Toxic positivity — when happiness becomes harmful

All in the Mind explores how platitudes meant to help someone recover from an experience often aren't the best approach │ 31 min 20 sec listen

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We're urged to stay positive and keep up a cheerful disposition ... but sometimes things are just awful, aren’t they?

On All in the Mind this week we look at why we engage in toxic positivity, why it's so damaging when we do and whether something called 'tragic optimism' could be the antidote.

Listen to the podcast: Toxic positivity - when happiness becomes harmful.



Professor Brock Bastian
Social Psychologist, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne


Jessica Mead
Researcher, Swansea University, Wales



Sana Qadar


James Bullen

Sound Engineer:

Jen Parsonage

Poster Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels.

All in the Mind

Lynne Malcolm produced & presented this podcast series via, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio

All in the Mind is RN’s exploration of all things mental—a program about the mind, brain and behaviour, and the endlessly fascinating interactions between them. From dreaming to depression, memory to imagination, psychotherapy to psychopathy, emotion to obsession, All in the Mind explores the human condition through the mind’s eye. While many aspects of our minds remain seductively mysterious, new light is being shed on the way we think and the way we relate to each other all the time. All in the Mind brings together a diverse range of ideas and human experiences through the voices of great thinkers and powerful personal stories.