164 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

    • Social Sciences
    • 5.0 • 3 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: Embodying Resilience, with Prentis Hemphill

    Happiness Break: Embodying Resilience, with Prentis Hemphill

    What if you could tap into your inherent resilience at any time? Prentis Hemphill guides a meditation to turn good memories into a state of resilience.



    How to Do This Resilience Practice:

    Find a position that is comfortable for you, whether that is sitting, laying down or even standing. Don’t feel pressured to remain still for this practice. If you feel like you need to move or make sounds to stay present, feel free to.


    Think of something that brings you a sense of resilience.
    While in this memory, what are you doing with your body? What does your body feel like?
    Try to intensify those feelings. Notice how that feels in your body and in the experience of that memory.
    Take yourself back to how the memory was at the beginning of this practice, at a lower intensity. Notice how you’re able to make that change.
    Thinking about the day ahead or the day that you’ve had, ask yourself how much space do you want the day to take up in this moment?
    Once you’re ready, move from that comfortable position. See if you can take this experience with you throughout your day.




    Today’s Happiness Break host:

    Prentis Hemphill is the founder of the Embodiment Institute, and a writer and therapist who prioritizes the body in their approach to healing.

    Learn More About the Embodiment Institute: https://www.theembodimentinstitute.org/about

    Check out Prentis’ website: https://prentishemphill.com

    Follow Prentis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/prentishemphill

    Follow Prentis on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/4d99f4xs



    More resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

    How to Hardwire Resilience into Your Brain: https://tinyurl.com/26mff6hf

    Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/34ntce8u

    Evidence Mounts that Mindfulness Breeds Resilience: https://tinyurl.com/2u6k6mkh

    Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work: https://tinyurl.com/yrujmwxs

    Three Ways to Boost Your Resiliency as a Parent: https://tinyurl.com/w6f3w3ak

    How Tuning into Your Body can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/yv5yzper



    We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of this resilience meditation. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    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.

    • 9 min
    One Way to Make Work More Meaningful

    One Way to Make Work More Meaningful

    We all overestimate how much we know. Our guest tries a practice in slowing down to ask more questions, and finds it leads to higher quality connections.



    Episode summary:

    What happens when we pause and open up to ideas that we didn’t think of ourselves? This episode is about intellectual humility, the ability to surrender to the idea that we might not have all the information or may not be right. Our guest is Kelly Corrigan, a best-selling author and host of PBS talk show Tell Me More and podcast Kelly Corrigan Wonders. Her teams look to her for direction, but she wanted to see what would happen if she paused more to ask them questions, and found it totally changed her approach to both her work and family life. We also explore science around the subtle ways we react differently to people we disagree with, and how intellectual humility can change that.

    Try this practice: Cultivate Intellectual Humility

    If you can, write out your answers.


    When you encounter information or an opinion that contradicts your opinion or worldview, ask yourself questions like these:
    Why do you disagree?
    Are you making any assumptions? Might those assumptions be wrong?
    How did you come to your opinion?
    Think about the scenario from the perspective of a person who disagrees with you. Try to imagine how they came to believe what they believe:
    What information might they be basing their opinion off of?
    What values do you think they’re weighing in how they think about this topic?
    Can you imagine how they came to hold those values?


    3. Tap into your intellectual humility:


    Identify places where, before, you didn’t acknowledge the limitations of what you know
    Now that you’ve worked to see this issue from another person’s point of view, do you see more value in their perspective?




    Today’s guests:

    Kelly Corrigan is the author of five books. She’s also the host for PBS’s longform interview show, Tell Me More and Kelly Corrigan Wonders*.*

    Check out Kelly’s website: https://www.kellycorrigan.com

    Follow Kelly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/corrigankelly

    Follow Kelly on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellycorrigan/



    Mark Leary is a psychologist and emeritus professor at Duke University.

