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.

Depression, Ketamine & Navigating the Mental Health Care System with Gerard Sanacora & Ashley Clayton



In this final episode for 2021, clinician and researcher Dr. Gerard Sanacora and mental health activist Ashley Clayton join to share insights about mental health, depression, and research, as well as access to effective clinical care and resources. In this conversation, we unpack several topics, including happiness, sadness and “feeling depressed,” and how these feelings differ from clinical depression and severe depression. With candor, honesty and care, Ashely also paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to experience severe depression, as she shares aspects of her journey. We also discuss newer medications, like ketamine, while talking openly about the challenges of navigating the mental health care system to access new medications – sometimes with literal life or death implications. We also consider the important ways we can support one another, even amidst the need to revamp our mental health care system to provide affordable, accessible and effective care. This is truly a powerful, moving, sobering, and at the same time empowering, episode!


Oxytocin, Social Behavior, Community, & Mental Health with Larry Young and Pat Churchland



After the past two years, many of us now have a deeper appreciation of the power and importance of social interactions, social relationships, and strong community. This week, renowned neuroscientist, Larry J. Young, and pioneering neurophilosopher, Pat Churchland, join for a fascinating discussion about the science of social behavior and social bonding. Through the conversation, they share helpful insights about our understanding of family and social bonds, as well as the impacts of these bonds on our relationships, how we tackle racism, and even our interactions with our pets! We’ll also discuss the science of altruism, the impacts of our “us” versus “them” culture, how changing social interactions are influencing our mental health, and ways we can move forward in stronger community for a healthier society. A dynamic, generative and informative conversation!!


Support, advocacy and resources with Matt Kudish and Corey Minor Smith



As we approach the holiday season and a time of thanksgiving, it’s important that we reflect on joys, express genuine gratitude and savor time together, even while acknowledging the realities of stress, reminders of losses or lost loved ones, and the mental health challenges that can also accompany this time of year. Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – NYC Metro, Matt Kudish, and transformational speaker, author and mental health advocate, Attorney Corey Minor Smith, join for a heartfelt and helpful conversation on mental health advocacy, support and resources. Throughout the conversation, we discuss gratefulness, the importance of looking after ourselves, and the realities of mild and severe mental health challenges of loved ones in our circles and in society. On a practical note, both guests also share information on resources offered through NAMI, the benefits of community support for addressing mental health challenges, the need for policy changes, the importance of reasonable housing accommodations for those living with severe mental illness, and the necessity of support and self-care for caregivers and family members. We even engage in a lively discussion about brain health and about holistic approaches to mental health and overall wellness. A wonderful, genuine, and uplifting episode!


Navigating Society, Mental Health & Wellness with Sean Astin



This week, acclaimed actor and mental health advocate, Sean Astin, joins for an enjoyable and thought-provoking conversation on several topics including his personal & family journey over the last year and a half, our re-engagement in society, our daily rhythms, how we engage with our mental wellness, and the benefits of living with a spirit of playfulness. Sean also shares powerful mental health insights on stigma, empathy and the sometimes unintentional condemnation of mental illness, from his perspective as the son of Patty Duke, who both navigated mental illness and was strong mental health advocate. A genuine and honest conversation, challenging all of us to examine how we approach and talk about mental health and mental illness, the importance of hope, and the benefit of focusing on how to effectively navigate mental health challenges. We’ll even hear quotes from a well-known hobbit “guest” speaking to community and the importance of holding onto the good, amidst many of the challenges we may face.


Race, Community & Mental Health with Michael Eric Dyson



This week, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, professor, prolific writer, cultural critic, political commentator, Baptist minister, and one of the country’s leading authorities on race and racism, joins for a fascinating and wide-ranging Addy Hour conversation on Race, Community & Mental Health. Dr. Dyson shares keen insights on the nuances of topics like belonging, safe spaces, vulnerability, self-care, care for others, and our commitment to society. The conversation also gets personal and practical, as we consider daily discernment in our lives, and how it impacts our decision making and how we align our gifts, goals and passions. We also delve into individualistic and community attitudes towards Black people in the U.S., especially around stereotypes, trauma, racism, and mental health, but also around our talents, success, and impacts on society. A dynamic episode!


