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TED Health

TED Audio Collective

What does exercise do to your brain? Can psychedelics treat depression? From smart daily habits to new medical breakthroughs, welcome to TED Health, with host Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider. TED speakers answer questions you never even knew you had, and share ideas you won't hear anywhere else, all around how we can live healthier lives.


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What does exercise do to your brain? Can psychedelics treat depression? From smart daily habits to new medical breakthroughs, welcome to TED Health, with host Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider. TED speakers answer questions you never even knew you had, and share ideas you won't hear anywhere else, all around how we can live healthier lives.




A flavorful field guide to foraging | Alexis Nikole Nelson

Whether it's dandelions blooming in your backyard or purslane sprouting from the sidewalk, forager Alexis Nikole Nelson is on a mission to show how freely growing flora could make its way to your plate. With contagious enthusiasm and a live cooking demo, she explains the benefits of expanding your palate to include "wild" foods that are delicious, nutritious and planet-friendly — and gives three tips for helping others go from skeptical to confident in their own food adventures. Stay tuned to hear how the honey bee plays an important role in your health as Shoshana sits down with entomologist and educator Dr. Samuel Ramsey.


The single most important parenting strategy | Becky Kennedy

Everyone loses their temper from time to time — but the stakes are dizzyingly high when the focus of your fury is your own child. Clinical psychologist and renowned parenting whisperer Becky Kennedy is here to help. Not only does she have practical advice to help parents manage the guilt and shame of their not-so-great moments but she also models the types of conversations you can have to be a better parent. (Hint: this works in all other relationships too.) Bottom line? It's never too late to reconnect. After the talk, stick around for a conversation between Shoshana and author Emily Oster on how to use data in everyday parenting decisions.


The world's rarest diseases — and how they impact everyone | Anna Greka

Physician-scientist Anna Greka investigates the world's rarest genetic diseases, decoding the secrets of our cells through "molecular detective work." She explains how her team is using new, advanced technology to solve decades-old medical mysteries — and shows how this work could help develop precision treatments for millions of people across the globe.


Can you change your sleep schedule? | Alexandra Panzer

An early bird rises with the sun, springing out of bed abuzz with energy. Meanwhile, a night owl groggily rises much later, not hitting their stride until late in the day. How many people are truly night owls or early birds? And are our sleep schedules predetermined at birth, or can we change them? Explore how our circadian systems act as internal clocks to keep our bodies functioning properly. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Avi Ofer, narrated by Alexandra Panzer and the music is by André Aires.


How to hack your brain when you're in pain | Amy Baxter

Have we misunderstood pain? Researcher and physician Amy Baxter unravels the symphony of connections that send pain from your body to your brain, explaining practical neuroscience hacks to quickly block those signals. Her groundbreaking research offers alternatives for immediate pain relief -- without the need for addictive opioids. (Followed by a Q&A with TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers)


How targeted ads might just save your life | Sandersan Onie

Could the tech industry's complex algorithms support people during their darkest times, rather than just deliver targeted ads? Drawing from his own experience with depression, global mental health researcher Sandersan Onie shows how internet search behaviors can provide valuable insights into suicide risk and potentially help save lives by reaching people in a deeply personal way, at a crucial moment.


Blindness isn't a tragic binary — it's a rich spectrum | Andrew Leland

When does vision loss become blindness? Writer, audio producer and editor Andrew Leland explains how his gradual loss of vision revealed a paradoxical truth about blindness — and shows why it might have implications for how all of us see the world.


How to calm your anxiety, from a neuroscientist | Wendy Suzuki

What if you could transform your anxiety into something you can actually use during your work day? Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki shares two evidence-based activities — breathing and movement — that can soothe your nervous system and fuel creativity and connection.


The epidemics that almost happened | George Zaidan

In 2013, an Ebola outbreak began in Guinea. The country had no formal response system and the outbreak became the largest Ebola epidemic in recorded history. Guinea then completely overhauled their response system, and were able to successfully combat another outbreak in 2021. So what does an effective epidemic response look like? George Zaidan explores how different communities have taken action. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Gavin Edwards, Movult, narrated by Jack Cutmore-Scott, music by Cem Misirlioglu.


Introducing Body Electric

We’ve got a special 6-part series with an interactive twist coming your way: On Body Electric, TED Radio Hour host Manoush Zomorodi investigates the relationship between our bodies and our technology…and she has a challenge for YOU. Starts Tuesday, October 3rd


Sex education should start with consent | Kaz

Consent can be a tricky topic to talk about in sex education curriculums, but it doesn't have to be. This week, we're revisiting a hilarious and relatable talk where sex educator and TED Fellow Kaz offers a fresh look at teaching young people about the core principles of consent -- and shows how demystifying this topic leads to healthier and more satisfying relationships for people of all ages. Hear more from OB/Gyn Dr. Danielle Jones in conversation with our host Shoshana, as they discuss practical ways to teach consent -- in our own lives.


