“Dare to Lead” and “Unlocking Us with Brené Brown” are two very popular podcasts geared towards mental fitness and eudemonia.
The podcasts cover topics that range from using joy as a form of defiance to dealing with shame while upholding personal responsibility.
The theme of “Unlocking Us” is to explore all the complex feelings and experiences that define who we are as people.
Based on psychology and self-help, Unlocking Us explores human vulnerability through Brown’s experiences of social work.
It includes both monologues and interview-style content.
The “Dare to Lead” podcast is a mix of solo episodes and conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and many troublemakers with an aim to develop brave leaders and courageous cultures.
Innovating, creating, and building a better and more just world requires dynamic authorities in every part of our lives.
The podcasts highlight Brown’s ability to make the conversations she has with celebrity guests more relatable to the common, non-celeb world.
Reach of the Podcast
One of her conversations on “The power of Vulnerability” which was featured on TED talks received over 60 Million views on TED’s official website and more than 19 million views on Youtube making it among the top five most watched TED lectures worldwide.
Another episode titled “Listening to shame” again featured on TED received 6 million views.
Recently she was also called on “The Ellen Show” as well where she gave a talk on how important it is to surround yourself with people who take pleasure in your joy.
It attained the highest level of popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the ripening time for the podcast, when everyone was battling and struggling with mental health.
The creator behind the podcast
The host and the creator of award-winning Spotify podcasts, Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher and professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work.
She also holds the position of visiting professor for management at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. (source)
Brené has studied courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy for the past 20 years.
She is the first for many a things –
Brené is the author of six #1 New York Times best-selling books. Her works have been translated in more than 30 languages
She co-edited the popular anthology – You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience with Tarana Burke.
She launched a new show on HBO Max in March 2022 which is centered on her latest book – Atlas of the Heart. She is the first researcher to have a videotaped lecture on Netflix.
Themes and Topics Covered
Both her podcasts focus on psychology, vulnerability, emotions, and mental health.
Her talks also provide a safe room for conversation over sensitive issues such as those of abuse.
Brown is never hesitant in admitting her own flaws, pervading her own research with her Texan warmth, and summarizes other major works of social science in a way that makes the perspective she has gained feel personal and sympathetic.
In the episode “Anxiety, Calm, and Over and Under-Functioning,” Brown shares a personal story to illustrate how our deeply ingrained, learned behaviors affect how we react in times of crisis.
Further, she claims that once these defaults have been identified, they do not necessarily guide our every action.
In addition to the fact that anxiety is extremely contagious, we all have ingrained coping mechanisms as well that generally date back to our childhood.
In many of her podcasts, Brené goes into detail about our childhood habits, which are crucial for an adult to comprehend and consider if they want to control their anxiety.
She believes that childhood influences our present-day behaviors, which in turn influence how we will live in the future.
In her podcasts she calls many famous personalities who share their thoughts and insightful experiences. Sometimes there are even debates and cross examinations which adds authenticity to the show and give it a non scripted feel.
In the recently released podcast “Brene with James Clear on Atomic Habits”, Brené and the very popular James discuss identity-based behaviors and how they might become the creators of these habits rather than their victims.
They also discuss how James and Brené’s works connect, the collective stories, and how our institutions and attitudes can prepare us for success.
Instead of attempting to accomplish a goal or an outcome, it is much more fulfilling to build a foundation and make it strong through a developing process. Everything flows into place with a cheerful attitude, and one must continue to display.
Harriet and Brenè discuss the quality of an apology and the long-term effects of insincere pardons.
The best lines from the show were – apologies are a gift to the person we hurt; they soothe the nervous system and help someone let go of their resentment and anger.
Reception and Impact
Brené’s shows have garnered millions of listeners.
The podcasts were a major hit and rose to popularity during COVID-19. Since then, the reception to these talks has only continued to grow.
Brown is largely appreciated because of her explicit discussions on topics which are considered taboo and also for calling in outstanding guests who share real and practical life changing solutions.
Interviews with big names like President Joe Biden, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, and others give the audience insights on the breadth of the human mind.
Below are some of the best and the honest reviews regarding the podcast
“The first season is a bit patchy: you have to get used to Brown’s Texan y’all-drawl, and the advertisements can be irritating. But the two-parter she does with Harriet Lerner, the renowned psychologist who wrote the seminal book, The Dance of Anger, and 2017’s Why Won’t you Apologize?, is a sort of masterclass in emotional intelligence, important for people who find it hard to utter an apology and those who feel they deserve one….” (source)
“Brené Brown is such an inspiring person. Her approach to interviewing leads to engaging and inspiring episodes. I always feel challenged and encouraged after listening. I could not recommend it highly enough”. (source)
Humanity endures so much trauma and anguish, yet we frequently keep these kinds of conversations private or worse, sweep them under the rug.
Brené Brown has played a pioneering role in speaking out joyfully and sometimes in a very humorous manner to embrace aspects of being human that have been historically ignored or stigmatized.
In addition to her bestselling books, numerous TED Talks, and the Netflix special “Brene Brown: The Call to Courage”, her podcast “Unlocking Us” has made a remarkable contribution to raising awareness of critical mental health issues.
Brown’s podcast is an excellent place to explore and harness mental wellness.