22 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 • 75 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.

    If-firmations

    If-firmations

    When positive affirmations feel inauthentic, what do we do?

    For our season finale, host Anna Borges talks to Dr. Christine Gibson, author of the forthcoming book, The Modern Trauma Toolkit and @tiktoktraumadoc on Tik Tok, about the subject of one of her viral Tik Toks: if-firmations.

    When we’re in need of some possibility in our hearts and minds, they might just be the answer

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

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

    • 21 min
    Don't Give Up (Climate) Hope

    Don't Give Up (Climate) Hope

    Climate change is an everyday reality…as much as some may try to avoid it. So how do we conquer our climate anxiety? 

    Host Anna Borges talks to Sarah J. Ray, author of A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety, about how to navigate the crushing waves of hopelessness and despair that come up when we think about the climate crisis — and how to find something resembling hope. 

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

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

    • 25 min
    Have a Part to Part

    Have a Part to Part

    Host Anna Borges speaks with Internal Family Systems therapist Susannah Jackson. They discuss how a shift in the way we think and talk about our feelings can help us understand what we’re feeling and why.

    Follow Mood Ring @moodringshow

    Follow Anna ​​@annabroges

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

    • 21 min
    Take Care of Something

    Take Care of Something

    There are a lot of reasons to take care of something — like a plant, or a car or a house. It can be a source of purpose or passion or peace or simple satisfaction. Today we’re exploring how taking care of something can be a form of self-care. 

    Host Anna Borges talks with Jené Etheridge — music producer, DJ, community organizer, and an avid cyclist — about how caring for her bike Butter feeds her 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! 

    Full Transcript

     

    Anna Borges: There’s this old book that I’m willing to bet at least some of you found formative. It’s called The Care and Keeping of You.

     

    MUSIC

     

    And I hope some of you just went OH, THAT BOOK, but you know for the uninitiated, The Care and Keeping of You is this illustrated American Girl guidebook and it was the first real introduction a lot of us got to our bodies and how to take care of them. It covered everything from how to sit when inserting a tampon to you know proper armpit shaving technique.

     

    Legions of preteens referred to that book like a user's manual, myself included. You know, learning as much as we could about maintaining these weird changing bodies that we did not know the first thing about. Understanding what was going on with my body and like the ins and outs in taking care of it made me feel — I mean I don’t want to oversell it but it did — it made me feel like confident and grown up and empowered, or at least more capable of handling the horrors of middle school such as like changing in the locker room and wondering why my boobs looked so much different than everyone else's.

     

    These days, I’m kind of still chasing that high if I'm honest. Like shockingly, huh-huh, taking care of myself as an adult is hardly as satisfying as The Care and Keeping of You once had me believe.

     

    MUSIC FADE OUT

     

    But as I grew up, I did discover that there are a lot of other things that I can take care of, other than myself, and some of them even come with the step-by-step instructions that I was craving. And it turns out, the care and keeping of something else can be as satisfying as the care and keeping of us.

     

    THEME MUSIC

     

    Hey,  I’m Anna Borges, and this is Mood Ring, a practical guide to feelings even when you’re feeling less than capable of taking care of yourself.

     

    I’ve probably said “care” enough times for you to get that we’re talking about care today. Care for ourselves. Care for some thing. And caring for ourselves by way of caring for that something.

     

    If you haven’t guessed, I’m on the lookout for something new to take care of because honestly I have not been that great of a job at taking care of myself lately. And sometimes, when we lose trust in our ability to take care of ourselves, I don't know, we need to find ways to prove to ourselves that we still can.

     

    THEME MUSIC FADE OUT

     

    At least, that’s where I'm at lately. There are a lot of reasons to take care of something for our mental health, whether it’s by giving ourselves a source of purpose or passion or peace or simple satisfaction.

     

    So what are we taking care of?

     

    There are the obvious suspects: things that rely on you for nourishment and support, like pets or plants or children. But we can also find meaning in caring for nonliving things too -  things like our homes, cars, beaches, sneakers, closets — and in the case of our guest today, bikes.

