The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
Pushkin Industries
You might think you know what it takes to lead a happier life… more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations. You’re dead wrong. Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale -- the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history -- Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.
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 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
Oct 10
31 min
Laurie Gets a Fun-tervention (Part One)
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
Sep 26
40 min
BONUS: How to Handle Change
Change is the only certainty in life. We may desperately want to change ourselves and our surroundings, or we may fear the disruption and distress some changes bring. Dr Laurie Santos talks to change expert Dr Maya Shankar (host of A Slight Change of Plans) about how we can put change in perspective and learn to fear it less; and also how we can bring about far greater changes in ourselves than we ever thought possible. Laurie and Maya also take a few listener questions. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 22
38 min
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 in step 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? Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 19
37 min
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 12
45 min
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 behaviours 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 Nicholl. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 5
43 min
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 29
39 min
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 22
39 min
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 15
40 min
The Happiness Lab Returns August 16
Dr Laurie Santos returns with a new season of science-based happiness tips. She takes a personal look at why she lacks motivation in the morning and why she doesn't make more time to find fun in her life. She also talks to Rob Lowe about nostalgia; an astronaut about peeing; and Lady Gaga's mom about acts of kindness. And there'll be dogs... lots of dogs. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 10
1 min
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