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Kelly Corrigan Wonders

Author: Kelly Corrigan

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Welcome to Kelly Corrigan Wonders, a place for people who like to laugh while they think and find it useful to look closely at ourselves and our weird ways in the hopes that knowing more and feeling more will help us do more and be better.  Author of 4 New York Times bestsellers about family life, Kelly wonders about loads of stuff: is knowing more always good? Can we trust our gut? How does change actually happen?  We only book nice people who have a sense of humor and know things worth knowing. Each episode ends with Kelly’s shortlist of takeaways, appropriate for refrigerator doors, bulletin boards and notes to your children.
497 Episodes
Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, author of Just Mercy, thinks with Kelly about repair in the face of deep societal ruptures. Can memorials transform thinking?  Can laying bare  injustice and its personal and collective effects foster a collective understanding -- followed by a durable commitment to equity?  From Berlin to South Africa to Montgomery, Alabama, people are confronting past harms and leaving with a Never Again spirit that just might save us.  Join us for the special episode in our Rupture and Repair series, sponsored by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.Previous podcast episode with Bryan Stevenson here.You can watch Kelly's previous video interview with Bryan Stevenson on her PBS show Tell Me More here.(And here's the link to Kelly's TED talk on bravery, which refernces Bryan Stevenson and his grandmother -- please share.)
Listener Katie Niemeyer shares a poignant story from her time as a 16-year-old patient in a burn unit, battling a severe reaction to a depression medication. Katie recounts how a fellow patient named Kerry, a fireman recovering from his own traumatic burns, brought light and support to her darkest days. Despite his own suffering, Kerry showed up for Katie consistently, forming a lifelong bond that transcended age, color, and gender. Please note: this episode references suicide.(In case you missed it, here's the link to Kelly's TED talk on the occasional need for extraordinary bravery in family life -- please post or share with every brave and loving person you admire.)
Today, I'm sharing my notes from listening to Indra Nooyi, who had a transformative tenure as CEO of PepsiCo, and is now a woman who speaks freely and blunty about what the country needs most. Live from the stage at Aspen Ideas Festival, Nooyi set the audience on fire with her blunt assessments and candid insights on how business can serve society and not the other way around. (Speaking of interpersonal bravery, here's the link to Kelly's TED talk on the occasional need for extraordinary bravery in family life -- please post or share with every brave and loving person you admire.)
Nicholas Kristof is one of America's most experienced, prolific, awarded and grounded journalists.  I read him often when I want a point of view that comes with 35 years in the field and his signature big picture optimism.  This is a conversation to remind us all how exactly change happens.   Special thanks to the Aspen Ideas Festival for putting me on stage with Nick and for generally being such a great partner this year and last as we try to stay up to date on the best thinking.*Please note that this conversation references substance abuse, sexual abuse, and suicide. (Here's the link to Kelly's TED talk on the occasional need for extraordinary bravery in family life -- please post or share with every brave and loving person you admire.)
Kristina Phipps wrote this exquisite, poetic eulogy to honor her mom Ann Emanuels.  Ann's love for beauty and her affinity for the natural world shone through in her garden, where she loved to spend time.  She saw a world to be seized and not squandered and would pack more into a day than seemed humanly possible. Perhaps more than anything though, Ann viewed the world as a place that should be savored - like a plump peach warm off the tree - and she made sure to impart that valuable lesson to her three daughters.  (For anyone who may have missed it, here's the link to Kelly's TED talk on the occasional need for extraordinary bravery in family life -- please post or share with every brave and loving person you admire.)
Getting the call, drafting a talk, practicing in the mock studio, dinner at Chris Anderson's with all the other's a wild ride.  Here's the backstory of TED 2024.(And here's the link to Kelly's TED talk on the occasional need for extraordinary bravery in family life -- please post or share with every brave and loving person you admire.)
Living in an optimization culture is making parenting much more complicated than it need be. Or so says Dr. Aliza Pressman, author of The Five Principles of Parenting and the host of Raising Good Humans, who spends a lot of time with the latest research and a lot of time with parents in clinic. Today’s conversation is about exactly what does and does not protect us from the worst health outcomes and is to be shared with anyone who is looking for a parenting north star. (Previously aired)Our takeaways were juicy on this one… if you’d like to receive the weekly list in your inbox subscribe to our Weekly Takeaways email at
Today’s submission is introduced in the episode as a eulogy but it’s actually an essay that writer, speaker and advocate Tracy Hargen wrote about her beloved dad Joe, shortly after he died in 2012. Tracy describes her dad as her “cheerleader, biggest fan, bear hugger, tear wiper and supporter of crazy ideas”. He had a big personality that filled every room he walked into and had a memorable, radio-worthy voice that Tracy got to capture and have forever when they did a StoryCorps interview together for NPR. As Tracy says, “May every child have the gift of loving parents who cherish them beyond words and believe in them beyond reason.” (Previously aired)
You and I both have short lists of people we just cannot bring ourselves to understand. But even in those most strained circumstances, we do have a set of things in common. Here’s my reminder to self of that always true fact. Meant to be shared, especially with people you’d love to reconnect with.  (Previously aired)Please be in touch. Write us anytime about anything — — we read every single one.
Rainn Wilson (who you might know as Dwight Schrute) is making a serious call for a spiritual revolution based on joy, acts of service and being honest about our mixed natures. This is a conversation to share with anyone who is thinking seriously about how to elevate matters of the soul over the clang and bang of the modern world. Or maybe just someone who needs a laugh. (Previously aired)Special thanks to the Aspen Ideas Festival where this podcast was recorded.
