The 7 best TED Talks on happiness

We all want to be happier.

Yet happiness can often seem elusive and like a goal we are never quite able to reach. Some people say happiness comes from money, having nice things, or status. Others say that it comes from mindfulness and a peaceful state of mind.

Whilst struggling with my Mental Health, happiness seemed to me like something I would never find again. On the other end of the spectrum, my days were instead filled with trying not to cry and motivating myself to get out of bed.

TED Talks help bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding to Mental Health issues – it is great to know that it’s not just you who feels like this. If you suffer from depression, anxiety or low self esteem, check out some of my other posts such as TED Talks for anxiety and TED Talks for low self esteem.

TED Talks can also be uplifting. These are the best TED Talks on happiness that I have watched, that remind us that even when times are tough, there are always new things to try to help us find happiness.

Get inspired from these TED Talks to make small changes in your own life and start being a happier person today!

7 best TED Talks on happiness

The 7 Best TED Talks on happiness

What makes a good life? Lessons on the longest study of happiness : Robert Waldinger

This fascinating study on happiness shines a light on what is really important on the path to happiness.

We are told to work harder and achieve more, but are these the things we really need to go after to have a good life? Spoiler alert – no.

There’s more to life than being happy : Emily Esfahani Smith

This is my favourite TED Talk on happiness.

If life is technically getting better on paper, why are more and more people left feeling depressed and alone? Emily explains that the act of chasing happiness usually ends up making a lot of people unhappy.

Instead of chasing happiness, we should look for meaning in our lives. Meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself and from developing the best within you.

In this TED Talk Emily breaks down the 4 pillars of a meaningful life and how you can use them to become your best self. Watch if you feel something is missing in your life!

The Surprising science of happiness : Dan Gilbert

Who do you think is happier, someone who wins the lottery or someone who is paraplegic? 

Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert talks about how we are all concerned with searching for happiness, but actually it could be the endless possibilities and decisions which are keeping us from finding it.

Dan describes through his experiments how we can be happy even when situations don’t turn out how we wanted them to. What if all your beliefs about what will make you happy were wrong all along? 

The habits of happiness : Mattieu Ricard

Ricard is a Buddhist monk who used to be a molecular biologist.

He says that everyone is searching for happiness. Some people try to deny the importance of finding happiness, but no one wakes up in the morning hoping for a full day of suffering.

When we are searching for happiness we can sometimes look for external fixes, but Ricard tells us we should be looking inwards instead.

He emphasizes how important it is to spend a little time taking care of what matters most – the way our mind functions. This is because this is what determines the quality of our lives.

Once we are able to achieve this state, we are in a better position to cope with the ups and downs that life brings.

My Philosophy for a happy life : Sam Berns

17 year old Sam is one of just 350 people worldwide who suffer from progeria. Because of this he has more obstacles in life than the average person, but yet he says he has a happy life.

Sam shares his philosophy and techniques for keeping himself happy, that we can also apply to our own lives.

Happiness is all in your mind : Gen Kelsang Nyema

This TED Talk starts with a couple of questions which should be pretty easy to answer – but are actually harder than you think.

If we can cultivate a peaceful state of mind we will be happy regardless of people and circumstances. Conversely, if our mind is unpeaceful or agitated, even if we have good circumstances we’ll find it impossible to ever be happy.

Enjoy the guided 3 minute meditation at the end!

How to be happy every day : Jacqueline Way

So many people suffer with depression and anxiety on a daily basis – it doesn’t look like we are cracking the code of how to be happy.

The world happiness report states the best predictor of if a child becomes a satisfied adult is through their emotional health in childhood.

Jaqueline started this project with her kid to help him on the path to happiness. In this TED Talk she shares how how we can all easily do something every day for 1 year that help will make us happy.

I hope you enjoyed these TED Talks on happiness! If you did then check out my other posts about mental health such as journal prompts for self love and TED Talks about identity and sense of self.

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