The Atlantic is expanding its audio portfolio and launching two podcasts this week: How to Build a Happy Life, out today and hosted by the Harvard professor and Atlantic contributing writer Arthur C. Brooks, and The Review, a weekly pop-culture show coming tomorrow featuring a rotating group of The Atlantic’s film, TV, music, and book critics. “Our new podcasts feature a group of tremendously talented, funny, and brilliant writers,” said Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic’s executive editor. “I can’t wait for people to get to know our journalists this way.”
How to Build a Happy Life brings listeners deep conversations on happiness, exploring the science behind joy and offering suggestions for how to put ideas about happiness into practice. The show is an extension of Brooks’s weekly Atlantic column, “How to Build a Life,” which since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has been helping readers point themselves toward a more fulfilled and meaningful life. The Atlantic also held a daylong summit on happiness this spring.
In the inaugural episode of the limited series, Brooks speaks with Dan Harris about mindfulness: why it’s valuable for managing your emotions and how anyone can practice mindfulness to make themselves happier. Future episodes will include conversations with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on loneliness and Dr. Ellen Langer on how curiosity fuels our growth.
Releasing on Wednesdays starting tomorrow, The Review will examine a single piece of pop culture in each episode, offering a close and irreverent look at the movies, TV shows, and music we entertain ourselves with and how they define the way we see the world. Episodes may focus on a new release or something that audiences have seen or heard dozens of times. The show features a rotating roundtable of Atlantic culture writers including David Sims, Shirley Li, Megan Garber, Hannah Giorgis, Sophie Gilbert, and Spencer Kornhaber.
In the debut episode, Garber, Gilbert, and Sims dissect Ted Lasso, the Emmy Award–winning series that has captivated viewers with its portrayal of a kindhearted Kansas football coach tasked with leading a bumbling team in England’s ultra competitive soccer league. Garber, Gilbert, and Sims examine the unlikely critical and commercial success that is Ted Lasso, and ask what the show’s much-discussed second season has to say about the merits (and the limits) of American optimism.
How to Build a Happy Life and The Review are the latest additions to The Atlantic’s podcast lineup. The Experiment, a collaboration between The Atlantic and WNYC Studios featuring stories from our unfinished country, debuted in February. Floodlines, the limited series that examined what went wrong after the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina, launched in 2020 and won a Peabody Award earlier this year.