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Feb 12, 2022
As the chaos of the world rages on, we could all use a little release – a way to escape, learn, and grow. Enter the podcast. A perfect, low-investment way to pick up a dose of inspiration, empathy and/or wisdom. In this personal-growth digest of must-hear candy for the soul, you’ll hear about how to cultivate hope scientifically, set goals that are too small to fail, meditate quickly and kick your smartphone addiction … after you finish reading this newsletter of course.
-Featuring reporting by Sean Braswell
Inspiring Stories of Hope and Mindfulness
1 - Taking Baby Steps
Wondering how to best chart a stronger balance between work and life? Looking to get more sleep, work more productively and thrive? On a March 2021 episode ofOn Purpose with Jay Shetty, Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington posits that the COVID pandemic affords individuals an unprecedented opportunity to tackle mental health and burnout issues if they consciously take the time — sometimes just 60 seconds is enough — to be aware. She also offers some insightful tips for building “micro-habits” to help you to address your smartphone addiction and more.
2 - With Mindfulness and Meditation for All
Andy Puddicombe grew up in London, but after experiencing a horrific car crash with a drunk driver as a young man, he relocated to Asia to live as a monk to help cope with the trauma. He since co-founded Headspace, the mindfulness and meditation app. The former Buddhist Monk joined a recent episode of The Carlos Watson Show to talk about how he began his journey and his new television venture with Netflix. Stay tuned for the one-minute meditation session at the end.
Dr. Jacqueline Mattis, a clinical psychologist from Rutgers University, grew up in a devout Jamaican-American household that prized faith and service, sparking her interest in the influence religiosity and spirituality have in cultivating hope. On one of our favorite episodes ofTen Percent Happier with Dan Harris she explains how to develop hope as a skill, along with the importance of balancing appreciation for the sacred with the ebbs and flows of a terrestrial existence. “Hope is rooted in data,” says Mattis. “It’s not fantasy.”
Emerging from Despondence
1 - How to Speak to Our Loved Ones About Death
Dr. Atul Gawande has worn many hats in his life: He is a medical doctor, a surgeon and a best-selling author and he has advised presidents, including on the COVID-19 pandemic. In a favorite episode of When Katty Met Carlos, the BBC’s Katty Kay and OZY’s Carlos Watson discuss a wide range of issues with Dr. Gawande, including how we should face up to death and dying, and how we should speak to our loved ones about it.
2 - Call It Impulsive, Call It Compulsive, Call It Insane …
“Because I’m lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did.” Barenaked Ladies co-front man Steven Page wrote those lyrics after discovering a curious fascination for the troubled Beach Boys singer — long before he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder himself. Eventually, as he explains to John Moe in a frank conversation onThe Hilarious World of Depression, the Canadian musician found himself unable to get out of bed, waging a battle against a condition that had plagued him for decades but had gone undiagnosed.
3 - Dreaming of Deleting Depression?
If you’ve ever endured a broken heart, you understand the desperate desire to end the mental anguish, at any cost. A broken heart is temporary, but mental illness is often chronic, and the desire to purge that experience from the brain can be persistent and overwhelming. It’s not possible yet, but, as some neurotechnology experts discuss in an intriguing episode of The Future of X: Health, one day we could have a neural implant inside our brains that anticipates, and eliminates, depression symptoms before they take hold.
Best known for his book The Power of Positive Thinking (and more recently for his influence on Donald Trump), 1950s self-help guru Norman Vincent Peale actually got his start on the radio and returned to it periodically, including in this short hope-filled episode of his Live with Confidence radio series in which he uses the story of composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s battle with deafness and despondency to encourage listeners that they too “can rise above your discouragement.”
Spotify has faced continued criticism for the past several weeks over its decision to continue its deal with Joe Rogan, even as musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their catalogs in protest of hosting COVID misinformation. However, as long as The Joe Rogan Experience remains Spotify’s most listened podcast, we don’t see that changing any time soon.
2 - The Librarians of Tomorrow
Podcasts have become so ubiquitous and varied, both in number and content, that maintaining a catalog has grown increasingly challenging. This has created a need for “podcast librarians.” Tasked with many of the same activities as a traditional librarian – compiling, categorizing, and organizing – these professionals leverage a further layer of analysis for listeners-to-be as well as potential advertisers.
3 - Explosive Growth
The podcast industry took unprecedented strides in Q4 2021 with the industry as a whole experiencing substantial growth. Acast, one of the world’s largest podcast hosting platforms, experienced 40% growth in the fourth quarter and says they have achieved over a billion listeners. What does this mean for you? There’s more content than ever, so now’s your chance to get in on your new favorite podcast at the ground level.
friend of the pod
Have a favorite fiction podcast that you love? Tell us about it by emailing OzyCommunity@ozy.com and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.
OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.