225 episodes

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.

The Science of Happiness PRX and Greater Good Science Center

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 59 Ratings

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.

    Happiness Break: A Meditation on Cultivating Awe Through Colors

    Happiness Break: A Meditation on Cultivating Awe Through Colors

    Experiencing awe can help us slow down and connect to the world around us. So how can we harness the power of this feeling? Host Dacher Keltner leads us in a colorful meditation to bring about awe. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3e9cyky5Practice:
    Please find a space, either inside or outside, where you can take a moment and pause and look slowly at a scene in front of you. 
    Settle into a pattern of deep breathing and ease. Really focusing on how that pattern of inhalation and exhalation relaxes your body and slows your heart rate down.
    Now cast your gaze over the space around you. Take in what you see in the scene in front of you.
    You may shift your attention to colors present in the things around you or step back and get a sense of the scene in a more holistic way.
    Notice the variations and differences in the various colors in your visual field. 
    What feelings do the colors evoke in you? 
    Now, gently close and then open your eyes and notice how you feel. 
    Today’s guests:Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.More episodes like this one:How Awe Brings Us Togetherhttps://tinyurl.com/bdhy4sj5How Music Evokes Awehttps://tinyurl.com/mpkww4j9Happiness Break: Awe for Others, With Dacherhttps://tinyurl.com/3ptwh66jFeeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, with Dacher Keltnerhttps://tinyurl.com/4r7rjaxfWe love hearing from you! Tell us what brings you feelings of awe. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusHelp us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aapRate us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus

    • 6 min
    How Birdsong Can Help Your Mental Health

    How Birdsong Can Help Your Mental Health

    Hearing birdsong can help us feel less anxious, recover from stress faster, and even reduce muscle tension ... but can it help us fall asleep? Drew Ackerman of Sleep With Me podcast listens to recordings of birdsongs to see if it'll help with insomnia.

    Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/5n7sxjtb



    Episode summary:

    Drew Ackerman, aka Scooter of Sleep With Me Podcast, has always struggled to get to sleep. Even as an anxious kid, worries would keep his mind churning as the night wore on. For our show, he tried a science-backed practice for easing stress: listening to the twitter of birds. He discovered the recordings reminded him of easeful summer afternoons, transporting him to another time and place. The research bears this out: different sounds affect us in different ways. For many, birdsong lowers our body’s stress responses. And for Drew, that helped him get a little sleepier.

    Practice:


    Listen to a recording of birdsong that appeals to you.


    Today’s guests:

    Drew Ackerman You might know Drew as his alias, “Dearest Scooter,” the host of Sleep with Me podcast. Drew struggles with bedtime worries and has a history of insomnia himself, but he’s great at helping others sleep. Sleep with Me is one of the most listened-to sleep podcasts. On each episode, “Scooter” lulls listeners off to dreamland with meandering bedtime stories intended to lose your interest.

    Listen to Sleep With Me Podcast: https://pod.link/sleep-with-me


    Follow Drew on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2p8nrhnp
    Follow Drew on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dearestscooter/
    Follow Drew on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sleepwithmepodcast/


    Emil Stobbe is a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany.

    Jesper Alvarsson is a professor of Psychology at Södertörn University in Sweden.

    Eleanor Ratcliffe is a professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey in the UK.

    More episodes like this one:

    The Science of a Good Night's Sleep (Sleep Tips, With Drew Ackerman) - https://tinyurl.com/3wrwzrxy

    Why You Should Snap Pictures of Nature (Appreciating The Outdoors, With Tejal Rao) - https://tinyurl.com/erwdvwrw

    Related Happiness Breaks (a short, guided practice by The Science of Happiness)

    Restore Through Silence, With Tricia Hersey - https://tinyurl.com/4h8ww8ub

    Feeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, With Dacher Keltner - https://tinyurl.com/43v74ryn

    Tell us what sounds relax you! You can even send us a recording, we’d love to hear it. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Help us share The Science of Happiness!

    Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    • 18 min
    Happiness Break: A Meditation on Pilina: Our Deep Interconnectedness, With Jo Qina'au

    Happiness Break: A Meditation on Pilina: Our Deep Interconnectedness, With Jo Qina'au

    Pilina is an indigenous Hawaiian word, or concept, that describes our deep interconnectedness. Harvard Clinical Psychology Fellow Jo Qina'au guides us through a contemplation of our profound interrelationships.

    Link to Episode Transcript: https://shorturl.at/npAM9

    How to Do This Practice:

    Pilina comes from the indigenous Hawaiian language and culture. Pilina means connection, or interconnectedness.


