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The Science of Happiness
The Science of Happiness
PRX and Greater Good Science Center

Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Hosted by award-winning... more

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Episodes

How To Unwind By Doing Mindful Yard Work

Everyday activities, such as cleaning and gardening, can be sources of joy and opportunities for mindfulness. This week, our guest... more

20 Jun 2024 · 23 minutes
Happiness Break: How to Relax Your Body Through A Standing Meditation, With Sherry Zhang

Last week on The Science of Happiness, we discussed the scientifically proven health benefits of the ancient Chinese practice of... more

13 Jun 2024 · 5 minutes
How Qigong Can Calm Your Mind and Body

Studies show qigong can strengthen your body and mind, and reduce cortisol levels. We explore this Chinese meditative movement practice... more

06 Jun 2024 · 22 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation on How To Be Your Best Self, with Justin Michael Williams

Here's a favorite of ours: visualize your best possible self and tap into your inherent enough-ness with this guided meditation... more

30 May 2024 · 7 minutes
Encore: Why We Need Friends With Shared Interests

She's the world's leading animal behaviorist and an autism advocacy leader. Guest Temple Grandin shares what kind of support systems... more

23 May 2024 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation on Cultivating Awe Through Colors

Experiencing awe can help us slow down and connect to the world around us. So how can we harness the... more

16 May 2024 · 6 minutes
How Birdsong Can Help Your Mental Health

Hearing birdsong can help us feel less anxious, recover from stress faster, and even reduce muscle tension ... but can... more

09 May 2024 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation on Pilina: Our Deep Interconnectedness, With Jo Qina'au

Pilina is an indigenous Hawaiian word, or concept, that describes our deep interconnectedness. Harvard Clinical Psychology Fellow Jo Qina'au guides... more

02 May 2024 · 10 minutes
Are You Remembering The Good Times?

Thinking about happy memories activates reward centers in our brains, and can help us feel more connected and accepted. Palestinian-American... more

25 Apr 2024 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: A Walking Meditation with Dan Harris of 10% Happier

A walking meditation led by 10% Happier Host Dan HarrisHow to Do This Practice: Begin walking. Bring your awareness to the present... more

18 Apr 2024 · 7 minutes
How To Make Work More Satisfying

Finding ways to bend tasks toward your strengths and passions can make you happier, more productive and find more meaning... more

11 Apr 2024 · 15 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation To Move Through Anger, With Eve Ekman

Accepting difficult feelings like anger or irritation can help us keep our cool, feel better overall, and find calm on... more

04 Apr 2024 · 7 minutes
How To Talk To People You Disagree With

We learn techniques for working across the aisle without compromising our values from a Democratic politician in one of the... more

28 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: Tap into the Joy that Surrounds You, With Anushka Fernandopulle

Beyond just feeling good, studies show experiencing other people's joy makes us more compassionate and satisfied with life.Link to episode... more

21 Mar 2024 · 4 minutes
Who’s Always There for You?

When we remember the times someone had our back, it changes the way we view ourselves and the world. Our... more

14 Mar 2024 · 16 minutes
Happiness Break: Where Did You Come From? Guided Writing With Lyla June

Indigenous artist Lyla June leads a 5-minute freewriting exercise about our personal journeys. Autobiographical writing has been shown to help... more

07 Mar 2024 · 9 minutes
Why Grownups Should Be Playful Too

Playfulness can improve your relationships, help you excel at work, and reduce stress. We explore a strategy shown to help... more

29 Feb 2024 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation on Playfulness, With Dacher Keltner

We all have a playful side, and research shows acting on it can help us when we need to move... more

22 Feb 2024 · 6 minutes
Encore: How to Feel Less Pressed for Time

When we devote a little time to the other people in our life, we actually feel like we have more... more

15 Feb 2024 · 15 minutes
Happiness Break: Wrap Yourself in Kindness, With Jack Kornfield

When we treat ourselves with kindness and gratitude, research shows we feel more motivated and less self-critical. Meditation teacher Jack... more

08 Feb 2024 · 9 minutes
What To Do When You Don’t Like The Way You Feel

Our guest tried a practice in Radical Acceptance, a Buddhist principle made popular by today's expert, psychologist Tara Brach.  Link to... more

01 Feb 2024 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: Radical Acceptance, With Tara Brach

A meditation in meeting our most difficult emotions — like anger, disappointment, or fear — with mindfulness and gentle care. Link... more

25 Jan 2024 · 8 minutes
How (And Why) To Find More Beauty in the Everyday

What happens when we intentionally look for beautiful things in our day-to-day lives? We explore a lab-tested practice shown to help you feel... more

18 Jan 2024 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation to Find Grounding in the New Year, With Spring Washam

Research shows feeling connected with nature can lower our stress response. This visualization meditation can help you feel at ease,... more

11 Jan 2024 · 7 minutes
How to Stick to Your Resolutions in 2024

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution... more

04 Jan 2024 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: Visualizing Your Best Self in Relationships, With Dacher Keltner

When we imagine our best possible selves in our relationships, we feel more motivated to achieve our goals and a... more

28 Dec 2023 · 7 minutes
How Thinking About Your Ancestors Can Help You Thrive

Join our limited newsletter, The Science of Habits, to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year's resolution... more

21 Dec 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation for Seeking Forgiveness, With Shelly Tygielski

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution... more

14 Dec 2023 · 7 minutes
When It's Hard To Connect, Try Being Curious

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution... more

07 Dec 2023 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: A Visualization to Connect With Your Heritage, With Bryant Terry

Chef and author Bryant Terry leads us through a visualization to connect with our ancestors by appreciating our families' traditional... more

30 Nov 2023 · 8 minutes
Being Kind is Good for Your Health

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year’s resolution... more

23 Nov 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: Feel more Gratitude, With Eve Ekman

Renew your sense of gratitude by remembering acts of kindness, with social scientist and meditation teacher Eve Ekman. Link to episode... more

16 Nov 2023 · 8 minutes
Encore: The Science of a Good Night's Sleep

This week we revisit our science-backed tips for a good night's sleep with sleep scientist Eti Ben Simon and host... more

09 Nov 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: Find Calm When You Can't Clear Your Mind, With Lama Rod Owens

Take a break from ruminating with Lama Rod Owens as he leads you in a meditation to cultivate a sky-like... more

02 Nov 2023 · 7 minutes
The Science of Singing Along

For time immemorial, humans have connected deeply through singing with one another. We explore the science behind this, plus how... more

26 Oct 2023 · 16 minutes
A Meditation For Connecting In Polarized Times, With Scott Shigeoka

Having a curious approach to life can improve our mood, creativity and relationships. Scott Shigeoka leads a visualization exercise to... more

19 Oct 2023 · 9 minutes
How Holding Yourself Can Reduce Stress

Simple actions like consciously placing a hand on your heart or hugging yourself can lower your cortisol levels, heart rate,... more

12 Oct 2023 · 16 minutes
5 Minutes of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, With Jo Qina'au

When we mindfully tense and then release our muscles, our bodies are telling our brains to relax. Try this practice... more

05 Oct 2023 · 11 minutes
How To Use Your Body to Relax your Mind

Want to destress your mind? Start with your body. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a practice where you methodically tense and... more

28 Sep 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation for Groundedness, With Diana Parra (English & Spanish)

Take a moment to ground yourself with this meditation that helps bring awareness to the relationship between ourselves and the... more

21 Sep 2023 · 8 minutes
Happiness Break: Una meditación para enraizar, con Diana Parra (inglés y español)

Tómate un momento para conectarte con esta meditación que ayuda a tomar conciencia de la relación entre nosotros y la... more

21 Sep 2023 · 9 minutes
Making Difficult Interactions More Respectful

Dr. Omar Guzman reflects on how a practice to cultivate more respect shaped the way he interacts with his patients.  Link to... more

14 Sep 2023 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation to Inspire a Sense of Purpose

Take a few minutes to reflect on someone who inspires you, and how you can embody the values you admire... more

07 Sep 2023 · 8 minutes
Why Compassion Requires Vulnerability

Rapper Rexx Life Raj shared his deepest pain in his latest album, and discovered it was one big compassion practice... more

31 Aug 2023 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: Awe in Impermanence

Take a few minutes to develop your sense of awe for the circle of life in this meditation with Dacher... more