    Learn more about Mark and his work: https://sites.duke.edu/leary/

    Check out Mark’s research on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/p8ayz8dn



    Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

    What Does Intellectual Humility Look Like? https://tinyurl.com/5n949h69

    Five Reasons Intellectual Humility is Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/2ce3jrmc

    Intellectual Humility Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/574k99fs

    Three Reasons for Leaders to Cultivate Intellectual Humility: https://tinyurl.com/2s4ecda6

    How to Know if You’re Actually Humble: https://tinyurl.com/y8js44v



    More Resources on Intellectual Humility

    Vox - Intellectual humility: The importance of knowing you might be wrong: https://tinyurl.com/2cryd336

    Financial Times - Why Intellectual Humility Matters: https://tinyurl.com/5n84hsh7

    Psych Central - How Humility Strengthens Your Relationship: https://tinyurl.com/2fj9a4wh

    University of Notre Dame - To Make Better Decisions, Get More Comfortable Saying “I Don’t Know”  https://tinyurl.com/3npysxh8



    Tell us about your thoughts on intellectual humility. 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 or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." For more on the project, go to www.ggsc.berkeley.edu/IH.

    • 18 min
    Happiness Break: Pause to Look at the Sky, with Dacher

    Happiness Break: Pause to Look at the Sky, with Dacher

    Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and vastness of the sky. Dacher Keltner guides us through a practice of pausing to turn your gaze to the sky as a pathway to awe, creativity and wonder.



    Practice:


    Go someplace where you feel safe and also have a nice view of the sky.
    First, focus on your breathing. Take a few slow inhales and even slower exhales. As you breathe in and out, relax your shoulders, your hands, and your face.
    On the next breath in, look up at the sky. Notice how vast it is.
    Breathing naturally, notice everything you can about the sky. What colors are present? Are there any clouds? Do you see any gradation of light?
    Expand your gaze to get the fullest view and sense of the sky that you can. Spend a few moments taking it in.
    On the final deep breaths in and out, reflect on how doing this practice has made you feel.




    Today’s Happiness Break host:

    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.

    Check out Dacher’s most recent book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life:  https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt



    Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

    Why we Should Look up at the Sky (Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/fn3bttw6

    Six Ways to Incorporate Awe into Your Daily Life: https://tinyurl.com/3j5hdtj7

    How to Choose a Type of Mindfulness Meditation: https://tinyurl.com/py6b729h

    How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative:  https://tinyurl.com/2fmpdpkj

    Why is Nature so Good For Your Mental Health? ​​https://tinyurl.com/23zavth3




    We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of looking up. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    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
    Why We Need Friends with Shared Interests

    Why We Need Friends with Shared Interests

    Episode summary:

    Having strong relationships is vital to our well-being. We tend to be happier and healthier when we’re involved with community. Today’s guest is the world-famous scientist Temple Grandin. She was born with autism, which led her to be socially isolated from her peers. Join us on this episode of The Science of Happiness to hear about how Grandin credits her support networks for her success and making her into the person she is today. We’ll also look at the science behind the health repercussions of not having strong social networks.



    Today’s guests:

    Temple Grandin is a leading animal behaviorist, prominent author and speaker on autism and animal behaviors. Today, she teaches courses at Colorado State University. Her latest book is Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions.

    Temple’s Website: https://www.templegrandin.com

    Follow Temple on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drtemplegrandin?lang=en

    Check out Temple’s Latest Book: https://tinyurl.com/3tftxpck



    Tegan Cruwyis is a clinical psychologist at The National Australian University who studies social connection and how loneliness and chronic isolation are literally toxic.

    Learn more about Cruwyis and her work: https://tinyurl.com/3etuvket

    Follow Cruwyis on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yc5ujhaj



    Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

    Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient https://tinyurl.com/34ntce8u

    What is Social Connection? https://tinyurl.com/nk8crbbz

    Is Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness? https://tinyurl.com/4wxc66tn

    Why are We so Wired to Connect? https://tinyurl.com/uttppd3p



    More Resources for Improving Social Connections

    Emotional Wellness Checklist https://tinyurl.com/4wxc66tn

    How to Strengthen Social Relationships https://tinyurl.com/5fdv8ra9

    The Science of Social Connection https://tinyurl.com/3tftxpck



    Tell us about your experiences with building social connections. 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 or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    • 16 min
    Happiness Break: Being Present from Head to Toe, Spring Washam

    Happiness Break: Being Present from Head to Toe, Spring Washam

    Try this body-scan meditation to ground your mind in the present moment and in your body, guided by Spring Washam.



