Research, Mind & body, Berkeley Talks

Berkeley Talks: How an 'awe walk' helped one musician reconnect with her home

By Public Affairs

Artwork by Whitney Anderson

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Diana Gameros holding strands of her long, dark hair

Singer-songwriter and activist Diana Gameros moved to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 13. (Photo by Cristina Isabel Rivera)

In the Science of Happiness podcast episode, “Finding awe in every step,” musician and activist Diana Gameros talks about how she moved to the U.S. from Mexico at 13, and the heartbreak that came with it. She spent years writing about longing to go home to Juarez, Mexico, and the experience of undocumented immigrants in America.

“When I moved to the United States, I found inspiration or I found this motivation to write about the things that I was feeling about being away and I think, you know, I was inspired by folk music to create these songs,” Gameros tells host Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

Diana Gameros in a field sitting on a rock with a guitar in her hand with her eyes closed

(Photo by Cristina Isabel Rivera)

“For me, it’s very humbling to know that some of the stories and the messages I give, or that I sing about, are resonating with other people whose stories are similar to mine,” Gameros continues. “And I began to notice that they became a source of inspiration and of empowerment to them. And so I also see it as a as a responsibility to use my platform. I have a microphone. I have an audience. I have a stage. And so, for me it’s a way to give voice to those who don’t have a means to express it.”

In each episode of the Science of Happiness , a guest chooses a practice from the Science of Happiness free online course from the Greater Good Science Center that’s been shown to increase happiness, connection and kindness. Gameros chose the Awe Walk, which she did both in California and Mexico, where she recently visited for the first time in 16 years.

Listen to more episodes of Science of Happiness at .

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Listen to Diana Gameros sing and talk about the immigrant’s love and loss in a KQED Arts video. (Video produced by Kelly Whalen)