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.

Neuroscience research and society – impact or flop? Diana Martinez and Steve Mahler

A must listen, quintessential Addy Hour conversation! In this episode, we discuss the place of science in society as we talk through both big picture and practical, and both straightforward and nuanced aspects science. I’m joined by psychiatrist Dr. Diana Martinez, and neuroscientist Dr. Steve Mahler. We start with personal, family stories related to addiction and mental health. In considering career journeys, we hear some surprising parallels, as our guests describe early roadblocks, hard work and perseverance, their internal motivation, and the importance of being open to unexpected opportunities.

We also delve into important, but sometimes uncomfortable and easily ignored topics. We talk about drug experimentation, use and misuse in teens and others, as well as the challenges of overdose and drug-related assaults. We consider the challenges of anxiety and depression, the realities of things like antisocial personality disorder and pedophilia, the line between good and bad behavior, and our societal struggles around these topics. Thankfully, we also talk about ways that attitudes are shifting around these topics. Both guests powerfully describe the importance of different perspectives, and the ways we can incorporate science informed approaches in our societal conversations and daily lives. Impressively, they brilliantly share from their expertise in addiction research, while also integrating their perspectives informed by psychology and philosophy.

A thought provoking and engaging conversation! Whether you’re generally interested in mental health and neuroscience, a student training in research, or a scientist, clinician or mental health provider, this is an episode for you.

Justice, Activism, and the Black Church with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

Pastor, author and activist Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III joins for a wonderful and wide-ranging conversation on justice, activism, and community. We begin with practical reminders of the necessity of grounding in community, even as we consider the many layers of community. This ranges from personal friendships, to local gatherings in places like the barbershop, to engagement our larger societal communities. Dr. Moss also shares honestly about the daily realities of pastoring in the Black Church, walking through joys and challenges of life and death with his congregants.

Dr. Moss knows the power of community to change narratives, perspectives, and opportunities from the cradle to the grave. In light of this power, he shares his church’s ongoing transformative community development efforts on the southside of Chicago. Their three development pillars are to benefit the local community, to engage in green and sustainable endeavors, and to disrupt the mass incarceration system. Listen in to these powerful stories of that work in action, including community facilitated renovations to the renowned Carter G. Woodson library, the creation local community jobs, home ownership, and a health care clinic. These efforts also include enhanced community engagement in libraries, schools and churches.

An inspiring conversation on the power of community, especially in navigating the joys and trauma of life, to promote healthy flourishing.

Psychology, Society & Faith with Thema Bryant

A quintessential Addy Hour conversation with Dr. Thema Bryant, president of the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologist, practitioner, minister, trauma expert and author. In this reflective discussion, we explore the ways psychology continues to fill a void in society and the ongoing needs these perspectives can address. We also contemplate how psychological approaches impact society, our schools, faith communities, businesses and non-profit organizations, as well as the implications for health care, health care access, climate change and policy.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Bryant graciously reveals her leadership principles as the current president of the 130,000-member APA. She highlights the important role of mentorship and sponsorship in her path to becoming the second Black woman to lead this premier psychological organization. With keen insights from her years of clinical practice, research, leadership and advocacy, she also provides helpful perspectives on the guiding psychological principles that impact both individuals and systems.

We’ll hear Dr. Bryant’s powerful inspiration and witness from working with trauma survivors and the offenders who’ve inflicted the trauma. As a “bridgebuilder” and the daughter of two pastors, Dr. Byrant also shares ways we can all thrive and bear witness amidst the joys and challenges of daily life. Finally, we consider the important role of the creative arts in holistic psychological approaches.

Join us for a rich and dynamic conversation, full of helpful perspectives and vital tips on how we can successfully navigate each day as individuals and a society.

Faith, Culture, Immigration & Mental Health with Yu-Jay Harris

Join in for this generative conversation with Yu-Jay Harris, who was born and raised in Liberia, survived a civil war, and eventually immigrated to the United States as a teenager. In this episode, Yu-Jay shares the joys of his early childhood, and the power of community and faith that supported his resilience amidst war and immigration. We also delve into his multiethnic experience, as someone who has navigated life in the U.S. identifying as both an African and an African American.

As a strong mental health advocate, Yu-Jay shares about his role as president of a mental health non-profit that focuses on equity and access for underserved and under resourced communities. We delve into a fascinating discussion about the perceptions we carry, and how we can honestly consider when our perceptions are consistent or inconsistent with reality. We go further to discuss how perceptions impact our mental health and our approach to race, racism and culture. Join us for an inspiring conversation about mental health, faith and culture with insights and perspectives from African and Western contexts!

Black Bodies and Race in Art & Society with Imo Imeh and Daniel Swann

In this powerful episode, we consider personal and societal representations of Black bodies in art, academia and society. Our two guests, sociologist Dr. Daniel Swann and visual artist Dr. Imo Imeh, start with their revealing life journeys. Their stories tell a vivid picture filled with support and kindness from many people as they’ve navigated opportunities and challenges. At the same time, we hear the realities and anxieties that both guests encountered learning and teaching in spaces where others don’t look like them, the challenges of biases and “othering,” and the joy of finally operating as their authentic selves.

