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“Ask your friends simple questions, like ‘What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?’ Asking about other people’s wins turns you into a joy spectator, which is so much better than being a disaster spectator.” – Terri Cole



When something bad happens to someone you dislike, do you feel a little glee inside? Maybe a lot of glee? 

Or do you cheer when the villain in a movie or TV show gets what’s coming to them? 

There is a German word for the feeling of joy we get from the suffering or misfortune of others: schadenfreude. 

The other day, I wondered: is there an opposite of schadenfreude? There is, and it’s called freudenfreude. This is when you find joy in the success and happiness of others. (It’s an English word created from a German word where “freuden” means “joy.”) 

Today’s episode is all about why we experience schadenfreude, its high cost, and how to find real happiness in the joy of others.


  • 03:40 How envy causes us to derive joy from others’ misery
  • 08:50 The cost of schadenfreude
  • 10:00 Learn to stop using schadenfreude to cope with vulnerability
  • 2:40 Ask simple questions to overcome your negativity bias

Links Mentioned:

Find the downloadable guide I made to go along with today’s episode here.

Learn more about freudenfreude and cultivating bragitude in this New York Times article I mentioned during today’s episode!

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  1. I have listened to your You-Tube videos and love them.
    I have learned that it is safer just to go along wirh orher and not to express my true feelings.
    My husband says i am passive aggressive & I want to change. Based on your clear explaination, i can check off the boxes.
    Do you offer couple classes or theraphy?

    1. Rita, I am witnessing you with compassion and sending strength your way. ❤️ I no longer offer one-on-one coaching/therapy sessions but highly recommend using BetterHelp to find a therapist that fits your needs. As a team, we have fully vetted BetterHelp’s resources. If you choose to sign up for BetterHelp’s service, I will receive a commission on the referral but please know that I only recommend services that I know & trust.

      You can click the following link for more information:

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