The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

You might think you know what it takes to lead a happier life… more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations. You’re dead wrong. Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale -- the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history -- Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness.

With Elmo's Help... It's Never Too Early to Learn About Happiness

With Elmo's Help... It's Never Too Early to Learn About Happiness

Mon, 22 May 2023 04:01

Not matter if you're aged three or 103, you can learn to be happier using pretty much the same strategies. Sesame Workshop and its furry friends have been teaching "emotional ABCs" alongside literacy and numeracy for decades. So in collaboration with The Happiness Lab, Elmo and his friends will be helping us present fun and accessible happiness hacks for listeners of all ages.

To kick things off, Dr Laurie Santos sat down to discuss why it's never too early to learn about wellbeing with Sesame Workshop's CEO, Steve Youngwood; the Chief Production and Creative Development Officer, Kay Wilson Stallings… and everyone’s favorite furry, red monster, Elmo.

(Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organization with a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. The work they do is funded by donations big and small - so if you want to become a part of their important mission to improve children’s emotional well-being, then visit:

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Pushkin Did you ever hear of a Happiness Hack or Well-Being strategy on this show and think, gee, I wish I learned that one years ago. It's certainly never too late to discover the lessons that the science of Happiness has to offer. I know from your emails that some of you listening right now are in your 6th, 7th, and even 8th decades, and that you still feel that you learn a ton from what we talk about on the Happiness Lab. But there's also a growing movement arguing that it's never too early to start mastering these Happiness hacks. The very things that science shows can make grown adults flourish, practices like mindfulness, gratitude, or being sociable and other oriented. All of these are habits that can boost well-being in younger minds, too. And that's the reason that I got started teaching Happiness in the first place. The students who take my Science of Well-Being class are incredibly smart, but also surprisingly anxious and unhappy young adults. I think my class helps, but I wish that my students could have learned all the strategies I teach long before they entered college. That's why I recently launched a free course for adolescents, called the Science of Well-Being for teens, which you can find on YouTube or on But we shouldn't just begin taking care of our emotional health in middle school either. We should be getting this knowledge to kids even earlier. So how can we get children to start investing in their happiness as soon as they start learning their ABCs and how to count? Well, that's a little clue. Because the experts that you'll hear from in this episode are the amazing people at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that's behind Sesame Street, which has helped teach generation after generation of children, literacy, numeracy, and, yes, social emotional skills. Grover, Big Bird, and all the human residents of Sesame Street. You forgot the Elmo, but that's okay. Sorry, Grover, Big Bird, Elmo and the team have a track record in getting vital educational messages out, not only to young viewers, but also to the people watching alongside them, whether that's parents, caregivers, grandparents, older siblings, or teachers. And recent work has begun to show that with the right characters and stories, we can teach children strategies for protecting their well-being, even in really difficult times. Take, for example, some new research coming out of NYU. They tested the improvements that preschool children showed after watching Alan Simpson, which is the Arabic version of Sesame Street that Sesame Workshop created in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee and a generous grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The research showed that after watching the show, young viewers in crisis-affected areas were more able to successfully identify their emotions and to apply a simple coping strategy as a result. Watching the show had taught these kids the emotional ABCs they needed, even in the midst of a terrible humanitarian crisis. So when an opportunity came along to collaborate with Sesame Workshop, and their ongoing efforts to teach well-being fundamentals, you better believe I jumped at it. Later in the year, we'll be bringing you a special season of shows, featuring not only all of your furry friends from Sesame Street, but also the many experts from Sesame Workshop, who craft the content that so playfully teaches viewers such important lessons. But this new series won't just be for kids, or just for parents or caregivers of a kid. Whether you're age 3 or 103, you'll still hear new things about the science of happiness, just with a little added Sesame Workshop furry fun. And to kick off the collaboration, I took part in a live event at the Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley Summit, a massive conference for educators, which was held in San Diego in April. At the summit, I had a chance to interview three of the key players at Sesame Workshop, their CEO, Steve Youngwood, the chief production and creative development officer, K Wilson Stollings, and everyone's favorite furry red monster, Elmo. So welcome. Today we're going to be talking about things that we can be doing to lay the foundation to help our young people feel as emotionally and mentally healthy as they possibly can. I'm Laurie Santos. I'm professor psychology at Yale and host of the Happiness Lab podcast. I