How To! With Charles Duhigg

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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.

Episode Date
How To Get Your Kid To Finally Grow Up
1765
Owen is about to graduate from high school and has no idea what he wants to do next. Owen doesn’t seem worried, but his mom, Lisa, is freaking out. In this episode of How To!, we get help from Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Stanford dean and author of How to Raise an Adult. Julie regrets dragging her own son off to college before he was ready. Pushing your child into adulthood, she says, means asking the right questions — and then getting out of the way. Do you have a burning question or a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Dec 03, 2019
How To Cook One Perfect Meal
2082
Jonny is a 26-year-old bachelor whose cooking often leads to heartache (and for one ex-girlfriend, a stomachache). Jonny admits he’s a klutz in the kitchen, so we hooked him up with Sam Sifton, cookbook raconteur and head of the New York Times’ Cooking section, to see if we can teach our lovelorn millennial to cook one perfect meal. Is romantic bliss just a well-browned chicken thigh away? (This episode first aired on August 13, 2019) Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Nov 26, 2019
How To Win At Online Dating
1838
Traci is a single, professional woman looking for love. She builds furniture in her spare time, enjoys dancing and can’t believe she has to devote an hour each day to swiping through photos and sending flirty texts. Traci’s quest for romance is made harder by the fact that, as a black woman, she has to put up with more nonsense than usual. In this episode of How To! we ask Thirst Aid Kit hosts Nichole Perkins and Bim Adewunmi to share their insights on modern desire. They revamp Traci’s profile, swap stories and share tips about how to thrive at online dating. Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Nov 19, 2019
How To Perform Under Pressure
1976
Mike’s dream job of playing bass in a Chicago orchestra is within reach — if only he can conquer his nerves and master the audition. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Dr. Don Greene, a peak performance psychologist who’s worked with Wall Street traders and Olympic athletes, to see if he can help Mike perform his best under the spotlight. The secret? Jumping jacks, extra sleep, and watching reruns of The Office. Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Nov 12, 2019
How To Withstand Pain
1999
Sophie is a typical mom … who runs ultramarathons in her spare time. She’s pretty tough but an upcoming 268-mile race across the loneliest parts of England is freaking her out. In this episode of How To! we turned to Wim Hof, aka “The Iceman” for advice. Because when you are worried about pain, you should definitely consult a Dutch extreme athlete who sits in freezing water for fun. (Really!) (This episode first aired on July 30, 2019) Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Nov 05, 2019
How To Not Be Scared
1819
Becca is 6-feet tall, bold and strong-willed. She’s also easily startled and paralyzed by fear — even a children’s haunted house can reduce her to tears. In this episode of How To!, we bring in sociologist Margee Kerr, author of Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, to give us the lowdown on surviving scary situations. Can making fear more fun help Becca overcome her startle reflex in time for Halloween? Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Oct 29, 2019
How To Fire Your Daughter
1877
Kyle wants to sell his 50-year old family insurance business so he can finally retire. But a troublesome employee is holding him back: his daughter. In this episode of How To!, Harvard Business School professor Christina Wing tries to help Kyle figure out how to sell his company without sabotaging their relationship. But if you have to fire your daughter, is it ever strictly business? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Oct 22, 2019
How To Put Down Your Phone
1648
How many times have you looked at your phone so far today? Do you feel like you’re choosing to look, or automatically craving it when you ought to be enjoying life? In this episode of How To! we get advice from Jia Tolentino, New Yorker writer and author of Trick Mirror, who spends hours on the phone every day for her job. And Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism, whose 30-day ‘digital declutter’ helps us think more deeply, be more present, and control our devices so they don’t control us. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Oct 15, 2019
How To Be Funny
1858
How do you learn to tell the perfect joke? In this episode of How To! A pastor from Oklahoma wants to spice up his sermons from the pulpit. So we introduce him to Gary Gulman, a New York standup comedian who makes jokes about his clinical depression in the new HBO comedy special The Great Depresh. The lesson? “Man plans, and God laughs.” But only if you nail the delivery. (This episode first aired on July 30, 2019) Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Oct 08, 2019
How To Decide Whether To Have a Baby
1896
Oct 01, 2019
How To Go On a Family Adventure
1863
Can a family travel around the world for a year without killing each other? Dan Kois spent a year in New Zealand, The Netherlands, Costa Rica and Kansas with his wife Alia and their two young daughters, learning how other cultures parent. The result is How to Be A Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World. In this episode of How To! we learn the secret to traveling together for that long. And what do you do when everyone is tired and whiny and wants to go home? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Sep 24, 2019
