The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

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Steve S
 Feb 18, 2021

Description

You want to be happy. So why are you leaving it up to chance? There exists a wealth of knowledge that can help you live a life that has more joy, satisfaction, and purpose—and help you share these gifts with others. Harvard professor, PhD social scientist, bestselling author, and columnist Arthur Brooks is your teacher on the art and science of living a better life. In each episode, you will hear about research in the worlds of science, philosophy, theology, art, and literature. Then, Arthur will tell you how to use the wisdom of the experts in your own life, starting today.

Episode Date
How to Buy Happiness
1:03:22

Can money buy happiness? It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of working more and more hours, chasing more and more money, in the hopes of getting happier. But after a certain point, despite our hard-wired belief to the contrary, more money doesn’t bring more happiness. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss the sometimes complicated relationship between money, happiness, and satisfaction. They also share how, at any income level, with a little knowledge and practice, we can actually use money to buy a little more happiness.

Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends!

Happiness Survey: I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on happiness and current practices to improve your well-being. If you can spare five minutes, I’d appreciate your participation in a short survey to help guide my future happiness work.  To get started, go to arthurbrooks.com/art-of-happiness/ and click on the survey link. Thank you!

References and further reading:

 How to Buy Happiness | Arthur Brooks

High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being | Daniel Kahneman, Angus Deaton

Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year |Matthew A. Killingsworth

Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life | Ashley Whillans

Apr 26, 2021
Healing Collective Trauma
1:22:36

Meaning and purpose in life are key drivers of happiness. However, we know that to understand happiness, we must also understand unhappiness, as these virtues often come through pain and suffering. In this episode, Arthur is joined by renowned teacher, international facilitator, and author of Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds, Thomas Hübl. Together, they discuss how we can understand and process traumatic experiences. They also share some advice on how we can avoid becoming permanent victims of our trauma and pain, and instead, develop resiliency and experience post-traumatic growth.

This episode is brought to you by Bespoke Post, Feetures, Betterhelp, and noom.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends!

References and further reading:

 Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds | Thomas Hübl

Apr 13, 2021
E26. How to Change Your Mind with Adam Grant
1:21:04

How quick are you to rethink your opinions when presented with new information? Can changing your mind make you a happier person? In this episode, Arthur is joined by Wharton organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know to discuss the perks of being wrong. They also explore how thinking like a scientist and having the humility to reevaluate our opinions, while staying true to our values, can help us to not only improve ourselves, but our world, as well.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

Join The Art of Happiness Circle of Friends!

References and further reading:

Changing Your Mind Can Make You Less Anxious |Arthur Brooks

 Think Again |Adam Grant

Mar 29, 2021
E25. Overcoming a Fear of Failure
1:00:32

Are you afraid of failure? Has it held you back from living your best life? You’re not alone. The fear of failure is on the rise. Why? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci explore the sources of the fear of failure as well as share some tangible ways to not only overcome this fear, but also to grow in virtue in the process.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

 Go Ahead and Fail |Arthur Brooks

Mar 15, 2021
E24. Happiness through Voluntary Sacrifice
1:01:58

Christians around the world have just entered the season of Lent, a time of prayer, fasting, and voluntary sacrifice. However, this practice isn’t limited to Christianity, or even to those who are traditionally religious. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci explore the positive side effects of sacrifice and share some Lenten strategies and best practices for gaining these happiness benefits, whether we are religious or not.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

 What You Gain When You Give Things Up| Arthur Brooks

Mar 01, 2021
E23. An Epidemic of Loneliness
1:22:48

Evidence shows that there’s more loneliness and isolation in the United States than ever before. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has even said that we have an epidemic of loneliness in this country. How do we turn back this trend? In this episode, Arthur is joined by thought leader and author of The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart, Noreena Hertz. Together, they discuss some practical solutions to combat the loneliness epidemic and help those we love who may be suffering.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

 The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart | Noreena Hertz

 How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart | Arthur Brooks

Feb 15, 2021
E22. Stoicism and Living a Balanced Life
1:25:34

A happy life requires a mix of enjoyment and purpose. How can you achieve this balance in your own life? In this episode, Arthur is joined by founder of The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday, who discusses how we can apply the wisdom of ancient Stoic philosophy to our modern lives. They share some key lessons for building a life of virtue, moderation, and most importantly, flourishing and true happiness.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

There Are Two Kinds of Happy People | Arthur Brooks

Lives of the Stoics Ryan Holiday

The Daily Stoic Ryan Holiday

Feb 01, 2021
E21. Sharing Happiness
1:06:23

There’s a simple three-part formula for improving your happiness: understand the science behind it, apply that information to your life, and share that knowledge with others. In this episode, Arthur is joined by Bishop Bill Byrne, bishop of Springfield, MA, and author of 5 Things with Father Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul. They discuss lessons from Bishop Bill’s new book, and Arthur shares some advice on how you can practically and simply lead a happier, better life and share those lessons with those around you.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