spend a lot of my time thinking about how we can help mental health at the level of higher ed in my college students. But lately, I've been feeling like my job would be a lot easier if I didn't have to wait until students got to college to start thinking about their emotional health. And that's what we're going to be talking about today. We're going to be talking about how we can lay the foundation of children's emotional health as early as possible and how the media can really help with that. This is going to be the first in a whole series of conversations that we're doing as part of my podcast with experts on how we can teach children using the media. And that is why I have my fantastic other panelists and guests here today. The Happiness Lab is so excited to be partnering with Sesame Workshop. And to toast it off, I'm going to turn it over to Steve and Kate to introduce themselves. Thank you. I am the CEO of Sesame Workshop and we're most known obviously for Sesame Street, which has brought joy but also touched kids and families for over 50 plus years around the world. At a bit of a higher level as we look at our vision going forward, it's really to empower that next generation to build what we hope is a better place. And we do it by trying to be a child most trusted friend, trying to be a caregiver's value partner, and we try to create as a global impact organizations, these experiences that enrich minds and enlarge hearts. We focus on really childhood because we do believe that is where you can have the greatest long-term impact of building a foundation. And we do it by entertaining kids but not as an end in itself. It's really about as a means to an end of educating them. And addressing the most pressing issues, which is why we're so excited to be with Laurie here. Emotional well-being is clearly a pressing issue for society, for adults, for parents, for children. And it's funny. You know, Laurie is excited working with us because it's like she goes older and Loa can learn from younger. To me, it's more like, wow, if we can see where their problems are, better understand them later, we can sort of backward engineer and have a more impactful program. So I'm excited with a conversation. I'm excited where this relationship will go and I'm excited to be here. Okay? Hi, it's my first time here and I'm very excited to be here as well. And excited to share with you what we're doing at the workshop to engage in this work and to have the greatest impact possible. And so I wanted to start with the state of where we're at right now. You know, because this is a big focus on children's mental health. And so Steve, you know, talk to me about some of the statistics about where things are and how you're trying to elevate your work on mental health with kids through Sesame Workshop. Yeah, so from the beginning, we've always taken a whole child's curriculum approach and emotional being is part of it. But clearly, we're in a different moment now, which is why we're having taking a different, you know, focus on it, following COVID and a lot of other things that are going on. And it's both a different moment in terms of how kids are sort of experiencing, but also a different moment in terms of where it is in the conversation in society. We're particularly focused because there's a lot of attention on older audiences, teens, and college students. And it's often the younger kids who we believe are the most important that don't get talked about. If you look at this generation of three to five girls, they were born into COVID. And I was just with some, you know, preschoolers and researchers and you're talking about the real tangible, obvious, like implications that they grew up with anxious households. They grew up with masks. And so you see this in as they can't read facial expressions as well. They grew up with a closed community and some of their sort of verbal development is slowed down. And those are real things that we don't know how, but inevitably that they will have impact. But then you look at the parents, it's different now. It's less stigmatized. They're bringing more kids to mental health facilities. 90% of them now believe it's a major issue for early childhood. 80% of them believe that media can help. So we're at a moment where the issue is bigger. The conversation is more open. And it is a time for us to put a more sort of pointed focus on it as we hope help the kids today. But we always say it's also it's the foundation. So if you can build the habits today, you can make a difference in the future. And I think this is something where Sesame really can play a very critical role. Because this is not the first time that Sesame Workshop has had to step in when kids were facing some kind of crisis. You know, give me a sense of the history of this and the fact that Sesame has done this a lot and passed. Yeah, you know, while we had the history of it was founded to get kids ready for kindergarten, you have your curriculum and then there's the moments you need to meet. And it's in our DNA. You know, there was a seminal thing that at least those from the US may remember. As in the early 80s, we had a character Mr. Hooper played by Willie. He passed away in real life. And you know, as opposed to writing him off, having him moved to California or something, one decided, okay, here was a moment to teach kids and give families the tools of something that unfortunately everyone will experience, which is a loss of a loved one. So we did the research, we created an episode really focusing on the fact that, okay, it's okay to be sad. Death means they're not coming back, but you'll still have the memories. And we felt that was important for the kids and we felt that was important for caregivers. You know, more recently during COVID, and there's also the tragic murder of George Floyd. We again pivoted from some things and said, let's meet that moment. There are questions that