A Little Happier: A Lucky Charm That Works Even If You Don’t Believe In It.

Back in episode 59 of our podcast, Elizabeth and I talked about the value of giving yourself a lucky charm.

Relying on lucky charms is superstitious, but in fact, it actually works. Researchers have found that people who believe they have luck on their side feel greater “self-efficacy”—the belief that we’re capable of doing what we set out to do—and this belief actually boosts mental and physical performance. Many elite athletes, for instance, are deeply superstitious, and in one study, people who were told that a golf ball “has turned out to be a lucky ball” did  better putting than people who weren’t told that.

Any discussion of superstition reminds me of this perhaps-apocryphal story, about physicist Niels Bohr. I love this story!

Most of us aren’t superstitious—but most of us are a littlestitious.

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Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:


  • When I was little my grandfather took me to a fair and I won a raffle. He called me his Lucky Charm and from then onwards I’ve always believed I was lucky. I’ve won so many competitions and prizes over the years (some of them major!) and things always work out for me. Maybe my grandfather telling me this from such a young age made me believe I was lucky and thus it boosted my enthusiasm for entering competitions and prize draws. And then winning so many made me believe I am always lucky and so I continue to benefit from this belief!

  • LoriAngela

    I chose my jewellery to be a talisman. I have a lion pendant and wear amythysts for courage ( plu my mom is from Thunder Bay where they mine amythysts). I wear a heart bracelet to remind me to live with an open heart. And a garnet ring, the birthstone of both my children to keep them close. That’s a bit like a lucky charm, to keep my loved ones close.