The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

www.pushkin.fm
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


The Happiness Lab Presents: Brave New Planet
Oct 12 • 4 min
Introducing Brave New Planet, a seven-part series that delves deep into the powerful technologies changing our world. These technologies have amazing potential upsides, but if we’re not careful, some might leave us a lot worse off. Brave New Planet is…
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: The Buddha
Oct 5 • 29 min
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…
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Epictetus
Sep 28 • 29 min
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…
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Plato
Sep 21 • 28 min
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…
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Aristotle
Sep 14 • 29 min
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…
The Happiness Lab Presents: Revisionist History
Aug 10 • 39 min
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…
The Happiness Lab Presents: The Chronicles of Now
Jul 9 • 19 min
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…
How to Be a Better Ally
Jun 29 • 42 min
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…
The War For Kindness
Jun 22 • 40 min
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…
Demonic Possessions
Jun 15 • 28 min
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…
How to Kick Bad Habits (and Start Good Ones)
Jun 8 • 37 min
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…
Dial D for Distracted
Jun 1 • 34 min
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.…
For Whom the Alarm Clock Tolls
May 25 • 39 min
‘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,…
Working Your Way to Happiness
May 18 • 39 min
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…
The Power of a Made-up Ritual
May 11 • 34 min
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…
PJ and Alex Love to Gripe
May 4 • 35 min
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…
Psychopaths and Superheroes
Apr 27 • 34 min
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.…
New Season: The Happiness Lab Returns April 27
Apr 23 • 1 min
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…
BONUS: Good Screens and Bad Screens
Apr 20 • 26 min
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…
BONUS: Helping the Helpers
Apr 16 • 42 min
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…
BONUS: Laurie’s Personal Tips
Apr 9 • 39 min
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.…
The Happiness Lab Presents: Checking In with Susan David
Apr 6 • 13 min
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…
BONUS: Keep Your Relationship Healthy
Apr 2 • 29 min
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…
BONUS: Help Others to Help Yourself
Mar 30 • 31 min
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…
BONUS: Calm Can Be Contagious
Mar 26 • 41 min
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…
BONUS: Rising to a Challenge
Mar 23 • 29 min
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…
BONUS: Coach Yourself Through a Crisis
Mar 19 • 29 min
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…
BONUS: Beat Your Isolation Loneliness
Mar 16 • 23 min
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…
BONUS: Sleep When You’re Dead Tired (LIVE with Arianna Huffington)
Jan 27 • 30 min
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…
BONUS: Think Yourself Happy (LIVE from Yale)
Jan 20 • 32 min
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…
BONUS: Grateful Expectations
Jan 13 • 27 min
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 -…
BONUS: A New Hope
Jan 6 • 23 min
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…
The Happiness Lab Presents: How To! with Charles Duhigg
Dec 20, 2019 • 32 min
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…
BONUS: A Happier Christmas
Dec 16, 2019 • 9 min
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:…
Making the Grade
Nov 19, 2019 • 37 min
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…
Make ‘Em Laugh
Nov 15, 2019 • 38 min
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?…
Choice Overload
Nov 5, 2019 • 35 min
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…
Don’t Accentuate the Positive
Oct 29, 2019 • 42 min
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…
Don’t Think of the White Bear
Oct 22, 2019 • 42 min
Once a thought is in our heads, we can’t suppress it and trying to only causes us misery. Dr Laurie Santos explains why our brains work in this way and hears from real people who have confronted and overcome disruptive thoughts and bad memories and found…
Caring What You’re Sharing
Oct 15, 2019 • 42 min
Sharing a good experience with another human deepens our enjoyment of the moment… but only if we abide by certain rules. Dr Laurie Santos shows us how we often get ‘sharing’ wrong and explains how we can all derive more happiness from ice cream, sunsets…
Mistakenly Seeking Solitude
Oct 8, 2019 • 38 min
Technology allows us to bank, shop and dine without talking to another human, but what toll is this taking on our happiness? The inventor of the ATM and the Talking Heads singer David Byrne join Dr Laurie Santos to explore the ways in which talking to…
A Silver Lining
Oct 1, 2019 • 46 min
Ice skater Michelle Kwan was all set to win Olympic Gold… but in a major sporting upset she came second. Sharing her story with Dr Laurie Santos, Michelle lets us in on a key secret to achieving happiness when you’re tempted to feel like a loser. For an…
The Unhappy Millionaire
Sep 24, 2019 • 41 min
How can winning the lottery ruin your life - while contracting an incurable disease feel like ‘a gift’? Dr Laurie Santos hears about dreams come true and nightmares realised; and talks with Dr Dan Gilbert about why human happiness isn’t defined by these…
You Can Change
Sep 13, 2019 • 42 min
You can make yourself happier today. Your life circumstances and personality aren’t nearly as important as you think in deciding how happy you can be. Dr Laurie Santos explains how understanding the latest science will point you in the right direction and…
Coming Soon: The Happiness Lab Season One
Aug 27, 2019 • 3 min
Do you want to be happier? 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 the Ivy League psychology course she teaches, Laurie will take you…
Introducing: The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
Jul 24, 2019 • 1 min
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