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How To! With Charles Duhigg

Slate Podcasts

473
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2.4K
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How To! With Charles Duhigg

How To! With Charles Duhigg

Slate Podcasts

473
Followers
2.4K
Plays
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About Us

What if Dear Abby was an investigative reporter? Each week on How To!, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg ("The Power of Habit") takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask, but couldn’t. Until now.

Latest Episodes

Bonus Episode - 'Hello Monday' with Jessi Hempel

This bonus episode features Charles's recent appearance on the podcast Hello Monday, where host Jessi Hempel discusses the relationship between work and meaning. Charles tells the story of his experience attending Harvard Business School and all that followed after. It turns out that a paycheck - even a fat one - doesn’t buy a meaningful life. Charles and Jessi dig deep on the perks and pitfalls of business school, point up the importance of perseverance, outline the space between a job description and the job itself, and challenge listeners to make meaning in any job. For more advice from Jessi Hempel, check out our previous episode 'How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late.' Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

29 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Bonus Episode - 'Hello Monday' with Jessi Hempel

How To Write a Bestseller

Lauren already knows the plot of her bestselling novel—the problem is she hasn’t written a word. Paralyzed by self-criticism and an earlier rejection, this former English major has spent years journaling instead of attempting the scary, difficult work of creative writing. On this episode of How To!, we turn to writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner, whose debut novel Fleishman Is in Trouble, was one of the hottest books of the year. Can she help Lauren finally put pen to paper? The first thing Lauren needs to do, Taffy says, is stop journaling, and start writing. And then keep writing: “You can't get to the good sentences if you don't write the bad ones first.” Next, find a trusted reader, not a cheerleader, to give you honest feedback. And when doubt begins to creep in again, look at the writers you admire and simply ask, “Why them and not me?” Do you have a problem that needs a solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32 MIN1 w ago
Comments
How To Write a Bestseller

How To Fight Racism in Your Town

Chris has always considered himself “on the right side of things,” but as Black Lives Matter protests sweep across the country, he’s starting to realize he needs to do a lot more. As a white man living in Austin, Texas, he says he has a responsibility to educate himself and make real change—but where to start? On this episode of How To!, we bring in Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, to walk Chris through some tangible steps he can take to harness this moment. Start by opening your eyes to the systems of injustice at the local level, in your neighborhood or your school, that affect people of color. Then, Ijeoma says, add your voice to those organizations that have already thought long and hard about how to make them more fair and equitable. Chris has more power than he realizes, but it’s crucial that he amplify Black-led efforts already in place in his community. Do you have a problem that needs a solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voi...

27 MIN2 w ago
Comments
How To Fight Racism in Your Town

How To Stand Up for Your Kid When Society Won’t

Karin always thought of herself as the mom of two boys—that is, until last year when her oldest child told her they were nonbinary, meaning they don’t identify as either male or female. Karin loves her kid deeply, but she’s struggling to get used to their new name and pronouns, especially because her town—and husband—aren’t very accepting. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Lisa DelCol, a fellow mom of a nonbinary child and former president of PFLAG Oklahoma City, to help Karin come to terms with her child’s gender identity. Parents are going to make mistakes along the way, Lisa says, but it’s important to share what you learn with others. The more you advocate for them, the more accepting the world becomes. Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...

29 MIN3 w ago
Comments
How To Stand Up for Your Kid When Society Won’t

How To Walk Away from an Impossible Parent

When Sydney’s dad texted her, “Do me a favor and lose my number,” she was crushed. At 27, Sydney has always had a rocky relationship with her dad, but she held out hope he could still be a part of her life. Now she’s starting to think it’s a lost cause. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Joshua Coleman, a psychologist and author of the upcoming book Rules of Estrangement, who had his own yearslong standoff with his daughter. Before Sydney figures out if she should reconcile with her dad, Josh says, she has to stop internalizing how he treats her. It’s the parent’s job to be mature and if they can’t do that, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over their failings. In the end, the best thing may be to just move on without them. Do you need us to find an answer to a tough question? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

30 MINJUN 9
Comments
How To Walk Away from an Impossible Parent

How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late

Donny is ready to leave the restaurant industry once and for all. As a recovering alcoholic, he was already looking for a new career before COVID-19 upended his life. But at 38 years old, Donny has held 30 different jobs, and without a bachelor’s degree, he worries that he doesn’t have what employers are looking for. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Jessi Hempel, host of the LinkedIn podcast Hello Monday, to help Donny kickstart a new career...during a pandemic. According to Jessi, now is actually a great time to do informational interviews—virtually, if necessary—to expand your network and broaden your horizons. She says it’s important to realize that experience comes in many forms. People skills, not perfect resumes, can ultimately help you get hired. Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MINJUN 2
Comments
How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late

