Happycast: The Science of Happiness

Trina Kushnerik

This show shares the science of happiness (i.e., positive psychology) with you in an easily digestible form so that you can easily use it and apply it in your everyday life. Our aim is to have you grow into your best possible self!

All Episodes

What do I need to actually balance? Why is balance so important? How can we achieve more balance? Listen and find out. A Happier Year is now available on AHappierYear.com! Use the code “happycastlistener” at checkout for 10% off. [01:00] A metaphor for balance [02:23] Social relationships [02:53] Mirror neurons [03:53] Bowling et al., “What makes your life good?” [06:13] Creating space for social relationships [07:31] Meaning and passion [13:20] Overwork [15:41] Disconnecting from work [17:43] Passions [18:50] Creating space References: Schnell, T. (2011). Individual differences in meaning-making: Considering the variety of sources of meaning, their density and diversity. Personality and Individual Differences, 51(5), 667-673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.06.006 Uddin, L. Q., Iacoboni, M., Lange, C., & Keenan, J. P. (2007). The self and social cognition: The role of cortical midline structures and mirror neurons. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11(4), 153-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2007.01.001 Kuroda, S., & Yamamoto, I. (2019). Why Do People Overwork at the Risk of Impairing Mental. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(5), 1519–1538. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0008-x SONNENTAG, S., & FRITZ, C. (2015). Recovery from job stress: The stressor-detachment model as an integrative framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(S1), S72-S103. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.1924 Bridekirk, J., Turcotte, J., & Oddson, B. (2016). Harmonious passions support cognitive resources. Motivation and Emotion, 40(4), 646–654. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-016-9561-y

Apr 22

21 min 15 sec

A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com Today we are going to talk about three different papers assessing: healthy selfishness, optimism, and acceptance. These three papers provide the basis for three actions in A Happier Year. Let's dive into these papers and get a sneak peek of what's in A Happier Year.  [00:00] Intro [02:36] Healthy Selfishness [06:25] Looking forward to tomorrow [09:25] Is anything bugging you right now?   References: Kaufman, S. B., & Jauk, E. (2020). Healthy Selfishness and Pathological Altruism: Measuring Two Paradoxical Forms of Selfishness. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 1006. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01006 Littman-Ovadia, H., & Nir, D. (2013;2014;). Looking forward to tomorrow: The buffering effect of a daily optimism intervention. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(2), 122-136. doi:10.1080/17439760.2013.853202 Ford, B. Q., Lam, P., John, O. P., & Mauss, I. B. (2018). The psychological health benefits of accepting negative emotions and thoughts: Laboratory, diary, and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(6), 1075–1092. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000157

Oct 2020

16 min 44 sec

A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com Today we are learning about active leisure! Why do we feel so “blah” after watching Netflix and what can we do instead? What psychological needs are we missing out on? [00:30] Something exciting! [02:30] Active leisure vs passive leisure [04:35] The benefits of active leisure [06:25] How does active leisure benefit us (vs passive leisure) [11:10] An example of active leisure: Rock climbing [13:05] Finding active leisure that suits you [14:06] What are you actually tired of? [15:54] A Happier Year is on Kickstarter! bit.ly/ahappieryear    References: Hu, X., Barber, L. K., & Santuzzi, A. M. (2020). Does active leisure improve worker well-being? an experimental daily diary approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, doi:10.1007/s10902-020-00305-w Kuykendall, L., Lei, X., Zhu, Z., & Hu, X. (2020). Leisure choices and employee Well‐Being: Comparing need fulfillment and Well‐Being during TV and other leisure activities. Applied Psychology : Health and Well-being, 12(2), 532-558. doi:10.1111/aphw.12196

Oct 2020

16 min 49 sec

A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com What is joy? We dig into how we define joy and talk about a strategy to add more joy to our lives. [00:00] Intro [1:10] Exciting Happycast news! [02:28] What is joy? [05:25] Joy as an emotion  [08:32] Joy as more than an emotion [11:25] Appreciative joy  [13:55] Joy journal [15:08] Tears of joy [20:05] Outro   Join the Facebook group to get a sneak peak of A Happier Year and give me some feedback! https://www.facebook.com/groups/957308811397774 References   Casioppo, D. (2019). The cultivation of joy: practices from the Buddhist tradition, positive psychology, and yogic philosophy. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1–7. doi:10.1080/17439760.2019.1685577  Emmons, R. A. (2020). Joy: An introduction to this special issue. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2019.1685580 Zeng, X., Sun, Y., Deng, Y., & Oei, T. P. S. (2019). Appreciative joy rooted in Chinese culture: Its relationship with strengths in values in action. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1–10. Zeng, X., Wang, R., Oei, T. P. S., & Leung, F. Y. K. (2018). Heart of Joy: a Randomized Controlled Trail Evaluating the Effect of an Appreciative Joy Meditation Training on Subjective Well-Being and Attitudes. Mindfulness. doi:10.1007/s12671-018-0992-2  Matthew Kuan Johnson (2020) Joy: a review of the literature and suggestions for future directions, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15:1, 5-24, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2019.1685581 Oriana R. Aragón & John A. Bargh (2017): “So Happy I Could Shout!” and “So Happy I Could Cry!” Dimorphous expressions represent and communicate motivational aspects of positive emotions, Cognition and Emotion, DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2017.1301388 Matthew Kuan Johnson (2020) Joy: a review of the literature and suggestions for future directions, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15:1, 5-24, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2019.1685581 Aragón, O. R., & Clark, M. S. (2018). "tears of joy" & "smiles of joy" prompt distinct patterns of interpersonal emotion regulation. Cognition and Emotion, 32(5), 913-940. doi:10.1080/02699931.2017.1360253’

