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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

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.

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Mistakenly Seeking Solitude

Technology allows us to bank, shop and dine without talking to another human, but what toll is this taking on our happiness? The inventor of the ATM and the Talking Heads singer David Byrne join Dr Laurie Santos to explore the ways in which talking to strangers can bring us all genuine joy.  For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit https://www.happinesslab.fm/  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34mins

8 Oct 2019

Rank #1

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The War For Kindness

Feeling you belong to a group can be great - but it also has a darker side, leading us down an unhappy path of hatred and violence towards people with different identities and backgrounds.Dr Laurie Santos talks to Mina Cikara - whose homeland descended into a bloody civil war - and Jamil Zaki about how we can fight hatred with empathy, kindness and difficult conversations.(Deep canvassing clips courtesy of The Leadership Lab https://leadership-lab.org/ at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.)For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34mins

22 Jun 2020

Rank #2

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Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Aristotle

He gave us biology, physics and drama... but Greek philosopher Aristotle also thought deeply about how humans can flourish and live happy lives of virtue.Yale professor Tamar Gendler tells Dr Laurie Santos about Aristotle's wellbeing insights and how he recommended taking daily "baby steps" towards becoming the sort of happy, moderate person we aspire to be. A kind of ancient "fake it, 'til you make it" ethos. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

28mins

14 Sep 2020

Rank #3

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Psychopaths and Superheroes

We talk a lot about psychopaths - but rarely discuss their polar opposites, super altruists. These are people who go to extreme lengths to help others - even though their acts of kindness might cost them time, money or expose them to physical danger. These folk are also happier than the rest of us.A super altruist once saved the life of psychology professor Abigail Marsh - so she devoted her career to understanding what drives these amazing and happy people and how we call all learn to be more like them.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

29mins

27 Apr 2020

Rank #4

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Don't Accentuate the Positive

We often think positive thinking is the best way to achieve our ambitions - but the science shows it holds us all back. Dr Laurie Santos hears how champion swimmer Michael Phelps imagined the worst to help make his Olympic dreams come true. It's a mental habit that you can learn too.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

41mins

29 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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For Whom the Alarm Clock Tolls

'Time famine' is when you just don't feel you have a spare moment... and it can make you miserable. It's a feeling Dr Laurie Santos knows only too well, so she seeks help from her time affluence hero, Idler author Tom Hodgkinson.Tom lives life to the full, but he ensures he carves out time to wander around, think, chat with friends and even take naps. He argues that 'idling' is vital to leading a happy, creative and productive existence. Is he right? And if so, what can we all do to break free from the tyranny of time?For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34mins

25 May 2020

Rank #6

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Don't Think of the White Bear

Once a thought is in our heads, we can't suppress it and trying to only causes us misery. Dr Laurie Santos explains why our brains work in this way and hears from real people who have confronted and overcome disruptive thoughts and bad memories and found happiness in the process. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38mins

22 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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Happier Holidays: How to Celebrate No Matter What

A lot of the festive events and traditions we look forward to each year will be very different in 2020. Gatherings might be smaller than we'd like... or cancelled altogether. Family tensions might be heightened too. But Dr Laurie Santos has gathered a group of top happiness experts to share their tips, tricks and science-backed strategies to make this holiday season as good as it can be.... and maybe even great.Joining Laurie for this festive Zoom party are Jamil Zaki from Stanford University, Liz Dunn from the University of British Columbia and Nick Epley from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

37mins

14 Dec 2020

Rank #8

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A Silver Lining

Ice skater Michelle Kwan was all set to win Olympic Gold... but in a major sporting upset she came second. Sharing her story with Dr Laurie Santos, Michelle lets us in on a key secret to achieving happiness when you're tempted to feel like a loser.  For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

40mins

1 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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BONUS: Grateful Expectations

Grit and determination to change your habits can only get you so far... if you want to be happier you have to stop and think about how nice people have been to you and how nice you can be to them in return. This circle of gratitude - the science suggests - will also make you a better friend to one of the most important people in your life... your future self.Dr Laurie Santos investigates this effect with Northeastern University's Prof David DeSteno - author of Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion and Pride.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

