How to Build a Happy Life

The Atlantic

In our pursuit of a happy life, we build, we structure, and we plan. Often, we follow conventional wisdom and strategize. But what happens when our plans fall through and expectations don’t meet reality—when the things that should make us happy don’t?  In season 3 of our How To series, Atlantic happiness correspondent Arthur Brooks and producer Rebecca Rashid seek to navigate the unexpected curves on the path to personal happiness—with data-driven insights and a healthy dose of introspection. This series was produced by Rebecca Rashid and hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. If you have any questions, stories, or feedback, please email us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. read less

Starting Over When You Think It's Too Late
May 30 2022
Starting Over When You Think It's Too Late
A professional change in midlife can provide a much-needed reset—at least when you’re looking for a career that more closely aligns with your passion. But finding what you love, especially once you’ve gone down an entirely different path, can feel impossible. How do we redirect our efforts away from what we’re used to and toward what we want to do?   In this episode of How to Start Over, we explore what impacts our decision making in midlife, whether midlife malaise explains our need for change, and how to know if a professional change is worth it. Conversations with novelist Angie Kim and professor of human development and social policy Hannes Schwandt help us think through whether it’s ever too late to do what you really love.  This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Olga Khazan. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. Special thanks to Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic.  Be part of How to Start Over. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. To support this podcast, and get unlimited access to all of The Atlantic’s journalism, become a subscriber. Music by Matt Large (“Value Every Moment,” “The Marathon Will Continue [For Nipsey]”), FLYIN (“Being Nostalgic”), and Blue Steel (“Jaded”). Click here to listen to more full-length episodes in The Atlantic’s How To series. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How to Build a Happy Life: How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy
Oct 19 2021
How to Build a Happy Life: How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy
In the social-media age, we curate images of our lives on a screen—making it especially easy to translate images of perfection as the image of oneself. But the pressure to pretend we are perfect is exactly the thing holding us back from experiencing the happiness we seek—and limiting our ability to be our whole, authentic selves.  In this episode of How to Build a Happy Life, we’ll define what we mean by “authenticity” and explore the psychological underpinnings of our ego-driven identities. A conversation with the clinical psychologist and mindfulness expert Dr. Shefali helps us work through one of the most challenging questions of all: Who am I? This episode was produced by Rebecca Rashid and is hosted by Arthur C. Brooks. Editing by A. C. Valdez. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Sound design by Michael Raphael. Be part of How to Build a Happy Life. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com or leave us a voicemail at 925.967.2091. Music by Trevor Kowalski (“Lion’s Drift,” “This Valley of Ours,” “Una Noche De Luces”), Stationary Sign (“Loose in the Park”), and Spectacles Wallet and Watch (“Last Pieces”). Click here to listen to every full-length episode in the series. Try out this week’s tool-kit exercise, “The Chipping-Away Exercise,” and apply these lessons to your own life! Tag us on social media with #thechippingawayexercise, and listen to full-length episodes of How to Build a Happy Life at theatlantic.com/happy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices