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The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness

Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Hosted by award-winning professor Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRX and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.


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Healing Through Gratitude

A stranger helped her through the hardest day of her life. When she expresses her gratitude, our guest encounters the power of true connection.

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How to Talk with Strangers

The way we interact with people who come in and out of our lives has changed since COVID-19. Our guest tries a practice to connect with strangers while keeping a social distance.

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Happy Again: How to Connect When You Must Stay Apart (Encore)

Are you unable to be with your friends and family during the holiday season this year? These 36 questions can bring you closer to loved ones, even if you're separated.

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Are You Listening to Your Elders?

Connecting across generations is one of the oldest happiness practices there is. We explore why to honor your elders, along with other practices from indigenous cultures often overlooked by Western science.

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How to Make Better Decisions

Can practicing mindfulness make us wiser? Judge Jeremy Fogel explores how being present in the moment helps him keep a clear mind and stay connected to his true values.

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How to Give Up a Grudge

What does it really take to forgive someone? And why should we do it? Our guest, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, tries a practice to let go of anger.

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Why Voting Connects Us

Why do we vote? We explore the science behind what drives us to the polls, and the benefits we reap for ourselves and communities when we cast our ballots.

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How to Ride With the Pain

It's easy to be anxious and uncertain about the future?especially if you're eight months pregnant. Our guest tries practices to help her deal with whatever life throws her way.

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If You Want to Be More Productive, Cut Yourself Some Slack

Feeling hard on yourself? Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp learns to quiet his inner critic and tap into his highest potential.

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A Cure for Loneliness

Feeling lonely? Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy learns why focusing on the quality of our relationships, not the quantity, can be an antidote. 

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24 Hours of Kindness

Why should you be nice? Our guest explores how small, daily acts of kindness can produce meaningful life changes.

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How to Switch Off Your Critics

Do you obsess over negative feedback? Shereen Marisol Meraji, of NPR?s Code Switch, tries a better way to cope.

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How to Reconnect with Your Partner

A couple try a practice to bring more excitement and passion into their relationship, even while sheltering-in-place.

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Do You Want to Be More Patient?

We can be at our worst with the people we love best. Our guests try ways to be more calm and present with those closest to them.

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How to Love People You Don't Like

Our guest tries a practice to help her feel compassion toward others ? even those she disagrees with.

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What's Your "Why" in Life?

Adrian Michael Green asks big questions designed to help teens ? and adults ? find more meaning and purpose in their lives.

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From Othering to Belonging

We speak with john a. powell, director of the Othering & Belonging Institute, about racial justice, well-being, and widening our circles of human connection and concern.

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Taking Small Steps Toward Big Goals

When our world is turned upside down, how do we keep moving forward? Our guest, award-winning author Christine Day, sets a new path for herself.

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How to Connect When You Must Stay Apart

Do you want to be famous? What's a favorite memory? These 36 questions can bring you closer to loved ones, even if you're separated.

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Give Yourself a Break

Want to calm your inner critic? Our guest tries a practice to find more self-compassion during uncertain times.

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Helping Kids Think About the Good

Sheltering-at-home with kids? These questions can help them, and us, focus on the good things in life.

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Remembering to Breathe

How a doctor stays calm and centered during times of uncertainty, one breath at a time.

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Staying Close While Physical Distancing

Our guest tries a practice to feel more connected to loved ones, and herself, while sheltering at home.

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Who Would You Be Without Them?

Think of an important person in your life. Now imagine you never met. Our guest practices counting his blessings by picturing his life without a special person from his past.

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Step Away from Anxiety

Do you have a hard time calming your nerves? Author Raina Telgemeier tries a practice to get out of her head, one step at a time.

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Who Is Your Rock?

He survived the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, two years ago and has been a student mental health advocate ever since. Now Kai Koerber finds a way to thank the person who helped him find his voice.

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What Does It Take To Really Listen To Someone?

Are you actually listening when someone is talking to you, or just waiting for your turn to talk? Our guest, a veteran of the Iraq War, practices how to truly listen to others.