Jul 2020

20 min 57 sec

A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com We are all feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed right now. Here are some science backed tips on how to feel a little better during these weird and scary times. [00:18] Intro [02:35] Stay social with video chats! [08:40] Get moving [13:24] Focus on what you can control [15:30] Disconnect from the news a little [17:44] Outro   References Tsai, H., Cheng, C., Shieh, W., & Chang, Y. (2020). Effects of a smartphone-based videoconferencing program for older nursing home residents on depression, loneliness, and quality of life: A quasi-experimental study. BMC Geriatrics, 20(1), 27-11. doi:10.1186/s12877-020-1426-2 Lathia, N., Sandstrom, G. M., Mascolo, C., & Rentfrow, P. J. (2017). Happier people live more active lives: Using smartphones to link happiness and physical activity. PloS One, 12(1), e0160589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160589  

Apr 2020

18 min 49 sec

A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com How can we gain more control of our feelings and of our lives? [00:00] Intro [01:20] What is control?  [03:43] You can’t control everything [04:45] Study: Control helps older adults through stressful times [08:25] How to feel more in control   References: Thompson, S.C. (2017) The Role of Personal Control in Adaptive Functioning In C.R. Snyder, Shane J. Lopez, Lisa M. Edwards, and Susana C. Marques (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, 3rd Edition. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199396511.013.22  Dulin, P. L., Hanson, B. L., & King, D. K. (2013). Perceived control as a longitudinal moderator of late-life stressors on depressive symptoms, Aging and Mental Health, 17(6), 718-723. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2013.784956

Dec 2019

14 min 42 sec

In a nutshell, psychological safety is about feeling safe to learn, contribute, and challenge the status quo without fear of being embarrassed or punished. Listen as Dr. Clark shares his wealth of knowledge on this topic.  A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com   [01:50] Dr. Clark’s background [03:30] The background of psychological safety [04:30] The basic definition of psychological safety [06:07] Why is psychological safety important? [06:40] Personal experiment with psychological safety [08:07] What are some common causes of fear? The four stages of psychological safety [11:55] The first sign of psychological safety: Inclusion safety [15:05] How to make people feel included? [17:05] Stage two: Learner safety [17:45] Stage three: Contributor safety [18:35] Stage four: Challenger safety [20:32] What’s something a leader might be doing that is undermining psychological safety [22:12] What can an employee do? How to disagree. [24:50] How to compete in a healthy way [28:00] Intended audience [29:20] How this relates to students [32:00] A better way to view failure [39:54] Parting thoughts   Get in touch with Dr. Clark tclark@leaderfactor.com https://www.leaderfactor.com   Get Dr. Clark’s book https://www.amazon.com/Stages-Psychological-Safety-Inclusion-Innovation/dp/1523087684

Nov 2019

42 min 4 sec

What is the secret to making and having friends? Listen in, it might surprise you! A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com [00:00] Intro [01:40] Spatial ecology [04:52] How many hours does it take to make a friend? Study 1 (adults that moved cities) [08:50] How many hours does it take to make a friend? Study 2 (college students) [10:50] Striving Behaviours, quality conversation [13:13] What is the secret to being liked? [15:20] Outtro    References: Ebbesen, E.B., Kjos, G.L., & Konečni, J. (1976).  Spatial ecology: Its effects on the choice of friends and enemies. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 12(6), 505-518. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(76)90030-5 Hall, J. A. (2019). How many hours does it take to make a friend ? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(4), 1278–1296. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407518761225 Aronson, E., & Worchel, P. (1966). Similarity versus liking as determinants of interpersonal attractiveness. Psychonomic Science, 5(4), 157-158. http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/BF03328329

Nov 2019

16 min 16 sec

Join Christine Esovoloff and I as we have a conversation about the honest truths of self-love, self-compassion, accountability, and more! A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on http://ahappieryear.com [02:05] About Christine [02:47] About Dear Love, I’m Ready for You [03:12] Self love has so many definitions [04:22] Self-love isn’t an end point, it’s a journey [05:23] Chatting about study, self love helps you through failures [07:00] Treat yourself like you’d treat a friend [08:07] Why is it hard to be kind to ourselves? [08:49] Be gentle with yourself [09:53] Unpacking our baggage  [11:40] Holding ourselves accountable [13:36] One size doesn’t fit all [14:30] How Christine got involved with the book   [16:43] Outtro / where to find book / next week’s episode   References: Miyagawa, Y., Niiya, Y., & Taniguchi, J. (2019). When Life Gives You Lemons , Make Lemonade : Self ‑ Compassion Increases Adaptive Beliefs About Failure. Journal of Happiness Studies, (0123456789). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00172-0   Dear Love, I’m Ready for You: Use discount code 'christine20' to get 20% off! https://goldenbrickroad.pub/products/dear-love-im-ready-for-you Find Christine on the web:  instagram.com/the_ginger_journal www.thegingerjournal.ca

Oct 2019

17 min 50 sec

There’s a cocktail of chemicals swimming around in your brain in your brain when we have quality social relationships. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:24] Release those endorphins with social drinking [05:16] Endogenous opioids from social laughter [08:36] Be your spouse’s friend! [10:30] But have other friends, because your cortisol responds to it. [14:45] Outtro    References: Dunbar, R. I. M., Launay, J., Wlodarski, R., Robertson, C., Pearce, E., Carney, J., & Maccarron, P. (2017). Functional Benefits of ( Modest ) Alcohol Consumption, Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 3, 118–133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-016-0058-4 Manninen, S., Tuominen, L., Dunbar, R. I., Karjalainen, T., Hirvonen, J., Arponen, E., … Ja, I. P. (2017). Social Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in Humans, 37(25), 6125–6131. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0688-16.2017 Grover, S., & Helliwell, J. F. (2019). How ’ s Life at Home ? New Evidence on Marriage and the Set Point for Happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(2), 373–390. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9941-3 Keneski, E., Neff, L. A., & Loving, T. J. (2018). The Importance of a Few Good Friends : Perceived Network Support Moderates the Association Between Daily Marital Conflict and Diurnal Cortisol, 9(8), 962–971. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617731499

Oct 2019

16 min

Those small interactions you have with strangers have quite a few hidden benefits! A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [00:42] Talk to strangers on your commute, it’ll make you happier [07:15] Little social interactions make us happier [09:19] Introverts still need to talk  [11:45] Affective forecasting, the reason we don’t think we’ll enjoy eating spaghetti  [13:28] Smile at strangers, it makes them feel included [14:18] Put your phone down, you’ll smile more References Epley, N., & Schroeder, J. (2014). Mistakenly Seeking Solitude, Journal of Experimental Psychology, 143(5), 1980–1999. Sandstrom, G. M., & Dunn, E. W. (2014). Is Efficiency Overrated?: Minimal Social Interactions Lead to Belonging and Positive Affect, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(4), 437–442. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550613502990 Zelenski, J. M., Whelan, D. C., Nealis, L. J., Besner, C. M., Santoro, M. S., & Wynn, J. E. (2013). Personality and Affective Forecasting : Trait Introverts Underpredict the Hedonic Benefits of Acting Extraverted, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(6), 1092–1108. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032281 Wesselmann, E. D., Cardoso, F. D., Slater, S., & Williams, K. D. (2012). To Be Looked at as Though Air : Civil Attention Matters. Psychological Science, 23(2) 166 –168. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611427921 Kushlev, K., Hunter, J. F., Proulx, J., Pressman, S. D., & Dunn, E. (2019). Computers in Human Behavior Smartphones reduce smiles between strangers. Computers in Human Behavior, 91, 12–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.09.023   Huge thanks to Ashley for suggesting this week's topic! :)

Oct 2019

16 min 6 sec

How do we stay happy while working?   [01:27] Overworking and happiness [07:25] Self-employment [10:20] Work Success [14:57] National well-being References: Kuroda, S., & Yamamoto, I. (2019). Why Do People Overwork at the Risk of Impairing Mental. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(5), 1519–1538. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0008-x Bujacz, A., Eib, C., & Toivanen, S. (2019). Not All Are Equal : A Latent Profile Analysis of Well ‑ Being Among the Self ‑ Employed. Journal of Happiness Studies, (0123456789). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00147-1 Laguna, M., & Razmus, W. (2018). When I Feel My Business Succeeds , I Flourish : Reciprocal Relationships Between Positive Orientation , Work Engagement , and Entrepreneurial Success. Journal of Happiness Studies, (0123456789). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0065-1 Ali, S., Mansoob, S., & Papyrakis, E. (2019). Happiness and the Resource Curse. Journal of Happiness Studies, (0123456789). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00080-3

