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The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks
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The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

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You want to be happy. So why are you leaving it up to chance? There exists a wealth of knowledge that can help you live a life that has more joy, satisfaction, and purpose—and help you share these gifts with others. Harvard professor, PhD social scientist, bestselling author, and columnist Arthur Brooks is your teacher on the art and science of living a better life. In each episode, you will hear about research in the worlds of science, philosophy, theology, art, and literature. Then, Arthur will tell you how to use the wisdom of the experts in your own life, starting today.
30 Episodes
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Are you making your life harder than it needs to be? Satisfaction is one of the key macronutrients of happiness, but it can prove elusive. And it’s easy to burn out chasing it, and inventing more and more wants in our lives. Can we escape this phenomenon? In this episode, Arthur is joined by New York Times bestselling author Greg McKeown to discuss his latest bestseller, Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most. Together, they share some practical advice for living more effortlessly, while doing more of what matters and finding the true satisfaction that we seek. Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends! Happiness Survey: I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on happiness and current practices to improve your well-being. If you can spare five minutes, I’d appreciate your participation in a short survey to help guide my future happiness work.  To get started, go to arthurbrooks.com/art-of-happiness/ and click on the survey link. Thank you, friends. References and further reading:  Effortless| Greg McKeown  Essentialism| Greg McKeown
How to Buy Happiness

How to Buy Happiness

2021-04-2601:03:221

Can money buy happiness? It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of working more and more hours, chasing more and more money, in the hopes of getting happier. But after a certain point, despite our hard-wired belief to the contrary, more money doesn’t bring more happiness. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss the sometimes complicated relationship between money, happiness, and satisfaction. They also share how, at any income level, with a little knowledge and practice, we can actually use money to buy a little more happiness. Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends! Happiness Survey: I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on happiness and current practices to improve your well-being. If you can spare five minutes, I’d appreciate your participation in a short survey to help guide my future happiness work.  To get started, go to arthurbrooks.com/art-of-happiness/ and click on the survey link. Thank you! References and further reading:  How to Buy Happiness | Arthur Brooks High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being | Daniel Kahneman, Angus Deaton Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year |Matthew A. Killingsworth Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life | Ashley Whillans
Healing Collective Trauma

Healing Collective Trauma

2021-04-1301:22:361

Meaning and purpose in life are key drivers of happiness. However, we know that to understand happiness, we must also understand unhappiness, as these virtues often come through pain and suffering. In this episode, Arthur is joined by renowned teacher, international facilitator, and author of Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds, Thomas Hübl. Together, they discuss how we can understand and process traumatic experiences. They also share some advice on how we can avoid becoming permanent victims of our trauma and pain, and instead, develop resiliency and experience post-traumatic growth. This episode is brought to you by Bespoke Post, Feetures, Betterhelp, and noom. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends! References and further reading:  Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds | Thomas Hübl
How quick are you to rethink your opinions when presented with new information? Can changing your mind make you a happier person? In this episode, Arthur is joined by Wharton organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know to discuss the perks of being wrong. They also explore how thinking like a scientist and having the humility to reevaluate our opinions, while staying true to our values, can help us to not only improve ourselves, but our world, as well. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends! References and further reading: Changing Your Mind Can Make You Less Anxious |Arthur Brooks  Think Again |Adam Grant
Are you afraid of failure? Has it held you back from living your best life? You’re not alone. The fear of failure is on the rise. Why? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci explore the sources of the fear of failure as well as share some tangible ways to not only overcome this fear, but also to grow in virtue in the process. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. References and further reading:  Go Ahead and Fail |Arthur Brooks
Christians around the world have just entered the season of Lent, a time of prayer, fasting, and voluntary sacrifice. However, this practice isn’t limited to Christianity, or even to those who are traditionally religious. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci explore the positive side effects of sacrifice and share some Lenten strategies and best practices for gaining these happiness benefits, whether we are religious or not. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. References and further reading:  What You Gain When You Give Things Up| Arthur Brooks
Evidence shows that there’s more loneliness and isolation in the United States than ever before. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has even said that we have an epidemic of loneliness in this country. How do we turn back this trend? In this episode, Arthur is joined by thought leader and author of The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart, Noreena Hertz. Together, they discuss some practical solutions to combat the loneliness epidemic and help those we love who may be suffering. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. References and further reading:  The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart | Noreena Hertz  How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart | Arthur Brooks
A happy life requires a mix of enjoyment and purpose. How can you achieve this balance in your own life? In this episode, Arthur is joined by founder of The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday, who discusses how we can apply the wisdom of ancient Stoic philosophy to our modern lives. They share some key lessons for building a life of virtue, moderation, and most importantly, flourishing and true happiness. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. References and further reading: There Are Two Kinds of Happy People | Arthur Brooks Lives of the Stoics | Ryan Holiday The Daily Stoic | Ryan Holiday
E21. Sharing Happiness