    Settle into a comfortable position and observe your breath.
    Visualize someone to whom you feel meaningfully connected and acknowledge the feeling of Pilina, or deep interconnectedness, between you two.
    Reflect on what it is that connects you, what impact that connection has had on your life, and what it may have had on theirs.
    Notice how it feels to acknowledge these things.
    Repeat steps 2-4 with as many people as you wish.


    Today’s Happiness Break host:

    Jo Qina’au is an indigenous Hawaiian meditation teacher and a Clinical Psychology Fellow at Harvard Medical School.


    Learn more about Jo’s work: https://tinyurl.com/2wfcma5f
    Follow Jo on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3v8ubn6a


    If you enjoyed this Happiness Break, you may also like these Happiness Breaks:


    5 Minutes of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, With Jo Qina’au - https://tinyurl.com/4f3fd97f
    Visualizing Your Best Self in Relationships, With Dacher Keltner - https://tinyurl.com/4dzpatx7


    Check out these episodes of The Science of Happiness about connection:


    How to Feel Less Lonely and More Connected - https://tinyurl.com/36t6urte
    When It's Hard To Connect, Try Being Curious - https://tinyurl.com/3778r4h9


    We love hearing from you! Tell us who you feel Pilina with, and what it means to you to reflect on it. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus

    Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus

    We all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.

    • 10 min
    Are You Remembering The Good Times?

    Are You Remembering The Good Times?

    Thinking about happy memories activates reward centers in our brains, and can help us feel more connected and accepted. Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye discovers the joy-bringing power of recalling her good childhood memories.

    Link to Transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2r63e6tn



    Episode summary: Whether it’s news notifications or work emails, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the stresses of our time every moment of every day. But what if there was something we could do to rekindle the greatest joys of our pasts? How might that shift how we feel in the present moment? Simply reflecting on happy memories has been shown in a lab to reduce stress, activate the reward center in our brain, and uplift our mood. This week, Palestinian-American poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye reminisces on happy memories from her youth and finds the practice soothes her and sparks joyfulness. We also hear from neuroscientist Mauricio Delgado about how the practice changes the way we think and feel, and which types of happy memories serve us best.

    Practice: For one week or more, spend 5-10 minutes each day writing in response to the following prompt:

    Think about good memories you have from your past. Write a few paragraphs describing them and one event that you still remember to this date. Please provide as many details as possible, including who was there, so that another person reading what you wrote could understand how you felt at that time.



    Today’s guests: Naomi Shihab Nye is a Palestinian-American poet and author. Her new book of poetry, Grace Notes, will be available May 7.

    Order Grace Notes: https://tinyurl.com/st3w6n8t

    Check out Naomi’s children’s book about a child visiting her Palestinian grandmother, Sitti’s Secrets: https://tinyurl.com/5embjxuj

    Follow Naomi on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/5hddcf8k



    Mauricio Delgado is a psychology professor at Rutgers University who studies social and cognitive neuroscience.

    Learn more about Mauricio’s work: https://tinyurl.com/4tt7bp2d

    Follow Mauricio on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/27kvv6j7



    More episodes like this one:

    Why We Should Look Up at the Sky - https://tinyurl.com/4xs88sye

    Why We Need Friends with Shared Interests - https://tinyurl.com/bdesh3he

    Related Happiness Breaks:

    A Meditation to Connect to Your Roots, With Yuria Celidwen - https://tinyurl.com/3ae3w3z3

    Where Did You Come From? Guided Writing, With Lyla June - https://tinyurl.com/ytypxn5t



    Tell us about your happiest childhood memories, and what they bring to you now. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Help us share The Science of Happiness!

    Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    • 19 min
    Happiness Break: A Walking Meditation with Dan Harris of 10% Happier

    Happiness Break: A Walking Meditation with Dan Harris of 10% Happier

    A walking meditation led by 10% Happier Host Dan Harris



    How to Do This Practice:


    Begin walking.
    Bring your awareness to the present moment, noticing sights and sounds around you. When your mind wanders to worries or other thoughts, gently bring yourself back to what you notice around you.
    See if you can notice the sensations in your leg as you take each step.
    Continue walking this way as long as you wish.




    Today’s Happiness Break host:

    Dan Harris the host of 10% Happier, a podcast about mindfulness and other practices and thoughts that can support our well-being.

    Check out Dan’s podcast, 10% Happier:  https://tinyurl.com/48cxcbjm\

    Order his most recent book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book: https://tinyurl.com/44cmjuvd

    Follow Dan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/danbharris

    Follow Dan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danharris/

    If you enjoyed this Happiness Break, you may also like:

    Moving Through Space, With Dacher Keltner - https://tinyurl.com/5n8dj5v6

    Check out these episodes of The Science of Happiness about walking and mind-body awareness.

