Boredom: making the most of it

Why does boredom drive some people to risky behaviors and others to creative ones? We'll learn how to channel boredom into something positive.

Listen 49:00

Guests: Erin Westgate, James Danckert

Americans are struggling with a lot in the pandemic – stress, fear, anxiety and boredom. With our lives more restricted than ever, many people are having a hard time keeping occupied and breaking out of the daily monotony. For some, this restlessness can lead to destructive behaviors, like overeating or substance abuse, while others can channel it into creative endeavors. Researchers say that recognizing boredom and learning how to respond to it is a key life skill that will make us healthier, happier and more productive. This hour, how to harness our boredom and make it work of us. We’ll talk with ERIN WESTGATE, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Florida, and JAMES DANCKERT, a cognitive neuroscientist and the co-author of Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal