The Science of Happiness

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.

Episodes

February 22, 2024 6 mins

We all have a playful side, and research shows acting on it can help us when we need to move through challenging emotions, manage conflict, and be more creative.

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/4bxtn9ek

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable position to begin the practice. Focus on breathing deeply.

  2. Think back to a moment of play during your childhood. Recall specific details like your age, what...

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When we devote a little time to the other people in our life, we actually feel like we have more of it. Our guest tried a practice to regain control of his time and schedule

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/mr3r6jfn


Episode summary:

Like many of us, our guest Bryant Terry felt like he never had enough time in his day. And while he was eager to reconnect with his family, his schedule was spiraling out...

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When we treat ourselves with kindness and gratitude, research shows we feel more motivated and less self-critical. Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield leads in a practice where we gently turn inward.

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/yfbz28h2

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable position to begin the practice. Focus on taking deep breaths, relaxing your body.

  2. As you recognize the different sensati...

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Our guest tried a practice in Radical Acceptance, a Buddhist principle made popular by today's expert, psychologist Tara Brach. 

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/362m4n3b


Episode summary:

Sometimes, a setback in work or life can leave us feeling defeated and uninspired. Nadia Zafar is a neurobiology student who has been pursuing her PhD for the last 6 years. Recently, her lack of progress had her spi...

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A meditation in meeting our most difficult emotions — like anger, disappointment, or fear — with mindfulness and gentle care.

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/48jas955

How to Do This Practice:

When you come up against something challenging – you’re angry or frustrated or feeling any way about yourself, another person, or a situation, move through these steps. It might be helpful to sit somewhere you feel c...

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What happens when we intentionally look for beautiful things in our day-to-day lives? We explore a lab-tested practice shown to help you feel happier.

Link to Transcript: http://tinyurl.com/yretvrkp

Episode summary:

When was the last time you witnessed a beautiful moment? Maybe it was a striking sunset, a kind exchange between strangers, or a hearty laugh between two friends. Beautiful moments surround us, and research ...

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Research shows feeling connected with nature can lower our stress response. This visualization meditation can help you feel at ease, no matter where you are.

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/2k6pdh7n

How to Do This Practice:

It is encouraged to try this practice outdoors

  1. Begin the practice by focusing on your breath, and relaxing your body, noticing how it feels supported, particularly by the earth.

  2. ...

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January 4, 2024 17 mins

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

We explore how the science of behavior change can help us form new habits and be happier while doing it.Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/4e294mdt


Episode summary:

Many of us are heading into the new year with a resolutio...

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 When we imagine our best possible selves in our relationships, we feel more motivated to achieve our goals and a greater sense of control over our lives. This week, Dacher leads a visualization exercise in preparation for the new year.

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

Link...

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Join our limited newsletter, The Science of Habits, to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year's resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

We explore how contemplating our heritage can make us feel more belonging, gratitude, and confidence in what we're capable of achieving.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/5djerhbj


Episode summary:

Oral historian Mi'J...

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Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

When we practice forgiveness, studies show we can have healthier relationships, higher self-esteem, and less anxiety and depression.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/mt9uwad8

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable ...

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Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

When we're more curious, we are more likely to be happier and have stronger relationships. Try deepening your curiosity with these science-backed practices from author Scott Shigeoka.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/276u4yxu

...

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Chef and author Bryant Terry leads us through a visualization to connect with our ancestors by appreciating our families' traditional foods.


Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year’s resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits


Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/yc6d69py

How to Do This Practice:

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November 23, 2023 19 mins

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year’s resolution stick in 2024.

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/255mcn3b


Episode summary:

This week, we’re focusing on doing good for others, and we’ve turned to someone who cheers people up for a living. Dana Merwin is a professional clown and perf...

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Renew your sense of gratitude by remembering acts of kindness, with social scientist and meditation teacher Eve Ekman.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/kjkzpdk8

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Begin the practice by focusing on your breath and settling your mind and body. Notice any physical sensations that arise.

  2. Shift your attention away from your body, recalling a time in the last week where you received ...

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This week we revisit our science-backed tips for a good night's sleep with sleep scientist Eti Ben Simon and host of the Sleep with Me podcast Drew Ackerman.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2p8t47eh


Episode summary:

A good night’s sleep can be hard to come by, and beating yourself up over not sleeping enough will only make it worse. On this episode of The Science of Happiness, the host of Sleep Wit...

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Take a break from ruminating with Lama Rod Owens as he leads you in a meditation to cultivate a sky-like mind.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/5fn7sw7t

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable position to begin this practice.

  2. Turn your attention to the rise and fall of your thoughts and feelings within your mind.

  3. Imagine that your mind is a vast open sky and that your thoughts are like clouds pas...

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October 26, 2023 16 mins

For time immemorial, humans have connected deeply through singing with one another. We explore the science behind this, plus how group singing benefits other aspects of our health. 

Link to Episode Transcript: https://tinyurl.com/bdzkmezu


Episode summary:

When was the last time you sang with another person? This week, we’re digging into the science of singing — and more specifically, the science of singing with ot...

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Having a curious approach to life can improve our mood, creativity and relationships. Scott Shigeoka leads a visualization exercise to help you approach someone you might disagree with with an open and curious mind.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4dfsxr2x

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable place to begin the practice, focusing on your breath.

  2. Imagine that you are going to interact with a f...

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October 12, 2023 16 mins

Simple actions like consciously placing a hand on your heart or hugging yourself can lower your cortisol levels, heart rate, and help you feel less stressed. Our guest tries a practice in self-soothing touch.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2zbykwh6


Episode summary:

While reading this, you might be fiddling with your fingers or have a hand resting on your face -– these are examples of self-touch. T...

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