Episodes
The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn’t choose? In this episode, Kate reads an excerpt of No Cure for Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear) — her new memoir that releases TODAY! We all wish we could boil our life down to simple formulas. Easy-to-grab mantras that tell us how to live. Things like: You only live once! or What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! or just Think Positively! I...
Published 09/28/21
What if we never fit in? Or always miss the script that everyone else seems to so easily understand? From Arrested Development’s Buster Bluth to Veep’s Gary Walsh or Toy Story 4’s Forky, Emmy Award Winning actor Tony Hale is an expert in awkward.  In this episode, Kate and Tony talk about: How acting is an act of empathy What it feels like to feel outside of the Acceptable People Having grace for our most awkward moments This conversation will offer you a little gentleness for our...
Published 09/21/21
What kind of food tastes like love to you? Food has a beautiful way of making us feel less lonely in our pain or in our isolation or in our grief. Star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Antoni Porowski understands the power of a delicious meal to bring us together and remake us with love.  In this episode, Kate and Antoni discuss: How food transcends time and distance and can remind you of who you are Antoni’s biggest cooking mistake (and how it might give us all a little permission to fail and try...
Published 09/14/21
Is it possible to be happier? Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin wondered if she could discipline herself to take tiny steps in order to be more content with her actual life. But what about those of us facing something daunting or insurmountable or tragic? Is it possible for us to be happier? In this conversation, Kate and Gretchen discuss: When we’re forced to reevaluate our life and what might happen if we just try a little harder How our senses anchor us to the present The difference...
Published 09/07/21
Can trauma you experienced as a kid still affect you now? What about the traumatic experiences of our parents and grandparents? Is there a way to undo what California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris calls the “toxic stress response”?   In this conversation, Kate and Nadine discuss: Why “picking yourself up by your bootstraps” is an incomplete (and unhelpful) story A better way to define resilience How your zip code might determine your health How fostering nurturing relationships...
Published 08/31/21
Can hilarity and sorrow co-exist? Comedian and actress Cecily Strong (of Saturday Night Live fame) is professionally funny. But after a series of losses, she was forced to discover how devastation and love sometimes exist at the same time—both in great measure.  In this conversation, Kate and Cecily discuss: Why we need to practice changing How much of our lives is determined by almostness  Moving past the “winning” and “losing” paradigm for illness When we can stop being afraid (and how...
Published 08/24/21
The Self-Help Industry would like to convince us that everyone is capable of change. Just drink this! Read this book! Pick up this daily habit! Follow these 5 Steps! But how much change are we really capable of?  It’s such a tender question that is best reserved for a brilliant and agile mind, so who better to pose this to than the spectacular brain of Malcolm Gladwell?  In this conversation, Kate and Malcolm discuss: Why living in the future is a kind of pernicious myth and why the past is...
Published 08/17/21
We all wish we could fix our lives. And it works! Until it doesn't. Until we lose someone we love. Or an addiction ruins the family vacation. Or our parents die. Or we never get that baby. Or we lose our financial security. Or, I don't know, a global pandemic takes away all of our plans.  Until we realize that we are Fragile. Finite. Prone to hangryness. And just... human, again today. And maybe that isn't such a bad thing. My name is Kate Bowler. I'm a professor at Duke University. A wife. A...
Published 08/10/21
The Everything Happens team is still on a bit of a summer break, but don't worry! We'll be back in August with all new episodes. We thought it might be fun to surprise you with this bonus episode. Kate spoke with her friend, the brilliant and hilarious bestselling writer Kelly Corrigan on Kelly's Podcast: Kelly Corrigan Wonders. Together, the two debunk conventional wisdom like the notion that "Everything Happens for a Reason." Kate Bowler has trouble nodding along when people say things like...
Published 06/22/21
In our season six finale, Kate takes us back to the very beginning. In this episode, you’ll hear the unlikely beginning of the Everything Happens podcast, the most terrified Kate’s ever been (for fun reasons), and how love and beauty can surprise us in some of the most unlikely of spaces.  Our team needs a little rest and vitamin D then we’ll be back with new episodes in August (don’t worry!). In the meantime, listen to some of our all time favorite episodes: with M*A*S*H* actor Alan Alda...
Published 06/08/21
Chaotic childhoods can leave us feeling stuck. Stuck in the roles and relationships and chaos that once felt familiar. Actress Julianna Margulies (best known for her roles in ER and The Good Wife) found incredible success, but nothing seemed to free her from living into past, traumatic dynamics. In this conversation, Kate and Julianna discuss the roles we get trapped inside (I’m the cheerful one! I’m the dutiful one! I'll keep it together!) and how love can surprise us through unlikely...
Published 06/01/21
There is a strange tension when we want so badly for the people we love to support us, but want to shield them from the pain at the same time. This is a beautiful, terrible kind of love. In Part Two of our conversation with bestselling author Suleika Jaouad, Kate and Suleika discuss what it is like to be the one suffering—all the guilt and shame and rage and mercy and grace and how we can create better economies of love around those who need it. Kate ends with a blessing for those who feel...