How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen

Alan’s 86-year-old dad will not stop driving—even after an incident where he drove off the road and totaled his car. Feeling guilty and worried, Alan has tried to convince his dad to hand over the keys, even enlisting the support of his father’s doctor, but everything Alan does seems to backfire. In this episode of How To!, Saturday Night Live comedian Jim Breuer shares his own experience dealing with a curmudgeonly father as chronicled in the documentary More Than Me. Jim says to reach an aging parent who is set in their ways, don’t try to replace them as the parent. Instead, realize they’re facing their own mortality and give them a sense of control. Let your dad be a dad, then ask for some fatherly advice: “What would you do if you were me?” Do you have a problem that needs a solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31 MINMAY 26
Comments
How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen

How To Say the Right Thing at the Worst Time

Ann’s sister just lost her husband and Ann doesn’t know how to console her. Ann lives in a different state and, having experienced loss herself, knows saying the wrong thing can only add to the hurt. What can Ann do from a distance to make her sister feel better? In this episode of How To!, Megan Devine, a psychotherapist and author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, says first of all don’t try to cheer them up. Simply acknowledge their pain. Megan learned this the hard way after the sudden loss of her partner in a tragic accident. The classic five stages of grief are problematic, Megan says, because grief doesn’t progress in an orderly fashion. To help a loved one, don’t put the burden on them to figure out how you can help. Instead, anticipate and act on what they need to get by day-to-day. Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonu...

32 MINMAY 19
Comments
How To Say the Right Thing at the Worst Time

How To Lose 155 Pounds Happily

Ashley thought by now she’d be on top of the world. Once severely overweight, Ashley lost 155 pounds and recently ran her first half-marathon. But when she looks in the mirror all she sees are the imperfections. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Brittany O’Neill, the real-life inspiration for the hit movie Brittany Runs a Marathon. Having undergone a major transformation herself, Brittany knows what it’s like to feel unhappy after you’ve crossed the finish line. Constant self-improvement doesn’t necessarily lead to self-acceptance, Brittany says. Instead, learn to view yourself through your loved ones’ eyes—even say their praises aloud—and soon, you’ll see what they see. Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MINMAY 12
Comments
How To Lose 155 Pounds Happily

How To Talk to Strangers

Every other Friday, Amy’s calendar reminds her to make the rounds of her office and say “hello” to her colleagues. As an introvert, Amy deeply struggles with small talk, but as a manager of 55 people she’s been told she needs to be more approachable. In this episode of How To!, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, helps Amy learn how to use her reserved nature to her advantage. Whether you’re anxious about networking at conferences or wondering how to talk to your neighbors—from six feet away—Susan has some tips for how all of us can have better conversations. It takes practice, Susan says, so don’t be afraid to have a few opening lines in your back pocket. What are your toughest challenges during the pandemic? And what have you found is working for you? Leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. We’re collecting your problems and solutions for our recurring Quarantine Q&A. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32 MINMAY 5
Comments
How To Talk to Strangers

Latest Episodes

Bonus Episode - 'Hello Monday' with Jessi Hempel

This bonus episode features Charles's recent appearance on the podcast Hello Monday, where host Jessi Hempel discusses the relationship between work and meaning. Charles tells the story of his experience attending Harvard Business School and all that followed after. It turns out that a paycheck - even a fat one - doesn’t buy a meaningful life. Charles and Jessi dig deep on the perks and pitfalls of business school, point up the importance of perseverance, outline the space between a job description and the job itself, and challenge listeners to make meaning in any job. For more advice from Jessi Hempel, check out our previous episode 'How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late.' Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

29 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Bonus Episode - 'Hello Monday' with Jessi Hempel

How To Write a Bestseller

Lauren already knows the plot of her bestselling novel—the problem is she hasn’t written a word. Paralyzed by self-criticism and an earlier rejection, this former English major has spent years journaling instead of attempting the scary, difficult work of creative writing. On this episode of How To!, we turn to writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner, whose debut novel Fleishman Is in Trouble, was one of the hottest books of the year. Can she help Lauren finally put pen to paper? The first thing Lauren needs to do, Taffy says, is stop journaling, and start writing. And then keep writing: “You can't get to the good sentences if you don't write the bad ones first.” Next, find a trusted reader, not a cheerleader, to give you honest feedback. And when doubt begins to creep in again, look at the writers you admire and simply ask, “Why them and not me?” Do you have a problem that needs a solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32 MIN1 w ago
Comments
How To Write a Bestseller

How To Fight Racism in Your Town

Chris has always considered himself “on the right side of things,” but as Black Lives Matter protests sweep across the country, he’s starting to realize he needs to do a lot more. As a white man living in Austin, Texas, he says he has a responsibility to educate himself and make real change—but where to start? On this episode of How To!, we bring in Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, to walk Chris through some tangible steps he can take to harness this moment. Start by opening your eyes to the systems of injustice at the local level, in your neighborhood or your school, that affect people of color. Then, Ijeoma says, add your voice to those organizations that have already thought long and hard about how to make them more fair and equitable. Chris has more power than he realizes, but it’s crucial that he amplify Black-led efforts already in place in his community. Do you have a problem that needs a solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voi...

