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Dan Harris – Taming The Voice In Your Head

From Skeptic To Meditator. Dan Harris Shares How He ‘Tamed The Voice In His Head’ & How You Can Too

Dan Harris is co-anchor of Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America. He is a correspondent for ABC News and regularly reports for 20/20, World News with Diane Sawyer and weekday editions of Good Morning America. He has travelled extensively as a news correspondent including Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is also the bestselling author of 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Truly Works.

In this interview Dan talks candidly about his own journey into mindfulness and how he went from being a skeptic to being a very public advocate of meditation.

You’ll also learn about…

  • How the voice in your head can be ‘tamed’ through mindfulness practice.
  • Why meditation won’t make you lose your edge. How it makes you more focussed and productive
  • The practical benefits of mindful living (that every A-type needs to hear).

Language warning. There is a bit of swearing in this one.

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Show Notes

Join The Mindfulness Summit Journey here

Come and join the community discussions at any time on our Facebook page

Together with Joseph Goldstein, Dan has created a mindfulness app for every day people which you can check out here

His book can also be found here




Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

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Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass

Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass


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302 Responses

  1. Rebecca Lewis

    Thanks, Dan, for showing that one can practice meditation and still be yourself, and a better version of yourself, in our competitive, “edgy” world. One can be calmer and kinder, and not complacent. In fact, I agree that calmer, kinder, not complacent people are exactly who we need to solve the problems of the world as you indicated at the end of the video. Good luck with your continued advocacy as you dive into the “deep end of the pool.”

    1. Megan Spencer

      This was very inspiring and so accessible.

      As someone who also has worked in the media (and sometimes still does), I’ve seen how bullying has been normalized as “just part of the landscape”, with the prevailing attitude of “toughen up princess” as the way one’s supposed to handle such harsh and oftentimes harmful, behavior.

      As Dan touched on, when we become ‘aware’ or ‘awaken’, we become more compassionate. Perhaps that’s also what might be behind the resistance towards meditation? (Which actually helps you perform better and keep the workplace better tuned too, ironically!) That kind of radical change towards a softer, more respectful working environment? Too hard basket?

      The toll on ‘human resources’ is so prevalent from toxic workplaces, yet still so in the background…

      It does my heart good to hear a seasoned journalist like Dan with the courage to speak from his lived – and ever-changing – experience, and also recognize the need for change across so many ‘hard business’ systems. Thank you ☺️

    2. Gissa Israel

      Really loved Dan’s semantics – i sure could resonate with his right to retain his capacity to be a shmuck. and for the asshole in the head and mouth!!!! He is refreshingly honest and relatable. I feel better for this. Thanks.

  2. Carole Lins

    Thank you for this wonderful experience! I really enjoyed the 3 speakers so far.
    I also loved Dan Harris’s book. It was an easy read, entertaining and full of great advises about the practice!


      Yes, I too am very glad this is fixed; sadly I could not sign in at all yesterday & MISSED yesterday’s speaker; I am so happy to find I can access the summit this morning !

  3. Arline Vitale

    I enjoyed listening to Dan and Melli’s conversation today. Dan appeared fascinating, genuine and enthusiastic about his practice of mindfulness and Melli was able to accentuate the most effective talking points to create an entertaining session. Dan’s positive outlook about meditation is refreshing. His story leaves me feeling more optimistic about my own ability to transform the voice in my head to foster happiness from within. I look forward to continued enlightenment with every speaker. Thank you for creating The Mindfulness Summit and providing it free to the world.

    1. Gail young

      I may have missed Dan saying how long he tries to meditate daily, does anyone know if he mentioned that? I did hear him say that he does some sort of meditation every day! Thanks, Gail

  4. Dena Coots

    After reading Hoist My Own. petard by Dan I was I was immediately drawn to the notion of using meditation. I did not consider myself religious and rejected the idea of most organized religion but the thought of this as a research supported practice based on science was also intriguing. After only a year I have seen positive changes. In every aspect of my life. I agree that this is a process and that practicing daily is a key to my success.
    I laughed through most of this presentation as I could closely relate to the “asshole in my head.” It’s nice to know that I am not the only one who has a mind that provides bad advice. Thank you Dan for your practical and sage advice. This really is worth it.

