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Home » Breathing Happiness: Emma Seppälä at TEDxSacramento (Transcript)

Breathing Happiness: Emma Seppälä at TEDxSacramento (Transcript)

Emma Seppälä at TEDxSacramento

Here is the full text and audio of psychologist Emma Seppälä’s talk titled “Breathing Happiness” at TEDxSacramento conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Emma Seppälä – Author of The Happiness Track

Hello everyone.

As a graduate student at Stanford University, and also now a psychologist and research scientist, I’ve been continuously amazed by the beauty of the campus, the sun that bathes the campus every day, and the amazing scholars that surround us.

However, I’ve also been dismayed by another fact: I often see that the students are miserable, they’re anxious; there’s so much stress.

My first year as a graduate student there… there were three suicides on the campus. So in response to this, my colleague, Carole Pertofsky, Head of Health Promotion, and I started a Science of Happiness class with the hopes of increasing well-being in some way.

One day, one of the students came up after class to Carole and said, “I have to drop out. This class goes against everything I’ve ever learned.”

Carole asked, “What do you mean?”

The student said, “My parents told me I needed to be very successful. And when I asked them, ‘How do I become very successful?’ they said, ‘You must work very, very hard.'”

When the student went back to them and said, “How do I know when I’m working hard enough?” her parents said, “When you’re suffering.”

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