196 episodes

Are you living your best life now? Not always? This is a podcast for you. Duke Professor Kate Bowler is an expert in the stories we tell about success and failure, suffering and happiness. She had Stage IV cancer. Then she didn’t. And since then, all she wants to do is talk to funny and wise people about how to live with the knowledge that, well, everything happens.  Find her online at @katecbowler.

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Everything Happens with Kate Bowler Lemonada

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 4.4K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Are you living your best life now? Not always? This is a podcast for you. Duke Professor Kate Bowler is an expert in the stories we tell about success and failure, suffering and happiness. She had Stage IV cancer. Then she didn’t. And since then, all she wants to do is talk to funny and wise people about how to live with the knowledge that, well, everything happens.  Find her online at @katecbowler.

Sales and Distribution by Lemonada Media https://lemonadamedia.com/

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Thomas Lynch: Good Grief

    Thomas Lynch: Good Grief

    What do you learn standing so close to the edge with so many people? Listen for wisdom on mortality and hope—like how the habits of love are hard to break and what makes a ‘good funeral’ directly from a thoughtful and funny funeral director himself.
    In this episode, Kate and Thomas discuss: 
    How the habits of love are hard to break, no matter how old the person died who you grieve How those we grieve know our hearts and our love more fully What elements make up a good funeral This episode originally aired in 2022, but we’re revisiting it because I think it might be the best conversation I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
    CW: suicide, death
     
    Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here or visiting katebowler.com/podcasts.
    Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler. Links to social pages and more available at linktr.ee/katecbowler.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    Listen Again: Kwame Alexander—To Be Loved Like That

    Listen Again: Kwame Alexander—To Be Loved Like That

    Our most precious relationships are often our most complicated, aren’t they? Poet and bestselling author Kwame Alexander wrote an honest book of poems and essays that name the difficult and beautiful and heart-wrenching conversations we have (or should be having) with the people we love and with the ones who love us. 
    In this conversation, Kwame and Kate discuss: 
    How we can’t outrun our grief How our own parents love us in the ways they want to be loved, but maybe not in the ways we need—and how we find our ways back to each other The desire to share with our kids how we love, where we fail, where we tried, and who we were before we were their parent CW: death of parent, divorce
    ***
    Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here or visiting katebowler.com/podcasts.
    Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler. Links to social pages and more available at linktr.ee/katecbowler.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    Suleika Jaouad: You Are Not The Bad Thing

    Suleika Jaouad: You Are Not The Bad Thing

    There is a strange tension when we want so badly for the people we love to support us, but want to shield them from the pain at the same time. This is a beautiful, terrible kind of love. 
    In this conversation, Kate and bestselling writer Suleika Jaouad discuss:
    What it is like to be the one suffering—all the guilt and shame and rage and mercy and grace  How we can create better economies of love around those who need it The toll illness takes on those around us This episode originally aired in 2021, but is one of our all-time favorites for an honest conversation on being a cancer patient and how to support people in your lives who are undergoing treatment. Kate ends with a blessing for those who feel like their problem is too much to handle—a blessing if you feel like "the bad thing."
    If you liked this episode, you might also love: 
    Suleika Jaouad on living between the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick Tig Notaro on being the luckiest unlucky person For When You’ve Been Diagnosed Support Guide You are Not the Bad Thing Printable + Phone Background A blessing for the lives we didn’t choose A blessing for keeping our hearts soft when everything is broken Don’t miss an episode. Sign up here to be the first to know about upcoming events near you, podcast guests, and more.
     
    Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here or visiting katebowler.com/podcasts.
    Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler. Links to social pages and more available at linktr.ee/katecbowler.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 30 min
    Abigail Marsh: Extraordinary Empathy

    Abigail Marsh: Extraordinary Empathy

    Are some people more empathetic than others? By studying those on the opposite end of the compassion spectrum–those with psychopathy–researcher Dr. Abigail Marsh discovered something surprising. 
    In this conversation, Kate and Abigail discuss: 
    The usefulness of fear What it means to be “brave” How we can all learn to belong to one another The power of empathy (and why it actually feels good to give to others) This conversation originally aired in 2020, but is one we return to again and again as we think about how empathy expands our capacity for others. Listen for an update from Abigail on what her recent research is exploring.
     
    Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here or visiting katebowler.com/podcasts.
    Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler. Links to social pages and more available at linktr.ee/katecbowler.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    A Blessing for a Good Pause

    A Blessing for a Good Pause

    We ache to know our soul’s calm, but also isn’t there something on Netflix? Wait, let me check my texts first. Before we know it, we are swimming around in a sea of notifications and updates without direction. We are living in an attention economy where the first casualty is peace, peace, peace. So let’s bless our distracted selves. If we can’t bring ourselves to desire stillness, maybe we can talk ourselves into wanting a little less noise.

    Heather Lanier: Whole and Holy

    Heather Lanier: Whole and Holy

    What if your life hasn’t turned out like you thought it would? When writer Heather Lanier’s daughter, Fiona, was born with a rare genetic syndrome, she learned that the world will not always see her beloved as good. In this conversation, Kate and Heather discuss how it’s okay that we are not summed up on bell curves. Perhaps the bodies in which we dwell are whole enough.
    In this conversation, Kate and Heather discuss:
    When our kids are considered “bad” by the world’s standards The doctor who said two perfect words to Heather How the divine sees everyone as good (and how we should seek to see through those same eyes) The difference between capacity building and deficit building This conversation originally aired in 2020, but it is one we return to again and again for its beauty, its honesty, its courage. 
     
    Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here or visiting katebowler.com/podcasts.
    Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler. Links to social pages and more available at linktr.ee/katecbowler.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4.4K Ratings

4.4K Ratings

Ldkemper ,

Staring at the blinking cursor to find the words…

Kate,
So often in conversation, I think “Kate Bowler would have the most articulate way to explain and describe this.“ This podcast has been beyond life-changing for me and has helped me work through the most dark and difficult times. I spent a huge chunk of my life believing in the “thoughts and beliefs can manifest anything in your life and cure all bodily issues“. Even living with an inoperable brain tumor, I thought the healing just hadn’t happened yet, but I would eventually “believe” my way into making it disappear. 14 years later it’s still there. The complete demolition of this belief system and deep spirituality occurred after my son tragically passed away. It has been an enormous secondary grief process. The world of popular self-help and prosperity gospel teachings is toxic and abusive and it is so comforting and healing to hear people finally challenging these teachings. I value more than I can say your commitment and ability to explore the darkest most painful experiences we go through in life without silver linings and bypassing platitudes. Instead you discuss the realness and depth of it. I cannot tell you what this has meant to me as I have reshaped and rebuilt my entire spiritual and belief system. thank you thank you thank you.

RandyBoBandy98765 ,

Every episode is a gift

This is perfect for those of us that are deeply human, deeply curious, or deeply exhausted by how brutal and lonely life can be. If you are caregiving, or grieving, or wrestling with what it means to be a human- this is exactly the podcast for you.

unhappy H reader ,

Breath of life

The relief I feel is palpable when I hear what I need to hear in this podcast. I can breathe fully when I feel seen by a blessing I didn’t know I needed. Thank you for sharing kind and powerful words.

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