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.

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!


Mental Health, the Military & Unseen Wounds of War, w/ Steven Elliott, Tony Williams & Barbara Rothbaum



As we continue to witness the unfolding of tragic events in the Ukraine, this week’s episode is timely in ways that we didn’t initially anticipate. For this conversation, I’m joined by author and former Army Ranger, Steven Eilliott, Veteran and CEO of Veterans Counseling Veterans, Tony Williams, and the Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program, Dr. Barbara Rothbaum. In our dialogue, we navigate the nuances of military, veteran and civilian life, as well as the expectations of each and how these intersect with our mental health. We also talk through the necessities of building (or rebuilding) trust, breaking down barriers to care, being open to hope, shifting the culture, and implementing policy change. Join in, as our guests share valuable lessons, practical insights, and reasons for hope based on their unique and overlapping perspectives, expertise, and experiences.


Trauma Informed Teaching & Learning with Mays Imad



This week, Dr. Mays Imad joins to discuss holistic approaches to teaching & learning. This is a deeply informative, surprisingly refreshing, and highly relevant conversation for all – especially those involved in formal and informal education, training or mentoring. Dr. Imad, a nationally recognized leader in trauma-informed teaching and learning, discusses the importance of investing in, listening to, and also learning from our students and trainees. We also consider the effects of stress & trauma on learning, and the importance of equipping our students (and faculty) to successfully navigate stresses & traumas. This generative conversation of holistic teaching practices and mental health & wellness considerations in our educational and mentoring spaces is a must listen!


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.