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Mayim Bialik's Breakdown

Author: Mayim Bialik

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Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown is a quirky, informative, and interactive podcast breaking down the myths and misunderstandings about mental health and emotional well-being. Neuroscientist Mayim Bialik combines her academic background with vast personal experience to provide listeners with valuable practical advice focusing on removing the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraging an understanding of the mind-body connection. Nothing is off limits as Mayim breaks it down with an amazing collection of guests.
179 Episodes
Ben Stiller joins us in the studio to discuss his parents’ influence, his mental health journey as a child, how the pandemic brought him and his wife Christine Taylor back together again, his workaholic tendencies, and what’s next for his career. He and Mayim share the nightmares they had the night prior, Ben shares his favorite Yiddish words and Mayim teaches him a new one during an impromptu Yiddish Word of the Day segment! Ben opens up about what it’s been like to make a documentary about his parents, how his marriage echoes his parents’ relationship, and his mother’s struggles with alcoholism. He recounts his feelings of separation anxiety as a child, the interesting forms of therapies his family tried, and his experience with transcendental meditation. Mayim details her digital detox and inspires Ben to consider giving it a try, and they discuss how creativity can add something incredible to or get in the way of a romantic
Vanessa Bayer (SNL, I Love That for You) joins us in the MBB studio to discuss using humor to cope with her cancer diagnosis as a teenager, her tenure as one of longest-running female cast members of Saturday Night Live, and her transcendental meditation practice. She opens up about her Make-A-Wish experience, landing SNL and the resiliency working on the show entails. Vanessa’s brother Jonah Bayer (writer, podcaster, musician) joins in virtually to discuss his current studies in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, what inspired him to enter into the mental health field, and why he’s interested in the mental health of creatives in particular. He opens up about his experience navigating Vanessa’s illness, his own battle with leukemia, and how he uses yoga to maintain his mental wellness. Vanessa and Jonah profess their deep love of Blossom, explain their working relationship as siblings, and consider the difficulties around getting started with any mental health treatment.Vanessa & Jonah's Podcast, How Did We Get Weird?: 
Dr. Richard Davidson (Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds) shows us what it truly means to be well in your emotional self by harnessing our trauma mechanisms into well-being! He breaks down the scientific data he’s gathered on long-term meditators (including monks!) to show the efficacy of meditation, the parts of the brain most affected by meditation, and what all of that means for how we self-regulate and cope with trauma. Dr. Davidson explains how meditation can help parenting, how our expectations and narratives influence our perception of the world, and what our "emotional fingerprints" are. He and Mayim discuss how his framework of awareness, connection, insight, and purpose lead us to understand the science of well-being, the notion that love and kindness are innate and hate is learned, and the importance of teaching forms of meditation to our kids.Check out the Center for Healthy Minds: well-being tools, visit: https://hminnovations.orgDownload the free Healthy Minds meditation app:  
Matt Gutman (ABC News’s chief national correspondent, author of No Time to Panic) opens up about the panic attack he had while reporting on the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, which led him to pursue every remedy under the sun to treat his panic disorder. He breaks down the difference between panic and anxiety attacks, their biological purpose, why they present so uniquely in each individual, and how they physically manifest for him. Matt explains the shame that comes with panic disorder, how his \"safety behaviors\" actually primed him for panic, and shares alarming statistics about panic disorders. He discusses the impact of losing his father at an early age, his family’s intergenerational trauma, his fears of imperfection and social rejection, and how his own trauma aids his journalistic career. Mayim opens up about her own personal experiences with panic attacks and she and Matt unpack all of the traditional and unconventional remedies he has explored, from traditional talk therapy to holotropic breathwork, reiki, and even toad venom. He discusses his immunity to ayahuasca, why crying needs a cultural rebrand, and how his recovery journey has made him a better father.Matt Gutman's new book, No Time to Panic: How I Curbed My Anxiety And Conquered A Lifetime Of Panic Attacks:
Kim Kelly (independent journalist, author, organizer) breaks down why unions matter, what exactly is at stake with the current Hollywood strikes, and how her experience in sideshow school informed her passion for the labor movement. She discusses the diversity of the labor movement and how she navigates the emotional component, from child labor laws and fast fashion to the nail industry and instances of increased cancers in flight attendants. Kim opens up about being born with ectrodactyly, a rare congenital disorder, how that led her to join a sideshow school, and describes the fascinating history of sideshow and hierarchy of sideshow performers. She explains why prisoners deserve rights and how her career as a heavy metal journalist translates to the labor world, and Mayim explains radical veganism.Kim Kelly's Book, Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor:
