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Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
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Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

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I’ve spent over 20 years studying the emotions and experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: We are hardwired for connection, and connecting requires courage, vulnerability, and conversation. I want this to be a podcast that’s real, unpolished, honest, and reflects both the magic and the messiness of what it means to be human. Episodes will include conversations with the people who are teaching me, challenging me, confusing me, or maybe even ticking me off a little. I'll also have direct conversations with you about what I’m learning from new research, and we'll do some episodes dedicated to answering your questions. We don’t have to do life alone. We were never meant to.

39 Episodes
In this episode, I talk with Priya Parker - a master facilitator, strategic advisor, and the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters. We dig into what it means to come together, why connection requires intention, and the often-invisible structures inside our most meaningful gatherings. Priya even helps me deconstruct my wedding and why, decades later, people still tell me how different and fun it was!
This episode is proof that dreams do come true! I get to talk to Dolly Parton about love, empathy, and the power of truth-telling. We talk about everything from her new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics and songwriting, to the challenges of leading organizations and Burt Reynolds. It's amazing to me how Dolly's songwriting and storytelling seems to be driven by a deep calling to turn toward pain and heartbreak so she can shine a light for all of us to find our way.
In this episode, I talk with writer, storyteller, and joy advocate Gabby Rivera, the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics. Gabby penned the solo series America about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. We also talk about her debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath, how important it is to see ourselves in stories about the hero’s journey, and how joy is a form of resistance.
In this solo episode recorded on Election Day 2020, I talk directly to our wholehearted community about the practice that helps me when I'm feeling fearful, worried, or wobbly, and why this work is the foundation for true belonging.
In this episode, I speak with Elizabeth Lesser, bestselling author and cofounder of Omega Institute, about her newest book Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes.
What does it take to be a leader at any level? Join me every Monday on the Dare to Lead podcast as I unpack the skill-sets of courage-building, and talk to as many change-makers, culture-shifters, and troublemakers as possible. Together, we’ll have conversations that help us show up, step up, and dare to lead. In this first solo episode, I talk about my passion for this work, what we’ve been learning about courageous leadership and skill building, and the differences between armored and daring leadership. Listen now and follow Dare to Lead for free, only on Spotify!
My thoughts on power and leadership, and a conversation on empathy, unity, and courage with Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic Presidential Nominee.
Burnout. We're all experiencing it and we're all desperate for a way through it. In this episode, I talk to Drs. Emily and Amelia Nagoski about what causes burnout, what it does to our bodies, and how we can move through the emotional exhaustion. This has been a game-changer for me and for my family!
As the self-appointed president of the TLFC (Ted Lasso Fan Club), it was a blast to talk to Jason Sudeikis, the co-creator, writer, and executive producer who plays Ted Lasso, and Brendan Hunt, the co-creator and writer who plays Coach Beard on the Apple TV+ hit series. The show follows the adventures of a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer. We talk about the show's interesting origin story, writers' room inspirations, and why intention is critical to the creative process. It's a fun conversation about a show that is unapologetically awkward, brave, and kind.
The Most Rev. Michael Curry is Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, and on this episode, we talk about love. Messy, hard, complicated love. I ask him how we can transcend fear in a scarcity-based culture and what we can learn from those who came before us. We also talk about the church, how to develop beloved community, and the scrappy, gritty, work of love that is my definition of faith. Plus, Bishop Curry shares his playlist with one song that I really didn’t expect.
In this episode, I share my thoughts on the power of dissent, what happens when we max out our surge capacity during a crisis, and how time spent without purpose can refuel and reconnect us.
In this episode Sonya Renee Taylor and I talk about body shame, radical self-love, and social justice. This conversation was a big unlocking for me - especially when it comes to understanding the connection between how we think about our bodies and oppression.
In this episode, researcher and professor Dr. Scott Sonenshein and I talk about the art and science of being scrappy, why outsiders are sometimes better than experts, and why comparison is truly the thief of joy. This book turned things upside down for me - in the best way. I hope the conversation does the same for you.
Brené on Day 2

