The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks

By The Ricochet Audio Network

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Category: Self-Improvement

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Steve S
 Feb 18, 2021


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
Happiness from All Things New

Can variety and novelty bring us happiness? Is there ever too much of a good thing when it comes to new experiences? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss the good and bad side of neophilia, the love of new things. Most importantly, Arthur shares how a healthy appetite for life and an openness to experiencing new things can lead to an abundance of beauty, satisfaction, and adventure in our...


Jun 21, 2021
Life After COVID

Were you happy with your life pre-pandemic? Are there toxic relationships or draining activities that might be better left behind as we reemerge from the pandemic? In this episode, Arthur and Ceci discuss how we can use these waning months of the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to honestly evaluate our lives and assess our happiness. Arthur also provides a step-by-step guide on how to learn...


Jun 07, 2021
Designing Happiness

People usually make two mistakes when it comes to their own happiness: First, they assume that happiness already exists, and they just have to go find it. Second, they equate happiness to other complicated problems, solvable through engineering the right formula. However, happiness is complex, and requires a different approach. In this episode, Arthur is joined by co-authors of the #


May 24, 2021
Achieving Effortlessness and Greater Happiness

Are you making your life harder than it needs to be? Satisfaction is one of the key macronutrients of happiness, but it can prove elusive. And it’s easy to burn out chasing it, and inventing more and more wants in our lives. Can we escape this phenomenon? In this episode, Arthur is joined by New York Times bestselling author Greg McKeown to discuss his latest bestseller, Effortless: Make It Easier...


May 10, 2021
How to Buy Happiness

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.


Apr 26, 2021
Healing Collective Trauma

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...


Apr 13, 2021
E26. How to Change Your Mind with Adam Grant

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...


Mar 29, 2021
E25. Overcoming a Fear of Failure

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 or ceci@


Mar 15, 2021
E24. Happiness through Voluntary Sacrifice

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...


Mar 01, 2021
E23. An Epidemic of Loneliness

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.


Feb 15, 2021
E22. Stoicism and Living a Balanced Life

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.


Feb 01, 2021
E21. Sharing Happiness

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...


Jan 18, 2021
E20. 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...


Jan 04, 2021
E19. 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...


Dec 21, 2020
E18. 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...


Dec 08, 2020
E17. 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...


Nov 24, 2020
E16. 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...


Nov 09, 2020
E15. 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...


Oct 26, 2020
E14. 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...


Oct 12, 2020
E13. 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...


Sep 29, 2020
E12. 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...


Sep 14, 2020
E11. 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...


Sep 01, 2020
E10. Overcoming the Success Addiction

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.


Aug 17, 2020
E9. Managing Transitions in Life

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...


Aug 04, 2020
E8. Curing the Epidemic of Fear

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...


Jul 20, 2020