families have, there are emotions that kids are going through, there are conversations that people don't know to have. We can use our relationship, we can use our various partners and we can use our expertise to address it because it was needed in the moment. And the emotional well-being is an ongoing thing, but it's another moment that we think we need to meet. And so as we've talked more about the kinds of ways that we're going to meet this important moment, okay, I know you've brought up that Sesame Workshop often takes this full spectrum approach to thinking about skills building and also thinking about kids' emotional health. So what do you mean by this full spectrum approach? So when we are thinking about emotional well-being in children, we're talking about the way they think and feel about themselves and the experiences they have as they encounter the world around them. And we know that children need to have a healthy mental state in order to thrive in order to develop a compassionate mindset, in order to have joyous moments and to develop physically, emotionally, and socially. And so when we look at mental wellness and emotional well-being, we're looking at the complete spectrum of those everyday joyous moments, helping children to recognize and explain their emotions, and then also helping parents to recognize when there might be some really serious emotional challenges that their children are dealing with. And so I think as we think about this full spectrum approach, there's this question about, okay, what are the specific kinds of things we can build into that and where the spots where media can be especially helpful? And one of the domains I think where media can be really useful is in trying to explain very tricky concepts, right? You know, I teach a class at Yale University, like in Ivy League School about some of these scientific practices that build well-being, but there's a question about how we can boil down some of these like scientific notions in a way that kids can really understand. And just to kind of give one concrete example, which I think will be helpful, one of the things we've talked about in our curriculum development is ways to teach kids that emotions change and that negative emotions are normative, right? Like sometimes we're just going to be upset or sad or anxious or frustrated or whatever it is, and that kind of thing is normal, right? This is a hard concept for adults to get, right? But it can be especially hard for children. And one of the things we've talked about in our curriculum is like, okay, what's an analogy we can use that kids would get about something that's changing, doesn't feel good, but you know, sometimes you have to put up with it and we thought, oh, you know, the weather, you know, sunny days, right? The idea is we can teach kids that, you know, sometimes your emotional weather is like it is in San Diego, right? Or it's, you know, in theory, in theory, sunny all the time, right? And sometimes your emotional weather is kind of like where it is, where I grew up in the Northeast, where it's snowy, you're rainy, and it doesn't have to be like that all the time, it will change, but it's normal. Like this is just the kind of thing that tends to be normal. And I love this approach because, you know, it cannot be sunny every day when it comes to your emotional health, you know, even if you live on Sesame Stripes. Oops! Oh, oh, oh, hi everybody! Hi! Oh, well, sorry to interrupt, but did you say Sesame Stripes because that's where Elmo lives? Oh, hi, Mr. Steve! Hi, Mr. Kay! Mr. Steve, what's up, friend? Elmo? Hi. This is Dr. Laurie Santos. Oh, Dr. Laurie? Hi, Elmo. And we were just talking about emotions. Oh! Elmo, do you know emotions are their kind of like feelings? And I love talking to people about their feelings. You do? So, so, so Dr. Laurie is kind of a doctor of feelings? Um, yeah, I guess so. Well, Elmo knows all of their feelings. You know, sometimes Elmo feels happy, or sometimes Elmo feels sad, and then sometimes Elmo has really big feelings. Like, you know, there was this one time Dr. Laurie when Elmo couldn't get his toy airplane to fly. You know, no matter what he did, it just kept falling on the ground. And Elmo's face felt really hot, and Elmo's body got real tight. I guess, you know, and you know, Elmo's daddy helped him learn something called, um, what was it there? The way the Elmo was feeling. Um, you know what it is? No, what was it, Elmo? Well, it's a big name. It's called, just a minute, fresh, fresh trading. Is that it? Yes. Fresh trading? Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's kind of fresh trading for a three-year-old to pronounce, fresh trading. I love that, Elmo. I love that your dad was helpful to teach you a label that you could use for being frustrated. And also that he told you that it's normal sometimes to be frustrated. Yeah. Elmo knew that he wouldn't always feel that way. Oh, wait until Elmo tells daddy that he met a feelings doctor. He's gonna love that. Okay, Elmo will be right there. Okay, Elmo will let you get back here and see you later. Okay, bye. Bye, Elmo. Bye. Well, look, you've just seen the magic of media, right? This incredibly difficult concept that negative emotions are normative, that they change over time, and we can have a character explain this big concept to us. And so, Kate, you know, talk about how Sesame has gotten good at kind of getting these concepts to make sense to little kids, and some of the best practices that you've used at the workshop to do this well. Okay, so we start with our in-house team of experts. We have our curriculum development experts, and we have our educators, and we have our subject matter expert team. And they partner with external subject matter experts like you, Laurie, and we're working on some projects with you right now. And what they do is they start off by developing the curriculum and the educational messages that we