Sep 2019

18 min 14 sec

Social support is so important. It can even impact your physiology.    [01:15] Friends make life good [03:22] What is social support? [07:40] How can social support make you happier? [08:55] The biology of social support [11:54] Hugs   References: Siedlecki, K.L., Salthouse, T.A., Oishi, S. and Sheena, J. (2014) The Relationship Between Social Support and Subjective Well- Being Across Age. Social Indicators Research, 117, 561-576. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-013-0361-4 Hooker, E.D., Zoccola, P.M., and Dickerson S.S. (2018). Toward a Biology of Social Support. In Snyder,  C.R., Lopez, S.J., Edwards, L.M., and Marques, S.C. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (3rd ed.), doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199396511.013.41  Cohen, S., Janicki-Deverts, D., Turner, R.B., & Doyle, W.J. (2015). Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness. Psychological science, 26(2), 135-47 .    

Sep 2019

14 min 23 sec

How can valuing things in our future make us happier?   [01:06] What is temporal discounting? [03:33] Those that discount the future and those that do not [06:00] Happiness and temporal discounting [09:07] Expecting something negative [11:30] So what can we do to stop discounting the future?   References Story, G. W., Vlaev, I., Seymour, B., Darzi, A., & Dolan, R. J. (2014). Does temporal discounting explain unhealthy behavior ? A systematic review and reinforcement learning perspective, 8(March), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00076 Kennedy, J. (2019). Subjective Wellbeing and the Discount Rate. Journal of Happiness Studies, (0123456789). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00096-9 Golub, S. A., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2009). Anticipating One’s Troubles: The Costs and Benefits of Negative Expectations. Emotion, 9(2), 277–281. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014716 Kim, H., Schnall, S., & White, M. P. (2013). Similar Psychological Distance Reduces Temporal Discounting. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213488214  

Aug 2019

15 min 45 sec

Why are we sometimes less satisfied even though we have more? The peak-end rule can explain that!   [00:00] Introduction [00:55] How can more pain be better? [03:15] Quality of years, not quantity [06:39] The order matters [08:44] Why we sometimes are satisfied with less [11:46] Vacation and happiness   References Kahneman, D., Fredrickson, B. L., Schreiber, C. A., & Redelmeier, D. A. (1993). When More Pain Is Preferred To Less: Adding a Better End, 4(6), 401–405. Diener, E., Wirtz, D., & Oishi, S. (2001). End Effects of Rated Life Quality: The James Dean Effect. Psychological Science, 12(2), 124–128. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00321 Do, A. M., Rupert, A. V., & Wolford, G. (2008). Evaluations of pleasurable experiences: The peak-end rule. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15(1), 96–98. https://doi.org/10.3758/PBR.15.1.96 Kemp, S., Burt, C.D., & Furneaux, L. (2008). A test of the peak – end rule. Memory and Cognition, 36(1), 132-138. https://doi.org/10.3758/MC.36.1.132

Aug 2019

16 min 32 sec

Let’s dive into what adventure is and how adventure contributes to your well-being.   [00:35] Intro [02:25] Family adventures [08:58] Adventure involves risk [11:05] Outdoor recreation and connection to places [12:52] Adventure and well-being   References Pomfret, G., & Varley, P. (2019). Families at leisure outdoors : well-being through adventure. Leisure Studies, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2019.1600574 Kulczycki, C., & Lück, M. (2009). Outdoor Adventure Tourism, Wellness, And Place Attachment. In : Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit, Place (pp. 165-176). Cognizant Communications.

Aug 2019

15 min 57 sec

As a customer, your emotions can rub off on employees. As an employee, you can catch others emotions. Learn how this can affect you. As a customer, your emotions can rub off on employees. As an employee, you can catch others emotions. Learn how this can affect you.   [00:00] Introduction [01:12] Your attitude can influence your customer experience.  [05:23] Deep acting and reframing the situation [08:00] Angry customers [11:00] Fun detour: Psychopaths & emotional contagion   References   Liu, X., Chi, N., & Gremler, D. D. (2019). Emotion Cycles in Services : Emotional Contagion and Emotional Labor Effects. Journal of Service Research, 22(10), 285–300. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094670519835309 Hennig-thurau, T., Groth, M., & Gremler, D. D. (2006). Are All Smiles Created Equal ? How Emotional Contagion and Emotional Labor Affect Service Relationships. Journal of Marketing, 57–73. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.70.3.58 Dallimore, K. S., Sparks, B. A., & Butcher, K. (2007). The Influence of Angry Customer Outbursts on Service Providers ’ Facial Displays and Affective States. Journal of Service Research, 10(1), 78–92. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094670507304694   Luckhurst, C., Hatfield, E., & Gelvin-smith, C. (2017). Articles Capacity for Empathy and Emotional Contagion in Those With Psychopathic Personalities. Interpersona. https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v11i1.247  

