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There are powerful benefits to regularly contemplating the fact that our time in this world will eventually come to an end. (Photo: SanderStock/iStock)
Adventures in Audio

Why Thinking About Death Makes Us Happier

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In the United States, we rarely think about death—especially our own death. And when we do, it tends to make us sad and uncomfortable. But there are powerful benefits to regularly contemplating the fact that our time in this world will eventually come to an end. The shift in perspective can be profound and lead to a kind of deeply felt and enduring appreciation for life. In this first episode of a new series exploring pathways to happiness, we hear from journalist Michael Easter, who makes the case in his bestselling book The Comfort Crisis that, despite all the conveniences and ease of modern life, we are less happy than previous generations. A big reason for this, he says, is that we don’t think about death nearly enough.


This episode is brought to you by Toyota, a company that wants to help you find joy by exploring America’s scenic byways. No matter what kind of adventure you’re after, there’s a Toyota designed to get you there. Learn more at toyota.com.

Follow the Outside Podcast

Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.