Ten Percent Happier
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Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Episode Show NotesEpisode Show Notes

Saleem Reshamwala:  I’ve got a question for you. How are you? It’s probably the most common question we get asked everyday, and most of the time, we answer it like - [snaps fingers] - like that. 

But take a second. And sit with it. Right now, how are you feeling? At the core of that simple, simple question, lies something that is not so simple at times. Because how we’re feeling can be hard to describe, and sometimes hard to share. On any given day, maybe I was lucky enough to catch you in a great emotional place.

Frauke Arndt-Kunimoto: I feel very, inspired maybe?

Nafisa Isa: I feel like I'm crushing it, talk to me next week and I won't be crushing it, but right now…[laughing]

Saleem: Maybe it’s one of those times when you’re feeling kinda “eh” but you’re not sure why.

Phes: Am I feeling judged, in this moment? 

Raj: I think I respond better to like negativity almost. 

Saleem: Or maybe you’re wrestling with some tough, or even painful feelings that you wish you could get away from.

Nafisa Isa: I think I'm still learning how to overcome guilt and shame. 

Phes: If I do feel anxious enough, it's hard for it to not show on my face.

Raj: Being emotionally vulnerable with anyone is tough.

Saleem: Different emotions are running through us all the time. Think about it, how many different feelings have you had just since you woke up this morning? And that question of “how are you” might be the most important question we ask ourselves. Because our emotions - whether we can name them or not - they affect every decision we make. 

Welcome to More Than A Feeling, a new podcast from Ten Percent Happier. I’m Saleem Reshamwala, and I’m obviously your host. You may have heard me on my other show, Far Flung over at TED’s network of podcasts. That one is a sort of travel show about ideas. But here ... we're traveling inward. 

Each week on More Than A Feeling, we’ll be investigating the sometimes mysterious, sometimes terrible, sometimes wonderful, but always human world of emotions. Oh, and to be clear, I’m not claiming to be an expert in all this. I’m on this journey with you. I’ve got questions. You’ve got questions. My mission is to find us all some insights into what’s happening in our minds, and our bodies when we feel things. The point is to notice the daily barrage of feelings a little more often, maybe in a clearer way. 

When we come back, I’m gonna get personal and share how I interpreted emotions growing up as a mashup kid. And, now, as a mashup adult. And don't worry, I'll explain what I mean by mashup. Stick with us.

[segment break]

Saleem: Hey y’all this is Saleem and welcome back to More Than a Feeling. So okay, the mashup kid explanation. When I was little, I spent a lot of time in places where I didn’t know what was going on. I was born in the US, but I was a mashup kid. My dad’s from India and my mom’s from Japan. And my brother and sister and I frequently found ourselves in situations where we didn’t quite speak the language. This was everything from holiday events where I was the only one who didn’t know a tradition, to dinner parties where every other kid knew what was going on but me, to international trips with rooms packed full of cousins flipping languages in a way that I just couldn’t.

It was sometimes disconcerting, kinda mysterious, often exhausting but always intriguing. And I was always looking for signs, trying to figure out the codes. What’s everyone thinking, how’s everybody feeling, how am I supposed to be feeling? And it felt really important to get that right. I wanted to fit in. Not just to understand the mixed bag of cultural cues. But also, to be seen by adults and other kids. 

I was just a little kid at a table, watching bodies, faces, looking for hints of when I should fake laugh, sometimes fake laughing so hard that it became kinda fun. Cut to decades later and I went from being a mixed culture kid in North Carolina…and occasionally India…to being a mixed culture adult who people sometimes hire to tag along and document things. 

Now I’ve spent time trying to fit in in dining rooms, bars, train stations, and even barber shops on gigs everywhere from Senegal to Easter Island. And all these decades later, I still do that thing. Quickly try to read the room, feel out the cultural cues. Maybe not the fake laughing. Maybe a little bit of fake laughing.

But that’s the thing, it wasn’t until I got a lot older that I realized…how much everyone is faking it at times. How even when people speak the same language, so much of human interaction is this guessing game, this hunt for mutual feelings. On the surface level there’s this trying to fit in, for sure. But it’s also much more than that. You’re trying to connect. To see and be seen in a real way. 

