31 episodes

An interview series with journalist Pandora Sykes, about the myths, anxieties and trends of modern life.

Doing It Right with Pandora Sykes Pandora Sykes

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 772 Ratings

An interview series with journalist Pandora Sykes, about the myths, anxieties and trends of modern life.

    We need to talk about postpartum psychosis, with Catherine Cho

    We need to talk about postpartum psychosis, with Catherine Cho

    So many women experience a postpartum mental disorder after having a baby. For me, it was postnatal depression. For Catherine Cho, it was postpartum psychosis. 
     
    You might not have thought about postpartum psychosis before. Certainly, I had no idea before I read Catherine’s memoir, that 1-2 in every 1000 women will be affected by it. So why isn’t it being talked about more? Or even, at all?
     
    In this episode, Catherine explains how she came to be sectioned on a psychiatric ward, how it impacted her relationship with her baby son and the rest of her family, the depression which followed her psychosis, and how she navigated second time motherhood.
     
    I know this episode might feel scary to some of you. But I believe that forewarned is forearmed. That knowing about these things can better protect us and those around us. And that politically, we should be talking more about matrescence - thought to be as big a cognitive change as puberty! - and how to improve maternal mental health.
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling, please call your GP or the NHS helpline, on 111. If it is an emergency, please call 999. For more information, visit app-network.org.
     
    Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness by Catherine Cho
    You can read an excerpt of Catherine’s book, here.
     
    Get in touch at doingitrightpod@gmail.com
    Presented by Pandora Sykes
    Sound by Kelsey Bennett
    Co-production by Pandora Sykes and Kelsey Bennett

    • 49 min
    How tech flattened personal taste, with Kyle Chayka

    How tech flattened personal taste, with Kyle Chayka

    The homogenisation of popular culture is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. In my 2020 book, How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? (which spawned this very podcast), I wrote an essay called Get The Look - inspired by a wildly successful Zara polkadot dress - about how internet culture is encouraging young women to dress as facsimiles of one other.
     
    So I was really excited to talk to Kyle Chayka, a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of a book Filterworld, about how technology - and more specifically, the algorithm - has come to shape what we watch, listen to, eat, dress and even how we travel.
     
    In this episode, we discuss the paradox of choice, decision fatigue, surveillance capitalism, dumb phones and how to break free of ‘the algo’ in order to re-learn what you actually like.
     
    Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka
    Read Kyle’s writing on tech and social media for The New Yorker here.
     
    Get in touch at doingitrightpod@gmail.com
    Presented by Pandora Sykes
    Sound by Kelsey Bennett
    Co-production by Pandora Sykes and Kelsey Bennett

    • 42 min
    Decolonising beauty, with Afua Hirsch

    Decolonising beauty, with Afua Hirsch

    I’m really interested in talking about the gnarly parts of the beauty industry - where things like tanning and hair removal actually come from. In the last series, Jessica DeFino debunked many myths about make-up and skincare. This season, I talk to journalist, author and broadcaster Afua Hirsch about beauty’s colonialist ideals and how she sought to break up with them.
     
    Afua talks about reconnecting with her ancestral heritage through beauty ritual, why rest is resistance, how tattooing can be a sacred act, why puberty should be celebrated, and how globalisation and the borderless world has left us yearning for community and ritual. 
     
    As you’ll glean from our sprawling conversation, ‘beauty’ - and by that I don’t mean make-up, but the social, political and cultural ideals around women’s bodies - is the portal to the way we live. I found this conversation so galvanizing (I am now on the path to getting “spiritually ripped”) and I really hope you do too.
     
    Decolonising My Body: a radical exploration of rituals and beauty by Afua Hirsch
     
    Get in touch at doingitrightpod@gmail.com
    Presented by Pandora Sykes
    Sound by Kelsey Bennett
    Co-production by Pandora Sykes and Kelsey Bennett
     

    • 45 min
    Why you might be languishing, with Corey Keyes

    Why you might be languishing, with Corey Keyes

    Feeling demotivated? Aimless? Without meaning, or purpose? According to sociologist and psychologist Corey Keyes, you could be languishing.
     
