Uncover the essential secrets to a healthy mind and body and empower yourself to take charge of your happiness and life satisfaction. These 24 science-based lessons, taught by Dr. Robin Miller, will introduce you to the many ways that health and happiness are intertwined.
The Scientific Guide to Health and Happiness
Dr. Robin Miller is a general internist and integrative medicine expert who has been tapped nationally as a consultant for physicians who need help with complex patients. She is also the founder and medical director of Triune Integrative Medicine. She earned her MHS in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her MD at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, and she completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona with Dr. Andrew Weil.
Dr. Miller’s passion for using the latest research to promote a holistic understanding of health has been frequently recognized in the media. For more than a decade, she has hosted a medical call-in show and produced a medical advice slot for NBC5 News and a weekly radio show on KMED. She also produced the award-winning health series Is There a Doctor in the House? Her books include Healed: Health & Wellness for the 21st Century (with David Kahn), Kids Ask the Doctor, and The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife & Beyond: A No-Nonsense Approach to Staying Healthy after 50 (with Janet Horn).
01: The Health and Happiness Connection
Are health and happiness intertwined? In this opening lesson, Dr. Robin Miller suggests they go hand in hand. She begins by defining health and happiness and then explores the areas of the world which report the most happiness. She explains the deep connection between happiness and your health, longevity, and even your genetics.
02: How Happiness Is Created in the Brain
Like any other emotion, happiness is rooted in your brain. Here, we explore the inner workings and complexities of your brain to understand how happiness originates. Take a peek at your brain’s physical structure and learn about neurotransmitters—the communication system that produces and manages your emotions.
03: What Do We Know about Living Longer?
Our motivation to improve our health is driven by the desire to live longer, yet nobody wants to be old or endure the aging process. In this lesson, we will look at how we can maintain happiness and satisfaction with life as we age by studying the aspects of longevity. The secret is in learning how to grow old without feeling old.
04: Happy Heart, Healthy Heart
Learn the intricate connection between your mood and bodily functions as it pertains to heart health. Failing to care for your heart health not only impacts your whole body but also decreases your lifespan as well; on the flip side, increasing happiness and decreasing stress lowers your risk of heart disease.
05: The Gut: Our Second Brain
Your heart may drive your happiness, but the road to happiness probably runs straight through your gut. Thought of as the second brain, your gut holds a significant key to your health. Discussed are common conditions that affect the gut and treatment ideas to improve your gut health.
06: The Microbiome: How Bacteria Keep Us Happy
Hippocrates once said, “All disease begins in the gut,” and he may be proven right—Your gut houses 100 trillion microbes on average. These microbes communicate with your brain in ways we’re just beginning to understand. Find out how your brain health, weight, and mood are tied to your microbiome.
07: Which Diet Is Best for Happiness?
In this lesson, we discuss the concept of food as medicine. When it comes to your health, diet is your most important lifestyle choice—but is there one that's best for everybody? Dr. Miller discusses options, as well as a groundbreaking way to find out what works best for you.
08: Better Habits for Healthy Eating
With calories being cheap and abundant in society, the psychology behind healthy eating habits and attitudes becomes crucial. In this lesson, find out the main reason why diets fail and what you can do to structure your surroundings so that your habits support your efforts to maintain health and happiness.
09: Fun Foods for Health and Happiness
Is there room in a healthy diet for fun foods such as chocolate, wine, peanut butter, and sugar? Listen to the research and learn which of these foods are good additions to your diet, which foods are okay in moderation, and which foods are flat-out bad for your health.
10: Do You Need to Take Supplements?
Multivitamins have become a booming business in the health industry. Dr. Miller challenges the efficacy of supplements, stating that while they can sometimes be helpful, often they either do nothing, or worse, cause harm. Find out which ones can assist with certain conditions and which ones to stay away from.
11: Mushrooms: A Superfood for Well-Being
Find out about this superfood that is often ignored but can be magical to your health: mushrooms. This is the one superfood that Dr. Miller recommends you start with. Not only do they have potent anti-carcinogenic powers, but they're also a fantastic way to nurture your microbiome, and they provide a host of benefits.
12: Sleep: Getting a Happy Night’s Rest
Good sleep may be the simplest improvement you can make to your health—and it's free. This lesson covers sleep hygiene, sleep cycles, and sleep disorders to convince you that sleep is not a luxury but a vital component of your health and happiness.
13: Recognizing and Treating Depression
Depression is becoming a global epidemic, and nobody is immune to this serious mental health illness. Understand the primary causes, from genetics to trauma to lifestyle and find out about the most effective treatments currently available, including several emerging therapies that show great promise and success.
14: Building Community and Ending Loneliness
Did you know that loneliness is a predictor of early mortality? Social isolation and loneliness pose a health risk equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day—higher than obesity. While there is no prescription for loneliness, here are ways we can build community and relationships to combat it.
15: Preventing and Managing Neurodegeneration
Losing your mind is a fear that most adults experience as they grow older. When your brain is compromised, so is your happiness and health. Dr. Miller goes through neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's, giving solutions to prevent or slow the progression.
16: Meditation for a Happy Mind and Body
Have you ever wondered how to grow biologically younger and how to become a happier, healthier you? Discover the ancient practice of meditation and create a connection to your inner self, activating your physical body.
17: Faith, Prayer, and Spirituality in Health
You need every tool in your arsenal against illness and unhappiness. Luckily, your mind is powerful and can be a great form of intervention. Dr. Miller explores the science of prayer and faith, presenting a study on bush baby primates that suggests intercessory prayer may come with healing properties.
18: Have More Sex—for Health Reasons!
You might be surprised how much sexual health affects your happiness. Orgasm releases endorphins, and studies show this effect can last for hours afterward. Here, Dr. Miller discusses what it takes to have a healthy sex life, including frequency; fitness; and dysfunctions, and how to overcome those.
19: What Is a Healthy and Happy Weight?
Here you will address the relationships between weight, health, and body image. While someone can be overweight and happy, the more complicated question is whether someone can be overweight and healthy. Consider this issue as Dr. Miller discusses the risks of obesity and dives into social standards, eating disorders, and permanent weight loss.
20: Music: Happy Stimulation for the Mind
What does music have to do with health and happiness? Our brains and emotions are activated when listening to pleasant sounds and music. Study ways you can use music to influence your mood and behavior positively and as therapy for neurodegenerative disease.
21: Dance: Happy Exercise for the Whole Body
We know that staying active is essential, but in this lesson, Dr. Miller discusses why dance specifically offers impressive benefits from a health and happiness standpoint. Discover how you can use dance to prevent or halt neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's, even by a considerable percentage.
22: Healthy Management of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is one of the biggest barriers to the enjoyment of life. While it is complex to diagnose and medically treat pain, you will learn that it is far more critical to realize that chronic pain and disability do not have to prevent you from living a happy life.
23: Using Technology to Support Your Health
Not too long ago, measuring health tenets with technology used to be the things of science fiction. Dr. Miller discusses the usage of personal monitoring devices, apps, fitness trackers, and genetic tests that are now widely accessible to all.
24: Finding a Doctor to Support Your Journey
What do your health and healing have to do with your doctor? It turns out, a lot, but not in the ways you traditionally have thought. Learn about integrative medicine and the importance of having a partnership with a physician or practice that supports you and, most important, be ready to seek improvement.