How to Be a Better Human
About How to Be a Better Human
Join How to Be a Better Human as we take a look within and beyond ourselves.
How to Be a Better Human isn’t your average self improvement podcast. Each week join comedian Chris Duffy in conversation with guests and past speakers as they uncover sharp insights and give clear takeaways on how YOU can be a better human.
From your work to your home and your head to your heart, How to Be a Better Human looks in unexpected places for new ways to improve and show up for one another. Inspired by the popular series of the same name on TED’s Ideas blog, How to Be a Better Human will help you become a better person from the comfort of your own headphones.
In her critically acclaimed Showtime docuseries, Couples Therapy, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Orna Guralnik thinks deeply about relationships, emotions, and connection. In this episode, Dr. Guralnik explains why she believes psychoanalysis helps us love better, dispels myths about the right time to go to therapy, and gives tips on how to unblock our relationship with the world around us. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
If there's one thing this show believes in, it's that finding joy and comedy in life is essential when being human gets tough. Wajahat Ali is a writer who knows this well. His charming and powerful stories bring to light the funny -- and difficult truth-- of life outside of the mainstream. Chris hears from Wajahat about his experiences as a brown Muslim in America and as a father whose young daughter had a complicated health diagnosis. Wajahat's heartwarming wisdom on the importance of letting go (and celebrating the good with the bad, even in the bleakest times) will have you reassessing everything -- from your worst self-destructive tendencies to what you value most. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts Wajahat's latest book, "Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American" is out now.
Wanting to “find yourself” isn’t something that only happens in coming-of-age movies – anyone, at any age, can wonder what it’d be like to have a different life. Bevy Smith knows this. A self-described late bloomer, Bevy shares what she’s learned from changing careers at the age of 38, and retells the story of how she completely uprooted her life to pursue her wildest dreams. Bevy also gives tips on how to stop second-guessing your desires – and names the one quality everyone needs to be their happiest selves. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
If you’ve ever opened up social media in the hopes that it would cheer you up only for it to leave you upset, angry, or tired, you are not alone. So what if we could turn that special power the internet has to change our emotions – and use it for good? The head of TED, Chris Anderson, joins Chris Duffy to talk about why he believes in what he calls infectious generosity. Join the two Chrises as they discuss how we can turn outrage back into optimism by tapping into one of the most fundamental human virtues. Chris Anderson’s book, Infectious Generosity, is out now. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
There’s a saying about two things that are inevitable in this world, and Alua Arthur wants to help you think about one of them with less fear. No, she’s not a tax professional – she’s a death doula, a person who supports dying people and their loved ones. A former lawyer, Alua shares what we can all learn when we purposefully think about the end of life, whether that is our own or someone else’s. From finding joy in our everyday lives to navigating the emotional, legal, and spiritual decisions that arise around, Alua’s wisdom will inspire you pursue to live, and “go”, with grace. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
Have you ever recalled a story only to have someone point out "that's not how it went"? Well, 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 societal and personal dangers of inaccurate history knowledge, and uncovers the real story of one of history’s most iconic figures. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
What makes YOU happy? Dr. Robert Waldinger is the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, an 83-year-old project that tracks how life experience across decades affects health and wellbeing in middle age and beyond. Robert shares the surprising things he’s learned about what makes a meaningful life and what to do --or avoid-- in order to have a long, fulfilling existence. To learn more about "How to Be a Better Human," host Chris Duffy, or find footnotes and additional resources, please visit: go.ted.com/betterhuman
What’s your favorite dish — and what culture originated that recipe? Whether you’re thinking about grilled cheese, burritos, curry, pho… (we would go on but we are getting too hungry) trying something delicious opens you up to new experiences and conversations. Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, is a chef and food educator who focuses on revitalizing and reclaiming indigenous food systems in a modern culinary context. In today’s episode, he shares how increasing access to indigenous food practices can liberate more than just your taste buds. Sean, also known as The Sioux Chef, uses Native American recipes as well as farming, harvesting, wild food usage, salt and sugar making, food preservation, and land stewardship techniques to feed and educate communities in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. His vision of modern indigenous foods have garnered him many accolades, including the 2018 Bush Foundation Fellowship and the 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award. You can follow Sean at https://sioux-chef.com/ To learn more about "How to Be a Better Human," host Chris Duffy, or find footnotes and additional resources, please visit: go.ted.com/betterhuman
Maurine “Mighty Mo'' Kornfeld will soon turn 102 years old, and most days, you can catch her doing laps in a Los Angeles public swimming pool. And that’s not just because she regularly competes in – and wins – world swimming championships! It’s because she loves being in the water, despite only picking up swimming as a hobby well into her sixties. In this special episode, Maurine shares what she’s learned from doing something she loves almost every day, why it’s never too late to start something new, and the three things anyone can do to improve their life, no matter their age. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
This show is all about growth – and it’s always inspiring to know that the amazing guests we bring on still see room in their own lives to become better humans. This season TED Audio Collective+ subscribers on Apple Podcasts received bonus content, where guests shared the ideas that inspire them and the issues they are passionate about working on. We picked our favorites as a thank you to all listeners – but if you WANT to support this show, you can learn more about TED Audio Collective+ at podcasts.apple.com/ted-audio-collective
Keyboard and mouse clicks, the song of an ice cream truck, a neighbor’s yapping dog – what kind of noises soundtrack your life? Today’s guest, Dallas Taylor, is the host and creator of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast, a show about the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds. In this episode, he shares why sounds can tell deeper stories – and how tuning IN to the noise of the world can help us tap into the wild depths of our imagination. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
There’s a saying that comedy is tragedy plus time. Perhaps that’s why some of our biggest problems feel easiest to manage with a dose of humor. Comedian, journalist, and actor Roy Wood Jr. has spent his career finding silly in the serious and using this tactic to influence real change. Listen in to learn how you can tap into the powers of humor in your own life. This episode was edited from a live conversation as part of TED’s Membership programming. TED Membership is the best way to support and engage with the big ideas you love from TED. To learn more visit ted.com/membership
Liana Finck’s cartoons explore life’s big predicaments: what to make for dinner, how to leave a party without being rude, how to feel like more than a snack machine once you have a child. In today’s episode, Liana shares how drawing has become a practice for her to answer questions, solve problems, and why creating art helps humans understand ourselves better. Liana also discusses why she’s not bothered by impostor syndrome (okay maybe it helps that she regularly contributes to The New Yorker) and how she navigates the feelings of doubt we all experience with honesty and humor.