5 Things with Father Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul | Bishop William Byrne

Jan 18, 2021
E20. New Year’s Resolutions
49:45

What’s your new year’s resolution? Is it the right one? Research shows that between one-third and one-half of Americans make new year’s resolutions. However, research also shows that fewer than half of resolutions are still successful by June. What’s the secret for a successful resolution? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci share the habits that make resolutions stick. Also, Arthur explains how to set the right resolution in the first place—that is, one that will bring you happiness directly—and he has two suggestions for you.

This episode is brought to you by The Jordan Harbinger Show, Skillshare, and Feetures.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.com with your happiness questions.

Special Event: If you enjoy the show, you won’t want to miss an exclusive event on leadership and happiness that I’m doing with a very special guest as part of my popular Harvard Business School class. The event will be livestreamed on my Facebook page on January 16, so be sure to “Follow” me on Facebook or signup for my newsletter here to be among the first to hear the details.

References and further reading:

New Year’s Resolutions That Will Actually Lead to Happiness| Arthur Brooks

Auld lang syne: success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers |Norcross, J., Mrykalo, M., & Blagys, M.

Cigarette Advertising to Counter New Years Resolutions | Basil, M., Basil, D., & Schooler, S.

Tiny Habits | Fogg, B. J.

Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life | Emmons, R. & McCullough, M.

Intervention Studies on Forgiveness: A Meta‐Analysis| Baskin, T. & Enright, R.

Jan 04, 2021
E19. Learning to Love the Holidays
49:34

Are you always a little blue around the holidays? Or perhaps, like many, you’re just finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit during this difficult year, marked by loss and family separation? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci provide some holiday happiness assistance and share how you can build your holiday to make it truly happy and meaningful.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at arthur@arthurbrooks.com or ceci@arthurbrooks.comwith your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

Don’t Isolate Yourself This Holiday Season| Arthur Brooks

Dec 21, 2020
E18. Your Body, Your Health, and Your Happiness
1:22:53

The pandemic has brought life to a standstill for many, not just economically, but physically, as well. Polling data reveals that Americans are plagued by a state of inactivity. Combine that with the usual indulgences of the holiday season, and you can bet that come New Year’s Day, there will be a record number of diet and exercise related resolutions. Does eating right and exercising lead to greater happiness? In this episode, Arthur is joined by personal trainer and co-founder of Mind Pump Media, Sal Di Stefano, to answer this question and provide some tips for living a healthier, happier life, all year round.

References and further reading:

Sedentary Pandemic Life Is Bad for Our Happiness | Arthur Brooks

Mind Pump Media

Dec 08, 2020
E17. Life: Part 2
1:06:04

In the Western world, we have celebrations to mark life events in the first half of our lives—graduations, weddings, baby showers—but, we don’t celebrate becoming middle-aged. Instead, we often bemoan the “midlife crisis.” Turns out, that’s the wrong way of looking at middle age. In this episode, Arthur is joined by Chip Conley, founder of the Modern Elder Academy, who has dedicated his life to helping people through the transition to the second half of life. They discuss how “middlescence” can be a joyful and fruitful time, if managed well and share some advice for having an even happier second half of life than the first.

References and further reading:

Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder | Chip Conley

Emotional Equations: Simple formulas to help your life work better| Chip Conley  

 Wisdom Well: Chip’s Blog | Chip Conley  

 About Modern Elder Academy

Nov 24, 2020
E16. Curbing Post-Election Suffering
48:17

The happiness effect of competitive elections is real: Losing an election hurts. In fact, research shows that in presidential elections, having your candidate lose can depress happiness for months. How are you feeling post-election? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci explore the research on happiness and post-election suffering. Also, Arthur shares some much-needed advice for those attempting to cope with Trump’s loss; but for those celebrating a Biden victory, Arthur has some advice for you, too.

References and further reading:

How to Cope with Election Agony| Arthur Brooks

Losing Hurts: The Happiness Impact of Partisan Electoral Loss |Pierce, L., Rogers, T., & Snyder, J.

Presidential Elections, Divided Politics, and Happiness in the USA |Pinto, S., et al.

Nov 09, 2020
E15. Politics and Unhappiness
47:57

With Election Day looming, it’s hard to tune out the nonstop political coverage across all platforms—from cable news to social media. Can you pay less attention while still being an engaged citizen? Should you be tuning out for the sake of your happiness? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss why it’s necessary for the political junkies among us to attempt a political detox and share some practical tips on how we can avoid letting politics dominate our thinking and ruin our happiness and relationships.