Sleep, Emotional Wellness, & Mental Health with Obo Addy



We all have personal experience with sleep, likely good and bad! This week Dr. Obo Addy, father of Dr. Nii Addy, joins for an informative and practical conversation on good and poor sleeping habits, how to address sleep challenges, and how sleep impacts our emotional wellness, mental health and overall health. We discuss topics like sleep deprivation, insomnia, daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea and more. Dr. Addy also shares his life story and the Addy family journey, including how he developed a passion for sleep medicine & psychiatry. And of course, we’ll also discuss important topics such as the consequences of sleep-related health disparities, the benefit of holistic approaches for addressing sleep challenges, and the impact of faith.


Wellness, Community & the Scientific Workforce with Amy Newman and Luigi Ferrucci



Conversations about science and society have somehow become more divisive as of late, even as we continue to battle a global pandemic. But what about the scientists from various disciplines who’ve continued in their training, research endeavors and leadership in the midst of everything we’ve endured as a society? This week, two scientific leaders from the National Institutes of Health join for a refreshing conversation about wellness, work-life balance, community and thriving amongst our scientific trainees, researchers, staff, administrators and leaders. Come hear Dr. Amy Newman, Scientific Director at NIDA, and Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, Scientific Director at NIA, share about flexibility in the midst of challenges, support amongst our scientific teams as we deal with stress, ongoing investments in diversity and inclusion, and the necessity of improving relationships and trust between research communities and the general public.


Campus Life, Mental Health & Faith in a Pandemic World w/ Sharon Kugler, Orlando Yarborough III & Omer Bajwa



For students, faculty, administrators, staff and family members across the country, there’s so much for us to consider as we embark on another unique college and university semester. This week, Chaplain Sharon Kugler, Pastor Orlando Yarborough III, and Imam Omer Bajwa join for a timely, rich, honest and compelling conversation about campus life, mental health and faith amidst an ongoing pandemic. Join us to hear insights from their roles and personal experiences with students on campus. We also discuss how to navigate our expectations and desires for normalcy, what it means to return, the realities of our hustle culture, and the importance of pausing and resting. Amidst all of the uncertainty, unease, and anxiety, our guests also share about sources of joy, the strength we can draw from being in spiritual community, and our tremendous opportunities for growth in this moment. A powerful and moving episode!


Black mamas and the #PostpartumRevolution with Stacey D. Stewart & Angelina Spicer



Far too often, the crisis around maternal health and maternal mental health support in the United States is underappreciated and even ignored, especially for women of color. This week, March of Dimes President and CEO, Stacey D. Stewart, and comedian and “accidental activist” Angelina Spicer join for a conversation that can truly be a matter of life or death. Join in, as we share and hear stories of those who have walked through postpartum depression and other maternal health challenges. We also discuss societal pressures on women and black women in particular, the true definition of a strong black woman, and the reward of risk taking and vulnerability in order to walk in your purpose.


Race, religion, politics & mental health with Eddie Glaude Jr. & A.D. Thomason



We seem to be living in a culture where so many are speaking as instant experts on almost everything. But how do we navigate the noise and find truth, while also cultivate the disciplines of listening and sitting with silence? This week, distinguished professor, scholar & author Eddie Glaude Jr., and author and filmmaker A.D. Thomason join for an honest, wide-ranging conversation on these topics and the realities of brokenness, growth through pain, true hope, and much more. We’ll also discuss whether our nation is in a true moment of racial reckoning. Join the conversation and hear personal insights from both guests on how they maintain balance, approach emotional health, and stay true to their purpose in today’s complex world.