How To Look Like a Superhero
1823
How did Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman get so buff to play Deadpool and Wolverine? An up-and-coming Hollywood actor wants to know so he can land his own superhero role. In this episode of How To! we turn to Reynolds’ and Jackman’s trainer, Don Saladino, who says the key to six-pack abs and bulging biceps is not what you think. In fact, it’s something we can all do. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Sep 17, 2019
How To Stress Your Kid the Right Way
1767
Is there a right way to let kids struggle and fail? How do you raise resilient children? And most important, when should you help out, and when should you chill out? In this episode of How To! we ask Dr. Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee to advise a Portland, Oregon couple who worry about their son getting wet in a squirt gun fight. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Sep 10, 2019
How To Survive a Pandemic
1782
Have you ever wondered how you would fare in the apocalypse? Perhaps you have envisioned yourself, shotgun loaded, prepared to mete out kindhearted justice and tough-love defense in equal measure. It turns out, though, that when the next pandemic comes, it might not be exactly like the movies. In this episode of How To! we get tips from a public health expert at Johns Hopkins — and a member of the Zombie Squad. Their advice isn’t quite the same. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Sep 03, 2019
How To Stop Being Anxious
1763
Matt has anxiety attacks. Every day. When he gets too many texts, when he starts worrying about his family, when the unexpected occurs: that’s when the sweat starts and his mind begins racing. He’s a strong guy — he was a cop — but he thinks today’s problem is connected to a tragic event in the past, and he doesn’t know what to do. In this episode of How To! we introduce him to Dr. Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist and habit expert, to help Matt figure out what’s triggering his anxiety attacks and how he can get back control over his head — and his life. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Aug 27, 2019
How To Uproot Your Life
1680
A decade after Elizabeth’s family left the U.S. to live in Portugal, they’re wondering if it’s time to move back. In this episode of How To! we turn to professional poker player, Annie Duke, who treats every decision like it’s a bet. She says think of each choice as a wager on your future self. But how do you go all in when you’re uncertain about the odds? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Aug 20, 2019
How To Cook One Perfect Meal
1934
Jonny is a 26 year-old bachelor whose cooking often leads to heartache (and for one ex-girlfriend, a stomach ache). Jonny admits he’s a klutz in the kitchen, so we hooked him up with Sam Sifton, cookbook raconteur and head of the New York Times’s Cooking section. In this episode of How To! we see if we can teach our love-lorn Millennial to cook one perfect meal. Is romantic bliss just a well-browned chicken thigh away? (Recipe included!) Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Aug 13, 2019
How To Fire a Bad Employee
1714
Gabe wants to fire a bad employee, but still be a good boss. In this episode of How To! we turn to Stanford professor of management science, Bob Sutton (The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss) for help. First, Sutton says, Gabe has to act like a boss, not a friend. Then he should write a letter, focus on compassion and hide the box of tissues. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Aug 06, 2019
How To Give Your Mom a Kidney
1785
Mary’s mother needs a new kidney — as long as it doesn’t come from Mary. What’s a good daughter to do? In this episode of How To! Mary hears from Larissa MacFarquhar, author of a book on extreme altruism, to learn how to convince ourselves - and others - to do the most generous things. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Jul 30, 2019
How To Withstand Pain
1806
Sophie Power once breastfed her newborn during an ultramarathon, but an upcoming 268-mile race across a remote stretch of Great Britain is freaking her out. In this episode of How To! we turn to Wim Hof, aka “The Iceman,” for advice. Because when you are worried about pain, you should definitely consult a Dutch extreme athlete who sits in freezing water for fun. (Really!) Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Jul 30, 2019
How To Rob a Bank
1844
Joe Loya robbed over 30 banks during an 18-month span before going to jail. In this episode of How To! Charles wants to rob one bank on a Saturday afternoon, and get away scot-free. Can Joe teach Charles the tricks of the trade? Or will he shatter his dreams, and a few stereotypes along the way? Also, is it a good idea to carry a microphone while attempting a robbery? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Jul 30, 2019
How To Be Funny
1658
How do you learn to tell the perfect joke? In this episode of How To! a pastor from Oklahoma wants to spice up his sermons. So we introduce him to Gary Gulman, a New York standup comedian who makes jokes about his clinical depression. The lesson? “Man plans, and God laughs.” But only if you nail the delivery. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Jul 30, 2019
Introducing How To!
166
What if Dear Abby was an investigative reporter? Each week, 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.
Jun 21, 2019