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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

Author: Pushkin Industries

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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. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show and to sign up to our newsletter visit: happinesslab.fm

43 Episodes
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Plato likened us all to charioteers trying to control two wayward horses. The steeds represent the competing wants and desires that constantly pull us off course and away from a happier life. Yale professor Tamar Gendler joins Dr Laurie Santos to examine how the ancient Greek philosopher didn't only diagnose the internal tensions we all face, but also offered a cure. The horses can be made to pull in the direction you command... but each must be coaxed in the right way. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
He gave us biology, physics and drama... but Greek philosopher Aristotle also thought deeply about how humans can flourish and live happy lives of virtue. Yale professor Tamar Gendler tells Dr Laurie Santos about Aristotle's wellbeing insights and how he recommended taking daily "baby steps" towards becoming the sort of happy, moderate person we aspire to be. A kind of ancient "fake it, 'til you make it" ethos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The Happiness Lab presents an episode of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History, in which Malcolm explores the delicate science of hiring nihilism, examined in five deeply-personal case studies. Revisionist History is his journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance. Listen in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Covid-19 has made us all prisoners of our homes. And at times, our families. If the pandemic goes well into 2021, what will an extended quarantine do to our relationships, our country, our daily lives? Roxane Gay, the best selling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, has some ideas. Sex? Yes. Vaccine? No. Narrated by Bahni Turpin. Hosted by Ashley C. Ford. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
How to Be a Better Ally

How to Be a Better Ally

2020-06-2943:1549

You might detest bigotry and injustice, but have you done anything to address these problems? There are many reasons we stay silent and inactive when we know we should intervene to defend the rights of others. We look at the psychology underpinning our reluctance to act and the ways in which we can match our moral beliefs with concrete actions. Featuring James Barr and Dan Hudson, co-hosts of the podcast 'A Gay and a Non-Gay'. WARNING: This episode talks frankly about discrimination, hate crimes and sex. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The War For Kindness

The War For Kindness

2020-06-2243:2648

Feeling you belong to a group can be great - but it also has a darker side, leading us down an unhappy path of hatred and violence towards people with different identities and backgrounds. Dr Laurie Santos talks to Mina Cikara - whose homeland descended into a bloody civil war - and Jamil Zaki about how we can fight hatred with empathy, kindness and difficult conversations. (Deep canvassing clips courtesy of The Leadership Lab https://leadership-lab.org/ at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.) For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Demonic Possessions

Demonic Possessions

2020-06-1527:2331

Cait Flanders went deep into debt so she could buy all the clothes, books and gadgets she thought would make her happier. It was only when she junked it all that she found that 'doing' rather than 'having' is a better way to spend your salary. Dr Laurie Santos examines why investing in experiences like concerts, vacations and dining out can give us a long-term happiness boost that buying things just can't match. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
We all have bad habits - things we eat, drink, do or say that cause us unhappiness. We repeat these behaviours over and over again - almost as if we are on autopilot. But we can break free from them, and use the mechanics of habit formation to make doing good things feel effortless. Dr Laurie Santos meets a scientist who sleeps in her running gear and a former army doctor who went to Vietnam to fight a wave of heroin abuse in the military and discovered something startling about habits. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dial D for Distracted

Dial D for Distracted

2020-06-0133:5653

The world is full of people and things that can make you happy, but you have to notice them to get the full effect. Smartphones are technological marvels, but the hold they have over our limited attention is causing us to miss out on more than we realize. Dr Laurie Santos finds that even having a phone nearby can reduce how happy you feel. Laurie chats with Catherine Price, a science journalist, founder of ScreenLifeBalance.com and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm or visit screenlifebalance.com, the website for guest Catherine Price. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
'Time famine' is when you just don't feel you have a spare moment... and it can make you miserable. It's a feeling Dr Laurie Santos knows only too well, so she seeks help from her time affluence hero, Idler author Tom Hodgkinson. Tom lives life to the full, but he ensures he carves out time to wander around, think, chat with friends and even take naps. He argues that 'idling' is vital to leading a happy, creative and productive existence. Is he right? And if so, what can we all do to break free from the tyranny of time? For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Marty kills rats... but if you asked him what his job is he'd say it was "solving problems" and "helping people". How we view our work can contribute greatly to our daily levels of happiness - far more than money or status. Dr Laurie Santos examines how we all came to ignore the importance of job satisfaction and hears from Professor Amy Wrzesniewski about "job crafting" - the reframing skill that happy people like Marty use to see their careers as more than just a way to make money. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Vlad's mom taught him a family tradition - remember grandpa when you taste the first fruits of the season. It was odd, but the boy went along with it. Only later when he faced two crushing bereavements of his own did Vlad realise the power of tiny personal rituals to ease his grief. Dr Laurie Santos examines the science behind this effect and explains how rites, ceremonies and rituals could help you deal with events that make you sad - from job rejections to divorce. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
PJ and Alex Love to Gripe

