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When we think about the benefits of exercise, we tend to think of what it does for our body, making us leaner, stronger, and healthier. But my guest is out to emphasize the powerful effect physical activity has on our brains too, and just how much our bodies and minds are connected.Dr. Jennifer Heisz is a professor, the director of the NeuroFit Lab which studies the effects of exercise on brain health, and the author of Move the Body, Heal the Mind. Today on the show, Jennifer and I first discuss how physical activity can help treat mental disorders. She shares the way that low to moderate intensity exercise can mitigate anxiety, and how short bouts of intense exercise can be used as exposure therapy for treating panic disorders. We also talk about the phenomenon of inflammation-induced depression, and how exercise can alleviate it. And Jennifer shares how exercise can strengthen someone's attempt at sobriety, as well as prevent addiction in the first place. From there, we turn to the way exercise can not only mitigate mental maladies but actually optimize the mind. Jennifer shares how physical activity fights aging, and can enhance your focus and creativity. We discuss how exercise can improve your sleep, how it can be used to shift your circadian clock, and whether it's okay to work out close to your bedtime.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Podcast #589: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and CourageAoM Podcast #741: The Exercise Prescription for Depression and AnxietyAoM Podcast #585: Inflammation, Saunas, and the New Science of DepressionAoM Podcast #775: We Need a P.E. RevolutionAoM Podcast #575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable HabitThe NeuroFit Lab toolkit for overcoming obstacles to exercising consistentlyConnect With Jennifer HeiszJennifer's WebsiteJennifer on TwitterJennifer on InstagramThe NeuroFit Lab Website 
Within the space for just three decades, monumental episodes of exploration and expedition, politics and violence, including the mapping the Oregon Trail, the acquisition of California, and the Mexican-American and Civil wars, forever changed the history of the United States and the shape of the American West. And one man, an illiterate trapper, scout, and soldier, was there for it all: Kit Carson.In his book Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West, author and historian Hampton Sides follows Carson as a through-line in this extraordinary period. Today on the show, Hampton and I discuss how Kit Carson became a living legend through embellished accounts of his heroics, and yet undertook real-life exploits that were nearly as unbelievable as the tall tales told about him. We explore how Carson joined the grizzled fraternity of mountain men in his youth, and the wide array of skills that helped him excel as a trapper. We discuss how Carson then parlayed those skills into becoming a scout on expeditions that took him from St. Louis to California, over the Rocky and Sierra mountains, and all throughout the wild, rugged West. Hampton shares how these expeditions turned Carson into a national celebrity and what this frontiersman thought of his fame. Hampton also unpacks Carson’s complex relationship with American Indians, and how he respected and adopted the ways of some tribes, but fought against others. We end our conversation with why he decided to become an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, his initially reluctant and then brutal campaigns against the Navajos, and his legacy. 
Over the last year, my 12-year-old son has been doing one challenge every week as a rite of passage and chance to earn a special trip. Some of these challenges have involved reading a book in a week, and the most recent book we gave him to read was How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. His review? He said it was the best book he's read so far.So a book written almost 90 years ago can still be a favorite of a kid in the 21st century. Talk about some staying power. The advice in How to Win Friends & Influence People, and Dale Carnegie's other classic, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, is timeless. But to help introduce it to a new audience, my guest, Joe Hart, has recently co-authored the book Take Command, which synthesizes, updates, and adds to the principles of Carnegie's two perennial bestsellers. Joe is the President and CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates, which continues Carnegie's work in the present day, and we begin our conversation with some background on the guy who kicked off this work back in 1936. We then talk about what principles we can take from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living on developing a positive mindset. From there, we talk about the big overarching principle of How to Win Friends & Influence People, and how you can use it to improve your relationships. We end our conversation with advice on how to live life with more intentionality and meaning.Resources Related to the EpisodeHow to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale CarnegieHow to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale CarnegieThe Dale Carnegie Website, with links to the Take Command book page and the Dale Carnegie CourseAoM Article: The 8 Best Vintage Self-Improvement BooksAoM Podcast #818: The Philosophy of Self-ImprovementAoM Podcast #457: Leadership Lessons With Craig GroeschelAoM Podcast #527: The Journey to the Second Half of Life With Richard RohrAoM Podcast #518: The Second Mountain With David BrooksConnect With Joe HartJoe on TwitterJoe on LinkedIn
In a world that celebrates overnight success, it's easy to forget that very often, achieving your dreams takes a heck of a long time. My guest knows this all too well. You may know Steven Pressfield as the bestselling author of books like The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, and The War of Art, but as he details in his new memoir, Govt Cheese, it took more than a quarter century for him to become a published novelist.Today on the show, Steven talks about what he learned in that journey, and the many odd jobs, from driving trucks to picking apples, that he took along the way. We discuss the lessons Steven gleaned that apply to achieving any dream, including how to overcome a propensity for self-sabotage, get your ego out of the way, finish what you start, and develop the killer instinct. This is a great, motivating conversation on learning not to "pull the pin" on the important commitments in your life. And we'll explain what that means coming up.Resources Related to the EpisodeSteven's previous appearances on the show:#55: The Warrior Ethos #281: Overcoming the Resistance by Turning Pro#692: The Two Halves of the Warrior’s LifeSteven's books mentioned in the show:Govt CheesePut Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to BeThe Legend of Bagger VanceThe War of ArtAoM Article: 4 Key Insights From the Bhagavad GitaAoM Article: Hector and Achilles — Two Paths to ManlinessSeth Godin's pamphlet for learning to "ship it"AoM Podcast #849: Live Life in CrescendoConnect With Steven PressfieldSteven's WebsiteSteven on IG 
Started in 1938, the Harvard Study of Adult Development represents the longest study on happiness ever conducted. It set out to follow a group of men through every stage of their lives, from youth to old age, to discover what factors lead people to flourish.Here to share some of the insights that have been gleaned from the Harvard Study of Adult Development is Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current director of the project and the co-author of The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. Today on the show, Robert explains how the study has affirmed the absolute primacy of relationships in happiness and how to develop the “social fitness” to make and enrich those vital connections. We discuss what the happily married couples in the study did differently, and why happiness in marriage tends to follow a U-shaped curve which hits its low point in midlife. We talk about how the way you were raised helps set a trajectory for your life, but how it’s also possible to overcome a rough upbringing to become a transitional character in your family. We also discuss the role that friends and work played in the happiness of the men who participated in the study. We end our conversation with what folks in every stage of development — whether youth, midlife, or older age — should focus on to live a flourishing life.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Article: Love Is All You Need: Insights from the Longest Longitudinal Study on Men Ever ConductedAoM article and podcast on how and why to have weekly marriage meetingsAoM Podcast #795: The U-Shaped Curve of HappinessAoM Article: You Don’t Have to Be Your Dad — How to Become Your Family’s Transitional CharacterAoM Podcast #742: The Power of Talking to StrangersA Eulogy for My Grandfather, William D. HurstConnect With Robert WaldingerThe Good Life websiteHarvard Study of Adult Development
In the last several years, intermittent fasting — only eating for a short window each day — has gotten a lot of attention, particularly for the way it can facilitate weight loss. But as my guest will explain, going longer than a few hours or even a full day without eating also has some striking, potentially even life-changing benefits too, and may be able to heal a variety of health issues. Steve Hendricks is the author of The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting. He spends the first part of this conversation offering a thumbnail sketch of the history of extended fasting as a medical treatment. From there, we get into what emerging modern science is showing as to how prolonged fasts lasting days or even weeks can prevent and even cure a variety of diseases, from type 2 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis. We then talk about fasting's effect on cancer, and how it may address mental health issues by offering a metabolic reset. If you're an intermittent faster, you'll be interested to hear why it is you should ideally schedule your eating window for earlier rather than later in the day. We end our conversation with how to get started with extended fasting.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Article: The Spiritual Disciplines — FastingAoM Article: How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, and Get HealthierAoM Podcast #328: The Pros and Cons of Intermittent FastingAoM Podcast #624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America’s First Fitness InfluencerHenry S. TannerMinnesota Starvation Experiment Professor Valter LongoAoM Podcast #852: The Brain Energy Theory of Mental IllnessConnect With Steve HendricksSteve's Website, including his answers to FAQs on fasting
In my twenties and early thirties, I was a regular journaler. Several years ago, however, I stopped journaling almost entirely because I wasn't getting anything out of it anymore. But my guest has helped me see that my problem wasn't with journaling itself, but that I had gotten into a journaling rut, and he's introduced me to some new ways to journal that have inspired me to get back into the practice. Campbell Walker is an illustrator, animator, podcaster, and YouTuber, as well as the author of Your Head is a Houseboat: A Chaotic Guide to Mental Clarity. Today on the show, Cam shares how journaling transformed his life and what it can do for yours. We discuss why it's helpful to do a journaling brain dump and how to then move beyond that to incorporate different techniques that will help you get greater insight into the problems you're facing and how to solve them. We unpack those techniques, which include how to journal to break mindset, conduct a lifestyle and habits audit, and quell anxiety. We also talk about an experiment Cam did where he only used the social media apps on his phone when he was posting something, and every time he got the itch to check social media for fun, he engaged in something he calls "microjournaling" instead. We end our conversation with how Cam's journaling changed after he became a dad and his tips on making journaling a consistent habit in your life.Resources Related to the EpisodeCampbell's Video: The Journaling Techniques That Changed My LifeCampbell's Video: I Replaced Social Media With Micro-Journaling for 1 YearAoM Article: The Right and Wrong Way to JournalAoM Article: Why I Stopped JournalingAoM Article: 30 Days to a Better Man Day 8 — Start a JournalAoM Article: Jumpstart Your Journaling — A 31-Day ChallengeAoM Article: 31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-RelianceAoM Article: Quit Catastrophizing AoM Podcast #387: Think Like a Poker Player to Make Better Decisions (With Annie Duke)Connect With Campbell Walker (AKA "Struthless")Cam on YouTubeCam on IGThe Struthless Shop WebsiteThe Struthless Animation Studio Website
