Wellbeing


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Addiction Ageing and death Childhood and adolescence Cognition and intelligence Consciousness and altered states Family life Gender and identity Language and linguistics Life stages Love and friendship Mental health Mood and emotion Neurodiversity Neuroscience Personality Pleasure and pain Psychiatry and psychotherapy Self-improvement Sex and sexuality Sleep and dreams Social psychology Spirituality Teaching and learning Technology and the self Wellbeing
Photo by Charles Gullung/Gallery Stock
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Childhood and adolescence
Childhood, disrupted

Adversity in childhood can create long-lasting scars, damaging our cells and our DNA, and making us sick as adults

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Photo by Michael Lewis/Gallery Stock

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Sleep and dreams
Broken sleep

People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?

Karen Emslie

A family party, Italy, 1983. Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum
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Meaning and the good life
The meanings of life

Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

Roy F Baumeister

Photo by Antoine d'Agata/MagnumPhotos

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Pleasure and pain
The orgasm cure

What if we could expand ecstasy, reduce stress and lift depression, all by delaying and extending orgasm?

Peter von Ziegesar

Alan Watts: 'Half monk and half racecourse operator.' Illustration by Stephen Collins

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Consciousness and altered states
Off-beat Zen

How I found my way out of depression, thanks to the writings of the English priest who brought Buddhism to the West

Tim Lott

Photo by Kosuke Okahara
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Addiction
Why self-harm?

Cutting brings relief because emotion and pain criss-cross in the brain. Can we untangle the circuits and stop self-harm?

Carrie Arnold

Photo by David Pollack/Corbis/Getty

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Mood and emotion
The happiness ruse

How did feeling good become a matter of relentless, competitive work; a never-to-be-attained goal which makes us miserable?

Cody Delistraty

Photo by B Anthony Stewart/National Geographic/Getty

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Mood and emotion
Against cheerfulness

Practising the Greek virtues of wisdom and courage is one thing. But being cheerful the American way borders on psychosis

Mariana Alessandri

French teenagers on a boat in the Seine river, Paris, 1988. Photo by David Alan Harvey/Magnum
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Love and friendship
Bad friends

Even the best of friends can fill you with tension and make you sick. Why does friendship so readily turn toxic?

Carlin Flora

Night and Sleep by Evelyn de Morgan (1878). Courtesy Wikimedia
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Sleep and dreams
Falling for sleep

When wakefulness is seen as the main event, no wonder so many have trouble sleeping. Can we rekindle the joy of slumber?

Rubin Naiman

In the departure hall of Zaventem airport near Brussels, November 19, 2013. Photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters

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Addiction
Escape from the matrix

The fear of missing out haunts our social networks and our real lives alike. But there is a way to break free

Jacob Burak

Stop and think. Hand of an old statue of Buddha in Laos. Photo by Nicolas Beaumont/ASAblanca via Getty
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Spirituality
Does meditation work?

It’s hailed as the panacea for everything from cancer to war. Does research into its efficacy meet scientific standards?

Ute Kreplin

Photo by Eve Arold/Magnum
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Self-improvement
Don’t think too positive

Fantasies about the future have a troubling effect on achieving actual goals. If positive thinking doesn’t work, what does?

Gabriele Oettingen

Deep in the woods, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is an ages-old tradition in Japan. Photo by National Geographic

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Wellbeing
The healing power of nature

The idea that immersing yourself in forests and nature has a healing effect is far more than just folk wisdom

Rebecca Lawton

Photo by Gallery Stock
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Meaning and the good life
Worried well

Since ancient times philosophy has tried to cure us of anxiety. But worry is an important part of being a moral person

Charlie Kurth

Photo by Steve Prezant/Gallery Stock

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Information and communication
What good is information?

The internet promised to feed our minds with knowledge. What have we learned? That our minds need more than that

Dougald Hine

Nothing to smile about; Buster Keaton and actress Virginia Fox c. 1920. Photo by Springer Collection/Corbis
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Cognition and intelligence
Outlook: gloomy

Humans are wired for bad news, angry faces and sad memories. Is this negativity bias useful or something to overcome?

Jacob Burak

Hill or Everest? Photo by Ascent Media/Getty
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Mood and emotion
Psychology’s power tools

Cognitive behavioural therapy has created interventions that truly help people to change. Here are the best of them

David A Sbarra

Chicago glows through a blanket of clouds. Photo by Jim Richardson/National Geographic
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Astronomy
The end of night

An eternal electric day is creeping across the globe, but our brains and bodies cannot cope in a world without darkness

Rebecca Boyle

Photo by Jean Gaumy/Magnum

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
The awe of being alive

Existential therapy explores the darkest corners and craggy edges of the many-sided self. The result is true transformation

Kirk Schneider