want to impart in our content. And then that material is given to our production team, the writers, who organically incorporate the educational messages in the curriculum into the stories. And then our research team takes those scripts and works with the production team to create these like storymatics, and they take them out to do formative testing, with children who we like to refer to as our little executives, because we listen to what they say. And what they're doing is they're testing these stories for a peel and for comprehension, and to make sure that the impact that we're trying to achieve is going to be achieved. And then we produce the show. And sometimes it's very much an iterative process because there are times when they go out for the research, and it comes back where we're not quite landing the messaging that we're trying to convey. And so we go back and we adjust the scripts, and then it all comes together. And then on top of that, you have the magic of our terrific messengers of the Sesame Street Muppets. And they have such a great way of communicating, sometimes really tough and challenging information, always with heart, always with a lot of love, and communicating it and breaking it down to kids. But also I want to mention that for parents as well, because when we're making this content, we're making content not just for kids, but for also the parents in their lives, their educators, their teachers, their service providers, anyone that's within the circle of care, we're providing content for those folks as well. That's something that I really love about what the folks at Sesame Workshop are doing. Because the well-being concepts that we need to teach children are also important for adults to learn too. And that means that when parents or caregivers sit down with a child to watch a Sesame Street episode about frustration or anger or great burst of excitement, they'll be given the strategies in space needed to ponder their own emotions. But what are other simple strategies like this? Once that can work for anyone, no matter their age, we'll discuss some of these happiness hacks with a very special Muppet helper when the happiness lab returns in a moment. Whether you're a kid or an adult, we can all acquire strategies to use in the moment to help us cope with what Elmo so eloquently described as big feelings. The science shows that when we recognize a difficult emotion rising within us, there are steps we can take to allow and regulate that emotion. And the steps you can take are remarkably simple once you learn them. So since I had Sesame Workshop's Steve Youngwood in K Wilson's Stolings and a big audience at the ASU GSV Summit, I decided to embark on a live demonstration of some of my favorite strategies. And to engage with some of these mindfulness activities, I think it would be fun if we all did it together, but it would also be great if I could find a volunteer somewhere. I think I'm going to pick Elmo. Elmo, do you want to practice a mindfulness activity with me? Yes, Elmo would love to practice a mindfulness activity. What is a mindfulness activity? Yes, it's a hard concept. This is the kind of thing that we can do when we're having these big feelings, like when we're feeling frustrated and we want to feel a little bit better. Does that make sense? They're really minute. Now, it kind of sounds like another thing that Elmo's daddy tried to do when he's having a big ceiling. It's called belly breathing. And Elmo will show everybody, but everybody's going to do it together, okay? Okay. So first, we put our hands on our belly like this. Everybody put your hand on your belly. Okay. Now, let's all take a snow breath in through your nose. And now, slowly breathe out through your mouth. And that's belly breathing. That's excellent, Elmo. And that is a wonderful mindfulness activity because it's a way that we can, whatever we're feeling, we can kind of get back in our bodies and feel a little bit better. But do you want to do a couple more mindfulness activities? Oh, yeah. What are some more, Dad? Don't know. Let's hear them. Okay. So one of my favorites is a behavior we can use, which is that we can be a little bit more other oriented when we're not feeling good. This is ways that we do nice things for other people that actually make us feel better. Oh, yeah. Elmo's done that before. You know, there was a time when Elmo helped Joey have a run, had a writer's scooter, or, you know, sometimes Elmo helps Alan and Cooper store and helping make Elmo feel really good. Yeah. And so that's one that we can use. But there's another one that I think you'll like Elmo, which is that we can change our mindset. We can express and experience gratitude. So this is just kind of when we notice things that we're thankful for. And this is something I do. So at night, right before I go to bed, I think about a few things that I'm grateful for. And sometimes I even write it down. And studying so that this actually makes us feel better. It can make our bodies and our minds feel good. Really? Well, Elmo's grateful for a lot of things. Elmo's mommy and daddy, Elmo's friends, pizza. But, you know, I'm almost going to ask his mommy to help him write all that stuff down a bedtime. I love that. It's going to make you feel so much better. And if we have time for one more mindfulness activity, I'm going to share one that I think you'll like because I think it's one that you happen to do a little bit already. Oh, does it have to do a thing, Ralph and Ferry? No, it's not that. It is that if you want to feel better, you can take time to be with pets. And I know that Elmo recently adopted a dog, right? And so that's a wonderful way to do something nice for another creature and to feel good yourself. Oh, that's a great idea. Yeah, Elmo loves this puppy tango. Because tango makes everybody that she needs really happy. Oh, Elmo's going to go pet tango that she's basically a