Menu
Aeon
DonateNewsletter
SIGN IN

Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
A vibrant parade with people dressed in colourful, clown-like costumes riding decorated bicycles. They are smiling and laughing as they ride through a crowd of onlookers. Various decorations such as flowers, balloons, and banners add to the festive atmosphere. Trees line the background of the street.
Save

essay

Wellbeing

Learning to be happier

In order to help improve my students’ mental health, I offered a course on the science of happiness. It worked – but why?

Bruce Hood

A person with black hair and glasses, in a teal T-shirt with VIBES in rainbow text, and a backpack stands smiling in a garden with flowers and trees.
Save

video

Wellbeing

Born in China, Zee seeks a gender-affirming life in the American Midwest

11 minutes

A smiling family group stands in a living room posing for a photo. The table is adorned with red candles, a mirror, apples, and a green plant.
Save

video

Rituals and celebrations

A beginner’s guide to a joyful Persian tradition of spring renewal and rebirth

3 minutes

Illustration of a person and a cat doing yoga in front of a fireplace, with floating planets and stars around them, a vase, a calendar, and a smartphone nearby.
Save

essay

Consciousness and altered states

A reader’s guide to microdosing

How to use small doses of psychedelics to lift your mood, enhance your focus, and fire your creativity

Tunde Aideyan

A shirtless man in jeans lies sleeping beside his 1970s era car on the sandy beach
Save

essay

Work

Disengage

Modern life subjects us to all-consuming demands. That’s why we should reflect on what it means to step away from it all

David J Siegel

A woman helps another woman to her feet in a clearing among flowers.
Save

essay

Mental health

People not professionals

Training individuals to support one another through difficult times is a profound step forward in our mental health crisis

Arjun Kapoor & Jasmine Kalha

Illustration of a person observing a large, abstract red painting in a gallery with a red gradient background and a small arrow sign to the left.
Save

essay

Art

Negative capability

When it comes to our complicated, undecipherable feelings, art prompts a self-understanding far beyond the wellness industry

Aparna Chivukula

Three women chat in a field with sheep grazing nearby, a farmhouse in the background, and a cat walking along a path.
Save

essay

Information and communication

To converse well

A good conversation bridges the distances between people and imbues life with pleasure and a sense of discovery

Paula Marantz Cohen

Three columns of black-and-white photo-booth portraits of a woman making various expressions, including surprise, contemplation and playfulness.
Save

video

Wellbeing

Through a poetic account of childhood trauma, one woman reclaims her past

28 minutes

Silhouette of a child holding an object, surrounded by adults walking in a dimly lit environment.
Save

essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

The space between us

In order to understand and heal mental distress, we must see our minds as existing in relationships, not inside our heads

James Barnes

A man and woman with glasses examine a small device in a room with artwork on the walls and a brick feature.
Save

video

The future

What’s the healthiest way to handle a creeping feeling that the world is ending?

15 minutes

Two people sitting in chairs having a conversation, with a speech bubble between them. One is holding a piece of paper.
Save

video

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Pondering the peculiar one-sided intimacy of the client-therapist relationship

3 minutes

Nude individuals playing a game of doubles tennis on an outdoor court surrounded by a brick wall and trees.
Save

essay

Subcultures

Life in the buff

Naturists believed nudity was profoundly beneficial to society. In order to spread the message, they took to photography

Annebella Pollen

Black handprints on a white background, creating an abstract and high-contrast pattern with various hand positions and details.
Save

video

Gender and identity

‘When you’re done, you stay human!’ What gender transition means to John

6 minutes

Illustration of a person standing alone on a green hill, with a stylised, multicoloured sky in the background.
Save

video

Wellbeing

A tender poem doubles as a guide to sitting comfortably in one’s own company

3 minutes

Save

video

Wellbeing

Wry animations expose the gap between anxious aspiration and real life

5 minutes

Save

essay

Mood and emotion

Hope is not optimism

Even when you know that prospects are grim, hope can help. It’s not just a feeling, but a way to step into the future

David B Feldman & Benjamin W Corn

Save

video

Wellbeing

A unique theatre performance explores what touch means in an age of lockdown

17 minutes

Save

video

Consciousness and altered states

‘Meditation without meditating’ might be possible. Can it also be made ethical?

9 minutes

Save

essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Rewiring your life

A radical therapy based on eye movements can desensitise painful memories, heal hurts and aid transformation at warp speed

Deborah Korn

Save

video

Wellbeing

The controversial New Age guru who believed self-love healed all – even AIDS

18 minutes

Save

essay

Art

Changed by art

Gazing at a painting feels like an almost magical encounter with another mind but what real effects does art have on us?

Ellen Winner

Save

video

Meaning and the good life

Amid the chaos of being, Nietzsche believed that plants offer us inspiration for living

8 minutes

Save

video

Home

How our rooms shape our world, and vice versa

3 minutes