Published 05/25/21
There are two different worlds people inhabit. In one world, people feel infinite bounce. They can see every silver lining and believe in their bones things will always get better and that any set back is probably temporary. But then, there’s the other world. These people know what it feels like to live scan-to-scan and hold their breath when the doctor’s number shows up on their phone. Bestselling author of Between Two Kingdoms, Suleika Jaouad knows what it means to carry this dual...
Published 05/18/21
Everything is in flux. Nothing is the same anymore. How do we live amid all of this uncertainty? Well, psychologist and bestselling author Adam Grant believes we may have to do some re-thinking. In this episode, Kate and Adam speak about the courage it takes to think again about things that we once felt so certain about, how “imposter syndrome” might be a good instinct, and how we all need friends who challenge us (even if it makes us wildly uncomfortable… thanks a lot, Adam!). Oh! And if you...
Published 05/11/21
How do we find “enough” in a life that keeps getting…. harder? Our lives are shrinking. We are shrunk by the pandemic or by illness or by age or by any number of losses. And it can be difficult to feel satisfaction and enjoyment again, especially in the midst of a self-help culture that tries to tell you “EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.” In this episode, Kate speaks with writer and advice columnist Heather Havrilesky about finding contentment in our bodies, in our parenting, in our relationships,...
Published 05/04/21
How do we navigate the life in-between? In-between relationships and jobs and friends. In-between independence and dependence. In-between the life we have and the life we’ve always wanted. In this episode, Kate and artist Mari Andrew discuss these liminal spaces, what to do when we’re stuck with the B-side versions of ourselves, and how to make a little more space to explore all the colors of this place in-between. CW: Guillain-Barre Syndrome, loss of a parent Learn more about your ad...
Published 04/27/21
When something truly awful happens, we can’t forget. That memory isn’t just stored in our brains. Our bodies keep the score too. Researcher and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk has spent his life studying the affects of trauma on adults and children. In this eye-opening conversation, Kate and Bessel address the nature of trauma, how helplessness and agency affect our experiences, and ways to get unstuck. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Published 04/21/21
Comedian Jamie Lee is now Netflix’s The Wedding Coach where she’s on a mission to help couples survive the craziness of planning a wedding. A wedding is an event, but a marriage is not an event. During the filming of the show, Jamie’s own relationship began to unravel. In this episode, Kate and Jamie exchange hilarious wedding stories (including what 22-year-old bride Kate did on her wedding day) and discuss the micro-griefs of a divorce, and share ways to show love to people experiencing...
Published 04/14/21
Our culture’s obsession with hyper-instrumentalization has meant everything has to be FOR something. But when you are facing unfixable or chronic problems, maybe it’s better to do something for no reason whatsoever. Depression, anxiety, and a grab bag of auto-immune diseases have made humorist Jenny Lawson an expert in the art of the absurd. In this conversation, Kate and Jenny share their tips to getting through horrible days, the evils of insurance bureaucracy, the delight of taxidermy, and...
Published 04/06/21
We don’t always know how to move through this strange, distended season. The season before the cure or the vaccine or the answer. Before the money comes through or the job opens up or the heartbreak is over. The season where this is hope for someday, but someday is not now. Perhaps here, we need to learn how to pray. In this episode, Kate and Jesuit priest Father James Martin discuss how prayer is for everyone — believer, doubter, or no-thank you-er.  You may be wondering, but Kate. I know...
Published 03/30/21
Our bodies tell a story, and we find ourselves having to live inside it. At home. At work. At church. At school. But what happens when the places we love don’t always love us back? In this episode, Kate speaks with theologian Dr. Willie Jennings about the way institutions don’t always value our embodiment and how instead we might create spaces of belonging and love. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Published 03/23/21
What if the story you’ve been given about your family isn’t the whole truth? Writer Nicole Chung had been told a story like so many adoptees. Your parents wanted a better life for you. God chose you to be part of our family. But then, she found out the truth was far more complicated. In this episode, Kate and Nicole talk about how she learned to look beyond the simple answers and live in the grey space, where stories can’t be neatly summed up in villains and heroes, tragedy and miracles. This...
Published 03/16/21
Sometimes there are stories about ourselves that just need to be true, even if they aren't. Stories about our ancestors or younger selves that help to explain who we are and offer us a little purpose. When it comes to telling a good story, no one does it better than our guest today: Academy Award winner and author Matthew McConaughey. In this episode, Kate and Matthew talk about the stories we tell about ourselves, the mottos that animate our lives, and the half-truths that are true...
Published 03/09/21
What do you do with a world that is full of things to fear? People we won’t please. Kids who die. Parents who don’t change. Writer Anne Lamott doesn’t sugar-coat a single, terrible thing, but knows the kinds of truths we can stand on. In this conversation, Kate and Anne talk about the good, strong hopes we can reach for. That we are loved and chosen. And friendships and snacks hold us together when we're feeling lost. For discussion questions, transcript, and show notes:...
Published 03/02/21
Who are we when we can't answer where we're from? Who are we when we can't locate ourselves on family trees or on familiar religious traditions or among genetic traits? How do we live after we thought what was true about our identity is totally upended? In this conversation, Kate speaks with writer Dani Shapiro about uncovering life-altering and long-hidden family secrets, what it means to belong, and what to do when the truth is… complicated. For show notes, transcripts, and discussion...
Published 02/23/21