The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Past Episodes

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

New Year’s Resolutions

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.about:blank

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

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Learning to Love the Holidays

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.com with your happiness questions.

References and further reading:

Don’t Isolate Yourself This Holiday Season | Arthur Brooks

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Your Body, Your Health, and Your Happiness

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

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Life: Part 2

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:

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

Wisdom Well: Chip’s Blog | Chip Conley 

About Modern Elder Academy

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Curbing Post-Election Suffering

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.

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Politics and Unhappiness

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

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Happy Monkey

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.

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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.

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

Searching for Spirituality

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

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

The Falling Tides of Life

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:The Clocklike Regularity of Major Life Changes |Arthur Brooks

The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

A Look into Your Future

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 has revealed.

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:

Harvard Study of Adult Development

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

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