24 Aug 2023 · 8 minutes
Why Humor Matters for Happiness

Humor can help us with stress, anxiety and feeling more connected to others. But is humor connected to mindfulness? And... more

17 Aug 2023 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: Making Music With Your Body, With Keith Terry

Relieve stress, boost self-esteem, and increase focus through a simple body music practice. And do it with a friend to... more

10 Aug 2023 · 7 minutes
How Improv Makes You More Confident and Less Anxious

Just 20 minutes of improv theater can foster creativity and confidence, and help with anxiety, depression, and your ability to... more

03 Aug 2023 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: A Mindful Breath Meditation, with Dacher Keltner

Mindful breathing exercises are a simple, effective, and fast way to shift our mindset and improve physical and mental well-being... more

27 Jul 2023 · 5 minutes
How To Let Go Without Giving Up

War veteran and country music singer Sal Gonzalez tries the Taoist practice of Wu Wei to improve his relationship with... more

20 Jul 2023 · 21 minutes
Happiness Break: Moving Through Space, With Dacher Keltner

Moving meditations can help reduce stress and boost self-awareness. Improve your ability to sense your body in space with this... more

13 Jul 2023 · 7 minutes
Finding Delight Through Your 5 Senses

We enjoy the world through our five senses, so why don't we do more to heighten them? We explore the... more

06 Jul 2023 · 16 minutes
Happiness Break: What To Do When You're Struggling, With Spring Washam

Treating yourself with kindness reduces anxiety and improves coping skills. Spring Washam encourages us to be more self-compassionate through a... more

29 Jun 2023 · 8 minutes
How To Feel Better About Yourself

Self-compassion reduces our feelings of shame and self-doubt. We explore a practice to help quiet our inner critic with kindness. Link... more

22 Jun 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: Wishing Others Well, With Anushka Fernandopulle

Cultivate a sense of compassion for yourself and others by trying a meditation rooted in loving kindness, called "Metta." Link to... more

15 Jun 2023 · 8 minutes
Where To Look For Joy

How can we feel more moments of joy? We explore the science of joy and how we can cultivate it... more

08 Jun 2023 · 15 minutes
Happiness Break: Who Takes Care of You? With Dacher Keltner

When we feel cared for, our cortisol levels drop, we feel safe, and we handle stress better. Dacher leads a... more

01 Jun 2023 · 9 minutes
Feeling Overworked? Take a "Fika" Break

A short break does more than just fuel our bodies, it strengthens our minds. Our overworked guest tries the Swedish... more

25 May 2023 · 15 minutes
How To Be in Harmony in Nature — Wherever You Are, With Yuria Celidwen

Indigenous scholar Yuria Celidwen guides us in a meditation to strengthen our sense of belonging and connection to the earth. Link... more

18 May 2023 · 9 minutes
How To Do Good for the Environment (And Yourself)

Walking can increase our sense of connectedness with the earth and motivation to take climate action, which might be an... more

11 May 2023 · 23 minutes
Happiness Break: Contemplating our Interdependence with Nature, with Dekila Chungyalpa

Take ten minutes to renew your connection to the earth through this guided meditation on our interdependence with the ecosystem. Link... more

04 May 2023 · 9 minutes
How to Feel More Hopeful

How can we build a sense of hope when the future feels uncertain? Poet Tomás Morín tries a writing practice... more

27 Apr 2023 · 21 minutes
The Case for Climate Hope

In the first episode in our series Climate, Hope and Science, we explore how embracing uncertainty enables us to move... more

22 Apr 2023 · 22 minutes
Happiness Break: Sketching Serenity with Chris Murchison

Happiness Break: Sketching Serenity with Chris Murchison A guided drawing meditation to help you break out of stale thought patterns and... more

20 Apr 2023 · 9 minutes
A New Relationship with Stress

Is there such a thing as good stress? Our guest learns to welcome her stress by understanding how it can... more

13 Apr 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: Visualizing Your Purpose, with Dacher Keltner

Finding a greater sense of purpose can help us achieve our goals and strengthen our relationships. Dacher leads a meditation... more

06 Apr 2023 · 9 minutes
Encore: 24 Hours of Kindness

Why should you be nice? Our guest explores how small, daily acts of kindness can produce meaningful life changes. Link to... more

