16 episodes

Mood Ring is a practical guide to feelings. Every episode, host and mental health writer Anna Borges explores one new way we can cope with our feelings, our baggage, or the world around us—especially in a society where access to mental health care and the ability to practice self-care are both huge privileges. Through Anna's self-aware humor and vibrant guest interviews, the podcast shares creative self-care ideas you may not have heard before, as well as realistic takes on classic mental health tips.

Mood Ring American Public Media

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 71 Ratings

Mood Ring is a practical guide to feelings. Every episode, host and mental health writer Anna Borges explores one new way we can cope with our feelings, our baggage, or the world around us—especially in a society where access to mental health care and the ability to practice self-care are both huge privileges. Through Anna's self-aware humor and vibrant guest interviews, the podcast shares creative self-care ideas you may not have heard before, as well as realistic takes on classic mental health tips.

    Be Lamby

    Be Lamby

    Host Anna Borges speaks with Mood Ring producer Georgina Hahn about her concept of Lamby. They explore the unique way of being tender, supported by a conversation on inner child work with writer and mystic Bernice Angoh.

    Hey Mood Ring listeners, we want to hear what you think about Mood Ring! You can help us out by filling out a short audience survey: moodringshow.org/survey

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

    Mood Ring is a production of American Public Media and Pizza Shark! 

    • 16 min
    Take All the Personality Tests

    Take All the Personality Tests

    Host Anna Borges talks about her past with an affinity for personality tests. Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, Buzzfeed quizzes, you name it. Our guest Saeid Fard is the CEO and founder of Anna’s latest obsession: the personality test app, Dimensional. Can personality tests help us improve our lives and mental health?

    Hey Mood Ring listeners, we want to hear what you think about Mood Ring! You can help us out by filling out a short audience survey: moodringshow.org/survey

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

    Mood Ring is a production of American Public Media and Pizza Shark! 

    • 20 min
    Struggle Meals

    Struggle Meals

    Host Anna Borges shares her secret past of being a Tumblr fitspo influencer and unpacks women-targeted diet tips with Good Enough cookbook author Leanne Brown. Anna and Leanne chat about owning our food choices to stop judging ourselves and reframe nourishment.

    You can find information on Leanne Brown and all her cookbooks on her website.

    Hey Mood Ring listeners, we want to hear what you think about Mood Ring! You can help us out by filling out a short audience survey: moodringshow.org/survey

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

    Mood Ring is a production of American Public Media and Pizza Shark! 

    • 24 min
    Embrace the Woo

    Embrace the Woo

     Host Anna Borges explores our processes of faith and belief with astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, and how “woo” can be used as a non-judgmental tool for guidance and self-determination. 

    Follow Jessica’s work on her website and through her podcast Ghost of a Podcast.

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

    Mood Ring is a production of American Public Media and Pizza Shark!



    Full Transcript



    Anna: Guess what? It is time for an astrology episode. Because let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to make it through a season of Mood Ring without one. But also because I think a lot of us could really use it right now.

     

    DRONING MUSIC

     

    Jessica Lanyadoo: People turned to astrology for lots of reasons. A big common reason—especially during this global pandemic and time of social unrest—is anxiety. If I'm looking for a way to not feel anxious and an astrologer rattles off a ton of stuff and a ton of advice, in a way, in the short term, it's scratching that itch. I want order, I want to be told what's real. I want to be told what to do. Okay. This person's telling me. This person seems to have a grasp on the, on the universe and they're telling me what to do this week.

     

    THEME MUSIC

     

    I’m Anna Borges and this is Mood Ring, a practical guide to feelings … and sometimes, if I’m being honest with you guys, I do wonder if being TOO practical can hold us back.

     

    You just heard Jessica Lanyadoo, an astrologer, psychic medium, and today’s guest. I invited her on because I love astrology as a self-care tool and definitely wanted to talk about it, but, at the same time I’ve always felt like there was something kind of holding me back from really getting the most out of it.

     

    Because on the one hand, I feel exactly what you just heard Jessica describing. I want to be told what to do. I want to be told what’s real. I want to believe my horoscope when it tells me how I can find happiness and trust when a meme tells me that my Leo Venus means you know, I’m really good at love.

     

    But on the other hand, my skeptical little Virgo brain is like, “Uhhh. You don’t actually believe in this, do you?” 