  5. Jenny Hoolachan

    I’ve just watched my first Mindfulness Summit video (day 3) and it has made me even more excited to see what will come next. I’m in the final few months of writing my PhD and I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through the stress without regular meditation. It really has changed my life.

  6. Ann Sheets

    First of all, I have to thank you, Melli, for building this Summit and filling it with such a variety of voices. Each one has resonated with me individually. From the scientific background of Mark Williams to the “down and dirty” chat with Dan, each day’s conversation nourishes me in a different and yet same way.

  7. Cynthia Sinclair

    Self forgiveness is a powerful outcome of the daily practice…a bit of humor, laughing at oneself certainly helps. As I’m listening to today’s presentation, I, without any thought, hit the pause button. I had shifted my gaze from the tree outside my window to the floor. Crisis! I had tracked dirt in when I let the dog out this morning. Grabbed the vacuum cleaner, scooped it up, sat down with a sigh of relief, and hit “Play.” Then awareness gently whispered, “What the hell are you doing”? 🙂

  8. Kerry Brennan

    This conversation was so refreshingly honest, authentic, and at times made me laugh out loud! I think Dan has found a new audience who can relate to him on a very human level. Again – very grateful for this summit and body of work.

  9. A truly magical inspirational way, of speaking,about the normal everyday practice of meditation, and how it helps the understanding of our thoughts are just thoughts. We give them the power so therefore we have the ability to take the power away. When I realised that I was telling myself the story that is my life, I realised if I am telling myself a bad story I have the power to change the ending. This is a practice of awareness and becoming more and more aware gives you more and more choice in your life

  10. Rhonda Drummonds

    I find it amazing at how the practice of mindfulness reaches all. Like Dan said he thought it was for hippies and that is still the type of stigma that is associated with yoga and mindfulness. Slowly as people see professionals bringing this into their personal life the stigma will lift. This is such a meaningful practice that benefits all that practice, without judgment.

  11. Darren

    “I have not always chosen the safest path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I sometimes jump too soon and fail to appreciate the consequences. But I’ve learned something important along the way: I’ve learned to heed the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not always the best path and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.”

    ― Steve Goodier (Courtesy Goodreads).

    “Voice of Judgement. Voice of Cynicism. Voice of F.E.A.R.” (False Evidence Appearing Real).

    These phrases come mostly from the current work of Dr. Otto Sharmer and the Presencing Institute.

    These are the voices I’m fully in touch with: the cruel ‘asshole’ that can be me, towards myself and others.

    Thank you both for today. Be Well.

  12. Dolores MacNeil

    Liked when Dan said that he is better at noticing anger arising and not to do anything to make it worse and that apology time is quicker. Also that we tend to make our suffering greater than it needs to be.
    Thanks to all for this month long gift of daily mindfulness.

  13. Kim Pelle

    Thank you Melli for hosting this month long “retreat”. Day three and I love the talks – you are a great facilitator/interviewer. Have to admit that I “panicked” a bit today when I discovered that no guided meditation was included with the talk. I have already settled into the rhythm and expectation (after only two days) that the time I set aside for the talk would include a meditation. I look forward to tomorrows talk – and in case you are not including a meditation, as a backup, have lined up my own little guided meditation.

  14. I teach mindfulness and meditation in Singapore, and am so inspired I’ve just bought the pass. $79 is a snip of a price for such extraordinary value, thank you! Thrilled to find all the materials (audio, video and transcripts) easily online so I never have to miss one and can refer to the talks again and again. Thank you for such excellent materials from these wonderful speakers – Dan Harris you are a legend!

  15. David Rogers

    Dan Harris’s book is what started me on my mindfulness journey almost 2 years ago. I love that he came from a place of serious cynicism, because I did too.

    Loving the summit so far!!

    As far a the criticism goes about the host and her constant responses to the guest and her silly earbuds (that she could easily wear behind her head so she didn’t look like she just finished a power walk) , I think you guys are missing the point. If you can’t get past these minor annoyances, you are going to have a lot of trouble with mindfulness in general. Life is about dealing with these things.
    See that this is your mind trying to find a reason to quit. Get over it.

