The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

Pushkin Industries

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.

  • 37 minutes 16 seconds
    How to Tame Stress

    Dr Laurie is stressed, and it's harming her health. Constant worry and stress is bad for our bodies and our minds, but how can we break the cycle and relax? It turns out scientists have learned a lot from one of America's most stressed-out communities - caregivers.  

    Hollywood star Steve Guttenberg talks about the toughest chapter of his life - caring for his dying dad - and Dr Elissa Epel explains why some caregivers suffer badly from stress, while others seem to find ways to live with the awful situation they find themselves in daily.  

    Further reading:

    Steve Guttenberg - Time to Thank: Caregiving for My Hero.

    Dr Elissa Epel - The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease

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    17 June 2024, 4:01 am
  • 25 minutes 30 seconds
    How I Stopped Fearing Boredom

    Dr Laurie HATES boredom! Since childhood she's found it so painful that she'll do anything to avoid being bored. She'll watch crappy TV. She'll find extra work to do. She'll snack. But boredom is actually an incredibly useful tool to boost our happiness and creativity.  

    With the help of leading boredom experts, Dr Laurie learns how to embrace doing nothing and finds that in the midst of tedium our brains can come up with the most amazing breakthrough ideas. 

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    10 June 2024, 4:01 am
  • 29 minutes 43 seconds
    How to Fight Perfectionism

    Holding yourself to impossibly high standards is self-defeating and makes for a miserable life. Can Dr Laurie Santos find ways to tackle her constant perfectionism so she can perform better and have more fun? 

    She hears from researcher Thomas Curran about a worrying growth in perfectionism in society, and asks "recovering perfectionist" Jordana Confino how to tackle the nagging voice in your head telling you to always push yourself and work harder.  

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    3 June 2024, 4:01 am
  • 1 minute 53 seconds
    My Personal Struggle to be Happy (Coming June 3)

    Sometimes the happiness teacher flunks her own class. In a deeply personal new season, Dr Laurie Santos opens up about the things she really, really struggles with. Things like crippling perfectionism, chronic stress and a paralyzing fear of death. 

    With the help of world-class experts, a Hollywood star and a host of normal people who grapple with the same issues, Dr Laurie will face up to her own happiness demons and try to defeat them. 

    Coming June 3, wherever you get your podcasts. 

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    27 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 53 minutes 14 seconds
    Happiness Through Generosity : Liz Dunn on The TED Interview

    Liz Dunn is a regular guest on The Happiness Lab, but in this extended interview with TED's Chris Anderson she take us on a deep dive into her research. It shows that by increasing our generosity and by giving to others we can significantly boost our own happiness. 

    Listen to more episodes of The TED Interview wherever you get your podcasts.  

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    20 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 42 minutes 28 seconds
    Unlock Your Hidden Potential with Adam Grant and Maya Shankar

    A chance to hear a recent episode of A Slight Change of Plans in which Maya Shankar asks psychologist Adam Grant about his new book "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things". They talk about how to filter out unhelpful feedback, the benefits of imperfectionism, and why we need to give soft skills more respect. 

    Listen to more episodes of A Slight Change of Plans  wherever you get your podcasts. 

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    13 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 56 minutes 12 seconds
    Five Tips to be Happier at Work (Dr Laurie at SXSW)

    Work is a worry. Are we paid enough? Should we be getting promoted quicker? Is artificial intelligence about to replace us all? 

    Speaking at SXSW 2024, Dr Laurie Santos argues that because of all our career woes we often neglect our happiness. She walks through her top five tips for improving our workplace wellbeing - which will not only make us feel better, but might even cause our salaries to rise!  

    Suggested reading from this episode:

    Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN by Tara Brach

    Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout by Cal Newport

    Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

    The Truth About Burnout: How Organizations Cause Personal Stress and What to Do About It by Christina Maslach

    The Business of Friendship by Shasta Nelson

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    6 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 39 minutes 24 seconds
    Tame Those Devices: 10 Tips to Achieve Digital Balance

    Technology is amazing! We can make video calls, find facts in an instant and watch movies on our phones. We take all this for granted, but have we let our screens and devices take over too much of our lives? 

    To mark Digital Wellness Day on May 3, we hear from Amy Blankson (author and "chief evangelist" at the Digital Wellness Institute) about her ten tips to tame our devices at home and in the workplace. 

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    29 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 40 minutes 42 seconds
    How to Grow After Adversity

    Karen Guggenheim was devastated by the death of her husband, Ricardo. She was alive, but dead to the world around her. Slowly she put her life back together and found growing happiness. To share her insights with others in need, Karen started the World Happiness Summit

    Karen's campaign to spread global happiness is just one example of "post traumatic growth". Clinical psychologist Dr Edith Shiro (author of The Unexpected Gift of Trauma) has worked with many people who have recovered from trauma and grown as a result. She explains how we can give ourselves the best possible chance to experience post traumatic growth.

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    22 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 52 minutes
    Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day - with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

    Medical doctors are waking up to the importance of happiness, partly prompted by the work of people like Rangan Chatterjee. Dr Chatterjee is Professor of Health Education and Communication, the host of the hit podcast 'Feel Better, Live More' and author of five best-selling books including Happy Mind, Happy Life: 10 Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day.

    Rangan sat down with Dr Laurie Santos at the 2024 World Happiness Summit to discuss his life and work - and explain why physicians like him are joining the fight to make happiness a health priority.

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    15 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 37 minutes 25 seconds
    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.

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    8 April 2024, 4:01 am
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