Laurie Santos, PhD, is an American cognitive scientist and professor. She created the most popular course in history of Yale University: Psychology and the Good Life, which was designed to counter the high rate of anxiety and depression she witnessed in her students.
As a professor of psychology at Yale and host of The Happiness Lab podcast, I've spent the last few years teaching simple science-backed tips to improve our well-being. I know the research inside out—but the giant dumpster fire of a year that was 2020 has had me struggling, too.
By recognising the ways our minds lead us astray, we can be sure not to squander the powerful fresh start effect of the new year. Doing so requires overcoming the overwhelming cultural urge to pursue total change, as well as extending ourselves a little grace.
Despite decades of economic growth, the population as a whole — and surprisingly — is slightly less happy. On paper, many have lives that appear awesome, but they're just not feeling it. Even those with great material and financial affluence are not as psychologically well-off as they could be.
Many Americans hope to meet their goals for self-improvement and overall happiness in 2019. Yale professor Laurie Santos started teaching the course "Psychology and the Good Life" last January. It quickly became the university's most popular course, both in-person and online.