When most people work out, they jump right from a resting state called Zone 1 cardio to Zone 3 cardio. But in skipping over Zone 2 cardio altogether, they miss out on a significant range of benefits to their health, fitness, and overall well-being.Here to unpack why you need to make the relatively easy yet hugely beneficial form of exercise that is Zone 2 cardio a big part of your life is Alex Viada, a hybrid athlete and coach. We spend the first twenty minutes of this conversation discussing the physiological science of what cardio zones are and what happens in the body as you move from one zone to the next. From there, we turn to the more accessible and practical elements of getting into Zone 2 cardio. Alex shares the easiest way to know if you're in Zone 2, and we discuss how it can improve heart health, metabolism, sleep, and weight loss, as well as enhance athletic performance, whether you're into endurance sports or powerlifting. We then get into the amount of Zone 2 cardio you should be getting each week and how to get it, including Alex's take on the ever-controversial elliptical machine.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Article: A Guide to the Biggest Thing Missing From Your Fitness Routine — Zone 2 TrainingAoM Podcast #777: Becoming a Hybrid AthleteAoM Podcast #787: Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow)AoM Article: Conditioning — What It Is and How to Develop ItThe Hybrid Athlete by Alex ViadaConnect With Alex ViadaAlex on IGComplete Human Performance on IG 
Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight, curb their temper, quit smoking, or alter any other habit in their lives knows that personal change is hard. Really hard.Most self-help books out there treat people like machines, blitzing past this difficulty and offering mechanical 5-step formulas for changing your life.My guest today says such simplified solutions hugely miss the mark. He argues that if you ever want to change, it’s more fruitful to understand why you don’t, than figure why you do, and to understand that, you’ve got to go deeper, existential even.His name is Dr. Ross Ellenhorn, and he’s spent his career facilitating the recovery of individuals diagnosed with psychiatric and substance abuse issues. In his latest book, How We Change (And Ten Reasons Why We Don’t), he’s taken what he’s learned in his work and applied it to anyone trying to change their lives.Ross and I begin our conversation with some of those reasons we don’t change, including the existential pressure of feeling like you’re solely in charge of making change happen, a dizzying amount of freedom and number of options for what to do with your life, and day-to-day factors which influence our level of motivation. From there we turn to the role of hope and faith in psychology, and how these forces can both boost and restrain your ability to change. We discuss the way a fear of hope can constrain your life, why you sometimes need to embrace staying the same in order to ever change, and the difference between good faith and bad faith. We then discuss the idea that you don’t develop hope, but can develop faith, and how you build your faith in yourself through embracing humility and taking small steps. Ross then explains why he doesn’t really give advice on how to change, beyond finding the good in a bad habit, but how patience and your social environment can also help.This show’s got some counterintuitive advice that will help you see your struggles differently.Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in PodcastAoM archives on habitsLimiting Your Choices“We Shall Fight On the Beaches” by Winston ChurchillSelf-Efficacy and the Art of Doing ThingsThe Psychology of HopeHow Exercise Helps Us Find Hope, Connection, and CourageThe Tiny Habits That Change EverythingAoM series on overprotective parentingDance Like Zorba the GreekConnect With RossRoss’s websiteRoss on Twitter
What creates the differences between the sexes? Many would point to culture, and my guest today would agree that culture certainly shapes us. But she’d also argue that at the core of the divergence of the sexes, and in particular, of how men think and behave, is one powerful hormone: testosterone.Her name is Dr. Carole Hooven, and she’s a Harvard biologist and the author of T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone That Dominates and Divides Us. Today on the show, Carole explains the arguments that are made against testosterone’s influence on shaping men into men, and why she doesn’t think they hold water. She then unpacks the argument for how testosterone does function as the driving force in sex differences, and how it fundamentally shapes the bodies and minds of males. We delve into where T is made, how much of it men have compared to women, and what historical cases of castration tell us about the centrality of testosterone in male development. We then discuss how T shapes males, starting in the womb, and going into puberty and beyond, before turning to its influence in athletic performance. We end our conversation with Carole’s impassioned plea for celebrating what’s great about men.