The Science of Happiness

31 EpisodesProduced by PRI and the 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 professor Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRI and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

31 Episodes | 2018

Who's Got Your Back?

December 13th, 2018


How do you build feelings of trust and security? Our Happiness Guinea Pig learns some truths about what it takes to feel supported.

Being Kinder to Yourself

December 6th, 2018


When you’re helping others cope with stress and anxiety, how do you deal with your own? Psychiatrist Elizabeth Guinto tries a practice to be kinder to herself.

W. Kamau Bell’s Thoughts on Awkward Relationships and Bridging Divides

November 29th, 2018


Comedian W. Kamau Bell discusses the challenges of finding common ground, even with people in your own family.

Find Your Inner Calm

November 22nd, 2018


International megastar Daniel Wu tries a practice that brings him calm amidst the chaos. 

These Words Cause Happiness

November 15th, 2018


Did you know that you have the power to spark happiness in someone else's brain with just a few simple words? College student Eva Dickerson shares …

Try This Recipe for Happiness

November 8th, 2018


Our Happiness Guinea Pig, children's author Joanne Rocklin, shares her happiness practice: bringing people together to share a meal. It took on a deeper meaning for her after a recent tragedy.

Can’t Relax? This Will Help

November 1st, 2018


Why does a bath or swim feel so relaxing? Our guest shares her own happiness practice--spending time in water--which science is finding can make us happier and healthier. 

How to Make an Apology

October 25th, 2018


"I'm sorry you feel that way."

Some apologies can actually make things worse. Our Happiness Guinea Pigs, Jolenta Greenburg and Kristin Meinzer …

How to Deal with Uncertainty

October 18th, 2018


How do you respond when you feel threatened or defensive? Our Happiness Guinea Pig, writer Wajahat Ali, discovers a way to keep himself centered amidst the challenges and chaos of life.

BONUS: The Science of Happiness at Work

October 11th, 2018


What would make you happier at work? Featuring some of our happiness guinea pigs, we share the latest insights and research on well-being and …

What if You Had Never Met?

August 9th, 2018


Do you take your partner for granted? Our Happiness Guinea Pig, cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, imagines a life in which he never met his wife.

How to Stop Dwelling

August 2nd, 2018


Are you stuck ruminating about the past? Legendary skater Tommy Guerrero tries looking at negative events from a different perspective.

Listen Like It's Your First Date

July 26th, 2018


Do you find yourself looking at your phone when you're supposed to be paying attention to a friend? Our Happiness Guinea Pig, The Takeaway's Tanzina …

Why You Shouldn't Hate Small Talk

July 19th, 2018


Many of us avoid chatting with strangers – isn't small talk tedious and dull? Listen as our happiness guinea pig discovers its surprising benefits.

How to Change Your Mind

July 12th, 2018


Author Michael Pollan, shares his experiences on being a guinea pig for his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics …

How to Find Your Purpose in Life

July 5th, 2018


Did you know what you wanted when you were in high school? Our teen guinea pig takes on the challenge of figuring out her purpose in life.

What Are You Afraid Of?

June 28th, 2018


Would you rather swim with sharks or give a speech before thousands of people? Discover how our happiness guinea pig tackled one of his many …

How to Forgive Your Father

June 21st, 2018


Holding on to a grudge? Hear how our happiness guinea pig tried to let go of deep-seated anger and resentment.

Feeling Angry? Try This

June 14th, 2018

For years, Dan Harris of ABC News was plagued by anxiety, depression, and streaks of anger. Here's how he learned to tame the voices in his head and get 10 percent happier.   

Let People Help You

June 7th, 2018


In hard times, do you seek comfort from others or turn inwards? Find out how our Happiness Guinea Pig emerged from trauma by accepting others' support. 

Thank you for your emails, calls, and letters! We think your …

Is There Someone You Need to Thank?

April 2nd, 2018


Is there someone important you've never properly thanked? Award-winning children's book author, Yuyi Morales, discovers the power of writing a "gratitude letter" to the librarian who changed her life. 

Can You Predict What Will Make You Happy?

March 26th, 2018


Do memories of your past affect your happiness today? Susannah Cahalan was young and healthy when she was stricken with a mysterious illness. Learn how writing about her “month of madness” in the bestselling book Brain …

Find Your Best Possible Self

March 19th, 2018


Does imagining your future make you more happy--or more anxious?  Our happiness guinea pig looks ahead for inspiration to improve her life now.

How Gratitude Benefits Your Brain

March 12th, 2018


Can you train your brain to be more grateful? Todd Zwillich of The Takeaway takes on the challenge.

Krista Tippett on Being Grounded in Your Body

March 5th, 2018

Are you so stressed that it wears you down physically as well as mentally? Discover how award-winning radio host Krista Tippett brought relief to her mind and body.  

Stuck in a Rut? Take a Walk

February 26th, 2018


Do you dwell on the negative and let moments of joy just pass you by? Discover how the Academy Award-winning director of Inside Out got out of his head and savored the good in his life.

3 Funny Things

February 19th, 2018


What should you do when you thought you had it all -- but learn you've had it all wrong? Discover what our happiness guinea pig did to bring more joy …

How to Fall in Love with Anyone

February 12th, 2018


Can 36 questions help you fall in love--and stay in love? Best-selling author Kelly Corrigan tries a research-proven technique to feel closer to her husband. Plus, we learn how the same technique can actually reduce …

Quieting Your Inner Critic

February 5th, 2018

Are you too hard on yourself? Our Happiness Guinea Pig spent most of his life behind bars. Discover the research-tested practice that helped him quiet his inner critic.

3 Good Things

February 5th, 2018


Do you take the good things in life for granted? You’re not alone, and studies show it's very human. But here’s a way to find more joy in the everyday. 


January 23rd, 2018


Do you know the secrets to happiness? Learn what science has to say on The Science of Happiness, a practical and inspiring new podcast from PRI and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. Launches February 5!

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