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“Is social media bad for our brains?” asks Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN’s Chasing Life. Dr. Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent talks about social media and how, while it can be a place for community and entertainment, it can also be harmful for our mental health. He speaks to social media researcher Prof. Dar Meshi about what social media is doing to our brains, and why we need to set healthy boundaries around our social media use. See for privacy information.
If you dread getting out of bed in the morning; if you are bad tempered with co-workers, clients or customers; if you leave work feeling an exhaustion that goes way beyond tiredness... it could be that you're burned out.  Jonathan Malesic felt all these things as a successful academic, and reflected wistfully on his previous job working as a parking lot attendant. Could it be that taking a high status, high paying job was making him miserable and pushing him beyond the limits of his endurance? Jonathan shares what he learned about burnout while researching his bookThe End Of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us, And How To Build Better Lives.  Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Psychologist and writer Adam Grant used every second of his day to the fullest... until he was struck by feelings of emptiness and stagnation. His sleep patterns changed, his productivity dipped, he found himself breaking his own rules by aimlessly watching Netflix. Adam decided this listless middle ground between depression and flourishing was "languishing" and he needed to escape it fast. The author of the #1 NYT bestselling book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know (, and host of TED's Work Life podcast ( says we ignore this "meh" feeling at our peril and explains how he fought back against languishing...with a game of Mario Kart. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
If you've done something wrong, feelings of guilt can prompt us to apologise, make amends and change our ways. But many of us also feel guilty with little cause. We may think we're bad parents, lazy or incompetent workers, or unreliable partners - all without much evidence that we've done anything wrong. Life coach Valorie Burton (author of Let Go Of The Guilt: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Take Back Your Joy) felt guilty for combining her career with raising a family - until she started examining the values and assumptions that underpinned these draining feelings. She shares the strategies she developed to separate 'true' guilt from 'false' guilt with Dr Laurie Santos. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
We react to sadness in a variety of unhelpful ways. We try to suppress it. We experience guilt over it and apologise to the people around us for feeling it. We assume it means we've failed. We even fear it. But sadness will touch us all - and to be happier and more resilient we need to accept the emotion and work with it to make our lives better. Journalist Helen Russell (author of How to be Sad: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad Better.) joins Dr Laurie Santos to explain why our view of sadness needs to be rehabilitated. You can purchase her book, How To Be Sad at - - and follow her @MsHelenRussell on social media platforms.  Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
How to be Angry Better

How to be Angry Better


Anger is a powerful signal that you or someone you value is in danger. But in our normal lives the sensations of rage we experience are false alarms - we aren't in real peril and we don't need to resort to extreme survival behaviors, such as violence. Therapist Faith Harper (author of Unfuck Your Anger) explains why our bodies evolved this anger response, and how we can ride out the initial wave of rage and reduce the negative effects of anger on us and our relationships. She also shows that anger has its place in pushing us to find constructive ways to challenge bad things in the world around us. WARNING: This episode contains some strong language. You can find Faith's books at the link below. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Many of the most painful or troubling emotions we experience are reactions to events that have actually happened - but one powerful and sometimes paralyzing feeling can be provoked by things as yet to occur. Say hello to anxiety. Psychotherapist and meditation teacher Andrea Wachter spent much of her life being stalked by the physical and mental manifestations of anxiety - the brain fog and the pit of the stomach dread of something bad looming on the horizon. She's amassed a wealth of strategies to overcome the thoughts and sensations that make up anxiety and she explains them to Dr Laurie Santos. You can try her meditations and courses on, and for her books and blogs can be found at Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
The Paradox of Grief

