Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

By Parcast Network

I’ve spent over 20 years studying the emotions and experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: We are hardwired for connection, and connecting requires courage, vulnerability, and conversation. I want this to be a podcast that’s real, unpolished, honest, and reflects both the magic and the messiness of what it means to be human. Episodes will include conversations with the people who are teaching me, challenging me, confusing me, or maybe even ticking me off a little. I'll also have direct conversations with you about what I’m learning from new research, and we'll do some episodes dedicated to answering your questions. We don’t have to do life alone. We were never meant to.

Episodes

Brené with Melinda Gates on The Moment of Lift

In this episode, I talk with philanthropist and global advocate for women and girls, Melinda Gates. We talk about empathy, the power of story, and about her book, The Moment of Lift - a clear and powerful call to action for gender equity.
20/01/211h 19m

Brené on Words, Actions, Dehumanization, and Accountability

In this "On My Mind" episode, we talk about shame and accountability. We discussed this a bit last summer, but I’m going deeper today in light of the insurrection at the US Capitol building and the resulting calls to unity without accountability. Dehumanization is the most significant driver of insurrection and it always starts with language. We are all responsible for recognizing it, stopping it, and holding people accountable for dehumanizing language and actions.
13/01/2138m 54s

Brené with Tim Ferriss and Dax Shepard on Podcasting, Daily Practices, and the Long and Winding Path to Healing

It’s a podcasters’ roundtable! In this episode, Tim Ferriss, Dax Shepard, and I talk about everything from preparing for podcasts, parenting, and ping pong, to addiction, trauma, and the long, winding road to healing and wholeness. It’s fun and hard and messy. Everything you’d expect from three people who consider curiosity a way of life.
16/12/201h 43m

Brené with President Barack Obama on Leadership, Family and Service

In this episode, I talk with President Barack Obama about his life, his work, and his new book A Promised Land. We dive into the power of leaning into uncertainty, and why the rare skill of holding the tension of opposites makes us better leaders, partners, and parents.
11/12/201h 5m

Brené on The Queen's Gambit, Revisiting FFTs, and Resting Our Tired Brains

In this "On My Mind" episode, we revisit FFTs and talk about tired brains and new strategies for recovering from too many hard first times.
09/12/2034m 53s

Brené with David Eagleman on The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain

In this episode, I talk with David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author, TED speaker, and Guggenheim Fellow, all about the brain and how it works. It’s mysterious, malleable, constantly changing and up for new challenges. We dig deeper into the research in his book Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain on the power of being uncomfortable and trying new things and how important new experiences are for continued brain development and health.
02/12/201h 1m

Brené with Priya Parker on The Art of Gathering

In this episode, I talk with Priya Parker - a master facilitator, strategic advisor, and the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters. We dig into what it means to come together, why connection requires intention, and the often-invisible structures inside our most meaningful gatherings. Priya even helps me deconstruct my wedding and why, decades later, people still tell me how different and fun it was!
25/11/201h 4m

Brené with Dolly Parton on Songtelling, Empathy, and Shining Our Lights

This episode is proof that dreams do come true! I get to talk to Dolly Parton about love, empathy, and the power of truth-telling. We talk about everything from her new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics and songwriting, to the challenges of leading organizations and Burt Reynolds. It's amazing to me how Dolly's songwriting and storytelling seems to be driven by a deep calling to turn toward pain and heartbreak so she can shine a light for all of us to find our way.
18/11/2050m 13s

Brené with Gabby Rivera on Superheroes, Storytelling and Joy as Resistance

In this episode, I talk with writer, storyteller, and joy advocate Gabby Rivera, the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics. Gabby penned the solo series America about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. We also talk about her debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath, how important it is to see ourselves in stories about the hero’s journey, and how joy is a form of resistance.
11/11/201h 9m

Brené on Strong Backs, Soft Fronts, and Wild Hearts

In this solo episode recorded on Election Day 2020, I talk directly to our wholehearted community about the practice that helps me when I'm feeling fearful, worried, or wobbly, and why this work is the foundation for true belonging.
04/11/2024m 27s

Brené with Elizabeth Lesser on the Power of Women’s Stories

In this episode, I speak with Elizabeth Lesser, bestselling author and cofounder of Omega Institute, about her newest book Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes.
28/10/2059m 38s

Introducing My New Podcast: Dare to Lead

What does it take to be a leader at any level? Join me every Monday on the Dare to Lead podcast as I unpack the skill-sets of courage-building, and talk to as many change-makers, culture-shifters, and troublemakers as possible. Together, we’ll have conversations that help us show up, step up, and dare to lead. In this first solo episode, I talk about my passion for this work, what we’ve been learning about courageous leadership and skill building, and the differences between armored and daring leadership. Listen now and follow Dare to Lead for free, only on Spotify!
26/10/2041m 57s