E21. Sharing Happiness

2021-01-1801:06:23

There’s a simple three-part formula for improving your happiness: understand the science behind it, apply that information to your life, and share that knowledge with others. In this episode, Arthur is joined by Bishop Bill Byrne, bishop of Springfield, MA, and author of 5 Things with Father Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul. They discuss lessons from Bishop Bill’s new book, and Arthur shares some advice on how you can practically and simply lead a happier, better life and share those lessons with those around you. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. References and further reading: 5 Things with Father Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul | Bishop William Byrne
What’s your new year’s resolution? Is it the right one? Research shows that between one-third and one-half of Americans make new year’s resolutions. However, research also shows that fewer than half of resolutions are still successful by June. What’s the secret for a successful resolution? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci share the habits that make resolutions stick. Also, Arthur explains how to set the right resolution in the first place—that is, one that will bring you happiness directly—and he has two suggestions for you. This episode is brought to you by The Jordan Harbinger Show, Skillshare, and Feetures. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions. Special Event: If you enjoy the show, you won’t want to miss an exclusive event on leadership and happiness that I’m doing with a very special guest as part of my popular Harvard Business School class. The event will be livestreamed on my Facebook page on January 16, so be sure to “Follow” me on Facebook or signup for my newsletter here to be among the first to hear the details. References and further reading: New Year’s Resolutions That Will Actually Lead to Happiness| Arthur Brooks Auld lang syne: success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers |Norcross, J., Mrykalo, M., & Blagys, M. Cigarette Advertising to Counter New Years Resolutions | Basil, M., Basil, D., & Schooler, S. Tiny Habits | Fogg, B. J. Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life | Emmons, R. & McCullough, M. Intervention Studies on Forgiveness: A Meta‐Analysis| Baskin, T. & Enright, R.
Are you always a little blue around the holidays? Or perhaps, like many, you’re just finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit during this difficult year, marked by loss and family separation? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci provide some holiday happiness assistance and share how you can build your holiday to make it truly happy and meaningful. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.comwith your happiness questions. References and further reading: Don’t Isolate Yourself This Holiday Season| Arthur Brooks
The pandemic has brought life to a standstill for many, not just economically, but physically, as well. Polling data reveals that Americans are plagued by a state of inactivity. Combine that with the usual indulgences of the holiday season, and you can bet that come New Year’s Day, there will be a record number of diet and exercise related resolutions. Does eating right and exercising lead to greater happiness? In this episode, Arthur is joined by personal trainer and co-founder of Mind Pump Media, Sal Di Stefano, to answer this question and provide some tips for living a healthier, happier life, all year round. References and further reading: Sedentary Pandemic Life Is Bad for Our Happiness | Arthur Brooks Mind Pump Media
E17. Life: Part 2

E17. Life: Part 2

2020-11-2401:06:04

In the Western world, we have celebrations to mark life events in the first half of our lives—graduations, weddings, baby showers—but, we don’t celebrate becoming middle-aged. Instead, we often bemoan the “midlife crisis.” Turns out, that’s the wrong way of looking at middle age. In this episode, Arthur is joined by Chip Conley, founder of the Modern Elder Academy, who has dedicated his life to helping people through the transition to the second half of life. They discuss how “middlescence” can be a joyful and fruitful time, if managed well and share some advice for having an even happier second half of life than the first. References and further reading: Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder | Chip Conley Emotional Equations: Simple formulas to help your life work better| Chip Conley    Wisdom Well: Chip’s Blog | Chip Conley    About Modern Elder Academy
The happiness effect of competitive elections is real: Losing an election hurts. In fact, research shows that in presidential elections, having your candidate lose can depress happiness for months. How are you feeling post-election? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci explore the research on happiness and post-election suffering. Also, Arthur shares some much-needed advice for those attempting to cope with Trump’s loss; but for those celebrating a Biden victory, Arthur has some advice for you, too. References and further reading: How to Cope with Election Agony| Arthur Brooks Losing Hurts: The Happiness Impact of Partisan Electoral Loss |Pierce, L., Rogers, T., & Snyder, J. Presidential Elections, Divided Politics, and Happiness in the USA |Pinto, S., et al.
With Election Day looming, it’s hard to tune out the nonstop political coverage across all platforms—from cable news to social media. Can you pay less attention while still being an engaged citizen? Should you be tuning out for the sake of your happiness? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss why it’s necessary for the political junkies among us to attempt a political detox and share some practical tips on how we can avoid letting politics dominate our thinking and ruin our happiness and relationships. References and further reading: Reading Too Much Political News Is Bad for Your Well-Being | Arthur Brooks      
E14. Happy Monkey