The Paradox of Grief


Most of us don't like to think about death - and when we experience a bereavement we're often not prepared for the pain or willing to confront all the feelings grief can bring. Psychotherapist Julia Samuel says the paradox of grief is that we need to let it rage through us with its full force if we are to process it effectively. Julia is the author of two bestselling books about grief: Grief Works, and This Too Shall Pass, and has created She has helped bereaved people for more than 30 years and experienced the personal pain of loss - especially following the shocking death of her close friend Princess Diana. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Grief is a simple enough word, but the emotional journey it describes is chaotic, messy and unique to each person. Psychotherapist and bereavement expert Julia Samuel ( joins Dr Laurie Santos for the second time to describe strategies which we can all use to help us navigate grief more effectively. Julia says there is no right or wrong way to mourn a loss - there is no "normal" way to grieve - but there are very simple things we can do each day to listen to our feelings of grief and process them so that we can carry on with our changed lives. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Uncomfortable emotions such as anger, guilt or loneliness are like the guiding beam of a lighthouse - they warn you of dangers ahead and help you navigate a meaningful life more effectively. Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David tells Dr Laurie Santos why many of us choose to ignore negative feelings or suppress them - when we should be engaging with them in a way that helps us understand what is going wrong in our lives and what we need to do to fix things and find greater happiness. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
We need to pay attention to our negative feelings - since they are telling us important things which we should address if we are to be happier in 2022. But often we just can't tell different emotions apart or have the proper words to describe what we are feeling. Social worker and author Brené Brown joins Dr Laurie Santos to explain how we can more fully explore distinct feelings such as envy and jealousy - so we can tell them apart and work out how to change our lives so we feel them less frequently and less painfully. Brené Brown's new book is Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
The Happiness Lab returns on Jan 3 to help you take a fresh, new year look at the emotions that make us sad, angry or uncomfortable. We often either ignore these feelings, or wallow in them. Neither strategy will improve our happiness and wellbeing. So in 2022 join Dr Laurie Santos and guests including Brene Brown and Adam Grant to work out how to really approach feelings like grief, guilt and burnout more effectively from now on. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Sharing a new Pushkin show, Legacy of Speed. When two Black sprinters raised their fists in protest at the 1968 Olympic Games, it shook the world. More than 50 years later, the ripple effects of their activism are still felt. Host Malcolm Gladwel tells the stories of the runners who took a stand, and the coaches and mentors who helped make them fast enough — and brave enough — to change the world. In this episode, we hear how coach Bud Winter took what he learned from working with fighter pilots in World War II and created a system for training sprinters at San Jose State. His “Relax and Win” methods used breathing, visualization and other unconventional coaching techniques to create a powerhouse track program. Another thing that made him unique at the time? His focus on recruiting Black athletes to a mostly white school. See for privacy information.
We all want to do good - and doing good can make us feel good - but we often don't make the most effective choices when we do things like donate money to charity. To mark #GiveTuesday, Harvard psychologist Joshua Green explains why we tend to give with our hearts rather than our heads. And why this means we don't do the most good possible with every dollar we donate. To donate to some of the most effective charities around (and to the causes close to your heart) go to: Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
If we decide that we can't get better at things, or that our ideas and personality traits are fixed... then we hinder our ability to change and improve in enjoyable and fulfilling ways. But by challenging ourselves to be more hopeful about our prospects for improvement we can see profound changes in our lives. David Yeager, a psychology professor at UT-Austin, explains how we fall into limiting fixed mindsets, and how easy it is to start adopting a "growth" mindset that will allow us to flourish. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Dan Harris was working seven days a week - and knew something had to give. He reluctantly left his ABC News job to concentrate on the Ten Percent Happier podcast. To mark his career move, Dan and Dr Laurie Santos trade tips on how to find greater happiness in the workplace - from making better use of your time, to finding meaning in even the worst aspects of your job. Dan and Laurie also try out a meditation to help deal with those awful feelings of jealousy when a co-worker gets a raise or wins some praise from the boss. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
When bad things happen to people - illness, accident or crime - our brains fool us into believing the victims must have done something to deserve their fate. This deep-seated bias is wrong though - and we should try to show more empathy for our own wellbeing. Dr Laurie Santos talks to historian Hallie Rubenhold about her research into the lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper in Victorian London - and why even today people aren't more sympathetic towards them. Subscribe to Hallie's podcast Bad Women: The Ripper Retold wherever you got your shows. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Our recent episode about happiness and nostalgia prompted a lot of listener feedback. Since people seemed to really enjoy our chat with 80s star Rob Lowe, we thought it would be fun to bring you an appropriate episode of Literally! With Rob Lowe. In this edition of his podcast, Rob talks to fellow 80s icon Molly Ringwald. Find out what magazine reigns supreme (Bop! or Time), how a cowboy hat could have transformed The Breakfast Club, and what supervillain Molly would play in a film! (Contains adult language). Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
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 at is staging an emergency fun-tervention which will take Laurie to the beach and totally out of her comfort zone. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Peter Pan was her childhood hero, but Dr Laurie Santos woke up one day and realised she'd broken the cardinal rule of Neverland - she'd grown up and stopped having 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. Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.
Comments (183)

Andrew H.

The idea of personifying the fixed mindset made me think of the Pixar movie Luca. "Silenzio Bruno" The kids give a nickname to the negative voice in their head, and use that tagline to confront negative self talk.

May 4th

Galina Ursachii

This is my favorite episode so far. Wow! So much to think about. The beginning of this really reminded me of the Unbreakable. M Night was onto something with his superheroes and antiheroes idea. If we could increase our amygdala as adults, I wonder if that would also hold true for psychopaths. Imagine having a cure or a treatment for that! I wish we could know more about those selfless donors and what other kind of life choices they made that set them apart. What kind of childhood did they have? What kind of life factors might have contributed to them being how they are? So fascinating! We need a whole podcast on Psychopaths and Superheroes. Imagine how much we could learn if we explored those groups closely even more.

Mar 19th

Mariann Davis Maene

what do you do when your sadness extends over a long period of time (I'm going through a divorce) and you've tired out your friends and Whirpool man?

Feb 26th

Mitra Aghadadashfam

learning how to say No is really helpful

Feb 25th

Ricardo da Cruz de Carvalho

Talk about hitting the spot... 😔

Feb 22nd

yalda hashemi

is script of your podcasts available anywhere?

Feb 2nd

Lavender Pixie

Extremely helpful! 😊

Jan 19th

N Yangzom

Thank you for this episode. It was so helpful for me

Jan 19th

David Yang

Why make up new terms all the time when what you really mean is mindfulness...

Jan 12th
Reply (1)

Heidi Adams

What would you do in the situation where children, even very young children, are not intrinsically motivated to learn?

Nov 22nd

Torrance Damgaard

Definitely not what I want when I listen to happiness lab. Like what even is this?

Oct 27th


this entire podcast has been super helpful for my mental health this year. loves these last two episodes about integrating more fun into your life

Oct 22nd

Mary Mary

enjoy the extra fun this week! :)

Oct 9th

Ilene Toth

This has been one of the best podcast subjects I have heard in a long time. It has me thinking how I can bring FUN back into my life because I also thought I was too old to have fun. #fun #nevertooold #tomatoplant

Sep 30th

Reyhaneh mojoodi


Aug 30th

Mary Mary

loved this episode :) Rob is amazing

Aug 17th


Excellent episode. All work is important. It's finding what we bring to it or get out of it that's the most important thing😊

Aug 7th

Maximilian Quellmalz


Jul 4th

Shannon Compton

I wonder though why we notice our natural desires and do not wonder if we should even press against them in such a procured way for the sake of progress or in the U.S, capitalism.

Jun 19th

Old man

I've been living simply, and preaching Simplicity for years. It's an undervalued peace of mind.

Jun 17th
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