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The Science of Happiness

Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Hosted by award-winning psychologist Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRX and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Healing Through Gratitude

A stranger helped her through the hardest day of her life. When she expresses her gratitude, our guest encounters the power of true connection.


21 Jan 2021

Rank #1

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Can You Predict What Will Make You Happy?

Do memories of your past affect your happiness today? Susannah Cahalan was young and healthy when she was stricken with a mysterious illness. Learn how writing about her “month of madness” in the bestselling book Brain on Fire helped her reclaim her life.


26 Mar 2018

Rank #2

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BONUS: The Science of Happiness at Work

What would make you happier at work? Featuring some of our happiness guinea pigs, we share the latest insights and research on well-being and happiness in the workplace.


11 Oct 2018

Rank #3

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Being Kinder to Yourself

When you’re helping others cope with stress and anxiety, how do you deal with your own? Psychiatrist Elizabeth Guinto tries a practice to be kinder to herself.


6 Dec 2018

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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How to Connect When You Must Stay Apart

Do you want to be famous? What's a favorite memory? These 36 questions can bring you closer to loved ones, even if you're separated.


21 May 2020

Rank #5

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How to Find Your Silver Linings

Do you fixate on what's going wrong in your life? Poet and "recovering pessimist" Maggie Smith practices looking on the bright side.


26 Sep 2019

Rank #6

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Find That Inner Calm

International megastar Daniel Wu tries a practice that brings him calm amidst the chaos. 


22 Nov 2018

Rank #7

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How To Be Less Hard on Yourself

Do you beat yourself up over every mistake? A high school senior tries to be kinder to himself during an especially stressful time.


5 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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Remembering to Breathe

How a doctor stays calm and centered during times of uncertainty, one breath at a time.


9 Apr 2020

Rank #9

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If You Want to Be More Productive, Cut Yourself Some Slack

Feeling hard on yourself? Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp learns to quiet his inner critic and tap into his highest potential.


8 Oct 2020

Rank #10

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How to Make Better Decisions

Can practicing mindfulness make us wiser? Judge Jeremy Fogel explores how being present in the moment helps him keep a clear mind and stay connected to his true values.


26 Nov 2020

Rank #11

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Finding Beauty in the Everyday

A tree next to a bus stop, a flower poking through the sidewalk. Our guest, a veteran of the Iraq War, discovers how awe and wonder can be found anywhere —  if you just pay attention.


10 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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What to Do When You Feel Like a Failure

The loss of a job, the pain of a breakup -- it's easy to get down on ourselves when things aren't going well. Find out how our Happiness Guinea Pig tuned down the self-critic in her head.


11 Apr 2019

Rank #13

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How To Get Your Priorities Straight

It's easy to lose sight of what matters most. Our guest finds a way to reconnect with her values during stressful times.


7 Nov 2019

Rank #14

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A Better Way to Talk to Yourself

Her husband has been in prison for 23 years. Our Happiness Guinea Pig tries a new approach to stay strong while working to get him released.


6 Jun 2019

Rank #15

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How To Let Go of Anger

Are you still mad at someone who hurt you in the past? That can eat away at your health and well-being. Our Happiness Guinea Pig tries a new approach to giving up a grudge.


28 Mar 2019

Rank #16

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A Cure for Loneliness

Feeling lonely? Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy learns why focusing on the quality of our relationships, not the quantity, can be an antidote. 


24 Sep 2020

Rank #17

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How to Reconnect with Your Partner

A couple try a practice to bring more excitement and passion into their relationship, even while sheltering-in-place.


30 Jul 2020

Rank #18

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What's Your "Why" in Life?

Adrian Michael Green asks big questions designed to help teens — and adults — find more meaning and purpose in their lives.


18 Jun 2020

Rank #19

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How to Love People You Don't Like

Our guest tries a practice to help her feel compassion toward others — even those she disagrees with.


2 Jul 2020

Rank #20