Brené with Joe Biden on Empathy, Unity and Courage

My thoughts on power and leadership, and a conversation on empathy, unity, and courage with Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic Presidential Nominee.
21/10/2053m 4s

Brené with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle

Burnout. We're all experiencing it and we're all desperate for a way through it. In this episode, I talk to Drs. Emily and Amelia Nagoski about what causes burnout, what it does to our bodies, and how we can move through the emotional exhaustion. This has been a game-changer for me and for my family!
14/10/201h 6m

Brené with Jason Sudeikis & Brendan Hunt on Ted Lasso

As the self-appointed president of the TLFC (Ted Lasso Fan Club), it was a blast to talk to Jason Sudeikis, the co-creator, writer, and executive producer who plays Ted Lasso, and Brendan Hunt, the co-creator and writer who plays Coach Beard on the Apple TV+ hit series. The show follows the adventures of a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer. We talk about the show's interesting origin story, writers' room inspirations, and why intention is critical to the creative process. It's a fun conversation about a show that is unapologetically awkward, brave, and kind.
07/10/2053m 7s

Brené with Bishop Michael Curry on Love & Hope in Troubling Times

The Most Rev. Michael Curry is Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, and on this episode, we talk about love. Messy, hard, complicated love. I ask him how we can transcend fear in a scarcity-based culture and what we can learn from those who came before us. We also talk about the church, how to develop beloved community, and the scrappy, gritty, work of love that is my definition of faith. Plus, Bishop Curry shares his playlist with one song that I really didn’t expect.
30/09/201h 25m

On My Mind: RBG, Surge Capacity, and Play as an Energy Source

In this episode, I share my thoughts on the power of dissent, what happens when we max out our surge capacity during a crisis, and how time spent without purpose can refuel and reconnect us.
23/09/2033m 28s

Brené with Sonya Renee Taylor on "The Body is Not an Apology"

In this episode Sonya Renee Taylor and I talk about body shame, radical self-love, and social justice. This conversation was a big unlocking for me - especially when it comes to understanding the connection between how we think about our bodies and oppression.
16/09/201h 20m

Brené with Scott Sonenshein on Stretching and Chasing

In this episode, researcher and professor Dr. Scott Sonenshein and I talk about the art and science of being scrappy, why outsiders are sometimes better than experts, and why comparison is truly the thief of joy. This book turned things upside down for me - in the best way. I hope the conversation does the same for you.
09/09/201h 4m

Brené on Day 2

So glad to be back! Launching our second season with a conversation on one of my favorite subjects (and least favorite experiences): Day 2! It sounds easy enough, but Day 2 is no joke. It’s the messy middle - the point of no return. Join us as we talk about navigating what's next and why it's always best to stumble through the darkness together.
02/09/2032m 30s

Introducing: It Was Said (w Jon Meacham)

Welcome to It Was Said, a 10-episode limited documentary series looking back on some of the most powerful, impactful and timeless speeches in American history. Join Pulitzer Prize winning and best-selling author-historian, Jon Meacham, Peabody-nominated C13Originals Studios and HISTORY, as we take you through 10 speeches. Season One of It Was Said draws on a selection of speeches from powerful figures in history where Meacham will offer expert insight and analysis into their origins, the orator, the context of the times they were given, why they are still relevant today, and the importance of never forgetting them. Each episode of this documentary podcast series will also bring together some of the top historians, authors and journalists relevant to each respective speech and figure. Subscribe and listen to It Was Said for free now, wherever you listen to podcasts.
31/08/205m 45s

Introducing: Hope, Through History

Welcome to Hope, Through History, a 5-episode documentary podcast series written and narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling author, Jon Meacham, produced and presented by Peabody-Nominated C13Originals Studios. This limited series explores some of the most historic and trying times in American History, how this nation and its leaders dealt with the impact of these moments. and how we came through these moments as a more unified nation. Season One takes a look at critical moments around the 1918 Flu Pandemic, the Great Depression, World War II, the polio epidemic and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/08/203m 56s

Brené on Ask Me Anything, Part 2 of 2

We received so many thoughtful and tough AMA questions from listeners that it took us two episodes to cover the most popular topics. In Part 2, I unpack one of the most asked questions: How do parents build shame resilience in our children? I'm also answering another popular question: Are there TV series and/or films that I think do a great job of accurately capturing emotions and the human experience? While there are SO many that do that well, I share a few of my current favorites.
15/07/2030m 57s

Brené on Ask Me Anything, Part 1 of 2

I said, “Ask Me Anything,” and the Unlocking Us community came through with the tough questions. To be honest, I thought I’d get some easy, fun ones—but no, all deep-end questions. In fact, we had hundreds and hundreds of tough, smart, thoughtful questions submitted, and in today’s episode I answer five of them. We cover ‘fake news,’ disappointment vs self-pity, religion and shame, when something is shame-worthy, and we’re just getting started.
08/07/2049m 23s