If you ask Christian Cooper, a science writer, editor, and the host of the show “Extraordinary Birder With Christian Cooper”, birding can teach us all kinds of lessons about life, self-acceptance, and joy. In this episode, Christian shares what he deems as the seven pleasures of birding, why inclusion is especially important in life-affirming pursuits, and how anyone (city-dwellers and countryside-residents alike) can commune with nature to unlock the awe and wonder of the world around us. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
How well would you say you know yourself? Do you feel like the same person you were 10 years ago? Today’s guest, Shankar Vedantam, loves these kinds of questions and what they reveal about what we believe about ourselves and how we actually behave. Shankar is a science writer and the creator and host of the podcast “Hidden Brain”. In this episode, Shankar shares why he’s fascinated by the things we THINK we know, uncovers examples of what our brains hide from us, and shares how we can use that knowledge to live the lives we want to be living. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts.
One of the most important things that humans do is learning how to relate – to ourselves, one another, and, crucially, to our parents. Dr. Becky Kennedy, who was deemed the “Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by Time Magazine, might understand this better than anyone. In this episode, Dr. Becky and Chris discuss how we can raise kids in ways that help them be confident and resilient. But don’t fret, non-parents, Dr. Becky also shares rich insights about how to find and develop the relationship-mending skills we need to thrive as adults. This jam-packed episode has a little something for everyone – and if you want more from Dr. Becky you can listen to her talk on TED Talks Daily, or find her on her own podcast, Good Inside with Dr. Becky, wherever you are listening to this. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
When he was a teenager, Andrew Leland was diagnosed with a condition that causes a gradual loss of vision. Over the years, Andrew’s literal view of the world has narrowed – but the ways in which he can explore and embrace life have widened. In this episode, Andrew talks about what his transition into blindness has taught him about life and how to navigate change. He also shares enlightening and humorous insights into the culture of blindness and disability and reveals what we can learn about bringing joy and fun into our accessibility practices. Andrew is a writer, teacher, and audio producer. His first book, “The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight” is out now. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
If the ongoing television writers' and actors' strikes -- and other labor organizing efforts happening across the world -- have been on your radar, this is the episode for you. It's also for you if you are a fan of weekends. Or social security. Or health insurance. Or if you're anti-child labor! Because all of these aforementioned workplace protections exist thanks to the advocacy of labor unions. In this episode, American political scientist Margaret Levi shares the long history of organizing labor, and explains how unions create equality and protect worker rights. Margaret also discusses her optimism about today’s young workforce and why she believes that an equitable future requires a revival of the labor movement. This is an episode we released last year but it feels more relevant than ever as we celebrate Labor Day today in the United States. We hope you enjoy it! For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
Lori Gottlieb believes we all have an inner narrator. In this episode, she explains why the story you tell yourself is key to your happiness (or lack thereof). She also discusses the stages of change, why relationships are a dance, and the steps to finding a good therapist that can help you edit the story of your life. Lori is a therapist, the bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and a co-host on the Dear Therapists podcast. She was once also an executive at NBC, overseeing shows like the hit medical drama ER. It’s through these varied experiences that she’s realized the power of being aware of your personal narrative and being willing to edit your story. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
Impostor syndrome is one of many therapy-speak words that have gone mainstream in the past few years — but what is it, really? Aparna Nancherla knows all about it. Aparna is a comedian and the author of Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome. Despite her success as a performer, she isn’t immune to self-doubt. In this episode, she talks about the ways she’s learned to deal with impostor syndrome: like creating a resume listing all her failures, or making up words at parties to gauge other people’s reactions. She also shares how she learned to put less stock in success and what to do when your mind isn’t telling you the truth. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts