The Upgrade by Lifehacker

The Upgrade by Lifehacker

Each week, Alice Bradley of Lifehacker brings in all-star guests to tackle the stuff that matters—like how to be happy, how to buy a TV, how to be less bad with money and how to tell if you’re dating a psychopath. Look, you're doing great, but quite frankly we think you can be a little better. All your friends do too. It's time for The Upgrade.... Show More

Episodes

August 2, 2020 31 min

This week, we're learning how to improve on our time management skills with help from Tiffany Dufu, Founder and CEO of The Cru and author of the book Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less. Listen to hear Tiffany's tips on how to get clear about your priorities, how to utilize your calendar to get things done, and the questions to ask yourself when debating over which tasks are most important.

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This week we’re learning how to breathe better and how that can vastly improve our overall health with help from journalist James Nestor. James is the author of the new book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, which covers the extensive research on the many ways in which we sometimes struggle to breathe—from asthma, to allergies, to snoring—and what we can do about it. 

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Parenting is a wild and confusing trip—to put it mildly. So this week we’re learning how to teach our kids the ins and outs of how to be decent, responsible, adult people with help from writer Catherine Newman. Catherine is the author of How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You’re Grown Up

As a special deal for listeners, you can get Catherine’s book here for 20% off by using the code PERSON...

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Have you ever spun out over why your friend ended that text with a period? Or missed the subtle sarcasm in an unpunctuated email? We’re clearing up all of these online miscommunications and more this week with help from internet linguist, Gretchen McCulloch. Gretchen is the resident linguist at WIRED and author of the New York Times bestseller Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. 

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Have you ever wondered why your cat bites you after just three pets, or how to get your dog to chill out and stop barking? We’re uncovering the mysteries of our four-legged friends this week and learning how to make them happier with help from animal behavior expert Zazie Todd. Zazie is the creator of the blog, CompanionAnimalPsychology.com, and author of the new book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy

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This week, we’re finding the humor in our woes with help from John Moe, host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast. John helps us understand what is funny, and sometimes even good about depression, how we can recognize it within ourselves and others, and what to do about it when we find ourselves struggling. John’s latest book, The Hilarious World of Depression is out now. 

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We’ve seen a rise in preventable deaths since the start of the pandemic, largely because people are too afraid to go to the doctor. So we want to change that this week with the help of cardiologists Marc Eisenberg and Chris Kelly, who tell us all about the ease of booking a televisit, how to prepare for one, and what symptoms merit a visit to the doctor. Marc and Chris are the authors of the book, Am I Dying?!: A Complete Guide to ...

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What are our rights when it comes to protesting? How do we protest safely and effectively during a pandemic? We answer these questions and more this week with help from activists L.A. Kauffman and Charlene Carruthers. L.A. is a veteran grassroots organizer with over 35 years of experience in political activism, and has written two books on the topic including her most recent, How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resista...

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June 7, 2020 59 sec

To respect and support the movement for black lives, we at The Upgrade wanted to share some important resources and charities to donate to right now:

Organizations to support:

Black Lives Matter

BYP100

Black Visions Collective

Equal Justice Initiative

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL)

Southern Poverty Law Center

Color of Change

The Bail Project

The Loveland Foundation

The Legal Defense and Education Fund

Fair Fight

Resources:

The National Lawy...

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Being trapped with your significant other 24/7 is not a recipe for relationship success. That’s why this week we’re talking with divorce attorney James J. Sexton about how to save our marriage and avoid becoming a statistic in the post-pandemic “divorce boom”. James is the author, most recently, of How to Stay In Love: Practical Wisdom from an Unexpected Source.

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Let’s face it, the economy feels a little doom and gloom right now. So we’re learning how to protect ourselves financially this week with the help of personal finance advisor Ramit Sethi. Hear him talk with Alice and Lifehacker’s personal finance writer Lisa Rowan about his practical tips for navigating this economically terrifying time. Ramit is the author of the New York Times bestseller I Will Teach You to Be Rich and founder of...

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We’re learning how to be more present this week with meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. Hear her talk with Alice and Melissa about the ways that the pandemic highlights just how interconnected we are, and what we can do to find a little stability in the uncertainty. Sharon is the New York Times bestselling author of Real HappinessLovingkindness, and Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Her newest book, Real Change: Mindful...

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In this episode we’re talking about dinner: what you should make, how you should make it, and why the idea of “dinner” is fraught for so many of us. We talk with Melissa Clark, staff reporter for the New York Times Food section and author of the new cookbook “Dinner in an Instant.” We also chat with Dave Arnold, the Founder and President of the Brooklyn-based Museum of Food and Drink. And we spend quality time with Claire Lower, Li...

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Comedian and author Samantha Irby joins us this week on The Upgrade to talk about how to make yourself comfortable with self-quarantine. This includes finding the right TV shows to binge-watch (she has a recommendation or two), the right books to escape with, and the right foods to cook while you huddle up at home. Samantha is the New York Times bestselling author of We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, Meaty, and most recently, Wow,...

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Does social distancing have you feeling the blahs? We’re reviving our creative instincts this week with help from Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine’s Senior Art Critic and author of the New York Times bestseller How to Be An Artist. Hear Jerry talk about his secrets to finding inspiration in these isolating times, as well as how he imagines the art world will emerge from this global pandemic.

After their conversation, hear Lifehacker’s...

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Are you feeling burnt out? Do you find yourself working MORE, not less, even while working from home? Award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee joins us on The Upgrade this week to talk about how the toxic culture of busyness is harming both our brains and our bodies, and what we can do about it. Celeste is the author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter, and most recently, Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Ove...

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Gretchen Rubin joins us this week to talk about how she and her family are staying happy in their home during the pandemic—and how we can, too. Hear her talk about the rules, routines, and philosophies that are helping her maintain an inner calm during the current, chaotic state of the world. Gretchen is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and The Four Tendencies, and also hosts the podc...

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New York Times bestselling author James Clear joins us on The Upgrade this week to help us form some important habits during this panic-stricken time—from grounding rituals to quitting the habits making us unsafe during this pandemic. James is the author of 2018's Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.

Have an idea for a future episode? Call us at 347-687-8109 and leave a voicemail, or...

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March 29, 2020 33 min

Everyone at Lifehacker—along with the rest of the world—is now hunkered down at home, trying to make sense of this new (temporary) normal. So this week each of us recorded audio from our lives to provide a glimpse of what we’re up to. We want to hear from you, too. Call us at 347-687-8109 and leave a voicemail, or write to us at upgrade@lifehacker.com.

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On this episode of The Upgrade we’re talking about resilience. You know how some people seem to have some kind of inner strength that helps them bounce back when things go wrong? Those people who, even though the world sometimes feels like a scorched hellscape seem to carry on with grit, even gratitude? Our guest today is Buddhist psychologist Rick Hanson. Rick has drawn on his forty years of clinical practice and teaching to help ...

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