How to Build a Happy Life

The building blocks for realigning expectations and reality in happiness

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About How to Build a Happy Life

In our pursuit of a happy life, we build, we structure, and we plan. Often, we follow conventional wisdom and strategize. But what happens when our plans fall through and expectations don’t meet reality—when the things that should make us happy don’t? 

In season 3 of our How To series, Atlantic happiness correspondent Arthur Brooks and producer Rebecca Rashid seek to navigate the unexpected curves on the path to personal happiness—with data-driven insights and a healthy dose of introspection.

This series was produced by Rebecca Rashid and hosted by Arthur Brooks. Editing by A.C. Valdez and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Matthew Simonson. If you have any questions, stories, or feedback, please email us at [email protected]

A New Formula for Happiness

The happiness we seek may require investing earlier than we think—and may help us align our expectations and reality at the end of life.

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The Right Choices in Parenting

When parents avoid the complexities of independent decision making, they may fail to understand where analysis remains crucial.

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Subtraction as a Solution

Subtraction can be an overlooked solution in a culture of accumulation. But having less can create the space we didn’t know we needed.

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How to Spend Time on What You Value

We use our time to race against the clock of productivity—which may be the one thing that holds us back from enjoying the free time we crave.

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The Complexities of Human Love

Tech may not be responsible for all the woes of modern love and human connection—but it may reflect our innate desire to find simple solutions to complex problems.

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When Virtues Become Vices

When addictive behaviors override our desires, it may be a sign to investigate the gap between what we crave and what’s really good for us.

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How To Season 3: When Expectations Don’t Meet Reality

The building blocks for realigning expectations and reality in happiness.

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How to Forgive Ourselves for What We Can’t Change

Regret As a Catalyst for Change

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