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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

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

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Episodes

How to Be a Better Ally

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 match our moral beliefs with concrete actions. Featuring James Barr and Dan Hudson, co-hosts of the podcast 'A Gay and a Non-Gay'. WARNING: This episode talks frankly about discrimination, hate crimes and sex. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-06-29
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The War For Kindness

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 how we can fight hatred with empathy, kindness and difficult conversations. (Deep canvassing clips courtesy of The Leadership Lab https://leadership-lab.org/ at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.) For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-06-22
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Demonic Possessions

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 like concerts, vacations and dining out can give us a long-term happiness boost that buying things just can't match. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-06-15
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How to Kick Bad Habits (and Start Good Ones)

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 meets a scientist who sleeps in her running gear and a former army doctor who went to Vietnam to fight a wave of heroin abuse in the military and discovered something startling about habits. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-06-08
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Dial D for Distracted

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 phone nearby can reduce how happy you feel. Laurie chats with Catherine Price, a science journalist, founder of ScreenLifeBalance.com and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm or visit screenlifebalance.com, the website for guest Catherine Price. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-06-01
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For Whom the Alarm Clock Tolls

'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 wander around, think, chat with friends and even take naps. He argues that 'idling' is vital to leading a happy, creative and productive existence. Is he right? And if so, what can we all do to break free from the tyranny of time? For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-05-25
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Working Your Way to Happiness

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 satisfaction and hears from Professor Amy Wrzesniewski about "job crafting" - the reframing skill that happy people like Marty use to see their careers as more than just a way to make money. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-05-18
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The Power of a Made-up Ritual

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 examines the science behind this effect and explains how rites, ceremonies and rituals could help you deal with events that make you sad - from job rejections to divorce. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-05-11
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PJ and Alex Love to Gripe

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 should gripe less if they want to be happier, and sets them a task to say something nice. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-05-04
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Psychopaths and Superheroes

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. A super altruist once saved the life of psychology professor Abigail Marsh - so she devoted her career to understanding what drives these amazing and happy people and how we call all learn to be more like them. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-27
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New Season: The Happiness Lab Returns April 27

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 course, Laurie returns with a new season of shows that will change the way you think about becoming happier. The Happiness Lab from Pushkin Industries returns April 27. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-23
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BONUS: Good Screens and Bad Screens

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 our new screen habits improve our lockdown lives rather than exacerbate our problems and anxieties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-20
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BONUS: Helping the Helpers

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 small ways they can make their daily lives a little easier to bear. So we asked cardiologist and wellbeing expert Dr Michael Rocha to explain the ways he's preparing for shifts on a Covid ward. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-16
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BONUS: Laurie's Personal Tips

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 you so you can hear Laurie on the other side of the microphone for a change. (Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. Dr Laurie Santos and The Happiness Lab are not affiliated with Schwab and the views expressed may not necessarily reflect those of The Charles Schwab Corporation or its affiliates.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-09
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The Happiness Lab Presents: Checking In with Susan David

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 understanding voice during a time of great uncertainty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-06
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BONUS: Keep Your Relationship Healthy

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 Marriage) says there are ways to weather the crisis without destroying your partnership - and there might even be opportunities to hit the reset button and address problems that in normal times you just let slide. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-04-02
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BONUS: Help Others to Help Yourself

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. Compassion expert David DeSteno explains why helping others can improve our own wellbeing while protecting us from emotional burnout. And with a guided meditation Dr Santos shows that compassion is thing we can nurture and develop. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-30
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BONUS: Calm Can Be Contagious

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 - and found that meditating brought him a calm he'd never previously known. He tells Dr Laurie Santos how we can all use simple meditations to help us and our families during the pandemic. The show includes a guided meditation from Dr Santos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-26
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BONUS: Rising to a Challenge

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 perspective. Bill Irvine (author of The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient) explains some simple ways that you can train yourself to reduce negative emotions and put on your "game face" when you find obstacles in your path. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-23
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BONUS: Coach Yourself Through a Crisis

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 us concrete strategies on how to coach yourself so you can approach upsetting problems in a calmer and more reasoned way. If you have a question you want answered on a future coronavirus bonus episode then tweet @lauriesantos or @pushkinpods using #happinesslabpod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-19
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BONUS: Beat Your Isolation Loneliness

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 loved ones, friends and colleagues even if we can't be in the same room with them. If you have a question you want answered on a future coronavirus bonus episode then tweet @lauriesantos or @pushkinpods using #happinesslabpod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-16
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BONUS: Sleep When You're Dead Tired (LIVE with Arianna Huffington)

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 for us to be healthy, happy and effect in our waking hours. Recorded in front of a live audience at The Wing in New York's SoHo. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-27
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BONUS: Think Yourself Happy (LIVE from Yale)

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 scientific research that shows the benefits of this ancient practice. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-20
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BONUS: Grateful Expectations

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 of the most important people in your life... your future self. Dr Laurie Santos investigates this effect with Northeastern University's Prof David DeSteno - author of Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion and Pride. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-13
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BONUS: A New Hope

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 examines ways we can maintain our new habits beyond January. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-06
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The Happiness Lab Presents: How To! with Charles Duhigg

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 psychologist who?s worked with Wall Street traders and Olympic athletes, to see if he can help Mike perform his best under the spotlight. The secret? Jumping jacks, extra sleep, and watching reruns of The Office. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-20
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BONUS: A Happier Christmas

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 New Year shows to take you into 2020 - beginning 6 Jan. To sign up to our newsletter visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-16
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Making the Grade

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 about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-19
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Make 'Em Laugh

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 we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-15
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Choice Overload

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 woman who junked her wardrobe in a bid to improve her life. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-05
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Don't Accentuate the Positive

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 deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-29
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Don't Think of the White Bear

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 happiness in the process.  For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-22
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Caring What You're Sharing

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 and a night in front of the TV. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-15
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Mistakenly Seeking Solitude

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 strangers can bring us all genuine joy.   For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit https://www.happinesslab.fm/  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-08
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A Silver Lining

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 even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-01
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The Unhappy Millionaire

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 major events in the way we all assume. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-09-24
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You Can Change

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 make you more satisfied with your life. Are you ready to feel better? For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-09-13
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Coming Soon: The Happiness Lab Season One

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 through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about becoming happier. The Happiness Lab debuts September 17 from Pushkin Industries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-08-27
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Introducing: The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

Coming September 17 from Pushkin Industries Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-07-24
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