Meditations for Happiness

Rewire Your Brain for Lasting Contentment and Peace

Meditations for Happiness

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Happiness is far more than a positive feeling that comes and goes. Science is now proving that happiness is a skill that you can develop.

Four CE credits available!
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NOTE: CE credits are available for US customers only.

Course objectives:

  • List some enduring benefits of happiness.
  • Describe the negativity bias of the brain.
  • Summarize how our brains can make us happy and also create suffering.
  • Practice guided exercises for tapping your innate capacity to nurture and encourage yourself.
  • Utilize meditation to shape your brain over time to experience more joy and be more at ease in everyday life.
  • Apply techniques that re-wire the neural pathways in the brain to experience deeper and more lasting happiness.

Bridging neuropsychology with the great contemplative traditions, Meditations for Happiness brings you a series of practices that allow you to literally rewire the neural pathways in your brain to experience deeper and more lasting contentment.

On part one, Dr. Hanson discusses the nature of happiness, its role in our evolution, how our brains both make us happy and create suffering, and how we can use and shape our brains over time to experience more joy and ease in everyday life. He then guides you step-by-step through more than a dozen meditations and exercises including:

  • A Happiness Trip—explore the many shades of positive emotions that relate to your happiness
  • Gratitude—an antidote to threatening thoughts and feelings
  • Taking Refuge in What's Reliable—root your happiness in the safe harbors of things you can truly count on
  • Coming Home to Happiness—a relaxing session to ease your body-mind back to its natural state of calm and contentment

"Emotions come and go, but true happiness endures," teaches Dr. Hanson. With Meditations for Happiness, he helps you build a foundation of skills for realizing the happiness you desire.


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Customer Reviews

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Maureen S

This CD is one of the best I've heard. Rick is so positive!

(Posted on 8/6/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Peggy M

A wonderful series of teaching and meditations. I have gained a lot from them and will listen to them many times. Always something new to discover.

(Posted on 8/2/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Richard Nishimura

Led to my daily happiness practice of noticing and appreciating moments of happiness throughout each day.

I am recovering from years of major depression, and had a daily meditation practice for 2.5 years when I bought this recording. At the time, I had been feeling fairly well for a couple of months but was slowly sliding downwards as the darkness of winter approached. I was initially turned off by Rick's all happy introduction that another reviewer suggested was like "Mr. Rogers", but I kept an open mind and am happy that I did.

As a result of this recording, I have developed a daily happiness practice which, as I noted in my opening line, keeps me aware of, and appreciative of the many moments of happiness that arise in me each day. As this practice developed I came to realize that happiness is not a lasting state, and that increased happiness is something that I could "learn".

Through developing mindfulness I have come to recognize that my feelings are always changing, and while negative feelings like anger and sadness tend to last longer, the positive feelings like joy and happiness are transient and often brief (at least for me).

With my daily happiness practice (doing what Rick recommends in this recording), I can now look back when I am feeling depressed and realize that I have had moments of happiness every day (or at least almost days) for many weeks/months, and just this realization often beings about another moment of happiness. Not joy, but a deeply-rooted and gentle happiness that I believe has kept me from spiraling back into a major depression this winter.

I think that the strong and immediate impact of this recording on my life was because I had a daily meditation practice and through that I am fairly mindful of what I am feeling both physically and mentally. For anyone thinking they are not mindful, this recording may inspire you to work at developing that mental skill.

I do not recommend that anyone who is severely depressed listen to this recording and can really relate to Anna's 1-star comment. When I was severely depressed I could not see anything to be happy about, and I think that I too would have found this to be a depressing reminder of all the things that I thought that I did not have.

I recommend this recording along with other recordings by Rick Hanson for those who seek happiness and are not severely depressed. If you can think of a few things for which to be grateful, or a few things that bring you a moment of happiness, then this recording may benefit you as it did me. Although I found Rick's happy talk off-putting, I am rating this 5-star because of the profound impact that it had on my life.

(Posted on 5/19/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Gloria K.

I enjoyed the lecture and meditations. I hope they see a smile on my next cranium catscan!

Gloria K

(Posted on 4/25/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Sonia Stewart

I've enjoyed using this C.D. and will continue to do so. Definielty helps with self understandin and compassion for oneself and others.

(Posted on 4/25/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by ann r

Brilliant! Very enjoyable and the benefits are felt immediately.

(Posted on 4/22/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by john l

Awesome !!

(Posted on 4/16/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Ann D

As a counselor, I feel uncomfortable with some of the guided sessions with no one to talk with afterwards.

(Posted on 4/9/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Jacqueline C

This is brilliant--intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.
I believe everyone would benefit by just listening to the first session. It was an amazing experience forme. I learned a lot and felt a transformative energycoming through. Thank you, Dr. Hanson. I highly recommend it to psychotherapists as well as all who
seek to transform their relationship to self and others.

