22 episodes

In our pursuit of a happy life, we build, we structure, and we plan. Often, we follow conventional wisdom and strategize. But what happens when our plans fall through and expectations don’t meet reality—when the things that should make us happy don’t? 
In season 3 of our How To series, Atlantic happiness correspondent Arthur Brooks and producer Rebecca Rashid seek to navigate the unexpected curves on the path to personal happiness—with data-driven insights and a healthy dose of introspection.
This series was produced by Rebecca Rashid and hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. If you have any questions, stories, or feedback, please email us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.

How to Build a Happy Life The Atlantic

    • Education
    • 4.4 • 114 Ratings

In our pursuit of a happy life, we build, we structure, and we plan. Often, we follow conventional wisdom and strategize. But what happens when our plans fall through and expectations don’t meet reality—when the things that should make us happy don’t? 
In season 3 of our How To series, Atlantic happiness correspondent Arthur Brooks and producer Rebecca Rashid seek to navigate the unexpected curves on the path to personal happiness—with data-driven insights and a healthy dose of introspection.
This series was produced by Rebecca Rashid and hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. If you have any questions, stories, or feedback, please email us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.

    A New Formula for Happiness

    A New Formula for Happiness

    We often follow a misguided formula for happiness—pushing us toward material wealth and other worldly successes. But when our expectations set us down the wrong path, it may be time to reorient ourselves around something new: universal happiness principles we can practice at any age. 
    In our finale episode of this season, a conversation with psychiatrist Robert Waldinger provides a scientific insight into key elements for happy living, whatever your age. 
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson.
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.
    To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. Music by the Fix (“Saturdays”), Mindme (“Anxiety”), and Gregory David (“Under the Tide”).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 30 min
    The Right Choices in Parenting

    The Right Choices in Parenting

    The mandates of modern parenting can be dizzying. But in the effort to optimize our parenting, we may lose sight of the values we hope to impart to our children—and the skills necessary for individual decision making. 
    A conversation with economist Emily Oster helps with understanding the nuances of choice-making in parenthood.
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson.
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.
    To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. Music by the Fix (“Saturdays”), Mindme (“Anxiety”), and Gregory David (“Under the Tide”).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 38 min
    Subtraction as a Solution

    Subtraction as a Solution

    From how we build our cities to how we shop, it can seem as though our natural human tendency is to add. But a culture of accumulation may be exactly what holds us back from the simple solution in front of us: taking things away. 
    University of Virginia professor Leidy Klotz helps us analyze the benefits of subtraction and how less may create the space for what we truly desire. 
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. 
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. Music by the Fix (“Saturdays”), Mindme (“Anxiety”), JADED (“Blue Steel”), and Timothy Infinite (“Rapid Years”).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 26 min
    How to Spend Time on What You Value

    How to Spend Time on What You Value

    We try to use our time wisely—both at work and in leisure—but we often waste it. We may blame work for stripping us of recreation, but when valuable free time comes around, we can often revert back to more work.
    What explains the gap between how we use our time and how we want to use our time? A conversation with Harvard Business School professor Ashley Whillans helps us analyze our complex relationship with time and how to orient our time use around what we value. 
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson.  
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. Music by the Fix (“Saturdays”), Mindme (“Anxiety”), Gregory David (“Under the Tides”), and Yomoti ("Nebula").
    Click here to listen to more full-length episodes in The Atlantic’s How To series.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min
    The Complexities of Human Love

    The Complexities of Human Love

    Dating apps show us what we want—a relationship—without always accurately reflecting the experience of it. Our expectation that tech will create anything more than opportunities for social connectedness may overlook the hard work of coexisting with another human being.  
    A conversation with University of Kansas social psychologist Omri Gillath helps us parse the divide between what tech promises and how it satisfies our emotional needs.
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. 
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. 
    Music by Flix (“Saturdays”), Mindme (“Anxiety”), John Utah (“A Walk on the Mile”), and Yomoti (“Nebula”).
    Click here to listen to more full-length episodes in The Atlantic’s How To series.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 28 min
    When Virtues Become Vices

    When Virtues Become Vices

    When the behaviors we thought would make us happy don’t, we’re forced to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be. But our happiness goals are often stifled by the disease of addiction—and its complex neurochemical influence on our desires. 
    A conversation with psychiatrist Anna Lembke helps us understand the gap between the cravings that drive us and the happiness we seek. 
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. 
    Be a part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. 
    Music by the Flix (“Saturdays”), Mindme (“Anxiety”), Dylan Stills (“Queens”), and Yomoti (“Nebula”).
    Click here to listen to more full-length episodes in The Atlantic’s How To series.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
114 Ratings

114 Ratings

rachelmurrayholisticnutrition ,

New Listener!

I'm a fairly new listener and just have to say how much I'm enjoying the podcast! How to forgive ourselves for what we can't change was particularly relevant to my life and my work as a nutritionist who works with sugar addicts, as addiction is so much more than the substance that has us hooked. Self-forgiveness is huge and this episode just spoke to me! Thanks for sharing such great content, really loving the podcast!

MtlCommuter ,

It was better before

Previous host was charismatic, vulnerable and great at storytelling. Now it feels like information is being transmitted to my ears without the intimacy and humanity this podcast once had. I love what you guys do, but it was better before. Thanks.

Aryan8_8 ,

Life changing experience

English is not my first language so I listen to each episode several time to do not miss even one word, and every time I learn a new concept make me excited.

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