Episodes
If you’ve ever daydreamed o standing at an Olympic podium or delivering a big award speech, you probably pictured yourself as a winner. But according to today’s guest, marketing professor Monica Wadhwa, maybe you should imagine yourself as a runner-up. In this episode, Monica talks about why getting close to – but not quite achieving – triumph actually helps us gain the energy and motivation we need to chase after our goals, and shares tips on how we can change our mindset and create almost...
Published 09/12/22
Humans: we've got Big Feelings. From happiness to regret, delight to frustration, we all experience a rollercoaster of emotions. But while it's become more acceptable to talk about and even embrace them, it still feels like there is a stigma around admitting that you're grappling with a less-than-positive feeling. Mollie West Duffy (Chris’s wife!) and Liz Fosslien (not Chris’s wife!) are the co-authors of two celebrated books about feelings, “No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing...
Published 09/05/22
We experience rejection all the time–in job interviews, while dating, when pitching a story or even trying to join a new club or activity. But if rejection happens so often, why is it so scary? And worse, what if our fear of being rejected is keeping us from going after the things we want? Jia Jiang is kind of a rejection expert–he’s gone from a career in the corporate world to the risky world of entrepreneurship. To conquer his fear of rejection, he started the 100 Days of Rejection Therapy...
Published 08/29/22
Most of us want to be good people–but what even makes a person “good?” And is our fixation on whether or not we ARE good holding us back from becoming even better? Dolly Chugh is an author and social psychologist who studies the psychology of good people. In this episode, she explains how ethical behavior is full of complexity and paradox, and shares insights on why even striving to be a “good-ish” person can actually help us grow into the better, nicer person we want to become.
Published 08/22/22
Future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal ran a social simulation game in 2008 that had players dealing with the effects of a respiratory pandemic set to happen in the next decade. She wasn’t literally predicting the 2020 pandemic—but she got eerily close. Her game, set in 2019, featured scenarios we're now familiar with (like masking and social distancing), and participant reactions gave her a sense of what the world could—and eventually, did—look like. How did she do it? And what...
Published 08/15/22
Thinking and talking about gender is complex for anyone, and for some people it’s a frequent conversation–especially for parents. In today’s episode, LB Hannahs, a genderqueer parent, shares their experience of parenting and discusses why they try to center authenticity and gender expansive thinking in the way they live their lives–both in how they interact with their kids, and how they work and show up in their community. Plus, from rethinking the gifts we give children to embracing the...
Published 08/08/22
You often hear that “there are no bad ideas” when brainstorming–but why is that? In those instances, doesn’t it feel inevitable that someone’s going to pitch a bad idea? Frans Johannson is a writer who argues that in fact, innovation actually happens when people, ideas, and disciplines intersect. Whether it’s one field of science collaborating with another, or many cultures mixing, Frans says that a wide range of perspectives are the key to seeing a problem in a totally new light. In this...
Published 08/01/22
Every day, we humans do math. Whether we are obsessed with a logic puzzle on our smartphones or even just calculating a morning alarm that gives you 8 more minutes in bed, our daily lives are full of numbers, quantities, shapes and patterns. And for Francis Su—a writer and Professor of Mathematics and the Former President of the Mathematical Association of America—math is actually one of the things that makes us human. In today’s episode he talks about how mathematics can serve as a tool for...
Published 07/25/22
What would happen if the thing that defined you disappeared overnight? Whether it’s our job, our abilities, or output—many of us meld our identities with the things we do, and often forget who we are in the process. Greta Morgan is a writer and musician whose musical projects include Vampire Weekend, Springtime Carnivore, and Gold Motel. In 2020, Greta was diagnosed with a disorder that completely changed her ability to sing. In this episode, she shares what her vocal loss and recovery taught...
Published 07/18/22
Humans can have a complex relationship with technology: tools like smartphones make our lives easier, but they can also be a source of anxiety or dependence. The internet can be an amazing place, or it can be a doom scrolling nightmare. And then there’s the always looming threat that our jobs–even the ones we thought only humans could do, like making art–could be lost to automation. Kevin Roose is a tech journalist who writes about the intersection of tech, business, and culture. In today’s...
Published 07/11/22
On a list of the least funny topics imaginable, the global refugee crisis, border disputes, and questions of citizenships are probably close to the top. And yet comedian Maeve Higgins has spent her career finding ways to make jokes about (and make sense of) the ways we draw lines across the globe. She’s a standup and a writer who speaks from the point of view of an Irish immigrant in the United States. In this episode, she talks about ways we can find funny and eye-opening vantage points to...
Published 07/04/22
Art can move us in deep, meaningful ways. A beautiful song, a good book, or a great film can change our perspectives and attitudes toward ideas, and sometimes people. Where does that magic come from–and how can we channel it when we’re creating? JR is an artist famed for his enormous black and white portraits that tell stories and adorn surfaces from the Louvre to the favelas of Brazil. His ambitious projects, like a recent massive mural outside a supermax prison in California or the boy who...
