How To!

How To!

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.... Show More

Episodes

March 2, 2021 31 min
Michael grew up terrified that the world was going to end. This wasn’t your typical childhood anxiety, but something he was taught while being raised in the Children of God cult. Michael left the cult years ago, but now in his 30s he’s struggling to heal the scars it left on his parents and 11 siblings. How do you go on living when the world doesn’t actually come to an end? On this episode of How To!, we bring on Rebecca Stott, aut...
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February 23, 2021 35 min
Several months ago, Sarah told her best friend John she’s in love with him—but he doesn’t love her back. Now Sarah can’t get John out of her head, especially because they still talk all the time. How can Sarah move on from John? On this episode of How To!, we bring on Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and the author of Anatomy of Love, to help Sarah train her heart—and her brain—to fall out of love. The first thing Sarah ne...
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February 16, 2021 32 min
Age may just be a number but turning 60 is a big deal—at least, according to three listeners who recently wrote us about the challenges they’re facing in their later years. Joy can’t decide whether to retire from her job as a high school Spanish teacher. Doug is trying to figure out where to channel his energy after a career in the military. And Kim needs to find a way to support herself for the first time in her life after a devas...
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Chris’s childhood was defined by the Pentecostal church, where his father is a minister and his siblings are following the same path. But when Chris went to college, his views on the church changed, and now at age 23, he no longer identifies as religious. That’s caused a major rift with his parents, and Chris can’t stand the tension anymore. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Patricia Lockwood, a poet and writer who chronicled...
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February 2, 2021 31 min
Ever since Casey’s husband had his identity stolen, Casey hasn’t been able to relax. She spends late nights and weekends obsessively checking their family bank accounts and scouring the web for information on the thieves who live just 15 minutes from her house. The police told Casey that an arrest is unlikely, so how can she find closure and move on with her life? On this episode of How To!, we bring on Abby Ellin, journalist and t...
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January 26, 2021 34 min
Juliet knows she’s one of the best tennis players in her community league, but whenever she gets on the court, she’s paralyzed by self-consciousness. Did the crowd notice how bad that shot was? With all eyes on her, Juliet keeps bungling big points and losing matches she should win. On this episode of How To!, new host David Epstein brings on Sian Beilock, president of Barnard College and the author of Choke, to walk us through the...
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Samantha Power knows what it’s like to arrive in Washington, D.C. and feel a little lost—literally. She once couldn't find the oval office. But more than that, as a Pulitzer Prize-winning human rights activist and former UN Ambassador under President Barack Obama, Samantha had to learn to balance her beliefs with actually getting things done. On this episode of How To!, Samantha, the author of The Education of an Idealist and P...
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December 29, 2020 27 min
Here at How To! headquarters, we give and receive a lot of good advice. This year we learned how to talk politics without wrecking relationships, lose weight and keep it off, confront a crazy neighbor, and even survive a shark attack. As 2020 draws to a close and we look ahead to the New Year, the How To! team comes together to round up our favorite advice of the year. We talk about how we applied that advice to our own lives, shar...
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December 22, 2020 26 min
Are you sick of sourdough? Stress-baking the same chocolate chip cookies every week? Our listener Daniel understands—he’s been baking like crazy during this pandemic, but is feeling tired and uninspired lately. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Claire Saffitz, pastry chef, beloved host of Bon Appétit’s “Gourmet Makes” series, and author of the new cookbook Dessert Person, to hack Daniel’s kitchen pantry and find new ways to u...
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Erin thinks her dog Chief has the most embarrassing habit—he keeps eating her daughters’ underwear. This has happened several times, resulting in multiple costly surgeries. If she can't put a stop to it, it could eventually kill Chief. How can she get her dog to behave and, more importantly, get her teenage daughters to put their underwear in the hamper? On this episode of How To!, Jenny Slate, comedian, actress, and author of ...
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Irina and her husband are more than $100,000 in debt. They’re working to pay it off, but between monthly credit card bills, student loan payments, 401k contributions and spending on their new baby, their money is spread too thin. In this episode of How To!, we bring on Rachel Cruze, a personal finance expert and author of Know Yourself, Know Your Money, to help Irina create a budget that she can actually follow. It will seem hard a...
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December 8, 2020 32 min
Katie is terrified of dying. As the youngest in a big family, she can’t stop thinking about the fact that all her loved ones may die before she does. Katie is a comedy writer who knows how to get laughs, but her obsession with death is real, and getting in the way of living. In this episode of How To!, we bring on Rachel Menzies, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Sydney and author of Tales from the Valley of Death,...
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December 1, 2020 32 min
Lauren and Carlos are afraid their marriage is at a breaking point. With Carlos out of work, an active toddler to care for, and another child on the way, Lauren and Carlos are feeling pressures familiar to many newlyweds—and the pandemic has only made it worse. Can we help this couple find their way back to each other? On this episode of How To!, we bring on John and Julie Gottman, who are not only co-founders of The Gottman Instit...
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Matt’s dad believes some crazy conspiracy theories—that the moon landing was faked, that JFK’s assassination was an inside job, and that QAnon is real. Matt can’t stand talking about politics—or really anything—with his dad these days, but he’s desperate to preserve their relationship. In this episode of How To!, we bring on Colin Dickey, cultural historian and author of The Unidentified, to explain why conspiracy theories are more...
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November 17, 2020 30 min
Abe’s girlfriend wants to try something different—sleeping with other people. In other words, she wants an open relationship. Abe could be on board, but he has some questions. How does that work exactly? What are the ground rules? And what if it ultimately causes them to break up? After all, they’ve been a couple for the better part of 10 years, and just moved back in together after some time apart. In this episode of How To!, we b...
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November 10, 2020 28 min
Mike is an average guy on a mission to change the state of Florida—specifically, to convince the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to stop overspraying the rivers and lakes with herbicides. As a fisherman, Mike cares deeply about the waterways in his state, but he’s struggling to break into the conversation and make a real impact. In this episode of How To!, we bring on Erin Brockovich, the citizen activist and inspiration ...
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Sam and his sister used to be close, but lately their relationship feels strained. Years of favoritism toward Sam by their parents has taken its toll and now, after one disastrous family celebration, Sam worries he may lose his sister entirely. Can Sam save their relationship before it’s too late? In this episode of How To!, we bring on a pair of famous siblings who have navigated everything from an estranged father to Hollywood dr...
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October 27, 2020 29 min
Have you ever had a moment where you realized… I’m becoming like my parents? For many of us that can be a funny realization, but for Michelle it was a wakeup call. Her mother can be a bit of a drama queen, and as time has gone on, Michelle feels like the way she reacts to stressful situations mirrors that of her mother. In fact, Michelle’s boyfriend once told her she was turning into her mother, which, according to Michelle, was “t...
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October 23, 2020 17 min
Isabelle decided to spend her gap year as a political volunteer campaigning on behalf of Joe Biden. She’s been writing postcards, making phone calls, and even posting on social media. But she worries she’s not making enough of an impact, and is surprised by how many people are convinced their vote doesn’t matter. In this special bonus episode of How To!, we bring on Don Green, professor of political science at Columbia and co-autho...
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Back in 2018, newly elected U.S. Representative Katie Hill was a rising star in the Democratic Party. Then unauthorized nude photos of her were leaked to a right-wing blog by her estranged husband, triggering a House Ethics investigation. Katie denied the worst allegations but admitted to a relationship with a female subordinate on her campaign, and, amid immense pressure, resigned her seat. Since then she has written a new memoir ...
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