     

    So, that’s what we’re talking about today—how we can turn down the volume on our logic and our doubt to really lean into, well as Jessica calls it, “the woo.” Jessica herself specializes in helping people cultivate self-understanding and emotional intelligence through what she refers to as … woo. And I am ready to embrace the woo!

     

    If you’re sitting here thinking, “Can’t relate, f**k astrology,” this doesn’t just apply to that. You know, you might have another complicated relationship between something you doubt the effectiveness of, or the truth of, but that you really kind of want to believe in. Our brains reject everything from the magic of meditation to our own self-worth—like haven’t you ever stopped to wonder, like “Hey, what would happen if I just trusted the process? Like, would I start to believe in it? Would it work?”

     

    So, that’s what I wanted to talk to Jessica about. Why it’s so hard to embrace the woo, and how we can.

     

    MUSIC

     

    Anna: I feel like the question that comes up whenever people talk about astrology is, do you really believe in it? Like, I hear that all the time, whenever I express an interest and I'm curious: A, I mean, do you and B, what's your reaction to it?

     

    Jessica: Hmm. I don't believe in astrology. [Anna: gasps, whispers “amazing”] I don't believe in astrology, and I don't believe in ibuprofen and I don't believe in the internet. I use them because they work. And that's how I respond to people asking me about it. And it's also how I respond to people being like, I don't believe in astrology. I say, cool. Yeah, me neither.

     

    Anna: You’re like no, yeah, me neither.

     

    Jessica: It's a tool, it’s a, it’s a system and a tool. And I think, I should just pull back to say, when someone asks

    • 17 min
    Buy Happiness

    Buy Happiness

    Host Anna Borges (The More Or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care) hears from listeners about their relationship to money, whether it’s colored by guilt or generational shadows. Then, Anna has a chat with Mood Ring producer Jordan Kauwling about her recent reflections on how money has shaped her life—and her relationship to work.

    We want to hear what you think about Mood Ring! You can help us out by filling out a short audience survey: moodringshow.org/survey

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

    Mood Ring is a production of American Public Media and Pizza Shark! 



    Full Transcript



    Anna Borges: There was a time when I was constantly debating quitting my job. If you've been with us here since the beginning of Mood Ring … you may remember a work-related breakdown I had on the shower floor? Yeah, that was this job. So week after week, I would go back and forth debating about whether or not I wanted to quit without anything lined up for the sake of my mental health.

     

    Because here was the thing: I could. I could do that. I grew up with a lot of financial instability, so savings has always been really important to me. And by that point in my life, I was in a privileged enough position that I could afford unemployment for a couple of months if I wiped out my savings.

     

    But, I just couldn't get myself to do it. Like, sure, yeah money could buy me freedom from a job that was making me cry every time I woke up and faced the thought of yet another day. But money was also buying my health insurance and rent and security and peace of mind and all of the things that I needed to buy in my life. And, I mean, I’d experienced what it was like before without a financial safety net. And I didn’t know what would be worse, like all the feelings I was dealing with at this job, or all the feelings that came with losing that security?

     

    Which is all to say, oh my god, there are a lot of feelings to be had around money. The stress of the things we do to make it. The decisions we have to make about spending it. The shame of having it, the guilt of not having it. The attitudes we’ve adopted about it or inherited.  I mean, grappling with privilege or changing financial circumstances. Just overall how money, or lack thereof, can make us feel vulnerable. Or judged. Or obligated. Or a million other emotions.

     

    THEME MUSIC

     

    Anna: I know that’s something I say a lot on this show: things make us feel emotions. But…man [sighs].

     

    That’s the thing: No matter where we’re at financially, there are always new feelings to wade through or new ways for our money baggage to show up.

     

    So yeah, maybe money could help my mental health in one way, but there was always another problem that needed money thrown at it. So how much was money really helping my mental health?

     

    I mean, a lot. A lot. Money helps my mental health a lot, and it would be b******t to pretend otherwise.

     

    But it’s still not that simple.

     

    I’m Anna Borges and this is Mood Ring, a practical guide to feelings—both the feelings you can put a price on and the feelings you can’t.

     

    Every episode, we’ll explore one new way to cope — with our feelings, with our baggage, with our money baggage, with our brains, and with the world around us.

     

    Anna: Today, we’re talking about money and how sometimes it can buy—maybe, not happiness, exactly, but a whole lot of stuff that supports our mental health. Like, not just in big ways, like access to mental health care and being able to meet our fundamental needs, but also in small ways. You know, like, the ability to buy things like time, energy, and support in the form of things like…child care and meal delivery and time off work and all of these little things that support our ability to feel, like, slightly more well.

