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Some sounds bring happy memories flooding back. Other sounds put us on edge; drive us to distraction; or cause us considerable distress. Sound matters... so why don't we pay more attention to our sonic environment?   In a mash-up with our friends at the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz, Dr. Laurie Santos joins Dallas Taylor to create a Handbook for Sonic Happiness explaining how sound can harm our wellbeing or be a route to greater happiness. Featuring auditory psychologist David Poeppel, psychology researcher Giulia Poerio, clinical psychologist Ali Mattu, sound scholar Mac Hagood and acoustician Trevor Cox.See for privacy information.
Move to Your Happy Place

Move to Your Happy Place


People who live in some places are happier than others. But if you move to a happy country, happy city or happy district, will it make you feel better? And what can do if you can't uproot from your current home, can you make sad spaces happier?   Dan Buettner introduces us to his "Blue Zones", and explains why these places score so highly in wellbeing surveys. Helen Russell tells her story of moving to one of the happiest nations on bleak midwinter. And Texan Jason Roberts admits he had to break the city laws to make his neighborhood in Dallas a bit nicer.  For further reading:  Helen Russell - The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country. Dan Buettner - The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World's Happiest People.See for privacy information.
Here's a preview from a new Pushkin podcast, The Loudest Girl in the World. For years, journalist and podcast host Lauren Ober wasn’t all that jazzed about herself. She was always getting in trouble, she had a lot of sensory issues and her anxiety felt off the charts. And then, she found out why — she was autistic. The Loudest Girl in the World tells the story of Lauren’s journey to understand what it means to be on the autism spectrum and how to live life as a newly diagnosed autistic person. You can hear the full episode, and more from The Loudest Girl in the World at for privacy information.
Really love a TV show; a boyband; a sci fi movie; or a celebrity? We're often too embarrassed to admit adoring some things for fear that we'll be seen as frivolous or childish - but we may be missing out on the happiness benefits that geeking out can bring.    Dr Laurie Santos explores the joy of fandom with Benedict Cumberbatch obsessive Tabitha Carvan, YA author Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Star Trek actor (and geek-vangelist) Wil Wheaton.  For Further Reading: Tabitha Carvan - This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch  Wil Wheaton - Still Just a GeekSee for privacy information.
Loneliness is a far more common and far more serious problem than we think. It affects one in five Americans, and takes a toll on our bodies and minds. To thrive we need to several types of social interactions - both casual and more intimate.   With the help of US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; Harvard Divinity School fellow Casper ter Kuile; and friendship expert Marisa Franco; Dr Laurie Santos looks at how loneliness might be affecting you or someone you know, and what science-back steps you can take to increase your circle of friends.  For further reading:  Vivek Murthy - Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Marisa Franco - Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends as an Adult. See for privacy information.
Happiness can be found in unusual places. Dr Laurie Santos returns with a new season that takes us to the fun frontiers of fandom with Star Trek's Wesley Crusher; to the world's happiest country in the depths of winter; and inside the ranch that inspired The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart to exclaim "YOLO!".   And you'll hear what it's like to chug the hottest hot sauce on the planet to get a rush of pleasure.  The Happiness Lab Returns September 6 - wherever you get your podcasts. See for privacy information.
Covid brought disruption and despair... but it also caused many of us to think about our lives and what is most important to us. Listener Dr Amy Comander, Director of Lifestyle Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, wants to know how we can apply lessons from the pandemic to improve our happiness as we return to normalcy.   Amy helps teach cancer survivors wellbeing tips - and also happens to be an old college lab partner of Dr Laurie Santos - so we invited her to host this episode and quiz Laurie on how to lead a happier post-pandemic life. See for privacy information.
It can speak to us in the middle of a work project, the middle of a date, or the middle of the night. The critical voice in our head telling us we're just not good enough and we're headed for failure. Listener Patricia Branigan wrote in to ask what we can do the quiet down this chatter.   To explain what damage negative self-talk does to us and explore some simple strategies to challenge our inner critic, Dr Laurie Santos is joined by "chatter" expert Ethan Kross (professor of psychology and management at the University of Michigan). You can read more in Ethan's book 'Chatter: The Voice in our Head (And How to Harness it)'.  See for privacy information.