Aug 2019

15 min 39 sec

Emotions are contagious! Learn how and why so that you can be aware.   [00:00] Introduction [01:06] Overview of how emotions are contagious [03:02] What is emotional contagion? [07:54] Exaggerating your facial expression [08:54] Botox and emotions [12:15] Talking on the phone and catching emotions   References Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., Rapson, R. L., Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1993). Emotional Contagion. Current Directions, 2(3), 96–99.   Hatfield, E., Bensman, L., Thornton, P. D., & Rapson, R. L. (2014). New Perspectives on Emotional Contagion : A Review of Classic and Recent Research on Facial Mimicry and Contagion. Interpersona, https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v8i2.162   Neal, D. T., & Chartrand, T. L. (2011). Embodied emotion perception: Amplifying and dampening facial feedback modulates emotion perception accuracy. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 673-678. doi:10.1177/1948550611406138 Coyne, J. C. (1976). Depression and the response of others. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 186–193.

Jul 2019

15 min 15 sec

Empathy is walking in someone’s shoes. Compassion puts your empathy into action.   [00:21] What is compassion? [05:07] Empathy vs Compassion  [07:45] Compassion can make you happier [09:50] Compassion can reduce anxiety [11:50] Loving kindness meditation   References Singer, T., & Klimecki, O. M. (2014). Empathy and compassion. Current Biology, 24(1), 875–878. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.054 Mongrain, M., Chin, J. M., & Shapira, L. B. (2011). Practicing Compassion Increases Happiness and Self-Esteem, Journal of Happiness Studies, 12(6), 963–981. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-010-9239-1 Demorest, A. P. (2019). Happiness , love , and compassion as antidotes for anxiety Happiness , love , and compassion as antidotes for anxiety. The Journal of Positive Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2019.1627399 Fredrickson, B.L., Cohn, M.A., Coffey, K.A., Pek, J., and Finkel, S.M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving- kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 95, 1045–1062.

Jul 2019

16 min 49 sec

We can alter how we perceive time. Maybe you feel like time is really scarce, learn about the psychology of how to make time feel more plentiful! [00:00] Intro [01:49] Time and awe [05:34] Time perception [09:29] Buying time [11:50] Making your life seem longer [15:30] What did we learn today?   References: Rudd, M., Vohs, K. D., & Aaker, J. (2012). Awe Expands People’s Perception of Time, Alters Decision Making, and Enhances Well-Being. Psychological Science 23(10) 1130 –1136. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797612438731 Niiya, Y. (2019). My Time, Your Time, or Our Time ? Time Perception and Its Associations with Interpersonal Goals and Life Outcomes. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(5), 1439–1455. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0007-y Whillans, A. V, Dunn, E. W., Smeets, P., Bekkers, R., & Norton, M. I. (2017). Buying time promotes happiness. PNAS 114(32), 8523–8527. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1706541114 Zhang, J. W., & Howell, R. T. (2011). Do time perspectives predict unique variance in life satisfaction beyond personality traits ? Personality and Individual Differences, 50(8), 1261–1266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.02.021 Wittmann, M., & Lehnhoff, S. (2005). Age effects in perception of time. Psychological Reports, 97, 921-935. https://doi.org/10.2466/PR0.97.7.921-935

Jul 2019

18 min 30 sec

How do we describe awe? I’m sure you’ve all experienced awe, but what exactly is it and why does awe contribute to a happy life? [00:00] Introduction  [02:13] What is awe? The six facets. [08:40] Awe and happiness [10:20] Awe and materialism [13:35] What elicits awe?

Jul 2019

16 min 17 sec

Do likes and comments affect your happiness? What about aimlessly scrolling through your social media accounts? Does social media really improve your life? [00:44] Intro [02:30] Online pro-social behaviour...linked to prosocial behaviour in real life [05:36] Social networks compliment your real life. Not a replacement.  [08:17] Passive social network use. [13:27] Likes and comments [15:51] Summary [16:50] Outro

Jul 2019

17 min 41 sec

How can we deal with our regrets so we can move on and be happy?   [00:00] Intro [00:47] Better to have loved and lost: It’s better to regret the things you did [06:35] Regret and quality of life [10:25] How to handle your regrets! [12:48] You’re bad at predicting regret: Affective forecasting [15:03] How to fix that.

