The Stoic Guide to Happiness

Living Better With Help From Philosophy

Wes Alwan

Wes Alwan

Co-Host of The Partially Examined Life

  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you


Suffering is inevitable, but our response to it isn’t. This is the core insight of Stoicism, an ancient school of philosophy whose teachings on happiness remain surprisingly relevant. In this course, philosopher and psychotherapist Wes Alwan introduces the core ideas of Stoicism and strategies for integrating them into a more full and happy life. 

What You'll Learn

  • How stoic philosophy remains surprisingly relevant

  • What kind of suffering is avoidable

  • Techniques for living happier, better lives


10 Episodes

1. The Nature of Happiness


Common-sense ways of thinking about happiness can keep us from ever achieving it.

2. Virtue Ethics and Happiness


Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle thought that living virtuously was enough to make us happy. But it doesn’t solve the problem of suffering.

3. Emotions


Contrary to popular belief, stoicism isn’t about getting rid of our emotions, but rather cultivating the right emotions to things that happen.

4. Avoidable Suffering and Narcissistic Injury


So much of the suffering we experience in life is because our ego feels wounded. Stoicism shows how to let go of our narcissism and find more peace.

5. Strategies


Modern psychotherapy is quite compatible with stoic ideas, especially in shifting how we think about control.

6. Control and Adversity


Adversity isn’t incompatible with happiness. In fact, it sometimes is the path to it.

7. Habits of Happiness


Happiness isn’t an external destination to arrive at, it's an internal habit we can cultivate.

8. Stoicism and Psychotherapy


Implementing Stoic ideas can often be aided with the help of a trained psychotherapist.

9. Conclusion


Suffering is inevitable, but our response to it isn’t.



To delve deeper into the world of stoicism, be sure to check out the authors, books and conferences mentioned in this episode.

Recommended for you