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How To! With Charles Duhigg

66 EpisodesProduced by Slate PodcastsWebsite

What if Dear Abby was an investigative reporter? Each week on How To!, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg ("The Power of Habit") 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.

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How To Talk Politics Without Wrecking Relationships

October 13th, 2020


On a recent phone call Shannon’s mom didn’t mince words: The only way she’d vote for Joe Biden is if Jesus himself comes down and tells her to. …

How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off

October 6th, 2020


John needs to shed 15-20 pounds. At age 72, on the cusp of retirement, he wants to reduce his blood pressure medication and have more energy to travel. John knows how to lose weight—at an earlier point in his life he …

How To Get Away With Murder

September 29th, 2020


One day in 1987, a young girl in a small town in upstate New York disappeared and then turned up dead. For seven years her murder went unsolved, …

How To Win Arguments Like a Hostage Negotiator

September 22nd, 2020


Shayne defuses bombs for the military, but in his personal life he’s terrified of confrontation. Take, for example, the time his kids’ babysitter cleaned out a week’s worth of groceries from his fridge and he never said …

Cheat Sheet: How To Survive High School & Whatever Comes Next

September 15th, 2020


College application season is here and Aria, a 17 year-old senior, is stressing—even more than usual. At her high school in Chicago’s south suburbs, …

Cheat Sheet: How To Talk to Your Son About Sex

September 8th, 2020


Thirteen-year-old Henry seems like a model son. He gets good grades, plays on the hockey team, and has a solid group of friends. But Henry’s been …

Cheat Sheet: How To Ace Zoom School

September 1st, 2020


Anna is sure the amount of time her two children spend on YouTube or Roblox cannot be good for them. With remote learning this fall, Anna is worried their addiction to screens is only going to worsen, stunting their …

How To Become Your Own Boss with Guy Raz

August 25th, 2020


Mitchell is a physical therapy student who dreams of revolutionizing the industry. What if physical therapists and their patients weren’t so …

How To! Presents: "Cheat Sheet"

August 21st, 2020


Expert tips for navigating a most unusual back-to-school season. A special three-part series coming September 1st!

Learn more about your ad choices. …

How To Confront a Crazy Neighbor with Tig Notaro

August 11th, 2020


The trouble began when Sarah put a fern in front of her new condo. Nice, right? The woman who lives in the unit above didn’t think so, and without warning sent Sarah a slew of passive-aggressive notes. Sarah thinks it’s …

How To Get That Promotion You Deserve

July 28th, 2020


Johnny is worried about being stuck in the same job forever. He’s been trying to climb the corporate ladder of his software company for years but has had little success. He knows he deserves a promotion, but he doesn’t …

How To Survive a Shark Attack

July 14th, 2020


David was in the ocean in Hawaii when the unthinkable happened—a shark attacked him and bit off his leg. “I don’t think you’re gonna make it,” a …

Bonus Episode - 'Hello Monday' with Jessi Hempel

July 7th, 2020


This bonus episode features Charles's recent appearance on the podcast Hello Monday, where host Jessi Hempel discusses the relationship between work and meaning. Charles tells the story of his experience attending …

How To Write a Bestseller

June 30th, 2020


Lauren already knows the plot of her bestselling novel—the problem is she hasn’t written a word. Paralyzed by self-criticism and an earlier rejection, this former English major has spent years journaling instead of …

How To Fight Racism in Your Town

June 23rd, 2020


Chris has always considered himself “on the right side of things,” but as Black Lives Matter protests sweep across the country, he’s starting to realize he needs to do a lot more. As a white man living in Austin, Texas, …

How To Stand Up for Your Kid When Society Won’t

June 16th, 2020


Karin always thought of herself as the mom of two boys—that is, until last year when her oldest child told her they were nonbinary, meaning they …

How To Walk Away from an Impossible Parent

June 9th, 2020


When Sydney’s dad texted her, “Do me a favor and lose my number,” she was crushed. At 27, Sydney has always had a rocky relationship with her dad, …

How To Find a New Career Before it's Too Late

June 2nd, 2020


Donny is ready to leave the restaurant industry once and for all. As a recovering alcoholic, he was already looking for a new career before COVID-19 …

How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen

May 26th, 2020


Alan’s 86-year-old dad will not stop driving—even after an incident where he drove off the road and totaled his car. Feeling guilty and worried, Alan …

How To Say the Right Thing at the Worst Time

May 19th, 2020


Ann’s sister just lost her husband and Ann doesn’t know how to console her. Ann lives in a different state and, having experienced loss herself, …

