Mar 9, 2023

Secrets to a Happier Life with Dr. Robert Waldinger

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Belonging, Connection, Health, Mental Health, Purpose, Relationships, Transformation


Today I’m nerding out with Dr. Robert Waldinger, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Good Life: Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study on Happiness. Dr. Waldinger is also a Zen master (Roshi) who teaches meditation worldwide.

In this episode, we explore Dr. Waldinger’s fascinating research on what makes a “good life” based on the longest study of adult life that has ever been done – the Harvard Study of Adult Development. He shares his insights on the power of relationships and how they affect our mental and physical health, practical tips for improving our happiness, and how to create and nurture thriving relationships. This is a pod you won’t want to miss!


  • The power of relationships and how they affect our mental and physical health
  • The types of relationships we need to thrive
  • The impact of conflict and how to use it to nurture relationships
  • How to improve the quality of our relationships
  • Ways to build resilience and cope with conflict

00:00 Intro 

01:55 What is the happiness study?

04:34 Relationships help us live longer

09:26 Impacts of life events

11:03 High-conflict relationships

12:27 Stress and the body

14:11 Attachment styles and relationship longevity

17:21 Relationships and the body

19:26 Social fitness

21:20 Be curious

24:30 Stratifying the data

27:42 Effects of the study on participants

31:39 Being in Zen

33:28 Religion and spiritual practice

36:39 Rituals and habits

38:38 Study results and expanding the research