     

    We wanted to tackle this topic by hearing from you about your relationship with money and kind of the connection between money and mental he

    • 21 min
    Meme Your Mental Health

    Meme Your Mental Health

    Host Anna Borges (The More Or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care), who was famously dragged on Twitter after making a few jokes in reference to mental health, revisits mental health meme culture and how it can be a useful tool to find community during dark times. She’s joined by Memes To Discuss In Therapy admin Priscilla Eva for a discussion on “shitposting,” finding the humor in our collective struggles and how social media can actually breed compassion for ourselves and for others. 

    We want to hear what you think about Mood Ring! You can help us out by filling out a short audience survey: moodringshow.org/survey

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

    Follow Memes To Discuss In Therapy on Instagram or on Facebook. 

    Mood Ring is a production of American Public Media and Pizza Shark! 

    Full Transcript



    Anna Borges: They say that everyone remembers their first time—I know that I do. Slowly waking up in the morning. Bright light streaming in through the window…

     

    …the sound of my phone rattling on the nightstand as a stream of notifications flooded in.

     

    MUSIC PAUSE, PHONE VIBRATION SOUND EFFECT

     

    Sorry, did you think I was talking about something else? Yeah, no, I’m talking about the first time I got absolutely dragged on the internet.

     

    MUSIC

     

    It was early 2016 and I was a writer at BuzzFeed. I’d been tasked with the challenge of finding a way to make mental health content shareable, and relatable, and viral. And that might sound like a ridiculously easy job in the year of our digital lord 2022, but it wasn’t that long ago that the landscape of mental health content looked very different than it does today. Like on big mainstream websites, it was pretty much limited to serious and earnest personal essays and serious and earnest resource articles. And everything else was kind of like… you know… niche. Like it existed, but just in certain corners of the internet.

     

    So, I decided to try doing what I’d long done in my little corners of the internet, I joked about my depression.

     

    And it did not go well.

     

    RECORD SCRATCH, CROWD GASP, YOUNG GIRL SHOUTING “YOU NEED TO LEAVE”

     

    The roundup in question was “21 Tweets About Depression That Might Just Make You Laugh.” A quintessential BuzzFeed list that I thought would make people laugh, and, you know, more importantly, maybe make them feel less alone.

     

    And [laughs] man oh man, was I wrong. Instead, the comments and the emails and the tweets just came flooding in.

     

    SOUNDS OF CROWD JEERING

     

    Anonymous Commenter: “I feel physically sick after reading this. This post is horrible.”

     

    Anonymous Commenter: “You clearly have no experience with depression if you think these are funny.”

     

    Anna Borges: And, and I can’t emphasize how mild these tweets were. You know, it was stuff like, “It’s not called a nap, it’s called a depression sleep.” And like, “I can’t wait for my winter depression to end so I can get a start on my spring depression!” Just completely innocuous tweets that you would probably see seventeen of a day these days. And the comments just kept coming.

     

    Anonymous Commenter: “This is disrespectful to people who actually struggle.”

     

    Anonymous Commenter: “You have no business writing about mental health.”

     

    Anonymous Commenter: “Depression isn’t funny. Period. It never will be!”

     

    Anna Borges: And I couldn’t help but immediately panic and wonder if I’d made, like, some grave mistake. I was like, “Are they right? Was my chosen coping mechanism disrespectful and out of touch? Should I have kept it a shameful secret? What is wrong with me!?”

     

    Was joking about my mental health really so wrong?

     

    MOOD RING THEME MUSIC

     

    I’m Anna Borges and this is Mood Ring, a practical guide to feelings…even when some people think your jokes about those feelings are pretty f****d up.

     

    Every episode, we’re exploring one

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
71 Ratings

71 Ratings

Staats Chik ,

Sigh! Spot on!

Love Anna's voice - perfect to listen to while working. Delightful insight and applies to this Gen-X, Wife, Empty-Nester, and new recipient of the torch our mothers carried, but who have recently passed. Thank you! ❤️

Tha gman ,

Review

I enjoy listening to Mood Ring as I walk my puppy. Anna”s voice is soothing and sets my mood for the day. Topics are relatable and helps me reflect on daily coping challenges.

Erica in PNW ,

Realness and validation I needed

Anna shows up as really real, something I’m working on. The way she shares makes me feel validated and seen. I appreciate the way she engages her guests on a practical level as well as an intellectual level.

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