How to Be a Better Human-logo

How to Be a Better Human

TED Audio Collective

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.


United States


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.




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:


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


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


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


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


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.


Why you should try birding (w/ Christian Cooper)

If you ask Christian Cooper, a science writer, editor, and the host of the show “Extraordinary Birder With Christian Cooper”, birding can teach us all kinds of lessons about life, self-acceptance, and joy. In this episode, Christian shares what he deems as the seven pleasures of birding, why inclusion is especially important in life-affirming pursuits, and how anyone (city-dwellers and countryside-residents alike) can commune with nature to unlock the awe and wonder of the world around us. For the full text transcript, visit


How do I know what my future self wants? (w/ Shankar Vedantam)

How well would you say you know yourself? Do you feel like the same person you were 10 years ago? Today’s guest, Shankar Vedantam, loves these kinds of questions and what they reveal about what we believe about ourselves and how we actually behave. Shankar is a science writer and the creator and host of the podcast “Hidden Brain”. In this episode, Shankar shares why he’s fascinated by the things we THINK we know, uncovers examples of what our brains hide from us, and shares how we can use that knowledge to live the lives we want to be living. For the full text transcript, visit


How to build better relationships between kids, parents, and ourselves (w/ Dr. Becky Kennedy)

One of the most important things that humans do is learning how to relate – to ourselves, one another, and, crucially, to our parents. Dr. Becky Kennedy, who was deemed the “Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by Time Magazine, might understand this better than anyone. In this episode, Dr. Becky and Chris discuss how we can raise kids in ways that help them be confident and resilient. But don’t fret, non-parents, Dr. Becky also shares rich insights about how to find and develop the relationship-mending skills we need to thrive as adults. This jam-packed episode has a little something for everyone – and if you want more from Dr. Becky you can listen to her talk on TED Talks Daily, or find her on her own podcast, Good Inside with Dr. Becky, wherever you are listening to this. For the full text transcript, visit


What vision loss helped Andrew Leland gain

When he was a teenager, Andrew Leland was diagnosed with a condition that causes a gradual loss of vision. Over the years, Andrew’s literal view of the world has narrowed – but the ways in which he can explore and embrace life have widened. In this episode, Andrew talks about what his transition into blindness has taught him about life and how to navigate change. He also shares enlightening and humorous insights into the culture of blindness and disability and reveals what we can learn about bringing joy and fun into our accessibility practices. Andrew is a writer, teacher, and audio producer. His first book, “The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight” is out now. For the full text transcript, visit


How labor unions create worker power (w/ Margaret Levi) (Re-release)

If the ongoing television writers' and actors' strikes -- and other labor organizing efforts happening across the world -- have been on your radar, this is the episode for you. It's also for you if you are a fan of weekends. Or social security. Or health insurance. Or if you're anti-child labor! Because all of these aforementioned workplace protections exist thanks to the advocacy of labor unions. In this episode, American political scientist Margaret Levi shares the long history of organizing labor, and explains how unions create equality and protect worker rights. Margaret also discusses her optimism about today’s young workforce and why she believes that an equitable future requires a revival of the labor movement. This is an episode we released last year but it feels more relevant than ever as we celebrate Labor Day today in the United States. We hope you enjoy it! For the full text transcript, visit


How changing your story can change your life (w/ Lori Gottlieb)

Lori Gottlieb believes we all have an inner narrator. In this episode, she explains why the story you tell yourself is key to your happiness (or lack thereof). She also discusses the stages of change, why relationships are a dance, and the steps to finding a good therapist that can help you edit the story of your life. Lori is a therapist, the bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and a co-host on the Dear Therapists podcast. She was once also an executive at NBC, overseeing shows like the hit medical drama ER. It’s through these varied experiences that she’s realized the power of being aware of your personal narrative and being willing to edit your story. For the full text transcript, visit


Why your brain is an unreliable narrator (w/ Aparna Nancherla)

Impostor syndrome is one of many therapy-speak words that have gone mainstream in the past few years — but what is it, really? Aparna Nancherla knows all about it. Aparna is a comedian and the author of Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome. Despite her success as a performer, she isn’t immune to self-doubt. In this episode, she talks about the ways she’s learned to deal with impostor syndrome: like creating a resume listing all her failures, or making up words at parties to gauge other people’s reactions. She also shares how she learned to put less stock in success and what to do when your mind isn’t telling you the truth. For the full text transcript, visit


