The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

Pushkin Industries
Society & Culture
59 episodes
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. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.
  • Dr Maya Shankar studies how our minds work and how we change. She joins Dr Laurie Santos to discuss how her own life plans were derailed at 15 and the journey that finally brought her to start a new podcast, A Slight Change of Plans. The show brings you intimate conversations about how people naviga...
    Play26m 22s
  • Hidden Brain is a weekly podcast hosted by Shankar Vedantam. It's a show about science and human behaviour we think you'll enjoy. Dr Laurie Santos was a guest on the show - so we thought you'd appreciate a chance to hear her tell Shankar all about her research work on monkeys and what they tells us...
    Play54m 29s
  • The challenges of life often cause us to work frantically to overcome our difficulties - but the Chinese thinker Lao Tzu recommended that instead we should emulate the slow, steady, yet powerful flow of a river. Solala Towler has studied and taught the principles of Daoism for more than 30 years - a...
    Play36m 35s
  • The Covid pandemic has robbed us of many rituals and ceremonies we took for granted - from simple handshakes to elaborate graduation ceremonies. Their loss is important - rituals contribute to our happiness in so many ways. Something the ancient Chinese teacher Confucius contemplated deeply. Harvard...
    Play36m 52s
  • Miroslav Volf teaches at Yale Divinity School - and is celebrated for his work on reconciliation and forgiveness. But book learning alone does not explain this focus. Miroslav’s brother was killed in a childhood accident, and the Volf family’s journey through misery and hatred finally ended in a pow...
    Play32m 49s
  • Sarah Hurwitz worked 24/7 at Harvard, and barely took time off as she built a career in DC writing speeches for first Hillary Clinton and then Michelle Obama. Sarah would even take her cell phone into the shower. But as she explored the teachings of Judaism, she began to appreciate the vital importa...
    Play35m 53s
  • Sarah Hurwitz grew up thinking there was little the great texts of Judaism could teach her - she even hatched a plot to get out of Hebrew school. But in adulthood she discovered that The Torah contains instructions to act with gratitude, kindness and solidarity that all chime with the latest happine...
    Play31m 17s
  • Double Date is a new podcast with Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. The pair have been blissfully married for more than 40 years, and wanted to explore what makes some relationships work with couples from President and Former First Lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter; to Sting and Trudie Styler; and Neil Pa...
    Play53m 29s
  • Moving more is great for your happiness - but many of us decide to exercise because we're unhappy with our bodies and long to change them. What should be fun and life-enhancing often becomes saturated with self-loathing. Jessamyn Stanley identified as a "fat and awkward weirdo", who shied away from...
    Play34m 40s
  • Diets and "healthy" eating fads are a January fixture - but few of us stick to these harsh regimes. And when the dieting ends, we often go back to the "bad" foods we craved during our fasting. Psychotherapist Andrea Wachter says this dieting "roller coaster" makes our minds obsess over food and caus...
    Play38m 15s
  • Psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach felt too stressed and busy to spend time with her elderly mother - until she had a lightning moment of realisation. Why couldn't she enjoy living in the moment with her beloved parent? What fears and insecurities were preventing her from devoting time t...
    Play35m 34s
  • We often start a new year hoping to make big changes in how we look, feel or act. This can involve a lot of self-criticism and adopting things like tough diets and brutal exercise regimes. But being hard on ourselves doesn't deliver results. Dr Laurie Santos examines why being a nasty drill sergeant...
    Play38m 25s
  • A lot of the festive events and traditions we look forward to each year will be very different in 2020. Gatherings might be smaller than we'd like... or cancelled altogether. Family tensions might be heightened too. But Dr Laurie Santos has gathered a group of top happiness experts to share their ti...
    Play43m 51s
  • Exchanging holiday gifts is supposed to be joyful... but for many of us it is a source of stress, anxiety and hurt feelings. To transform the way you think about the act of giving and receiving presents, Dr Laurie Santos has gathered together the top experts in the field of happiness to share their...
    Play33m 27s
  • Elections can make us feel anxious, angry and mistrustful - emotions that are all detrimental to our happiness. Dr Laurie Santos talks to Niala Boodhoo from the news podcast Axios Today about the simple steps we can take to increase our wellbeing during stressful and uncertain times. Check out Axios...
    Play17m 32s
  • The Buddha was born to a royal family... and it shocked him when he found out that no amount of money or power could keep suffering and loss at bay forever. The quest to accept that life brings us pain was key to the development of Buddhism as a major religion. Dr Laurie Santos is joined by Liz Ango...
    Play32m 17s
  • Epictetus was born into slavery and beaten until he was lame... but he became one of Ancient Rome's greatest thinkers by accepting every setback as an opportunity to learn and grow. Philosophy professor Bill Irvine joins Dr Laurie Santos to delve into Stoicism - an ancient school of thought which ur...
    Play32m 8s
  • 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...
