120 episodes

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. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos Pushkin

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 13.1K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Giving Tuesday: Why Giving Money to Others Makes us Happier

    Giving Tuesday: Why Giving Money to Others Makes us Happier

    Money can buy you happiness - but not in the way we think. Giving money away - especially to help others - has been shown make us happier than spending on ourselves. 

    Social psychologist Lara Aknin explains the best ways to spend on loved ones, friends and even total strangers to get the biggest happiness bang for your buck. 

    And Harvard's s Josh Greene reveals how much money Happiness Lab listeners gave to charity via Giving Multiplier last year - and how many lives you saved. 

    To give to a charity of your choice and to some of the most effective charities around (and have your donation matched at a special rate) visit: https://givingmultiplier.org/invite/HAPPINESSLAB

    The Happiness Lab will return in January 2023. See you then.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Happier Parents, Happier Kids Pt 2: Letting Children Try and Fail

    Happier Parents, Happier Kids Pt 2: Letting Children Try and Fail

    It's tempting to tie a child's shoe lace, tidy their rooms or help with their science projects - to see that these tasks are done right - but parents are depriving their kids of the valuable experience of falling, failing, and f-ing up. 

    Formed Stanford dean Julie Lythcott-Haims says these "f words" are vital for children if they are to grow into happy, capable and autonomous adults. While Yale psychologist Julia Leonard warns that interfering too often in a child's life can actually teach them that trying isn't even worth the effort.      

    Further reading:

    Michaeleen Doucleff - Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy Helpful Humans. 

    Julie Lythcott-Haims - How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.

    Marty Seligman - Authentic Happiness
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Happier Parents, Happier Kids Pt 1: Your Child Isn't a VIP or a Fragile Vase

    Happier Parents, Happier Kids Pt 1: Your Child Isn't a VIP or a Fragile Vase

    Rosy had a packed schedule of lunches, meet-ups and activities - and she was only three.  Mom Michaeleen Doucleff felt she couldn't waste a second of her daughter's time. Rosy needed to be constantly lectured and stimulated if she was going to reach the Ivy League. 

    This style of parenting was exhausting both mother and daughter, until Michaeleen found that not everyone approaches child-rearing in this way. She tells Dr Laurie Santos how she forged a happier and more relaxed relationship with Rosy - that benefited them both.  

    Formed Stanford dean Julie Lythcott-Haims explores how "overparenting" has taken hold in recent decades and why it needs to be challenged.   

    Further reading:

    Michaeleen Doucleff - Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy Helpful Humans. 

     Malcolm Harris - Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials

     Julie Lythcott-Haims - How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min
    Hulking Out! Why You Change When You're Angry

    Hulking Out! Why You Change When You're Angry

    When mild-mannered David Banner gets mad he transforms into the raging Incredible Hulk. Dr Laurie Santos loves this comic book tale - because it reflects real life. Intense things like anger, pain, even hunger, can cause us to act in extreme ways that we might not predict beforehand or forgive afterwards.

    When we're in so-called "hot states" we might become a total stranger to ourselves. This can have a serious impact on our happiness, by stopping us properly planning for how we'll react to strong emotions and causing us to be unfairly harsh on our inner Hulks.  
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    You Only Live Once... So Commit

    You Only Live Once... So Commit

    YOLO seems like the perfect rock 'n' roll philosophy. You only live once... so do whatever seems right in the moment. Be spontaneous. Quit your job; find a new person to date; and always, always keep your options open.   

    We all fear getting stuck in the wrong occupation, relationship or home - so shun fully committing to anything. But we're misguided. The man who coined the term YOLO - the Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart - tells Dr Laurie Santos that throwing yourself fully into a life choice is the best way to live our precious life. 

    Further reading:

    Pete Davis - Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing.

    Dan Gilbert -  Stumbling on Happiness.

    Barry Schwartz - The Paradox of Choice.

    Further Listening:

    Try Mickey Hart's new album with Planet Drum “In the Groove".
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    The Fun of Eating a Pepper Hotter Than the Sun

    The Fun of Eating a Pepper Hotter Than the Sun

    There is nothing hotter than Puckerbutt Farm’s Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce... and author Leigh Cowart gargles it for FUN!!! Why do we sometimes get a happiness high from painful and scary things? And what if we want to experience the fun of discomfort and danger... but without the risk of coming to real harm? 

    With the help of Leigh, psychology professor Paul Bloom and the Yale philosopher Tamar Gendler, Dr Laurie Santos finds out how we can fool ourselves into reaping all the benefits of danger without actually being in peril. 

    For further reading:

    Leigh Cowart - Hurts So Good: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose.

    Paul Bloom - The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13.1K Ratings

13.1K Ratings

maura1134 ,

The joy of a new perspective

Thank you so much for making time to share this information. It has changed my days and months and years.

Avamaria1344 ,

Love it!!

I look forward to each episode, it’s great!

Cee Jay S ,

Topics Are Fire

Haven’t met a single episode that wasn’t chock full of wisdom and a number of takeaways. Curious if you would ever interview Dr. Gabor Mate?

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