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A Slight Change of Plans
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A Slight Change of Plans

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You can follow the show at @DrMayaShankar on Instagram.

Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year 2021 Editor's Note: Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change. Maya is no stranger to change. “My whole childhood revolved around the violin, but that changed in a moment when I injured my hand playing a single note,” says Shankar, who was studying under Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School at the time. “I was forced to try and figure out who I was, and who I could be, without the violin." Maya soon discovered a new path in the field of cognitive science, where she earned her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar studying how and why we change. Her insights into human behavior ultimately led her to create A Slight Change of Plans—Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year in 2021. You’ll hear intimate conversations with people like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, and Riz Ahmed, as well as real-life inspirations, like John Elder Robison, who undergoes experimental brain stimulation to deepen his emotional intelligence, Daryl Davis, a Black jazz musician who inspires hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan, and Shankar herself, who had her own “slight change of plans” earlier this year. The show also explores the science of change with experts like Adam Grant and Angela Duckworth. "What I love most about this show is that the content is evergreen," says Shankar. "You can listen to episodes in any order and at any time."
117 Episodes
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The Happiness Lab’s Dr. Laurie Santos brings together other Pushkin hosts to mark the International Day of Happiness. Revisionist History’s Malcolm Gladwell talks about the benefits of the misery of running in a Canadian winter. Dr. Maya Shankar from A Slight Change of Plans talks about quieting her mental chatter. And Cautionary Tales host Tim Harford surprises everyone with the happiness lessons to be learned from a colonoscopy. Hear more of The Happiness Lab HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We’re bringing you an episode of Choice Words from our friends at Lemonada Media. Each week, host Samantha Bee sits down with people she admires to examine the biggest choices they’ve made in their lives and the ripple effects those decisions have had. In this episode, chef and cookbook author Samin Nosrat (“Salt Fat Acid Heat”) tells Sam about the deep loneliness and depression she experienced during the pandemic, and how she turned it around by reigniting her passion to gather, cook, and eat together. Sam also asks Samin about her love of citrus and gets a sneak peek at what’s inside her next cookbook!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We recently shared a conversation between Maya and Brené on A Slight Change of Plans where they talked about Maya's appearance on Brené's podcast, Dare to Lead. Today we are sharing that conversation with you! In this episode of Dare to Lead, Brené and Maya discuss how unexpected changes can disrupt our paths, challenge our identities, and require us to build new ways of navigating the world. They delve into the science behind change and its impact on how we live, love, and lead. Check out Brené's Dare to Lead podcast wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Brené Brown is a bestselling author and social scientist known for her work on complex emotions like shame and vulnerability. She opens up to Maya about the evolution of some of her most important identities: big sister, recovering perfectionist, and reluctant public figure. She also shares how COVID affected her marriage, her struggles with social media, and how she's redefining ambition.  If you liked this episode, check out Maya on Brene’s podcast Dare to Lead.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In part two of Maya’s conversation with writer Suleika Jaouad, they talk about Suleika's epic road trip following her cancer treatments and her friendship with a man who spent half his life on death row. She also shares how she's choosing to live her life in light of a recent diagnosis that's left her in a more uncertain place than ever before. Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia when she was 22 years old. In this special two-part conversation, she talks with Maya about why she sees survival as a creative act, the problem with narratives that frame illness as a "hero’s journey," and the messy space that exists between illness and wellness.  Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dr. Becky Kennedy is a clinical psychologist known for her popular parenting advice. She talks with Maya about how shifting to a mindset that children are “good inside” can improve parent-child relationships and make for long-lasting behavior change. Becky explains why her approach can help us navigate all kinds of relationships in our adult lives—with our co-workers, friends, and family members—thanks to simple practices like the "most generous interpretation." If you enjoyed this episode, you may enjoy "What Children Can Teach Us About Creativity". Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Alison Gopnik is a developmental psychologist who studies childrens' brains. She talks with Maya about how kids' exploratory approach to problem-solving can show us how to better tap into our creative potential. Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Shortly after Laura Cathcart Robbins had her second child, she developed a crippling anxiety disorder and severe insomnia. Within a few years, she was addicted to sleeping pills. Laura was ashamed because she felt like motherhood came so much more easily to her friends. And so, for years, she kept her addiction a secret. Then one day she reached a breaking point. If you enjoyed this episode, try this one from the archive: “Jason Isbell Finds Peace With His Past.” Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We're back with new episodes starting April 1. Brené Brown joins Maya for a fireside chat about their messy, flawed selves. Psychologist Dr. Becky Kennedy reveals a game-changing strategy for fostering better relationships. Plus, we share inspiring stories of change from people weathering difficult transitions, including a writer diagnosed with cancer in her early twenties and a new mom struggling with addiction. Their stories are full of candor, awe, and hard-won wisdom, and we can't wait to share them with you.  For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We're not great at knowing what makes us happy, says Laurie Santos, host of "The Happiness Lab." Laurie joins Maya for a wide-ranging conversation about the latest happiness research and her favorite happiness-boosting strategies. They also discuss how much of our happiness is hard-wired, if there's such a thing as thinking about happiness too much, and what you should know if you ever feel guilty feeling happy, given the state of the world. For more on Laurie, check out her podcast "The Happiness Lab." If you liked this episode, try this one from the archive: “The Science of Happiness and Change.” Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Unexpected change like an accident, an illness, or a relationship that suddenly ends is inevitable -- and disorienting. On this heartfelt and optimistic episode of TED Talks Daily, Maya shares how these challenging moments can inspire transformation, offering three questions to ask when facing uncertainty, so you can let go of rigidity and embrace change.  TED Talks Daily is a daily podcast that sparks your curiosity. Every weekday, host and journalist Elise Hu brings you thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between. Listen in as the world's leading thinkers and creators change your perspectives, ignite your mind, and learn something new. You can get TED Talks Daily wherever you get your podcasts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Modupe Akinola is a psychology professor and an expert on stress. Modupe argues that a simple change in our mindset can turn short-term stress into a helpful resource. She walks us through strategies to better understand, and cope with, stress. Enjoy this rebroadcast (and take a few deep breaths while you listen!) and we’ll be back in March with new episodes.  Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Psychologist Marisa Franco is an expert on friendship and talks with Maya about research-backed strategies to make new friends, deepen our existing relationships, and navigate friend breakups. This conversation was one of our most popular ones and so we’ve decided to revisit it during a time when it’s been hard to feel connected to others. We’ll be back in March with new episodes!  For more on Marisa's work, check out her book, “Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends." Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Our daily habits are the key to reaching our long-term goals, argues writer James Clear. His bestselling book, "Atomic Habits," distills the most compelling research on how to break bad habits and form good ones. He talks with Maya about how our habits shape our identity—for better or worse—and how to design our habits so they actually stick.  To explore more of James' work, including his book and newsletter, check out his website.  Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Psychologist Adam Grant stops by to talk with Maya about his new book "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things." They talk about how to filter out unhelpful feedback, the benefits of imperfectionism, and why we need to give soft skills more respect.  If you enjoyed this episode, check out Adam’s first time on the show: “Adam Grant Thinks Again.” Sign up for Maya's new newsletter here https://bit.ly/41lPqaZ and follow her on instagram @DrMayaShankar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When Banafsheh Rashidi gave birth to her daughter, Saba, she immediately conjured up vivid images of Saba's future: passing the driver's test, graduation, and maybe even a wedding. But when Saba received a significant medical diagnosis, Banafsheh's dreams were upended. She talks to Maya about how she redefined success for her family on her own terms. If you enjoyed this conversation, you might enjoy our episode with first responder Christy Warren. She’s another guest who started out as a listener of the show. The episode is called “A First Responder’s Call For Help.” For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Gretchen Rubin is an author and podcaster with a passion for helping people become happier. One of the biggest lessons she's learned in her decades-long study of the subject is that there's no one-size-fits-all hack to finding happiness. Gretchen talks with Maya about how important it is to tailor our approach based on what she calls the "four tendencies," or personality types. If you enjoyed this episode, try this one from the archive: “The Science of Our Inner Voice” For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Hal Hershfield is a psychologist who studies the emotional connection we have to our “future selves." He talks with Maya about tactics we can use to strengthen this connection, and why it matters. If you enjoyed this episode, try this one from the archive: “The Science of Self-Compassion” For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Coin Toss