Why is it so hard to get effective birth control in the US? | Mark Edwards

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, the result of millions of people being unable to get the birth control method that works best for them. Reproductive health advocate and 2023 Audacious Project grantee Mark Edwards discusses Upstream USA's nationwide effort to expand access to high-quality contraceptive care by integrating it into primary health-care settings -- a crucial shift towards increasing equal health opportunities and empowering people to decide when and if they want to start families. (This ambitious idea is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)


Your right to mental privacy in the age of brain-sensing tech | Nita Farahany

Neurotechnology, or devices that let you track your own brain activity, could help you deeply understand your health. But without privacy protections, your innermost thoughts, emotions and desires could be at risk of exploitation, says neurotech and AI ethicist Nita Farahany. She details some of the field's promising potential uses -- like tracking and treating diseases from depression to epilepsy -- and shares concerns about who collects our brain data and how they plan to use it, ultimately calling for the legal recognition of "cognitive liberty" as we connect our brains and minds to technology.


The tragedy of air pollution -- and an urgent demand for clean air | Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah

"Breathing clean air is every child's human right," says grassroots campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, while sharing the heartbreaking story of her seven-year-old daughter, Ella Roberta, whose asthma was triggered to a fatal point by air pollution. Now, Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is on a mission to raise awareness about the harmful effects of unsafe air on our health and the planet. In this moving talk, she details why governments have an urgent responsibility to take action on air pollution -- and ensure that all children have a chance to live full and healthy lives. After the talk our host Shoshana speaks with health policy expert Dr. Cara James on the necessary steps towards protecting everyone's right to a healthy environment.


Why do we have crooked teeth when our ancestors didn't? | G. Richard Scott

According to the fossil record, ancient humans usually had straight teeth, complete with wisdom teeth. In fact, the dental dilemmas that fuel the demand for braces and wisdom teeth extractions today appear to be recent developments. So, what happened? While it's nearly impossible to know for sure, scientists have a hypothesis. G. Richard Scott shares the prevailing theory on crooked teeth. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Igor Coric, Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Salil Bhayani, cAMP Studio.


Why thinking about death helps you live a better life | Alua Arthur

As a death doula, or someone who supports dying people and their loved ones, Alua Arthur spends a lot of time thinking about the end of life. In a profound talk that examines our brief, perfectly human time on this planet, she asks us to look at our lives through the lens of our deaths in seeking to answer the question: "What must I do to be at peace with myself so that I may live presently and die gracefully?"


Why having fun is the secret to a healthier life | Catherine Price

Have you had your daily dose of fun? It's not just enjoyable, it's also essential for your health and happiness, says science journalist Catherine Price. She proposes a new definition of fun -- what she calls "true fun" -- and shares easy, evidence-backed ways to weave playfulness, flow and connection into your everyday life. After the talk, Shoshana dives into what happens to your body when you play.


Is someone you love suffering in silence? Here's what to do | Gus Worland

Lots of people talk about the need to be physically fit, but mentally fit? Not as much. In a powerful talk, mental health advocate Gus Worland shares how an experience of deep grief from his own life sparked his mission to advocate for suicide prevention -- and shows why "looking after your own village" can be as simple as sending a text message, right now, to the person you cannot imagine living without.


The Internet's First Main Character? | The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks

What if the most exciting achievement in your career also created a cultural phenomenon that pushed your mental health to the brim? In this new podcast from the TED Audio Collective, host Dylan Marron explores the story behind one of the world's most controversial characters and the man who brought him to life. It's 1999, and sixteen years after its original release, a new Star Wars is finally coming. Fans have been camping out in front of theaters across the country just to be the first to see it. The beloved intergalactic saga is set to debut a slew of brand new characters, one of whom is a revolutionary CGI creation named Jar Jar Binks. Whispers begin to spread about big changes coming to the galaxy far, far away — and not everyone’s happy about it. This is the first episode of The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks. If you like what you hear, find The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks wherever you get your podcasts.


Lessons from losing my mind | Andy Dunn

Neurodiversity and innovation often go hand in hand, but does that mean visionary entrepreneurs get a free pass to say and do anything they want? Bonobos founder and mental health advocate Andy Dunn shares his experience navigating bipolar I in the midst of running a successful startup, offering lessons learned on his journey to wellness and steps to create a future where everyone is able to "dream crazy dreams" -- while being held accountable.