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Podcast #86: Demonic Males With Richard WranghamAoM series on testosteroneAoM Podcast #336: Master Your TestosteroneAoM series on statusAoM Podcast #756: How the Desire for Status Explains (Pretty Much) EverythingAoM series on the origins and nature of manhoodConnect With Carole HoovenCarole’s WebsiteCarole on Twitter 
With Christmas coming up, you're likely in the full holiday swing of things — decorating your tree, eating certain foods, listening to particular music, and buying and wrapping gifts. But did you ever stop to think about why it is you're taking part in this slate of often weird-but-wonderful traditions?Brian Earl has traced the backstories of our Christmas traditions in his podcast and book called ChristmasPast. Today on the show, he shares some of those backstories with us, and explains how many of our seemingly fated and timeless traditions actually came about in fluky and fortuitous ways and are a lot more recent than we think. He first unpacks how Christmas went from being a small religious observance to a huge cultural celebration and how our idea of Santa Claus evolved over time, with our current conception of Old St. Nick being less than a century old. We then discuss how it is we ended up taking evergreen trees inside our houses and decorating them, the origins of the most recorded Christmas song in history, why fruitcake became the butt of jokes, and why hardly anyone roasts chestnuts anymore, on an open fire or otherwise. Brian shares what new Christmas traditions he's seeing emerge and which classic ones are going away, and I offer an important PSA to future parents about Elf on the Shelf. We end our conversation with Brian's tips for getting into the Christmas spirit if you haven't been feeling it.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Article and Video: How to Roast Chestnuts on an Open FireAoM Article: Be a Scrooge This Year — Reflections From A Christmas CarolThe evolving image of Santa ClausPew Research study on the changing ways Americans celebrate ChristmasVintage Flintstones Fruity Pebbles Christmas commercialVintage McDonald's Christmas commercialAoM Article: 11 Ways to Get Into the Holiday SpiritConnect With Brian EarlBrian's Website and Podcast
For most people, their siblings will be the longest-lasting relationships of their lives, potentially enduring all the way from birth until past the death of their parents. Marked by both jealousy and conflict and love and loyalty, siblings are also some of our most complicated relationships. While a little over half of people describe their relationships with their siblings as positive, about one-fifth classify them as negative, and a quarter say their feelings about their siblings are decidedly mixed. Here to take us on a tour of the complex landscape of sibling-dom is Geoffrey Greif, a professor of social work and the co-author of the bookAdult Sibling Relationships. Today on the show, Geoffrey shares how our brothers and sisters shape us and how our relationship with our siblings changes as we move from childhood to old age. We discuss how the perception of parental favoritism affects the closeness of siblings and how a parent's relationship with their own siblings affects the relationship between their children. Geoffrey explains how most sibling relationships are marked by the three A's — affection, ambiguity, and/or ambivalence — and how the relationship can also become very distant or outright severed. We end our conversation with Geoffrey's advice on developing a good relationship between your children and reconnecting with your own siblings.Resources Related to the EpisodeGeoffrey's previous appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #360 — Understanding Male FriendshipsAoM Article: Forging the Bond Between BrothersStudy: "How Experiences with Siblings Relate to the Parenting of Siblings"Study: "Differential Effects of Perceptions of Mothers' and Fathers' Favoritism on Sibling Tension in Adulthood"Connect With Geoffrey GreifGeoffrey's Faculty Page
Why Homer Matters

