10 Best Ted Talks for Seniors

best ted talks for senior citizens

Ted Talks are influential, short, and powerful presentations by experts and world-renowned speakers. Each talk is under 18 minutes in length (while most speakers aim for under 10 minutes).

This article covers the 10 Best Ted Talks for senior citizens on different topics including aging, happiness, and retirement.

10 Best Ted Talks for Seniors

Each of the below Ted Talks has inspired thousands of people of all ages. Even the shortest Ted Talks contain wisdom and insights that help you grow as a person and know about humanity and the world around you.

1: How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll be Stressed

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Daniel Levitin, a Neuroscientist and best-selling author, highlights that our brain is not at its best when we are stressed. We do not think rationally and logically in stressful situations. He introduces a system, called pre-mortem, to avoid making critical mistakes in decision-making when we are stressed.

We all know what post-mortem is. After a disaster, experts try to figure out what went wrong. In pre-mortem, a system is in place to prevent bad things from happening or minimize the likelihood of it being a total catastrophe.

We can apply pre-mortem in daily life for some obvious situations like designating a place for things that are easily lost like keys, passports, and tv remotes.

There is no more stressful situation than when you are confronted with a medical decision to make.  Daniel helps you to build a pre-mortem system for all kinds of medical, financial, and social decision-making.    

About Daniel Levitin

daniel J Levitin

Daniel J. Levitin is an award-winning neuroscientist and best-selling author. His research encompasses the brain, health, creativity, and productivity.

Daniel has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning and CNN.

He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: The World in Six Songs, This is Your Brain on Music, The Organized Mind, and Successful Aging.

Levitin taught at Stanford and UC Berkeley and has given presentations on the floor of Parliament in London and the U.S. Congress.

2: Less Stuff, More Happiness

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Graham Hill argues that our spending habits lead to credit card debt, a huge environmental footprint, and less happiness. He points out that we all have experienced the joy of “less” at some point in our lives: in college dorms, in hotel rooms while traveling, or when camping.

Less stuff and space give you a little more freedom and save you money.

This Ted Talk suggests three main “life editing” approaches

  • Edit ruthlessly
  • Think small
  • Make multifunctional

Graham makes you think of the benefits of “edited life”. Frugal living is not for everyone but a little “life editing” can make room for good stuff. Less might equal more so ask yourself “Could I do with a little life editing”? for more freedom and time.

This is one of the shortest and best Ted Talks for seniors. Graham makes you think about the obvious things like why have a six-burner stove when we rarely use three?

About Graham Hill

Graham Hill is the founder of TreeHugger and LifeEdited, dedicated to helping people live with less stuff and more happiness.

He travels the world to tell stories of sustainability and minimalism.

Graham studied architecture and design and his other company ExceptionLab is devoted to creating sustainable prototypes (think of lamps made of recycled blinds that are also air filters).

3: The 4 Phases of Retirement

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Dr.Riley Moynes points out that we are going through a retirement tsunami. 10,000 Americans retire every day, a trend that will continue for the next 10 to 15 years.

You will spend almost one-third of your life in retirement.

Most people get ready to retire financially but not psychologically. There are significant psychological changes and challenges that come with retirement.

Dr.Riley interviewed hundreds of retirees to answer a simple question “How do you squeeze all the juice from retirement”? and he came up with a framework to get the most out of retirement.

He shares 4 phases that most people move through in their retirement life. You will recognize what phase you are in if you are retired. If you are not retired yet, you will have a better idea of what to expect when retirement comes.

The 4 Phases of Retirement is one of the best Ted Talks on retirement.

About Dr.Riley Moynes

Dr.Riley Moynes is a best-selling author of several books. He served as a teacher, department head, and director of education and then chose the financial service sector. He is the author of several textbooks.

His book The Money Coach sold over 200,000 copies and he co-authored several chapters of “Top Funds”.

The Four Phases of Retirement (the basis of this Ted Talk) is his recent book that became a Canadian best seller. This talk summarizes the concept of the book in less than 15 minutes.

4: My Philosophy for a Happy Life

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Sampson Gordon Berns was an American activist with progeria, a rare and fatal disease that causes the body to age rapidly. Sam always knew he’d be facing more obstacles in life than most people but this did not stop him from taking charge of his happiness.

Sam’s 2013 Ted Talk, My Philosophy for a Happy Life, is watched over 50 million times.

This is one of the best Ted Talks for seniors and young people alike. Simon had three rules for happy life:

  • Be OK with what you can’t do because there is so much that you CAN do.
  • Surround yourself with people you want to be around
  • Keep moving forward

One of Sam’s favorite quotes

“Around here..we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things”

Walt Disney (Meet the Robinson)

About Sampson Gordon Berns

Sam Berns achieved highest honors and was a percussion section leader in his high school marching band.

He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

Sam spent much of his life raising awareness about progeria, eventually doing so on the national stage in the Emmy award-winning HBO documentary “Life According to Sam”.

He passed away in 2014 aged 17. His work including the Ted Talk keeps inspiring millions.

5: The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise

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What is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today? Dr. Wendy Suzuki is researching the science behind the life-changing effects of physical activity on our brains. 

She found that exercise has immediate, long-lasting, and protective benefits for your brain that can last for the rest of your life.

