You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong.
In "The Happiness Lab" podcast, Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness. She's changed the lives of thousands of people through her class "Psychology and the Good Life," and she'll change yours, too.
Are you ready to feel better?
Episode 1: Why Nostalgia Ain't So Rosy
Actor Rob Lowe LOVES the 1980s. And who can blame him? He was one of the most famous men on the planet. But, as he tells Dr Laurie Santos, he's careful not to wallow in nostalgia for the music, fashions and events of his youth too much - and happiness science backs him up on this. Research suggests that our memories of the past can be very selective and highly unreliable - causing us to misremember events and cast them in a rosy glow. Sadly, this also causes us to make very bad decisions about what will make us happy in the future.
Episode 2: Treating the Pain of a Broken Heart
Being shunned by a lover, a school or an employer hurts - but we're only just beginning to understand how real this pain is and what steps we can take to administer a bit of emotional first aid to stop the experience scarring us for good. Dr Laurie Santos talks to leading experts in the science of rejection... and to actor/marine/golfer Tim Colceri about one of the most extreme real life stories of humiliation and dashed hopes you're ever likely to hear.
Episode 3: Boldly Go Like Yuri Gagarin
Space crews, athletes and pop stars all indulge in strange rituals before moments of high stress. It's easy to mock these behaviours - indeed even the people who practise them often admit they're a bit weird - but they can act like performance enhancing drugs. Dr Laurie Santos looks at the research to show why creating a good luck ritual can make us perform better and feel calmer, happier and more confident when faced with life's big moments.
Episode 4: Let Slip the Dogs of More Happiness
Companion pets - especially dogs - are credited with making our lives richer and more fun, but does the science back up this belief? Dr. Laurie Santos breaks down what it is dogs can do to make us happier - and what behaviors we can adopt to experience the wellbeing boost of dog ownership even without buying one. She'll also introduce you to Georgia the motorcycling dog and her owner, Laurette Nicoll.
Episode 5: You Can’t Always Want What You Like
We might love gruelling hikes, trips to see far-flung relatives or super hard crossword puzzles, but often we lack the motivation needed to embark on these fun things. How can that be? They make us happy, right? Dr Laurie Santos explores why our brains don't encourage us to do things that we know we'll enjoy, and presents some strategies to help us do more of the activities that will result in happier and healthier lives.
Episode 6: The Kindness of Strangers
When Kitty Genovese was murdered, her family and the wider world was told that bystanders watched, but did nothing to intervene. Psychologists tried to explain this callous inaction with a popular theory - the "bystander effect." Dr. Laurie Santos was taught this theory — that most people won't step in to help — but talking to Kitty's brother and Lady Gaga's mother she reveals that the "bystander effect" is wrong. People do like helping out, and we get a happiness boost from being kind. So how do we encourage more bystanders to intervene?
Episode 7: Laurie Gets a Fun-tervention (Part One)
Peter Pan was her childhood hero, but Dr Laurie Santos woke up one day and realized she'd broken the cardinal rule of Neverland - she'd grown up and stopped having more fun. Research suggests that goofing off and enjoying yourself is vitally important to your health, productivity and wellbeing. So Laurie asks Catherine Price (author of The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again) to come to her rescue and stage an emergency fun-tervention.
Episode 8: Laurie Gets a Fun-tervention (Part Two: Beach Party)
Dr Laurie Santos doesn't have so much fun these days - which is really bad for her health and wellbeing. So Catherine Price (author of The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again) is staging an emergency fun-tervention which will take Laurie to the beach and totally out of her comfort zone.