Category Archives: Addy Hour

We all want to experience life satisfaction and emotional health. But getting to that place is another matter. From lockdowns to isolation, ongoing racial injustice to political turmoil, lost lives and lost jobs — this past year has tested our minds and bodies in profound ways. During the Addy Hour podcast, we’ll discuss topics at the intersection of brain science, mental health, faith, culture, & social justice. Join us for dynamic conversations and insights based on the lived experience and professional expertise of guests from expected and unexpected places. We’ll hear from community leaders, scientists and researchers, professional athletes and entertainers, faith leaders, mental health experts and advocates. Dr. Nii Addy — Yale professor & researcher, man of faith, sports & hip hop fan, and mental health advocate — is your host. To be healthy and whole, we must approach things holistically. Addy Hour will explore the topics and questions you’ve been thinking about and will create a unique space for us to talk about them.

Addiction Psychiatry, Recovery Journeys, Fighting Stigma and Holding on to Hope, with Myra Mathis



This week, I’m joined by Dr. Myra Mathis, an addiction psychiatrist, clinical leader and community leader, and a person of faith. In this inspiring conversation, Dr. Mathis walks us through her daily experience as a psychiatrist in our present-day society, and she describes what gives her joy in her work. As one who embraces holistic approaches to mental health, she shares practical ways to put that approach into practice. Dr. Mathis also touches on how a better understanding of the science of mental health and addiction can help us understand behaviors in our loved ones and help us fight mental health stigmas. Along with these helpful perspectives, Dr. Mathis stresses the importance of meeting people where they are and the necessity of holding on to hope. This is a wonderful conversation with a true leader who is striving to remove barriers that prevent many of us from moving to a better place of wholeness in our mental health.


Mental Health, Politics and Advocacy with former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy



This week, former US representative Patrick J. Kennedy joins for an authentic, inspiring and practical conversation about his personal journey and his long-standing mental health advocacy and policy efforts. More than ever as a society, we’re acknowledging the reality of mental health challenges, the need for access to care and coverage for care, and the importance of mental health wellness. In this episode, we discuss the need for a true mental health reframing and normalization, where we’ve made societal progress, and the critical work that remains. Rep. Kennedy also shares refreshing stories about effective, daily practices he uses in his life, especially in the midst of our ongoing societal challenges. We also talk through aspects of brain biology, our experiences, and how these intersect to impact how we navigate and experience the world. A truly poignant and generative conversation!


Faith Community & Mental Health Partnerships with Ayana Jordan & Sidney Hankerson



An inspiring episode as I host two of my Psychiatry role models who are making great impacts through mental health programs and offerings in our churches and faith communities. Dr. Ayana Jordan and Dr. Sidney Hankerson join to discuss how they’re elevating community voices and walking in partnership with faith leaders and communities to address and improve mental health. We’ll hear how these two leaders are transforming society as they teach, learn from, employ and deploy individuals and groups in our communities. This is an empowering episode on so many levels! Join in for a conversation filled with joy, laughter, reflection and inspiration.


A conversation & time of reflection with Rabbi Angela Buchdahl



In the midst of ongoing tragedy in the US, Rabbi Angela Buchdahl joins for a timely conversation where we intentionally pause and reflect, but also support and encourage. As she powerfully states in this episode, we desperately need to hold on to hope, instead of giving in to despair. As the first female senior rabbi in the 180-year history of Central Synagogue in New York City, Rabbi Buchdahl also shares about her path as a trailblazing religious leader and her experience growing up as the daughter of a Korean Buddhist mother and Jewish American father. We also talk through the challenges and opportunities of community building, the importance of addressing racism within faith communities, and the necessity of advancing leadership opportunities for women. We also consider our experiences around the restorative discipline of cultivating rest, and we discuss ways we can walk in hope. A wonderful and encouraging conversation!


On Culture, Society, and Being a Voice for Marginalized Communities with Juju Chang



Award winning journalist and ABC News’ “Nightline” co-anchor, Juju Chang, joins for a powerful and wide-ranging conversation about her coverage of the societally transformative stories of our time. In this episode, Juju shares insights on how she connects with people from various, and often marginalized, backgrounds and how she navigates delicate situations to give voice to nationally important narratives. We’ll talk through many topics, including Juju’s family immigration journey, her coverage of increasing Anti-Asian hate, and our need to address the myth of the AAPI model minority and the stereotype of “crazy rich Asians.” We also talk through the ways Juju is bringing her identity more centrally into her work, and the life-giving nature of authentic, mental health check ins from colleagues and friends. In this generative conversation, we’ll hear gripping stories of hope in the midst of tragedy, consider opportunities for unity in the fight against hate, and discuss the healing power of grace and forgiveness.


