5 episodes

In this series, Arthur C. Brooks seeks to uncover how we can live more joyful lives. Through scientific discussions and an exploration of what happiness is, Arthur will uncover the how-tos of happy living and assign you exercises to make happiness a daily practice. Listen in as Arthur explores loneliness, friendships, mindfulness, and meditation with psychologists, friends, and experts—and reveals the wisdom and skills necessary for building a happier life. 
If you have any questions, stories, or feedback, please email us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925-967-2091.

How to Build a Happy Life The Atlantic

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 108 Ratings

In this series, Arthur C. Brooks seeks to uncover how we can live more joyful lives. Through scientific discussions and an exploration of what happiness is, Arthur will uncover the how-tos of happy living and assign you exercises to make happiness a daily practice. Listen in as Arthur explores loneliness, friendships, mindfulness, and meditation with psychologists, friends, and experts—and reveals the wisdom and skills necessary for building a happier life. 
If you have any questions, stories, or feedback, please email us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925-967-2091.

    How to Know That You Know Nothing

    How to Know That You Know Nothing

    If there’s one thing we might regret at the end of life, it’s that we missed out on moments that mattered—not because we weren’t physically there, but because our mind wandered off to some unknown place.
    In this episode of How to Build a Happy Life, we explore why it’s uniquely challenging to “live in the moment,” how we limit our own curiosity by assuming we know best, and why the illusion of stability pulls us from living every day fully, and in the moment. A conversation with Harvard University professor of psychology Dr. Ellen Langer helps us think through a daily struggle: How do I stay present?
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur C. Brooks. Editing by A. C. Valdez. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Sound design by Michael Raphael.
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925.967.2091.
    Music by Trevor Kowalski (“Lion’s Drift,” “This Valley of Ours,” “Una Noche De Luces”), Stationary Sign (“Loose in the Park”), and Spectacles Wallet and Watch (“Last Pieces”).
    Click here to listen to every full-length episode in the series.

    • 37 min
    How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

    How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

    In the social-media age, we curate images of our lives on a screen—making it especially easy to translate images of perfection as the image of oneself. But the pressure to pretend we are perfect is exactly the thing holding us back from experiencing the happiness we seek—and limiting our ability to be our whole, authentic selves. 
    In this episode of How to Build a Happy Life, we’ll define what we mean by “authenticity” and explore the psychological underpinnings of our ego-driven identities. A conversation with the clinical psychologist and mindfulness expert Dr. Shefali helps us work through one of the most challenging questions of all: Who am I?
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur C. Brooks. Editing by A. C. Valdez. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Sound design by Michael Raphael.
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925.967.2091.
    Music by Trevor Kowalski (“Lion’s Drift,” “This Valley of Ours,” “Una Noche De Luces”), Stationary Sign (“Loose in the Park”), and Spectacles Wallet and Watch (“Last Pieces”).
    Click here to listen to every full-length episode in the series.
    Try out this week’s tool-kit exercise, “The Chipping-Away Exercise,” and apply these lessons to your own life! Tag us on social media with #thechippingawayexercise, and listen to full-length episodes of How to Build a Happy Life at theatlantic.com/happy.

    • 35 min
    How to Know You're Lonely

    How to Know You're Lonely

    The irony in loneliness is that we all share in the experience of it. In this episode of How to Build a Happy Life, we sit down to discuss isolated living and Americans’ collective struggle to create a relationship-centric life. As we continue along our journey to happiness we ask: How can I build my life around people? 
    This episode features Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General. 
    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Sound design by Michael Raphael.
    Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925.967.2091.
    Music by Trevor Kowalski (“Lion’s Drift,” “This Valley of Ours,” “Una Noche De Luces”), Stationary Sign (“Loose in the Park”), and Spectacles Wallet and Watch (“Last Pieces”).

    • 41 min
    How to Be Self-Aware

    How to Be Self-Aware

    Only when we admit we have a problem can we begin to find solutions. On the first episode of How To Build a Happy Life, we explore the neuroscience of emotional management, practices that help us befriend our inner monologue, and challenges to getting in touch with our feelings. Our journey to happier living starts with the question: How do I feel right now?
    This episode features Dan Harris, former ABC News anchor, meditation expert and founder of Ten Percent Happier.
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    This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez, Katherine Wells, and Gillian White. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Sound design by Michael Raphael. 
    Listen to full length episodes on Youtube
    Do you like what you hear? Read Arthur's columns on self-awareness, success addiction, and why failure is OK.
    Be part of How To Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925.967.2091.
    Music by Trevor Kowalski ("Lion's Drift," "This Valley of Ours," "Una Noche De Luces"), Stationary Sign ("Loose in the Park"), and Spectacles Wallet and Watch ("Last Pieces").
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    • 38 min
    Introducing: How to Build a Happy Life

    Introducing: How to Build a Happy Life

    Welcome to How to Build a Happy Life! In this series, host Arthur Brooks digs into research and offers tools to help you live more joyfully. Join us for deep conversations with psychologists, experts, and friends of The Atlantic's Chief Happiness Correspondent. For more info, visit www.theatlantic.com/happy

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
108 Ratings

108 Ratings

Logan's Truth ,

When You Live in the Real Self

You are God!

I started my journey to find my authentic self and my own voice when my marriage of 10 years was failing. My ex-wife and I had supported each other’s fragile false selves and as we approached middle age, we realized we needed to change.

Therapy, group work, journaling, meditation and persistent effort to subdue powerful egos.

These podcasts are refreshing and remind me how far I have come and how important it is to continue the work.

The false self that ego that protected me for all my life likes to grab the wheel and I fall back to self objectification and self loathing. I feel unnecessary pain, sadness and shame.

These podcasts have help resharpen the tools and knowledge to take back control of my life and allow me to live more fully in joy and gratitude.

ekcoyne016 ,

Very helpful

I certainly am someone who has started to re evaluate my priorities during the pandemic, and I believe this podcast will be super helpful to me.

deeps_n10 ,

Sound quality low

On episode 1, but sound quality not high enough.

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