Sharon Salzberg (meditation pioneer, NYT bestselling author) breaks down what successful meditation looks like, how to extend lovingkindness to ourselves in the social media age, and what it really means to have compassion for our enemies while standing firm in our fight for others. She opens up about how her traumatic childhood and studying philosophy brought her to her career path today, why her first reaction to meditation was anger, the truth she has personally found in meditation, and how she managed to not allow early meditation critics to stand in her way. Sharon explains ways to combine introspection with lovingkindness, how balance and presence can lead to self-compassion, and the positives and negatives of anger. She and Mayim discuss the differences between meditation and prayer, the commercialization of meditation vs the foundation of mindfulness, the importance of slowing down to enjoy moments of happiness, and why we are more connected than we realize. Sharon reveals the role love and relationships has played in her life and shares her own personal meditation practice.Sharon Salzberg's latest book, Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom: you to BetterHelp for sponsoring the show and to Haesue Jo, Licensed Therapist and Head of Clinical Operations at BetterHelp.
Mayim and Jonathan sit down for another positive news stories recap! They cover a study suggesting our brains sync as we interact with one another, breaking down how mirror neurons wire us to fit in and the positive and negative impacts of emotionally connecting with others. They also share the findings of a brain scan study showing ayahuasca’s profound impact, including its effects on the imagination, how hallucinatory drugs dampen some senses while heightening others, and even the cultural connotations of ayahuasca use. Mayim and Jonathan discuss how belief in God can trigger the same parts of the brain as drug use and explain group thinking, ties between the civil rights movement and religion, and why connection to music can be spiritual.Check out our first Positive News Recap:
Gabriel Iglesias (stand-up comedian) returns to MBB, but this time he’s in the studio for a chill summer fun episode! He describes his super fun birthday party and Mayim and Jonathan give him birthday presents. He also opens up about the terrifying moment his plane skid off the runway earlier this summer after being forced to make an emergency landing. Gabriel describes what burnout feels like for him and how he copes with it, his addiction to social media, his recent lifestyle changes, and using the stage as his therapy. He shares his take on artificial intelligence and what it means for performers, why he believes aliens exist, and how performing at smaller venues allowed him to fall back in love with comedy. Mayim breaks down veganism for Gabriel and they compare their experiences on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.See Gabriel Iglesias on Tour:
David Richo PhD, MFT (psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader) shows us how to become the best we can be at loving as he dispels the myths of what love actually is, explains how our relationships with our parents may unwittingly affect our romantic partnerships, and the key factors needed to build real trust. He discusses the changes he’s seen in relationships over the decades, the spiritual integrity component of successful relationships, and how the mindsets of ego can negatively impact any relationship. Dr. Richo demonstrates practical language used to strengthen a relationship after conflict and shares ways to identify candidates who are qualified to be in a healthy adult relationship. He reveals how his findings hold up when considering polyamorous connections, how fear manifests itself in relationships, why expressing appreciation should never be underestimated, and why we are more likely to be emotionally satisfied during the \"honeymoon stage.\" Dr. Rich also explains how to mirror healthy love for your children, the actual forms of nurturing kids crave from their parents, and practical ways to teach children independence.Dr. David Richo’s book, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: David Richo's book, How to Be an Adult in Love: 25% off his online course, "How to Be an Adult in Relationships", with code "MB25":
Sadhguru (yogi, mystic, visionary, and New York Times bestselling author) shares his perspectives on mindfulness, why mental health is such a widespread issue today, where we should find joy, and holistic ways to take charge of our mental
Jinger Duggar Vuolo ( 19 Kids and Counting , author of Becoming Free Indeed ) opens up about the evolution of her views on Bill Gothard’s extreme religious teachings, how it feels to deal with her family’s struggles as someone in the public eye, and her anxiety as a result of trying to precisely follow religious principles. She discusses the positives of her upbringing, like her community of siblings, as well as the harmful dynamics she witnessed often at the expense of women. Jinger recalls the origins of her disordered eating and how her mom helped her through it, what forced her to finally challenge her beliefs, and her technical approach to disentangling her truth from the religious falsehoods she was taught to believe. Mayim breaks down religious obsessive compulsive disorder and shares her pop culture recommendations with Jinger. They discuss why Jinger still wants to be in the public eye, how she feels about her parents now, and the value of privacy after a life of being observed. Jinger considers how her relationship with a higher power and how her views on sex and a woman’s role in a relationship have shifted.Jinger Duggar Vuolo's new book, Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from
Christy Carlson Romano (Disney actress, activist, entrepreneur, content creator) breaks down her career pivot from Disney icon to child star advocate, the mechanisms of dissociation, and her struggles with love addiction. She details the juxtaposition between her typecasted acting roles with her actual complicated family dynamics, feeling “othered” from her siblings as she became the focal point for family, and the insecurities she carried after her Disney career. Christy explains why child actors are prone to addiction, her own sobriety journey, and the importance of supporting children’s mental health on sets. She shares her heartbreaking story of being assaulted while on her path to recovery, why she once cut her family off, and how she was conned by a “psychic”. Christy opens up about imposter syndrome when it comes to therapy, why she’s not active in it anymore, and her experience with EMDR.NOTE: This episode was recorded before the SAG-AFTRA strike.Christy Carlson Romano's Podcast, Vulnerable: Tips for Parents and Teens on Social Media Use — from the US Surgeon General:
Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Clarissa Explains It All, What Women Binge podcast) explains how she got her starts on her iconic television series, her Blossom audition, what it’s like to have your mom as your manager, and how her strong sense of responsibility helped her cope with the pressures of being a child actor. She and Mayim bond over starring in female character-driven shows around the same time and Melissa teaches Mayim about "Christmas Culture." Melissa opens up about her journey as a lifelong learner, her foray into directing, and the fascinating story about how her mom inadvertently became her manager.NOTE: This episode was recorded before the SAG-AFTRA strike.Melissa Joan Hart's podcast, What Women Binge:
Susan David, Ph.D. (award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist) breaks down emotional agility, explaining how navigating our emotions can impact every area of our lives, why emotional labor can lead to burnout, the importance of not allowing emotions to guide us, and ways to prevent internalizing stereotypes about ourselves. She reveals the dangers of toxic positivity, how our negative emotions can disconnect us from our true selves, why the power of choice equates to growth and freedom, and the four most common “hooks” that prevent us from taking action. Dr. David provides strategies to change up your routine in a positive way, ways to align with your core values, and how to have your own back through self-compassion. She also shares her own personal grief journey and battle with disordered eating that led her to her life’s work. Dr. Susan David's Book, Emotional Agility:
Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory, Night Court, True Blood) joins us for a TBBT reunion! She and Mayim reminisce about the series, from their bond at joining the cast together at the same time and the origins of Melissa’s Bernadette voice to their favorite on-set memories. Melissa opens up about the awkwardness that ensued when she tried to confess her deep love of Blossom to Mayim and what it was like to come of age in their acting careers just as social media was taking off. She discusses her comedy influences, what she likes about writing for herself, and demonstrates her formerly thick New Jersey accent. Melissa also describes her tendencies to beat herself up internally and the positives and negatives about how celebrity is looked at in our society.NOTE: This episode was recorded before the SAG-AFTRA
We're revisiting another episode from the MBB vault! Wil Wheaton helps us break down the importance of setting boundaries, getting to the root of emotional pain instead of self-medicating, and the beauty of becoming the parent you never had.  He opens up about his tumultuous relationship with his parents, his lifelong battle with depression, anxiety, & addiction, and his breakdown at the airport that led him to seek help. We also hear how sobriety and therapy became his “escape hatch” and his explanation for why “naming the thing” can cause it to lose its power over you. Enjoy the best moments of Wil Wheaton, and tune in on Tuesday for a brand new full episode of MAYIM BIALIK’S BREAKDOWN.Check out our full episode with Wil Wheaton:
R.K. Russell (former professional NFL football player, author, advocate) breaks down what it was like to be the first active NFL player to come out of the closet, the complexity around bisexuality, and compartmentalization as a survival mechanism. He reflects on his football beginnings, his close relationship with his single mother, and his struggles with internalizing society’s flaws and feeling “othered.” Russ opens up about his watershed moment when he first realized he was bisexual and his internal battle that ensued, juggling both his masculine and feminine tendencies, and how society’s incorrect views about sexuality impacted the conversation around his own within the football world. He explains why he strives to debunk myths around bisexuality, the intersectionality of being a queer person and a person of color, curation vs creation, and the importance of representation and inclusivity in sports. Russ reveals why he finally decided to make himself and his happiness a priority over football and his advice to those holding big secrets.R.K. Russell's book, The Yards Between Us:
It’s another episode of Ask Mayim Anything! Mayim answers your questions about her ear piercings, the dangers of self-diagnosis, why we overshare with strangers, advice for sending your adult children into the world, and ways to navigate a relationship with a parent who won’t acknowledge their abuse. She breaks down Highly Sensitive People, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, and the “Gifted” label. Mayim shares tips for combating feelings of worthlessness, managing a highly active brain, coping with change, calming test-taking nerves, and enhancing your focus. Stay tuned until the end for a mini Yiddish Word of the Day!Choosing a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant:
Joel McHale (Community, The Soup, Animal Control) joins us in studio to discuss his struggles with dyslexia, ADHD, and imposter syndrome. He shares his experiences working on The Soup and Community, opens up about what it was like to work with Chevy Chase, and his fears about never being taken seriously as an actor. Joel recalls how his challenges with dyslexia impacted him in school and his ability to perform, how he was able to channel his imposter syndrome into positive motivation, and how his kids handle his fame.Joel McHale's Book, Thanks for the Money:
Dr. Neil Theise (professor of pathology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine) joins us to discuss how his adult stem cell and interstitium research led him to his "theory of everything", how complexity actually helps simplify our understanding of the universe, the illusion that humans are separate individual beings, and the scientific explanation of mysticism. He explains why philosophy, religion, and quantum mechanics fall short without incorporating intuition and human experience, how low-level randomness allows for adaptation, and why we can’t live forever no matter what we do. Dr. Theise opens up about his mother’s metaphysical experience with talking to dead people, his depression that stemmed from coming to terms with his sexuality, the impact of being a child of Holocaust survivors, and where his personal faith comes into play within his scientific work. He also breaks down healers and shamanism, chaos and information theories, the real definition of compassion, and the function and importance of microbiomes.Dr. Neil Theise' Book, NOTES ON COMPLEXITY:
Comments (151)