(Posted on 3/19/2014)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Alicia D

Very informative, combining science facts with Buddhist ideas for interesting hands-on activities and meditations. Highly recommend.

(Posted on 7/10/2013)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by esther c


but as a down load really annoying i can't have separate chapters. my computer / i tunes reads the piece as one very long audio. so i can't jump to chapters that are useful. can you help with this?

i like rick's attitude, compassion and voice. a realy useful program

but do please help with the chapters?


(Posted on 6/23/2013)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Lynn Ng

This meditation programme has been really effective in helping me to understand how I can be happy without even having favorable external conditions. Rick Hanson has been both professional and effective in helping me to understand how my brain works and how happiness can have a lasting effect on me. I would recommend this for anyone who is struggling to be happy.

(Posted on 4/27/2013)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Alynne K

Great little book, perfect for those 5 minute reads

(Posted on 3/26/2013)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Diana E

The meditations are very positive and helpful. I didn't need all the instruction, but it would be good for new meditators.

(Posted on 3/21/2013)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Terry L

very informative along with the meditations. Rick Hanson's voice is so calming.

(Posted on 2/27/2013)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Linda Grazier

Really good explanation of negative bias of the brain with positive examples of how to change those thoughts.

(Posted on 2/6/2012)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Anna

Hate to be negative, really wanted to like this, but I found this cd, in fact, to increase my depression significantly rather than relieve it. For one thing, he counsels the listener to rely upon mainstays many of us do not have. "Be happy for your family, your children, &c"? Well what if you don't have that? "Be happy for your health?" Well, what if you don't have that? Another listener stated it correctly: these views are simplistic in the extreme. There are many assumptions about what constitutes happiness in these tapes that, well, are offensive, about externals, and of no use to us who are in fact in quite depressed and in unhappy circumstances, as well. I found myself, listening to this, being forced to enumerate all the things I DID not have on his supposedly cheery list. Quite the opposite of the intended effect: wow, my life is worse than I thought. Left me more depressed than I was to begin with. Makes me depressed even now, thinking about it. Beware.

(Posted on 11/13/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by sheri zala

I really love these meditations and thoughts as expressed by Rick Hanson. Some of the meditations are so moving, inspiring & freeing, as he says, it's as though I can feel the happiness neurons firing! These meditations have already helped me feel more self-compassion & generally more inner peace. I've put a link on my website to his pages/meditations so that my clients can also benefit from Rick's meditations & wisdom. Cheers, sheri

(Posted on 10/30/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by rachel gaspers

Sincere but simplistic. He seems like a very nice fellow ..a bit like Mr.Rogers...all lovely but it made it hard for me to take it on the deepest levels. There is no doubt he is very learned and competent.

(Posted on 10/22/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Thomas Critchley

Wonderful material wonderfully presented!

(Posted on 10/20/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Amy Britton

I've enjoyed listening to this on my daily morning walks. I was mildly depressed when I purchased this download and have steadily increased my mood by listening to this as well as by doing other uplifting activities. I particularly liked the first meditation which reminded me of all that is good and wonderful in the world in general and my life in particular. Another meditation/exercise towards the end of the program on writing down the good things about your life had me in a great mood for the rest of the day! (I was out walking at the time and didn't have pen and paper so I typed my stuff into my notes on my iPhone. Now I can go back to those notes whenever I want and am reminded of how good I have it! Overall a great purchase. Looking forward to exploring more from Rick Hanson.

(Posted on 10/19/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Naseem Rahim

Lovely and very peace giving!

(Posted on 9/11/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Louise

refreshing, uplifting....

(Posted on 9/10/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Gela de Brugiere

Wonderful!!! thank u Rick Hansen

(Posted on 8/17/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by catherine o grady

Rick Hanson is excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed his work. His meditations are practiable and life enhancing

(Posted on 8/12/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Paula Traphagen-Bossert

Love it!!

(Posted on 8/4/2011)

Review for Meditations for Happiness Review by Had Walmer

Just referred to this wonderful set of recordings by Rick on Facebook.

Haven't listened yet; this will be a perfect resource for my 'Gold Mind Meditation Project' here in Portland.
Here in the Mind!

(Posted on 6/9/2011)



Contents 3 CDs (3 hours, 41 minutes)
Date Published June 01, 2011
ISBN-10 1-60407-438-8
ISBN-13 978-1-60407-438-3
Dimensions 5 x 5 3/4 inches
Product Code AW01371D

Audio Download

Contents 1 Audio download (3 hours, 41 minutes)
Filetypes M4B, MP3, PDF, ZIP
Date Published June 01, 2011
ISBN-10 1-60407-465-5
ISBN-13 978-1-60407-465-9
Product Code AW01371W

CE Credits

Contents 4 CE credits
Date Published September 09, 2011
Product Code CE02608