Recommended Podcast: The Happiness Lab

A recent blog post recommended the podcast, “Choiceology,” and I have another to recommend.

The Happiness Lab podcast is hosted by Dr. Lauri Santos. It’s a podcast that, like “Choiceology” uses the latest science to probe how our brains may lead us astray. In “Choiceology,” the focus is bias leading us to make poor choices. In “The Happiness Lab,” the focus is on what we think will make us happy, versus what actually will work.

“Our minds are constantly telling us what to do to be happy. But what if our minds are wrong? What if our minds are lying to us leading us away from what would really make us happy? The good news is that understanding the science of the mind can point us all back in the right direction.” – Dr. Lauri Santos

A psychology professor at Yale, Santos was concerned by the growing signs of mental illness and stress in her students, so she created a course, “Psychology and the Good Life,” which quickly became the most popular class in Yale’s 319-year-history. Nearly a quarter of all of Yale’s undergrads signed up within days.

Her course is now available online to all for free. It’s called “The Science of Well-Being,” and as of this writing, 2.6 million people have enrolled in this course.

Like “Choicelogy”, “The Happiness Lab” chooses a specific topic of how our brains lead us astray from what we really need and/or want, and techniques for overcoming those tendencies. In just a few episodes, I have already learned some excellent points and strategies that have made a difference to me.

My one complaint is that Santos’ podcast has a lot of ads. They are short, but about 2x to 3x as many as I typically hear. If you find them a distracting and annoying as I, find a podcast player that features a skip forward/backward 10-30 seconds feature.

I know many people are experiencing higher levels of stress in this time of isolation, heightened polarization, angst, and fear. “The Happiness Lab” may provide you with both immediate solace, and longer term plans for actions which may help you through your day to day worries and stresses.

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