References and further reading:

Reading Too Much Political News Is Bad for Your Well-Being | Arthur Brooks

 

 

 

Oct 26, 2020
E14. Happy Monkey
1:17:45

Are you struggling to find peace in your life? Does the future seem grim? Tibetan Buddhists attribute this sense of restlessness and pessimism to your “monkey mind.” With this understanding, finding peace and happiness is tricky, like training a frenetic monkey that you can’t get to sit still. In this episode, Arthur is joined by Dr. Martin Seligman, positive psychology expert and author of Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. They share practical advice for how you can calm your monkey, better understand the future, and move from pessimism to optimism in your daily life.

 This episode is brought to you by Talkspace, Feetures, and Paypal.

Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app.

Get $10 Off Your First Pair of Feetures when you use code ARTHUR at feetures.com.

PayPal is making it easy to pay safely, quickly and easily. Download the PayPal app today.

References and further reading:

What to Do When the Future Feels Hopeless|Arthur Brooks

 The Hope Circuit| Martin Seligman

 Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life| Martin Seligman

 Why Lawyers are Unhappy | Seligman, M., Verkuil, P., & Kang, T.

Oct 12, 2020
E13. Searching for Spirituality
52:30

The evidence is clear that people find happiness and greater life satisfaction in faith and spirituality. But what do you do if you have no experience with faith or have fallen away from the religion of your childhood as you’ve grown older? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss overcoming common obstacles to exploring your spiritual side, particularly if you’re feeling religious stirrings for the first time. But Arthur also shares advice for those who are more traditionally religious on how to elevate their practice amid the busyness of everyday life.

 This episode is brought to you by Talkspace, Feetures, and The American Story podcast.

Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app.

Get $10 off your first pair of Feetures when you use code ARTHUR at feetures.com.

Visit theamericanstorypodcast.org and subscribe​ ​for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or on your preferred podcast platform.

 

References and further reading:

How to Navigate a Midlife Change of Faith | Arthur Brooks

Sep 29, 2020
E12. The Falling Tides of Life
1:00:01
As we enter a new season, we’re facing the reality that the pandemic is not a temporary affliction, but an involuntary transition from one way of life to another. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss the psychology behind why transitions—whether voluntary or involuntary—can be so uncomfortable and why our natural reaction is to resist them. Most importantly, Arthur shares how instead of working against them, we can embrace these periods of “falling tides” in our lives and reap the benefits.
This episode is brought to you by Noom. Sign up for a trial of Noom today at noom.com/ARTHUR.
 
References and further reading:
Sep 14, 2020
E11. A Look into Your Future
1:10:09

Imagine you had the ability to predict how people’s actions in their 20s or 30s would affect their lives in their 70s and 80s. You’d have a pretty good idea of how to crack the happiness code, right? Turns out, for 80 years, Harvard researchers have been doing just that in one of history’s longest studies of happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development. In this episode, Arthur is joined by psychiatrist Bob Waldinger, the current director of the study, to learn about the origins of the project and the enduring lessons on happiness, aging, and relationships that it

This episode is brought to you by Talkspace, American Space, and The Bradley Speaker Series.

Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app.

Visit Bradleyfdn.org/Liberty to watch the most recent episode of Conceived in Liberty, The Bradley Speaker Series.

References and further reading:

Harvard Study of Adult Development

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | TED Talk | Bob Waldinger

Sep 01, 2020
E10. Overcoming the Success Addiction
56:48

Would you rather be special, than happy? If so, you might be a success addict. In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss why success can be so addictive and explain some of the key attributes of those who Arthur deems “success addicts.” No matter your stage in life, Arthur shares three tips for overcoming your success addiction and living a happier, more balanced, and fulfilling life.

This episode is brought to you by Talkspace and The Bradley Speaker Series.

Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app.

Visit Bradleyfdn.org/Liberty to watch the most recent episode of Conceived in Liberty, The Bradley Speaker Series.

References and further reading:

‘Success Addicts’ Choose Being Special Over Being Happy | Arthur Brooks

 Trading Health Risks for Glory: A Reformulation of the Goldman Dilemma| González, et al.

 Drinking: A Love Story | Caroline Knapp

Aug 17, 2020
E9. Managing Transitions in Life
1:00:43

The coronavirus epidemic and the residual economic effects are spurring life transitions for a lot of people, from small changes to more dramatic “lifequakes.” How can you effectively manage life transitions of any magnitude? In this episode, Arthur is joined by New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler to discuss his new book, Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age. Together, they outline some practical strategies for optimizing life’s inevitable changes.

 

This episode is brought to you by Skillshare, Talkspace, and The American Story.

Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/ARTHUR.