Brené on Shame and Accountability

In today’s solo episode, I share my thoughts about why accountability is a prerequisite for change, and why we need to get our heads and hearts around the difference between being held accountable for racism and feeling shame, and being shamed. I share my personal stories of being held accountable and holding myself accountable, as well as my strategies for pulling my “thinking brain” back online when I’m experiencing the flight and fight energy fueled by shame.
01/07/2045m 59s

Brené with Judd Apatow on Vulnerability and Laughter

I'm talking with Judd Apatow, who has directed, produced, and written many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows of the last two decades. We look at what's funny, why it's funny, and why laughter creates connection. We also uncover that thin line between humor and grief and what it means to tell the stories of our lives in a way that we recognize ourselves and our shared humanity.
26/06/201h 4m

Brené with Gina Chavez and Carrie Rodriguez on the Heart and Soul of Music

Meet Carrie Rodriguez and Gina Chavez, the musicians who created and perform the music you hear every week on Unlocking Us. Artists and activists, Gina and Carrie integrate stories, culture, and the heart of past generations into their music to create artful and hopeful futures. You can hear it in their music, and you can see it in their lives. I’m so grateful that our weekly Unlocking Us conversations begin and end with their soulful sounds.
24/06/201h 19m

Brené with Laverne Cox on Transgender Representation, Advocacy + the Power of Love

In this episode, I talk to artist, advocate, executive producer, and all-around amazing woman and friend Laverne Cox about her new, groundbreaking documentary, Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, the importance of policy protection for the trans community, and the seismic shifts in the world today. We also discuss the complexities of intersectionality and accountability, the difference between discomfort and safety, and the ultimate power of seeking love and living in the light.
17/06/201h 2m

Brené with Austin Channing Brown on I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

Austin Channing Brown’s anti-racism work is critical to changing our world, and her ability to talk about what is good and true about love, about our faith, and about loving each other is transformative. She is a writer, a speaker, and a media producer providing inspired leadership on racial justice in America. In this episode, we connect on her book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, and talk about her online television show, The Next Question.
10/06/201h 4m

Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

I'm talking with professor Ibram Kendi, New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and the Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. We talk about racial disparities, policy, and equality, but we really focus on How to Be an Antiracist, which is a groundbreaking approach to understanding uprooting racism and inequality in our society and in ourselves.
03/06/201h 2m

Brené with Reese Witherspoon & Kerry Washington on Little Fires Everywhere

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are true creatives and storytellers, working to make timely art that is honest and vulnerable and truth-telling. Here’s part two of my conversation on Little Fires Everywhere. This episode covers how Reese and Kerry worked with a team of other creatives to bring Celeste’s words to life. We talked about the challenges and responsibilities of creating authentic, living, breathing characters with complex internal thoughts. We talked about motherhood and how it connects us, changes us, and changes as it goes. And we talked about creating art that honors ordinary, complicated people from completely different backgrounds, while connecting us all together.
29/05/201h 6m

Brené and Celeste Ng on Little Fires Everywhere

My conversation with Celeste Ng is the first of two episodes on Little Fires Everywhere, where I'll cover the book and the series. We talked about the writing process, the stories that we tell, and the stories that define us. We also covered how our hometowns shape us, how parenting is a shame minefield, and how we all have the power to mourn moments even while we’re in them. Celeste also filled us in on what she thinks about the series and what it felt like watching Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington create a show from her novel. I loved this episode as a reader, as a writer, and as an observer of what it means to be human.
27/05/201h 3m

Brené & Chris Heuertz: A Skeptic and a Teacher on the Enneagram and Spiritual Contemplation

Chris Heuertz and I talk about the Enneagram which he describes as a "compassionate sketch of possibilities that shows us who we can become if we remember what our souls' created purpose was." I think Chris's power as a teacher comes from his compassion, his deep understanding of how fear works in our lives, and his own healthy skepticism about things that seem too easy and too reductive.
20/05/201h 13m

Brené with Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass on The Power of Paradox

Jay and Mark Duplass are two of my favorite humans. They are film-makers, writers, directors, producers, actors, and activists. They’re also partners, fathers, and brothers who believe in connection, love, and the importance of small moments. In this episode we talk about their memoir, Like Brothers, and how so much of what we crave in life comes from straddling the paradoxes inherent in love, creativity, and relationships.
13/05/201h 26m

Harriet Lerner and Brené - I’m Sorry: How To Apologize & Why It Matters, Part 2 of 2

This two-episode special is based on a course that Dr. Harriet Lerner and I did together on her groundbreaking book, “Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts.” You can expect authentic, hard conversations (and one helluva role play) about making mistakes, healing hurts, and being brave. Harriet is a friend, mentor, and teacher. Her work has shaped my career and made my life better. During a time of deep uncertainty and anxiety - when many of us have struggled to be our best selves all of the time - apologizing has never been more important.
08/05/201h 16m