And this mix of all that normal human miscommunications plus jumping across cultures so much, where there are so many different rules and languages…it got me a little obsessed with what I think is a very human question: Is what’s happening inside me, or you, similar to what’s happening to everyone else? How can we figure that out? How can we talk about it? How much do we even understand our own emotional lives? Basically, can any of us relate to anyone? I know that question is big enough that it might sound kind of like 3-am stoner-y, but it’s at the core of so much of what we all talk about: our friendships, work negotiations, political polarization. They’re all full of guesses as to what someone is feeling. 

We're gonna ask some experts, the type of folks who study brain science about what they think. But before that, I thought I’d crowd-source a little wisdom from a group of people who teach me a lot, all the time, about getting on the same emotional page. This group of folks you're about to meet have one big thing in common. And the context here is that I end up in a lot of hangouts with people who’ve spent a lot of time moving from place to place, and a lot of those people speak multiple languages.

So, there’s this thing I like to do when I’m at a dinner party or late night hang out with these folks, and it’s just ask: What’s a word that you use in another language, that you wish we had in English? Since dinner parties still aren’t much of a thing right now, I simulated this, did this as a Facebook callout…. 

[Saleem: (typing) Researching words for emotions that are hard to translate into English. Suggestions? (computer sound)]

Saleem: Then called up some friends who responded to it. 

[Facetime sound]

Saleem: Raj. 

Raj: Hello? 

Cecilia Saura Drago: I can only see half of your face. If I do this [crosstalk with Saleem]

Saleem: Oh, now. Now, you can see my whole face. 

Cecilia Saura Drago: No…ok…[laughing]

[dinner party sounds]

Saleem: If you close your eyes, maybe you can almost forget that we’re sitting at our computers, and instead imagine a group of friends sitting around a table. Some folks are nursing their drinks, others are dipping bread into some goat curry. There’s a break in the conversation, and I ask…

Saleem: So, yeah what's a word that you have in another language that you wish we had in English? 

Nafisa Isa: Oh, that's such a good question.

Cecilia Saura Drago: Oh, gosh, I don't know how to say that in, in English. 

Saleem: And most often the words people offer up are about emotions. My friend Phes talked about a word in Portuguese, which means something like missing someone. But “I miss you” doesn’t quite get you there. 

Phes: Saudade.

Saleem Reshamwala: How would you describe the feeling that is contained in the word saudade?

Phes: So saudade is almost like the act of missing, right? Uh, or the act of, of longing or yearning. You know, so there's sadness attached to it, but it's also like a good feeling to be missing somebody. You kind of want to hear that, that somebody “saudade de você” — you know, that they're missing you. 

Saleem Reshamwala: That’s beautiful. 

Saleem: You do kind of want to hear that - to know someone is missing you. And saudade just adds that note of beautiful pain, makes it more way more than just “it’s been awhile.” Phes has a daughter, and recently after his own dad talked to her, his dad said…

Phes: “Dava para matar a saudade.” It means quite literally to like kill the saudade. Like he was like, him taught talking to her, killed his saudade, you know, for that short period of time. They'll say the same thing with like, with, uh, like hunger or like, being thirsty. Like “para matar a sede” you’d like to kill the thirst. Like, let me take a swig of water to kill that thirst. [laughing]

Saleem: Thank you for killing my saudade, dang, that's a beautifully cinematic way to wrap a phone call. I’m gonna try and pull that off sometime.

Another relatable feeling, let’s say you're in a room, people say some smart things, you want to say a smart thing, but you can't think of a smart thing, until you walk away. And then it comes to you. 

Cecilia Saura Drago: L'esprit de l'escalier, which is the story of my life, can be anything you wish you said. 

Saleem: That’s my friend Cecilia, bringing us some French. Specifically, l’esprit de l’escalier, the spirit of the staircase. It describes the feeling of walking away from something like a meeting or a dinner party and you’re at the metaphorical staircase heading out, and just a bit too late, you get hit by that feeling of, “Ah I wish I said…”

Cecilia Saura Drago: Bam. All the ideas come to you and they are so great. And you're like, “why I didn't think of this when it was the time to say these things,” you know? 

Saleem: I’m constantly hit by how relatable some of these feelings are even though these are words from totally different cultures. Like my friend Nafisa — talking to me about a word used in Bengali and Hindi that might sound a little petty. But also really intense in that way that only someone super close to you can trigger. Abhiman.

