If like me, you fell in love with Brenè Brown by viewing her TedTalk on vulnerability and shame, which is one of the most-watched TedTalks in the history of the seminars, you were also thrilled to hear she was debuting as a podcaster.
For those of you who are not aware of the work of Brenè Brown, she is a New York Times best-selling author who works at the University of Houston as a research professor specializing in shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy.
Thankfully for all of us out here in this crazy world, Brenè has now become quite the podcaster too.
Brenè has brilliantly translated her work and curious nature about humanity into the podcast series Unlocking Us with Brenè Brown.
To help get you started in consuming all of Brenè’s most heartwarming and hopeful content, we have compiled for you her very best episodes.
Here are the 7 Best Episodes of Unlocking Us With Brenè Brown:
7. Harriet Lerner and Brenè – I’m Sorry: How to Apologize & Why It Matters
I must admit, I never really gave much thought to the quality of an apology. I certainly never thought through the lasting ramifications of delivering an inappropriate or half-baked apology.
This was illuminating to me. From our homes to out in the workplace, we need to be able to render a heartfelt apology if we are to care at all about the depth and sustainability of our many relationships we tend to in this world.
This was such a critical philosophy on apologies being relayed by Harriet Lerner that it was a multi-part episode.
You can check out part 2 right here.
6. Brenè on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball
Just when everyone’s sanity was being pushed and tested to the limits from the early days of the pandemic, Brenè checked in with this solo episode in which she dropped wisdom bombs all over the place.
So many comforting and hopeful concepts shared by Brenè during this critical and much-needed episode.
5. Dr. Vivek Murthy and Brenè on Loneliness and Connection
This was such an enlightening and necessary discussion on loneliness with Dr. Vivek Murthy.
There are many ways in which loneliness can look and feel like and I admittedly was a bit naive to these concepts but could certainly relate when they were put forth in this episode.
The potential wellness ramifications of loneliness are dire and akin to smoking.
There must be more general awareness and understanding of the harmful effects of loneliness.
4. Brenè with Tim Ferriss and Dax Shepard on Podcasting, Daily Practices, and the Long and Winding Path to Healing
Wow. Talk about a powerhouse trio. Three of my all-time favorite podcasters getting together for an impactful conversation on all things life.
Brenè was the perfect facilitator of this discussion through her inquisitive nature and loveable sense of humor.
Lots of vulnerability, heartfelt sharing, and hope to be had in this incredible episode.
I could listen all day to the nuggets of wisdom being dropped by these three. Loved this episode.
3. Brenè With David Eagleman on The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain
I love getting to listen to people who are so clearly doing the work they were put on this earth to do.
David Eagleman is a foremost expert on neuroscience.
He details, in understandable lamens terms, how we have the ability to literally change the shape and functionality of our brains.
Mind-blowing concepts put forth in this discussion with Brenè and David. Pun fully intended.
2. David Kessler and Brenè on Grief and Finding Meaning
Who has not or will not suffer severe bouts of grief in their lifetime?
This episode should be required listening for everyone.
David Kessler is a credentialed expert on grief and loss.
He and Brenè will help guide us through the grieving process and how to find meaning and beauty in loss.
1. Brenè on FFTs
No guests. No fancy studio.
It was actually Brenè recording her first episode from literally inside a closet in her bedroom.
All the plans for high-end production on the debut episode got thrown by the wayside when the pandemic struck.
This episode is the clear choice for #1 overall because it contains every single thing we love about Brenè Brown.
It is messy. She bares her soul. And we love her and this podcast because of it.
Welcome to the world of podcasting Brenè. Thank you for being here.
Proving Her Podcasting Chops
Brenè was unflinching in sharing her personal panic and fears surrounding her first-time venture into producing and hosting a podcast.
She recounted all the plans and big-time studio enhancements that were being established in anticipation of her launch, which all fell completely apart when the pandemic hit.
Brown was forced to produce her very first podcast from inside her own home using a microphone while huddled up in a closet surrounded by strewn-about clothes.
It was messy, per her conjured-up expectations, and it was perfect.
The release of Unlocking Us With Brenè Brown is truly a welcomed platform for Brown to continue to expand her community and do the work we all so greatly benefit from.
Retaining The Personal Approach
The first thing I wanted to know when I heard about the release of Unlocking Us was whether the feeling of talking around the kitchen table of Brenè Brown would be recreated in a more professionally-produced podcast.
Luckily for those of us who have been familiar with the work of Brown, the soothing nature and personal approach of her work remains in place throughout this podcast.
One of the aspects of Brown’s work that shines through in the podcast is her ability as a host along with her guests to relate their conversations to everyday people out in the real world.
The feel of the podcast may come off a little more polished once the guests start appearing with Brown, but the sense of an intimate chat between friends is ever-present.
