92 episodes

What if Dear Abby was an investigative reporter? Each week on How To!, David Epstein (bestselling author of Range and The Sports Gene)) 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!‬ Slate Magazine

    • How To
    • 4.4 • 1.7K Ratings

What if Dear Abby was an investigative reporter? Each week on How To!, David Epstein (bestselling author of Range and The Sports Gene)) 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 Survive in the Wild Part 2

    How To Survive in the Wild Part 2

    Imagine you’re floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a boat the size of an SUV. You have no working electronics, no food or water, and only a styrofoam box to shade you from the sun. Your only companion is a 22-year-old who has little seafaring experience. How would you survive? On this episode of How To!, we bring on Jonathan Franklin, author of 438 Days, to tell us the incredible story of José Salvador Alvarenga, a shark fisherman who survived at sea for over 14 months. Jonathan says that Alvarenga was a pro at being resourceful—surviving on bird meat, shark livers, and sea turtle blood—but the real key to his survival was mental. For much of his journey, Alvarenga took care of his younger companion, Jonathan says, and it was this caregiving motivation more than anything else that kept Alvarenga alive. 
    If you liked this episode, check out the first episode in our two-part series: “How To Survive in the Wild Part 1.”
    Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show.
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    • 34 min
    How To Survive in the Wild Part 1

    How To Survive in the Wild Part 1

    Have you ever wondered how you’d fare in the wild? What you’d do when facing off against a rattlesnake or staring down a polar bear? On this episode of How To!, the first in a two-part series, we dive into two extreme scenarios worthy of their own action movies. First, Kyle Dickman, author of On the Burning Edge and a former hotshot firefighter, opens up about the time he truly feared for his life—not when fighting wildfires, but when crossing paths with a rattlesnake on a family hike. Next, we’ll bring on Jill Fredston, author of Snow Sense and Rowing to Latitude who has fought avalanches for decades only to realize the mountain doesn’t care about our sense of self-confidence. Though their experiences may seem remote, they can teach all of us something about risk, luck, and how to coexist with nature. 
    If you liked this episode, check out “How To Withstand Pain.”
    Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show.
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    • 33 min
    How To Write the Perfect Obituary

    How To Write the Perfect Obituary

    Laura’s dad lived an unusual life. He raised 12 children on a farm without running water in the Texas countryside while also programming his own website that connected families, for free, with help when they were going through difficult times. Ever since he passed away this January, Laura has been searching for a way to tell his story, hoping to ultimately post what she writes about her father on Facebook. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Glenn Rifkin, author of Future Forward and veteran obituary writer at the New York Times, to help Laura craft the perfect remembrance. A good place for Laura to start, Glenn says, is to interview the many members of her family, acting as a reporter to gather as many stories about her dad as she can. 
    If you liked this episode, check out “How To Say the Right Thing at the Worst Time.”
    Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show.
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    • 32 min
    How To Make an Exit Like Mary Poppins

    How To Make an Exit Like Mary Poppins

    For years, Stella helped raise twin girls whom she loved deeply. She potty trained them, read bedtime stories and made sure they ate their veggies. But then, one day with little warning, she was asked to leave them. Stella isn’t a parent—she’s a nanny. And though it’s been years, she’s still heartbroken over being let go from her old job, especially the way it ended. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Tasha Blaine, author of Becoming a Social Worker and Just Like Family. Tasha spent years interviewing nannies for Just Like Family and she’s here to help Stella process her loss. When you’re getting paid to raise someone else’s kids, how do you navigate that messy work-life divide? And for couples, how can you establish a better, more professional relationship with this “third parent”? Listen in for the secrets of a real-life Mary Poppins.
    If you liked this episode, check out our “Cheat Sheet” series on raising children in an unusual year.
    Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show.
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    • 34 min
    How To Stop Snoring (And Breathe Easier)

    How To Stop Snoring (And Breathe Easier)

    Andrew snores so badly that his cats won’t sleep in the same room as him. He’s desperate to sleep better at night, and breathe more easily during the day. As a trans man, Andrew spent most of his life training to be a soprano opera singer only to become a baritone when he transitioned in his early 20s. On this episode of How To!, we bring on James Nestor, author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, to share the history of why we breathe the way we do. Turns out being a “mouth-breather” is more than just an insult, it’s harmful to our health. James gives Andrew some nasal breathing exercises to improve his snoring, anxiety, and overall wellness.
    If you liked this episode, check out “How To Sleep.”
    Do you have a problem you can’t get out of your head? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.
    Podcast production by Derek John, Rachael Allen, and Rosemary Belson.
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    • 33 min
    How To Quiet the Chatter in Your Head

    How To Quiet the Chatter in Your Head

    Emilia can’t stop thinking about a long-ago love affair with Ivan, a man she met in Mexico in her early 20s and dated for several years. Now, a decade later, Emilia is newly married, but thoughts of her time with Ivan pop into her mind daily, a fact she’s never shared with her husband. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Ethan Kross, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan and the author of Chatter: The Voice In Our Head, Why It Matters, and How To Harness It. Whether thinking about a past experience or worrying about the present, we all get stuck in negative cycles of thought, and Ethan has the tools to help us form a better relationship with our thoughts. 
    If you liked this episode, check out “How To Fall Out of Love.”
    Do you have a problem you can’t get out of your head? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show.
    Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
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    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.7K Ratings

1.7K Ratings

KTMAC60 ,

Great but not enough

The show is very well done but wish each episode was an hour at least for some more in depth discussion of each topic

weespesh ,

Helpful AF

REALLY NEEDED THAT QUIET THE CHATTER IN YOUR HEAD EPISODE YESTERDAY THANK YOU. All the other episodes I’ve listened to have been compelling and helpful, too. Thoughtfully delivered human stories with immediately useful DIY steps, minus the corniness of most self-help content.

pboxer ,

Thoughtful and Thought Provoking

David Epstein has insight, empathy and a profound ability to draw out great content from his guests. I thoroughly engrossed. This is time well spent.

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