Episode notes

In the entire 321-year history of Yale University, the most popular class ever is a relatively new one called “Psychology and the Good Life”, taught by Dr. Laurie Santos. Since it’s debut in 2018, it has proved to be so much in demand that Yale now offers a version of the class for free online to anyone in the world.

Part of the appeal is that Dr. Santos is a really great professor. She’s smart, presents lessons in a compelling way. But beyond that, the class holds appeal because so many people these days are not happy at all, with college students reporting depression and anxiety in numbers that are astronomical and terrifying. This trend was happening before the pandemic and has only gotten worse since.

In this interview, Dr. Santos, who also hosts the podcast The Happiness Lab, talks about what happier people have in common and how to implement practices in your own life to start doing better. Importantly, this isn’t a recipe for suddenly being a character in a musical comedy, jumping and singing for joy all the time. That’s unrealistic and frankly a bit gross. But students who learn from her teachings report an incremental uptick in their levels of happiness, laying the foundation for better times ahead.

Helpful Links:

Paul Rudd goofing around to the Partridge Family in Ant Man and The Wasp: youtube.com/watch?v=LzXywwT9fI0
The Worry About Yourself Video: youtu.be/4A6Bu96ALOw
The Science of Well-Being course on Coursera: coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being
Dr. Santos at the Aspen Ideas Festival: youtube.com/watch?v=ZizdB0TgAVM

Listen to Dr. Laurie Santos’ podcast, The Happiness Lab, wherever fine pods are cast. Learn more about Dr. Santos’ Yale course, Psychology and the Good Life, by vising her website at DrLaurieSantos.com. Follow Dr. Santos on Twitter @lauriesantos and on Instagram @lauriesantosofficial.

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Help is available right away.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 or 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-273-TALK

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.

International suicide hotline numbers available here: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines

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John’s acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is available here. https://read.macmillan.com/lp/the-hilarious-world-of-depression/

Find the show on Twitter @depreshpod and Instagram @depreshpod.

John is on Twitter @johnmoe.

In this episode...


  • Dr. Laurie Santos

About the show

Join host John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression) for honest, relatable, and, yes, sometimes funny conversations about mental health. Hear from comedians, musicians, authors, actors, and other top names in entertainment and the arts about living with depression, anxiety, and many other common disorders. Find out what they’ve done to address it, what worked, and what didn’t. Depresh Mode with John Moe also features useful insights on mental health issues with experts in the field. It’s honest talk from people who have been there and know their stuff. No shame, no stigma, and maybe a few laughs.

Like this podcast? Then you’ll love John’s book, The Hilarious World of Depression.

Logo by Clarissa Hernandez.

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