The Hilarious World of Depression

American Public Media

A show about clinical depression...with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe. Join guests such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman to learn how they’ve dealt with depression and managed to laugh along the way. If you have not met the disease personally, it’s almost certain that someone you know has, whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague, or neighbor. Depression is a vicious cycle of solitude and stigma that leaves people miserable and sometimes dead. Frankly, we’re not going to put up with that anymore. The Hilarious World of Depression is not medical treatment and should not be seen as a substitute for therapy or medication. But it is a chance to gain some insight, have a few laughs, and realize that people with depression are not alone and that together, we can all feel a bit better. American Public Media and HealthPartners’ Make It Okay campaign are committed to breaking the stigma around mental health.

All Episodes

It's tempting to try to look for a reason why Joel Kim Booster, ordinarily a very funny and engaging person, feels dead inside, trapped in a persistent depressive state. His father recently died of COVID. The two hadn't been very close (Joel's dad was a conservative Christian, Joel is a gay Hollywood star) but were beginning to reconnect. You could point to the pandemic, which left Joel in an apartment he doesn't like for extended periods. But it's just as easy to point to things that aren't especially depressing about Joel's situation. He's got movie and TV deals, he's taping an hour-long Netflix special, he has recently fallen in love, and he's doing well enough that he's about to buy a house. The truth is that any of those factors might influence Joel's mood and behavior but depression isn't simple enough to be routinely caused or prevented by one's fortune in the rest of life. Depresh Mode host John Moe says this interview is the strongest representation of what depression is like that he's done in all his years of interviewing people on the subject. Visit Joel Kim Booster's website at www.ihatejoelkim.com. For tour dates, visit his Linktree at linktr.ee/ihatejoelkim. Follow Joel Kim Booster on Twitter @ihatejoelkim and on Instagram @ihatejoelkim. Watch his Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special here. Thank you to all our listeners who support the show as monthly members of Maximum Fun. Hey, remember, you're part of Depresh Mode and we want to hear what you want to hear about. What guests and issues would you like to have covered in a future episode? Write us at depreshmode@maximumfun.org. Help is available right away. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-273-TALK Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741. International suicide hotline numbers available here: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines The Depresh Mode newsletter is available twice a week. Subscribe for free and stay up to date on the show and mental health issues. https://johnmoe.substack.com/ John's acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is available here. https://read.macmillan.com/lp/the-hilarious-world-of-depression/ Find the show on Twitter @depreshpod and Instagram @depreshpod. John is on Twitter @johnmoe.

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Aug 4

51 min 41 sec

It’s easy for movies to get depression wrong, portraying a clinical disorder as equivalent to just being bummed out and, in the case of romantic comedies, curable with a magical kiss. People with actual depression know better and appreciate films that show the truth. In this episode, our listeners, the beloved THWoD-balls, give their picks, ranging from sci-fi to historical drama to comedy. We got moon men, bridesmaids, a couple of hobbits, and even a Babadook. Fill out your watch list! You can order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

May 2020

45 min 18 sec

As co-founder and co-frontman for the band Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page belted out a lot of up-tempo pop hits. But if you look at the lyrics to songs like "One Week" or "Pinch Me," you can see a lot of darkness and that's an approach that has continued with his solo work. We hear about his bipolar diagnosis, his drug arrest, and his penchant for creating multi-layered music. You can order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

May 2020

45 min 28 sec

Monologist and comedian Mike Birbiglia has always had a mile-long dark streak. Even if he’s never been diagnosed with clinical depression, he’s recognized his own lack of capacity to feel joy and is constantly aware of a kind of existential dread that haunts him. But rather than shy away from all that, he picks at it. Mike fills us in on how he deals with that darkness and the inner meaning of a lot of his work. You can order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

May 2020

41 min 2 sec

To celebrate the release of our book we are excited to offer you a sneak preview of the audio version, read by author and THWoD host John Moe. Hear how he started to unlock his own mental mysteries with the help of a productive relationship with a therapist, a lot of time with dogs, and some key decisions. The book is available on all platforms as of May 5, 2020. Check it out on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

May 2020

42 min 52 sec

Standup comedian and writer Emmy Blotnick is a rising star in the comedy world. But along the path to success, she’s had to navigate a depression that manifested in some pretty unexpected ways, including culinary disasters involving pumpkin puree, kidney beans, and butternut squash soup. Thanks to some hard work, EMDR therapy, and more nutritious choices, she’s on the right track. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Apr 2020

47 min 18 sec

Public radio and podcast audiences have been listening to Lulu Miller’s storytelling for years on Radiolab and on Invisibilia, a show she co-founded. Her work is generally about other people but on this episode, she shares her own story, which is by turns harrowing and triumphant. Lulu’s new book is “Why Fish Don’t Exist” (Link: https://bit.ly/2XNTnq4) and it’s about her history with depression, the scientific curiosity that helped get her back on track, and, yeah, why fish don’t exist. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Apr 2020

47 min 1 sec

Some people don’t have short job titles. Dave Holmes is, among other things, a writer, MTV VJ (despite losing the contest that landed him the job), TV host, actor, and even a former advertising executive. He has dealt with anxiety, depression, and a thorny time coming out as a gay man. Just before our conversation, he received a new diagnosis of ADHD and suddenly a lot of things made a lot more sense. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Apr 2020

42 min 48 sec

During this long stretch of just staying home, we decided to reach out to some friends of THWoD, hear their voices, and find out how they're holding up. Writer Ana Marie Cox is drawing strength from her sobriety, actor John Ross Bowie is balancing work and fatherhood, and comedian Solomon Georgio has found a soothing new hobby of driving to the airport and then turning around and going home again. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Apr 2020

