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How to Be a Better Human

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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.
148 Episodes
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Every person, no matter how ordinary, has to occasionally summon extraordinary bravery to get through life’s challenges. If you haven’t already had one of those moments, you will at some point. Because, hey, Kelly Corrigan says, that’s life. Kelly shares her trademark wit and wisdom  in this week’s conversation about how to hold ourselves, our families, and our loved ones together when our world is falling apart.For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts  To see Kelly's full talk, visit go.ted.com/BH-Kelly 
If you found yourself doodling or writing a lot as a child but then lost the hobby as you grew up, Wendy MacNaughton and Laurel Braitman want to help you recapture your spark. Wendy MacNaughton is an illustrator, the author of “How to Say Goodbye”, and the creator of Draw Together, an art and learning community. Laurel Braitman is a TED Fellow, the author of the memoir “What Looks Like Bravery”, and the founder of Writing Medicine, a community of writing healthcare professionals. Together, Wendy and Laurel created Attention Club, a group of people pursuing creativity by practicing focus with one another. In this episode, Wendy and Laurel join Chris for an in-person chat at the 2024 TED Conference where they discuss the feelings that arise when sharing art with an audience and why embracing mistakes can lead to more meaningful work.For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts. 
We often forget that our bodies and minds are fundamentally connected. But so much of our day-to-day lives are influenced by the state of our bodies. The mind-body connection is at the heart of the work of this week’s guest, Prentis Hemphill. Prentis is a therapist, somatics teacher, author, and the founder of The Embodiment Institute. Prentis joins Chris to talk through what it means to be fully present in your body and how embodiment can improve your understanding of yourself – and the world around you.For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts    
Today, we’re sharing the first episode of the newest TED Audio Collective Podcast – The TED AI Show. Now before you think, “wait, isn’t artificial intelligence the opposite of being human?”, know that we are wondering that too! That’s what’s nice about The TED AI Show. It asks: how is AI shaping human stuff? Join creative technologist Bilawal Sidhu as he sits down with Sam Gregory, a human rights activist and technologist, for some real talk on deepfakes, how AI is challenging our sense of what’s real and what’s fiction, and how to maintain our sense of self in this rapidly-evolving world.We hope you enjoy this episode. We'll be back with more How to Be a Better Human next week. You can listen to The TED AI Show anywhere you get your podcasts.
What is your relationship with the planet we live on? As a human rights lawyer and environmental activist, Nonette Royo is trying to make us all live more symbiotically with nature. She works hard to listen to indigenous peoples around the world to help them control the land they live on and have a voice in policies and decisions that combat climate change. Nonette sits down with Chris to help us better understand how native traditions can inform all of our lives and why fighting for land rights may be one of the most important policies to mitigate climate change. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts. 
Have you ever wished someone would just help you figure out your life? John Paul Brammer’s job is to do exactly that – he’s the writer behind the hit advice column Hola Papi. John has helped all kinds of people on topics as niche as figuring out what to do when your boyfriend pretends to be Latino to as common as answering the age-old question of how to make friends as an adult. John reveals what constitutes good advice, why a lot of problems have similar solutions, and shares what we can do to get ourselves out of our trickiest situations.For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts     
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 co-parenting their child. In this episode, she shares tips on how to establish good communication at home and gives deep insight on how to prioritize trust, open-ness, and of course, love. You can read more about Ebony’s story in her book, “The love prison made and unmade” (Harper Collins, 2019) and check out her talk at TED.com
Poet and psychoanalyst Nuar Alsadir believes there’s a thin line between comedy and the self-discovery often found in therapy offices. In this episode, Nuar joins Chris and talks about her book Animal Joy: A Book of Laughter and Resuscitation. They discuss the power of laughter, what it means to let yourself look like a fool occasionally, how to break down the facades we create for ourselves, and the unexpected revelations she had while attending clown school. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts.