Nafisa Isa: My mom has a lot of opinions on how I should dress up for dinner parties. [laughing] And so if she were to tell me to straighten my hair and, uh, wear like a sari, or a salwar kameez for one of her dinner parties and I, you know, explicitly kind of like disobeyed her or disregarded what she said. Then there would be some abhiman between us. There would be the sense of like, disappointment or a slight grudge or grievance. 

Saleem: Ahhh.. you feel that? As soon as someone says a new word for a feeling I’ve felt, I feel this charge, this “Ah, I’ve been there!” This is more than just dinner party trivia. It’s the magic of the perfect word.

Think about the difference between some emotion words: frustrated versus…furious. A slight misunderstanding versus, you know, an all-out screaming match. And for my friend Frauke, figuring out what people are trying to express, and helping other people understand each other  — that’s literally her job. 

Frauke Arndt Kunimoto: Often I find myself in situations where people use words that I just have to describe, even if there's not another word for it. So I, I have to kind of still find a way to say it,

Saleem: She’s a translator. She speaks English, German, and Japanese comfortably. And being a translator sometimes means digging through documents. Or setting up a business meeting. Or figuring out techniques, in this case, for dealing with a maybe inappropriate joke from a German tour guide who’s talking to a bus full of Japanese tourists. 

Frauke Arndt Kunimoto: He tried to be funny and he wanted everybody to have a good time. So I thought, oh, if I interpret this, it's not going to be funny. So I always said, “The guy just made a joke.” And then everybody laughed. And then he was really happy because he thought I had interpreted the joke and it worked and, you know. But everybody just laughed about me saying it like that and it served its purpose of, you know, uh, lightening the mood. So I thought in a way I did what he was intending to do. 

Saleem: I love how literal that is. She conveyed, “Hey guys. Joke happened.” And just saying that caused the tourists to laugh and everyone felt what they were supposed to feel. German tour guide felt happy. He believed he got a laugh from the crowd, which he did, indirectly. Tour participants laughed. And Frauke felt satisfied that everyone’s desires had been met.

That’s when words do their best work: keeping everyone in balance, we might say on the same page, everyone’s on the same vibe. And it can cause a sort of emotional harmony. When it’s at its best, it can cause a deep mutual understanding. But if we want to know if our feelings can truly be mutual, first we have to ask a deceptively simple question. What are feelings anyway?

Ashley Ruba: How do you define what an emotion is? How do you measure it? And then I think you start realizing like, oh, this is not actually as easy of a question as I thought it was.

Saleem: That's Ashley Ruba, a developmental psychologist who also spends time with people with no shared language, just with a very different demographic than my friend Frauke. Ashley studies how babies and children learn about other people's emotions. I got super curious when I heard that cause it kinda reminded me of what I was going through as a young kid at those dinner tables. Before I knew what the words meant and I was just trying to make guesses off of faces and gestures.

So now I'm wondering - can a baby help us figure out if emotions are things we're all born understanding? Or if we have to learn them all from scratch? Like - does a baby actually know what a smile means?

Ashley Ruba: So when you smile, how is the baby perceiving that? What meaning are they attaching to that smile? How do they use your smile to decide what to do in a particular situation or how to regulate their behavior?

Saleem: Ashley Ruba said something that jumped out to me here, she said:

Ashley Ruba: Smiles might not be like a one-to-one mapping with happiness, for example, but probabilistically, maybe, people smile when they feel happy most of the time.

Saleem:  I like that. Probabilistically. It’s probably the case that many people smile when they feel happy, most of the time. So a baby sees their parent smile and will pick up that the adult is probably happy. And the same goes for that parent seeing their baby smile. An emotion is being communicated.  Right? And same goes for other feelings like fear - wide eyes. Sad - frown. And so on. That's what a major psychologist named Paul Ekman is famous for theorizing.

These facial cues are supposed to give us the keys to recognize our true feelings. They help us pick up on what someone else is feeling, too. Which is obviously really important. 

Ashley Ruba: Paul Ekman was arguing that there's a set of basic universal emotions - happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise was included in that sometimes. And his argument was these emotions are universally felt. They’re universally identified. They're universally expressed in these specific kinds of facial configurations. And I think that's the work that’s predominated the field.

Saleem: Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise, contempt…. Y'all might be like, okay. Those are universal emotions. That's a pretty obvious list. Of course I smile when I'm happy. But here's the thing. Nearly everyone who studies emotion has a different take on how universal emotions are or aren’t.

Ashley Ruba: More work has come out. You have people on the complete opposite side of the spectrum who would argue that this view of emotions is very dated and isn't applicable at all.

