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Top 5 Ted Talks On The Art Of Being Happy

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Our modern lives are more fast-paced and stressful than ever before. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 is one of the main reasons it was one of the worst years in recent memory. Given the state of everything in the world, it’s only natural that you don’t feel as happy as you usually would before. 

External circumstances can have a significant impact on your mood and mental health. During these testing times, it’s essential to talk about the art of being happy. Taking on challenging circumstances with a smile on your face can help change your perspective entirely. Here are the top five ted talks that discuss the art of being happy!

Shawn Achor is an author and speaker who’s best known for talking about positive psychology. He’s the winner of more than a dozen teaching awards at Harvard University, and his class on positive psychology is the most popular!

In his Ted Talk, Shawn begins with a story from his childhood. The story is about how he was playing with his younger sister on the top bunk as a child, and she fell. Like any older brother would, Shawn panicked as his sister was about to cry and told her that the way she landed means that she’s a unicorn. Instead of crying, she returned to the bunk bed to continue playing, despite suffering from a broken leg. That’s where Shawn first experienced the power of positive psychology. 

Shawn then continues to discuss how employing more positive psychology doesn’t just benefit individuals; it helps organizations and industries achieve better outcomes. The talk provides a valuable insight into how maintaining positive psychology can help lead to more positive outcomes.

The next Ted Talk we recommend is by an American psychiatrist and Professor at Harvard Medical School. He’s most well known for being the Grant Study director, which is the longest study on happiness and has been running since 1938.

His Ted Talk begins with establishing the basis of the study. Its starting point was 75 years ago, and 724 men were a part of the study. These men were divided into two groups, the first group was selected when they were sophomores at Harvard College, and the second group was a group of boys who came from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. 

Every year, the study conducts interviews with the members, sends them questionnaires, and takes complete medical examinations. It’s also expanded to include the wives and children of the men.

The study teaches us several things! However, the clearest message is those good relationships keep us happy and healthy. Robert continues to explain how maintaining good relationships is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

Dan Gilbert is the speaker in the next Ted Talk on our list. He believes that a lot of people are using the wrong map to pursue what makes us happy. His main argument is that our brain systematically misjudges what is going to make us happy!

In this Ted Talk, Dan attempts to break down happiness into its two basic components; happiness that individuals stumble upon and happiness that they find. Dan discusses that natural happiness occurs when individuals get what they want.

In comparison, synthetic happiness occurs when individuals don’t get what they want. Synthetic happiness is by its nature manufactured, and that’s why society views it as inferior. Dan then continues to argue that synthetic happiness isn’t inferior, and everyone has the ability to create their own happiness.

The Ted Talk’s main message is the presence of a “psychological immune system” that works most effectively when we don’t have tons of options!

Very few people’s lives follow the same journey as Matthieu Ricard’s. He’s a former biochemist who converted to Buddhism and is now a monk. He’s also a write, photographer, and translator. 

He discusses his main beliefs in his Ted Talk, ‘The Habits of Happiness. Matthieu believes that individuals can train well-being into the mind. Like with other activities, peace and serenity can become a habit. However, there’s a slight catch. People need to be willing to completely reprogram their thoughts to understand the meaning of true happiness. 

More often than not, people tend to confuse happiness with pleasure, which leaves them always wanting and searching for more happiness. According to the Buddhist view, well-being is a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment. Instead of pursuing outward happiness, individuals should look to pursue what makes them happy from the inside! 

Many people are guilty of being their own worst enemies, and that’s exactly what Mel Robbins discusses in the final Ted Talk on our list. Mel is a criminal lawyer and a life coach who’s held in very high regard! 

Her Ted Talk centers around how people will want change but won’t put in the necessary effort to bring about the change. She argues that getting what you want out of life is simple, but it’s not an easy task. People will keep telling themselves that they’re fine, and they’ll fail to push themselves to achieve what they really want. 

She discusses the importance of activation energy. The force necessary to get people to change and move out of their comfort zone!


While there’s no one secret to learning how to live a happy and fulfilling life, watching these Ted Talks will definitely familiarize you with some important lessons!


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Treat COVID-19 As Boon Instead of Bane

Mental health, relax life

I know there is a lot of you out there struggling to cope with the pandemic. The stress, anxiety, anger, and frustrations are flooding your life. They are controlling every step you take and every decision you make.