Get $100 off your first month on Talkspace with the code ARTHUR at Talkspace.com or download the app.

Visit theamericanstorypodcast.org and subscribe​ ​for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or on your preferred podcast platform.

References and further reading:

Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age | Bruce Feiler

Aug 04, 2020
E8. Curing the Epidemic of Fear
1:05:07

What are you afraid of? We’re facing a fear epidemic in America, and it’s not just due to the coronavirus.  In this episode, Arthur and Ceci take a deep dive into fear—including how to understand, manage, and even neutralize it. Most importantly, Arthur shares some actionable tips for building your defenses against fear and learning to love and live courageously.

This episode is brought to you by Noom, Bound by Oath, and Conceived in Liberty, The Bradley Speaker Series.

Sign up for a trial of Noom today at noom.com/ARTHUR.

Visit Bradleyfdn.org/Liberty to watch the most recent episode of Conceived in Liberty, The Bradley Speaker Series.

Listen to Bound by Oath: https://ij.org/center-for-judicial-engagement/sc/14th-at-150-podcast/

References and further reading:

Love Is Medicine for Fear | Arthur Brooks

Fear Can Make You a Better Person | Arthur Brooks

Jul 20, 2020
E7. The Good Side of Bad Feelings
58:43

We all have the tendency to want to avoid bad feelings—pain, anger, sadness, and disgust. But is it right to simply push them away? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss the biological importance of bad feelings, as well as how to manage your unhappiness and even benefit from the inevitable pain and suffering that are a normal part of life.

This episode is brought to you by Skillshare and Noom. Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/ARTHUR. Sign up for a trial of Noom today at noom.com/ARTHUR.

References and further reading:

Sit With Negative Emotions, Don’t Push Them Away | Arthur Brooks

PANAS Questionnaire | Measuring Positive and Negative Affect

It’s a Terrible Day in the Neighborhood, and That’s O.K. | Mariana Alessandri

Jul 06, 2020
E6. Happiness from Eastern Wisdom
1:05:23

To be effective in your life and work, you must be willing to expand your happiness horizons beyond your own culture. In Arthur’s own life, he’s often looked to India as a source of inspiration on how best to combine material knowledge with metaphysical insight. In this episode, he is joined by Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and Mentora Institute founder, Hitendra Wadhwa, for a discussion on how blending Eastern and Western philosophies can help you discover your full potential and build a life on the foundations of moral living, spiritual practice, and wisdom.

This episode is brought to you by Skillshare and Noom. Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/ARTHUR. Sign up for a trial of Noom today at noom.com/ARTHUR.

References and further reading:

The Three Shifts of Leadership Mastery | Hitendra Wadhwa

Staying Inspired in Times of Tumult | Hitendra Wadhwa

An Open Letter to America | Hitendra Wadhwa

The Bet, 2020 – A Parable for our Pandemic Times | Hitendra Wadhwa

About Mentora and Hitendra’s organizational consulting and training work

Subscribe to Hitendra’s Newsletter and stream his weekly webcasts, Intersections

Jun 22, 2020
E5. Love Your Enemies
51:36

What do you do when the world is on fire? Drawing on lessons from his national bestseller, Love Your Enemies, in this episode, Arthur shares some recommendations for curing the culture of contempt that’s left our country bitterly divided. He and Ceci discuss the type of leaders our country needs and how the secret to more healing love—within families, among friends, and even towards our enemies—lies in overcoming our fears.

This episode is brought to you by Skillshare. Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/ARTHUR

References and further reading:

Love Your Enemies | Arthur Brooks

America’s crisis of contempt: Remarks from the 68th National Prayer Breakfast  | Arthur Brooks

The U.S. is in a crisis of love | Arthur Brooks

Jun 08, 2020
E4. Meaning and Purpose in Life and Work
1:06:34

Although this graduation season looks much different than years past, 2020 graduates are still faced with the same question that we’ve all had to answer (or for some of us, are still trying to answer): what vocation will add value and meaning to my life? In this episode, Arthur talks with Stanford Business School professor and behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker about distinguishing between meaning and happiness in life and work. They also discuss the psychology of humor and how AI just might help improve our well-being.

References and further reading:

Some key differences between a meaningful life and a happy life | Jennifer Aaker

It’s Not Going to Be That Fun: Negative Experiences Can Add Meaning to Life | Jennifer Aaker

The Shifting Meaning Of Happiness | Jennifer Aaker

Unhappiness and Age | David G. Blanchflower

Cracking a Joke at Work Can Make You Seem More Competent | Alison Wood Brooks

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change | Jennifer Aaker

Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.) | Jennifer Aaker

4 Rules for Identifying Your Life’s Work | Arthur Brooks

May 25, 2020