherings - she cried when her friends threw her a surprise birthday party, and was even too scared to give a speech at her own wedding. Jessica was a hardcore introvert - and it was making her sad. Extroverts find it easier to experience the joy that comes with social interactions - but that doesn't mean introverts are doomed to lives that lack such fun. Jessica read some research that suggested introverts can learn to enjoy being more outgoing - so decided to turn her social life around. You can read more of Jessica's story in her book: Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: One Introvert's Year of Saying Yes. She is posting updates from her year of extroverting at her Substack, "It'll Be Fun, They Said" (https://jesspan.substack.com/).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 23 October 2023

Text a Friend... Right Now!

When did you last check in on a friend? Maybe the last time you did, their reply was terse or non-existent. Perhaps months or years have passed and you feel awkward about reestablishing contact? Or you might worry they're busy and you're just bothering them? Andy Salkind tells Dr Laurie Santos that you should forget your worries - and just TEXT THEM! After all, a simple message from a friend saved his life. WARNING: This episode deals with depression and suicidality. If you’re based in the US, you can call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Similar services are available in pretty much every other country. So, if you need help, please, please reach out. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 16 October 2023

How to Make Friends and Compliment People

Connecting with people is a sure-fire way to be happier - and you can quickly build relationships with friends and strangers alike just by giving them a sincere compliment. In the first show of a season about how to be more sociable - we meet Troy Hawke, who makes a living complimenting everyone he passes on the street, and scientist Xuan Zhao - an expert on compliments who ditched her boyfriend for failing to say out loud all the nice things he thought about her. (For more on Xuan's public benefit startup Flourish Science - a company aiming to "help people discover joy, combat burnout, and cultivate deeper connections within supportive communities" - then visit www.flouriship.com.) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 9 October 2023

Grover’s Super Solution to Self-Talk

It's not always easy being a podcast host. Dr Laurie is stressed, making mistakes and blaming herself. When things go wrong, we're often our own harshest critics. So how can we tame this type of unkind self-talk? Luckily for Dr Laurie, Super Grover comes to the rescue - with tips on how she can talk to herself in kind and compassionate ways that will help her manage her feelings, perform better, and feel happier. (Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organization with a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. The work they do is funded by donations big and small - so if you want to become a part of their important work to improve children’s emotional well-being, then visit: sesameworkshop.org/support-us/)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 2 October 2023

Big Bird Has Big Feelings

You don't need to be 8 feet tall like Big Bird to have big, big feelings. We all experience emotions of excitement, frustration and sadness that feel overwhelming. But when Big Bird's fun plans are ruined by rain clouds - Dr Laurie teaches him that there are ways to manage and be prepared for big disappointments and realise that the sun will return soon enough. (Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organization with a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. The work they do is funded by donations big and small - so if you want to become a part of their important work to improve children’s emotional well-being, then visit: sesameworkshop.org/support-us/)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 25 September 2023

Dr Laurie and Sesame Street: Abby Cadabby and the Magic of Gratitude

It's never too early or too late to learn how to be happier. Whether you're aged 3, 23 or 103, we've teamed up with our furry friends from Sesame Street to bring you fun and fact-based tips to improve the wellbeing of you and the people around you. We begin with Abby Cadabby - a fairy who isn't having such a great day. Her usual spells can't rid her of her "grumpies", so Dr Laurie teaches her the magical effect that being grateful for who and what is around you can have on your mood. (Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organization with a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. The work they do is funded by donations big and small - so if you want to become a part of their important work to improve children’s emotional well-being, then visit: sesameworkshop.org/support-us/)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 18 September 2023

Build the Life You Want... Advice from Arthur Brooks and Oprah

Oprah Winfrey and Arthur Brooks want you to be happier - so the TV megastar and the Harvard academic teamed up to write a book setting out the steps you need to take to be a little happier each day. Over the summer, Dr Laurie Santos read Build the Life You Want, the Art and Science of Getting Happier and loved it. So she recorded a conversation with Arthur touching on how his son found meaning in the marine corps; why you should remove the all mirrors from your home; and whether happiness experts can ever be happy themselves. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 12 September 2023

Laurie Has Fun... Part 2 ICYMI

Am I a fun person? That was the question listener Natalie Robinson was asking herself. The answer was sobering. Natalie felt fun was being squeezed out of her busy life... but she found inspiration in the two episodes of The Happiness Lab dedicated to Dr Laurie Santos's own quest to regain the fun and playfulness of her youth. So here's another opportunity to listen to the concluding part of that story again. Take the Pushkin Audience Survey and receive a code to redeem a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/3pAAQxZSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 7 August 2023

Laurie Has Fun... Part 1 ICYMI

Listener Natalie Robinson was worried she and her fellow running club members weren't having enough fun - life was just getting in the way. But what could she and her friends do? They found inspiration in the two episodes of The Happiness Lab dedicated to Dr Laurie Santos's own quest to regain the fun and playfulness of her youth. So here's another opportunity to listen to part one of that story again. Take the Pushkin Audience Survey and receive a code to redeem a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/3pAAQxZSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 7 August 2023