As they describe their experiences as Black men, we’ll consider what’s perceived as acceptable versus unacceptable in academic and societal settings – especially as professors and practitioners in sociology, philosophy, visual art and art history. We also delve deep into the ways our guests teach and challenge their students, their colleagues and society in a range of topics like art, representation, black trauma, culture, wealth gaps, atheism and religion.

This is a truly moving and powerful discussion that will leave you encouraged, inspired and challenged!

Thriving or Burnt Out in Service, Mentoring, Pastoring & Vocation – Part 2 w/ David Ireland

In part two of this two-part episode, we’re joined by pastor, author, leader and executive coach, Dr. David Ireland. We’ll hear his fascinating personal and vocational journey, from a career in engineering, to a shift into pastoral ministry, to ongoing roles in organizational leadership, social innovation and executive coaching. As the founding and senior pastor of a multi-site congregation of 10,000, with a staff of 100 and a leadership team of 500, Dr. Ireland will also share helpful leadership principles. He’s definitely one who’s accustomed to hard work. As he acknowledges, it can be easy for many of us to feel energized or overwhelmed (or both) in our responsibilities, obligations, and vocations. At times, it can seem impossible to pause or slow down. And yet, we know a non-stop pace is not sustainable, and can lead to burnout.

In this refreshing episode, we follow up on topics from our part-one episode with Dr. Chris Pfund, to identify some easy to miss signs of burnout. We also consider ways to create environments that value effectiveness and well-being, healthy work rhythms, and frequent times of respite. As we talk through practical ways to establish structures, space, and permission to care for ourselves, we also name the internal tensions that still arise. This is a great episode for anyone looking to apply practical principles in your daily life and in the organizations where you serve, lead, mentor, teach, and do so much more.

For more content, check out:

Thriving or Burn Out In Mentoring, Pastoring, Service & Vocation – Part 1 w/ Christine Pfund

In this new Addy Hour conversation, we start with a two-part episode on thriving without burnout – especially in vocations that involve investing in each other as team members, mentors, educators, leaders and more. In part one, we’re joined by Dr. Christine Pfund, a leader and national director at the forefront of teaching, learning and mentor and mentee training who has written on mentor burnout. Join us for a rich, honest and pragmatic conversation.

Dr. Pfund helps us identify the signs and different types of burn out, and then provides practical tips for replenishing and recharging. In this candid conversation, Dr. Pfund and Dr. Addy also share personal insights from their own mentoring approaches, successes, tensions, growth areas, and navigation with burnout. We also consider the circumstances and internal and external pressures that can move us towards burnout, such as our internal expectations and guilt. To push against this tendency for burnout, we reflect on the powerful role of community, the importance of checking in and support of one another, and the essential practice of setting boundaries. We end by discussing the role of faith perspectives, and the benefits and challenges of servant-hearted leadership and discerning when to say no. This is a great episode that will help you reflect and identify early signs of burnout and give you practical tools that you can apply today. It’s a truly wide-ranging, informative and encouraging conversation!!

A conversation with Joanne “Coach P” McCallie – Mental Health Warrior

An absolutely wonderful episode with the honest, insightful, brilliant and inspiring Joanne “Coach P” McCallie. Join in for a candid conversation about Coach P’s journey as a Hall of Fame NCAA women’s basketball coach, living her best life with bipolar disorder across most of her coaching career. This episode is packed with helpful take-aways and perspectives, as we discuss daily routines, mental health stigma and care, relationships, trust, life stage transitions, and the integral role of community in mental health and wellness. We’ll dive into the circumstances and complexities that led to Coach P receiving guidance to not disclose her illness, but to instead navigate as a secret mental health warrior for 26 years. You’ll also hear about Coach P’s changed perspectives towards medication, her faith journey, and the ways she continues to coach and empower on a daily basis.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Mental Health on Campus & in Society w/ Stephanie Pinder-Amaker

This week, it’s a joy to welcome a guest whose passion, work, and writing encompasses so many topics at the heart of the Addy Hour. Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker joins to discuss her roles as a mental health provider and program director, and as a Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. Our conversation spans across topics of mental health wellness, mental illness, effective and sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion practices, and strategies for navigating work-life juggling. This is truly an informative episode!

Join in to hear Dr. Pinder-Amaker share helpful perspectives on self-care, approaches for team care in our organizations, and daily steps we can use to build resilience – including practices she continues to use in her own life. We also discuss her innovative College Mental Health Program that meets, supports and engages students at various levels of mental health care in settings all over the United States. Finally, we hear about her book, co-authored with Dr. Lauren Wadsworth, entitled “Did That Just Happen?! Beyond Diversity – Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations.” So many gems and practical take-aways in this episode!!

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.