superhero. Oh. Okay, thank you, Dr. Lloyd. Thanks, everybody. See you later. Hi, Elmo. Hi, Elmo. But again, here we are, right? Like, these are quick skill sets that any of us, kids, parents can engage in, whenever we're feeling not so good, right? Deep belly breath, behaviors that make us happier than we expect doing nice things for others. And these long-term changes to our mindsets, things like gratitude and so on. And so I love that we can teach kids these things and have wonderful models for these activities. But another reason that I love Sesame's approach, which we kind of alluded to before, is that it's not just about teaching kids these activities, it's making these skills available to caregivers too. And so Steve, talk a little bit about how we can use media to reach both of these audiences and the power that kind of engaging with caretakers can have when it comes to kids' emotional health. So anyone knows the workshop. It was founded on that simple principle that it wasn't about if kids were learning from media, it was about what? And at the time in 1969, in the wasteland of children's TV, they were learning the word to be your commercials. So it was that simple thing. If you could take that same medium, but pivot to the ABCs and then go from their social emotional and societal issues, you could actually really make a difference. And then history has shown that that was true. There have been seminal studies that say people grew up on Sesame Street and had hired GPAs and even earned more money. Now, the media landscape today is obviously very different and it allows one in actually different to us in a challenging way because it's more fragmented, but in a good way, in that there are more places to meet audiences and there are more types of content that you can deliver to them. When we started, it was also about kids and parents together, there's one screen in the house, but today it's a multi-screen and it allows us to sometimes reach kids and parents together, sometimes kids alone, but also sometimes with partners like Laurie to actually meet parents and caregivers. And what's amazing is that the hypothesis that the power that media can have to both teach but also to move hearts and minds is still true. We have a big project targeting the Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. And we just came back to the $100 million grant, film thropically funded to bring early childhood education there, partnering with the IRC because we are media makers and they are direct service organization. And we just got two seminal studies back that proved the hypothesis but then also are going to help us in some of the work here. One of them is for a mass TV show where we focused on a curriculum given the trauma that they were going through and we call it the emotional ABCs. And looking in Jordan, which is where we did the study, it came back that the children who watched the show were able to more identify their emotions, which is Laurie says is sort of the top of the funnel. And then also could adopt certain coping mechanisms to deal with them, which is so important because if you can't then it becomes a blocker to learning and it impacts you long-term life. On the other side using the new technology is this media changes, we, you know, direct services was a big part of the program but COVID came and we pivoted to remote learning where we took our content, we took teachers when we used WhatsApp and we just completed a study in Lebanon that 11 weeks of the remote learning using our media and teachers and technology was equal to one year for the Syrian refugee children that went through the program. You know, so all of this is, I mean, that is the use of media, that is the use of media and the remote learning one also engaged the parents because it had the moments with the teachers but then it had the extension that the parents were supposed to do and they came back as a community. So it was the whole sort of picture of parents and students and teachers and media having a long-term impact in a situation that there was no other option. So, you know, as we look forward, that is the hope here, that is the hope in general. We do it by our own outlets but we're doing like partnering with people and, you know, it's a hypothesis that we have tested and we've proven and it's very, very powerful. And so we know how important it is to kind of have this approach where we're including caregivers, we're including teachers, we're including everyone in the child's culture and orbit but it's still hard to do that and to make media that's fun and enjoyable. And so, Kay, talk a little bit about some best practices that you use to really engage caregivers given the content that you're developing. So we know that the educational messages come through even stronger when children are engaged with our content with the caring adult because then the learning can continue after the television show goes off. And so we're always looking for ways to bring adults into the show and so I think everyone that's familiar with Sesame Street knows how funny it is and there's oftentimes humor that we bring into the show that's a little subtle, a little cheeky, that's just something that's a nod to the parents that we know are watching. We also use lots of great music and we partner with an amazing array of singer and songwriters and provide all genres of musical taste. So a little bit of something for everyone from hip hop to country to, you know, reggae. And then what we also like to do is we look and produce a lot of parodies and it's like things that again it's something that the adults recognize so it's based on, you know, TV shows or pop culture and that kind of thing. And then, you know, it's just always making sure that also we have opportunities for our human adult characters as well as our adult muppet characters to be well models as well. So Elmo and his friends are great role models for our children