How To Lose 155 Pounds Happily

May 12th, 2020


Ashley thought by now she’d be on top of the world. Once severely overweight, Ashley lost 155 pounds and recently ran her first half-marathon. But when she looks in the mirror all she sees are the imperfections. In this …

How To Talk to Strangers

May 5th, 2020


Every other Friday, Amy’s calendar reminds her to make the rounds of her office and say “hello” to her colleagues. As an introvert, Amy deeply …

How To Actually Enjoy Working from Home

April 28th, 2020


Joanna really misses her office. Taking Zoom calls from the kitchen in her dimly lit Brooklyn apartment doesn’t compare to her bright, open office filled with friendly coworkers. In this episode of How To!, Ben Waber, …

How To Save the Planet (And Still Use a Plastic Straw)

April 21st, 2020


Caleb tries to be good to the planet by recycling, biking to work and living a minimalist lifestyle in his small Ohio town. But he still feels guilty about using disposable diapers and buying a minivan for his growing …

How To Stop Procrastinating

April 14th, 2020


Marie trains dogs for a living, but she’s struggling to teach herself a new trick—overcoming procrastination. For a year, she’s been ready to launch a new dog training app....just as soon as she makes the training …

Quarantine Q&A: Masks

April 7th, 2020


Margit from Denver, Colorado writes in with a question about how to encourage people to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Charles …

How To Tame a Chaotic Household

March 31st, 2020


Sarah feels like she’s drowning in the clutter of her tiny Brooklyn apartment where she lives with a messy husband and two-year-old daughter. Now …

How To Not Go Crazy Under Quarantine

March 24th, 2020


This week, we’re struggling with the same problem as our listeners: self-quarantine. As news of the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, how do we stay sane while staying home? How do we reduce stress and remain healthy …

How To Forgive the Unforgivable

March 17th, 2020


For years Claire has been holding on to a terrible family secret: Her mom physically abused Claire’s brother when he was young. How could her mom …

How To Find Your First Kiss at 38

March 10th, 2020


Sharon is 38 and never been kissed. This, as she acknowledges, is “a bit weird.” As a nurse who loves ballroom dancing, Sharon is smart, funny, and attractive. At the same time, she’s deeply religious and has been …

How To Get Your Mom to Accept You

March 3rd, 2020


When Hema first realized she was gay a few years ago after immigrating to the U.S., she knew she had to tell her mom. But the conversation didn’t go well. Hema’s mom lives in India and is convinced being gay is a …

How To Vote for the Next President

February 25th, 2020


Anthony is that rarest of things in American politics—a swing voter who is up for grabs in 2020. Caught between his Republican voting history and his …

How To Write the Perfect Breakup Song with Ben Folds

February 18th, 2020


Lorenzo is a dental student with big dreams—of becoming a rock star. Lorenzo plays a mean guitar at open mic night, but there’s one thing holding him …

How To Convince People to Give You Money

February 11th, 2020


Shannon runs a nonprofit in Aspen, Colorado — a place filled with wealthy donors, but also stiff competition. With nearly 500 nonprofits vying for …

How To Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus

February 4th, 2020


The coronavirus outbreak in China is causing panic worldwide. The World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency and all we hear about are doubling infection rates, massive quarantines, and …

How To Put Your Wife's Career First

January 28th, 2020


Andy would do anything for his girlfriend Cassie. Well, almost anything. As Cassie looks to move away for vet school, Andy has to decide if he’s …

How To Kick a Meth Habit

January 21st, 2020


Jason has been addicted to meth for the past 15 years, which is not uncommon in his small Illinois town. Every time Jason stopped using he would …

How To Rob a Bank

January 14th, 2020


Joe Loya robbed more than 30 banks during an 18-month span before going to jail. Charles wants to rob one bank on a Saturday afternoon, and get away scot-free. Can Joe teach Charles the tricks of the trade? Or will he …

How To Propose (to a Man)

January 7th, 2020


Once upon a time, Ashley met a man and fell in love. Now, she’s ready to get down on one knee and pop the question. But with so few women proposing to men, she’s not sure how to go about it. In this episode of How To!, …

How To Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick

December 31st, 2019


How To! gave dozens of people advice this year about solving their problems. Now, we track a few of them down to see how our experts’ suggestions …

How To Give a REALLY Big Gift

December 24th, 2019


Mary’s mother needs a new kidney — as long as it doesn’t come from Mary. What’s a daughter to do? In this episode of How To!, Mary hears from Larissa MacFarquhar, author of a book on extreme altruism, to learn how to …

How To Remember Everything

December 17th, 2019


Jessica is only 26, but says her memory is ‘worse than my mother’s.’ She forgets friends’ birthdays, important details at work and worries that life is passing her by. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Joshua …

How To Sleep

December 10th, 2019


Ben aka ‘Sleepless in San Francisco’ hasn’t been able to get a good night’s rest for over a decade. He’s tried noise machines, medication, vodka, even eating cheese -- but nothing has worked. It’s harming his health, …

How To Get Your Kid To Finally Grow Up

December 3rd, 2019


Owen is about to graduate from high school and has no idea what he wants to do next. Owen doesn’t seem worried, but his mom, Lisa, is freaking out. …

How To Cook One Perfect Meal

November 26th, 2019


Jonny is a 26-year-old bachelor whose cooking often leads to heartache (and for one ex-girlfriend, a stomachache). Jonny admits he’s a klutz in the …

How To Win At Online Dating

November 19th, 2019


Traci is a single, professional woman looking for love. She builds furniture in her spare time, enjoys dancing and can’t believe she has to devote an hour each day to swiping through photos and sending flirty texts. …

How To Perform Under Pressure

November 12th, 2019


Mike’s dream job of playing bass in a Chicago orchestra is within reach — if only he can conquer his nerves and master the audition. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Dr. Don Greene, a peak performance …

How To Withstand Pain

November 5th, 2019


Sophie is a typical mom … who runs ultramarathons in her spare time. She’s pretty tough but an upcoming 268-mile race across the loneliest parts of …

How To Not Be Scared

October 29th, 2019


Becca is 6-feet tall, bold and strong-willed. She’s also easily startled and paralyzed by fear — even a children’s haunted house can reduce her to …

How To Fire Your Daughter

October 22nd, 2019


Kyle wants to sell his 50-year old family insurance business so he can finally retire. But a troublesome employee is holding him back: his daughter. …

How To Put Down Your Phone

October 15th, 2019


How many times have you looked at your phone so far today? Do you feel like you’re choosing to look, or automatically craving it when you ought to be …

How To Be Funny

October 8th, 2019


How do you learn to tell the perfect joke? In this episode of How To! A pastor from Oklahoma wants to spice up his sermons from the pulpit. So we …

How To Go On a Family Adventure

September 24th, 2019


Can a family travel around the world for a year without killing each other? Dan Kois spent a year in New Zealand, The Netherlands, Costa Rica and Kansas with his wife Alia and their two young daughters, learning how …

How To Look Like a Superhero

September 17th, 2019


How did Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman get so buff to play Deadpool and Wolverine? An up-and-coming Hollywood actor wants to know so he can land his …

How To Stress Your Kid the Right Way

September 10th, 2019


Is there a right way to let kids struggle and fail? How do you raise resilient children? And most important, when should you help out, and when …

How To Survive a Pandemic

September 3rd, 2019


Have you ever wondered how you would fare in the apocalypse? Perhaps you have envisioned yourself, shotgun loaded, prepared to mete out kindhearted …

How To Stop Being Anxious

August 27th, 2019


Matt has anxiety attacks. Every day. When he gets too many texts, when he starts worrying about his family, when the unexpected occurs: that’s when the sweat starts and his mind begins racing. He’s a strong guy — he was …

How To Uproot Your Life

August 20th, 2019


A decade after Elizabeth’s family left the U.S. to live in Portugal, they’re wondering if it’s time to move back. In this episode of How To! we turn to professional poker player, Annie Duke, who treats every decision …

How To Cook One Perfect Meal

August 13th, 2019


Jonny is a 26 year-old bachelor whose cooking often leads to heartache (and for one ex-girlfriend, a stomach ache). Jonny admits he’s a klutz in the …

How To Fire a Bad Employee

August 6th, 2019


Gabe wants to fire a bad employee, but still be a good boss. In this episode of How To! we turn to Stanford professor of management science, Bob …

How To Give Your Mom a Kidney

July 30th, 2019


Mary’s mother needs a new kidney — as long as it doesn’t come from Mary. What’s a good daughter to do? In this episode of How To! Mary hears from Larissa MacFarquhar, author of a book on extreme altruism, to learn how …

How To Withstand Pain

July 30th, 2019


Sophie Power once breastfed her newborn during an ultramarathon, but an upcoming 268-mile race across a remote stretch of Great Britain is freaking …

How To Rob a Bank

July 30th, 2019


Joe Loya robbed over 30 banks during an 18-month span before going to jail. In this episode of How To! Charles wants to rob one bank on a Saturday afternoon, and get away scot-free. Can Joe teach Charles the tricks of …

How To Be Funny

July 30th, 2019


How do you learn to tell the perfect joke? In this episode of How To! a pastor from Oklahoma wants to spice up his sermons. So we introduce him to

Introducing How To!

June 21st, 2019


What if Dear Abby was an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ …

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