Why Homer Matters


Even though the legendary poet Homer wrote the Iliad and Odyssey thousands of years ago, my guest would say that these epic poems are just as relevant and significant today, and even represent a kind of scripture.His name is Adam Nicolson, and he’s the author of Why Homer Matters. Today on the show, Adam makes the case that the Iliad is really the story of a collision between a more rooted, civilized way of life, represented by the character of Hector, and a nomadic, honor-bound gang ethos, represented by Achilles. We talk about how this collision birthed the character of Odysseus — who was both great warrior and subtle diplomat — and the whole Greek consciousness. And we discuss how that consciousness is also our consciousness, as we’re still wrestling with the warring impulses, dramas and dilemmas, and big questions of human experience Homer gave life.Resources Related to the EpisodeRobert Fagles’ translation of the Iliad and OdysseyAoM Article: Hector and Achilles: Two Paths to ManlinessAoM Podcast #337: What Homer’s Odyssey Can Teach Us TodayAoM Article: 3 Lessons From Homer’s OdysseyAoM Article: What Is Honor?
Befriending Winter

Befriending Winter


Some people dread winter with its cold weather, long dark nights, and the downcast mood these elements often induce.But my guest would say it's possible to befriend winter, and truly enjoy the rhythms and opportunities that are unique to this season.Micah Mortali is the founder of the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership and an instructor and retreat leader who uses the teaching of ancestral skills to help people develop greater mindfulness and connection with nature. Today on the show, Micah explains why we should consider winter "the night of the year" and how befriending the season involves aligning yourself with its call toward rest and reflection. We first discuss exploring the outdoor world during winter and how learning survival skills like shelter building and animal tracking can help you spend more time in nature, restore your sense of well-being, and simply feel more alive. In the second half of our conversation, we talk about how to improve your interior life during winter, both in the literal sense of making your house more cozy and in the metaphorical sense of turning inward. Micah explains why you should spend one night a week pretending you live off the grid, embrace the power of firelight, and may want to wait until March to make your New Year's resolutions. We end our conversation with why you might want to read The Road this winter.Resources Related to the EpisodeMicah's previous appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #739: Rewild Your LifeRewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature by Micah MortaliAoM Podcast #157: Primitive Pursuits & Winter SurvivalAoM Article: How to Make Pine Needle TeaAoM Article: How to Track Animals — A Primer on Identifying FootprintsTracking and the Art of Seeing by Paul RezendesTom Brown's Science and Art of Tracking by Tom Brown Jr.AoM Podcast #566: How to Have a Hyggely Christmas and a More Memorable New YearAoM Article: 8 Things That Can Help You Get More Hygge This Winter"The Forgotten Medieval Habit of 'Two Sleeps'""Can't Get to Sleep? A Wilderness Weekend Can Help" (Write-up on CU sleep study)WoodWick Candles that crackle when litAoM Article: Carry the FireThe Road by Cormac McCarthyAoM Podcast #760: Cormac McCarthy, The Road, and Carrying the FireConnect with Micah MortaliMicah's WebsiteMicah on IGMicah's Kripalu Faculty Page 
Of the dozens of men who have served as US president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a particularly close connection with the citizens he served. The only president elected to four terms, Americans hung FDR's picture up in their homes, wrote him thousands of letters, and regularly tuned in to listen to his fireside chats.My guest would say that much of the depth, gravitas, and empathy Roosevelt was able to convey to the country was not something inborn, but in fact grew out of a tragedy which befell him at the age of 39: the contraction of polio. Jonathan Darman is the author of Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis That Made a President, and today on the show, he paints a portrait of what Roosevelt was like before he got polio, and how, despite charm and ambition, he was considered shallow and a political lightweight. We then discuss what it was like for FDR to get polio, what he did during years of bedridden convalescence, and how the disease and his rehabilitation changed him. We talk about how the influence of FDR's polio experience can be seen in the way he guided the country through the Depression and WWII, and the lesson in realistic optimism he offers us today.Connect With Jonathan DarmanJonathan's Website 
People sometimes ask me what I think of video games. I think that, in moderation, they're a fine source of the kind of passive entertainment we all need little doses of in our lives. But for me personally, I rarely play video games because there's just too much other stuff I'd rather do instead.There is one notable exception to my ambivalence towards video games, however. A game which I played for hours with thorough enjoyment and zero regret: Red Dead Redemption 2. It's a video game that's more immersive and story-like than most others, and even gets you reflecting on the existential layers of life.Here to discuss those deeper layers of Red Dead Redemption 2 with me is Patrick Stokes, a professor of philosophy and fellow fan of the game. We combine two of my favorite things — Red Dead Redemption 2 and the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard — in a conversation on the existential themes you can find in the game like nostalgia, freedom, choice and consequences, and the certain uncertainty of death.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Podcast #790: Kierkegaard on the Present (Passionless) AgeAoM Podcast #635: The Existentialist’s Survival Guide"Art for Trying Times: How a Philosopher Found Solace Playing RedDeadRedemption 2" by Patrick StokesDigital Souls: A Philosophy of Online Death by Patrick Stokes"A Special Way of Being Afraid" — Kathy Behrendt on the fear of non-existence in deathA Very Easy Death by Simone De BeauvoirPhoto of Lewis Powell — conspirator in the Lincoln assassination"The Ruin" poemKierkegaard quote on living life forwardsMimesis as Make-Believe by Kendall WaltonThe Ethical Demand by Knud Ejler LøgstrupPatrick's articles on New Philosopher Connect With Patrick StokesPatrick's WebsitePatrick on Twitter
The Real Rules of Power