Millions of people around the world are displaced by the enhanced natural disasters brought on by climate change, and sometimes, our economically driven world makes us feel powerless. Alyssa-Amor Gibbons knows about climate devastation and its effect on community first hand – but she thinks we can tap into our resilience through the power of design. In this episode, Alyssa shares how architecture can fundamentally change our perspective and our relationship to the planet – while helping us honor the indigenous communities that have sustained it for millennia. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
It’s easy to forget that the packaged lettuce you bought from the store originally grew out of the ground – but it did! What if you could cut out your trips to the store – and get more food right from your own backyard? Foraging is a fantastic way to reconnect to your natural environment and Alexis Nikole Nelson is an outdoor educator, food writer, and expert forager. This week, she’ll help ignite your curiosity about the green spaces around you, even if you live in the concrete jungle. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
We all have habits - the good and not-so good kind. But can we use them to our advantage? In this week’s episode, Chris is joined by James Clear, entrepreneur and author of #1 New York Times bestseller, “Atomic Habits”, for a conversation about the power of habitual behavior. They discuss the science of habit formation, how to understand the forces that motivate you, and why the sum of many little habits can add up to a better life. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
Some people are born knowing exactly what they want to do with their life – and because of that, they’re able to get to the top of their field. But most of us have multiple passions and identities, making it difficult to visualize our own unique paths.. So, how do we explore who we are and what we love to do in our careers and in our lives? This week, guest & TED Fellow Constance Hockaday helps us navigate and voice our deepest hopes and desires. She walks us through her perspective as an artist, what she’s learned from immersing herself into small and sometimes very isolated communities, and gives tips on how to find liberation by pursuing your passion. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
Keeping hope and courage alive before the many pains and promises of the world can be tough. So how do you do it? Journalist and host of podcast On Being, Krista Tippett, has spent a career interviewing some of the world's wisest people in search of answers to that question. Krista shares with Chris her thoughts on how to coexist with life’s existential questions, dives into the state of spirituality in modern life — and makes a case for finding the fundamental goodness that we all have to offer. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
There are more opportunities for women in the workplace today than there ever have been. But with stagnant wage gaps, limited parental leave, and enduring bias in recruitment, have modern businesses changed THAT much?? Gender equity expert Sara Sanford says there's work to do–and in this episode, she shares how she developed a certified playbook that helps companies use data-backed standards to fight gender bias. Tune in to hear why inclusive work requires that we change not just how people think, but also how the workplace operates.
Stories are such a powerful human invention that even the fictional ones can feel completely true. Dina Nayeri is a writer of fiction and nonfiction whose work highlights just how influential the stories we tell can be – and what is at risk when the truth isn’t valued. Dina speaks from her experience as a storyteller and former refugee about the importance of shaping a society that is thoughtful about language, history, culture, and truth. Then, she suggests frameworks anyone can use to think critically about what they think they know -- and questions why certain stories are more likely to be believed. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
If you’ve ever felt apprehensive about trying something seemingly woo-woo to improve your mental health (like meditation, mindfulness, or simply touching grass) you're not alone. Dan Harris was a mindfulness skeptic anchoring on ABC News when an on-air panic attack sent him into a journey that had him searching for what constitutes well-being. Dan hosts the Ten Percent Happier podcast, and authored a book of the same name. This March, he celebrates the book's 10th anniversary. With a skeptic’s sense of humor and a curious, philosophizing mind, Dan talks about what he's learned in his exploration of meditation, mindfulness, and happiness. You’ll hear about the scientific data that could sway even the toughest cynic – and learn the tools and tricks that can help you build the skills that can make life (and you) a little bit better. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
Romantic love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – at least that’s one way positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson puts it. Barbara’s decades of research suggest that emotions outside of our narrow definition of love are just as important to our well-being. In this episode, Barbara shares what to look for when we want to broaden our experience of positive emotions, and suggests ways to build the consistent connection and care at the heart of our best relationships. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts
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
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Comments (56)

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Mar 20th
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