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The Best TED Talks on Mental Health

Do you love TED Talks as much as our Team does?

They are refreshing, inspiring, invigorating and educational.

And – they are perfect for time-poor, busy lives.

You can dip your toe in and be absorbed in a fascinating scintillating world for 20 minutes and leave feeling renewed and inspired. We always do.

So, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite TED talks on the subjects of mental health, mindfulness and addiction for your pleasure, development and inspiration.

These world-class talks, in no particular order, have all been chosen because we feel they are really aligned with what we believe and what we do. And…what’s more…we genuinely believe in their message. Dive in, enjoy, take your time and let us know if there are any that we’ve missed!

NB: Please note all descriptions of the talks listed below are from www.ted.com

1) https://www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head  

“To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking. Initially innocuous, these internal narrators became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, turning her life into a living nightmare. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, Longden was discarded by a system that didn’t know how to help her. Longden tells the moving tale of her years-long journey back to mental health, and makes the case that it was through learning to listen to her voices that she was able to survive.”

2. https://www.ted.com/talks/elyn_saks_seeing_mental_illness

“Is it okay if I totally trash your office?” It’s a question Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn’t a joke. A legal scholar, in 2007 Saks came forward with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassionately.

3. https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” In a talk equal parts eloquent and devastating, writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. That led him to an eye-opening journey across the world to interview others with depression — only to discover that, to his surprise, the more he talked, the more people wanted to tell their own stories.

4. https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

“Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.”

5. https://www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygiene 

“We’ll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don’t we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.”

6. https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame

“Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.”

 

7. https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes

“When WAS the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in uncomfortable positions.)”

8. https://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful

“The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.”

9https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong  

“What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.”

10. https://www.ted.com/talks/matthieu_ricard_how_to_let_altruism_be_your_guide

“What is altruism? Put simply, it’s the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.”