30 Mar 2023 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: Embodying Resilience, with Prentis Hemphill

What if you could tap into your inherent resilience at any time? Prentis Hemphill guides a meditation to turn good... more

23 Mar 2023 · 9 minutes
One Way to Make Work More Meaningful

We all overestimate how much we know. Our guest tries a practice in slowing down to ask more questions, and... more

16 Mar 2023 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: Pause to Look at the Sky, with Dacher Keltner

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and vastness of the sky. Dacher Keltner guides us through a practice of... more

09 Mar 2023 · 7 minutes
Why We Need Friends with Shared Interests

She's the world's leading animal behaviorist and an Autism advocacy leader. Guest Temple Grandin shares what kind of support systems... more

02 Mar 2023 · 16 minutes
Happiness Break: Being Present from Head to Toe, Spring Washam

Try this body-scan meditation to ground your mind in the present moment and in your body, guided by Spring Washam. Link... more

23 Feb 2023 · 10 minutes
Why We Need Reminders of Connectedness

How can we feel more connected to our loved ones, even when they're not around? Our guest tries a practice... more

16 Feb 2023 · 14 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation for When Others are Suffering, with Anushka Fernandopulle

Seeing others suffering is painful. Learn to practice both compassion and self-soothing in this guided meditation led by Anushka Fernandopulle. Link... more

09 Feb 2023 · 8 minutes
How Music Evokes Awe

Why do some songs send chills down your spine or give you goosebumps? We explore the science of how music... more

02 Feb 2023 · 20 minutes
Happiness Break: Feeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, with Dacher Keltner

Host Dacher Keltner leads us through an exercise in feeling the serenity and wonder that nature brings us, no matter... more

26 Jan 2023 · 7 minutes
Why We Should Look Up at the Sky

When did you last take a moment to really look up at the sky? Shifting our gaze upward is linked... more

19 Jan 2023 · 16 minutes
Happiness Break: Awe for Others, with Dacher Keltner

The communities we create are one of the most awe-inspiring parts of our lives. Host Dacher Keltner guides us in... more

12 Jan 2023 · 8 minutes
How Awe Brings Us Together

Feeling awe changes your brain. In our first episode in a series about the science awe, we explore how awe... more

05 Jan 2023 · 19 minutes
Happiness Break: An Affirmation Practice for the New Year, with Chris Murchison

This New Year, affirm the wonderful qualities you already possess with this meditative writing practice called "I Am." Link to episode... more

29 Dec 2022 · 8 minutes
How to Make Life More Meaningful

Chris Sharma is one of the greatest rock climbers of all time, and he's taking on some of the biggest... more

22 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: Finding Presence Through Your Senses, with Dacher Keltner

Sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste: all of our five senses provide unique pathways to presence and happiness. We spend a few minutes... more

15 Dec 2022 · 7 minutes
The Science of Synchronized Movement

Moving in sync with someone else — even a total stranger — can change how you feel about them, and... more

08 Dec 2022 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: Tune Into Your Body, with Radha Agrawal

Happiness isn't only in your head — your body is important, too. This week, Radha Agrawal leads us in a... more

01 Dec 2022 · 7 minutes
How to Practice Gratitude When You're Not Feeling Thankful

One way to feel more thankful for things is to imagine life without them. Our guest tries a practice for... more

24 Nov 2022 · 16 minutes
Happiness Break: 5 Minutes of Gratitude, with Dacher Keltner

Not sure how to start practicing gratitude? Psychologist Dacher Keltner guides you through a practice that can help you see... more

17 Nov 2022 · 7 minutes
The Emerging Science of ASMR (Encore)

There are millions of YouTube videos with people crinkling bubble wrap or whispering about folding laundry. Our guest talks about... more

10 Nov 2022 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: Making Space for You, with Alex Elle

Consider what you want to make space for in your life in this 6-minute contemplation guided by Alex Elle. Link to... more

03 Nov 2022 · 6 minutes
Happiness Break: Restore Through Silence, with Tricia Hersey

When was the last time you spent a moment savoring silence? Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop, guides us through... more

20 Oct 2022 · 9 minutes
How to Focus Under Pressure

Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider tries a body scan meditation to sharpen her focus and calm her nerves as she prepares... more

