7 Must-Watch TED Talks on Health and Happiness

Jennifer Purdie
by Jennifer Purdie
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7 Must-Watch TED Talks on Health and Happiness

These live-recorded motivational and educational lessons from experts in fields such as psychology, music, science and any other industry you can imagine are the perfect antidote for a blustery winter day. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and all of its 18-minute or less talks fall under the TED umbrella, a nonprofit entity with the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

Spend your free time productively by checking out these inspiring TED Talks as encouragement for healthy endeavors. Here are seven talks to watch:

Then watch: “Why bother leaving the house?” by Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole, and his newest record-making attempt involves walking from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. You do not need to live life to such extremes to understand the point of Saunders’ talk: At-home workouts rob us of the “meat of life,” which only exists in the outdoors. This meat provides us with “the juice we can suck out our hours and days.”  

Then watch: “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” by Tim Urban

With smartphones and iPads, you can spend hours procrastinating by falling down the Internet rabbit hole, binge watching Netflix and scrolling through social media. Tim Urban understands this, as he himself cannot shake his wait-until-the-last-minute habit. In an entertaining talk, he discusses what we really procrastinate about and challenges our dilly dally thinking.

Then watch: “Try something new for 30 days” by Matt Cutts

One of the shorter TED talks (the video only lasts about three and a half minutes), former Google wizard Matt Cutts offers a new way to treat every 30 days: Do things for the month that you always wanted to do. Cutts tried it and found that time became much more memorable when he incorporated these 30-day challenges into his life and subtracted distractions like television, Twitter and even caffeine.

Then watch: “The psychology of self-motivation” by Scott Geller

What do you want to accomplish in 2018? Ask yourself these three questions: 1. Can you do it? 2. Will it work? 3. Is it worth it? If you answered yes to these three questions, you can feel empowered to reach your goals. Scott Geller, alumni distinguished professor at Virginia Tech, tells you how.


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Then watch: “How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes” by Adam Leipzig

In his talk, event and stage producer Adam Leipzig tells you how, in five minutes, you can become part of the 20% who live life happier than others. To do this, you simply need to know five things: who you are, what you do, who you do it for, what those people want or need, and how they change as a result.

Then watch: “The secret of becoming mentally strong” by Amy Morin

Marathons, triathlons, cycling races — all require more mental endurance than physical prowess. You just need the mental capacity to believe you can finish a difficult race. To build your mental strength, clinical social worker and psychotherapist Amy Morin discusses three relevant factors regulating your thoughts, managing your emotions and behaving effectively you can use to reach your goal.

Then watch: “Why some people find exercise harder than others” by Emily Balcetis

Social psychologist Emily Balcetis shows how some people literally see the world differently than others. Dieters, for instance, see apples as larger than others who do not count calories, and people who are out of shape see the distance to a finish line farther than those in shape. To combat these differences, Balcetis provides a simple solution.

About the Author

Jennifer Purdie
Jennifer Purdie
Jennifer is a Southern California-based freelance writer who covers topics such as health, fitness, lifestyle and travel for both national and regional publications. She runs marathons across the world and is an Ironman finisher. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. You can follow her on Twitter @jenpurdie.

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