For example, the episode featuring Dr. Marc Brackett gives us some inspiring, real-world insight into his work about empathy.
Brown is unapologetically giddy at times during the conversation and often brings the talk back to her own life and how she sees parallels to the relationships with her husband and children.
It is Brown’s willingness to share her own “stuff” that constantly hits home for her community and allows us all to heal and grow from the shared human experiences with emotions like shame.
Two emotions researchers. One podcast. A total feelings frenzy of the best kind! @marcbrackett is such a great teacher. I think y’all will love this conversation. Listen to the full episode at https://t.co/Vo0DE6f6eT pic.twitter.com/mhuwojuDZJ— Brené Brown (@BreneBrown) April 14, 2020
Unlocking the Secrets of Life
What attracts me to this brand new podcast series from Brenè Brown is the fact she is taking the work of her exhaustive research and relating it to the world around us all.
Although I did enjoy the episode featuring Dr. Marc Brackett, the welcomed decision to talk to musician Alicia Keys brings the work of Brown to a more mainstream audience as the pair discuss how music affects the human experience.
The more the universe has thrown my way as I have aged in life, the more I am fascinated by the emotions we all feel and struggle with.
Taking the music of Alicia Keys and addressing how it can change the emotions we feel shows how the world around us is intertwined with our emotions.
After listening to the episode featuring Alicia Keys and then the discussion with Dr. Brackett, I felt the work being done by Brenè Brown was presented to me in an easier way to access and take action upon as well.
Brown has always had a positive and approachable way of discussing even the most sensitive matters which helps to give a hopeful view of our lives even in the darkest times.
Speaking Directly to us
Brenè Brown has a knack for speaking directly to the listener and getting across the points she believes are the most important to underscore for her community.
Despite the profile of a new podcast and its ability to attract all sorts of intriguing guests, I still most enjoy the moments when Brown simply sits and talks directly to us the listener.
Making sure we all have access to her tireless research and the information we need to live a better life is one of the most important aspects of this new podcast series for me.
Our patterned ways of dealing w/ anxiety are often set up in our first families. Understanding how+why can set us free. Oldest of four – I was the protector and czar (aka overfunctioning boot camp). Listen to the episode on #UnlockingUs: https://t.co/y8967z7OG7 pic.twitter.com/ZAEI1XZG1S— Brené Brown (@BreneBrown) April 3, 2020
Addressing Important Topics
There is so much shared trauma and discomfort running throughout humanity yet we often keep these sorts of discussions behind closed doors or even worse swept under rugs.
Early on at the onset of the discussion with Dr. Brackett, he was willing and open is discussing his problems from having endured being sexually abused as a child.
As important as his revelation of the abuse, was his perseverance and growth through the traumatic experience.
This revelation gave Brown the opportunity to acknowledge just how pervasive abuse is in our society yet how little we embrace the discomfort in discussing such a pressing topic.
Her podcast platform allowed an opportunity for a safe discussion to take place surrounding the topic of abuse.
It especially offered a glimpse into the work that can be done to begin to understand and overcome the emotions and trauma that stem from suffering through such a tragic occurrence.
Helping People Live Better Lives
The work of Brown is critical to helping humanity push forward in the face of problems we all endure in the 21st-century.
Even with the promise of technology to make us all more connected across the globe, there seems to be a growing feeling of isolation in our new-media age.
That disconnection along with the polarization of society from our current political climate can lead to a rather distressed society.
Dr. Brown is providing us with a safe place where difficult subjects can be addressed in an easy to understand manner.
In many cases, the subjects we most need to discuss are the ones that can be the most difficult, but Brown finds a way to traverse these subjects with grace and as importantly some well-timed laughs along the way.
Her sense of humor and ability to laugh, even at herself, is often much-needed relief from the gravity of the topics being covered.
By changing the way we look at the world and addressing the difficult situations we all see around us, we can move into a new era of our lives that are happier and more engaging.
Thankfully, we have this new podcast platform that can make us feel like we are having coffee in the kitchen with a dear old friend who just happens to be a world-renown expert in seeking out that more enriched life.
I am of the belief that Brenè Brown not only solidified herself as a legitimate and credible podcaster but her debut season of shows earned Unlocking Us the right to be included in any Best Podcasts of 2020 discussions.
Unlocking Us offered the perfect blend of scientific research and downhome wisdom that only Brown can deliver in her beloved manner.
Brown wasted little time in coming right back out again with the 2nd season of Unlocking Us that kicked off in early September 2020 with the episode “Brenè on Day 2”. She has been off and running since.
The world can feel messy and stressed these days, more so than at any point I can recall in the past. We have to be diligent in the data we take in and the content we chose to reverberate in our headspace.
Brenè Brown is a treasure and Unlocking Us is the perfect content companion to help us process and move through life, hopefully with a little bit of grace and a whole lot of joy.