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February 25, 2020
Anthony is that rarest of things in American politics—a swing voter who is up for grabs in 2020. Caught between his Republican voting history and his current dislike of President Trump, Anthony is now registered as an Independent. But does he follow his head or his heart? In this episode of How To!, we bring in veteran political advisors David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a Republican consultant, who co-host the podcast Hacks on Tap. David and Mike discuss how to weigh ideology vs. electability and rank the issues that really matter. Can their advice help Anthony—and all of us—make sure our vote counts? Do you have a quandary in need of a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 18, 2020
Lorenzo is a dental student with big dreams—of becoming a rock star. Lorenzo plays a mean guitar at open mic night, but there’s one thing holding him back: He doesn’t know how to write his own songs. In this episode of How To!, we bring in master songwriter Ben Folds, former frontman of Ben Folds Five, and author of A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons. Many of those lessons are about how anyone can unlock their creativity. Ben breaks down his own music, and tinkers with Lorenzo’s attempt at writing a break-up song. He tells him to embrace cliché, then slip in something unexpected. Also, switch the first lyric with the second. Will it work? Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 11, 2020
Shannon runs a nonprofit in Aspen, Colorado — a place filled with wealthy donors, but also stiff competition. With nearly 500 nonprofits vying for money, how does Shannon help her organization stick out? Some of the best advice may come from an unlikely source: con artists. In this episode of How To!, Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game, shares con artists’ surprisingly similar tricks of the trade: Identify your mark, listen carefully, then tell them a story they want to hear. Can Shannon use these same techniques for a good cause?  Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 4, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak in China is causing panic worldwide. The World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency and all we hear about are doubling infection rates, massive quarantines, and drugstores running out of masks. In this episode of How To!, we ask Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, former New York Times reporter and author of An American Sickness, how she and her family survived the previous SARS epidemic in Beijing. We also revisit our conversation with Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, about what to do—and what not to do—if the coronavirus becomes a full-blown pandemic and spreads to where you live.  Do you have a question you want us to investigate? Send us a note at howto@slate.com. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 28, 2020
Andy would do anything for his girlfriend Cassie. Well, almost anything. As Cassie looks to move away for vet school, Andy has to decide if he’s going with her, leaving his job, family and friends, and two bands behind in Austin, TX. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face and her husband Dave, author of Get Out of Your Own Way. The Hollises have a lot of experience navigating this question, because for most of their marriage, Dave’s job as a Disney executive took priority—until he quit to support Rachel’s career. He tells Andy the first step in making this decision is to treat it like a choice, not an obligation.  Do you have a tough challenge 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 21, 2020
Jason has been addicted to meth for the past 15 years, which is not uncommon in his small Illinois town. Every time Jason got clean he would relapse, until last year when the state took custody of his two kids. Since then he’s sobered up, but is worried about making it last. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Fred Muench, a clinical psychologist and recovering heroin addict who is now the president of Center on Addiction/Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Muench knows how hard it is to beat the stigma of addiction. To convince people he’s changed, Fred says, Jason must first convince himself. Do you have a tough 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 14, 2020
Joe Loya robbed more than 30 banks during an 18-month span before going to jail. 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? 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. This episode originally aired July 30, 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 7, 2020
Once upon a time, Ashley met a man and fell in love. Now, she’s ready to get down on one knee and pop the question. But with so few women proposing to men, she’s not sure how to go about it. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Caroline Kitchener, staff writer for The Washington Post’s The Lily, to share her own unlikely proposal story. She tells Ashley not to worry about stealing a man’s thunder. As for planning the perfect engagement, forget flash mobs and diamond rings — Kitchener says a relationship contract is the first step for a successful marriage. 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
December 31, 2019
How To! gave dozens of people advice this year about solving their problems. Now, we track a few of them down to see how our experts’ suggestions transformed their lives. We follow up with an actor trying to get buff to play a superhero, a bachelor hoping to cook one perfect meal, a therapist who can’t fall asleep, an American expat who can’t decide where to live and a former cop who suffers anxiety attacks. We discover a bunch of useful tips for achieving change that sticks — just in time for 2020. 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.
December 24, 2019
Mary’s mother needs a new kidney — as long as it doesn’t come from Mary. What’s a 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. (This episode originally aired on July 30, 2019)
December 17, 2019
Jessica is only 26, but says her memory is ‘worse than my mother’s.’ She forgets friends’ birthdays, important details at work and worries that life is passing her by. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Joshua Foer, a former U.S.A. Memory Champion who wrote Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, to help Jessica train her brain. Josh says you don’t have to be a memory champion to have a superhuman ability to remember — you just have to pay attention and let your imagination run wild (the raunchier the better). 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.
December 10, 2019
Ben aka ‘Sleepless in San Francisco’ hasn’t been able to get a good night’s rest for over a decade. He’s tried noise machines, medication, vodka, even eating cheese -- but nothing has worked. It’s harming his health, his career and his dating life. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and co-founder of the meditation app Headspace, to help Ben hit the hay. Andy’s first tip to get more sleep at night? Start with ten minutes of meditation in the morning. 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.
December 3, 2019
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.
November 26, 2019
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.
November 19, 2019
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.
November 12, 2019
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.
November 5, 2019
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.
October 29, 2019
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.
October 22, 2019
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.
October 15, 2019
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.
October 8, 2019
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.
October 1, 2019
Megan is 35 years old, a lawyer, happily married — and suddenly not sure if she wants to be a mom. She always figured one day the maternal urge would kick in, but so far she’s only felt ambivalence. Does that mean that she shouldn’t have a baby? We asked Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, how she juggled this question. She tells us the secret to approaching situations where there is no going back, and how regret — regardless of what we choose — is always part of the equation. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 24, 2019
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. What’s 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.
September 17, 2019
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. 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.
September 10, 2019
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? 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.
September 3, 2019
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. We asked two experts — a public health expert from Johns Hopkins, and a member of the Zombie Squad — how to prepare. Their advice isn’t quite the same. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
August 27, 2019
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. 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.
August 20, 2019
A decade after Elizabeth’s family left the U.S. to live in Portugal, they’re wondering if it’s time to move back. So, 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.
August 20, 2019
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.
August 13, 2019
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, to 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.
August 13, 2019
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.
August 6, 2019
Gabe wants to fire a bad employee, but still be a good boss. 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.
July 30, 2019
Mary’s mother needs a new kidney — as long as it doesn’t come from Mary. What’s a good daughter to do? With the clock ticking, 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.
July 30, 2019
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. 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.
July 30, 2019
Joe Loya robbed over 30 banks during an 18-month span before going to jail. 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.
July 30, 2019
How do you learn to tell the perfect joke? 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.
June 21, 2019
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.
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