Jun 2019

17 min 14 sec

They say money isn’t everything, but what does the science actually say about money and happiness?   [00:00] Intro [00:55] Wanting more, is it a trap? [04:53] Financial stress can impact your happiness [08:40] Materialism, what is it? [14:04] Buy experiences instead of things.

Jun 2019

19 min 37 sec

Forest bathing...it’s not taking a shower in nature, it’s taking in the atmosphere of the forest. Learn some of the benefits and how to get the most out of your nature experience.   [00:00] Intro [00:52] A forest bathing “how to” [02:38] Slow down [03:12] It’s about the journey [04:36] Physiological benefits from nature [06:21] Other nature benefits [07:53] A bit of aromatherapy: Smell some nature [09:57] Urban parks [11:15] Plants [12:06] Touching nature [14:00] Listen to nature

Jun 2019

15 min 55 sec

Want a natural remedy with no frills, no chemicals, no additives? Best of all, it's free. Being in nature can make you happier and can even do some great things for your body. [01:50] Noticing nature [04:15] Why can nature make us happier? [04:45] Biophilia hypothesis [05:55] Stress reduction theory [09:16] Attention restoration theory [10:51] Combine nature with social interaction and exercise [13:00] Urban parks also are a part of nature! [15:18] The perils of noise pollution [16:00] Outro

Jun 2019

16 min 40 sec

Zest is being energetic, enthusiastic, and excited about your life and things in it. Learn how zest can help you in your career and how to cultivate zest.   [00:52] What is zest? [02:27] Zest and happiness [02:45] Those that are zestful, are more likely to be satisfied with their work [04:50] Zest and work commitment [06:40] Zest and healthy ambitious [08:06] Zest combats burnout [09:06] How do we cultivate zest? [12:07] Be adventurous

May 2019

15 min 49 sec

Self-care isn’t sitting on your couch, watching Netflix, and eating a pint of ice-cream. Self-care involves challenge yourself, improving yourself, and doing some things that you don’t want to do.   [00:00] Introduction [03:55] Self-care is refueling [05:34] Self-care is a habit [06:53] Self-care by challenge [08:44] Self-care by self-improvement [10:30] Benefits of self-improvement: You’ll take feedback better [12:19] Self-care by working on your passion

May 2019

16 min 31 sec

There are many ways to be creative, it's not all about painting a picture. Learn how to flex the creative muscles in your brain!   [00:34] What is creativity? [02:07] Everyday creativity [02:43] Why do we have negative stereotypes about creative people? [04:10] Creativity and happiness are actually correlated [05:20] Broaden and build theory of emotion [06:20] How can I put this to use? Flex your creativity muscle! [08:00] Creativity at work [09:40] How to foster creativity and keep that creative spark burning

May 2019

17 min 26 sec

“Humility is not handsome people trying to believe they are ugly and clever people trying to believe they are fools." -Buri [00:00] What is humility? [00:00] Ingredients for humility [00:00] The hot sauce study! Humility can make you nice & tolerant. [00:00] Intellectual humility [00:00] Cultural humility [00:00] Social humility

May 2019

19 min 17 sec

What you say to yourself matters! How can we change what we say to ourselves? How can this help us? [00:35] What is self-talk? [02:00] There’s many kinds of self talk, but not all are good. [02:51] Too much self-critical self-talk is bad [04:15] The windshield and rear view mirror metaphor [05:45] A high level of self-reinforcing self-talk is good [06:48] Study: how positive and negative self talk can impact stressful situations [10:47] Super positive self-talk CAN be harmful if you have low-self esteem [13:50] Steps to better self-talk [17:45] How self talk can get you to where you want [18:30] Outtro

May 2019

19 min 26 sec

Emotions can be good and bad. Learn some steps on how to understand your own emotions so that you aren’t a slave to your own emotions. [00:36] Intro [01:15] Emotions are good [01:45] Emotions are bad [02:24] Emotional intelligence helps keep you in control [03:40] What is emotional intelligence? [07:54] But I suck with people, can you even increase your EQ? YES! [10:07] Emotional intelligence and coping [13:43] Social relationships and emotional intelligence

Apr 2019

16 min 11 sec

We should be curious about what other people have to say, and about what other people think. You don’t have to agree with them, you just have to be genuinely interested. Let people share their interests, hopes, dreams, and desires with you, it can make a world of a difference. [01:08] Intro [01:16] What is social curiosity? [02:40] Social curiosity helps you understand others better [04:16] Social curiosity can help you in conversation too [08:13] Why does social curiosity matter? Reciprocity! [11:19] Curiosity in your relationships [13:41] Be interested in what other people have to say.  

