Show cover of How to Be a Better Human

How to Be a Better Human

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.


How to be brave when family life gets tough (w/Kelly Corrigan)
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     
37:38 17/06/2024
The art of paying attention (w/ Wendy MacNaughton and Laurel Braitman)
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 
36:22 10/06/2024
The meaning of embodiment w/ Prentis Hemphill
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    
37:35 03/06/2024
How to stay grounded in an increasingly artificial world (from The TED AI Show)
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.
29:12 27/05/2024
How to follow the laws of nature (w/ Nonette Royo)
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 
33:20 20/05/2024
How to give and receive good advice (w/ Hola Papi’s John Paul Brammer)
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     
36:02 13/05/2024
Re-release: How to co-parent as allies, not adversaries (with Ebony Roberts)
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
32:59 06/05/2024
How to laugh at yourself (w/ Nuar Alsadir)
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
35:33 29/04/2024
How to build resilience through architecture (w/ Alyssa-Amor Gibbons)
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
34:06 22/04/2024
How to find food in your own backyard (w/ Alexis Nikole Nelson)
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
37:02 15/04/2024
How to develop the habits you want – and get rid of the ones you don’t (w/ James Clear)
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
34:09 08/04/2024
How to find “your thing” (or your many things) – (w/ Constance Hockaday)
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
33:44 01/04/2024
How to find wisdom and wholeness in a modern world (w/ Krista Tippett)
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
36:49 25/03/2024
How to get workplace gender equity now (with Sara Sanford)
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.
36:27 18/03/2024
What to do when the truth isn’t enough to be believed (w/ Dina Nayeri)
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
36:22 11/03/2024
How to cultivate the skill of happiness (w/ Dan Harris)
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
32:46 04/03/2024
How to find connection –and love– in everyday life (w/ Barbara Fredrickson)
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
32:12 26/02/2024
Re-release: Why love –and therapy– means going in a direction you don’t yet know (w/ Dr. Orna Guralnik)
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
35:33 19/02/2024
How to be good enough in America (w/ Wajahat Ali)
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 Wajahat's latest book, "Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American" is out now.
35:16 12/02/2024
How to discover your authentic self -- at any age (w/ Bevy Smith)
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
32:10 05/02/2024
How to make generosity contagious (w/ Chris Anderson)
If you’ve ever opened up social media in the hopes that it would cheer you up only for it to leave you upset, angry, or tired, you are not alone. So what if we could turn that special power the internet has to change our emotions – and use it for good? The head of TED, Chris Anderson, joins Chris Duffy to talk about why he believes in what he calls infectious generosity. Join the two Chrises as they discuss how we can turn outrage back into optimism by tapping into one of the most fundamental human virtues. Chris Anderson’s book, Infectious Generosity, is out now. For the full text transcript, visit
36:59 29/01/2024
Why you should start thinking about death (w/ Alua Arthur)
There’s a saying about two things that are inevitable in this world, and Alua Arthur wants to help you think about one of them with less fear. No, she’s not a tax professional – she’s a death doula, a person who supports dying people and their loved ones. A former lawyer, Alua shares what we can all learn when we purposefully think about the end of life, whether that is our own or someone else’s. From finding joy in our everyday lives to navigating the emotional, legal, and spiritual decisions that arise around, Alua’s wisdom will inspire you pursue to live, and “go”, with grace. For the full text transcript, visit
34:38 22/01/2024
How to think critically about history -- and why it matters (w/ David Ikard) (Re-release)
Have you ever recalled a story only to have someone point out "that's not how it went"? Well, what happens when what we misrepresent are our historical narratives? David Ikard is a Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. In this episode, he talks about the societal and personal dangers of inaccurate history knowledge, and uncovers the real story of one of history’s most iconic figures. For the full text transcript, visit
28:24 15/01/2024
Re-release: How to lead a happier, more fulfilling life (with Dr. Robert Waldinger)