The Coin Toss

2023-11-2038:251

Sonia Vallabh had just lost her mother to a rapid, mysterious brain disease. And then, she found out that the disease was genetic. Doctors told her there was a 50-50 chance she had inherited the same rare genetic mutation that killed her mom. Sonia tells Maya how she managed a torturous state of limbo, and how what followed led her to the cutting edge of science. Get involved at https://www.prionalliance.org/ For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (25)

James Butter

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May 22nd
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Terri Marie Mignosa

why do the commercials repeat?

Jan 25th
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Salome Odeny

Insightful Q&A, thanks Dr. Maya! Your podcast opens my mind to parallels between feelings, values, and even retreat experiences with hallucinogens. 🧠🎙️

Aug 26th
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Salome Odeny

Impressive episode! Amanda Knox's openness and Maya's perspective truly highlighted the emotional journey.

Aug 26th
Reply

Aakash Amanat

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Aug 17th
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TheSpiderChick

this is a really thought provoking episode about regret. Unfortunately there's a technical glitch at 37:46 which skips a whole thought. Mr Pink says : "I actually like the technique..." but then it suddenly cuts to Dr Maya speaking. I really wish I knew what technique he was about to describe.

Aug 10th
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Meeae Dienemann

I like this podcast, but one wonders who is the interviewer, Maya or Michael. sounds more like Michael

Dec 28th
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Levi Wekesa

Thank you Maya for this show. It's soul refreshing

Dec 25th
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quietauthentic ebaytriangle

Despite the danger to her own life, she had the guts to speak up and defend what was right. Erika played a crucial role in prosecuting Holmes: https://quordle2.com

Dec 22nd
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ID19619055

Thank you!

Nov 12th
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Robin Blacknell

Incredible interview!

Oct 13th
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Jeevan

🙏🏻😅

Aug 21st
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Bridie Begbie

Such a thoughtful, insightful interviewer. Amazing to hear about the brave personal and medical decisions made in this rescue and the resilience of those being rescued.

Jul 19th
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majopareja

So beautiful and so sad...

May 18th
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King Tee is Free

This man's perspective assumes that you can change racists' perspective with logic. What do you do about the ones who could let him talk until he's blue in the face and then execute him without a second thought? What do you do about the ones who know everything he's saying is true but promote racial division because it benefits them financially? It sounds like he's just been lucky that he hasn't run into the wrong one yet.

Apr 26th
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Ronald Bell

Just as John came to see and feel and experience emotion through the TMS treatment, I too felt a sudden awareness of relating to the Adam and Eve creation story in Genisis of how in our humanness we experience good and evil.

Dec 10th
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Shilan G

Oh my goodness what a great story, it was so inspiring! She is one of the wisest people that I know and has such a big heart. Our world needs more people like her ♥️

Dec 8th
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Mary Mary

this was an amazing talk. thank you both so much

Jul 18th
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Laurie Henson

Girl, you need to stop thinking soo much and stop looking around for things to be unhappy about. You can overcome your addiction. Even without therapy groups. Seems your looking to be felt sorry for. Being an eore. I gained a lot of weight, am older and everyone treats me differently. Exactly the opposite of you. It is what it is. Be glad for better health not focused on weight. Your maki g your one life a miserable one. Start doing for yourself and doing what makes you happy. Live your best life and build great memories! This is too much what your doing to yourself mentally. Look into Dr. Wayne Dyer books and Ram Das. Or audiobooks on them. Congratulations on your successes, BTW. Now go! And don’t look back! 💪🏽👏❤️

Jul 11th
Reply (1)

Debora Meehan

Love the pod cast and Darryl's story was incredibly moving!

Jun 17th
Reply