The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

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.


May 29, 2023 33 mins

What do you do when you enter "survival mode"? How can you become better at forging social connections? Can you be happy in a sad world? Happiness experts Dr Laurie Santos and Gretchen Rubin came together at Toronto's Hot Docs Festival to answer these and other questions from a live audience. 

See for privacy information.

Mark as Played

Not matter if you're aged three or 103, you can learn to be happier using pretty much the same strategies. Sesame Workshop and its furry friends have been teaching "emotional ABCs" alongside literacy and numeracy for decades. So in collaboration with The Happiness Lab, Elmo and his friends will be helping us present fun and accessible happiness hacks for listeners of all ages. 

To kick things off, Dr Laurie Santos sat down to disc...

Mark as Played

More than a third of us admit to having had a spiritual experience. We might have been profoundly moved by a sunset or a painting; or felt that we've connected with our god or with the entire world around us. Such events can be transformative - bringing positive change to our lives and increasing our happiness - but some experiences aren't so great. 

In front of a live audience in Washington DC, David Yaden of Johns Hopkins Univer...

Mark as Played

Who do we volunteer to run a gruelling half-marathon? Who do we expect to give up sugar, or quit drinking? Who do we demand clears out the garage in the middle of summer?

Ourselves. Mean, right?

Turns out we make demands on our future selves that our present selves would think are unrealistic or unreasonable. And the reason we do it is because our minds are really bad at anticipating the wants and needs we'll have in a week, a mo...

Mark as Played

When Marty Seligman started his long scientific career, psychologists concentrated on studying "misery and suffering" and what made people sad. But Marty wanted to discover what made happy people, well, happy. His research laid the foundations of "positive psychology" and the happiness science you hear week after week in this podcast. 

Dr Laurie Santos talks to Professor Seligman about his decades of research; the power of optimis...

Mark as Played

Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin was warned that her eyesight was in peril. It shocked her into realising she'd taken all of her five senses for granted - and so she resolved to wring every ounce of joy from the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures around her.  

Concluding her conversation with Dr Laurie Santos, Gretchen explains how to be more alive to smell, taste and touch - building on the ideas in her new book Life in F...

Mark as Played

Are you seeing what you look at? Or tuning in to the noises all around you? We take our senses for granted - particularly when it comes to the sights and sounds of our everyday lives. Exploring your senses can be a great way to experience more fun and happiness right now.  

Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin was warned that her eyesight was in peril - which spurred her to rethink her relationship with her senses. In the first of two ...

Mark as Played

Laurie swaps seats in the studio to be interviewed by none other than Katie Couric. In this episode of Next Question with Katie Couric, Laurie's asked to define happiness; outline the best steps to reach it; and give an honest appraisal of her own struggles to flourish each and every day. 

Listen to more episodes of Next Question with Katie Couric wherever you get your podcasts. 

See for privacy information.

Mark as Played

Following 9/11, Simran Jeet Singh's Sikh family in Texas was subjected to extreme racist abuse. And yet, Simran's father chose to look on the bright side and offer thanks instead for the acts of kindness friends and neighbors showed them. How was such optimism possible?

Simran - author of The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life - explains how practicing positive habits and living by our values as often as we can...

Mark as Played

Educator and author Simran Jeet Singh is Sikh. Most of his fellow Americans have no idea what Sikhism is - causing some to treat Simran with suspicion and hostility. But one of the key teachings of his religion is that all things and all people are connected - something that offers Simran comfort and hope in even the darkest moments. 

In the first of a two-part show, Dr Laurie Santos talks to Simran about his book - The Light We G...

Mark as Played

We often think of yoga as a physical exercise - but a centuries-old Sanskrit text, The Yoga Sutras, share teachings intended to improve both the body and mind. The author, Patanjali, makes clear that the poses and stretches are only part of picture - we also need to be kind, contemplative and grounded.  

Jessamyn Stanley (yoga teacher and author of Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance) takes Dr Laurie Santos through Patanjali's text -...

Mark as Played

In Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid, few Trojans survive the destruction of their city at the hands of their Greek enemies. A prince, Aeneas, leads a band of those fleeing Troy - but the journey is fraught with deadly storms and hungry monsters.  

But Aeneas takes a positive view of the struggles he and the other Trojans face, telling them to be proud of their resilience and courage. With the help of MIT classics professor Stephanie...

Mark as Played

Achilles has anger issues. The great Greek warrior sits out most of the Trojan War because he's angrily sulking. When he finally enters battle, he does so in a fit of rage that causes him to commit atrocities and bring dishonor on himself.  

So what can we learn from this angry character in Homer's epic poem, The Iliad? With the help of Harvard classics expert Greg Nagy and anger counsellor Dr Faith Harper, we look at how anger ca...

Mark as Played

The Greek thinker Socrates was put to death for encouraging his students to question everything - from their own beliefs to the laws and customs of Athenian society. But his ideas didn't die with him. 

Here's a chance to hear two episodes from our archive examining the legacy of Socrates, and how he influenced the thinking of Plato and Aristotle. Turns out the Ancient Greeks had a lot to say about how to live a happier life. 

See o...

Mark as Played

Question everything... that's a key insight from the great Greek philosopher Socrates. We may think we know ourselves and what makes us happy... but that's not always true. 

Yale professor Tamar Gendler says that by harnessing our "inner Socrates" we can ask ourselves why we think or feel certain things. We might then find that deeply-held convictions that money or status or accolades are a reliable route to happiness aren't corre...

Mark as Played
January 30, 2023 32 mins

We're surrounded by noise. That "noise" can be actual sounds - but also other annoyances and distractions that make it hard for us to concentrate or think clearly. And it's only getting worse - we're all being bombarded with more sirens, more pings, more chatter, more information. And then there are our internal monologues. Silence is just harder to come by. 

Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn (co-authors of Golden: The Power of Silence i...

Mark as Played

We can put huge amounts of physical and emotional energy into our jobs - even basing our self-worth on our achievements at work and letting ourselves be defined by what we do. So have our careers taken over too much of our lives? 

Simone Stolzoff (author of The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work) argues that we should stop hunting for the "perfect" job - that idealized career that will prove to others how smart, industriou...

Mark as Played

Lots of us hit the gym in January to get fit - but should we also be exercising our minds in preparation for tough times? A daily "self-talk workout" might be just as beneficial as squats and push-ups, says Seattle University psychology professor Rachel Turow. 

By practicing simple self-compassion exercises each day - such as breathing techniques - we can prepare for future challenges when we'll need those tools to help us tackle ...

Mark as Played
January 9, 2023 33 mins

Everyone has a view about what you should eat and how much. We're so bombarded with fad diets, fasting plans and nutritional advice that we can bounce from one way of eating to another without stopping to think: "What do I want to eat?"

Psychotherapist Andrea Wachter endured years of disordered eating and obsessing about her weight, until she decided to heed her inner voice and what her body wanted to consume. She explains to Dr L...

Mark as Played

Here's a preview of another podcast we love, Ten Percent Happier. Host Dan Harris flies to Dharamsala, India to spend two weeks in the orbit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is the first installment of a five-part audio documentary series. Over the course of the episodes, Dan talks to His Holiness about practical strategies for thorny dilemmas, including: how to get along with difficult people; whether compassion can cut it in ...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.


    In order to tell the story of a crime, you have to turn back time. Every season, Investigative journalist Delia D'Ambra digs deep into a mind-bending mystery with the hopes of reigniting interest in a decades old homicide case.


    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.


    Unforgettable true crime mysteries, exclusive newsmaker interviews, hard-hitting investigative reports and in-depth coverage of high profile stories.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


    © 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.