playlist

10 days of positive thinking

A fun, uplifting challenge: For the next 10 days, watch one TED Talk from this list to shift yourself into a life of positive thinking.

  1. 5:49
    Graham Hill Less stuff, more happiness

    Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.

  2. 13:38
    Ingrid Fetell Lee Where joy hides and how to find it

    Cherry blossoms and rainbows, bubbles and googly eyes: Why do some things seem to create such universal joy? In this captivating talk, Ingrid Fetell Lee reveals the surprisingly tangible roots of joy and shows how we all can find — and create — more of it in the world around us.

  3. 15:27
    Emily Levine How I made friends with reality

    With her signature wit and wisdom, Emily Levine meets her ultimate challenge as a comedian/philosopher: she makes dying funny. In this personal talk, she takes us on her journey to make friends with reality — and peace with death. Life is an enormous gift, Levine says: "You enrich it as best you can, and then you give it back."

  4. 10:52
    Dylan Marron How I turn negative online comments into positive offline conversations

    Digital creator Dylan Marron has racked up millions of views for projects like "Every Single Word" and "Sitting in Bathrooms With Trans People" — but he's found that the flip side of success online is internet hate. Over time, he's developed an unexpected coping mechanism: calling the people who leave him insensitive comments and asking a simple question: "Why did you write that?" In a thoughtful talk about how we interact online, Marron explains how sometimes the most subversive thing you can do is actually speak with people you disagree with, not simply at them.

  5. 12:46
    Robert Waldinger What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

    What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it's fame and money, you're not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you're mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

  6. 17:04
    Sophie Scott Why we laugh

    Did you know that you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else than if you're alone? Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares this and other surprising facts about laughter in this fast-paced, action-packed and, yes, hilarious dash through the science of cracking up.

  7. 16:51
    Alain de Botton A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

    Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

  8. 11:57
    Simone Giertz Why you should make useless things

    In this joyful, heartfelt talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions — designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more — rarely (if ever) succeed, and that's the point. "The true beauty of making useless things [is] this acknowledgment that you don't always know what the best answer is," Giertz says. "It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works. Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn't the answer, but at least you're asking the question."

  9. 17:24
    Guy Winch Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

    We'll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don’t we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.

  10. 12:18
    Emily Esfahani Smith There's more to life than being happy

    Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there's a more fulfilling path? Happiness comes and goes, says writer Emily Esfahani Smith, but having meaning in life — serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you — gives you something to hold onto. Learn more about the difference between being happy and having meaning as Smith offers four pillars of a meaningful life.