230 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

    • Science
    • 4.5 • 1.8K 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.

    How To Unwind By Doing Mindful Yard Work

    How To Unwind By Doing Mindful Yard Work

    Everyday activities, such as cleaning and gardening, can be sources of joy and opportunities for mindfulness. This week, our guest shares his experience practicing mindful sweeping on the temple stairs in Kyoto, Japan with Shoukei Matsumoto, a Buddhist monk.Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3r6ju2whThe Science of Happiness is now Instagram, and we'd love for you to follow us! You can find us at @ScienceofHappinessPod. We're going to go behind the scenes of our episodes, and share how to do the practices we talk about on the show. The first 100 followers will be included in a raffle to win a signed copy of host Dacher Keltner's newest book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.Episode summary:Many of us see yard work as a chore. But what if we shift our perspective and instead see it  as an opportunity to practice mindfulness? This week on The Science of Happiness, our guest  shares his experience of sweeping the steps of a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, and the mindfulness and mental processes involved in the practice. Then, we hear from Shoukei Matsumoto, a Buddhist monk and author, about the practice of cleaning as a form of mindfulness.Practice:The next time you’re tending to your garden, picking up trash on your sidewalk, watering the plants, or doing other chores, spend a few minutes practicing mindfulness by slowing down and really being present with the activity and your own body's movements while you do it. Today’s guests:Matt Heron is a Canadian who has been living and working in Japan for five years. Shoukei Matsumoto is a Buddhist monk and cleaning enthusiast in Kyoto, Japan. He is the author of “A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind,” which has been translated into 18 languages, including English 
    Follow Shoukei on instagram: https://tinyurl.com/4e2jk7xt
    Follow Shoukei on Linkedin: https://tinyurl.com/48xkr9ew
    Learn more about Interbeing: https://www.interbeing.co.jp/en

    Read “A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind” : https://tinyurl.com/7u3zhvcz
    More episodes like this one:How to Make Work More Satisfying: https://tinyurl.com/3fa925yfWhy We Should Seek Beauty in the Everyday Life: https://tinyurl.com/26dskv38Related Happiness Breaks (a short, guided practice by The Science of Happiness) Contemplating Our Interdependence With Nature, With Dekila Chungyalpa: https://tinyurl.com/erz2f5deHappiness Break: How to Be in Harmony in Nature—Wherever You Are, With Yuria Celidwen: https://tinyurl.com/ynxeeb7aTell us about your mindful gardening experiences! Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.This episode is sponsored by Tianren Culture, whose vision is “One Health, One Wellness.” Tianren Culture is a next-generation social platform that acts as a catalyst to foster positive global values and lifestyles.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

    • 23 min
    Happiness Break: How to Relax Your Body Through A Standing Meditation, With Sherry Zhang

    Happiness Break: How to Relax Your Body Through A Standing Meditation, With Sherry Zhang

    Last week on The Science of Happiness, we discussed the scientifically proven health benefits of the ancient Chinese practice of qigong with Harvard psychologist Peter Wayne. This week, we practice a standing meditation, with qigong master Sherry Zhang. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3t5wdexeHow to Do This Practice:
    Take a moment to stand upright with your feet together and take a few deep breaths.
    Have your eyes looking forward.
    Soften your knee.
    Gently shift your weight onto your left leg and step your right foot aside.
    Face your palms inward, with your fingers relaxed and pointing down. 
    With your chin slightly in, relax both shoulders, and tuck in your tailbone.
    Ground your feet and relax your knees, armpits, and fingers.
    Take a deep breath and exhale. 
    Spend a few moments focused on your natural breathing and relaxed body.
    Now, bring your right foot back, so both feet are together.
    Lengthen your spine. 
    Take a moment to observe how your body feels, until your breathing slows. 
    Next, bring your hands together and rub them together vigorously, creating heat in between your palms.
    Now "wash" your face with your hands.
    "Wash" the side of your ears, to the back of your ears, the back of your neck.
    Now relax both hands at the front of your chest.
    Repeat this practice for one to five minutes.
    Today’s Happiness Break host:Sherry Zhang is the founder of Tai Chi Solutions and a Master Teacher of Qigong. She is faculty at Pacific College of Health and Sciences in New York City. 
    Learn more about Sherry’s work:https://www.taichisolution.org/

    Follow Sherry on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taichisolution/

    Follow Sherry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/taichisolution
    Follow Sherry on Linked-In: https://tinyurl.com/ywca6nd5

    Follow Sherry on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherrytaichi/

    Follow Tai Chi Solutions on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taichisolution/

    If you enjoyed this Happiness Break, you may also like these ones:Walk Your Way to Calm (Guided Meditation), with Dacher: https://tinyurl.com/4w37zwpyA Walking Meditation With Dan Harris of 10% Happier: https://tinyurl.com/4dv4ckzcCheck out these episodes of The Science of Happiness about movement-based practices: How Qigong Can Calm Your Mind and Body: https://tinyurl.com/2ywsck4eEpisode 5: Walk Outside with Inside Out’s Pete Docter: https://tinyurl.com/2nfc94zbWe love hearing from you! Tell us what movement based practice you’ve tried!Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusShare this Happiness Break!

