Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown is a quirky, informative, and interactive podcast breaking down the myths and misunderstandings about mental health and emotional well-being. Neuroscientist Mayim Bialik combines her academic background with vast personal experience to provide listeners with valuable practical advice focusing on removing the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraging an understanding of the mind-body connection. Nothing is off limits as Mayim breaks it down with an amazing collection of guests.
Lindsey Stirling: Find Control in Creativity, Body Dysmorphia & Hair Hanging
Lindsey Stirling (unique, futuristic electronic violinist, songwriter and dancer with over 13M YouTube subscribers) opens up about how seeking a sense of control developed into disordered eating and how honing her dancer’s physique affected her body image. She shares how the mindset she adopted through disordered eating manifested in other areas of her life, and how going through the motions gave her her power back. Mayim and Lindsey break down body dysmorphia, the feelings of isolation and unworthiness that stem from disordered eating, and the similarities these afflictions have with substance abuse. Lindsey shares her experience on the set of Dancing with the Stars and the Cirque du Soleil stunt she has finally been able to cross off her bucket list.
Mayim examines ways to regulate emotional eating, how to identify diet culture, and what healthy eating does to the brain in the latest installment of Ask Mayim Anything.
Kevin Sussman: Weighted Blankets, Actor Anxiety & the Science of Sobbing
Kevin Sussman (actor, writer, comedian, The Big Bang Theory) discusses his anxiety surrounding performing and reveals his process for tricking his brain into redirecting anxious thoughts. Mayim and Kevin reminisce about their shared experiences on the set of The Big Bang Theory and examine the differences between Kevin and his character, "Stuart Bloom." Kevin shares the advice George Clooney and Gary Shandling gave to him about combating anxiety and the body mechanics of the Alexander Technique he uses to manage habitual physical tension. Mayim breaks down the physiological symptoms and evolutionary advantages of anxiety, the science and cultural aspects of crying, and ways to avoid the trap of rumination. They discuss the benefits and side effects of anxiety medication and natural coping methods, and Mayim ends the episode with advice for managing anxiety when trying to fall asleep in the latest installment of Ask Mayim Anything.
Jackson Galaxy: Emotional Guardrails, Language of Empathy & The Social Anxiety Corner
Jackson Galaxy (Host & Executive Producer of My Cat from Hell, animal advocate, cat behavior expert, author, musician) opens up about his struggles with social anxiety, substance abuse, and disordered eating. After an illuminating installment of "What Mayim Hears", Jackson discusses growing up wanting to be a rock star and how playing guitar and busking at an early age helped him combat anxiety. He details his use of food as a comfort tool and alcohol as a social lubricant before he discovered the benefits provided by the structure of rituals. Mayim and Jackson break down how misdiagnoses and ineffective prescriptions can lengthen one’s mental health journey, the biological instincts tied to social anxiety, and navigating society as an empath. They bond over their shared love for the energetic minefield that is New York City, disordered eating as a public person, desires to be terminally unique involutes, and of course, their love of cats.
Dr. Gary Small: Bolster Your Brain & Lengthen Longevity
Dr. Gary Small, Professor of Psychiatry, Biobehavioral Sciences & Aging and Director of the UCLA Longevity Center, breaks down the biological causes and symptoms of aging and its impact on mental wellness. He discusses the effects of neurodegenerative memory disorders on patients and caregivers, his personal experiences with Alzheimer’s, and the toll his work with the difficult aspects of cognitive transitions takes on him. Mayim and Dr. Small examine the negative effects of stress and isolation on the aging process and how technology has the potential to help or harm it before delving into the ways we can strengthen our brains through meditation, sleep, therapy, social connections, learning a language or instrument, and even certain foods. They unpack the roles of the elderly in our society and the ways various cultures treat aging populations. Mayim opens up about her father’s degenerative condition, details common reasons we distract ourselves, and explains the Look-Snap-Connect techniques we can use to maintain and improve active brain health and memory.
Melissa Bernstein: Achievement Anchoring & The Logic of Lying
Melissa Bernstein, author, entrepreneur, and Co-Founder of the successful toy company Melissa & Doug, breaks down her existential journey through birthing art from divergent qualities. She discusses her disassociation from dark feelings and how her imagination allowed her to channel that sense of despair into creativity. Mayim and Melissa bond over being unable to relate to mainstream culture and how perfectionism can sometimes feel like a drug. They examine the science behind overexcitabilities, reasons why we lie, and how to accept and move through rejection. Melissa opens up about how her need for control led to a severe eating disorder at the age of 11 and how she found recovery through her relationship with her now husband. After years of self-depletion, Melissa reveals how logotherapy and studying philosophy guided her through her mental health journey.
Mayim reminisces about her time hanging out with fellow misfits at Venice Beach, and ends the episode with advice for teachers on dealing with anxious students in the latest installment of Ask Mayim Anything.
Jennette McCurdy: Enmeshment, Individuating, & Coping Mechanisms
Jennette McCurdy, writer, director, actor, and singer ( iCarly, Sam & Cat), inspires Mayim with her openness and vulnerability as she shares the harmful coping mechanisms and profound revelations she experienced following the death of her mother - leading to Jennette’s one woman show "I’m Glad My Mom Died." Jennette discusses the pressures and anxieties she faced at an early age as a hugely popular children’s TV star and the source of financial support for her family. Jennette unpacks how her identity was tied to her mother’s perceptions of her and how the enmeshed relationship impacted her. Mayim breaks down the psychological concept of enmeshment, including the effects of removing an enmeshed relationship from one’s life, the reasons we tolerate emotional discomfort for so long, and the elements of the power struggles surrounding love. Mayim and Jennette deeply connect over their self-discovery journeys, including their respective paths to recovery from disordered eating. They also discuss their personal and professional plans for the future, and Mayim confesses her feelings about her upcoming feature directorial debut.
In a new installment of Ask Mayim Anything, Mayim explains the origins of self-sabotage and insecurities in an otherwise healthy relationship.
Great interviews with great guests!
Humble, Informative, and Self Deprecating
Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown is a must listen. She is funny and humble. She talks to you like a person and not a student. Although she has a PhD (or two) 😂 she doesn’t lecture like most professors. The podcast is funny and relatable as Mayim, Jonathan, and her guests share stories about their mental health journeys. I’ve listened to them all and can’t wait for more. Now if only she’d have me on the podcast. Hint. Hint. Hint. I’d love to be a guest.
After years of therapy your pod cast has just been the best thing for my mental health. Your knowledge and also your guest have been the life altering experience I need it at this point in my life. Suffering from anorexia, anxiety, depression and dealing with a son who has chronic kidney disease stage 4 it just got to be little to much for me lol! In one of your show you spoke about how the first years of someone life’s is so important for their development emotionally and mentally. The first few years in my sons life were gear to surgeries, test, needles and just extreme pain and not knowing who to trust. Now I understand why at 13 he is just a ball of anxiety. He has been in therapy since 3 but not really taking advantage of the benefits. He takes too many meds so to start adding more meds into his system which also impacts his kidneys is not something he can do as this point. As a professional women and in-charge of so many people is hard to “act sane” all the time. When I listen to your show I feel like is ok to be a little off once in a while. I wish you could see you yourself like I do, you are amazing woman who has so much to offer and continue to help me in so many ways, you are amazing! Don’t ever sell yourself short. You are way better than all those “Girl next door actresses”. You are beautiful, intelligent, articulate and so kind to share your knows to the world.Thank you so much for this labor of love, you and Jonathan are amazing!!