How to Love Criticism | WorkLife with Adam Grant

What if you could tell your co-workers what you really think of them? At one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, everyone is rated and ranked constantly – in front of everyone. They’ve figured out how to embrace negative feedback, and they swear it’s essential to their success. Adam Grant shows how you can learn to take criticism well – and get better at dishing it out. This is an episode of WorkLife with Adam Grant, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. WorkLife's sixth season comes out September 19th. To listen to more WorkLife with Adam Grant now find and follow WorkLife wherever you're listening to this. Find the transcript for this episode at


Episode 1: The Internet’s First Main Character? | The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks

The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks is a new show from the TED Audio Collective, hosted by Dylan Marron. 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. Listen to The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks wherever you get your podcasts. Transcripts for The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks are available at


How To Love Your Face (from Slate's How To!)

This is an episode from a podcast we think you'll love. It's called How To! and it's from Slate Podcasts. Earlier this year, our listener, Rell, nearly failed a promotion. Not because she was unprepared or unqualified, but because she didn’t maintain enough eye contact with the interviewers. Rell’s eye hasn’t been fully receiving information since she was born, a condition that’s outwardly visible and known colloquially as a “lazy eye.” It’s beginning to affect her self-confidence and is this “ugly thing [she] can’t let go of.” On this episode of How To!, host Carvell Wallace brings on Sarah Ruhl, an award-winning playwright and author who wrote about her experience with Bell’s palsy in her recent book, "Smile: The Story of a Face." Sarah has some wonderful advice for letting go of your inner rage, making interactions with strangers less painful, and even finding people who light up your mirror neurons. If you liked this episode you can find more of Slate’s How To! podcast wherever you get your podcasts.


Do we have something to learn from conspiracy theories? (w/ Peter McIndoe)

There was a time when Peter McIndoe might see you on the street and ask: have you ever seen a baby pigeon? If you said no, he’d probably grin and say, of course you haven’t, because birds are actually spy drones created by the US government – and they emerge “fully adult” from “the factory.” Peter McIndoe peddled a crazy idea – that all birds are drones created and monitored by the U.S. government. As ridiculous (and hilarious) as this sounds, Peter’s conspiracy theory that “Birds Aren’t Real” gained a huge following. In this episode, Peter discusses why he’s used the framework of a conspiracy theory to explore the "us-versus-them" mentality that is so pervasive in us humans. He also shares what he witnessed as he took his performance across the globe, and why he finds it more important than ever that we talk to each other with empathy even in the most absurd situations. For the full text transcript, visit


How can art hold space for your pain? (w/ Jessie Reyez)

Jessie Reyez isn't afraid to make you cry when you listen to her music. The R&B artist, who was born in Toronto to Colombian immigrants, has amassed more than a billion streams globally, performed at Coachella, and been nominated for a Grammy. In this episode, Jessie opens up about her songwriting process and the journey of turning heartbreak into music. Then Jessie shares tips on how we can all create space for our emotions through art, and discusses why staying present is essential to creativity. For the full text transcript, visit


Why we should rethink what mental health means (w/ Sandy Allen)

It feels like talking about mental health, in our workplaces, homes and schools, is not as unusual – or as risky – as it may have been until very recently. But what do we really mean when we talk about de-stigmatizing mental health – and what gets left out of the public conversation? Sandy Allen is a writer, mental health advocate, and the author of the book “A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia”. In this episode, Sandy speaks about the experience of writing a memoir about his uncle who lived with schizophrenia and what the process showed him about the diversity of the human mind and experience. Sandy then shares how he thinks and rethinks what “mental health” means, and imagines some of the ways we could begin to restructure society so everyone’s spirits and minds have access to equitable and dignified care. For the full text transcript, visit


Fixable: “How do I deal with a communication breakdown?"

This is an episode of Fixable, another podcast from the TED Audio Collective hosted by Anne Morriss and Frances Frei. Kelli is a nurse at a leading teaching hospital where communication issues are not only leading to resentment – they could also be affecting patient care. After hearing from Kelli about the larger problems at play in the healthcare space, Anne and Frances discuss the link between communication and transparency and guide Kelli into taking matters into her own hands. This is an episode of Fixable, another podcast from the TED Audio Collective hosted by CEO and author Anne Morriss and Harvard Business school professor Frances Frei. If you want to be on Fixable, call our hotline at 234-Fixable (that’s 234-349-2253) to leave Anne and Frances a voicemail with your workplace problem. To hear more episodes on how to fix your work problems, fast, follow Fixable wherever you're listening to this. You can listen to Fixable wherever you're listening to this. Transcripts for Fixable are available at