20 minutes into the podcast and still hasn't started talking about the actual topic

Sep 5th

Elizabeth O'Dell


Aug 31st

Deirdre Lonergan

n nb. n.v

Aug 1st

Nancy Volk

Loved Joel in Almost Live!

Jul 9th
Reply (3)

Jennifer Stewart

A great episode, so much food for thought

Jun 10th

Joseph Dinas

this was an amazing podcast! but I'm confused, where do you ask the questions? on twitter?

Apr 18th

Grunkle Hatter

See, not so hard to put someone from academia on was it?, and we learned something! This episode is not a skip!

Feb 4th
Reply (2)

Grunkle Hatter

I wish you would talk to real academics and all these celebrities who do not speak to me and tune out, use that Degree Mayim! or did you not make any academic freinds?

Jan 22nd
Reply (46)

Negar Yeganeh

One of the best episodes… I love it when people talk about their thinking processes and perceptions of life and their personal experience Thank you ❤️

Nov 24th

Jackie allen

myim this episode was amazing however please stop talking so much while the other person is talking

Nov 7th

Beth Martin

Love, love, love this interview! I am 53 and grew up with Elvira. Will have to get her book!

Oct 30th

Carol Sykes

no miss getting double d's I had a double mysectomy due to bc & implants not dd & the implants were the worse decision. I wish I had gone flat. in pain everyday. because there is this thought implants are easy pisy bounce back.

Oct 25th

Lori C.

Fluffy...Gabe, you're awesome!!

Oct 24th

Sepideh Bakht

The bright, promising, vibrant youth of Iran, those who want their minimum human rights, the citizens of our planet earth are being killed for no good reason. Please help Iranian people. #mahsaamini #مهساامینی #be_iranian_voice #opiran

Sep 28th

Samira Hamiditehrani

#mahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #OpIran #اعتصابات_سراسری please be our voice

Sep 28th

Samira Hamiditehrani

#mahsaamini please be our voice

Sep 28th

Grunkle Hatter

Poked my head back in and sad to say its still the Hollywood Phonebook and not her Academia Phonebook, very disappointing :(

Sep 22nd

Sahar Khalkhali


Sep 3rd


Mayim, you have helped me through so much! I love how you are genuine and so kind! Thanks so much for doing this podcast!

Aug 11th

Faranak Ghomi

hi, I've been listening to your amazing, fantastic show for a while now. I wanted to thank you for the knowlage you are bringing to us. And I wanted to ask if you are going to interview Johnny any time soon.😃🥰😍🙏💚💙🤎❤️

Jun 16th
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