34 episodes

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.

How To! With Charles Duhigg Slate Magazine

    • How To

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.

    How To Write the Perfect Breakup Song with Ben Folds

    How To Write the Perfect Breakup Song with Ben Folds

    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.
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    • 33 min
    How To Convince People to Give You Money

    How To Convince People to Give You Money

    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.
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    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min
    How To Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus

    How To Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus

    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.
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    • 27 min
    How To Put Your Wife's Career First

    How To Put Your Wife's Career First

    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.
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    • 30 min
    How To Kick a Meth Habit

    How To Kick a Meth Habit

    Jason has been addicted to meth for the past 15 years, which is not uncommon in his small Illinois town. Every time Jason stopped using 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.
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    • 31 min
    How To Rob a Bank

    How To Rob a Bank

    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.
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    This episode originally aired July 30, 2019.
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    • 33 min

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