PJ and Alex Love to Gripe

2020-05-0434:0922

Reply All hosts PJ and Alex love to trade gripes. Their complaints about the minor annoyances of modern life make for great audio, but are the podcasters making a classic mistake? We all like to complain - thinking that venting does us good - but Dr Laurie Santos explains to PJ and Alex that they should gripe less if they want to be happier, and sets them a task to say something nice. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
We talk a lot about psychopaths - but rarely discuss their polar opposites, super altruists. These are people who go to extreme lengths to help others - even though their acts of kindness might cost them time, money or expose them to physical danger. These folk are also happier than the rest of us. A super altruist once saved the life of psychology professor Abigail Marsh - so she devoted her career to understanding what drives these amazing and happy people and how we call all learn to be more like them. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Do you want to be happier? Complain less? Enjoy your work more? Find time for the things that matter to you? Yale's 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 her Ivy League psychology course, Laurie returns with a new season of shows that will change the way you think about becoming happier. The Happiness Lab from Pushkin Industries returns April 27. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The pandemic has us all glued to our smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs - they give us important information, vital social contact and much needed distraction. But Catherine Price (founder of Screen/Life Balance and author of How To Break Up With Your Phone) shares her tips on how to make sure our new screen habits improve our lockdown lives rather than exacerbate our problems and anxieties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The heaviest burden of Covid-19 has fallen on the shoulders of medical staff, first responders and others who care for the sick and vulnerable. These people are saving lives, while putting their own health and mental wellbeing at risk. Several doctors and nurses have written asking for advice on the small ways they can make their daily lives a little easier to bear. So we asked cardiologist and wellbeing expert Dr Michael Rocha to explain the ways he's preparing for shifts on a Covid ward. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Many people seek Laurie's advice on how to be happier despite this awful pandemic. Prof Katy Milkman invited Laurie to appear on the Choiceology podcast to talk about the things she is doing personally to optimise her happiness amid the fear and stress. We thought we'd share Katy's interview with you so you can hear Laurie on the other side of the microphone for a change. (Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. Dr Laurie Santos and The Happiness Lab are not affiliated with Schwab and the views expressed may not necessarily reflect those of The Charles Schwab Corporation or its affiliates.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The Happiness Lab Presents: Checking In with Susan David, a podcast where Susan David—a psychologist at Harvard Medical School— offers strategies to cope with our heightened emotions during this global pandemic. This show is an urgent response to an urgent moment—a support system, toolkit, and understanding voice during a time of great uncertainty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The health of our romantic relationships is in peril thanks to the many stresses and strains of the pandemic lockdown. Couples might be facing huge emotional and financial challenges at the same time as being tightly confined to their homes. But psychologist Eli Finkel (author The All-or-Nothing Marriage) says there are ways to weather the crisis without destroying your partnership - and there might even be opportunities to hit the reset button and address problems that in normal times you just let slide. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Comments (124)

Sara

I just found this podcast and with each episode that i listen to i start to love it more and more Thanks for the awesome job you're doing

Sep 21st
Reply

Yael Gabi

I've never been a podcast person I'll listen with friends and such but this podcast gets me excited to learning something every morning.

Sep 14th
Reply

Emily Haywood

He summed up the mindfulness meditation really well

Aug 24th
Reply

Trina Bruner

The mere presence of phones being a negative was obvious to me before I had a smartphone myself. I remember how much I resented my husband's first device.

Aug 8th
Reply

Victoria Muchiri

Great content. I'd really love to transcribe your podcast. Transcription helps to reach a wider audience. The deaf would also be able to consume and enjoy your content. My email is vickies2cents@gmail.com. Thank you.

Aug 6th
Reply (1)

Finny Callahan

what about when you taking a picture thinking of only sharing it with people important to you who are not with you? is that different than taking a picture for Instagram?

Jul 30th
Reply

Jovani Haro

31:48 there's a gap... please fix curious what was cut out

Jul 19th
Reply

Henry Suryawirawan

Great episode! A slightly different angle to describe Stoicism and how it can help us during this challenging time.

Jul 19th
Reply

Tim Yorke

Science? Really? 3 examples in this episode alone. (1) the urban myth that loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Errr no. See Tim Harford (another Pushkin stalwart) on why this is a completely bogus use of data. (2) this episode cites the "evidence" of the impact/effect on perceived happiness of introverts and extroverts despite their completely different expectations of how talking to strangers would make them feel. Go back 2 episodes. Cited as foundational to this science is the fact that your expectation about something is wrong and that both bad and good expectations are qualitatively wrong. It won't be as bad or as good as you think. So how can the different expectations of two profoundly different set of expectations generate the same result? One of these bits of alleged science is clearly nonsense. (3) David Byrne helping a fellow passenger in difficulties is cited that talking to strangers makes you happy. OK maybe, but what about the vast number of alternative possibilities? Helping someone solve a problem. Religious gratification? Etc etc. Scientifically true. I really don't think so. Perhaps it is just hippy dippy...

Jul 9th
Reply

Erik Ogaard

I really liked this show. Pretty disappointed you decided to go political now... You lost one listener.

Jul 3rd
Reply (1)

Henry Suryawirawan

Gratitude, it really works!

Jun 26th
Reply

Mitch Hamilton

Very nice episode.

Jun 17th
Reply

Henri van Dijk

what is the name of the happiness test she mentioned at the end?

Jun 16th
Reply (1)

E J

👍🙏

Jun 15th
Reply

Erica Rouse

This podcast is one of my favorite and so inspiring! Thank you!

Jun 13th
Reply

Jerome Herr

another excellent episode

Jun 10th
Reply

Masha Grey

I cried with you guys 😢

Jun 9th
Reply

Moji M Shahvali

It would be helpful to link all upcoming episodes to the pandemic. For example this session on habit formation, it talks about how boredom and cues, can form harmful habits. How is this especially important these stay-home days? thank you.

Jun 8th
Reply (2)

ryan goble

9 OP hi pop 90 vo 9 pi e edition 9th of all ml 7 87 eep 090÷ we

Jun 6th
Reply

Sina Piruzmandan

great

Jun 4th
Reply
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