SamClarke's Shortform

by SamClarke4th Oct 20213 comments
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An effective mental health intervention, for me, is listening to a podcast which ideally (1) discusses the thing I'm struggling with and (2) has EA, Rationality or both in the background. I gain both in-the-moment relief, and new hypotheses to test or tools to try.

Esp since it would be scalable, this makes me think that creating an EA mental health podcast would be an intervention worth testing - I wonder if anyone is considering this?

In the meantime, I'm on the look out for good mental health podcasts in general.

This does sound like an interesting idea. And my impression is that many people found the recent mental health related 80k episode very useful (or at least found that it "spoke to them"). 

Maybe many episodes of Clearer Thinking could also help fill this role? 

Maybe one could promote specific podcast episodes of this type, see if people found them useful in that way, and if so then encourage those podcasts to have more such eps or a new such podcast to start?

Though starting a podcast is pretty low-cost, so it'd be quite reasonable to just try it without doing that sort of research first.

Incidentally, that 80k episode and some from Clearer Thinking are the exact examples I had in mind!

Maybe one could promote specific podcast episodes of this type, see if people found them useful in that way, and if so then encourage those podcasts to have more such eps or a new such podcast to start?

As a step towards this, and in case any other find it independently useful, here are the episodes of Clearer Thinking that I recall finding helpful for my mental health (along with the issues they helped with).

  • #11 Comfort Languages and Nuanced Thinking (for thinking through I what need, and what loved ones need, in difficult times)
  • #21 Antagonistic Learning and Civilization (had some useful thoughts about how education has taught me that breaking rules makes me bad, whereas in reality, breaking rules is just a cost to include in my calculation of what the best action is)
  • #22 Self-Improvement and Research Ethics (getting more traction on why my attempts at self-improvement often don't work)
  • #25 Happiness and Hedonic Adaptation (hedonic adaptation seems like a very important concept for living a happier life, and this is the best discussion of it that I've heard)
  • #26 Past / Future Selves and Intrinsic Values (I recall something being useful about how I relate to past and future me)
  • #43 Online and IRL Relationships (getting relationships are a big part of my happiness and this had a very dense collection of insights about how to do relationships well - other dense insights have come from reading Nonviolent Communication and doing Circling with partners)
  • #54 Self-Improvement and Behavior Change (lots of stuff, most important was realising that many "negative" behaviour patterns are actually bringing you some benefit in a convoluted way, and until you identify find a substitute for that benefit, they'll be very hard to change)
  • #60 Heaven and hell on earth (thinking about the value of "bad" mental states like anxiety and depression)
  • #65 Utopia on earth and morality without guilt (thinking through how I relate to my desire to do good, guilt vs bright desire; the handle of "clingy-ness" for a certain flavour of mental experiences)
  • #68 How to communicate better with the people in your life (getting more traction on why some social interactions leave me feeling disconnected/isolated)