 In honor of 20 years together, Leslie Browning wrote this sweet tribute to her husband Ben. In her early years, Leslie got her idea of “romantic love” from what she saw in chick movies but after sharing two decades together and the juggling required with kids, jobs, financial pressures, competing demands, middle age, menopause and loss, she learned that although solid, steady, “real love” might not make that great of a movie - it sure makes for one hell of a life.(Previously aired)
I learn a lot from listeners.  This GOTO is a lesson in humility for me.  And maybe for you too.  It's about a mistake I suspect a lot of us have made...
Dan Harris is a smart, hungry skeptic looking for ideas you can count on in the worst of times, like say when you have a panic attack while you’re anchoring the news for ABC. He’s been thinking out loud with some very wise people for many years now through books and a podcast called 10% Happier that I find invaluable. Some topics we break open are uncertainty, humility and practices to keep us connected. Thanks to our many friends at the Aspen Ideas Festival for making this conversation possible.(Previously aired)
Jody Weverka wrote this sweet eulogy for her Auntie Marge - a woman who made everything from crafts to meals to gardens to family life better for everyone.  
A young friend of mine, Sophie G, shared this speech that she had saved from her high school graduation week.  It was given by Dr. Chris Cunningham, then at Lawrenceville, now at Whitfield, who gathered 10 takeaways for the students that are actually quite useful to every one of us.  To receive our weekly takeaways or share feedback, shoot us a note at  
Krista Tippett, informed by decades of inquiry through her super-project, On Being, sits with Kelly to consider what’s in flux, what needs will never abate and what we might rediscover in new forms. In this moment when everything is broken open, when institutions are received with less reverence and more skepticism, where should we point our minds and hearts? What practices serve us best? This is a conversation to share with every thinking friend in your life and use as fodder for your own search for a spiritual home. (Previously aired)Thanks to our many friends at the Aspen Ideas Festival for making this interview possible.
We all have things we do to help us manage grief.  Today's episode is a look at one of the ways that Kelly handled the loss of her beloved dad, Greenie.  In the year following his death, she wrote and sent emails out into the ether - to connect with him in a small but very meaningful way.  We want to wish a Happy Father's Day to everyone from us all at Kelly Corrigan Wonders. 
A special episode dedicated to Kelly’s dear friend Liz Laats who passed away 8 years ago - and the friends we have all lost. Liz’s birthday would have been on June 19th. (Previously aired)
This is one of my favorite groupings of guests ever. Sometimes the chemistry is just so right. For the last episode of the 10-part series on Well Being, I knew we had to talk about the psychology of making change. For that, we needed the leadership of Angela Duckworth, who wrote Grit and is always thinking and rethinking how we understand ourselves. She’s been a guest before and her lab is devoted to surfacing actionable advice for parents and teachers based on science. Joining us are two friends of the show: Fulbright scholar and entrepreneur Dreme Flynt and a kid from Prattville, AL who is about graduate from Harvard and move to Arkansas to work as an economist at Walmart Will McQuiston. Dreme and Will bring real world challenges to the conversation about habit formation. You can watch any episode of this series any time at You can receive our weekly takeaways here. And please be in touch. Emails help us shape our show. We read everything that comes in to
Hi all - this is Tammy writing.  This past Tuesday, June 4th, 2024, I had the honor of attending the funeral service for Kelly's mom, the indomitable Mary Corrigan - lovingly known as "Jammy" to her six grandkids.  I also had the privilege of witnessing a very tight, special family gather around their remarkable matriarch at the end of her life.  We all have that one friend whose mom was maybe a little bit intimidating when we were younger but who we respected the hell out of and wanted desperately to like us - that was Mrs. Corrigan for me.  I was thrilled that as I got older, she actually did seem to like me.  I remember one time when I stopped by in recent years, she invited me to sit in her beautiful living room at 168 Wooded Lane and proceeded to ask me questions about my life, and talked with me for over an hour.  Another time when I visited, she sat me at her kitchen table and showed me how, when watching football on TV, I could look at the little arrows on the scoreboard to determine which team currently had the ball - I felt like I had hit the lottery.  When Mary Corrigan shined her light on you, it was unforgettable.One thing (among many) that the Corrigan family does very well is honor and celebrate family.  GT, Booker and Kelly each delivered a moving, intimate, often humorous eulogy for their one-of-a-kind mom, in front of the hundreds of people who filled St. Thomas of Villanova church to honor her this past Tuesday. Today, we're sharing Kelly's.
Comments (5)

Peter McGarvey

looking for the 10 or so take a ways from the toundup of podcast.

Feb 27th

Kathi Mills

Wise, funny and enlightening, as always! This pod is like being part of a conversation with great friends. Love you, Kelly!

May 4th

Kenya Crawford

This is such an excellent conversation.

Jan 14th

Molly Doyle

the best one yet. god I love Kelly Corrigan!

Oct 15th

Adrian Paschal ‘Yobi’ Blumberg

The Joked about but very implied "single most effective way", and do not misunderstand me, I love this Podcaster and show, is to be the wife of one of the richest people on Earth. That is the most effective way to change everything is to be rich yourself or let the rich do it. I am saying this because last year I confirmed Google is always listening, then either trying to duplicate your voice for their own purposes or not, and they are getting a reference voice file they can have in the archives for their use for as long as they exist. I know this because I have to go into my google account and continually turn the permission to record my voice off monthly. Then I attempted to get back on FB after a sabbatical and FB messed with me for 6 mos before letting me back on. During this, I had my partner, Sabrina, who has 2 masters degrees and is completely literal. She will not bear witness unless it is irrefutable, which has the downside of her volunteering unnecessary info in a matter be

Mar 23rd