Harriet Lerner and Brené - I’m Sorry: How To Apologize & Why It Matters, Part 1 of 2

This two-episode special is based on a course that Dr. Harriet Lerner and I did together on her groundbreaking book, “Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts.” You can expect authentic, hard conversations (and one helluva role play) about making mistakes, healing hurts, and being brave. Harriet is a friend, mentor, and teacher. Her work has shaped my career and made my life better. During a time of deep uncertainty and anxiety - when many of us have struggled to be our best selves all of the time - apologizing has never been more important. (
06/05/201h 12m

Brené with Sue Monk Kidd and Jen Hatmaker on Longing, Belonging and Faith

In this episode, I talk to two women who provide wise counsel for those of us who have struggled with belonging and faith (and still do on occasion). Sue Monk Kidd and Jen Hatmaker are dissident daughters, brave leaders, and the very best companions for a contemplative journey.
28/04/201h 23m

Dr. Vivek Murthy and Brené on loneliness and connection

Have you ever struggled with feeling lonely - even when you’re surrounded by people you love? I have. It’s painful and confusing. In this episode, I talk to Dr. Vivek Murthy, a physician and the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, about loneliness and the physical and emotional toll that social disconnection takes on us. We talk about his new book, TOGETHER, and what it takes for each of us to tilt the world toward love and connection.
21/04/2054m 39s

Dr. Marc Brackett and Brené on “Permission to Feel”

Dr. Marc Brackett has dedicated his life to studying emotions and to teaching us what he’s learning. In this episode, we talk about how emotional literacy - being able to recognize, name, and understand our feelings - affects everything from learning, decision making, and creativity, to relationships, health, and performance.
14/04/2053m 38s

Alicia Keys and Brené on More Myself

Alicia’s book, More Myself: A Journey, is a masterclass in authenticity and vulnerability. In this episode, Alicia and I talk about the quiet, subtle experiences that fuel our need to armor up and self-protect, and the courage behind owning our worth, listening to our own voice, and living with our own “girl on fire” energy.
07/04/201h 3m

Brené on Anxiety, Calm + Over/Under-Functioning

We all have patterned ways of managing our day-to-day anxiety, and these patterns often reflect the roles and expectations of our first families.  In this episode, we’ll talk about over and under-functioning in anxious times, why anxiety is contagious, and how we can cultivate a calm practice.
03/04/2030m 18s

David Kessler and Brené on Grief and Finding Meaning

Grief expert David Kessler takes us by the hand and walks us into what he's learned about love, loss, and finding meaning. As someone who has a lot of fear about grief and grieving, this conversation is not what I expected. The only word I can use to describe what I learned from David is "beautiful."
31/03/2046m 49s

Brené on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball

We have collectively hit weary. This is especially true for the brave folks on the front lines of this pandemic and for the people who love and support them. And, it’s also true for all of us. In this episode, I talk about strategies for falling apart, staying connected + kind, and giving ourselves permission to feel hard things.
27/03/2025m 41s

Glennon Doyle and Brené on Untamed

Strap yourselves in! In this episode, I talk to my dear friend and sister Cheetah, Glennon – author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Untamed. This is an honest conversation about walking away from the lifelong training that keeps us small, quiet, and afraid, and embracing our wild, brave hearts. Glennon is the author of two #1 New York times bestsellers – Untamed and Love Warrior. She’s the author of the New York Times bestseller, Carry On, Warrior, an activist, and the founder of Together Rising, an all-women led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $25 Million for women, families and children in crisis. She lives in Florida with her wife and three children.
24/03/201h 6m

Tarana Burke and Brené on Being Heard and Seen

Tarana is a good friend and one of my favorite people on earth. She has been working at the intersection of racial justice and gender equity for nearly three decades, and she started the “Me Too” Movement in 2006.  In 2017, when the #metoo hashtag went viral, Tarana emerged as a global leader in the evolving conversation around sexual violence. In this episode we talk about how her theory of “empowerment through empathy” is changing the way the world thinks and talks about sexual violence, consent, and social justice. AND, we also talk/cry/laugh about falling in love, running as fast as we can from love, and the perils of sharing a bathroom with the guys we love.
23/03/201h 28m

Brené on FFTs

The first Unlocking Us podcast is here! Along with the excitement of sending this into the world, I’m feeling equal doses of fear, awkwardness, and vulnerability. In this episode I talk about my strategy for staying in tough first times versus tapping out and shutting down. When we get to the point that we only do things that we’re already good at doing, we stop growing. And truly living.
20/03/2038m 37s

Introducing: Unlocking Us

Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.  Subscribe now for updates.
09/01/201m 55s
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