'Do We Even Have Fun Anymore?' A Listener's Story of Funterventions

Natalie Robinson used to have fun - taking her kids to the zoo or the waterpark - but recently life started getting in the way of her being playful and goofy. Then she heard two episodes of The Happiness Lab in which Dr Laurie Santos wrestled with exactly the same dilemma. Inspired, Natalie got together with the friends in her running club to throw themselves into fun interventions - funterventions. Take the Pushkin Audience Survey and receive a code to redeem a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/3pAAQxZSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 31 July 2023

The Unhappy Millionaire ICYMI

Recovering from a car crash that smashed her face, listener Rebecca Kaduru stumbled across an episode of The Happiness Lab in which we interviewed wounded Iraq veteran JR Martinez. His story brought Rebecca great solace in her own painful journey to recovery. Following our recent show talking to Rebecca, we wanted to give you a chance to hear the episode which so touched her - The Unhappy Millionaire - in which we examine the "psychological immune system" that help humans overcome even the toughest experiences. Take the Pushkin Audience Survey and receive a code to redeem a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/3pAAQxZSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 24 July 2023

'I woke up in an Ambulance Stuck in Traffic.' : A Listener's Story of Recovery

Rebecca Kaduru was driving home... then woke up in an ambulance. She'd been in involved in an accident and her face was smashed. Living in Uganda, she struggled to receive appropriate care for her injuries - making her healing process dishearteningly slow and painful. It was then that Rebecca stumbled across an episode of The Happiness Lab about JR Martinez - an army veteran badly burned in Iraq. His story brought her comfort and the confidence to keep on her path to recovery. We hear about Rebecca's ordeal and introduce her to JR. NEXT TIME: To give you a chance to hear the episode that inspired Rebecca, we'll republish it on The Happiness Lab feed. Take the Pushkin Audience Survey and receive a code to redeem a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/3pAAQxZSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 17 July 2023

'I Woke up in an Ambulance Stuck in Traffic.' : A Listener's Story of Recovery

Rebecca Kaduru was driving home... then woke up in an ambulance. She'd been in involved in an accident and her face was smashed. Living in Uganda, she struggled to receive appropriate care for her injuries - making her healing process dishearteningly slow and painful. It was then that Rebecca stumbled across an episode of The Happiness Lab about JR Martinez - an army veteran badly burned in Iraq. His story brought her comfort and the confidence to keep on her path to recovery. We hear about Rebecca's ordeal and introduce her to JR. NEXT TIME: To give you a chance to hear the episode that inspired Rebecca, we'll republish it on The Happiness Lab feed. Take the Pushkin Audience Survey and receive a code to redeem a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/3pAAQxZSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 17 July 2023

Ask Us Anything! Laurie and Gretchen Take Your Questions (Live from Toronto)

What do you do when you enter "survival mode"? How can you become better at forging social connections? Can you be happy in a sad world? Happiness experts Dr Laurie Santos and Gretchen Rubin came together at Toronto's Hot Docs Festival to answer these and other questions from a live audience. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 29 May 2023

With Elmo's Help... It's Never Too Early to Learn About Happiness

Not matter if you're aged three or 103, you can learn to be happier using pretty much the same strategies. Sesame Workshop and its furry friends have been teaching "emotional ABCs" alongside literacy and numeracy for decades. So in collaboration with The Happiness Lab, Elmo and his friends will be helping us present fun and accessible happiness hacks for listeners of all ages. To kick things off, Dr Laurie Santos sat down to discuss why it's never too early to learn about wellbeing with Sesame Workshop's CEO, Steve Youngwood; the Chief Production and Creative Development Officer, Kay Wilson Stallings… and everyone’s favorite furry, red monster, Elmo. (Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organization with a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. The work they do is funded by donations big and small - so if you want to become a part of their important mission to improve children’s emotional well-being, then visit: sesameworkshop.org/support-us/)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 22 May 2023

Can Spiritual Experiences and Psychedelics Make us Happy? (LIVE from DC)

More than a third of us admit to having had a spiritual experience. We might have been profoundly moved by a sunset or a painting; or felt that we've connected with our god or with the entire world around us. Such events can be transformative - bringing positive change to our lives and increasing our happiness - but some experiences aren't so great. In front of a live audience in Washington DC, David Yaden of Johns Hopkins University tells Dr Laurie Santos about his work examining what effect spiritual experiences have on us and how things like meditation and psychedelic drugs can bring about these powerful transformational episodes. David Yaden is the author of: The Varieties of Spiritual Experience: 21st Century Research and Perspectives.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 15 May 2023

Why We're Mean to Our Future Selves (LIVE from Boston)