Saleem: That first theory was how a lot of us might have first described emotions for a lot of our lives. Scientists have come to label this theory as quote unquote “essentialist” or universal. As in - everyone in any culture universally, or essentially, equates a smiley face with someone experiencing joy or happiness. And a frown with someone who’s mad. And so on. I know that sounds a little jargony but we're gonna come back around to this later in a way that I find very satisfying

Another major theory says that our emotions aren't universal things we're all born with. The idea is that our emotions are constructed through our experience and culture. It’s known as the ‘constructivist view of emotion.’

Ashley Ruba: There aren't these discrete categories like happiness and sadness and anger. There's more broad dimensions. So, positive or negative. And then arousal, which is ranging from like low arousal, which is a more calm state to high arousal, which is a more excited state. And these are things that are measurable. Not necessarily these specific emotional states like happiness or sadness, but more high arousal, positive, or low arousal negative, or, you know, some combination of these things. But there isn't like a one to one association.

Saleem: For example, you could say that laughter is something that happens when you feel that something’s, you know, funny. But think of me back at that party, trying to fit in. I definitely laughed at things I didn’t understand. I learned to pick up on cues and laugh when people around me were laughing. And my laughter was a pretty good fake. Sometimes I even had fun when I did it. But was it a good indicator of what I was feeling? 

Ashley Ruba: You can't just like hook up sensors to someone or like code people's facial muscle movements and be like, ah, you are, you are happy. It's basically like our emotions, are they something that you can really measure in this discreet way or are they kind of more nebulous? 

Saleem: Right. Emotions can seem kinda nebulous. Murky. Thinking about it this way helps me see that for a lot of my younger life, I was a lot like those babies Ashley Ruba studies. I was sitting at those parties with my brother and sister, not understanding the language, trying to interpret cues, copying what the adults were doing. Never quite having the words in my vocabulary to understand what was happening, or express how I was feeling. 

Earlier I mentioned that adults have to fake emotions at times, but, when you look at emotions as way murkier…that might explain why we’re all just kind of faking it til we make it. And that thing we’re making, is emotions.

Ashley: If there’re two very different cultures in the house and there's like two kinds of emotional display rules that are being learned, kids have to navigate that because, you know, even in monolingual households might have to navigate that. If they have a parent who's like really emotionally reactive and then they have another parent, who's not. Like they have to learn, what's going to trigger one person's emotional reactions and they have to learn that, you know, maybe the other parent isn't so quick to anger. 

Saleem: Yeah, whether or not you grew up around multiple languages, you probably still grew up navigating conflicting expressions and understandings of emotions. Because how we understand and communicate emotions depends on a lot of factors, with language just being one of them. When we come back, why having the words to describe our emotions makes that whole process way easier, and might just overall be more important than you think. 

[segment break]

Saleem: We're back. So, measuring emotions is tricky. We’ve got words, and full circle to all those international emotion words that my friends were bringing up: They all fit into something I like to call emotional granularity. Just kidding. I didn’t coin that term. It’s a psychological term. But it’s a good one, right?

Emotional granularity is basically the ability to tune into your own emotions, and put into a word (or words) what it is you’re feeling. The more granular you get - the closer you get to really expressing what’s up with your feelings. As you get more words for what you feel, you can do more than just say, “I feel excited.” Or “I feel sad.” You can get into the gritty detail of an emotional experience and find that specific, or granular, word or label for it. 

Ashley Ruba: The number of emotion words that people have in their vocabulary to describe how they're feeling increases over the lifespan and becomes more fine grain. 

Saleem: Frauke, my translator friend who you heard from before the break, has this perfect example. 

Frauke Arndt-Kunimoto: In German, there are very different words for anger. So “I'm angry” is, “ich bin wütend.” This can be many different things. It’s just “wütend” is angry. “Ich bin wütend dass ich verschlafen habe”. That means “I'm angry that I slept in.” And you know, another one is, is just, um, a really strong anger that is so angry that you can't even think straight. “Ich bin immer noch zornig wie ich hintergangen wurde”. And this means I'm still so angry about the way I was betrayed, you know, I think about, um, somebody cheating on somebody, for example. “Entrüset” or “empört.” “Empört”, you know, that is something, um, you know, often it's about, for example, social injustice or something. If you're angry about that, then it's more like “empört”. I think the more different words you have, the easier it is. 

