The Science of Happiness

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Laurie Santos, PhD

The Science of Happiness

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What You'll Learn

  • Better understand common misconceptions about happiness, why our minds think in unhelpful ways even though they make us unhappy, and the research that can help us change

  • Learn 5 simple “hacks” that you can do to decrease stress, improve well-being, and connect more fully with those around you

  • Discover why research on “emotion contagion” suggests that cultivating your own deep happiness may be one of the most powerful ways to serve the happiness of those you love

About Laurie Santos, PhD

Dr. Laurie Santos is Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University. Dr. Santos is an expert on human cognition and the cognitive biases that impede better choices. Her course, Psychology and the Good Life, became Yale’s most popular course in over 300 years. She was voted a “Brilliant 10” young mind by Popular Science and a “Campus Celebrity” by Time Magazine. Her podcast, The Happiness Lab, has over 35 million downloads.

To learn more about Dr. Santos and enroll in her free Science of Well-Being course you can visit her website.

About Daniel Goleman, PhD

Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist and science journalist. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence was a bestseller and has been translated into more than 40 languages. His most recent book, Altered Traits, was co-authored with Richard Davidson and reviews the best meditation research. Dan has also organized a series of intensive conversations between the Dalai Lama and scientists, which resulted in the books Healing Emotions, Destructive Emotions, and Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence. For the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday Dan wrote A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for our World. He is a former board member and a Founding Steward of the Mind & Life Institute.

You can learn more about Dr. Goleman's work on his website.

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  1. Marianna May 3, 2021 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    How can I increase the volume

    • Ryan [Mind & Life] May 3, 2021 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Marianna, you can use the volume control on the video box above. There are 5 little vertical bars to the left of the CC button at the bottom of the video box, click on the right most bar for max volume. If that’s still not loud enough, then you may need to adjust your speaker volume or your computer output volume, or try headphones.

  2. Rick Miller May 3, 2021 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Great dialog. Lots of pearls to take away. I will have my supine yoga students place a rubber duck on their belly and breath!!

  3. Brett May 3, 2021 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you Laurie. I really enjoyed your presentation and interaction with Daniel. It struck me that much that I have been teaching at our Business School in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, is aligned to how you go about teaching on the topic of well-being and “putting on your own oxygen mask.” I was wondering if there would be value in forming some sort of global network on teaching happiness. We could leverage a lot of positive change in society. What do you think?

  4. April May 4, 2021 at 2:58 am - Reply

    ***** Thank you Laurie and Daniel for preparing and delivering this talk! *****

    Outstanding conversation, easily the most natural talk/interview I’ve seen on this type of summit.
    Immediately useful well-being and happiness tips. Insightful discussion on the interaction of cultural norms with these tips.

  5. Mona May 4, 2021 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for the hugs. 🙂

  6. Els May 4, 2021 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Looking at your smiling while you here talking, gave me lots of happiness already! Thank you, you made my day!

  7. james white May 4, 2021 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Wonderful and insightful thank you both

  8. NORMAN SMOOKLER May 4, 2021 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Thank you. Very inspiring and many practical suggestions. Reminds me of the quote “Find the good and praise it” both for ourselves and for others.

  9. Renate Hermes May 4, 2021 at 7:50 am - Reply

    thank you for this great summit. Well, put together with so much inspiring content. Thank you very much.

  10. Catarina Ferreira Curado e Silva May 4, 2021 at 9:11 am - Reply

    It was great! Thank you , both.

  11. Kim May 4, 2021 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Thank you Laurie…I took your Science of Happiness course last year and it was a life changer. When I find people in struggles, it is my go-to suggestion! Namaste

  12. ANNA GRIFFITHS May 4, 2021 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much Laurie and Daniel.
    So uplifting.
    Feel happier just listening to you both!

  13. MARIA Afonso May 4, 2021 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Thank you to LAURIE A KIND AND GENTLE WOMAN her sweetness is contagious no wondet she can teach the secret of HAPPINESS….her face is just an open heart….

  14. Derek Tate May 4, 2021 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you Laurie and Dan an excellent conversation. As a MAPP graduate I love to hear all these hacks and have ideas reinforced from my previous studies.

  15. Poonam May 4, 2021 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I think I am having to listen to most seminars more than once to understand fully and to get most benefit in order to implement in my day to day life. So I think I’d appreciate having the access longer than 48 hrs

  16. Evelyn May 4, 2021 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Hi, how could it be possible to hear the seminars in Spanish?