You say and do things you don’t really mean to. So, you end up hurting the ones you love, or they are hurting you instead.

But let me tell you something.

This storm will pass. It may take longer than we thought. But it will pass. What matters is that you laugh. It’s OK for you to laugh. It’s crucial, even. When we have to face something this terrifying and hard, it’s vital that we try and find out what each moment will teach us.

Remember, difficult times don’t last, but tough people do.

How I Got Off to a Bad Start

I would always let my anxiety take hold of me. That distress became my wheels while I was just a hungry horse trying to drag the whole carriage down. 

The truth is, no one could predict how fast COVID-19 was going to reshape the world. To me, it felt like everything happened overnight. Millions of people lost their jobs, cities turned to ghost towns, and everyone I know and love was suddenly at risk of getting infected with a disease. The thought of losing them was horrifying. 

Then, my best friend got infected. Someone I’ve known since middle school got bedridden almost immediately after contracting the disease. That’s when it hit me. This was real.

My anxiety went through the roof. The lockdown made me feel panicky and trapped. There was nothing I could do to help my friend. I had to stay at home and limit my interaction with people. In just a matter of days, mine and everyone else’s future became uncertain – no more weddings, summer vacations, or family gatherings. No more life as we knew it.

I’m a law student. I’m used to long lectures, regular visits to the library, workshops, and study groups. But the moment the pandemic rolled in, everything was put on hold. Even my single source of income, a job in retail, put me at risk of contracting the disease and losing it all.

I couldn’t let that happen with my weak immune system. I quit my job. I couldn’t go to class anymore and couldn’t meet my friends to seek support in my community.

Suddenly, I lost the will to do anything. I was moping around in bed and doing nothing. I just went through the motions, morning to night. And just before I realized, I wasted five days of my life frowning, slouching, and crying over what could have been.

No more! I won’t let that helplessness ruin me or what I stand for. Yes, I did feel alone. And yes, I didn’t want to ignore my loneliness. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing I can do to fix it.

The Pandemic Didn't Change Me; I Changed Myself

Hope and motivation are something we should find for ourselves. They are a key component of our happiness. Something that keeps us going.

When I’m afraid, I need to be brave for someone else. I had to be brave for my friend. She was always my backbone. She was there for me and gave me the little pushes I always needed to keep moving.

Now our roles changed. Honestly, I’m happy they did. As soon as she got better, I stood up, freshened up, and went to check in on her.

I can’t describe to you the warmth in her smile when she saw me walk through the door. I’ve always been the wisecracker in our group. I could make even the grumpiest old lady laugh at my jokes. I think the moment she laid eyes on me, she expected I’d make some weird joke.

Luckily, my sassiness remained unchanged. Just a couple of minutes of me being there, every patient in the room was having a blast. In the end, my friend just looked at me and said, “Thank you. I needed that.”

I’m happy to say my friend made a full recovery. I know I didn’t treat her with a couple of gags. But, I also realized something else that day.

Each patient in the room there needed something to lift their spirits, regardless of how small it may be. To you, it may sound insignificant, but everything we do, everything we try, can put a smile on their faces and ours.

So, don’t just drown in your own self-pity, fear, or silence. You must find your own strength and learn from it. This is the only way we, our civilization, will heal. Yes, I understand that things may not always go the way we want them to. But, when they do, we should be able to enjoy it.

Take one day at a time. Figure out what’s crucial in your life. If you want to stop feeling helpless, start helping others. It will get rid of that loneliness, sadness, and stress. Another thing you can do is get your body back on track. Move around, go for a little walk every day, try doing some push-ups or jumping jacks.

Trust me; a little exercise can go a long way. It will clear your mind and give you something to focus on. If you don’t think you can handle all of that alone, try getting expert mental health treatments.

As long as you do everything to get that smile back, you can make it work. Just don’t give up on yourself and those around you. Although COVID-19 will not go away as quickly as most of us wanted, we can still maintain a positive outlook on life.

Just in a different way. Find your anchor, anything that makes you happy, and stick to it. Spend time with your loved ones, relax, and enjoy the time you dedicate to the people around you. So, when this pandemic passes, you will still be you.