    • 5 min
    How Qigong Can Calm Your Mind and Body

    How Qigong Can Calm Your Mind and Body

    Studies show qigong can strengthen your body and mind, and reduce cortisol levels. We explore this Chinese meditative movement practice that dates back over 4,000 years.Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2ywsck4eEpisode summary: Finding calm in your day to day life can be stressful, especially in a world that seems to be moving at such a rapid pace. Your life can change in an instant– and it can be really difficult to get yourself on your feet again. On this episode of The Science of Happiness, Ace Boral, an Oakland-based chef, joins us to try Qigong. Ace talks about his health struggles over the past four years, and how incorporating Qigong into his life over the past few weeks has helped him find mental clarity, emotional balance, and confidence in himself. Then we hear from Harvard psychologist Peter Wayne who has practiced and studied the benefits of Xigong. Today’s guests: Ace Boral is an Oakland-based chef.Peter Wayne is an Associate Professor of Medicine, and serves as the Director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.Learn more about Peter’s work: https://tinyurl.com/342xndnaMore episodes like this one:
    Moving Through Space, with Dacher Keltner: https://tinyurl.com/3u844n4d

    The Science of Synchronized Movement: https://tinyurl.com/n4bcrb5j
    Tell us about your experiences with Qigong. 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

    • 22 min
    Happiness Break: A Meditation on How To Be Your Best Self, with Justin Michael Williams

    Happiness Break: A Meditation on How To Be Your Best Self, with Justin Michael Williams

    Here's a favorite of ours: visualize your best possible self and tap into your inherent enough-ness with this guided meditation by Justin Michael Williams.Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/ytakaaepHow to Do This Practice:
    Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and visualize your ideal future self, the person of your dreams you’ve always wanted to be. Try noticing as many details as you can: What color are you wearing, how do you feel, what are you doing, is anyone with you?
    Answer this question in your mind with 1-3 words: As you look at this future version of you, what energy do you need to cultivate more of in your life now, today, to become closer to being that person you see in your vision? 
    Breathe in deeply, and as you do imagine yourself breathing in that energy. As you exhale, imagine that energy spreading throughout your body and energy field.
    Open your eyes. ​​Remember, you have what you need to become that which you want to become. We are enough to start stepping into the life of our dreams.
    Today’s Happiness Break host:Justin Michael Williams works at the intersection of social justice, mindfulness, and personal growth — with a touch of music that brings it all to life.
    Learn More About Justin’s work: https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/

    Listen to Justin’s debut album: https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/music

    Order Justin’s book, Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide For the Rest of Us:https://tinyurl.com/2p8xu6hx
    Follow Justin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wejustwill

    Follow Justin on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wejustwill/

    More episodes like this oneHow to Find Your Best Possible Selfhttps://tinyurl.com/6t3uws8dHappiness Break: Visualizing Your Best Self in Relationships,  With Dacher Keltnerhttps://tinyurl.com/5cx6cd5zHappiness Break: Visualizing Your Purpose, With Dacherhttps://tinyurl.com/39apt7tbWe love hearing from you! Tell us what brings you feelings of awe. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusHelp us share Happiness Break! 

    • 7 min
    Encore: Why We Need Friends With Shared Interests

    Encore: Why We Need Friends With Shared Interests

    She's the world's leading animal behaviorist and an autism advocacy leader. Guest Temple Grandin shares what kind of support systems led her to success, and we hear about how community, and lack thereof, affects our health and ability to succeed.
    Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/y82vw4dv
    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. Feeling socially disconnected can lead to a higher risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer and more.
    Today’s guests:Temple Grandin is a leading scientist, 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.comFollow Temple on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drtemplegrandin?lang=enCheck out Temple’s Latest Book: https://tinyurl.com/3tftxpckTegan 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/3etuvketFollow Cruwyis on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yc5ujhajResources from The Greater Good Science Center:
    Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient https://tinyurl.com/34ntce8uWhat is Social Connection? https://tinyurl.com/nk8crbbzIs Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness? https://tinyurl.com/4wxc66tnWhy are We so Wired to Connect? https://tinyurl.com/uttppd3pTell 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/2p9h5aapTranscript to come.

    • 17 min
    Happiness Break: A Meditation on Cultivating Awe Through Colors

    Happiness Break: A Meditation on Cultivating Awe Through Colors

    Experiencing awe can help us slow down and connect to the world around us. So how can we harness the power of this feeling? Host Dacher Keltner leads us in a colorful meditation to bring about awe. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3e9cyky5Practice:
    Please find a space, either inside or outside, where you can take a moment and pause and look slowly at a scene in front of you. 
    Settle into a pattern of deep breathing and ease. Really focusing on how that pattern of inhalation and exhalation relaxes your body and slows your heart rate down.
    Now cast your gaze over the space around you. Take in what you see in the scene in front of you.
    You may shift your attention to colors present in the things around you or step back and get a sense of the scene in a more holistic way.
    Notice the variations and differences in the various colors in your visual field. 
    What feelings do the colors evoke in you? 
    Now, gently close and then open your eyes and notice how you feel. 
    Today’s guests: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.More episodes like this one:How Awe Brings Us Togetherhttps://tinyurl.com/bdhy4sj5How Music Evokes Awehttps://tinyurl.com/mpkww4j9Happiness Break: Awe for Others, With Dacherhttps://tinyurl.com/3ptwh66jFeeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, with Dacher Keltnerhttps://tinyurl.com/4r7rjaxfWe love hearing from you! Tell us what brings you feelings of awe. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusHelp us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aapRate us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus

    • 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
1.8K Ratings

1.8K Ratings

MsFlowerLady14 ,

Spring

My hands were sweating for no reason all morning long no matter how I tried to tell my mind everything was ok . My anxiety just wanting to be on top. I found this podcast & after 8 minutes my hands were no longing sweating! Amazing !

taubg ,

Seeing Results

Just listening to the talks has a positive effect. But actively engaging in these short easy meditations, and sticking with them yields surprising results. There is always something you can relate to.

mituska2 ,

Applicable to my life

This podcast gives strategies tried by people and backs them with research.

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