    In this episode, I talk to the renowned pioneer of mental wellbeing about his theories of languishing and flourishing, the subject of a thought-provoking new book. Corey explains why so many of us are languishing, how it’s different from burnout and depression, and the habits (such as ‘passive entertainment’) which can keep you stuck in the rut. 
     
    Corey also explores his opposing theory of flourishing, which is not just about “feeling good” but “functioning well’ - and how seeking it saved his life. So what does it mean to flourish? And how can we achieve it?
     
    Languishing: How To Feel Alive Again in a World That Wears Us Down by Corey Keyes
    Adam Grant’s piece for The New York Times on languishing
    Corey’s interview with The Guardian
     
    Get in touch at doingitrightpod@gmail.com
    Presented by Pandora Sykes
    Sound by Kelsey Bennett
    Co-production by Pandora Sykes and Kelsey Bennett

    • 30 min
    The myth of the sociopath, with Patric Gagne

    The myth of the sociopath, with Patric Gagne

    What does the term ‘sociopath’ mean to you? Serial killer? Social outcast? Or wait - is that a psychopath? 
     
    Patric first told her story in a column for the cult Modern Love series, titled ‘He Married a Sociopath: Me’. After the piece received an enormous response, Patric wrote a probing memoir about a life spent searching for answers: Why didn’t she feel guilt or shame like other people? Why did she have this overwhelming feeling of apathy? And how could she escape the strange pressure she felt, without resorting to violence?
     
    In this episode, Patric, a qualified psychotherapist, debunks the myths around sociopathy, sharing some of the cons, but also the pros. Above all, she wants us to see that sociopathy is a part of neurodiversity - and not a mere personality type. 
     
    [NB: ‘sociopath’ is not a recognised psychiatric term in the UK - it comes under ‘antisocial personality disorder’. But Patric thinks the two are different and so I defer to her experience/ language.]
     
    Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne
    The Perks of Being a Sociopath by Patric Gagne for TIME magazine
    He Married A Sociopath: Me by Patric Gagne for The New York Times’ Modern Love column
     
    Get in touch at doingitrightpod@gmail.com
    Presented by Pandora Sykes
    Sound by Kelsey Bennett
    Co-production by Pandora Sykes and Kelsey Bennett
     

    • 40 min
    How to have a more meaningful social life, with Priya Parker

    How to have a more meaningful social life, with Priya Parker

    Welcome to the last episode of Series 3! I really hope you have enjoyed the series and it’s given you some pause for thoughts. Don’t forget to rate and review the show on iTunes to help other people find me.
     
    Priya Parker is a conflict resolution strategist, based in the States and the author of a 2018 book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. I’ve wanted to speak to her since I read her book in 2019 , because so many of us - myself included! - struggle to maintain our social lives. What to say yes to, what to say no to, what to seek out and what to avoid. 
     
    Priya talks about gatherings big and small in a way that she calls “small p political” - because it is deeply political, she says, to decide what we celebrate, elevate and value through who, why and when we come together. I think Priya offers a really unique perspective on what gathering actually means. I hope you enjoy it - and thanks for joining me, for series 3!
     
    How should we meet? And who decides? by Priya Parker for The New York Times
     
    The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker 
     
    When do we actually need to meet in person? By Rae Ringel for The Harvard Business Review 
     
    Hosted & Exec Produced by Pandora Sykes
    Production by Joel Grove

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
772 Ratings

772 Ratings

SHardingham ,

Thought provoking podcast

Fascinated in this subject having changed a negative personality into a positive one. Compelling and thought provoking podcast with David Robson based on science. Look forward to more…

L-sea-87 ,

Sleep episode fascinating

Have loved doing it right and pandora more and more with each series- learn so much from each episode- found the sleep episode particularly fascinating.

Joannakrkrkr ,

Good premise lacks a more rounded discussion

Love the themes and discussions but often miss a more scientific discussion. For instance the episode on skincare was unfuriating. I understang the premise of sociocultural construction of the beauty industry and standars but the interwee saying that we don't need skincare products is a dangerously gross generalisation. The discussion lacked a more balanced argument that takes into accoubt actual experts like dermatologists or people working in skincare research like chemists not a journalist.

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