Published 06/27/22
We all know a good night’s sleep is essential, but for many people, sleeping well (or falling asleep at all) can be difficult and even stressful– and there’s no shortage of tales about what prevents people from catching their ZZZs. In this episode, Dr. Jen digs into ``how to sleep'' culture– from blue light blockers to sleep hygiene enthusiasts, to the 8 hours a night rule to… witches?! Don’t sleep on this episode–because it might just have you skipping the melatonin supplements and...
Published 05/30/22
Great pitches can seem like genius or magic. But you don’t have to be a great salesperson to give a great pitch. Whether you’re floating an idea at a team meeting, looking for investors for your startup, or applying for your next job, life is full of pitching moments. In this episode, we bust myths about what it takes to drum up excitement–and share insights from Hollywood and Silicon Valley on ways to improve your chances of getting your audience on board. This is an episode of WorkLife with...
Published 05/02/22
Dionna and Denise had a professional relationship that mostly worked–until it didn’t. After a string of mishaps in their workplace, a comment Denise made online sparked a fallout between the two coworkers. In this episode, we hear from both women about the power of impact regardless of intent, how assumptions cloud communication, and why forgiveness requires accountability, transparency, and a willingness to put yourself in another person’s shoes. This is an episode of the podcast...
Published 03/21/22
As the year draws to a close and the collective mood turns reflective, we asked you—our listeners—to pick moments from the first season that stuck with you and inspired you. In today’s episode, we yield the floor in gratitude and compiled some of those insights that resonated most with our community. From psychologist Guy Winch’s thoughts on strategic discomfort to poet Sarah Kay’s meditations on compassion, tune in for an eclectic collection of ideas to set you on that path toward becoming a...
Published 12/20/21
With all the terrible things happening in the world lately, does the idea of maintaining a spark of joy in your day to day feel unrealistic? Or even inappropriate? Today’s guest, Miracle Jones, believes that all the collective tragedy makes the role of joy in our routines even more crucial. She is a community organizer and queer activist who currently serves as the director of policy and advocacy at 1Hood Media. In today’s episode, Miracle meditates on the importance of joy as a catalyst for...
Published 12/13/21
Whether you’re the kind of person who “gets in their feels” or you’re more the type to sweep things under the rug, all humans experience emotions. And the way we tend to those emotions directly affects the way we see our lives, says today’s guest, Susan David. She is a psychologist and author of the book “Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life” (Avery, 2016). In today’s episode, Susan explains how “emotional agility”--a process that enables us to navigate...
Published 12/06/21
Roses are red, violets are blue, has poetry ever been intimidating for you? For many people, this art form can feel unapproachable for a myriad of reasons, but today’s guest, poet and educator Sarah Kay, suggests that people who don’t like poetry just maybe haven’t found a poem that really speaks to them. In this episode, Sarah proposes a fresh approach to this ancient art, talks about why playing with language can help you get in touch with yourself, and discusses the ways that writing and...
Published 11/29/21
Can you think of a time when you told a story and remembered it...wrong? Perhaps you forgot a small detail, like the color of someone’s shoes, or something much bigger, like where the event took place. In a personal context, that might not seem like a huge deal. But what happens when what we misrepresent are our historical narratives? David Ikard is a Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. In this episode, he talks about the dangers of inaccurate history,...
Published 11/22/21
When you think of your home or your childhood, what comes to mind? Did you feel cared for and loved? Did you trust that your parents were always doing what’s best for you? Whether you are a parent or a child, healthy communication is one of the most important aspects of an intentional relationship with your family. Today’s guest, Ebony Roberts, is a writer, educator, activist, and mother. After ending their relationship, she and her ex-partner (author Shaka Senghor) decided to continue...
Published 11/15/21
While technology and the internet have made accessing information easier than ever, how can we discern between the facts we need to make the right decisions and fictions that could actually cause us harm? Turns out there is a better way to search on the internet and find reliable information, both on- and offline. Today’s guest, Dr. Jen Gunter, is on a mission to help people find accurate health information online. In this episode, she shares tips on how to tell a reputable source from a...
Published 11/08/21
Have you ever wondered why there are seven days in a week? Or, why glaciers are blue—or what color even is? Today’s guest, YouTube creator Joe Hanson, makes a living by asking—and trying to answer—these kinds of questions. A biologist turned video producer and educator, Joe spends his days thinking about how telling stories and encouraging curiosity can help people think more deeply about the universe they live in, and engage with science in more meaningful ways. In this episode, he gives...
Published 11/01/21
Time with friends just isn’t the same with a screen in between you. That’s a struggle many have faced recently, with half of Americans saying they’ve lost touch with at least one friend during the pandemic. It can be sad, but is falling out of touch with friends normal? How many relationships should we maintain, and what are the different kinds of friendships we need anyways? Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar has been studying social relationships for 50 years, and he has answers. Data...
Published 10/25/21