Brené on Day 2


So glad to be back! Launching our second season with a conversation on one of my favorite subjects (and least favorite experiences): Day 2! It sounds easy enough, but Day 2 is no joke. It’s the messy middle - the point of no return. Join us as we talk about navigating what's next and why it's always best to stumble through the darkness together.
Welcome to It Was Said, a 10-episode limited documentary series looking back on some of the most powerful, impactful and timeless speeches in American history. Join Pulitzer Prize winning and best-selling author-historian, Jon Meacham, Peabody-nominated C13Originals Studios and HISTORY, as we take you through 10 speeches. Season One of It Was Said draws on a selection of speeches from powerful figures in history where Meacham will offer expert insight and analysis into their origins, the orator, the context of the times they were given, why they are still relevant today, and the importance of never forgetting them. Each episode of this documentary podcast series will also bring together some of the top historians, authors and journalists relevant to each respective speech and figure. Subscribe and listen to It Was Said for free now, wherever you listen to podcasts.
We received so many thoughtful and tough AMA questions from listeners that it took us two episodes to cover the most popular topics. In Part 2, I unpack one of the most asked questions: How do parents build shame resilience in our children? I'm also answering another popular question: Are there TV series and/or films that I think do a great job of accurately capturing emotions and the human experience? While there are SO many that do that well, I share a few of my current favorites.
I said, “Ask Me Anything,” and the Unlocking Us community came through with the tough questions. To be honest, I thought I’d get some easy, fun ones—but no, all deep-end questions. In fact, we had hundreds and hundreds of tough, smart, thoughtful questions submitted, and in today’s episode I answer five of them. We cover ‘fake news,’ disappointment vs self-pity, religion and shame, when something is shame-worthy, and we’re just getting started.
In today’s solo episode, I share my thoughts about why accountability is a prerequisite for change, and why we need to get our heads and hearts around the difference between being held accountable for racism and feeling shame, and being shamed. I share my personal stories of being held accountable and holding myself accountable, as well as my strategies for pulling my “thinking brain” back online when I’m experiencing the flight and fight energy fueled by shame.
I'm talking with Judd Apatow, who has directed, produced, and written many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows of the last two decades. We look at what's funny, why it's funny, and why laughter creates connection. We also uncover that thin line between humor and grief and what it means to tell the stories of our lives in a way that we recognize ourselves and our shared humanity.
Meet Carrie Rodriguez and Gina Chavez, the musicians who created and perform the music you hear every week on Unlocking Us. Artists and activists, Gina and Carrie integrate stories, culture, and the heart of past generations into their music to create artful and hopeful futures. You can hear it in their music, and you can see it in their lives. I’m so grateful that our weekly Unlocking Us conversations begin and end with their soulful sounds.
Comments (189)

Caroline Kwiatkowski

wow, this was just so relevant and meaningful. i've kept taking notes the entire time and ordered the book. thank you so much!

Nov 26th

Debbie Fuller

Even more relevant now then when it first aired.

Nov 23rd


Best interview ever!! Love dolly!

Nov 18th

Niamh Hammond

Listening well past election and from NZ but all the same - oof. Everything I needed to hear right now, a reminder of those deep truths I had loosened my grip on. Thank you <3

Nov 16th

Lynn Mendoza-khan

I couldn't find the Dare to Lead Podcast. I feel confused, are you posting the Dare to Lead series of podcasts here or a different place?

Nov 14th
Reply (1)

Ruth Crean

What a breath of fresh air. I'll be subscribing to her podcast and putting her books on my Christmas list.

Nov 11th

Maréa Bowser

Brene, thank you so much. This was exactly what my wild but scared heart needed to hear right now. "I am the wilderness".....oof. Wow. Thank you for spreading your contagious courage.

Nov 5th

Alison arrowsmith

Just based on listening to the podcast I've bought the book. I'm sat in front of my laptop trying to write an article about burnout for midwives so this was very fortuitous. Love this podcast. Thank you 🙏

Nov 1st
Reply (1)

Jennifer Hoyer

Thank you so much! this really uplifted my day!

Oct 29th

Andi-Roo Libecap

What a breath of fresh air! Such an inspiring interview! Very well done!

Oct 29th


mostly needed

Oct 25th

una majmudar

loved this interview!

Oct 24th

Carolyn Bartemeyer

So insightful!

Oct 22nd


thank you!!! everything about this interview is amazing!

Oct 21st

Salma Ramzi

that was great i really realise how lonely i am now😂

Oct 21st

Angela Torok

I'm sorry, I really wanted to get on board with this, but you keep making one mistake. Repeatedly, you share your shame stories and ASSUME that every person would react the same way. Give people more credit. For example, I'm betting there are thousands of women AND men who would have thought nothing of having a female co-pilot and pilot on a plane. It seems to that you're projecting your issues onto your audience. I don't get it.

Oct 19th
Reply (1)

Angela Torok

When you assert that white people are ALL racist, aren't YOU shaming all white people? I don't accept that racism "has been rained down" on my head. Since an early age, I have understood that my role in fighting racism is to speak out amongst other white people. What's so interesting is that the very folks who shamed me for speaking out are now telling me I'm racist...just based on the color of my skin. This seems like shame shifting to me, and on t's face is equally racist. It's absurd.

Oct 19th
Reply (2)

kristine min

all your content is gold!

Oct 9th

Shannon Lambert

This podcast is incredible. I learned so much from this episode on grief. My timing in hearing it was absolutely ideal. It helped me to identify that I finally found meaning in my mother's passing, approximately a week ago. She died in March 2019. Today is October 7th 2020. Thank you @BrenéBrown for bringing the gift of you into the world. Your work has been a blessing to me and so many I know.

Oct 7th

Issiagha Diallo

Well done

Sep 30th
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