35 episodes

It feels like everything is self-care these days, so what actually works? Each week, comedians Steven Polletta and Sophie Yalkezian and neuroscientist Shannon Odell act as guinea pigs to a different self-care practice. They explore what it does and the science behind it with laughs along the way. You'll leave each episode with an expert opinion, new friends and a bounce in your step, guaranteed.

Follow us on social media!
Instagram: @thescienceofselfcare
Twitter: @SOSCpodcast

Have a question? Email Us!
thescienceofselfcare@gmail.com

The Science of Self-Care The Science of Self-Care

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 39 Ratings

It feels like everything is self-care these days, so what actually works? Each week, comedians Steven Polletta and Sophie Yalkezian and neuroscientist Shannon Odell act as guinea pigs to a different self-care practice. They explore what it does and the science behind it with laughs along the way. You'll leave each episode with an expert opinion, new friends and a bounce in your step, guaranteed.

Follow us on social media!
Instagram: @thescienceofselfcare
Twitter: @SOSCpodcast

Have a question? Email Us!
thescienceofselfcare@gmail.com

    Physical Touch

    Physical Touch

    We're back! Like, really, really back! To celebrate our first vaccinated, safe, in-person recording we're digging into the scientific benefits of what we missed most over the last year: HUMAN TOUCH! Shannon gives us all the touchy feely studies, and Steven and Sophie play a game guessing which emotion is behind specific forms of touch. We also land on the topic of robot dogs, somehow. Enjoy!

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Positive Thinking

    Positive Thinking

    Today we're digging into the science behind positive thinking! Our conversation covers: bad improv shows, Sex and The City, The Secret, Octomom's kids, and, as always, yoga. We also talk about the difference between positive thinking and toxic positivity—and whether any study on the subject is truly unbiased. So say something nice to yourself and strap in!

    Bolier, L., Haverman, M., Westerhof, G.J. et al. Positive psychology interventions: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. BMC Public Health 13, 119 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-119

    White, C. A., Uttl, B., & Holder, M. D. (2019). Meta-analyses of positive psychology interventions: The effects are much smaller than previously reported. PloS one, 14(5), e0216588. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216588

    Bergsma, A., Buijt, I., & Veenhoven, R. (2020). Will Happiness-Trainings Make Us Happier? A Research Synthesis Using an Online Findings-Archive. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 1953. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01953

    Andrade G. (2019). The ethics of positive thinking in healthcare. Journal of medical ethics and history of medicine, 12, 18. https://doi.org/10.18502/jmehm.v12i18.2148

    Park, N., Peterson, C., Szvarca, D., Vander Molen, R. J., Kim, E. S., & Collon, K. (2014). Positive Psychology and Physical Health: Research and Applications. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 10(3), 200–206. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827614550277

    Boehm, J. K., & Kubzansky, L. D. (2012). The heart's content: the association between positive psychological well-being and cardiovascular health. Psychological bulletin, 138(4), 655–691. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027448

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

    • 56 min
    Light Therapy

    Light Therapy

    Today we’re brightening up our knowledge of therapy lamps! Shannon dishes out all the science about how blue light therapy can improve your sleep, mood, and motor function, and help folks who live with seasonal affective disorder. Sophie and Steven share impromptu stories of a jaundiced baby, drinking tea, and why they’re both convinced blue light therapy is a tool for the apocalypse.

    Pjrek, E., Friedrich, M. E., Cambioli, L., Dold, M., Jäger, F., Komorowski, A., Lanzenberger, R., Kasper, S., & Winkler, D. (2020). The Efficacy of Light Therapy in the Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 89(1), 17–24. https://doi.org/10.1159/000502891

    Pail, G., Huf, W., Pjrek, E., Winkler, D., Willeit, M., Praschak-Rieder, N., & Kasper, S. (2011). Bright-light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders. Neuropsychobiology, 64(3), 152–162. https://doi.org/10.1159/000328950

    Nussbaumer, B., Kaminski-Hartenthaler, A., Forneris, C. A., Morgan, L. C., Sonis, J. H., Gaynes, B. N., Greenblatt, A., Wipplinger, J., Lux, L. J., Winkler, D., Van Noord, M. G., Hofmann, J., & Gartlehner, G. (2015). Light therapy for preventing seasonal affective disorder. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (11), CD011269. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011269.pub2

    Zhao, X., Ma, J., Wu, S., Chi, I., & Bai, Z. (2018). Light therapy for older patients with non-seasonal depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of affective disorders, 232, 291–299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.041

    Comtet, H., Geoffroy, P. A., Kobayashi Frisk, M., Hubbard, J., Robin-Choteau, L., Calvel, L., Hugueny, L., Viola, A. U., & Bourgin, P. (2019). Light therapy with boxes or glasses to counteract effects of acute sleep deprivation. Scientific reports, 9(1), 18073. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54311-x

    Fifel, K., & Videnovic, A. (2018). Light Therapy in Parkinson's Disease: Towards Mechanism-Based Protocols. Trends in neurosciences, 41(5), 252–254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2018.03.002

    https://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/2016/12/20/dont-be-sad-a-very-brief-history-of-light-therapy/

    • 47 min
    Vaccines with Dr. Alex Dainis

    Vaccines with Dr. Alex Dainis

    This week on the pod we get all our vaccine questions answered by our special guest: geneticist and science communicator, Alex Dainis, PhD. Check it out, and send to any friends who may have lingering vaccine Qs! Public health is self-care, baby!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Friendship

    Friendship

    Friends Shannon, Sophie, and Steven talk about the science behind, well, them. They discuss the data of friendships and how we perceive them, the science of what brings people together, and how seeing your pals could actually help you live longer. Ever wonder why you and your friend love the same song, movie, or fast casual salad? They get into that too. So tell a pal and join your virtual friends as we discuss everything friendship!

    Follow us on Instagram @thescienceofselfcare, and if you like the show, support us through Patreon at www.patreon.com/scienceofselfcare.

    Episode citations:
    You Might Actually Be In Love With Your Best Friend, The Cut Podcast, February 10 2021

    Zerubavel, N., Bearman, P. S., Weber, J., & Ochsner, K. N. (2015). Neural mechanisms tracking popularity in real-world social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(49), 15072–15077. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1511477112

    Parkinson, C., Kleinbaum, A.M. & Wheatley, T. Similar neural responses predict friendship. Nat Commun 9, 332 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02722-7

    The Future Friendship Machine, NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/06/785523942/video-the-future-friendship-machine

    Ellen Peters, J. Marianne Riksen-Walraven, Antonius H. N. Cillessen, Carolina de Weerth. Peer Rejection and HPA Activity in Middle Childhood: Friendship Makes a Difference. Child Development, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01647.x

    Trudel-Fitzgerald, C., Zevon, E. S., Kawachi, I., Tucker-Seeley, R. D., Grodstein, F., & Kubzansky, L. D. (2020). The Prospective Association of Social Integration With Life Span and Exceptional Longevity in Women. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, 75(10), 2132–2141. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbz116

    Graham, A. L., Zhao, K., Papandonatos, G. D., Erar, B., Wang, X., Amato, M. S., Cha, S., Cohn, A. M., & Pearson, J. L. (2017). A prospective examination of online social network dynamics and smoking cessation. PloS one, 12(8), e0183655. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183655

    Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2008). Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 337, a2338. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2338

    • 59 min
    Improv with Gary Richardson and Patrick Keene

    Improv with Gary Richardson and Patrick Keene

    Sophie, Steven and Shannon are going back to their roots, exploring the ins and outs of improv comedy! Comedians Gary Richardson and Patrick Keene join them as they discuss the science of creativity, the power of "yes and" and what happens in our brains when we make choices on the spot.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

TrotTrot1234566789 ,

I had a lot of fun listening to this podcast.

I walk a lot during the day and always have a podcast or audiobook going. This was the first one where my mind didn’t wander at all! It’s a lot of fun and can’t wait to listen to more!

ebk003 ,

Check this out!!

This crew has great chemistry covering interesting topics-very informative with lots of laughs along the way...great stuff here!

Hershko1016 ,

Funny & Informative

As a Ph.D. Student I absolutely love this podcast! It’s smart and funny. It also helps me take care of myself. Great job guys!

Top Podcasts In Science

Listeners Also Subscribed To