    • Kaleigh Isaacs May 4, 2021 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Evelyn,
      Spanish subtitles are available for all of the recording. Click on the “CC” button on the bottom right of the video and select Spanish. Hope this helps.

  17. Alexandra Rivera Luna May 4, 2021 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Can there be to much happiness?

  18. Lucia Cañizares May 4, 2021 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks a practical conversation to increase daily well being.

  19. Korinn May 4, 2021 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Nice convo across various psych topics. For the record, it was recently disproven that there is a wealth point for happiness … happiness does keep increasing above $75k as observed by Matthew Killingsworth and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this year.

  20. Purushottam Borkar PhD May 5, 2021 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Thank you , for delivering a lecture on happiness and the experiences which you have share it will be of great help to the people during the pandemic.

  21. Lotta May 5, 2021 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Thank you! I am going to write letters to my daugthers and husband and tell them how much I love them and how much they mean to me. The times are hard and I am sick in covid at this moment. But everything is going to be ok!❤
    Love from Sweden.

  22. Lisa May 5, 2021 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Laurie’s class via Coursera was the BEST thing to come out of the pandemic for me ! My daughter who is studying psychology in Toulouse, France suggested it to me. Having the time to follow this class was a gift, a long lasting gift. I learned so much and it was such a positive support during that time. Nearly one year later, I continue to be grateful and put into practice what I learned. Even my 7 yr old continues to enjoy stating 3 good things she is grateful for every night before bed. AND we both have the same #1, the present moment of being together, sharing that moment, we laugh about it every night! Eckhart Tolle (I had time to read too!) and Laurie Santos have changed my life. Thank you. My letter of gratitude is to you Laurie 🙂

  23. René Guarnaluse May 5, 2021 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Hola from Málaga, Spain I thank you for the topic, the meanings come out of my heart as a practicing physician in very critical times where my happiness was the content of an spiritual sadhana where patients unable to find thier medication came to visit with their emotions. The Head Nurse of the hospital will search for me every day to ask me how I was doing. And after walking 6 ks hardly anything for breakfast, warn shoes and clothing and the answer was:”I am happy”….

  24. Dr. Jaya Mohan May 5, 2021 at 6:25 am - Reply

    Thank you so much Dr. Dan and Dr. Santos for this enriching conversation. ‘The Science of Well Being ‘ was a life changing course for me. It helped shift my perspective from the superficial to what really matters. Gratitude for the course Dr. Santos. I strongly recommend everyone to enroll for this one.

  25. Maria Laura May 5, 2021 at 6:25 am - Reply

    Thanks a lot Lauri. Really enjoy your presentation, great tips. Greetings!

  26. Reena Purchase May 5, 2021 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Thank you Laurie and Dan, really engaging and practical whilst grounded in the evidence from the research.

  27. Helen Minnes May 5, 2021 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Very uplifting and informative. I couldn’t help trying to read the spines of all those books though, in both homes! Beastie Boys…!

  28. Muriel Soriano May 5, 2021 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much Laurie for your talk and love you calling these practices “hacks” heehee! that’s brilliant, stops them from being too serious and allows the lightness to come in. Been keeping a gratitude notebook for about 6 years now, and every night, before I turn the lights out I jotted down 5 things I’m grateful for. So nice to do that, it’s a great way to end the day, no matter what happened, it allows me to smile when I go to sleep. Will look out for your podcast! Thanks again!

  29. Blanca A. Torres May 5, 2021 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Muy buenos “trucos” para el bienestar… Gracias

  30. Sandi Bain May 5, 2021 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Thank you for an informative lecture. As a Yoga Teacher, it helped to reaffirm practices that I current do myself or share with my students. You have a very nice presence about you and found the piece on self-compassion particularly interesting. I do believe it is a western thing born from over doing every day with the fast pace of our society.

    Appreciate the work you put into this.

  31. Nikola May 6, 2021 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Fly high be happy

  32. Margareta Rosenquist May 8, 2021 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    This interview made me so happy. Inspiration. Knowledge. Ideas. Thank you.

  33. Solgunn Tilseth Breivik May 9, 2021 at 12:41 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for the inspiration. To choose hapiness is one of my values.
    I really appreciate this interview and are longing for more. I am so happy that Kathrine Aspaas
    recommended to listen to you.
    Love from Norway

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