    How to do this practice:


    Find a comfortable seat where you can relax your body.
    Beginning with the top of your head, relax any sense of tension, one body part at a time.
    Slowly scan down to your face, neck, upper arms, hands, feeling their presence.
    You might want to place your hands on your belly to feel your breath and let go.
    End by placing your hand on your heart and offer your body some kindness.




    Today’s Happiness Break Host:

    Spring Washam has been a devoted Buddhist practitioner in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism for more than 25 years. She is a founding teacher of The East Bay Meditation Center and has spent more than a decade studying Shamanic indigenous healing practices. She is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Spirit of Harriet Tubman: Awakening from the Underground.

    Learn more about Spring and her book: https://www.springwasham.com/

    Follow Spring on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/springwasham/

    Check out Spring’s YouTube channel: https://tinyurl.com/22njyd29




    More Resources from the Greater Good Science Center:

    Six Minutes to Connect with Your Body:  https://tinyurl.com/2337f85e

    How a Body Scan Can Help with Strong Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/58wfsvnd

    Krista Tippett on Being Grounded in Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/59pkp324

    Turning Into Your Body Can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/5av68v62

    Your Anxiety Might Be Coming From Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/dwb9vvue

    What Self-Compassion Feels Like in Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/2p9rdepk

    Seven Ways to Have a Healthier Relationship with Stress: https://tinyurl.com/m6mbv2np



    We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of embodiment meditation. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    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.

    • 10 min
    Why We Need Reminders of Connectedness

    Why We Need Reminders of Connectedness

    How can we feel more connected to our loved ones, even when they're not around? Our guest tries a practice shown to make us feel less lonely and more socially connected.

    Episode summary:

    Mónica Guzmán describes herself as a raging extrovert, but she still feels less connected to others than she’d like to. Working from home, she often finds herself alone, or worse — feeling alone because she’s still in work mode when her family is around. She tried a Reminders of Connectedness practice by making subtle changes to the interior of her home – like decorating with more family photos and rearranging the living room  – and found that these seemingly small changes made a big difference in how she felt throughout her day.  We also hear from clinical psychologist Tegan Cruwys about the powerful influence our sense of connectedness can have on our mental health.

    Practice: Reminders of Connectedness


    Look around your home, office, or classroom and notice what things around you remind you of being connected to others – words, photographs, memorabilia.
    As you move through your day, keep an eye out for things that evoke a feeling of connection. See where you can use them to add more reminders of connection to your space by adding them in or replacing existing objects. 
    Finally, consider how the furniture is arranged. Are chairs facing toward or away from each other? Find any changes you can make to common spaces so that they’re more conducive to spontaneous interactions. 




    Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action:

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



    Today’s guests:

    Mónica Guzmán is Senior Fellow for Public Practice at Braver Angels, a nonprofit working to depolarize America, founder and CEO of Reclaim Curiosity, an organization working to build a more curious world. She’s also the author of I Never Thought Of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times. 

    You can check out the book here: https://boook.link/I-Never-Thought-of-It-That-Way

    Visit Mónica’s website:https://www.moniguzman.com/

    Follow Mónica on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moniguzman/?hl=en

    Follow Mónica on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3k4pn4c4

    Follow Mónica on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moniguzman



    Tegan Cruwys is a professor and clinical psychologist at Australian National University. 

    Learn more about Tegan and her work: https://tinyurl.com/ykepk5r4



    Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

    11 Things to Do When You Feel Lonely: https://tinyurl.com/b8m86fhy

    What the Longest Happiness Study Reveals About Finding Fulfillment: https://tinyurl.com/2s3b59fn

    What Psychedelics Can Teach Us About Human Connection: https://tinyurl.com/5buyydw7

    Skills You Need for Happier Relationships with Family: https://tinyurl.com/weeusepn



    More Resources

    The Atlantic - What Makes Us Happy: https://tinyurl.com/2nxpbhsd

    NYT - I Love You But I Don’t Want To Sleep With You: https://tinyurl.com/tjnxbdtt

    Scientific American - Why We Are Wired To Connect: ​​https://tinyurl.com/59u4ffua



    Tell us about your experiences of connectedness. 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 or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap

    • 14 min

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