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Why Shared Goals Can Bridge Divides

How can people from different groups get on the same page? Our guest, an educator and football coach, tries a strategy for building stronger, more inclusive teams.

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How To Make Time for Happiness

Her New Year's resolution was to have more joyful and fulfilling experiences in her daily life. Our guest tried a practice to help make that happen.

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How To Get Your Senses Tingling

There are millions of YouTube channels with people crinkling bubble wrap or whispering about folding laundry. Our guests talks about why autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) makes her, and many others, feel more calm and happy.

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How To Be Less Hard on Yourself

Do you beat yourself up over every mistake? A high school senior tries to be kinder to himself during an especially stressful time.

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Happy Again: How to Notice What You're Thankful For (Encore)

Comedian Maz Jobrani tries to be more thankful for the good things in his life by writing them down ? and encourages his kids to do the same.

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Can You Find Wonder in the Ordinary?

When was the last time you felt connected to something bigger than yourself? Award-winning cellist Yumi Kendall looks, and listens, for moments of awe.

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How To Get Your Priorities Straight

It's easy to lose sight of what matters most. Our guest finds a way to reconnect with her values during stressful times.

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Does Your Doctor Listen to You?

Doctors are often trained to be emotionally detached. But our guest finds greater meaning in his work as a physician when he tries to connect more deeply with his patients, co-workers, and family.

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Finding Beauty in the Everyday

A tree next to a bus stop, a flower poking through the sidewalk. Our guest, a veteran of the Iraq War, discovers how awe and wonder can be found anywhere ?  if you just pay attention.

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How to Find Your Silver Linings

Do you fixate on what's going wrong in your life? Poet and "recovering pessimist" Maggie Smith practices looking on the bright side.

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Can Margaret Cho Get Any Better?

She's one of the most accomplished comedians of her generation. But Margaret Cho wants to find a different kind of happiness.

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Can You Humanize a Zombie?

Should we try to find common ground with the villains in our lives? Comedian Zahra Noorbahksh tries to understand a "zombie" from her past.

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Making Kindness Contagious

We gave our Happiness Guinea Pig a mission: Do five random acts of kindness in one day.

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Facing Your Fears

Heights. Public speaking. Death. Our Happiness Guinea Pig explains how she overcomes her fears, one small step at a time.

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How Michael Lewis Finds the Funny

How can you unearth humor in everyday life? Best-selling author Michael Lewis goes looking for laughs.

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How to Keep Love Alive

After more than a decade together, our Happiness Guinea Pig tries to bring the spark back into her marriage.

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Who Makes You Feel Connected?

Our Happiness Guinea Pig, the creator of Cartoon Network's We Bare Bears, finds a way to feel close to a loved one he recently lost.

Try this week?s happiness practice: Feeling Connected

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A Better Way to Talk to Yourself

Her husband has been in prison for 23 years. Our Happiness Guinea Pig tries a new approach to stay strong while working to get him released.

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What to Do When You Feel Like a Failure

The loss of a job, the pain of a breakup -- it's easy to get down on ourselves when things aren't going well. Find out how our Happiness Guinea Pig tuned down the self-critic in her head.

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Delight in the Unexpected

A high-five from a stranger, a hummingbird on a busy city street. Poet Ross Gay shares his own happiness practice: savoring the everyday delights in life.

~ Try one of UC Berkeley's Greater Good in Action happiness practices.

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How To Let Go of Anger

Are you still mad at someone who hurt you in the past? That can eat away at your health and well-being. Our Happiness Guinea Pig tries a new approach to giving up a grudge.

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What Are Your Strongest Reminders of Connection?

What kinds of objects, images, and words surround your home or office? Our Happiness Guinea Pig surveys her apartment for items that spark connection and kindness.

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Do You Know How to Eat a Raisin?

Do you have trouble slowing down enough to actually enjoy your life? Our Happiness Guinea Pig, comedian and radio host Luke Burbank, finds a way to break free from his over-scheduled lifestyle. 

Try this week?s happiness practice: Raisin Meditation

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