but to have the adults on the show also be role models and provide the way to talk to their children, to way to guide the answers or guide play activities and so forth so that it can be also a learning opportunity for the adults as well. And just in this period of having a learning opportunity for the adults, I imagine there's some parents in the room right now and so it might be helpful to give parents some specific skill sets that they can use and here since it's just parents we won't involve Elmo we'll just sort of try it ourselves. And so I'll leave you with one last sort of strategy that we can all use which is a strategy to engage our self-compassion. One of the tough things about being an adult and a parent is that we often talk to ourselves in incredibly mean ways. You know, if HR could hear the voices that we used in our head we would all get fired for talking badly to ourselves right. But there are strategies that we can use to counteract that and one of my favorite ones is when you hear yourself on that room-initiative loop where you're saying, oh I suck I didn't do that well I'm not doing enough and that's when you take a moment to label that thought. You give it a name. My Yale students like to use Karen as I think Karen is like a meme people like oh yeah Karen yeah you're just saying I'm bad today I hear you Karen thank you for trying to help right. But I think in the spirit of Sesame Workshop we can say that's my Oscar voice like I'm just being a grouch to myself today and so that's just a hack that you can all use when you notice that room-initi voice stop it thank it you know allow for thank you negative voice thank you Oscar for trying to help me but I'm gonna stop that train of thought and move on to something else. So that's another quick hack that parents can use and so so far today we've talked about ways that we can teach really difficult concepts we can show and model skills and practices that kids can engage in when they're not feeling good we can also show and model practices that maybe parents can engage in when they're not talking to themselves and feeling so good. With all these things together my last question for both of you is that you know are you hopeful that we can address this crisis you know sitting on the the college side you know I see the emotional struggles that students come in I see the depression and the anxiety do we really think we can use media to you know nip that in the bud can you get me away from my lectures so I can go back to doing my research and I don't have to keep teaching these classes on emotional health the college students can we kind of make it there early enough for kids yes I think we can you know as Steve had said we've you know handled tough topics in the past and I think that you know with the content that we're going to be creating that's engaging and that's for both parents and caregivers and children and our research based you know resources that we'll be providing I think that we will be able to help children develop the tools that they need so that they can have you know a positive and healthy mindset for now and in the future see you I'm hopeful as well or I wouldn't be here for two reasons one is I think that we have the proven techniques and I think we have a lot of partners because we're as good as our partners in terms of if we're going to reach the audiences at scale that we need to but the other thing is from a societal perspective it seems like people are acknowledging it as they always say that's you know acknowledging the problem is that the gatekeeper sort of in terms of addressing the problem and as I joke to Lori but not completely joke that you know success will be measured in 15 years when her class of 600 is now a seminar of 10 people and they're historically looking at do you see what it used to be like to it's a history class as opposed to a moment in time class and so this is one of the reasons that I'm excited not just about this conversation but about future conversations if your interest was peaked by this I encourage you to pay attention to the happiness lab podcast feed because we're going to be continuing to have lots of conversations with the folks at Sesame Workshop about best practices that we can use to engage with this but with that I want to thank all of you for listening and to thank my fantastic panel Steve Youngwood CEO of Sesame Workshop K Wilson stallings chief production and creative development officer and there's probably somebody else I'm forgetting to thank yes Elmo you forgot to thank Elmo but that's okay you know don't do Lori Elmo you had a really good time learning all these different strategies well thank you so much Elmo this has been such a fun conversation and I hope we can do it again sometime soon yeah I'm a tear thank you so much for Elmo everyone thank you bye everybody bye everyone you might be surprised to hear that I kind of share Steve's hope that I can retire from teaching my college happiness class my dream is that someday we won't need people like me teaching well-being strategies to young adults because all those emotional skills will be as much a part of early educational development as learning the ABCs or how to write a bike but we've got a lot of work still to be done to get to that point and I hope that the happiness labs upcoming collaboration with the Sesame Street folks will be an important first step in that direction showing that it's never too late and also never too early to pay attention to what science has to say about happiness so keep an ear out for that very special season coming this fall and just a reminder that Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help kids grow smarter stronger and kinder the work they do is funded by donations big and small so if you really want to become a part of their important mission to improve children's emotional well-being then be sure to visit forward slash support us