Who do we volunteer to run a gruelling half-marathon? Who do we expect to give up sugar, or quit drinking? Who do we demand clears out the garage in the middle of summer? Ourselves. Mean, right? Turns out we make demands on our future selves that our present selves would think are unrealistic or unreasonable. And the reason we do it is because our minds are really bad at anticipating the wants and needs we'll have in a week, a month, or a year from now. And that harms our happiness. Talking before a live audience in Somerville, MA, Dr Laurie Santos and Harvard professor Jason Mitchell explore how we can be kinder to both our present and future selves. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 8 May 2023

The Man Who Invented Happiness Science: Marty Seligman

When Marty Seligman started his long scientific career, psychologists concentrated on studying "misery and suffering" and what made people sad. But Marty wanted to discover what made happy people, well, happy. His research laid the foundations of "positive psychology" and the happiness science you hear week after week in this podcast. Dr Laurie Santos talks to Professor Seligman about his decades of research; the power of optimism; and how he became less of a "grouch" to improve his own personal happiness. Marty's latest book, TOMORROWMIND: Thriving At Work – Now and in an Uncertain Future, is OUT NOW. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 1 May 2023

Smell, Taste and Touch: How to Joyfully Awaken Your Senses

Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin was warned that her eyesight was in peril. It shocked her into realising she'd taken all of her five senses for granted - and so she resolved to wring every ounce of joy from the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures around her. Concluding her conversation with Dr Laurie Santos, Gretchen explains how to be more alive to smell, taste and touch - building on the ideas in her new book Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2023

Sight and Sound: How to Joyfully Awaken Your Senses

Are you seeing what you look at? Or tuning in to the noises all around you? We take our senses for granted - particularly when it comes to the sights and sounds of our everyday lives. Exploring your senses can be a great way to experience more fun and happiness right now. Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin was warned that her eyesight was in peril - which spurred her to rethink her relationship with her senses. In the first of two interviews, Gretchen joins Dr Laurie Santos to discuss her journey of discovery and her new book - Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2023

Do We Need a New Word for 'Happiness'? Katie Couric talks to Dr Laurie Santos

Laurie swaps seats in the studio to be interviewed by none other than Katie Couric. In this episode of Next Question with Katie Couric, Laurie's asked to define happiness; outline the best steps to reach it; and give an honest appraisal of her own struggles to flourish each and every day. Listen to more episodes of Next Question with Katie Couric wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 10 April 2023

Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Sikhism and Daily Habits

Following 9/11, Simran Jeet Singh's Sikh family in Texas was subjected to extreme racist abuse. And yet, Simran's father chose to look on the bright side and offer thanks instead for the acts of kindness friends and neighbors showed them. How was such optimism possible? Simran - author of The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life - explains how practicing positive habits and living by our values as often as we can will really help when a crisis arises. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 3 April 2023

Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Sikhism and How We're All Connected

Educator and author Simran Jeet Singh is Sikh. Most of his fellow Americans have no idea what Sikhism is - causing some to treat Simran with suspicion and hostility. But one of the key teachings of his religion is that all things and all people are connected - something that offers Simran comfort and hope in even the darkest moments. In the first of a two-part show, Dr Laurie Santos talks to Simran about his book - The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life - and finds that the centuries-old traditions of Sikhism map surprisingly well over the latest happiness science. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 27 March 2023

Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Yoga of the Mind

We often think of yoga as a physical exercise - but a centuries-old Sanskrit text, The Yoga Sutras, share teachings intended to improve both the body and mind. The author, Patanjali, makes clear that the poses and stretches are only part of picture - we also need to be kind, contemplative and grounded. Jessamyn Stanley (yoga teacher and author of Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance) takes Dr Laurie Santos through Patanjali's text - saying its lessons "can be applied in every circumstance, no matter who you are or where you are".See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 March 2023

Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: The Trauma of Troy

In Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid, few Trojans survive the destruction of their city at the hands of their Greek enemies. A prince, Aeneas, leads a band of those fleeing Troy - but the journey is fraught with deadly storms and hungry monsters. But Aeneas takes a positive view of the struggles he and the other Trojans face, telling them to be proud of their resilience and courage. With the help of MIT classic professor Stephanie Frampton, Dr Laurie Santos explores how The Aeneid can be read as a tale of post-traumatic growth and how we can sometimes emerge happier and stronger from tragic events. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 13 March 2023

Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: The Anger of Achilles

Achilles has anger issues. The great Greek warrior sits out most of the Trojan War because he's angrily sulking. When he finally enters battle, he does so in a fit of rage that causes him to commit atrocities and bring dishonor on himself. So what can we learn from this angry character in Homer's epic poem, The Iliad? With the help of Harvard classics expert Greg Nagy and anger counsellor Dr Faith Harper, we look at how anger can creep up on us and what we can do to defuse this sometimes explosive emotion. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 6 March 2023

Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Aristotle and Plato ICYMI

The Greek thinker Socrates was put to death for encouraging his students to question everything - from their own beliefs to the laws and customs of Athenian society. But his ideas didn't die with him. Here's a chance to hear two episodes from our archive examining the legacy of Socrates, and how he influenced the thinking of Plato and Aristotle. Turns out the Ancient Greeks had a lot to say about how live a happier life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2023

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