What makes YOU happy? Dr. Robert Waldinger is the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, an 83-year-old project that tracks how life experience across decades affects health and wellbeing in middle age and beyond. Robert shares the surprising things he’s learned about what makes a meaningful life and what to do --or avoid-- in order to have a long, fulfilling existence. To learn more about "How to Be a Better Human," host Chris Duffy, or find footnotes and additional resources, please visit:
28:35 25/12/2023
Re-release: How learning about indigenous foods can open up your worldview (with Sean Sherman)
What’s your favorite dish — and what culture originated that recipe? Whether you’re thinking about grilled cheese, burritos, curry, pho… (we would go on but we are getting too hungry) trying something delicious opens you up to new experiences and conversations. Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, is a chef and food educator who focuses on revitalizing and reclaiming indigenous food systems in a modern culinary context. In today’s episode, he shares how increasing access to indigenous food practices can liberate more than just your taste buds. Sean, also known as The Sioux Chef, uses Native American recipes as well as farming, harvesting, wild food usage, salt and sugar making, food preservation, and land stewardship techniques to feed and educate communities in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. His vision of modern indigenous foods have garnered him many accolades, including the 2018 Bush Foundation Fellowship and the 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award. You can follow Sean at To learn more about "How to Be a Better Human," host Chris Duffy, or find footnotes and additional resources, please visit:
29:59 27/11/2023
Lessons from 102-year-old swimmer Maurine Kornfeld
Maurine “Mighty Mo'' Kornfeld will soon turn 102 years old, and most days, you can catch her doing laps in a Los Angeles public swimming pool. And that’s not just because she regularly competes in – and wins – world swimming championships! It’s because she loves being in the water, despite only picking up swimming as a hobby well into her sixties. In this special episode, Maurine shares what she’s learned from doing something she loves almost every day, why it’s never too late to start something new, and the three things anyone can do to improve their life, no matter their age. For the full text transcript, visit
24:01 06/11/2023
What do our guests do to be better humans?
This show is all about growth – and it’s always inspiring to know that the amazing guests we bring on still see room in their own lives to become better humans. This season TED Audio Collective+ subscribers on Apple Podcasts received bonus content, where guests shared the ideas that inspire them and the issues they are passionate about working on. We picked our favorites as a thank you to all listeners – but if you WANT to support this show, you can learn more about TED Audio Collective+ at
22:02 30/10/2023
The perks of listening to the sounds of the world (w/ Dallas Taylor)
Keyboard and mouse clicks, the song of an ice cream truck, a neighbor’s yapping dog – what kind of noises soundtrack your life? Today’s guest, Dallas Taylor, is the host and creator of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast, a show about the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds. In this episode, he shares why sounds can tell deeper stories – and how tuning IN to the noise of the world can help us tap into the wild depths of our imagination. For the full text transcript, visit
37:09 23/10/2023
How comedy helps us deal with hard truths (w/ Roy Wood Jr.)
There’s a saying that comedy is tragedy plus time. Perhaps that’s why some of our biggest problems feel easiest to manage with a dose of humor. Comedian, journalist, and actor Roy Wood Jr. has spent his career finding silly in the serious and using this tactic to influence real change. Listen in to learn how you can tap into the powers of humor in your own life. This episode was edited from a live conversation as part of TED’s Membership programming. TED Membership is the best way to support and engage with the big ideas you love from TED. To learn more visit
35:49 16/10/2023
How to solve your problems through drawing (w/ Liana Finck)
Liana Finck’s cartoons explore life’s big predicaments: what to make for dinner, how to leave a party without being rude, how to feel like more than a snack machine once you have a child. In today’s episode, Liana shares how drawing has become a practice for her to answer questions, solve problems, and why creating art helps humans understand ourselves better. Liana also discusses why she’s not bothered by impostor syndrome (okay maybe it helps that she regularly contributes to The New Yorker) and how she navigates the feelings of doubt we all experience with honesty and humor.
34:42 09/10/2023

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