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Today we’re taking a run at something that is simultaneously a contemplative cliché and also a deeply desired psychological outcome: getting out of your head and into your body. So many of us want an escape route from the spinning, looping, fishing narratives and grudges in our head and our guest today has some very practical suggestions to help us do that. Kelly Boys is a mindfulness trainer and coach. She has helped design and deliver mindfulness and resilience programs for the UN, Google, and San Quentin State Prison. She is also the author of The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What's Right in Front of You Today we’re going to talk specifically about a type of meditation that Kelly teaches called Yoga Nidra, which has been shown to help you sleep, improve your working memory, and decrease cravings. In this episode we talk about:The difference between Yoga Nidra and mindfulness meditation, and how Kelly seeks to combine themThe value of being able to both observe and high-five your demons Working with our “core beliefs” about ourselves and the worldThe calming power of drawing your attention to the back side of your body throughout the dayWorking with “opposites” as a way to get unstuck in difficult momentsWhat Kelly means by the blind spot effectSetting intentionsFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
The subject of anxiety never seems to lose its relevance. In this special episode we answer listener voicemails with one of the world’s leading experts on anxiety. Dr. Jud Brewer is the Chief Medical Officer at Sharecare and the Director of Research and Innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. He is also the New York Times best-selling author of Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind and an expert in the field of habit change and the science of self-mastery. In this episode we talk about:  The current levels of anxiety in our cultureWhy fear and planning can be helpful, but worrying is notThe role of curiosity and kindness in short circuiting anxiety How to differentiate between anxiety and excitementWhether we can try too hard to treat our anxietyAnd why as a society we are moving away from distress tolerance Full Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
This simple but profound meditation will help you flip the judgment switch and genuinely welcome whatever your life presents.About Jeff Warren:Jeff is an incredibly gifted meditation teacher. He's trained in multiple traditions, including with renowned teacher Shinzen Young. Jeff is the co-author of NY Times Bestseller "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics," and the founder of the Consciousness Explorers Club, a meditation adventure group in Toronto. He has a knack for surfacing the exact meditation that will help everyone he meets. "I have a meditation for that" is regularly heard from Jeff, so we've dubbed him the "Meditation MacGyver."To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Welcoming Your Imperfection,” or click here:""See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
We’ve all got parts of our personality or our past that we’re ashamed of. We might refer to these parts of ourselves as our demons, our baggage, or our secrets; no one is immune.So, how do you want to deal with this situation? Stay coiled in shame and denial? That only makes the demons stronger. An alternative, per my guest Koshin Paley Ellison, is to approach your stuff with “healthy embarrassment.” That allows you to work more skillfully with your baggage so that it doesn’t own you. And once you’re cooler with yourself, that can improve your relationships with other people, which is probably the most important variable for your happiness. And healthy embarrassment is just one of many extremely useful things we are going to talk about today.Koshin Paley Ellison is an author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and Certified Chaplaincy Educator. He is the co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, an amazing place which, among other things, trains people to be volunteers in hospice centers. Koshin is the author of a new book called Untangled: Walking the Eightfold Path to Clarity, Courage, and Compassion, which centers on a classic Buddhist list called The Eightfold Path, the Buddha’s recipe for enlightenment or, as Koshin puts it, “the most awesome combo platter.”In this episode we talk about:What is The Eightfold Path and how it fits into another Buddhist list, The Four Noble TruthsHow to use the list to do life betterThe danger of perfectionism in putting the list to use in your lifeHow to bridge the gap between what we say we care about and what we’re actually doing with our livesHow sitting with your pain can lead to freedomThe utility and pitfalls of gossipHow we can look at the idea of “killing” in many different ways, including how one can “kill a moment” or “the energy in a room”How the concept of “right effort” can help us find the balance between not doing enough and overworking ourselvesHow being uncomfortable is a sign of real engagement with our practiceAnd Koshin’s addition of the concept of “mystery” as another aspect of the eightfold pathFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Today we explore the entire dread spectrum with Saleem Reshamwala, who took a deep dive on this very common, very uncomfortable emotion. What is dread, exactly? What evolutionary purpose does it serve? Most importantly, how do we deal with it? What are the antidotes?Reshamwala has worked for The New York Times, PBS, and also TED, where he hosts a podcast called Far Flung. He is also the host of More Than A Feeling, another podcast here at Ten Percent Happier. Saleem and his team recently launched something called The Dread Project - we shared their first episode kicking off the series last week. It’s a five-day series that investigates dread. Each day of the challenge, listeners tackle dread in a different way. You can sign up for The Dread Project at this episode we talk about:Dread-management techniques, including: journaling, drawing, and welcoming your dread to the party inside your headHow to face dread when it comes to climate change And the biggest dread of all— deathFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Setting intentions regularly can be an incredibly effective and deeply satisfying tool to map out how you want to live your life.About Dawn Mauricio:Dawn Mauricio discovered the practices of Buddhist meditation in 2005, and from then on, did what any well-intentioned perfectionist would do — plunge in head first! Since then, she's graduated from several teaching programs, including Spirit Rock's four-year Teacher Training. Her teaching style is playful, dynamic, and heartfelt, and she teaches extensively in her home-country of Canada, as well as the US, to teens, people of color, and folks of all backgrounds.To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Daily Intention Setting,” or click here: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Can gratitude be more than just a platitude? Our guest today argues: yes. DaRa Williams is a longtime practitioner and teacher of meditation. She is one of the guiding teachers at Insight Meditation Society, a graduate of the Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program, and also has a clinical mental health private practice in Manhattan. DaRa also says, only semi-facetiously, that she believes gratitude can be considered the fifth Brahma Vihara. In this conversation we talk about:How to start knitting gratitude into your everyday lifeWhether gratitude is possible when everything sucksHow to avoid spiritual bypassThe opportunity that suffering brings for happinessHow to take our suffering less personallyThe power of reminding yourself that you are natureAnd our unconscious fascination with creating difficultyFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
There are all sorts of ways to struggle with getting things done. Maybe you’re a procrastinator, maybe you’re somebody whose energy flags in the middle of a project, maybe you’re too stubborn and don’t know when to quit, or maybe you’re somebody who sets too many goals and gets burned out. Whatever your situation, we all struggle with motivation. The good news is that there’s a whole crew of scientists who study best practices for getting things done, including today’s guest, Ayelet Fishbach, PhD.Fishbach is one of the most eminent players in the field. She is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She is also the author of Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation. In this episode we talk about:The crucial first step of setting goalsHow to pick the right goals for youWhether it’s more effective to have a goal that is positive – where you’re aiming to achieve something specific – or negative – where you’re aiming to stop doing somethingWhether to-do lists workWhether incentives workBest practices for monitoring your progressThe importance of celebrating milestones The importance of negative feedbackWhy the 10,000 steps per day goal makes motivational sense even though it’s been proven to be scientifically arbitrary And how to know when to let go of a goalFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Bring an open minded curiosity to your big emotions and get to know yourself more fully, developing resilience to deal with all the feels.About Sharon Salzberg:A towering figure in the meditation world, Sharon Salzberg is a prominent teacher & New York Times best-selling author. She has played a crucial role bringing mindfulness and lovingkindness practices to the West.Sharon co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield and is the author of nine books, including Lovingkindness, Real Happiness, and the most recent Real Love. Sharon lives in New York City and teaches around the world.To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Being with Big Emotions,” or click here: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
This episode is for anyone who has ever had a tough or tricky moment. In other words, everyone who is currently drawing breath on planet earth right now.Today’s guests are powerhouse duo Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Daniel Goleman.Tsoknyi Rinpoche is one of the greatest living Tibetan masters who has a whole toolbox of techniques for dealing with difficult moments, habitual patterns, and common meditation obstacles. He’ll be in conversation with Daniel Goleman, a trained scientist and science writer best known for his landmark book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Together, they have just written a book called Why We Meditate: The Science and Practice of Clarity and Compassion. This is the fourth and final installment of our series called, The Art and Science of Keeping Your Sh*t Together. In each episode we bring together a meditative adept or Buddhist scholar and a respected scientist. The idea is to give you the best of both worlds to arm you with both modern and ancient tools for regulating your emotions.In this episode we talk about:The single word that Rinpoche believes captures the most challenging aspect of modern lifeTwo of the biggest obstacles for meditatorsWhat Rinpoche calls the “drop it” practiceRinpoche’s term, “beautiful monsters”The four steps of the “handshake” practice, which is meant for meeting difficult emotions and being OK with themWhy reasoning with your feelings doesn’t workHow to experience a fundamental OK-ness independent of external conditionsA personal story from Rinpoche about being with one of his own difficult habitsWhat Rinpoche calls the “three speed limits”And, “belly breathing”Full Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Is it possible to learn to spot which state your nervous system is in and move from suboptimal states to much better ones? The subject of how to work with your own nervous system is called Polyvagal Theory and today’s guests Deb Dana & Kaira Jewel Lingo will give us a primer on what that exactly means. They will also talk about how our nervous systems are connected to the nervous systems of other people, and how we can learn to co-regulate our systems for the betterment of others. Deb Dana is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who is a clinician, consultant and author specializing in complex trauma.  Her work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma, and creating ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. She has written several books, including Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory.  Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher with a lifelong interest in spirituality and social justice. After living as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community, Kaira Jewel now teaches internationally in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, as well as in secular mindfulness, with a focus on activists, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. She is author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons for Moving Through Change, Loss, and Disruption.  This is the third installment of our series called, The Art and Science of Keeping Your Sh*t Together. In each episode we bring together a meditative adept or Buddhist scholar and a respected scientist. The idea is to give you the best of both worlds to arm you with both modern and ancient tools for regulating your emotions.In this episode we talk about:The basics of Polyvagal TheoryA fascinating and easily graspable concept from Buddhist psychology called, “store consciousness”The interconnectedness of our nervous systems and the responsibility that creates for all of usHow to handle being annoyedWhat happens when we beat ourselves up with “shoulds,” and how to stop doing thatThe value of simply knowing, in the moments when you’re stuck, that those moments are impermanentHow to allow your suffering to inform your lifeThe value of “micro-moments”Two ways of caring for painful states without suppressing themAnd the power of action and service in overcoming anxietyFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
The team over at our sister show, More Than a Feeling, are diving deep into an emotion that a lot of us can relate to: dread. And while that may sound unappetizing, they’ve found a way to make this series delightful and useful. It’s called “The Dread Project,” and today you’re gonna hear their kick off episode, and then next week, every day, in the More Than a Feeling podcast feed, you’ll find a short episode that will give you a new, short and fun exercise on how to work with your dread.Sign up for The Dread Project Challenge at, and you’ll get five days of emails with insights from each day’s episode and the exercise that goes with it.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
A common idea in the west is that our feelings or emotions should be viewed with suspicion, superseded or overridden by rational thought, and that your mind is a battleground between emotions and rationality. But on the show today, guests Lisa Feldman Barrett and John Dunne are going to offer a very compelling science backed argument that disputes the notion that thinking and feeling are distinct. Furthermore, they argue that understanding how emotions are actually made can be a life or death matter. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Barrett is among the top 1% most-cited scientists, having published over 270 peer-reviewed scientific papers.  She has written several books, including How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, and Seven And A Half Lessons About The Brain. Her TED talk has been viewed more than 6.5 million times.John Dunne holds the Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities at the Center for Healthy Minds of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science and Psychology. He earned his PhD from Harvard. This is part two in a series we’re calling The Art and Science of Keeping Your Sh*t Together. In each episode we bring together a meditative adept or Buddhist scholar and a respected scientist. The idea is to give you the best of both worlds to arm you with both modern and ancient tools for regulating your emotions. In this episode we talk about:Lisa’s scientific definition of emotionsJohn’s Buddhist contention that emotions, as a category, do not exist in Buddhism The difference between suffering and discomfortWhat we can do to master our emotions including understanding what Lisa terms as our “body budget” Becoming more emotionally intelligentMastering our feelings in the momentWhether or not pain is an emotion and how it worksHow and why to be present in the here and nowThe upside of unpleasant feelingsFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
In western culture, there's been a long held view that our ability to reason should be placed above our emotions. But the hard truth is that our emotions are there and they're non-negotiable— and If you don't know how to work with them, they can own you.The good news is that you can work with them and that there are many systems for doing so. To boot, you can learn a ton by listening to your emotions in the right ways. Today’s guests, Shinzen Young and James Gross will help us understand how to work with our emotions and offer both techniques in modern science and ancient wisdom in order to do so. Gross is the Ernest R. Hilgard Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, where he directs the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory. Young is an American mindfulness teacher and neuroscience research consultant. He teaches something called Unified Mindfulness, which you will hear him describe in this conversation.This is part one in a series we’re calling The Art and Science of Keeping Your Sh*t Together. In each episode we bring together a meditative adept or Buddhist scholar and a respected scientist. The idea is to give you the best of both worlds to arm you with both modern and ancient tools for regulating your emotions. In this episode we talk about:James’s “modal model” for understanding what emotions are and how they workJames’s five different types of strategies you can use for regulating your emotionsShinzen’s contention that emotions have two sides to themHow we can experience emotions with more fulfillment and less suffering via a mindfulness training he calls “focus factors”James’s “process model of emotion regulation” What James believes are the elements that unite science and BuddhismShinzen’s contention that anyone can experience massive benefits of mindfulness training if their meditation practice has four key componentsFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
