In part two of a three-part look at the self-help industry, Dr Gary Wood and Paul Flower discuss whether self-help advice encourages toxic positivity. The episode also looks at the general theory of meritocracy, are we all equal and therefore all capable of getting the same results from our reading? Is there an over-emphasis on dramatic results? And are self-help books given to too much moralizing? This is episode 11 in the podcast series.
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In the first of a three-part look at the self-help industry, your hosts Dr Gary Wood and Paul Flower discuss book therapy – or bibliotherapy if you prefer. Learn all the secrets of the self-help book formula and how to read the warning signs of what to avoid. And how to find a self-help book that’s right for you.
Ep.09. When we talk about happiness, inevitably, we must talk about unhappiness. In this episode of Happiness, a Sceptics Guide your hosts Paul Flower and psychologist Dr Gary Wood look at ‘talking cures’. How do you know if you need help? Where do you find help, and which therapy works best? Is cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), the panacea for all ills? This episode answers these questions and more.
What are the benefits of mindfulness, that is, ‘paying attention, on purpose, in a non-judgemental way’? This episode of ‘Happiness, a Sceptics Guide‘ looks at the mindfulness megatrend. What is mindfulness and can it make us happier? Should mindfulness (and happiness) be about liberation from conditioning or adjustment to conditioning? Check out this podcast episode over on Podbean: Mindfulness for Happiness. Does it help? The episode features a chainsaw. Surely, that’s got to be a first for a mindfulness podcast.
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Stress has to be the number one barrier to happiness, and this episode of ‘Happiness, A Sceptics Guide‘ considers different ways to define stress, and how to cope with it. And, it answers the question ‘Is stress always a bad thing?’ (The first of a two-part look at stress).
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In this episode of Happiness, A Sceptics Guide we compare and contrast happiness and wellbeing. It unravels some of the pop psychology terminology and presents a definition of wellbeing that aligns with a definition of stress – the balance between the challenges we face and the resources we have to meet the demands.
The third episode of Happiness, A Sceptics Guide looks at different types of happiness. Faced with two doors ‘happiness or ‘meaning’, which one would you choose? Find out what that choice means and how you can apply this insight to improve happiness. And can you have the best of both world, a ‘the good life’ and ‘the meaningful life’? Based on Gary Wood‘s book ‘The Psychology of Wellbeing‘ (published by Routledge). To read more about the book, for the UK go to: https://amzn.to/3gmgukd and for the US go to: https://amzn.to/3gmgukd
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Dedicated to Prof Ed Diener (1946 -2021) who made a monumental contribution to psychological research into happiness. We were not aware of his passing when this episode was recorded. To check out his resources on happiness visit: https://eddiener.com/
The second episode of ‘Happiness, A Sceptics Guide’, aims to answer the question ‘What is happiness?’ And, to unravel popular psychology terminology. It’s all based on Gary’s book ‘The Psychology of Wellbeing’ (published by Routledge). To read more about the book, for the UK go to: https://amzn.to/3gmgukd and for the US go to: https://amzn.to/3gmgukd
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For a podcast that looks at the shortcuts to happiness, it was a long time coming. Two old friends had an idea to work together on a project to help tackle mental health issues in 2009, but it took a pandemic to make it happen. Happiness, A Sceptics Guide brings together self-confessed serial self-help-abuser Paul Flower and psychologist, coach and author, Dr Gary Wood for short, fortnightly 20-minute bursts of happiness and how to get it. But why did it take so long and why now?
Dr Gary Wood explains ‘I’d just given an interview for BBC Radio Scotland on ‘How to Start Your Own Podcast’ and what the benefits might be. And as fate would have it, Paul emailed to say, ‘I know we’ve discussed it many times before, so what about now?’ As the pandemic had forced us to say no to so many things, I thought ‘why not, let’s at least give it a go. It was about changing ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ to how and when’
Co-host Paul Flower adds ‘The tools to create podcasts have become so much more accessible these days, and as we both have broadcasting experience, and both like the sound of our own voices, it became the obvious thing to explore. But when I told a friend, their first reaction was ‘are you sure the person to talk about the secrets of happiness? But I also thought ‘why not?’. In the journey I can be patient zero, because if we can find something that works for me, it will work for anyone.’
The podcast handles serious issues but doesn’t take itself too seriously. What shines through is the rapport between the two hosts and a shared sense of the absurd, because part of happiness is having more fun. As so often the most profound insights in life are found among the ab-libs, tangents, false starts and mistakes.
Happiness, A Sceptics Guide offers a series of relaxed conversations initially based on Wood’s book The Psychology of Wellbeing. Like the book, the podcast tries to bridge the gap between common sense, self-help and evidence-based psychology. It’s a journey to ‘sift the science from the snake-oil’ and offer workable short-cuts and hacks to happiness, better mental health and wellbeing. And, to make sense of the bewildering array of tools and techniques offered up by the multi-billion-dollar wellness industry.
Most importantly, the podcast is testament to the old adage ‘It’s never too late to try something new’. You can follow the podcast over on Podean: Happiness, A Sceptics Guide, or check out this handy video: