How to Build the Life You Want: Timeless Wisdom for More Happiness & Purpose


The Mel Robbins Podcast with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar


Listen to the Mel Robbins Podcast twice per week, every Monday and Thursday, to achieve the life of your dreams.


Do you want to be happier every day and live a more meaningful life? 

In this episode, you’re getting the research, the secrets, and some very surprising takeaways from the #1 happiness expert, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. 

He has taught 2 of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history, and today you are getting a front row seat in one of his lectures. 

Grab a pen and paper, because class is in session. 

He is here to share all of the groundbreaking research and give you the answers to: 

- What you have wrong about happiness 

- The science-based tools for increasing happiness 

- 5 simple habits for a successful, happy life 

This episode will give you the secret to creating happiness in your life again, with zero weird tricks. 

If you liked this research-packed episode, here’s one you should listen to next: What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From the Longest Study on Happiness.

If you are looking for more coaching, Mel just opened the doors to the once-a-year, science-backed, community-packed coaching program, Launch with Mel Robbins, and wants YOU to join her. 

Over 6 full months, you’ll get step-by-step support through 3 personal or professional projects that are important to you. If you’re ready for deep support, dream-chasing, and a LOT of momentum, this is for you. 

Launch with Mel Robbins closes enrollment on April 25th. If you miss the date, you can hop on the waitlist for next year’s course.

Connect with Mel:

In this episode:

  • 5:00: The two questions that ultimately led to Dr. Ben-Shahar’s career.
  • 6:40: Why you don’t feel happy with your life now.
  • 9:40: The research that cautions about what you promise yourself in the morning.
  • 12:05: How Helen Keller defined happiness and why that matters.
  • 12:25: The 5 major elements of happiness.
  • 15:50: Two major models of happiness and the problem with both.
  • 18:15: How having a goal makes you happier.
  • 21:20: Where do you begin if you don’t even know what happiness feels like?
  • 22:45: The shocking but honest answer Dr. Ben-Shahar gave about happiness.
  • 26:20: Try one of these 5 one-minute activities when you’re feeling depressed.
  • 31:20: How can you be happier if you feel lonely?
  • 34:10: Research finds doing this for just 2 minutes makes you happier and healthier.
  • 39:45: What does a morning look like for a happiness researcher?
  • 42:00: One essential truth to know about happiness.
  • 45:15: What does it mean to be “anti-fragile?”
  • 50:25: How to have more hope when you’re going through a hard time.
  • 53:30: What you need to know about ALL relationships.
  • 55:00: The key to systems thinking and why it matters.
  • 1:04:07: What does the research say about LASTING change?
  • 1:04:45: The 3 Rs of Change that should be at the core of all habit changes.
  • 1:10:30: Two essays that Dr. Ben-Shahar recommends if you want to be happier.

Resources and go deeper:

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahr:

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In The Mel Robbins Podcast, Mel takes you behind the scenes in real-time. Every episode is packed with tactical advice, hilarious screwups, compelling conversations, and the tools and inspiration you need to create a better life.