We’re sharing a very special episode from a frequent guest of the show, Esther Perel. In this episode, “Love in War with Esther Perel: Ukraine,” you’ll hear a couples session led by Esther, between a husband and wife whose family has been torn apart by the war in Ukraine. Through the lens of relationship, you experience both the horrors of war and the relatability of intimate relationships.Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of many books, including Mating In Captivity. She’s also the host of the podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work?. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Cultivate resilience by choosing to turn towards joy, and transform difficult times into growth opportunities and heartache into gratitude.About La Sarmiento:La Sarmiento is the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington's BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Sanghas and a mentor for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program and Cloud Sangha. They graduated from Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leader Training Program in 2012. As an immigrant, non-binary, Filipinx-American, La is committed to expanding access to the Dharma. They live in Towson, MD with their life partner Wendy and rescue pups Annabel and Bader.To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Opening to Joy,” or click here: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
It is so easy to be pessimistic and, in fact, we are evolutionarily wired towards it with a built in negativity bias. This bias can be super useful, because it keeps us on guard for threats. But like all biases, it can warp the way we see the world. This is why optimism can be incredibly helpful. We’re not talking about blind optimism here but more about grounded, realistic and reasonable optimism. Our guest today, Robin Roberts, has come by this skill the hard way. Not only is she one of the boldest of the boldface names in the news business, where she is forced to confront crime, war, and natural disasters on the regular, but she’s also come through two very serious bouts of cancer.Roberts is the longtime co-anchor of Good Morning America. She has a new book called, Brighter by the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams in which she talks about how she has honed her optimism chops, and how you can, too. In this episode we talk about:How to strengthen your optimism muscleMaking “one day, day one”Operationalizing your goalsRobin’s meditation practiceNapping during meditationHow she gets enough sleep given her crazy scheduleEnvisioning the victory Flipping the script so that instead of thinking “what could go wrong?” we think, “what could go right?” Full Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Friendship might not necessarily be something you’ve considered to be an urgent psychological and physiological issue. One thing we explore a lot on the show is that the quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life, and sadly, in many ways, it’s harder than ever to make and keep friends. With loneliness and disconnection on the rise, our society just wasn’t constructed for social connection, and recent data suggests we’re in a friendship crisis, with many of us reporting that we have fewer close friendships than ever.Our guest today is Robin Dunbar, an Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Oxford University and the author of numerous books on the development of homo sapiens. Dunbar is perhaps best known for formulating “Dunbar's number,” which is a measurement of the number of relationships our brain is capable of maintaining at any one time. He is a world-renowned expert on human relationships, and has a ton of fascinating research findings and practical tips for upping your friendship game.In this conversation, we dive into the science behind human relationships, the upsides and downsides of maintaining friendships on social media, the viability of friendships across gender lines, and what science says you can do to compensate if you feel you are currently lacking in close friendships. Full Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. By identifying what really matters to us, we can strengthen our most meaningful connections.About Oren Jay Sofer:Oren Jay Sofer teaches mindfulness, meditation, and Nonviolent Communication in secular and Buddhist contexts. Oren has practiced meditation in the early Buddhist tradition since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India with Anagarika Munindra and Godwin Samararatne. He is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and a graduate of the IMS - Spirit Rock Vipassana Teacher Training, and current member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council.Oren is the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, a practical guidebook for having more effective, satisfying conversations.To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “When We Fight With People We Love,” or click here: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Relationships can be tricky. Especially if you find yourself upset with someone, and instead of talking it through, you let it fester until one moment you completely lose it and end up having to apologize. If you’ve ever felt like you had friction with the people in your life, or that you’ve been taken for granted, today’s episode offers you solid strategies to cope. Sister True Dedication is a Zen Buddhist nun and teacher ordained by the great meditation teacher and author, Thich Nhat Hanh. She edited several of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books, including The Art of Living and Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet. She was born in the United Kingdom, studied history and political thought at Cambridge University, and worked for BBC News before ordaining as a nun at the age of 27.In this episode we talk about: The six phrases – or mantras – that Thich Nhat Hanh recommended people use in their relationshipsKeeping misunderstandings “dust free”Taking action to make sure anger doesn’t festerThe importance of recognizing that our understanding of the world is always partialBringing mantras to workHow Sister True Dedication went from journalism to the monasteryFull Shownotes: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Comments (197)