Faith, Spirituality and Psychiatry with Charles Dike



Faith versus science. Spirituality and religion versus psychology and psychiatry. Are these topics truly incompatible or are they related and intertwined? Also, is it ethical for mental health practitioners to support or dismiss faith and religion in clinical settings? This week, Dr. Addy’s mentor, colleague and friend, Dr. Charles Dike, joins to discuss these topics and more. Dr. Dike shares insights from his perspective as a psychiatrist, educator, leader at the State and Federal levels, and as a person of faith who’s called to make a difference in people’s lives. In this conversation, we’ll weave through the layered tensions, misconceptions and opportunities of considering religious, psychological, and psychiatric approaches to mental health and mental illness. We’ll also hear fascinating findings about the practical and positive health outcomes of integrating religious activities with clinical care. Finally, we’ll hear from Dr. Dike’s personal experience and how his faith has guided his professional journey. A thought provoking and inspiring episode!


A conversation w/ Jeremy Lin & Esther Choo: Mental Health, Race, Culture & Wellness in AAPI communities



This week, pro-basketball star Jeremy Lin & ER doctor and healthcare equity advocate, Esther Choo join for a candid discussion about mental health, culture & wellness in Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We’ll hear both guests describe their lives growing up in the US and their experiences navigating different cultural communities from childhood through adulthood. We’ll also talk through the realities of the last year, including Jeremy’s time living and working in China, and Dr. Choo’s experience as an ER doctor during the pandemic. Jeremy also shares transparently about mental health challenges and lessons learned, during his complicated COVID-related experience in China. Join us for an authentic and generative conversation, as we learn from each, as we discuss our societal progress, and as we consider opportunities for further growth.


what you are now – a Story of Memories, Trauma, Resilience & Hope



In this special episode, I’m joined by playwright, Sam Chanse, and cast members of the new production, what you are now. The play chronicles the story of a Cambodian family living in the US as refugees. In this production, Chanse authentically weaves together complexities of trauma, resilience, assimilation, race relations, family and community relationships, career choice, and mental health. They play also features a neuroscientist lead character, studying fear memory while trying to navigate her mother’s traumatic memories, her research career, and her personal life. In our podcast conversation, we’ll reflect on the intersection of the cast members personal and professional experiences, and how these experiences influenced and informed their powerful performances. Together, we’ll also consider our ongoing journeys on several of the topics brought to life in the play. Join in for a rich, thoughtful, and moving conversation.


Tobacco Regulatory Science, Health Equity, Mental Health and Public Engagement w/ Pebbles Fagan, Mitch Zeller & Kathy Crosby



This week, we welcome three guests at the forefront of tobacco regulatory control, tobacco-related health disparities, and public engagement and education. Dr. Pebbles Fagan (Univ. of Arkansas), Mitch Zeller (FDA), and Kathy Crosby (FDA) join to share about public health efforts as well as their efforts to impact individuals and society through their professional, volunteer, and personal engagements. In this conversation, we also talk honestly about science and public policy, the role of public engagement in public health efforts, and the successes and challenges of tobacco and cancer-related health disparities research. This is a wonderful conversation about the importance of elevating our joint humanity, especially in times where we’ve pivoted to address COVID and life balance-related challenges on work teams, food insecurity in our communities, and ongoing mental health challenges in society. Throughout the discussion, we also highlight aspects of resilience in these efforts, the importance of listening and learning from one another, and the many opportunities for growth as we continue to move into our “new normal.”


Children, youth, empathy & thriving with Michele Borba



Imagine what the world would be like if we truly walked in empathy in our daily actions and interactions. Are there practical ways we can promote kindness and empathy in each other, in the upcoming generation, and in society in general? Dr. Michele Borba would answer this question with an enthusiastic “yes!” This week, renowned educational psychologist, character development expert, parenting expert, and author, Dr. Borba, joins to discuss these critical topics and others. In the midst of our performance-based, influencer emphasizing, and often self-focused culture, we’ll consider how we can navigate stressors, practice kindness and boost empathy. We also discuss the daily “ordinary things” that can make a huge impact in the lives of children and adults alike. Finally, we consider the importance of strong community in child development and in the development of effective coping strategies, in building resilience, and in thriving. A wonderful and generative discussion!