E14. Happy Monkey

2020-10-1201:17:451

Are you struggling to find peace in your life? Does the future seem grim? Tibetan Buddhists attribute this sense of restlessness and pessimism to your “monkey mind.” With this understanding, finding peace and happiness is tricky, like training a frenetic monkey that you can’t get to sit still. In this episode, Arthur is joined by Dr. Martin Seligman, positive psychology expert and author of Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. They share practical advice for how you can calm your monkey, better understand the future, and move from pessimism to optimism in your daily life.  This episode is brought to you by Talkspace, Feetures, and Paypal. Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app. Get $10 Off Your First Pair of Feetures when you use code ARTHUR at feetures.com. PayPal is making it easy to pay safely, quickly and easily. Download the PayPal app today. References and further reading: What to Do When the Future Feels Hopeless|Arthur Brooks  The Hope Circuit| Martin Seligman  Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life| Martin Seligman  Why Lawyers are Unhappy | Seligman, M., Verkuil, P., & Kang, T.
The evidence is clear that people find happiness and greater life satisfaction in faith and spirituality. But what do you do if you have no experience with faith or have fallen away from the religion of your childhood as you’ve grown older? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss overcoming common obstacles to exploring your spiritual side, particularly if you’re feeling religious stirrings for the first time. But Arthur also shares advice for those who are more traditionally religious on how to elevate their practice amid the busyness of everyday life.  This episode is brought to you by Talkspace, Feetures, and The American Story podcast. Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app. Get $10 off your first pair of Feetures when you use code ARTHUR at feetures.com. Visit theamericanstorypodcast.org and subscribe​ ​for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or on your preferred podcast platform.   References and further reading: How to Navigate a Midlife Change of Faith | Arthur Brooks
As we enter a new season, we’re facing the reality that the pandemic is not a temporary affliction, but an involuntary transition from one way of life to another. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss the psychology behind why transitions—whether voluntary or involuntary—can be so uncomfortable and why our natural reaction is to resist them. Most importantly, Arthur shares how instead of working against them, we can embrace these periods of “falling tides” in our lives and reap the benefits. This episode is brought to you by Noom. Sign up for a trial of Noom today at noom.com/ARTHUR.   References and further reading: The Clocklike Regularity of Major Life Changes | Arthur Brooks
E11. A Look into Your Future

E11. A Look into Your Future

2020-09-0101:10:091

Imagine you had the ability to predict how people’s actions in their 20s or 30s would affect their lives in their 70s and 80s. You’d have a pretty good idea of how to crack the happiness code, right? Turns out, for 80 years, Harvard researchers have been doing just that in one of history’s longest studies of happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development. In this episode, Arthur is joined by psychiatrist Bob Waldinger, the current director of the study, to learn about the origins of the project and the enduring lessons on happiness, aging, and relationships that it This episode is brought to you by Talkspace, American Space, and The Bradley Speaker Series. Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app. Visit Bradleyfdn.org/Liberty to watch the most recent episode of Conceived in Liberty, The Bradley Speaker Series. References and further reading: Harvard Study of Adult Development What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | TED Talk | Bob Waldinger
Would you rather be special, than happy? If so, you might be a success addict. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss why success can be so addictive and explain some of the key attributes of those who Arthur deems “success addicts.” No matter your stage in life, Arthur shares three tips for overcoming your success addiction and living a happier, more balanced, and fulfilling life. This episode is brought to you by Talkspace and The Bradley Speaker Series. Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app. Visit Bradleyfdn.org/Liberty to watch the most recent episode of Conceived in Liberty, The Bradley Speaker Series. References and further reading: ‘Success Addicts’ Choose Being Special Over Being Happy | Arthur Brooks  Trading Health Risks for Glory: A Reformulation of the Goldman Dilemma| González, et al.  Drinking: A Love Story | Caroline Knapp
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Comments (4)

Richar Dö

Arthur's microphone sounds kind of off.

Dec 8th
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stinky rex

the best podcast episode for these election times. if i could get everyone in the country to listen to it, i would!!!

Oct 30th
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Richar Dö

I've been following since day 1. I'm about to go through a big transition in my life and your content has really helped.

Sep 29th
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P.M. Debrunner

This is a world changing episode

Jun 8th
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