Since Covid hit, many of us have seen fewer people and experienced more loneliness. Listener Ivana Cole wants to know what we can do to reconnect and asks, if we can't reconnect: "Can we be happy alone?"  Dr Laurie Santos looks at social connections and how make them with Stanford's Jamil Zaki (author of the War for Kindness). See for privacy information.
Listener Niki Walker has a question... in our busy, career-driven, money-oriented live, are we forgetting to make time for more important things?  In our first episode fielding questions from fans of The Happiness Lab, Dr Laurie Santos looks at the world of work and how we can prioritize purpose, fun and human interaction to make our daily lives better.    Laurie is joined by Professor Cassie Holmes (author of "Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time and Focus on What Matters Most). See for privacy information.
Nobel Peace Prize winners feel burnout too. Malala Yousafzai - who survived an assassination attempted by the Taliban - works tirelessly so that more women and girls can access education. But she often feels guilty at taking time off, but knows she must to avoid burnout.  She shares her tips with Dr Laurie Santos on how to achieve work/life balance; how to deal with disappointment; and how to build bridges with people we disagree with.  (Recorded live at Yale's Silliman College.)  See for privacy information.
What would you ask a wellbeing expert? Dr Laurie Santos is back with a special season of The Happiness Lab fielding listener questions about work, relationships and getting back out into the world after Covid. She'll be joined by fellow scientists and listeners explaining the stories behind their queries.   Begins July 11. See for privacy information.
“Is social media bad for our brains?” asks Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN’s Chasing Life. Dr. Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent talks about social media and how, while it can be a place for community and entertainment, it can also be harmful for our mental health. He speaks to social media researcher Prof. Dar Meshi about what social media is doing to our brains, and why we need to set healthy boundaries around our social media use.See for privacy information.
If you dread getting out of bed in the morning; if you are bad tempered with co-workers, clients or customers; if you leave work feeling an exhaustion that goes way beyond tiredness... it could be that you're burned out. Jonathan Malesic felt all these things as a successful academic, and reflected wistfully on his previous job working as a parking lot attendant. Could it be that taking a high status, high paying job was making him miserable and pushing him beyond the limits of his endurance? Jonathan shares what he learned about burnout while researching his bookThe End Of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us, And How To Build Better Lives.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
Psychologist and writer Adam Grant used every second of his day to the fullest... until he was struck by feelings of emptiness and stagnation. His sleep patterns changed, his productivity dipped, he found himself breaking his own rules by aimlessly watching Netflix. Adam decided this listless middle ground between depression and flourishing was "languishing" and he needed to escape it fast.The author of the #1 NYT bestselling book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know (, and host of TED's Work Life podcast ( says we ignore this "meh" feeling at our peril and explains how he fought back against languishing...with a game of Mario Kart. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
If you've done something wrong, feelings of guilt can prompt us to apologise, make amends and change our ways. But many of us also feel guilty with little cause. We may think we're bad parents, lazy or incompetent workers, or unreliable partners - all without much evidence that we've done anything wrong.Life coach Valorie Burton (author of Let Go Of The Guilt: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Take Back Your Joy) felt guilty for combining her career with raising a family - until she started examining the values and assumptions that underpinned these draining feelings. She shares the strategies she developed to separate 'true' guilt from 'false' guilt with Dr Laurie Santos. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
We react to sadness in a variety of unhelpful ways. We try to suppress it. We experience guilt over it and apologise to the people around us for feeling it. We assume it means we've failed. We even fear it.But sadness will touch us all - and to be happier and more resilient we need to accept the emotion and work with it to make our lives better. Journalist Helen Russell (author of How to be Sad: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad Better.) joins Dr Laurie Santos to explain why our view of sadness needs to be rehabilitated.You can purchase her book, How To Be Sad at - - and follow her @MsHelenRussell on social media platforms.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
How to be Angry Better

