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Why Emotions Matter More Than You Think with Professor Marc Brackett

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  May 5, 2021

CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains mild swearing and themes of an adult nature.

Today’s conversation is all about our emotions and my guest is Professor Marc Brackett, the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He’s published over 100 research articles over the course of his career, and has dedicated his life to studying and teaching emotional literacy.

But why are our emotions so important? Marc explains the profound benefits of being better able to express and regulate our emotions on multiple aspects of our lives. Our emotions affect our creativity, learning and problem solving, but also our physical health and our mental health. Yet so many of us struggle to express and regulate our emotions. It’s not something that is taught in schools or even modelled by much of society. Marc aims to help change this through his work and research. He has developed something called the ‘RULER’ approach to social and emotional learning, which is used in over 2000 schools across the world and is detailed in his brilliant book, Permission to Feel: Unlock the power of emotions to help yourself and your children.

The ‘RULER’ approach sets out the five underlying skills of emotional intelligence and stands for Recognising, Understanding, Labelling, Expressing and Regulating emotions. The RUL, says Marc, is about our experience – whether of our own emotions or someone else’s. The ER is about what we do with the feelings. And I think it’s an invaluable tool for children and adults alike.

Marc explains why he wants us all to become what he calls ‘emotion scientists’, rather than being ‘emotion judges’, and he wants us all to be able to better understand our own and each other’s feelings. This episode is packed with personal insights, practical examples and brilliant tips to put his advice into practice in your life and perhaps that of your children. I hope you find it as useful and meaningful as I did.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.

'You got to label it to regulate it.' Share on X

Connect with Marc:

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Marc’s book:

Permission to Feel: Unlock the power of emotions to help yourself and your children

Further reading:

Interesting articles about Marc’s work:

Related Feel Better Live More podcast episodes:

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP