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Each week, Alice Bradley and Jordan Calhoun of Lifehacker bring in all-star guests to tackle the stuff that matters—like how to be happy, how to buy a TV, how to be less bad with money and how to tell if you’re dating a psychopath. Look, you're doing great, but quite frankly we think you can be a little better. All your friends do too. It's time for The Upgrade.
 
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This week we're learning how time off can actually help us be more productive, with help from writers John Fitch and Max Frenzel. Listen to hear how to build a healthy rest ethic, what leisure practices can help spark creativity, and how we can encourage more time off in our productivity-obsessed society. John and Max are the authors of the book Ti…
 
This week we’re talking about side hustles: those projects you pursue after work—at night or on weekends—to supplement your income or fulfill a passion. Our guests include Chris Guillebeau, author of Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, and journalist Catherine Baab-Muguira, who wrote a revealing story in Quartz about millennials and side h…
 
This week we're learning how to survive all sorts of disasters—from hurricanes to earthquakes to war zones and beyond with crisis reporter Judith Matloff. Listen to hear her best tips for surviving a wide range of scary situations, as well as how to prepare yourself for the unexpected both physically and psychologically. Judith's latest book is cal…
 
This week we're learning how to nail perfect timing with New York Times bestselling author Daniel Pink. Hear Daniel explain why certain hours of the day are more productive than others, how we can battle the mid-afternoon slump, and why certain dates are more effective for starting a new routine than others. Daniel's most recent book is When: The S…
 
Danny Wallace is a comedian, radio host, and author of the book F You Very Much: Understanding the Culture of Rudeness—And What We Can Do About It. We talk about why we’ve all become so rude, and the steps we can take to help ourselves and others find our inner civility.
 
We could all get better at conversing with our fellow humans. It’s just so easy these days to hide behind our screens, and when we’re finally face to face with actual people, we’re often talking too much and not listening enough. How can we make the most of those one-on-one, face-to-face, in-real-life moments? We’ll hear from journalist Celeste Hea…
 
This week we're learning how to fight the burnout we might not even realize we're suffering from with help from journalist Anne Helen Petersen. Tune in to hear Anne's advice on how to recognize your own burnout, how to make space in your day for a breather, and how we as a society can start to change this culture of hyper-productivity. Anne's lates…
 
This week we're learning how to be a better reader with help from librarian and podcaster Margaret H. Willison. Listen to hear Margaret break down how we should re-think our definitions of "good" or "well-read" readers, and the tactics we can use to improve our reading game. After our conversation with Margaret, we get tips from librarian and autho…
 
This week, we're learning how to improve on our time management skills with help from Tiffany Dufu, Founder and CEO of The Cru and author of the book Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less. Listen to hear Tiffany's tips on how to get clear about your priorities, how to utilize your calendar to get things done, and the questions to ask yourself…
 
This week we’re learning how to breathe better and how that can vastly improve our overall health with help from journalist James Nestor. James is the author of the new book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, which covers the extensive research on the many ways in which we sometimes struggle to breathe—from asthma, to allergies, to snoring—and…
 
Parenting is a wild and confusing trip—to put it mildly. So this week we’re learning how to teach our kids the ins and outs of how to be decent, responsible, adult people with help from writer Catherine Newman. Catherine is the author of How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You’re Grown Up. As a special deal …
 
Have you ever spun out over why your friend ended that text with a period? Or missed the subtle sarcasm in an unpunctuated email? We’re clearing up all of these online miscommunications and more this week with help from internet linguist, Gretchen McCulloch. Gretchen is the resident linguist at WIRED and author of the New York Times bestseller Beca…
 
Have you ever wondered why your cat bites you after just three pets, or how to get your dog to chill out and stop barking? We’re uncovering the mysteries of our four-legged friends this week and learning how to make them happier with help from animal behavior expert Zazie Todd. Zazie is the creator of the blog, CompanionAnimalPsychology.com, and au…
 
This week, we’re finding the humor in our woes with help from John Moe, host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast. John helps us understand what is funny, and sometimes even good about depression, how we can recognize it within ourselves and others, and what to do about it when we find ourselves struggling. John’s latest book, The Hilarious…
 
We’ve seen a rise in preventable deaths since the start of the pandemic, largely because people are too afraid to go to the doctor. So we want to change that this week with the help of cardiologists Marc Eisenberg and Chris Kelly, who tell us all about the ease of booking a televisit, how to prepare for one, and what symptoms merit a visit to the d…
 
What are our rights when it comes to protesting? How do we protest safely and effectively during a pandemic? We answer these questions and more this week with help from activists L.A. Kauffman and Charlene Carruthers. L.A. is a veteran grassroots organizer with over 35 years of experience in political activism, and has written two books on the topi…
 
To respect and support the movement for black lives, we at The Upgrade wanted to share some important resources and charities to donate to right now: Organizations to support: Black Lives Matter BYP100 Black Visions Collective Equal Justice Initiative The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Southern Poverty Law Center Color of Change The Bail Project T…
 
Being trapped with your significant other 24/7 is not a recipe for relationship success. That’s why this week we’re talking with divorce attorney James J. Sexton about how to save our marriage and avoid becoming a statistic in the post-pandemic “divorce boom”. James is the author, most recently, of How to Stay In Love: Practical Wisdom from an Unex…
 
Let’s face it, the economy feels a little doom and gloom right now. So we’re learning how to protect ourselves financially this week with the help of personal finance advisor Ramit Sethi. Hear him talk with Alice and Lifehacker’s personal finance writer Lisa Rowan about his practical tips for navigating this economically terrifying time. Ramit is t…
 
We’re learning how to be more present this week with meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. Hear her talk with Alice and Melissa about the ways that the pandemic highlights just how interconnected we are, and what we can do to find a little stability in the uncertainty. Sharon is the New York Times bestselling author of Real Happiness, Lovingkindness,…
 
In this episode we’re talking about dinner: what you should make, how you should make it, and why the idea of “dinner” is fraught for so many of us. We talk with Melissa Clark, staff reporter for the New York Times Food section and author of the new cookbook “Dinner in an Instant.” We also chat with Dave Arnold, the Founder and President of the Bro…
 
Comedian and author Samantha Irby joins us this week on The Upgrade to talk about how to make yourself comfortable with self-quarantine. This includes finding the right TV shows to binge-watch (she has a recommendation or two), the right books to escape with, and the right foods to cook while you huddle up at home. Samantha is the New York Times be…
 
Does social distancing have you feeling the blahs? We’re reviving our creative instincts this week with help from Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine’s Senior Art Critic and author of the New York Times bestseller How to Be An Artist. Hear Jerry talk about his secrets to finding inspiration in these isolating times, as well as how he imagines the art wo…
 
Are you feeling burnt out? Do you find yourself working MORE, not less, even while working from home? Award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee joins us on The Upgrade this week to talk about how the toxic culture of busyness is harming both our brains and our bodies, and what we can do about it. Celeste is the author of We Need to Talk: How to Have…
 
Gretchen Rubin joins us this week to talk about how she and her family are staying happy in their home during the pandemic—and how we can, too. Hear her talk about the rules, routines, and philosophies that are helping her maintain an inner calm during the current, chaotic state of the world. Gretchen is the New York Times bestselling author of The…
 
New York Times bestselling author James Clear joins us on The Upgrade this week to help us form some important habits during this panic-stricken time—from grounding rituals to quitting the habits making us unsafe during this pandemic. James is the author of 2018's Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Have an id…
 
Everyone at Lifehacker—along with the rest of the world—is now hunkered down at home, trying to make sense of this new (temporary) normal. So this week each of us recorded audio from our lives to provide a glimpse of what we’re up to. We want to hear from you, too. Call us at 347-687-8109 and leave a voicemail, or write to us at upgrade@lifehacker.…
 
On this episode of The Upgrade we’re talking about resilience. You know how some people seem to have some kind of inner strength that helps them bounce back when things go wrong? Those people who, even though the world sometimes feels like a scorched hellscape seem to carry on with grit, even gratitude? Our guest today is Buddhist psychologist Rick…
 
Forget paleo, keto, and intermittent fasting—we’re getting to the truth of how you really should be eating this week with Mark Bittman and Dr. David L. Katz. Their latest book is called How to Eat: All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered, and in this episode they discuss the importance of using both science and common sense when it comes to our c…
 
Dr. Robert Lustig joins us in the studio to talk about his new book, “The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains.” Dr. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist who is also author of the book “Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.” He talks to us about…
 
Do you put things off ‘til the last minute? Are you one of the millions who tend to delay getting to your to-do list? Then you’re in luck—behavior scientist BJ Fogg joins us on this episode to talk about how to stop procrastinating thanks to his researched approach to behavior. BJ is the founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University and…
 
Calling all insomniacs, tossers, turners, blanket hogs, disco nappers and snooze button pushers! This week we are talking to the experts about how to get a good night's sleep. And our advice goes way beyond putting your devices away before bed. Have an idea for a future episode? Call us at 347-687-8109 and leave a voicemail, or write to us at upgra…
 
This week we're talking with Tim Ferriss, author, podcaster, investor, entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed "human guinea pig." He's the author of several books, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Four-Hour Workweek and The Four-Hour Body and his latest, Tribe of Mentors. We talked with Tim about his most worthwhile investments and his bi…
 
Ever felt at a loss for words when staring at a Jackson Pollock? New York Magazine’s Senior Art Critic, Jerry Saltz, joins us this week to help the less-cultured of us learn the art of discussing fine art. Saltz has won a Pulitzer and two National Magazine Awards for his art criticism, and his latest book, “How to Be an Artist,” comes out in March.…
 
Trying to lower your sugar intake? We’re learning how this week with the help of two experts. First, Kathleen DesMaisons, addictive nutrition guru and author of Potatoes Not Prozac: Simple Solutions for Sugar Addiction, walks us through her practical and effective approach to gradually cutting sugar out of your diet. Then we speak with Dr. Yoni Fre…
 
We’re learning how to practice true self-compassion this week with renowned psychotherapist and Buddhist meditation teacher Tara Brach. Tara is the author of Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN and her podcast receives over 1.5 million downloads per month. In this episode, Tara breaks down the prac…
 
Alice and Melissa revisit their Upgrades of the Week from past episodes and see how they’ve held up. There’s a little bit of pride, a little bit of shame, and a whole lot of improvement. You’ll be so perfect by the end of this episode you won’t know what to work on next! Have an idea for a future episode? Call us at 347-687-8109 and leave a voicema…
 
January is unofficially “Divorce Month” in the legal world, and to celebrate this not-so-joyous occasion, we’re bringing you an episode breaking down the complicated world of divorce. To help us understand the legal nitty-gritty we’re joined by Jacqueline Newman, a New York-based matrimonial attorney and author of the book “The New Rules of Divorce…
 
Whether you’re dealing with a bad boss or disgruntled employees (or a great boss and enthusiastic employees) you’ve got an opinion on the employer/employee dynamic. This week we heard from the Lifehacker audience about their worst bosses. Then Lifehacker’s managing editor Virginia Smith talks to Ask a Manager’s Alison Green about what your manager …
 
It’s that time of year again! Time for our annual roundup of our very favorite Upgrade moments of 2019. And we’ve had so many—from touring a fecal transplant lab to improving our memorization muscles, this year has been chock-full of life-enhancing upgrades. Prepare for 2020 by hearing this collection of advice on how to be a better conversationali…
 
As we prepare to head into 2020, we thought we’d replay our annual Best of The Upgrade from last year for you. We’ll be bringing you our Best of The Upgrade 2019 next week! Have an idea for a future episode? Call us at 347-687-8109 and leave a voicemail, or write to us at upgrade@lifehacker.com. We want to hear from you!…
 
Ever dreamed of making a podcast of your own? Of being the next Teri Gross or Joe Rogan? This week we’re learning how with the help of Lifehacker’s own video producer Abu Zafar. Abu recently produced a 3-part video series for Lifehacker called How to Start a Podcast and he joins us this week to talk about some of the podcasting basics he’s learned …
 
Josh Gondelman, a.k.a. “The Nicest Guy in Comedy,” joins us this week to talk about what being nice really is, when it’s a quality that is NOT helpful, and the difference between “nice-ness” and “goodness”. Josh is Peabody- and Emmy-winning comedy writer who has worked on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and is currently the senior staff writer …
 
We're tackling tough friendship scenarios this week with psychologist Miriam Kirmayer, who explains why it's so hard to navigate the norms of friendship and how to peacefully end those connections that are no longer working. Afterward, Dr. Kirmayer answers Upgrade listener- and Lifehacker reader-submitted friendship questions. Like the show? Have a…
 
How can we interpret body language and physical cues to better understand what others are really thinking? In this week's episode, Alice and Melissa are joined by Swedish mentalist Henrik Fexeus, who explains what mind-reading really is, and how we can use it to our advantage. Later, Alice and Melissa try out a mind-reading trick on a couple of Lif…
 
How do we even begin to find true love in a messy world of online dating, ghosting, and benching? Matchmaker Dr. Frankie Bashan tells us why people are using real-live intermediaries like herself to get dates. Etiquette expert Daniel Post Senning takes on the intricacies of Tinder etiquette. And Lifehacker’s food editor Claire Lower mixes up a very…
 
Ramit Sethi, author of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” and professional financial smart person, joins us to talk about how to reframe your approach to spending, the best ways to invest your savings, and how normal people can find a way to take a six-week honeymoon.
 
Jumping to an entirely new line of work, a new industry, a new identity, is extremely daunting. That’s why this week we’re diving right into the how-tos of making the big career switch. First we chat with consultant, speaker, and podcaster Joseph Liu, who has helped numerous people make big mid-career transitions over the years. Then we hear a pers…
 
What can we do to live longer, healthier lives? Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey joins us on The Upgrade to talk about the practices he’s adopted that he believes will help us all lengthen our lifespans. Then Lifehacker’s Health Editor, Beth Skwarecki, talks about the longevity secrets she learned while visiting the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa …
 
This week we’re improving our public speaking skills with the help of expert Carmine Gallo, author of “Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds,” who tells us about the importance of story and emotion when it comes to presenting. Then hear Lifehacker’s Food Editor, Claire Lower, tell her own story about how she learned …
 
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