Saleem: Basically, that learning to name more feelings thing that we did when we were first learning to speak. That doesn’t have to stop when we’re babies. We can keep acquiring more and more words for feelings throughout our whole lives.

Ashley Ruba: We do know from research that having a more diverse array of words to describe how you're feeling is related to better mental health outcomes. And so I imagine that there's something similar going on where just being able to have like a singular word to describe a particular concept, might feel good in that way.

Saleem: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that we’ve all been through some stuff the past few years.  And I learned this phrase ‘emotional granularity’ only recently, but it makes me wonder how many new emotion words could have been useful during all the intense, strange, and challenging times we’re still going through. In our research, we found someone who is way ahead of me on collecting emotion words.  It’s kinda his thing.

Saleem: How many languages do you have submissions in?

Tim Lomas: Well, there's over 150 so far, which is actually just the drop in the bucket. Cause there's some 7,000 worldwide. So it's really a, it's not just a work in progress. It's really just starting.

Saleem: That’s Tim Lomas. He’s a positive psychologist. That means he spends his time researching what can help people and society basically feel good. And it might be a good time to call on a person like that.

Tim used to teach English in China. That’s where he got really into language. It’s also where he got into Buddhism and meditation, which he still practices and also incorporates into his research. Among the many books and journal articles he’s written is one called, Happiness Found in Translation, which, man, that title. That is something I’m looking for. As a part of that, he’s created this online index that collects untranslatable words related to feeling good. We had some favorites in common. 

Tim Lomas: There are some really fascinating, beautiful words relating to longing. So one of them comes to mind is a Portuguese and Brazilian one — “saudade.”

Saleem: You know, this actually was one of the examples that someone brought up in our early discussions.

Tim Lomas: Right. Oh really, yeah. 

Saleem: Why do you think it feels so good? There's this feeling when someone says a kind of feeling word that you can relate to. Where you have this feeling like, “Oh, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been there. I get that. Like, I totally know that feeling.” What's happening? What's actually happening in the mind when we learn a new term like that?

Tim Lomas: if there's a phenomenon that we can't identify or articulate or give a name to, it's frustrating almost like in a weird visceral level, like a sense of hunger. And that when you find that word is almost like literally like taking something on board in a nourishing way and you feel a bit more complete. And I think there’s this kind of insatiable curiosity, I think, to explore the world and to, to know it and to find out about it. And I think naming things and identifying them is like a crucial part of that process. 

It's like our maps are more accurate and we can navigate our way around our lives in a better way. It's about developing this language so that we can start to bring this granularity to it. And then, there's emotional granularity, but I think there's just experiential granularity, or conceptual granularity with just any area of life. 

Saleem: And speaking of terminology and frameworks, remember those two emotional theories Ashley Ruba talked about earlier? There's the essentialist theory - the one that says that all humans are born with the same, universal set of emotions. Versus the constructivist theory, which claims that humans shape their own emotional experience based on past experience. Tim suggests that maybe the secret to understanding emotions lies somewhere in the middle.

Tim Lomas: I think people, the world over probably do have common feelings. You know, the feeling of being in love, I'm guessing is similar the world over, you know? what it means to fall deeply in love with someone and to find one’s soulmate. I'm sure there are such commonalities throughout the world, across cultures because we are all human beings. But then the way we code that and interpret it and give meaning to it and the layers we impose upon that are culturally shaped through our language and where we're situated. So that's bringing in the constructivist perspective. So, I'm drawn to any other work that can bring those two perspectives together. Cause I think there's truth and merit in both of them. And it's often the case of, you know, what can seem like a dichotomy or opposites, actually, the truth is to be found somewhere in bringing them together.

Saleem: I’m always a fan of a mashup answer. 

Tim Lomas: I do think experience is fundamentally ineffable. It's very, very hard to put into words, but, you know, words are almost like the best that we have. It's the best we can do in a sense. And then even if it's only some crude representation of an experience, at least it is a representation, you know. It might not be like a photograph. It's like a crude crayon drawing rather than a photo, but like it's still a drawing. It still gets somewhere, you know? 

Saleem: There is something nice in the trying and feeling like we're getting closer. That always feels good.

Tim Lomas: It does feel good. And I, I think that's the beautiful spirit in which to engage in this process. You know, because in some sense, everyone is their own unique universe. They’re a sort of mystery even unto themselves in a way. And so I think it's one thing to think of, I can't understand necessarily an untranslatable word from another culture. But I'm not even sure I can understand what another English person means when they say by happiness or love, because they have their own ways of defining and looking at these terms.