    Play30m 42s
  • 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...
    Play31m 46s
  • 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-examine...
    Play44m 53s
  • 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...
    Play42m 28s
  • 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...
    Play40m 22s
  • 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 l...
    Play30m 38s
  • 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...
    Play37m 35s
  • 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 ph...
    Play35m 18s
  • '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 wande...
    Play39m 37s
  • 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 sa...
    Play39m 44s
  • 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...
    Play34m 52s
  • 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 sh...
    Play35m 0s
  • 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....
    Play34m 56s
  • 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 cour...
    Play1m 7s
  • 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 ou...
    Play26m 24s
  • 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...
    Play42m 15s
  • 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 yo...
    Play39m 13s
  • 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 under...
    Play13m 38s
  • 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 Mar...
    Play29m 17s
  • College student Liam Elkind studied happiness in the class taught by Dr Laurie Santos. When the Covid 19 crisis hit, he knew exactly what to do to fight the negative emotions this pandemic arouses in us all - he helped set up a volunteer group called Invisible Hands to support vulnerable neighbors....
    Play32m 1s
  • In normal times our minds can be filled with unhelpful thoughts, but during this crisis you might be finding it even harder to calm your anxious internal monologue. Meditation could be helpful. Dan Harris (host of the Ten Percent Happier podcast) had a panic attack while reading the news live on ABC...
    Play42m 6s
  • We always face problems and setbacks - but the coronavirus has dramatically upended many of our lives in a few short weeks. Allowing sadness, anger or fear to dominate us does little to help. We should instead learn from the Greek Stoics - philosophers who embraced challenges with humor, grace and p...
    Play29m 21s
  • We all need to keep a clear head at times of crisis - but that's not always easy. So when strong emotions of fear and anxiety start to cloud your judgement, turn to an effective and reassuring voice of reason... you. Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory gives...
    Play29m 16s
  • Many of us are being advised to stay at home and avoid social contact to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Human interaction is a vital component of happiness, so Dr Laurie Santos asks Stanford's Professor Jamil Zaki to explain his research into how we can maintain meaningful links to our lov...
    Play24m 56s
  • Business leader Arianna Huffington nearly died because she didn't get enough sleep. She tells Dr Laurie Santos how this wake-up call changed her attitude to getting enough sack time and shares tips on how we can all prepare ourselves mentally and physically to enjoy the amount of sleep that is vital...
    Play30m 51s
  • Really concentrating on the emotions and physical sensations you are experiencing right now can make you happier. Join Yale mindfulness expert Dr Hedy Kober as she introduces a live audience to guided meditation. She shares her tips on being mindful with Dr Laurie Santos and explains the new scienti...
    Play32m 58s
  • Grit and determination to change your habits can only get you so far... if you want to be happier you have to stop and think about how nice people have been to you and how nice you can be to them in return. This circle of gratitude - the science suggests - will also make you a better friend to one o...
    Play30m 5s
  • Research shows we all look for moments to make a fresh start - new years, new seasons, new decades. Our optimism about making big, positive changes is strong, but it fades quickly. As we enter 2020, Dr Laurie Santos asks Wharton's Katy Milkman about the science behind the "fresh start' effect and ex...
    Play25m 44s
  • In this special episode of Happiness Lab, we feature an episode of the podcast How To! with Charles Duhigg. Mike’s dream job of playing bass in a Chicago orchestra is within reach — if only he can conquer his nerves and master the audition. Duhigg brings in Dr. Don Greene, a peak performance psychol...
    Play33m 31s
  • Accept our gift of happiness this holiday season! It can be a hectic and stressful time of year... but it's also full of opportunities to feel happier. Dr Laurie Santos brings you science-based tips so you can have yourself a merry little Christmas. AlSO: The Happiness Lab returns with four special...
    Play9m 49s
  • From school grades to fitness trackers, we're all being ranked and rated on a daily basis. This is having a huge impact on our happiness and preventing us from living our lives to the fullest. Can giving up on grades radically improve our wellbeing? For an even deeper dive into the research we talk...
    Play38m 30s
  • The world's greatest expert on canned TV laugh tracks helps Dr Laurie Santos demonstrate how the emotions of those around us can make us feel happier or more sad. If happiness is so contagious... can we do more to bring joy to ourselves and our loved ones? For an even deeper dive into the research w...
    Play39m 49s
  • We all make thousands of choices each day - and think it means we're in charge of our lives. But making even trivial decisions - about salad dressings, for example - can sap our energy and cause anxiety. Dr Laurie Santos examines why our society wrongly prioritises choice over happiness, and meets a...
    Play40m 12s
  • We often think positive thinking is the best way to achieve our ambitions - but the science shows it holds us all back. Dr Laurie Santos hears how champion swimmer Michael Phelps imagined the worst to help make his Olympic dreams come true. It's a mental habit that you can learn too. For an even dee...
    Play46m 31s