27 MIN2 w ago
Comments
How To Fight Racism in Your Town

How To Stand Up for Your Kid When Society Won’t

Karin always thought of herself as the mom of two boys—that is, until last year when her oldest child told her they were nonbinary, meaning they don’t identify as either male or female. Karin loves her kid deeply, but she’s struggling to get used to their new name and pronouns, especially because her town—and husband—aren’t very accepting. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Lisa DelCol, a fellow mom of a nonbinary child and former president of PFLAG Oklahoma City, to help Karin come to terms with her child’s gender identity. Parents are going to make mistakes along the way, Lisa says, but it’s important to share what you learn with others. The more you advocate for them, the more accepting the world becomes. Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...

29 MIN3 w ago
Comments
How To Stand Up for Your Kid When Society Won’t

How To Walk Away from an Impossible Parent

When Sydney’s dad texted her, “Do me a favor and lose my number,” she was crushed. At 27, Sydney has always had a rocky relationship with her dad, but she held out hope he could still be a part of her life. Now she’s starting to think it’s a lost cause. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Joshua Coleman, a psychologist and author of the upcoming book Rules of Estrangement, who had his own yearslong standoff with his daughter. Before Sydney figures out if she should reconcile with her dad, Josh says, she has to stop internalizing how he treats her. It’s the parent’s job to be mature and if they can’t do that, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over their failings. In the end, the best thing may be to just move on without them. Do you need us to find an answer to a tough question? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

30 MINJUN 9
Comments
How To Walk Away from an Impossible Parent

How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late

Donny is ready to leave the restaurant industry once and for all. As a recovering alcoholic, he was already looking for a new career before COVID-19 upended his life. But at 38 years old, Donny has held 30 different jobs, and without a bachelor’s degree, he worries that he doesn’t have what employers are looking for. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Jessi Hempel, host of the LinkedIn podcast Hello Monday, to help Donny kickstart a new career...during a pandemic. According to Jessi, now is actually a great time to do informational interviews—virtually, if necessary—to expand your network and broaden your horizons. She says it’s important to realize that experience comes in many forms. People skills, not perfect resumes, can ultimately help you get hired. Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MINJUN 2
Comments
How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late

How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen

Alan’s 86-year-old dad will not stop driving—even after an incident where he drove off the road and totaled his car. Feeling guilty and worried, Alan has tried to convince his dad to hand over the keys, even enlisting the support of his father’s doctor, but everything Alan does seems to backfire. In this episode of How To!, Saturday Night Live comedian Jim Breuer shares his own experience dealing with a curmudgeonly father as chronicled in the documentary More Than Me. Jim says to reach an aging parent who is set in their ways, don’t try to replace them as the parent. Instead, realize they’re facing their own mortality and give them a sense of control. Let your dad be a dad, then ask for some fatherly advice: “What would you do if you were me?” Do you have a problem that needs a solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31 MINMAY 26
Comments
How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen

How To Say the Right Thing at the Worst Time

Ann’s sister just lost her husband and Ann doesn’t know how to console her. Ann lives in a different state and, having experienced loss herself, knows saying the wrong thing can only add to the hurt. What can Ann do from a distance to make her sister feel better? In this episode of How To!, Megan Devine, a psychotherapist and author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, says first of all don’t try to cheer them up. Simply acknowledge their pain. Megan learned this the hard way after the sudden loss of her partner in a tragic accident. The classic five stages of grief are problematic, Megan says, because grief doesn’t progress in an orderly fashion. To help a loved one, don’t put the burden on them to figure out how you can help. Instead, anticipate and act on what they need to get by day-to-day. Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonu...

32 MINMAY 19
Comments
How To Say the Right Thing at the Worst Time

How To Lose 155 Pounds Happily

Ashley thought by now she’d be on top of the world. Once severely overweight, Ashley lost 155 pounds and recently ran her first half-marathon. But when she looks in the mirror all she sees are the imperfections. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Brittany O’Neill, the real-life inspiration for the hit movie Brittany Runs a Marathon. Having undergone a major transformation herself, Brittany knows what it’s like to feel unhappy after you’ve crossed the finish line. Constant self-improvement doesn’t necessarily lead to self-acceptance, Brittany says. Instead, learn to view yourself through your loved ones’ eyes—even say their praises aloud—and soon, you’ll see what they see. Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MINMAY 12
Comments
How To Lose 155 Pounds Happily

How To Talk to Strangers

Every other Friday, Amy’s calendar reminds her to make the rounds of her office and say “hello” to her colleagues. As an introvert, Amy deeply struggles with small talk, but as a manager of 55 people she’s been told she needs to be more approachable. In this episode of How To!, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, helps Amy learn how to use her reserved nature to her advantage. Whether you’re anxious about networking at conferences or wondering how to talk to your neighbors—from six feet away—Susan has some tips for how all of us can have better conversations. It takes practice, Susan says, so don’t be afraid to have a few opening lines in your back pocket. What are your toughest challenges during the pandemic? And what have you found is working for you? Leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. We’re collecting your problems and solutions for our recurring Quarantine Q&A. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32 MINMAY 5
Comments
How To Talk to Strangers
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