The Real Rules of Power


Most leadership advice says the same thing: to be a good leader, you need to be generous, humble, and authentic.My guest, professor of organizational behavior Jeffrey Pfeffer, would say that kind of advice may make us feel good and represent the world as we'd like it to be, but it doesn't actually work in the world as it really is. What the research shows does work is what he lays out in his book: 7 Rules of Power: Surprising-—But True—Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career.People often have negative associations with power, but Jeffrey would argue that power, and many of the techniques involved in getting it, are morally neutral, and can be used for ill or for good. So if you have a worthy aim and want to grow your influence and move up in your job, you have to get comfortable going after something that may make you uncomfortable. Jeffrey shares how to do that as we take a quick and dirty dive into the real rules of power.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Article: How to Dress to Convey PowerAoM Article: The 3 Elements of Charisma — PowerAoM Podcast #403: A Better Way to NetworkConnect With Jeffry PfefferJeffrey's Website with links to his podcast — Pfeffer on Power 
Mental illnesses of all kinds are on the rise, and yet we seem no closer to being able to treat them effectively. We're only able to treat the symptoms of mental illness, but aren't often able to put the illness into remission because its root cause has been a mystery.My guest, however, believes he knows exactly what the root cause of mental illness is, and thus how to finally resolve it for good. His name is Dr. Chrisopther Palmer, and he's a Harvard psychiatrist and the author of Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health. Today on the show, Chris unpacks his theory of mental illness, which basically comes down to this: if your brain cells aren't getting enough energy, they're not going to function properly. He explains how numerous and seemingly diverse mental illnesses, from anxiety and depression to ADHD and alcoholism, actually all have a common pathway: metabolic disorders. While we typically think of metabolism as related to the physical body, it also greatly affects the mind, and Chris explains how you can have the kind of metabolic problems that cause mental illness even if you're not overweight. Chris then shares how certain lifestyle changes, like switching to a ketogenic diet, may be able to completely cure mental illness.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Podcast #585: Inflammation, Saunas, and the New Science of DepressionAoM Podcast #793: The New Science of Metabolism and Weight LossAoM Podcast #747: Why We Get SickConnect With Dr. Christopher PalmerThe BrainEnergy WebsiteChris' WebsiteListen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)Listen to the episode on a separate page.Download this episode.Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.Listen ad-free on Stitcher Premium; get a free month when you use code "manliness" at checkout. 
Overcome the Comfort Crisis

Overcome the Comfort Crisis


Our world has never been more convenient and comfortable. With just a few taps of our fingers, we can order food to our door, access endless entertainment options, and keep our climate at a steady 72 degrees. We don't have to put in much effort, much less face any risk or challenge, in order to sustain our daily lives. In some ways, this quantum leap in humanity's comfort level is a great boon. But in other ways, it's absolutely killing our minds, bodies, and spirit.My guest says it's time to reclaim the currently-hard-to-come-by but truly essential benefits of discomfort. His name is Michael Easter, and he's a writer, editor, and professor, and the author of The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self. Michael first shares how his experience with getting sober helped him discover the life-changing potential of doing hard things, before digging into what fleeing from discomfort is doing to our mental and physical health. We then discuss the Japanese idea of misogis, which involves taking on an epic outdoor challenge, and why Michael decided to do a misogi in which he participated in a month-long caribou hunt in the backcountry of Alaska. Michael shares what he learned from the various challenges he encountered during his misogi — including intense hunger, boredom, solitude, and physical exertion — as well as what research can teach all of us about why we need to incorporate these same kinds of discomforts into our everyday lives.Resources Related to the EpisodeRelated AoM Articles:A Few Lessons From Beating the BottleHow I Learned to Be Comfortable Being UncomfortableShadow Work and the Rise of Middle-Class SerfdomHow the Hero's Journey Can Help You Become a Better ManBe a Time Wizard: How to Speed Up and Slow Down TimeTake the One-Month "Do Something New Every Day" ChallengeLessons on Solitude From an Antarctic ExplorerFasting as a Spiritual DisciplineDon't Just Lift Heavy, Carry HeavyCardio for the Man Who Hates CardioRelated AoM Podcasts:Are Modern People the Most Exhausted in History?Why Are We Restless?Wish You Had More Time? What You Really Want Is More MemoriesThe Psychology of BoredomWeird and Wonderful Ways to Get Comfortable Being UncomfortableWhat You Can (Really) Learn About Exercise From Your Human AncestorsBuilding Better Citizens Through RuckingConnect With Michael EasterMichael's WebsiteMichael on InstagramMichael on Twitter
The Future Is Analog