13 Oct 2022 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: How to Awaken Joy, with Spring Washam

Cultivate more joy in your life with this practice led by meditation teacher and author Spring Washam. Link to episode transcript:... more

06 Oct 2022 · 10 minutes
Why Listen to the Other Side?

These days, it's hard to imagine befriending people with different politics than your own. But these two men did it... more

29 Sep 2022 · 16 minutes
Happiness Break: Six Minutes to Connect with Your Body, with Dacher Keltner

Dedicating a little time to tune into your body fortifies you to better handle the stresses of daily life. Link to... more

22 Sep 2022 · 7 minutes
Nine Steps to Forgiveness

How do you forgive someone while still holding them accountable? What if that person is yourself? This week, our guest... more

15 Sep 2022 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: A Note to Self on Forgiveness, with Alex Elle

Letting go of our regrets can motivate us to improve and help us grow. Alex Elle, a certified breathwork and... more

08 Sep 2022 · 11 minutes
When Rumination Is a Good Thing

When's the last time you made a good memory — intentionally? Our guest tries a practice in cultivating positive experiences... more

01 Sep 2022 · 21 minutes
Happiness Break: A Meditation to Connect to Your Roots, with Yuria Celidwen

When was the last time you thought about your ancestors? This guided meditation by indigenous scholar Yuria Celidwen will help... more

25 Aug 2022 · 10 minutes
Riding The Waves of Anxiety

Comedian Aparna Nancherla has always struggled with anxiety — can a new technique help her cope? Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/33y2hta5 Episode... more

18 Aug 2022 · 21 minutes
Happiness Break: Walk Your Way to Calm, with Dacher Keltner

A few slow, mindful paces can lower your cortisol and make you more at ease. Psychologist Dacher Keltner guides you... more

11 Aug 2022 · 6 minutes
36 Questions to Spark Intimacy

What if you could fall in love, or forge deep connections in just 45 minutes? Our guests try out 36... more

04 Aug 2022 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: How to Ground Yourself, with Yuria Celidwen

Connect to yourself and the land you stand on in under 10 minutes with this grounding practice led by Indigenous... more

28 Jul 2022 · 10 minutes
How to Feel Less Lonely and More Connected

When we feel more connected, we're kinder and care more for others. After 21 years of being incarcerated, our guest... more

21 Jul 2022 · 20 minutes
Happiness Break: Experience Nature Wherever You Are, with Dacher Keltner

Just a few moments of tuning into nature can make you feel more inspired, connected, and less lonely. Let us... more

14 Jul 2022 · 7 minutes
How to Make Better Decisions (Encore)

Can practicing mindfulness make us wiser? Judge Jeremy Fogel explores how being present in the moment helps him keep a... more

07 Jul 2022 · 18 minutes
Happiness Break: 36 Questions to Feel Connected, with Dacher Keltner

Having close bonds with others is one of the most important things to our happiness. Host Dacher Keltner walks you... more

30 Jun 2022 · 8 minutes
How to Say "Sorry" Like You Mean It

Apologies are key to successful relationships. But are you doing them right? Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/38dfpe8p Episode summary: We all have moments when... more

23 Jun 2022 · 17 minutes
Happiness Break: How To Be Your Best Self, with Justin Michael Williams

Visualize your best possible self and tap into your inherent enough-ness with this guided meditation by Justin Michael Williams. Link to... more

16 Jun 2022 · 8 minutes
The Questions to Ask Yourself in an Argument

Our guest explores how reminding yourself that you don't know everything can have a profound impact on your relationships, and... more

09 Jun 2022 · 13 minutes
Happiness Break: How to Be Your Own Best Friend, with Kristen Neff

Take 10 minutes to be guided through a practice meaningful self-care: A self-compassion break with Kristin Neff. How to Do... more

02 Jun 2022 · 9 minutes
Catch Yourself in a Dream

Have you ever known you're dreaming while you're asleep? Our guests try practices to help induce lucid dreams, and we... more

26 May 2022 · 19 minutes
The Science of Happiness
Happiness Break: How to Be Your Own Best Friend, with Kristen Neff
The Science of Happiness
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Description

Take 10 minutes to be guided through a practice meaningful self-care: A self-compassion break with Kristin Neff. How to Do This Practice:... more