Apr 2019

19 min 19 sec

Curiosity will help you thrive and flourish in life. Find out why, and how to unleash your childlike wonder. [01:00] Intro/story [03:23] What exactly is curiosity? [03:51] Types of curiosity: Curiosity can be driven by many things. [09:30] Travel and curiosity [10:44] Curious people are happier [14:27] Curiosity leads to personal growth [15:39] Kids and curiosity [16:47] Curiosity helps you leave your comfort zone [17:45] Curiosity and goal attainment [19:26] How do I become more curious? [00:00] Outtro  

Apr 2019

26 min 19 sec

You can easily become more patient. In this episode, there are multiple science based tips and tricks on how to become more patient in your everyday life. [00:00] Intro [00:50] What is patience? The character strength of patience. [02:46] What are the benefits of being patient? [04:48] How do I become more patient? [10:12] Patience and your goals [13:32] What else can I do to become more patient? Making time drag by less. [14:48] Can you be too patient?

Apr 2019

17 min 54 sec

Hope doesn’t appear out of thin air. It’s something you create for yourself by finding a viable pathway, and taking at least one tiny step to get to what you want. [01:00] What is hope? [02:33] What about false hope? [05:10] Why does hope matter? [07:15] Hope will help you think positively [08:48] Hope in the face of failure [12:07] Hope and illness [14:24] How can I have more hope?  

Mar 2019

17 min 38 sec

Why are we so hung up on what we aren’t good at? Why not focus on what we are already great at? I’ll talk about 24 strengths you could be using, and some science proven ways to foster those strengths. [00:20] Introduction [02:52] Using your strengths is important [04:42] Study: My Weaknesses Will Go Away, but My Strengths Are Here to Stay. [06:53] 24 strengths [09:57] Why these 24 strengths stick with you wherever you go. [12:13] Are some strengths better than others? [13:10] What are some examples of things you can do to improve your strengths? [15:50] There are more than 24 strengths though [17:00] How to use your strengths even in business and entrepreneurship

Mar 2019

18 min 42 sec

When bad things happen, you should feel upset. Don’t turn that frown upside down...right away. You heard that right. Science shows suppressing negative emotions is bad for you. Learn the science of negative emotions, and why being okay with feeling bad doesn’t contradict anything about positive psychology. Rather, there’s a harmony between the positive and negative. [00:00] Intro [01:54] Study: Avoiding negative emotions = less happy [05:12] Negative emotions are like pain [05:32] Study: Avoiding negative emotions = more lonely [07:20] Study: Suppressing negative emotions is bad [09:15] Travel and negative emotions [10:48] Confirmation bias: If you’re expecting everything to suck, you will find evidence. [13:00] Study: Here’s what’s bad about confirmation bias [14:33] The reticular activating system: train your brain

Mar 2019

17 min 8 sec

Courage means doing something despite your fear. Courageous acts don’t have to be grand, you can be courageous everyday of your life. [00:00] Intro [00:34] What is courage? [03:16] 4 dimensions of courage [06:22] Values & beliefs shape courage [07:00] Travel and courage [11:00] Our previous courageous acts shape the story we tell ourselves [12:15] Recalling previous experiences facing fears makes you more likely to face fears again [14:25] Courage may be stronger for things that are important to you [16:30] Broaden and build: Being courageous opens us up.

Mar 2019

20 min 9 sec

Journaling can help you understand yourself and your life. What hidden stresses are you carrying around that you could let go of? What positive things can you write about? Learn the benefits of journaling, why it works, and how to journal in this episode! [00:45] What is journaling? [02:24] Why does it matter and how does it work? [03:46] Self-reflection and insight [05:04] Insight, but not self-reflection, is related to subjective well-being [07:10] How can journaling provide insight. [08:33] How often should I write? [09:45] Study: Journaling about stressful events [12:07] Study: But you can also write about good things too [13:46] Insight and goals [16:00] Morning pages

Feb 2019

17 min 58 sec

Reciprocity, aka you scratch my back I scratch yours. The secret to being liked is to like. The secret to happy employees is the appreciate them and fulfil your promises. The secret to good friendships is sharing vulnerabilities.   [00:00] Intro [01:00] The secret to being liked is to like [03:42] There is no rule people have to give back [04:51] Reciprocity at work. [06:04] Dan Ariely’s study: Shredding your work [09:01] Perceived psychological contract violation [12:50] Reciprocity and friendships [00:00] Reciprocity in self-disclosure

Feb 2019

17 min 57 sec

A high self-esteem and being able to love yourself doesn’t make you a narcissist. In fact, there’s many benefits to having a high self-esteem and many disadvantages to being narcissistic. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:54] What is self-esteem? [02:30] Self-esteem is not narcissism [03:15] Story time: Self-esteem and middle school science projects [06:03] Study: Self-esteem and reading magazines [07:40] Self-esteem and happiness [08:47] Study: Self-esteem and presenting your true self, flaws and all. [11:02] Narcissism and criticism [12:15] The criticism sandwich [14:05] Study: Low self esteem can lead to self handicapping [16:46] Activity: self compliments

