Osher NRC | School of Professional Studies | Northwestern University

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2020 Osher Institutes National Conference

Keynote Speaker

2020 Osher Institutes National Conference

Jonathan Rauch

 
The Happiness U-Curve: Why Life Turns Around in Middle Age

Jonathan Rauch HeadshotMidlife crisis, like the Seinfeld show, is often literally about nothing. Yet it seems unshakable for those experiencing it. Society treats it as a joke or a cliché, yet it is natural, normal, and lays groundwork for surprising happiness and wisdom in later adulthood. Drawing on cutting-edge psychology, neuroscience, and even economics, while also tapping his own experiences and those of dozens of interviewees, Jonathan Rauch — author of the major Atlantic magazine cover article "The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis" and the engaging book, “The Happiness Curve” – explains why even chimps get midlife malaise, and how humans can cope with it far better than we do. Rauch emphasizes that older adults are healthier, happier, and have more to give than ever before, and they and society are already starting to invent new ways to contribute. The old black-and-white distinction between work and retirement is giving way to the mixed pursuits of “encore adulthood.”

Jonathan Rauch
Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
Contributing Editor, The Atlantic
Author, The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50