Saleem: And remember that big question from the top of the episode? Can any of us relate to anyone? Here’s Tim’s take.

Tim Lomas: If we're the sort of negative cast of mind, you might just think, well, people are fundamentally disconnected and impossible to understand. But I don't think that's the case. I think that's part of what connecting with and communicating with people is about. Is trying to, you know, get closer to them. And I think that's the extent to which you can do that. Then you connected and that's valuable and beautiful. That's, you know, a journey to the heart of someone in a sense. And you won't see all of them because that is probably an impossibility, but you can get some way, some way inside. 

Saleem: These are complicated topics and the more language we give ourselves around emotion, the more we think beyond these big categories of feelings, the more interesting life gets. Think back to those multilingual dinner party guests from the top of the episode.

Nafisa Isa: Every time I learn a little bit more about a Bengali word, I feel. A greater sense of connection with my culture

Frauke Arndt Kunimoto: You know, I think that all of my feelings. I'm glad that they are there. I think they are a little bit like the colors in the, in the world. And you need all the colors and if you had one color less, it wouldn't be, it wouldn't be the same.

Saleem: The next time you’re annoyed with someone very close to you, maybe you can be like, ‘this is abhiman, it’s just a feeling that will pass. It happens to people all the time.” Or maybe you’ll need to think about it after you’ve already left the party. And that’s ok too. 

Cecilia Saura Drago: Why the English don't have l’esprit d'escalier. There's really no expression, right? In English, there's no equivalent? 

Saleem: Yeah…

Cecilia Saura Drago: You sure? Did you check? [laughing]

Saleem: So, here’s what we’re going to do this season. We look at the murky, complex, beautiful, human world of emotions. With some help from scientists, researchers, psychologists, and therapists. As well as hairdressers, former airline pilots, composers, and DJ’s, to name a few. We’re gonna investigate our internal worlds. We’ve got questions like the rest of you and we’re setting out to find out what’s more than a feeling.

Oh, you thought I was going to end on saying the show title like that? That would have been cool, but I gotta tell you a bit about our next episode. We look very closely at an emotion that a lot of us hate. An emotion that we even hide from others. It’s a feeling that a lot of us will do anything to avoid, even though it’s one we’re all intimately familiar with – fear.  

We’ve got a story from one of our very own producers who’s trying to confront a very real fear of something a lot of people do without a second thought, everyday…

Mark: It is Friday, January 28th, 2022. And I'm about to get on the subway for the first time in two years…

[Subway sounds…”Stand clear of the closing doors, please…”]

Mark: Here we go. Alright. Cue montage music. 

[Theme song. Subway sound of doors closing.]

Saleem: How often do you get to hear someone open up fully and completely about something that flat out terrifies them? There’s a lot of intimate and beautiful moments in this story. You don’t want to miss it. See y’all next time. 

By the way… if you have a specific question or story about an emotion you’ve been grappling with? Tell us about it. Send us a voice memo at  morethanafeeling@tenpercent.com. You gotta spell out T-E-N percent. You might end up hearing yourself on one of our future episodes. You can also hit us up on Twitter at “pod feelings.” P-O-D-F-E-E-L-I-N-G-S. Share the show with your friends. We would really appreciate that. If you like what you heard in this episode and you want to let us know, give us that five star rating on Apple podcasts, it helps other people find us. 

More Than A Feeling is produced by Reva Goldberg, Mark Pagán, Will Coley, Palace Shaw, and Kim Buikema. Our managing producer is Kimmie Regler and executive producer is Jen Poyant. Scoring, mixing, and sound design provided by Ultraviolet Audio. Production support for this episode was provided by Connor Donohue. 

Our theme music was composed by El Michels Affair. Shout out to Leon Michaels and Piya Malik for this beautiful theme song. They made it especially for us. Thank you to Danny at Big Crown Records. Additional music provided by APM. Music licensing help by Rebecca Grierson of SixtyFour Music. Fact checking for this episode provided by Robin Palmer. Special thanks to Jess Goldberg, Ben Rubin, Dan Harris, Matthew Hepburn, and Toni Magyar. This show could not have been created without you. 

An emotion I’m feeling right now is love. I love all of y’all.

[closing music]


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