The brain-changing effects of exercise include:

  • Improved attention, mood, and focus
  • Protecting your brain from different conditions like depression, dementia and Alzheimer

Dr. Wendy suggests that you can think of exercise as a supercharge 401K for your brain and it’s even better because it is free.

Want to know the minimum amount of exercise to supercharge your brain? You will be surprised by how you can bring positive changes in your life without joining the gym or becoming a triathlete.

This is one of the best Ted Talks for senior citizens who want to improve their physical and mental health.

You can also have a look at the must-have exercise apps for seniors to help you with your fitness goals.

About Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki

wendy suzuki ted

Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University.

She is researching the extraordinary effects of physical activity on the most important organ in the human body: the brain.

Dr. Wendy shares the scientific facts in a comprehensive and relatable way and offers clear tools and strategies to help you live a fuller life. She is the author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life, and Good Anxiety.

6: The Secret to Living Longer May be Your Social Life

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Did you know that in the developed world women live an average of 6-8 years longer than men do? Susan Pinker explores the remote Italian island of Sardina, a blue zone where super longevity is common among both sexes.

Sardina has more than 6 times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North Americans.

Susan researched the science and habit of the place and found out that the secret ingredient to islanders’ health is not the sunny disposition or low-fat and gluten-free diet but the lifestyle they follow.

Want to know what Sardina residents are doing right? This is one of the must-listen Ted Talks on aging featuring several 100 years old individuals and their stories.

You will be surprised to know the finding of research on “what reduces your chances of dying the most”? 

About Susan Pinker

Susan Pinker is a development psychologist and writes about social science. She spent 25 years in clinical practice and teaching psychology.

She currently writes a column on human behavior, Mind and Matter, for Wall Street Journal.

Susan’s latest book, The Village Effect, was a Canadian best seller and Apple’s non-fiction best pick. Her newspaper columns also appeared in The Globe and Mail.

7: How to Live to be 100+

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Dan Buettner, a National Geographic writer and explorer, studied the world’s longest-lived people to find the path to long life and health. He discovered five places in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, where people live the longest and healthiest lives.

In his Ted Talk, Dan shares 9 common lifestyle and diet habits of centenarians that keep them spry past age 100. He also busts several myths about longevity.

“We can live a shorter life with more years of disability, or we can live the longest possible life with the fewest bad years. As my centenarian friends showed me, the choice is largely up to us”

Dan Buettner

Seniors can implement some of the excellent tips from this Ted Talk for healthy and graceful aging.

About Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Explorer, New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning journalist.

His articles about “Blue Zones” in The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic are two of the most popular for both publications.

He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers Blue Zones and The Blue Zones Kitchen.

Buettner has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah, NBC, and Good Morning America. He also holds Guinness World Records in distance cycling.

8: What Can You Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s

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Lisa Genova, a neuroscientist, believes Alzheimer’s does not have to be your brain’s density. The latest statistics show that more than 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.

Lisa shares the latest science and promising research that can help us to build an Alzheimer’s-resistant brain.

About Lisa Genova

lisa genova

Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist and bestselling author. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside The O’Briens and Every Note Played.

Her first non-fiction, REMEMBER: The Science of Memory and Art of Forgetting became an instant New York Times bestseller. She has appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Today Show, CNN, Dr. Oz, and NPR.

Lisa was named one of the U.S. Top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue in 2015.

9: How I Became an Entrepreneur at 66

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Paul Tasner lost his strategic management post in 2009, at the age of 64. Retirement was not an option for him so he turned to consulting for the next couple of years.

At 66 years of age, he made a late-in-life switch to pursue his dream project for preserving the earth.

“I wanted to build my own business replacing the toxic disposable plastic to which we have all become addicted to”

Paul Tasner

Paul paired the idea of business with his experience and passion and proved it’s never too late to invent yourself. According to Census Bureau, the population of senior Americans is projected to reach around 84 million in 2050.

According to a Business News Daily survey, 92% of Americans age 40 years and older plan to work after their retirement. Paul highlights that seniors are increasingly indulging their entrepreneurial instincts and seeing great success.

You can also have a look at fun retirement jobs that you can do from your home after retirement.

About Paul Tasner

paul tasner

Paul Tasner is the co-founder and CEO of pulpWorks, inc. A company focused on designing and manufacturing biodegradable packaging for consumer products.

After decades as an operation executive in the corporate world, including 15 years at Corox, Tasner moved to Method in his late 50s.

Paul has seen incredible success with PulpWorks.

10: What Really Matters at The End of Life

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What really matters at the end of our lives? For many, it’s comfort, respect, and love. In this Ted Talk, BJ Miller shines a light on health care’s most ignored facet, preparing for death.

He asks important questions about how we think about death and honor life. Miller thinks we have a monumental opportunity in front of us to rethink and redesign how we die.

About BJ Miller

BJ Miller was hit with 11,000 volts of electricity. The accident took most of his limbs.

His recovery inspired him to pursue a career as a palliative care physician.

Miller is a hospice and palliative medicine physician who thinks deeply about how he can create a dignified and graceful end of life for his patients.

TED is an amazing source of inspiration and each one of the above 10 best Ted Talks for seniors has inspired millions of people across all age groups.

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