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Why Humans Need Surprise

By Jill Suttie | April 24, 2015

A new book argues that surprise, whether good or bad, is critical for bringing vitality to our lives.

 
  

Past Stories

Emiliana Simon-Thomas and Dacher Keltner, co-instructors for GG101x: The Science of Happiness. You can still enroll for the self-paced course.

Can an Online Course Boost Happiness?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Juliana Breines | April 22, 2015

Based on the results from our “Science of Happiness” class, the answer seems to be Yes!

 
A scene from the film Alive Inside.

Can Music Help Keep Memory Alive?

By Jill Suttie | April 21, 2015

A conversation with the makers of Alive Inside, a new documentary about how music is helping people with dementia.

 

What Makes Us Thankful?

By Art Markman | April 20, 2015

A recent study suggests that a belief in the free will of other people is key to our ability to feel gratitude when they do something to help us out.

 

How to Help Teens Find Purpose

By Patrick Cook-Deegan | April 16, 2015

Teens are naturally driven to seek new experiences—and that may be the key to helping them develop a sense of purpose in life.

 
Yale University Press, 2015, 192 pages

Why Does Altruism Exist?

By Jill Suttie | April 15, 2015

A new book argues that it is group needs, not individual intention and virtue, that drives altruism.

 

How to Help a Narcissist to Forgive

By Linda Graham | April 14, 2015

Narcissists struggle to forgive people for even minor transgressions. But a new study points the way forward.

 

Why Some People Own Mistakes and Others Don’t

By Art Markman | April 13, 2015

What helps us to take responsibility for our mistakes? A recent study says the key might lie with your belief that people can change.

 
Which one will you choose?

How Science Helps Us Find the Good

By Jeremy Adam Smith | April 9, 2015

Looking back at 10 years of writing about the science of human goodness for Greater Good, Jeremy Adam Smith discovers that the bad and good—and the inner and outer—go hand in hand.

 

How SEL and Mindfulness Can Work Together

By Linda Lantieri, Vicki Zakrzewski | April 7, 2015

When taught together, social-emotional learning and mindfulness can have even greater impact on both individuals and the world around us.

 

Why You Should Love Thy Coworker

By Kira M. Newman | April 6, 2015

A new study suggests that fostering compassion among health care workers might improve the quality of patient care.

 

Can Self-Compassion Improve Well-Being in Teens?

By Emily Campbell | April 2, 2015

Two new studies investigate self-compassion in adolescents.

 
Viking, 2015, 261 pages

How Touch Shapes Emotion

By Jill Suttie | March 31, 2015

A new book explores the science of touch, and finds that it is inextricably linked to how we feel and communicate.

 
This essay is based on Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom (WW Norton, 2015).

Seven Ways Mindfulness Can Help Teachers

By Patricia Jennings | March 30, 2015

Patricia A. Jennings explains why teachers should cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.

 

Gratitude is Good for Athletes

By Teri McKeever | March 26, 2015
 

Can a Pill Make You More Compassionate?

By Tom Levy | March 25, 2015

A new study suggests that altering the chemical balance in our brains can make us more committed to fairness.

 

Why Evolution Made Forgiveness Difficult

By Anthony C. Lopez | March 24, 2015

Nature endowed humanity with both revenge and forgiveness as tools of conflict resolution. But why does one seem so much harder than the other?

 

You Need More Than a Book to Learn Loving-Kindness

By Kira M. Newman | March 23, 2015

A new study suggests that experience trumps intellectual knowledge when it comes to fostering compassion.

 

Happiness Greatest Hits

By Jeremy Adam Smith | March 20, 2015

Today is the UN's International Day of Happiness! To celebrate, here's a list of some of our most illuminating and helpful happiness research, tools, and tips.

 
Frans de Waal: Like humans, along with aggression, chimps’ behavior includes reconciliation, empathy and consolation.

Monkeys for Equal Pay

By Barry J. Bergman | March 18, 2015

And every cat for itself! A report on Frans de Waal's recent Greater Good Science Center talk.

 
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 296 pages.

How Meditation Can Change Business

By Jill Suttie | March 17, 2015

A new book argues that mindfulness promises to transform workplaces from the inside out.

 
Can you spot true happiness in a person's smile? Take our emotional intelligence quiz!

Are Conservatives Really Happier than Liberals?

By Tom Jacobs | March 16, 2015

Research has found that right-wingers report being happier than those on the left. But a new study calls that into question by measuring words and behavior.

 
Harvard Business Review, 2015, 247 pages

Stopping the Distraction Epidemic

By Jill Suttie | March 13, 2015

A new book explains why we get so distracted at work—and how we can become more focused and productive.

 
This essay is adapted from the introduction to Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference (Berrett Koehler, 2015).

Where Can We Find Sustainable Happiness?

By Sarah van Gelder | March 12, 2015

Our society has become addicted to short-term happiness. But there's a better way, argues Sarah van Gelder.

 
Niki Lustig, a leader of the Learning and Organizational Development team at Twitter.

Can Higher Purpose Help Your Team Survive and Thrive?

By Brad Wolfe | March 10, 2015

A conversation with Twitter’s Niki Lustig about how the social media giant fosters a sense of purpose among their employees.

 

Measuring Compassion in the Body

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | March 9, 2015

What happens in Vagus… may make or break compassion.

 

Just One Thing: Grow a Key Inner Strength

By Rick Hanson | March 4, 2015

To deal life's challenges, we need resources. Rick Hanson explains how to find the ones that lie inside yourself.

 
They look like they're fighting—but in fact these two bonobos are playing.

What Can Bonobos Tell Us about Ourselves?

By Frans de Waal | March 3, 2015

Famed primatologist Frans de Waal takes on the unproven assumption that apes and humans are natural-born killers.

 

In Memoriam: Marshall Rosenberg

By Rhonda Magee | February 26, 2015

The creator of Nonviolent Communication, who touched the lives of countless people, died earlier this month.

 
Perigree, 2014, 352 pages

What Makes a Great Workplace?

By Jill Suttie | February 25, 2015

A new book applies science to figuring out how to build a place where people actually look forward to work.

 

How a Challenging Past Can Lead to a Happier Present

By Linda Graham | February 23, 2015

Recent research backs up Friedrich Nietzsche.

 

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Most...

  
  • How to Help Teens Find Purpose

    April 16, 2015

    Teens are naturally driven to seek new experiences—and that may be the key to helping them develop a sense of purpose in life.

  • Can Music Help Keep Memory Alive?

    April 21, 2015

    A conversation with the makers of Alive Inside, a new documentary about how music is helping people with dementia.

  • How to Help a Narcissist to Forgive

    April 14, 2015

    Narcissists struggle to forgive people for even minor transgressions. But a new study points the way forward.

  

Greater Good Events

How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal
International House, UC Berkeley campus
May 20, 2015


How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal

A book event for The Upside of Stress


» ALL EVENTS
 
 

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

» TAKE A QUIZ
 

Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

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Greater Good Resources

 
 
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Book of the Week

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

» READ MORE
 
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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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