It feels like everything is self-care these days, so what actually works? Each week, comedians Steven Polletta and Sophie Yalkezian and neuroscientist Shannon Odell act as guinea pigs to a different self-care practice. They explore what it does and the science behind it with laughs along the way. You'll leave each episode with an expert opinion, new friends and a bounce in your step, guaranteed.
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Friends Shannon, Sophie, and Steven talk about the science behind, well, them. They discuss the data of friendships and how we perceive them, the science of what brings people together, and how seeing your pals could actually help you live longer. Ever wonder why you and your friend love the same song, movie, or fast casual salad? They get into that too. So tell a pal and join your virtual friends as we discuss everything friendship!
Follow us on Instagram @thescienceofselfcare, and if you like the show, support us through Patreon at www.patreon.com/scienceofselfcare.
You Might Actually Be In Love With Your Best Friend, The Cut Podcast, February 10 2021
Zerubavel, N., Bearman, P. S., Weber, J., & Ochsner, K. N. (2015). Neural mechanisms tracking popularity in real-world social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(49), 15072–15077. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1511477112
Parkinson, C., Kleinbaum, A.M. & Wheatley, T. Similar neural responses predict friendship. Nat Commun 9, 332 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02722-7
The Future Friendship Machine, NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/06/785523942/video-the-future-friendship-machine
Ellen Peters, J. Marianne Riksen-Walraven, Antonius H. N. Cillessen, Carolina de Weerth. Peer Rejection and HPA Activity in Middle Childhood: Friendship Makes a Difference. Child Development, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01647.x
Trudel-Fitzgerald, C., Zevon, E. S., Kawachi, I., Tucker-Seeley, R. D., Grodstein, F., & Kubzansky, L. D. (2020). The Prospective Association of Social Integration With Life Span and Exceptional Longevity in Women. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, 75(10), 2132–2141. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbz116
Graham, A. L., Zhao, K., Papandonatos, G. D., Erar, B., Wang, X., Amato, M. S., Cha, S., Cohn, A. M., & Pearson, J. L. (2017). A prospective examination of online social network dynamics and smoking cessation. PloS one, 12(8), e0183655. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183655
Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2008). Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 337, a2338. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2338
Improv with Gary Richardson and Patrick Keene
Sophie, Steven and Shannon are going back to their roots, exploring the ins and outs of improv comedy! Comedians Gary Richardson and Patrick Keene join them as they discuss the science of creativity, the power of "yes and" and what happens in our brains when we make choices on the spot.
The Microbiome with Dr. Ana Maria Porras
We aren't just humans—we're walking, talking bags of bugs! This week we're chatting with biomedical engineer Dr. Ana Maria Porras about THE MICROBIOME! Grab a pen and paper and listen up as the doctor introduces us to what's living inside of us, our unique butt colonies, and how to treat our guts well. We promise it's actually not as gross as it sounds.
Bacteria on the Brain by Emily Eakin for The New Yorker
Reading with Nicole Drespel
We’re back for season two! Today we’re talking about reading—an activity you may be doing more or less of in these pandemic times. We bring on one of our most literary-minded pals, comedian and writer Nicole Drespel, to discuss the science behind what makes reading a form of self-care. Special shout outs to Scholastic Book Fairs, Dawson’s Creek, and your aunt’s favorite, Danielle Steel.
*TW: brief mention of sexual assault*
Books we referenced:
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
Kidd, David Comer, and Emanuele Castano. “Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind.” Science (New York, N.Y.) vol. 342,6156 (2013): 377-80. doi:10.1126/science.1239918
Berns, Gregory S et al. “Short- and long-term effects of a novel on connectivity in the brain.” Brain connectivity vol. 3,6 (2013): 590-600. doi:10.1089/brain.2013.0166
Cain, Kate, and Jane Oakhill. “Matthew effects in young readers: reading comprehension and reading experience aid vocabulary development.” Journal of learning disabilities vol. 44,5 (2011): 431-43. doi:10.1177/0022219411410042
Gualano, M R et al. “The long-term effects of bibliotherapy in depression treatment: Systematic review of randomized clinical trials.” Clinical psychology review vol. 58 (2017): 49-58. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.09.006
Season 2 Coming Soon!
New year, new us! We're coming back for a second season filled with even more self-care practices and the science behind them. Plus, we're bringing on guests to help join the conversation—experts, scientists, comedians and more. Our new season begins January 12th so subscribe now! And join our Patreon to help support the show at patreon.com/scienceofselfcare.
Self-Care Mini: Plants
We're hitting a stride (kind of) with our recordings from home! Today is all about nature, aka house plants for all the isolators out there. Steven tells us about his herbs, Sophie about her prayer plant, and Shannon about her Excel docs. We discover a lot of ways that plants are metaphors for life, and children and pets. But without all the poop, thank god.
Send us pictures of your plants @thescienceofselfcare on Instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org.