Feb 2019

20 min 32 sec

How do we stop procrastinating? I'll share some step by step instructions on how to reduce your procrastination. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:20] What is procrastination? [02:30] The car study: Unconscious thought and decision making [06:43] The job applicant study: further proving unconscious thought [08:10] Active and passive procrastination [12:29] Activity: Engage in productive procrastination [14:10] Activity: start for 10 minutes only [14:48] Activity: How to make any hard and complex task easy. [17:11] Procrastination and perfectionism

Feb 2019

20 min 34 sec

Listening is a skill that is often overlooked, or a skill we think we don’t need to learn. However, by the end of this episode you’ll probably realize you aren’t listening as well as you could be. With listening comes understanding, I’ll talk about a couple studies that show why understanding is key to human connection. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:20] Intro to listening and why it matter [06:10] SOLER listening [09:10] Don’t try to listen with an intent to reply [10:19] Be okay with silence. [11:25] Multi-tasking is a myth! [12:40] Study: Feeling understood makes people happier [14:20] Study: Happier relationships when you feel understood

Jan 2019

16 min 32 sec

Empathy is the ultimate perspective. However, empathy also requires vulnerability. Learn the benefits of being empathic and why it matters. Also, emotions are contagious. Find out why and how this affects you. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:11] What is empathy?? [03:07] Why does empathy matter? [04:25] What is positive empathy? [06:37] Mirror neurons: Our brains are actually wired for empathy! [08:03] Emotional contagion [11:25] Empathy at work...an empathic manager can boost employee well-being. [13:21] Activity: Be more motivated to be empathic. [14:20] Activity: How can I be more empathic?

Jan 2019

16 min 10 sec

You might not even realize thats some of your everyday behaviours are habits. Habits affect your happiness, success, and productivity.  I’ll share how to tap the science of habits so that you can use your habits to your benefit. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:33] Intro to habits [04:00] Cues - the science of breaking habits [07:06] Study: Stopping a habit once its been cued [08:07] How strong can cues actually be? A study on cues and voice [10:30] Activity: Use cues to your advantage [12:20] Study: Habits will win when intentions fail [15:24] Study: Habits will win when you’re stressed [17:55] How to make happiness a habit.

Jan 2019

20 min 39 sec

Passion is essential for a life full of happiness and success. However, how do you find balance with the things you love doing? How will you benefit from more balance? A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [00:00] Intro [03:45] What is passion? [05:40] Two types of passion: Obsessive and harmonious passions [09:30] Problems with obsessive passion [10:50] Why is harmonious passion good? [11:10] Harmonious passion and concentration [11:46] Harmonious passion and decision making [13:25] Harmonious passion and happiness [14:48] Harmonious passion and success [16:15] Burnout and why harmonious passion is key to overcoming burnout. [18:40] Balance is key. A quick tip on how to find harmony.

Jan 2019

20 min 57 sec

What does it mean to be authentic and why does it matter? Being authentic is associated with more happiness, better relationships, and generally better functioning. This episode includes an activity to boost your everyday authenticity. A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:43] What is authenticity? The 4 pillars of authenticity (according to scientific theories). [07:58] What are the benefits of authenticity? [08:52] Study: Social networks and authenticity [10:32] Study: Being an authentic introvert in an extraverted society [13:38] Study: Authenticity is key in relationships [17:02] Authenticity activity. What do you value?

Jan 2019

19 min 32 sec

Is the glass half full or half empty? Why does optimism matter? Does it really make that big of a difference? I’ll end the episode with an activity that can help you learn optimism! A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:24] What is optimism and why is it good? [02:20] Myths about optimism [03:40] There’s a study that shows overly optimistic people run the risk of not seeing dangers [5:50] Thoughts on the glass being half full [07:16] Pygmalion effect [09:30] ABCDE, steps for learning optimism

Dec 2018

15 min 43 sec

Maybe you don't want to forgive, but this episode might change your mind. I will bust common myths on what forgiveness is and isn't. I'll talk about the benefits of forgiveness, the harms of revenge, and then I'll give you some step-by-step directions on how to forgive.  A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on ahappieryear.com [01:07] What is forgiveness? [01:49] What isn’t forgiveness? [03:25] Punishing the offender may actually cause you more distress [05:38] Study: How forgiveness will help you heal, a study on emotional abuse survivors [09:45] Forgiveness and health [11:00] The REACH model of forgiveness [14:08] Forgiveness activity, write a forgiveness letter.

Dec 2018

15 min 49 sec