Podcast Episode 98
with our guest Tal Ben-Shahar

Happier with Tal Ben-Shahar


Tal Ben-Shahar is the best-selling author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life, and other books which have been translated to 25 languages. He is also the Co-founder and Chief Learning Officer of the Happiness Studies Academy. Tal is a leading expert in happiness studies who taught two of the most popular classes in Harvard University’s history: Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership. As a speaker, lecturer, and consultant, Tal delivers lectures worldwide to people of all walks of life, from the executives of multi-national corporations to vulnerable populations.

Tal joins me today to discuss the lessons he learned about happiness and how we can be happier. He shares his experiences as a squash player and illustrates how winning the Israeli National Championship led him to pursue happiness studies. He describes how we can grow and learn from traumatic experiences and explains why anxiety and depression continue to rise in today’s society. He also shares his “hamburger model” of happiness and reveals the five elements that constitute true and sustainable happiness.


“Happiness is not binary; it resides in a continuum. It’s not about reaching a finite point but a lifelong journey.” – Tal Ben-Shahar

Show Notes

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The importance of playing squash in Tal’s life and how it helped him develop his philosophy
  • How Tal learned the importance of hard work, failure, and teamwork from playing squash
  • How winning his first Israeli National Championships led Tal to find lasting happiness
  • What ‘learned helplessness’ is and why anxiety, depression, and suicide are on the rise
  • The arrival fallacy and why successful people are not necessarily the happiest
  • Tal’s ‘hamburger model’ and why happiness is not binary
  • The five elements of happiness and how to cultivate them
  • The two levels of suffering and how embracing unhappiness can lead to true happiness
  • How to stop procrastinating and using the ABCs of psychology to create lasting and sustainable behavioral change
  • Cultivating writing habits and why good writers are good readers
  • Tal’s process in finding, using, and organizing quotations and research for his books
  • Tal’s advice on marketing and selling books

Watch the interview on YouTube.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Spotify!
Visit the Tal Ben-Shahar guest page right here on goodliving.com!

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