America the Anxious with Ruth Whippman

December 5, 2017

“The process of being happy has become painfully comically neurotic” – Ruth Whippman

This week I am delighted to welcome Ruth Whippman to The Psychology Podcast. Ruth is the author of America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks. The book has been covered by New York Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Washington Post, and VICE, among others.

Today we bring to you spirited discussion topics such as:

  • The cultural differences between America and Britain regarding attitudes about happiness (Ruth moved from London to California 6 years ago with her husband and 2 young sons).
  • Dosage effects of positive interventions—Is it useful to try to feel good all the time?
  • The standards to which we hold motivational speakers, popular science writers, and scientists themselves—Is it okay for standards to differ?
  • The rampant promotion of  “pseudo-growth” among corporate flourishing initiatives.
  • The parenting “happiness rat race”.

Enjoy, and if you have thoughts on the episode be sure to leave a comment below!


You can find Ruth’s book America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/America-Anxious-Search-Happiness-Driving/dp/1250146054/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= [Book]

Follow Ruth on Twitter @ruthwhippman


Bob Emmons on the Power of Gratitude:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/video/item/the_power_of_gratitude [Video]

https://scottbarrykaufman.com///wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Emmons-paper-for-Gratitude-Complaint-consultation-September-2017.pdf [Paper]

2 Responses to “America the Anxious with Ruth Whippman”

  1. Barbara J Clark PhD says:

    Salient points. Enjoyed your interview.

    • Kathy Forsyth says:

      Insightful podcast highlighting in part the modern but flawed trend to fast track – even When applying this to self-actualisation. Ruth brought a refreshing truth to some of the perceived hype surrounding the panacea of gratitude, encouraging the need to acknowledge the practical and factual challenges that need to be addressed while feeling grateful for the broader or smaller alternative facets of life. Also agree with her message that self actualisation is best achieved – perhaps can only be achieved – in a collective relational construct. Thank you Dr Scott and Ruth for another great podcast. Kathy Forsyth.

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