#355: Sara Bareilles: Anxiety, Anger, and Art

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Taming Anxiety Series - Episode 1: Today is a big day here on the podcast, both because we have a fantastic new episode, and because this episode is actually kicking off a series we have been wanting to produce for a long time, called “Taming Anxiety.”

Anxiety is a massive issue in our society. Even before the pandemic, it was on the rise. Now, the situation is even worse. Chances are it has afflicted you or someone you love at some point, on some level: maybe you’ve received an actual diagnosis, like generalized anxiety disorder, or maybe you’re prone to symptoms closer to panic, or perhaps you’re just susceptible to a bit too much garden-variety worrying. Maybe your kids are increasingly anxious. Or maybe, like me, you’ve got a few different items on the menu–some low-level professional freakouts here, some panic attacks in elevators (or on live TV) over there…

Anyway, the bad news is that anxiety is unlikely to disappear overnight. But the good news is that you can change your relationship to it. Hence this two week series we’re launching today. We’ve got two episodes with scientists and one episode with a meditation expert on deck to help you learn to tame your anxiety. And we’ve even got a free meditation challenge over in the Ten Percent Happier app to help you bring these lessons into your practice.

But before we get to that, let me introduce today’s guest. We’re kicking things off with a personal story. Sara Bareilles is a fearsome polymath: a singer, songwriter, composer, actor… the list goes on. She earned Tony and Grammy Award nominations for the Broadway musical Waitress, she’s got a new album out called Amidst the Chaos: Live from the Hollywood Bowl, and she stars in the new Tina Fey-produced series Girls5eva, which is streaming right now on Peacock.

Behind all this artistic and professional success is a meditator who is deliberately open and public about her struggles with anxiety and depression. In this conversation, she talks about: her history of anxiety and depression; the relationship between suffering and art, and whether meditation might defang someone’s creativity; how she works with anger; her relationship to social media; and we get an intimate glimpse into the back-stories behind some of her hit songs.

This is the first episode in our new “Taming Anxiety” series, and there will be an accompanying meditation challenge over in the Ten Percent Happier app. It’s also called “Taming Anxiety,” and it launches next week, on Monday, June 21st. The idea here is that you will be able to use the challenge to integrate everything you’ve learned in the podcast series into your neurons.

Join the Taming Anxiety Challenge by downloading the Ten Percent Happier app: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install. You should be prompted to join the Challenge after registering your account. If you've already downloaded the app, just open it up or visit this link to join: https://10percenthappier.app.link/TamingAnxietyChallenge.

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/sara-bareilles-355

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