Hacking Happiness…

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Available for a year iPlayerBBC RADIO 4

Hacking Happiness - Beyond Happiness - @bbcradio4

The Perfect Life

Hacking Happiness

Are we pursuing happiness, or is the happiness industry pursuing us? 

Leo Johnson goes on a year-long journey to pick up life lessons of happiness from modern day practitioners of radically different philosophies.

It's a journey that takes us from Yorkshire's anti-fracking grannies to the slow footballing Vietnamese monks of Plum Village, from self-cutting poets to the Chief Happiness Officers Convention in Paris, from London's asexual community to multi-orgasmic Swedish academics, and from World Champion Muay Thai women kick-boxers to Elvis-loving dementia sufferers.

What emerges is a set of starkly competing visions of the good life - ancient philosophies still duking it out to get punched in as the destination in our psychic Sat Navs.

What we meet is a set of individuals who have questioned the default comforts of the IKEA catalogue, defined the shape of the self, and chosen lives that give us a glimpse of how each of us can reclaim peace, reclaim purpose, reclaim pain, and reclaim pleasure - the real pleasure that hedonism promised.