Host, The Happiness Lab Podcast

The Science of Happiness

Dr. Laurie Santos is a psychologist and an expert on human cognition, its origins, and the evolutionary biases that influence our all-too imperfect life choices. Her work centers around how behavioral change through positive psychology can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.

She is the Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Psychology and the former Head of Silliman College at Yale University. Her course, Psychology and the Good Life, teaches what the science of psychology says about how to make wiser choices for a better life. The class is Yale’s most popular course in over 300 years and has been adapted into a free Coursera program that has been taken by over 4 million people to date.

Dr. Santos is the host of the podcast, The Happiness Lab. She makes the case that humans are drastically wrong about what makes us happy and often do the exact opposite of what will make our lives better. Based on her incredibly popular course at Yale, she presents the latest scientific research in effort to help listeners rethink happiness and guide them toward their best lives. Launched in 2019, the podcast has been downloaded over 100 million times.

From her research, Santos speaks to how we are biologically programmed to be motivated by sex, to be deeply influenced by other people, and to repeat our mistakes. Using evidence from the animal kingdom to help explain our sometimes illogical behaviors, she provides advice on how to engage our uniquely human faculties to counteract evolution and lead better lives.

Dr. Santos has been featured in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, NPR, GQ Magazine, Slate, CNN, and Oprah Magazine. Dr. Santos is a winner of numerous awards both for her science and teaching from institutions such as Yale and the American Psychological Association. She has been featured as one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10” and was named TIME’s “Leading Campus Celebrity.”