The Future Is Analog


In 2016, David Sax wrote a book called The Revenge of Analog, which made the case that even as we marched towards an ever more digital future, we were increasingly returning to real, tangible things — choosing vinyl records over streaming, brick and mortar bookstores over Amazon, and in-person conversations over Skype.In the intervening years, the pandemic hit, and, David argues, truly reaffirmed his case, which he lays out in his latest book: The Future Is Analog.Today on the show, David explains how the pandemic gave us a trial run of an entirely digital future, and made us realize we really don't want it, or at least, we don't want all of it. We discuss the drawbacks that came from going virtual with work, school, shopping, socializing, and religious worship, and discuss how we're not as smart when we don't use our embodied cognition, how information is different from education, and why there are few things quite as awful as a Zoom cocktail party.Resources Related to the EpisodeDavid’s previous appearance on the AoM Podcast: Episode #289 — Revenge of the AnalogAoM Podcast #796: The Life We’re Looking ForSonic Boom music store in TorontoNative Summit outdoor store in Edmond, OKConnect With David SaxDavid on TwitterDavid’s Website
Comments (262)


Interesting! And a very touching moment at the end.

Jan 15th

Michael Moffeit

There was a moment when I was playing through RDR2, and the gang was just sitting around the campfire. Almost out of nowhere, Javier starts playing his guitar and sings Canta y no Llorres. The entire gang joined in. One of the most peaceful moments I have ever experienced playing video games.

Jan 13th

Kyle Simmons

this has been one of my favorite casts on the subject so far

Jan 4th


never heard of him....

Dec 14th

Blk Blu

no sing!let's ring!

Nov 14th

bob caygeon

Recently spoke to a college professor from Rods hometown of Ithaca, NY. He concurred that placing all episodes of The TZ behind a paywall keeps these great works out of the reach of many. In the 1970s, we watched Serlings adaptation of Bierce's Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge in school. I can still hear that forboding train whistle.

Oct 29th
Reply (1)

Hachig Rudolph Alyanakian

Is voting every four years a ritual? Does it have a utilitarian end like brushing one's teeth?

Sep 20th


Worry vs planning and solving

Sep 15th

Vishaal Bhatnagar

One of your best episodes. Worth an Emmy Award, or its equivalent.

Aug 28th


That was amazing!

Aug 14th

Dave Taheri


Jul 28th


nice podcast

Feb 28th

Nathan Rowbury

Part one and two are the same presentation

Jan 26th


Jonathan Sacks on the Sabbath: “Here is a one-day miracle vacation that has the power to strengthen a marriage, celebrate family, make you part of a community, rejoice in what you have rather than worrying about what you don’t yet have, relieve you from the tyranny of smartphones, texts and 24/7 availability, reduce stress, banish the pressures of work and consumerism, and renew your appetite for life. It is supplied with wine, good food, fine words, great songs and lovely rituals. You don’t need to catch a plane or book in advance. … To get there all you need is self-control, the ability to say ‘no’ to work, shopping, cars, televisions and phones. But then, everything worth having needs self-control.”

Jan 25th


Hey it's a new year, how bout changing your intro music. Sounds like a porno game show.

Jan 2nd
Reply (2)

Shawn Krooswyk

I've been listening to AOM for nearly a decade. Thank you Brett and Kay for continuing to produce material which has helped me to grow as a man, husband and father who didn't have a healthy example of what it looks like to live with healthy masculinity in this confused world.

Dec 23rd

Yuri Kateivas

an awesome title would be.. to beer or not to beer

Dec 12th

Salvin Rodrigues

let them play

Dec 5th

David Schmidt

10 minutes: How not to get started.

Oct 10th

Benjamin Engleman

Glad he's not a pastor anymore...

Oct 6th
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