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Reply All hosts PJ and Alex love to trade gripes. Their complaints about the minor annoyances of modern life make for great audio, but are the podcasters making a classic mistake?

We all like to complain — thinking that venting does us good — but Dr Laurie Santos explains to PJ and Alex that they should gripe less if they want to be happier, and sets them a task to say something nice.

In this week’s episode, Dr. Laurie Santos speaks about the importance of gratitude. If you would like to start a gratitude practice, you can use these Happiness Lab Gratitude Letters to write down the things that you are most grateful for! Download the PDF below!

To learn more. . . 

Reply all podcast

Gopher Gripes website

Bob Emmons website

Nick Epley website

Links to references from this episode:

“Robert examined this in a classic study back in 2003.”

Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(2), 377.

“The stats that Robert cites in his book “The Little Book of Gratitude” are pretty incredible.”

Emmons, R. (2016). The Little Book of Gratitude. Hachette Book Group.

“One of the benefits of gratitude is that it connects us so deeply with other people. A colleague of mine, social psychologist at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Sara Algoe talks about gratitude as basically the interpersonal emotion”

Algoe, S. B., Gable, S. L., & Maisel, N. C. (2010). It’s the little things: Everyday gratitude as a booster shot for romantic relationships. Personal relationships, 17(2), 217-233 

Algoe, S. B. (2012). Find, remind, and bind: The functions of gratitude in everyday relationships. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6(6), 455-469. 

“In 2005, psychologist Marty Seligman and his colleagues recruited over 500 people to try a bunch of different happiness interventions”

Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. American psychologist, 60(5), 410.

“If you listened to Season 1, you may remember the guy that forced people to talk to strangers on a train. That was Nick.”

Epley, N., & Schroeder, J. (2014). Mistakenly seeking solitude. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(5), 1980.

 “Nick did an experiment asking subjects to do a gratitude letter.”

Kumar, A., & Epley, N. (2018). Undervaluing gratitude: Expressers misunderstand the consequences of showing appreciation. Psychological science, 29(9), 1423-1435.

“When Marty Seligman made his test subjects read their gratitude letters, they showed a significant bump in well-being”

Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. American psychologist, 60(5), 410..

The Host

Dr. Laurie Santos

Dr. Laurie Santos is Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University. Professor and podcast host Dr. Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition and the…