     

    MUSIC

     

    Our guest today is a woman of many talents. Jené Etheridge is a music producer, DJ, community organizer and an avid cyclist.

     

    She tells us about her relationship with her bike, how she cares for it as she travels the world with it. And how it in turn feeds her mental health.

     

    A

    • 17 min
    Enjoy It (No Strings Attached)

    Enjoy It (No Strings Attached)

    Host Anna Borges speaks with poet Nichole Perkins about doing things without the expectation for excellence. They speak about Nichole’s new painting hobby and how her confidence in writing poetry is fueled by her creative license to be a hobbyist painter. 

    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! 



    Full Transcript



    Anna Borges: Hey everyone! Pop quiz for you. When you discover a new hobby that you’re really enjoying, do you:

     

    A. Strive to improve so you can be really good at it.

    B. Brainstorm ways to monetize it because hey, if you have to make money, you might as well have fun doing it

    C. Stress about other things you should be doing instead of indulging in said hobby

    or

    D. Just..en…joy? Enjoy it? Wait, some of you can actually do that?

     

    Hey,  I’m Anna Borges, and this is Mood Ring, a practical guide to feelings—even when you feel like you can’t relax and enjoy yourself.

     

    Today, we’re talking about the importance of no strings attached hobbies. You know, activities that don’t have to be productive or impressive or useful and even something you’re good at. Hobbies that don’t have to be anything other than…enjoyable.

     

    But a lot of things can get in the way of actually enjoying them, whether baking to relax turns into stressing about getting an Instagram-worthy loaf of bread or you get stressed out when you don’t discover a secret hidden talent the first time you pick up a paintbrush. You know if you’re anything like me that’s exactly what I do! Letting ourselves relax and be free to do something without the expectation of a performance or an end goal is hard. Even more so when the something we love overlaps with what we do for a living.

     

    That's where the no strings attached hobby comes in.

     

    Today’s guest is Nichole Perkins, a writer, poet, and the host of the podcast This is Good for You, where she helps people stop feeling bad about the things that they love to do.

     

    I also wanted to talk with her because as a creative, I assume she got the struggle of the work-hobby balance well. We dug into the beauty of trying things that we aren’t good at and how we can still enjoy our hobbies, even if they do come with strings attached, like overlapping with what you do for a living.

     

    Anna: Can I start by hearing something that you're bad at? Like something that you were just like awful at, but that you love?

     

    Nichole: Oh, um, so I recently started trying to figure out, um, acrylic painting, abstract acrylic painting. I don't know what I'm doing. I really don't know what I'm doing. I cannot draw a straight line. I cannot, I have never been able to perfect, um, a winged, you know, liner look because I cannot, I don't know what I'm doing. So that's something that I know that I am bad at, and I would never like really share that work with anybody because it's so bad, but it's also been really relaxing for me.

     

    Anna: I love that so much. so I have to ask, cause I feel like there are like two camps of people, largely there are people who can do that and enjoy that. And there are people and I'm in this camp who will do that and be like, this is gonna be like relaxing. I'm not gonna like pressure myself to be good. And then I still am like, but what if I want this to be good? Then I wind up in the boat of like Googling art lessons and oh my God, how do I get better at this blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So like, are you, are you in one of those camps, have you felt the pressure to become good now that you've started?

     

    Nichole: Yes, absolutely. Because there was like this one tutorial on YouTube that was like, you know, easy beginner thing and it was the sunset and it's supposed to be with, uh, power lines and beaut

    • 21 min
    Spill Your Guts to Strangers

    Spill Your Guts to Strangers

    Host Anna Borges talks with therapist Latisha Taylor Ellis about the benefits of group therapy during times of loss. Ellis is the creator of Thank U Next, a virtual therapy group for the brokenhearted. When we feel we have no one else to turn to, does opening up to a room full of strangers help us move through grief?

    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! 

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

@awaytherapy ,

Love it!

One of my favorite podcasts to listen to 💕 I’m an art therapist and feel inspired every time I listen. Thanks for creating!

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.

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