26mins

13 Jan 2020

Rank #10

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Caring What You're Sharing

Sharing a good experience with another human deepens our enjoyment of the moment... but only if we abide by certain rules. Dr Laurie Santos shows us how we often get 'sharing' wrong and explains how we can all derive more happiness from ice cream, sunsets and a night in front of the TV.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

37mins

15 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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Working Your Way to Happiness

Marty kills rats... but if you asked him what his job is he'd say it was "solving problems" and "helping people". How we view our work can contribute greatly to our daily levels of happiness - far more than money or status.Dr Laurie Santos examines how we all came to ignore the importance of job satisfaction and hears from Professor Amy Wrzesniewski about "job crafting" - the reframing skill that happy people like Marty use to see their careers as more than just a way to make money.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

33mins

18 May 2020

Rank #12

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The Power of a Made-up Ritual

Vlad's mom taught him a family tradition - remember grandpa when you taste the first fruits of the season. It was odd, but the boy went along with it. Only later when he faced two crushing bereavements of his own did Vlad realise the power of tiny personal rituals to ease his grief.Dr Laurie Santos examines the science behind this effect and explains how rites, ceremonies and rituals could help you deal with events that make you sad - from job rejections to divorce.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

29mins

11 May 2020

Rank #13

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Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Plato

Plato likened us all to charioteers trying to control two wayward horses. The steeds represent the competing wants and desires that constantly pull us off course and away from a happier life.Yale professor Tamar Gendler joins Dr Laurie Santos to examine how the ancient Greek philosopher didn't only diagnose the internal tensions we all face, but also offered a cure. The horses can be made to pull in the direction you command... but each must be coaxed in the right way. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

27mins

21 Sep 2020

Rank #14

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BONUS: Coach Yourself Through a Crisis

We all need to keep a clear head at times of crisis - but that's not always easy. So when strong emotions of fear and anxiety start to cloud your judgement, turn to an effective and reassuring voice of reason... you. Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory gives us concrete strategies on how to coach yourself so you can approach upsetting problems in a calmer and more reasoned way.If you have a question you want answered on a future coronavirus bonus episode then tweet @lauriesantos or @pushkinpods using #happinesslabpod Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25mins

19 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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How to Kick Bad Habits (and Start Good Ones)

We all have bad habits - things we eat, drink, do or say that cause us unhappiness. We repeat these behaviours over and over again - almost as if we are on autopilot. But we can break free from them, and use the mechanics of habit formation to make doing good things feel effortless.Dr Laurie Santos meets a scientist who sleeps in her running gear and a former army doctor who went to Vietnam to fight a wave of heroin abuse in the military and discovered something startling about habits.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

32mins

8 Jun 2020

Rank #16

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BONUS: A New Hope

Research shows we all look for moments to make a fresh start - new years, new seasons, new decades. Our optimism about making big, positive changes is strong, but it fades quickly. As we enter 2020, Dr Laurie Santos asks Wharton's Katy Milkman about the science behind the "fresh start' effect and examines ways we can maintain our new habits beyond January.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

22mins

6 Jan 2020

Rank #17

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Make 'Em Laugh

The world's greatest expert on canned TV laugh tracks helps Dr Laurie Santos demonstrate how the emotions of those around us can make us feel happier or more sad. If happiness is so contagious... can we do more to bring joy to ourselves and our loved ones?For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34mins

15 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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BONUS: Keep Your Relationship Healthy

The health of our romantic relationships is in peril thanks to the many stresses and strains of the pandemic lockdown. Couples might be facing huge emotional and financial challenges at the same time as being tightly confined to their homes. But psychologist Eli Finkel (author The All-or-Nothing Marriage) says there are ways to weather the crisis without destroying your partnership - and there might even be opportunities to hit the reset button and address problems that in normal times you just let slide. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25mins

2 Apr 2020

Rank #19

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How to Be a Better Ally

You might detest bigotry and injustice, but have you done anything to address these problems? There are many reasons we stay silent and inactive when we know we should intervene to defend the rights of others. We look at the psychology underpinning our reluctance to act and the ways in which we can match our moral beliefs with concrete actions.Featuring James Barr and Dan Hudson, co-hosts of the podcast 'A Gay and a Non-Gay'.WARNING: This episode talks frankly about discrimination, hate crimes and sex.For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

36mins

29 Jun 2020

Rank #20