This week I’m talking to Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry about their new book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing. We define trauma and talk about why big and small traumas activate our stress response systems and create emotional, physical, and social consequences, and how we can find the path to healing.
This week’s episode features two audio essays from You Are Your Best Thing, an anthology on the Black lived experience of vulnerability and shame resilience, led by my friend Tarana Burke, an organizer, writer, activist, and the founder of the ‘me too.’ movement. It starts with an introduction from Tarana and me, followed by an essay from Jason Reynolds, award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. All of the essays in the book are urgent, compelling, heartbreaking, and heart affirming. I’m proud and grateful to share this work with you.
This week, I have a tough, loving conversation about dementia and Alzheimer’s with Jason Karlawish, physician, researcher, professor, clinician, and author of The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It. This heartbreakingly common diagnosis creates multiple patients—both the diagnosed and the caregivers. We talk about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, how we respond to a disease that diminishes our autonomy, and what we can do to take care of ourselves and each other.
Get ready for a delicious conversation. I am talking to Samin Nosrat, author, cook, teacher, podcaster, and the force of nature behind the revolutionary cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and its Netflix documentary. We connect on her work and the struggles and realities of creating connections in a period of great disconnection.
This week I’m talking to Brandi Carlile, singer, songwriter, performer, producer, activist, and author of a new memoir, Broken Horses. We talk about everything from the politics of middle school lunch tables, to the pursuit of complicated faith, to the tyranny of fitted sheets. This is a conversation between two people, meeting for the first time, and yet, somehow, it feels like we’ve been friends forever.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a beautiful person and an incredible writer, poet, essayist, and cultural critic. His new book, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, took my breath away. Hanif’s ability to straddle the tension of grief and gratitude, beauty and horror, mourning and jubilation is where the miracle and the genius happen.
This week I’m talking to Dr. Angus Fletcher, professor and author of Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature, about the science behind the great writings of authors across time–from Greek tragedies, to Maya Angelou, to Tina Fey. We look at how the technology of literature can nurture democracy, power personal growth, and improve our mental health and well-being. Weaving together library and laboratory research, we discuss how literature actually changes who we are, helps us understand who we are, and teaches us how to think.
In this episode, I talk to Dr. Yaba Blay about her new book, One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. It’s an honest and raw conversation about identity, grief, transformation, history, colorism, and taking responsibility for change. I continue to reflect on this quote from Dr. Blay: “Identity is nuanced. It’s complicated. I think it’s hard to define. Sometimes I think it’s dangerous to define, depending upon who’s doing the defining.”
This week, I’m talking to clinical psychologist and author Dr. Edith Eger about her books, The Choice and The Gift. Dr. Eger is a Holocaust survivor who has dedicated her career to helping us understand trauma, anger, resilience, and the power of choosing how we see ourselves and how we resist the labels that people put on us.
In this episode, I’m talking with Jennifer Rudolph Walsh and Ashley C. Ford about their work, their lives, and the new anthology Hungry Hearts, a collection of intimate stories and essays on courage, desire, and belonging. I just love talking to the storytellers and magic-makers!