191 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.

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos Pushkin

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 13.7K 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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Why Don't We Have a 15-hour Work Week?

    Why Don't We Have a 15-hour Work Week?

    By 2030 we'll only work 15 hours a week, predicted the legendary economist John Maynard Keynes back in 1930. He thought advances in technology and wealth would let us earn enough money to live in a day or two - leaving the rest of the week for leisure and community service. 
    How wrong he was. We seem to be working more than ever - with technology adding extra tasks to our workdays (like answering emails and monitoring Slack). Dr Laurie longs for more leisure time, but how can she tame her fear of being "unproductive"? 
    Computer scientist Cal Newport explains how we all got into this mess - and why we still treat modern employees as if they were farm laborers or assembly line workers. Reformed "productivity junkie" Oliver Burkeman also offers tips on how to concentrate our minds on fulfilling and important work - and not little tasks that chew up so much of our days. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35 min
    Does the You of Today Hate the You of Tomorrow?

    Does the You of Today Hate the You of Tomorrow?

    We often do things now that will make our lives more difficult or stressful in the future. We spend money, when we should save. We eat junk food, when we should exercise. We agree to commitments, when we should protect our free time. We act so thoughtlessly that it's almost like we hate our future selves. 
    Dr Laurie asks UCLA's Hal Hershfield to help her find the happiness balance between listening to what she wants now, and the preferences she might have in the future. And she steps into an AI time machine to get some happiness advice for herself decades from today. 
    Try talking to the "you of tomorrow" using the MIT Media Lab's Future You chatbot at https://futureyou.media.mit.edu/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    The Power of Awe... and Where to Find it

    The Power of Awe... and Where to Find it

    Awe reduces stress, helps us forget our minor worries and makes us feel more connected to the people around us. We all need more awe in our lives - but surely it's not that easy to find awesome experiences on your average Tuesday?
    Actor Tony Hale explains how everyday awe helps ease his anxieties, while UC Berkeley's Dacher Keltner shows us how to find awe in music, art, scenery... even in a walk around our block. And Dr Laurie explores the things that give her a sense of awe with the help of Mike Menzel - who built a space telescope that lets us see billions of years into the past.  
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    How to Tame Stress

    How to Tame Stress

    Dr Laurie is stressed, and it's harming her health. Constant worry and stress is bad for our bodies and our minds, but how can we break the cycle and relax? It turns out scientists have learned a lot from one of America's most stressed-out communities - caregivers.  
    Hollywood star Steve Guttenberg talks about the toughest chapter of his life - caring for his dying dad - and Dr Elissa Epel explains why some caregivers suffer badly from stress, while others seem to find ways to live with the awful situation they find themselves in daily.  
    Further reading:
    Steve Guttenberg - Time to Thank: Caregiving for My Hero.
    Dr Elissa Epel - The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    How I Stopped Fearing Boredom

    How I Stopped Fearing Boredom

    Dr Laurie HATES boredom! Since childhood she's found it so painful that she'll do anything to avoid being bored. She'll watch crappy TV. She'll find extra work to do. She'll snack. But boredom is actually an incredibly useful tool to boost our happiness and creativity.  
    With the help of leading boredom experts, Dr Laurie learns how to embrace doing nothing and finds that in the midst of tedium our brains can come up with the most amazing breakthrough ideas. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    How to Fight Perfectionism

    How to Fight Perfectionism

    Holding yourself to impossibly high standards is self-defeating and makes for a miserable life. Can Dr Laurie Santos find ways to tackle her constant perfectionism so she can perform better and have more fun? 
    She hears from researcher Thomas Curran about a worrying growth in perfectionism in society, and asks "recovering perfectionist" Jordana Confino how to tackle the nagging voice in your head telling you to always push yourself and work harder.  
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13.7K Ratings

13.7K Ratings

NSJFost ,

Love that the advice comes from proven research

I love the sharing of what this scholar has learned from her research and teaching supplemented by sharing her own experience. It’s so fun to dip into the psychology research as an outsider without worrying that the research will be distorted or misinterpreted by journalists. Has also really helped me personally to grow and think about what happiness is. What a great course she has developed, and so valuable for her students’ happiness.

SummerOfLuv ,

Gave it a real chance

Between the pervasive ads for a home sharing company that's ruining neighborhoods, there's a seed of a concept here. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it's the surface-level treatment of the topics and an almost lack of self-insight that makes this hard to listen to. I love and am fascinated by psychology and theories of the human mind. And yet, I don't get that much out of this podcast.

devalexwhite ,

Ads

Tried to listen to an episode, but it feels like your listening to a continuous ad with content breaks.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Where Everybody Knows Your Name with Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson (sometimes)
Team Coco & Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson
Shawn Ryan Show
Shawn Ryan | Cumulus Podcast Network
The Youth Development Center
NHPR
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
Wartime Stories
Ballen Studios

You Might Also Like

A Slight Change of Plans
Pushkin Industries
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Ten Percent Happier
Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
The Science of Happiness
PRX and Greater Good Science Center
Good Life Project
Jonathan Fields / Acast
WorkLife with Adam Grant
TED

More by Pushkin Industries

Revisionist History
Pushkin Industries
Lost Hills: Dark Canyon
Western Sound and Pushkin Industries
Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford
Pushkin Industries
Deep Cover: The Nameless Man
Pushkin Industries
Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond
Pushkin Industries
Against the Rules with Michael Lewis: The Trial of Sam Bankman-Fried
Pushkin Industries