The Secret to a Happy Life || Robert Waldinger

November 2, 2023

Today we welcome Robert Waldinger to the podcast. Robert is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and Zen priest. He is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development. His TEDx talk on this subject has received nearly 44 million views, and is the 9th most watched TED talk of all time. He is the co-author of The Good Life with Dr. Marc Schulz. 

In this episode, I talk to Robert Waldinger about the secret to a happy life. Robert shares with us the recent findings of The Grant Study, which is the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted. It’s been ongoing for more than 80 years now, and has had high profile participants like US President John F. Kennedy. Robert and I get into the details of how they continue to conduct research and how to make sense of both the new and old data. Sure enough, what the study has found consistent is the power of connection. We also touch on the topics of psychodynamic therapy, defense mechanisms, attachment, and psychological research.  

Website: www.robertwaldinger.com/

Twitter: @robertwaldinger


  • Robert’s background and expertise
  • The Grant Study’s methodology
  • Happiness is messy
  • Alcoholism and depression
  • Psychoanalysis 
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Continuity of research
  • Engagement and avoidance 
  • The power  of connection
  • Cross sample comparisons
  • Measures of meaning
  • Social fitness

One Response to “The Secret to a Happy Life || Robert Waldinger”

  1. dave dwan says:

    wonderful conversation, thank you

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