How to be Angry Better


Anger is a powerful signal that you or someone you value is in danger. But in our normal lives the sensations of rage we experience are false alarms - we aren't in real peril and we don't need to resort to extreme survival behaviors, such as violence.Therapist Faith Harper (author of Unfuck Your Anger) explains why our bodies evolved this anger response, and how we can ride out the initial wave of rage and reduce the negative effects of anger on us and our relationships. She also shows that anger has its place in pushing us to find constructive ways to challenge bad things in the world around us.WARNING: This episode contains some strong language.You can find Faith's books at the link below. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
Many of the most painful or troubling emotions we experience are reactions to events that have actually happened - but one powerful and sometimes paralyzing feeling can be provoked by things as yet to occur. Say hello to anxiety.Psychotherapist and meditation teacher Andrea Wachter spent much of her life being stalked by the physical and mental manifestations of anxiety - the brain fog and the pit of the stomach dread of something bad looming on the horizon. She's amassed a wealth of strategies to overcome the thoughts and sensations that make up anxiety and she explains them to Dr Laurie Santos.You can try her meditations and courses on, and for her books and blogs can be found at Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
The Paradox of Grief

The Paradox of Grief


Most of us don't like to think about death - and when we experience a bereavement we're often not prepared for the pain or willing to confront all the feelings grief can bring. Psychotherapist Julia Samuel says the paradox of grief is that we need to let it rage through us with its full force if we are to process it effectively.Julia is the author of two bestselling books about grief: Grief Works, and This Too Shall Pass, and has created She has helped bereaved people for more than 30 years and experienced the personal pain of loss - especially following the shocking death of her close friend Princess Diana. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee for privacy information.
Comments (185)

Dave Taheri

great episode, made me change my thoughts about some of things i do💭👌

Jul 29th

nahid daneshvar

Normally I don't leave comments on podcasts or anywhere. But I must confess that waiting for the new episodes is killing me🤣🤣🤣. I am just so addicted to this show that I check it time to time to make sure that I didn't miss the notification of the new episod. So please fasten the process cause there are fans out there waiting too long to hear their favorite podcast show. By the way thanks a lot for making this awesome show! it helped me out to know more about myself as a human.

Jul 6th

Andrew H.

The idea of personifying the fixed mindset made me think of the Pixar movie Luca. "Silenzio Bruno" The kids give a nickname to the negative voice in their head, and use that tagline to confront negative self talk.

May 4th

Galina Ursachii

This is my favorite episode so far. Wow! So much to think about. The beginning of this really reminded me of the Unbreakable. M Night was onto something with his superheroes and antiheroes idea. If we could increase our amygdala as adults, I wonder if that would also hold true for psychopaths. Imagine having a cure or a treatment for that! I wish we could know more about those selfless donors and what other kind of life choices they made that set them apart. What kind of childhood did they have? What kind of life factors might have contributed to them being how they are? So fascinating! We need a whole podcast on Psychopaths and Superheroes. Imagine how much we could learn if we explored those groups closely even more.

Mar 19th

Mariann Davis Maene

what do you do when your sadness extends over a long period of time (I'm going through a divorce) and you've tired out your friends and Whirpool man?

Feb 26th

Mitra Aghadadashfam

learning how to say No is really helpful

Feb 25th

Ricardo da Cruz de Carvalho

Talk about hitting the spot... 😔

Feb 22nd

yalda hashemi

is script of your podcasts available anywhere?

Feb 2nd

Lavender Pixie

Extremely helpful! 😊

Jan 19th

N Yangzom

Thank you for this episode. It was so helpful for me

Jan 19th

David Yang

Why make up new terms all the time when what you really mean is mindfulness...

Jan 12th
Reply (1)

Heidi Adams

What would you do in the situation where children, even very young children, are not intrinsically motivated to learn?

Nov 22nd

Torrance Damgaard

Definitely not what I want when I listen to happiness lab. Like what even is this?

Oct 27th


this entire podcast has been super helpful for my mental health this year. loves these last two episodes about integrating more fun into your life

Oct 22nd

Mary Mary

enjoy the extra fun this week! :)

Oct 9th

Ilene Toth

This has been one of the best podcast subjects I have heard in a long time. It has me thinking how I can bring FUN back into my life because I also thought I was too old to have fun. #fun #nevertooold #tomatoplant

Sep 30th

Reyhaneh mojoodi


Aug 30th

Mary Mary

loved this episode :) Rob is amazing

Aug 17th


Excellent episode. All work is important. It's finding what we bring to it or get out of it that's the most important thing😊

Aug 7th

Maximilian Quellmalz


Jul 4th
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