Chelle Smith

I really enjoy this Podcast, especially the bonus meditations. 5 stars.

Nov 25th


Excellent discussion on communicating with emotionally immature people.

Oct 13th

mahnaz ramezanpour

I love the podcast, really enjoy listening to all of them. I appreciate all of your efforts to provide such a great podcast.

Sep 2nd

Sharon Anderson

amazing podcast-thought provoking, inspiring. thank you.

Aug 27th

mahnaz ramezanpour

loved it so much, thanks 😊

Aug 9th

Mel Dolly

The author offers a youthful perception of navigating grief.

Jun 21st

Vincent Haver

Starts at 3:15

May 22nd

The Diet of Common Sense Podcast

This is a good concept and indeed, happiness is a skill you can master by practice. It happens in your mind, and if you can master your mind, you can eventually train it to be happier by not letting the negative things bother you and focus on the positives.

May 22nd

Sean Moore

really good..the the sharpening the pencil concept alone ...well done.

May 5th


Really important what she's saying, but don't we know all of this already by words? Namely assertiveness and passive aggression? Why do silikon Valley people always try to steal ideas from other people? We don't need more jargain. Please everyone, give yourself a favour and read Marshall Rosenberg books instead.

Nov 3rd


Maybe stop using the phrase "we are killing the planet" and instead say "we are killing everybody" or "we all die - very soon".

Oct 21st

David Cox

This is one of my favorite talks so far on this podcast. How to be able to apply mindfulness to our daily lives. Thanks Dan for sharing with us all. Keep up the great work.

Oct 14th

Elegy Durge

I love this! Can't wait for the book.

Jul 19th

Justin Bauer

thank you for putting more Buddhist talks :) 10% happier is one of my favorite podcasts. just btw.

Jul 12th

David Cox

one of my favorites, thanks

Jul 4th

Justin Bauer

I'm disappointed with where this podcast is going. what happened to all the Buddhist stuff?

Jun 30th



Jun 25th


The points made on listening were so enlightening. I really enjoyed this episode and will revisit it to remind myself of a better way to listen.

Jun 25th


Why do you charge such an obscene amount of money if you want to help people, I can’t pay 100 dollars

Jun 24th

Elizabeth Ladner

I got so much out of this interview 🧡

Jun 10th
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