    How To Do Good For The Environment (And Yourself) (Walking, With Diana Gameros) - https://tinyurl.com/3zfhhpus

    How To Focus Under Pressure (Mindful Body Scan, With Amy Schneider) - https://tinyurl.com/5fkdre2v

    We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experiences with mindful walking. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus

    Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus

    We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.

    • 7 min
    How To Make Work More Satisfying

    How To Make Work More Satisfying

    Finding ways to bend tasks toward your strengths and passions can make you happier, more productive and find more meaning in your life — no matter your job.

    Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4ky325rs



    Episode summary:

    When the poet and former professor Susan Glass first retired, she stacked her days with so many volunteer gigs and passion projects, she felt like she was working harder than ever before. Now, she wants to prioritize living a life of meaning and enjoyment. Susan tried a lab-tested practice called Job Crafting, where you take stock of the tasks that fill your day, how much time and energy they require, what really lights you up, and what changes you can make to better align your efforts at work (or in your free time) with your genuine strengths and passions. Then we hear from researcher Maria Tims about how Job Crafting doesn’t just benefit your own well-being and help to guard against burnout, it can also boost your whole team’s productivity and morale.

    Practice:


    Create a “before” sketch: List all your regular tasks, and note each one as low, medium, or high in terms of the time and energy you actually devote to them.
    Reflect on and write down what motivates you, what your strengths are, and what you’re passionate about.
    Create a more ideal (but still realistic) "after" diagram, shifting draining tasks from “high” to “low” or “medium” if possible, and boosting energizing and enjoyable tasks where you can.
    Create an action plan: What are some concrete changes that are in your power to make? Are there places where you need to ask for the support of a colleague or supervisor to make a change?




    Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action:

    https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/job_crafting



    Today’s guests:

    Susan Glass is a retired English professor and visually impaired, Bay Area-based poet. She’s the author of the poetry book “The Wild Language of Deer.”

    Read Susan’s book: https://pod.link/sleep-with-me

    Learn more about Susan’s life and work: https://tinyurl.com/j3pcjn6r



    Maria Tims is a professor of Management and Organization at the University of Amsterdam School of Business and Economics.

    Learn more about her work: https://tinyurl.com/mtp7tpy3



    Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

    How to Make Life More Meaningful (The Science of Happiness Podcast) https://tinyurl.com/39pth57f

    How to Be More Engaged at Work: https://tinyurl.com/2s3t5x2c

    How Oxytocin Can Make Your Job More Meaningful: https://tinyurl.com/mrx8458h

    Four Keys to a Healthy Workplace Hierarchy: https://tinyurl.com/788m6tme



    More Resources for Improving the Job You Have:

    HBR - What Job Crafting Looks Like: https://tinyurl.com/453yamac

    LSE - Can workers really craft their own happiness in the job? https://tinyurl.com/yjavhda9

    TED - The Power of Personalising Our Work: https://tinyurl.com/4cvznn8v



    Tell us about your experiences finding meaning in your day-to-day tasks. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Help us share The Science of Happiness!

    Leave us a 5-star review and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

Sally Kortam ,

My fav podcast !

Thank you Dacher for this amazing podcast!

Bright Purple Tash Tomlinson ,

Happiness Podcast

I Love this Podcast so much it’s help me now
So let’s Support this Podcast I Lesson this Podcast is the Best Better Podcast so let keep this for now in 2020 now and Next year in 2021
2022 My Name is Natasha Tomlinson I fall in love this Podcast All the Best for this Podcast Now

Hal07 ,

A ray of Sunshine

I so love this Podcast - interesting varied guests, great discussion and a learning experience in each one.. thanks!

Top Podcasts In Science

Dr Karl Podcast
ABC listen
All In The Mind
ABC listen
The Infinite Monkey Cage
BBC Radio 4
Making Sense with Sam Harris
Sam Harris
Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
Science Vs
Spotify Studios

You Might Also Like

Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Ten Percent Happier
The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
Pushkin Industries
Untangle
Untangle
Good Life Project
Jonathan Fields / Acast
Being Well with Forrest Hanson and Dr. Rick Hanson
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Forrest Hanson
A Slight Change of Plans
Pushkin Industries

More by PRX

Suave
Futuro Studios and PRX
Reveal
The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX
Snap Judgment
Snap Judgment and PRX
The World
PRX
Living on Earth
World Media Foundation
ROS Presents: Counterattack
Religion of Sports | PRX