  16. Ellen Turgasen

    Lovely interview … Melli, I really like your style of interviewing … you and the presenters are demonstrating mindful, transparent communication for us all. This is a teaching on many levels. Thank you. I am so busy these days that I hesitated to sign up for the Mindfulness Summit. So glad that I did.

  17. Christine Evans

    I loved Dan Harris’ honesty. I felt his views spoke to the American type A, go get ’em society pressures and how mindfulness can be of great benefit to tamper the effects of getting caught up in that mindset yet still being present. I look forward to reading his book!

  18. Christine Grant

    I really enjoyed this interview and could so identify with Dan. He is such a normal guy and has obviously the same concerns as the rest of us. Loved it and its true , a little every day is better than a long session every few days !

    Good length of interview too. Thankyou

  19. carol morgan

    Day 3 and I am compelled to comment on the summit so far. Thank you, Mellie for this opportunity to practice 31days straight! Like a house holders retreat! How generous of your time and skill as an interviewer. You are well read and ask great questions, your preparation is thorough. This practice brings me hope for the future and you demonstrate why! I look forward to whatever is next!

  20. maria

    I so appreciated Dan’s realness along with him speaking about his experiences in an actual and realistic manner. Great interview! I think his story and experience can definitely help influence some of the ‘fearful of meditation’ type A’s!

  21. Scott Lederman

    Enjoyed the interview with Dan. I would have liked to have heard more about this possible change that Dan referred to when talking about his “path” and wondering if people would have been put off by the direction he was going in.
    In general I think Dan’s interview shows the true nature of change, which are small progressions, with some distractions.

    I also appreciated his definition of “suffering” as the inability to be satisfied.

  22. Kate Megee

    Fabulous! I love the refreshing, honest and human side of this interview. I love that someone like Dan is part of the mindfulness movement and making it relatable for a whole other part of society. Will definitely read his book.

    Melli, you are blowing me away. 3 Days in and this is just truly amazing!! You ask such excellent questions and your true passion, curiosity and love for what you do really shows. I am beyond proud of what you are doing here!! xxx I see far bigger things coming 🙂 xxxx

  23. Kathleen Rutkowski

    Wonderful interview. Always enjoy listening to Dan Harris. He has always been a journalist with passion and compassion and I think meditation has certainly helped him find a way to be less self-destructive and more awakened and kind to his authentic self. I found his comment on meditation transforming “rat-hole of useless rumination” into “constructive anguish” amusingly descriptive and instructive. If meditation can help us be less miserable and easier to live with, well then that’s certainly a good thing. I too hope for the day when mindfulness becomes not just a “good news story” but a ubiquitous way of life for a majority of people across the globe.

  24. Christian Saier

    Thanks for the interviews, which enrich my days and give me the opportunity to stay in touch with mindfulness.
    For me as a not English native speaking person, the third day wasn’t easy. I would appriciate if you offer the transcript for free, so I can better understand the full content.
    Thanks a lot

  25. Kirsty Morgan

    Thank you Dan. I’ve been practicing mindfulness meditation for two years and often find it difficult to explain the benefits to some friends and colleagues who are driven, competitive and, for some, angry, negative and suffering. This interview says just what I want to say but somehow haven’t got the courage and/or the words. I feel really inspired. Thank you, I’m looking forward to reading your book.

  26. Sarah Murto

    Dan Harris’s story is what encouraged me to start exploring meditation. I stumbled across his story online, and it attracted me because I had been struggling with panic attacks and didn’t know what to do. It started me on a journey to getting better, and I’m very glad to see him speak here. I haven’t read his book yet, but it reminded me to add it to my list at the library. Thank you!

  27. John Marens

    the – a-hole in your head …. lol …. love it. Right there with you

    The a- hole in your head .. lol …..love it. Unfortunately, I can relate …. agree with others… very real & very human. I appreciate this interview and the opportunity to listen to these discussions. Thanks again.

  28. Andrea Schulte-Braatz

    Germany calling, still October 3, German Unity Day. I’m MBSR-teacher and today was the Day of mindfulness, teaching all day and the a..h… in my head said ‘see the sunshine out there… and you in here. ..’ At the end of the day a participating woman said that today she felt absolutly calm for 5 minutes and this was for the first time in years.
    Thank you very much for the summit. I love it!

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