33 min 12 sec

Having experienced therapy as a patient, a student, and an actual therapist, Lori Gottlieb has a lot of insight into what therapy is, what it isn't, and how to get the most out of it. We hear how she ended up in the profession after repeatedly putting a UPS guy in an uncomfortable spot and how, years later, she needed more therapy herself when her world fell out from under her. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/IndieTHWoD). Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Mar 2020

50 min 11 sec

She was one of the stars of NBC’s The Good Place, a tv and radio host in England, and she’s created a popular movement aimed at celebrating body positivity, all within the past few years. But Jameela Jamil has been through enough trauma, eating disorders, depression, and other calamities that she can’t feel much of anything. She’s working to change that. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon or IndieBound. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Visit MakeItOK.org to get resources, tips for talking about mental health, and more. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Mar 2020

45 min 1 sec

Hi, it’s John, and I’m sending you this recording from my makeshift office about what’s going on for us THWoD-balls during COVID-19, and ideas about how to get through it as best we can. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help available, any time. It's free and you'll reach a trained volunteer. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741-741, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Mar 2020

15 min 43 sec

Theo Fleury hit the ice at age five. He was a hockey phenom at 14, a Stanley Cup champion at 20 and an Olympic gold medalist at 33. He was also keeping a terrible secret. As a teen, he was sexually assaulted by one of his coaches. Hockey became an escape, but it couldn’t fix everything; he faced addiction and suicidal thoughts. Today, Theo is sober, and he talks with host Chamique Holdsclaw about what it took to get there. Subscribe to the podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Jan 2020

30 min 45 sec

A special episode of our new sister program from the makers of THWoD. Tremendous Upside is a bit like THWoD, but instead of John Moe talking to artists, host and basketball icon Chamique Holdsclaw talks to big-name athletes about their struggles with mental illnesses. On the premiere episode, she interviews Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest. He had a long and storied NBA career but is still best known for his involvement in a violent incident that spilled into the stands during a game. He grew up in Queensbridge, the largest housing project in the US. His home life was unstable and from an early age, he struggled with his anger. Hear how he turned things around with therapy, breathing, and meditation. Subscribe to the podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Jan 2020

31 min 39 sec

We are delighted to announce a brand new show coming your way from the THWoD team. Tremendous Upside is a series of interviews with athletes who have been at the top of their game and struggled with mental illness. In this mini-THWoD episode, John Moe talks with Tremendous Upside host Chamique Holdsclaw, winner of national championships, player of the year awards, and an Olympic gold medal. Hear how athletes like Metta World Peace, Briana Scurry, Suzy Favor Hamilton, Theo Fleury, and more open up to Chamique about the struggles off the field of play that don’t get talked about much at all. You can check out the Tremendous Upside trailer and subscribe here.

Dec 2019

7 min 19 sec

It's helpful to know that depression lies to you, that it presents the world in a way that is false just to mess you up. It's even more helpful to know exactly what whoppers it tries to pull off. We enlisted our team of world-class investigative reporters, aka our listeners, aka The THWoD-balls, to blow the lid off lies about love, hard work, ignorance, staying alive, and even cookies. We can't stop you from lying, depression, but we can know a lie when we hear it. Also, hey, we have new stuff available for donors! Act now to get your very own THWoD pill-shaped stress ball. It's pill-shaped but not pill-sized because that would be ridiculous. Visit hilariousworld.org/donate to see all our available thank you gifts. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Check out our sponsors this week: DoorDash - Download the app and use promo code WORLD Native - nativedeodorant.com with code WORLD Calm - calm.com/WORLD Stitch Fix - stitchfix.com/hilarious Quip Oral Care - getquip.com/HILARIOUS Bark Box - barkbox.com/WORLD

Dec 2019

48 min 57 sec

Run-DMC was about as successful as recording artists could be. Packed concerts, multi-platinum selling albums, MTV, fame, fortune, the whole thing. But Darryl McDaniels, the DMC of the group's name, was a mess. He was drinking, using drugs, and not dealing with mental health issues that he thinks had plagued him since birth. With the help of some tough love therapy in a rehab facility he was able to face his problems and get to the bottom of what was really going on. Hear about his introverted childhood, his meteoric rise, and how he chose to listen to one song for a year instead of killing himself. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Check out our sponsors this week: DoorDash - Download the app and use promo code WORLD Native - nativedeodorant.com with code WORLD Calm - calm.com/WORLD Stitch Fix - stitchfix.com/hilarious Quip Oral Care - getquip.com/HILARIOUS Bark Box - barkbox.com/WORLD

Nov 2019

46 min 54 sec

Filmmaker and actor Mark Duplass has been prolific over the course of his career. Along with his brother and creative partner, Jay Duplass, he's made films such as "The Puffy Chair" and "Cyrus," as well as TV shows like "Togetherness" and "Room 104." Mark's also an in-demand actor, starring on "The League" on FX and "The Morning Show" on Apple TV+. Depression threw a big wrench into his creative ambitions and he attempted to muscle his way through it. That doesn't work, of course, and Mark crashed hard. Hear how he finally got help and how he approaches his life and work today. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Check out our sponsors this week: DoorDash - Download the app and use promo code WORLD Native - nativedeodorant.com with code WORLD Calm - calm.com/WORLD Stitch Fix - stitchfix.com/hilarious Quip Oral Care - getquip.com/HILARIOUS Bark Box - barkbox.com/WORLD

Nov 2019

49 min 38 sec

There's a lot of information being thrown at parents when a baby is on the way: how to make a birth plan, what kind of car seat to get, what shots the baby will need, and on and on. Comedian and actor Angelina Spicer thinks a frank discussion of postpartum depression doesn't get included in there nearly as much as it should. She recalls what happened when her driven and determined approach to her career ran head-first into a depression she never expected. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Check out our sponsors this week: DoorDash - Download the app and use promo code WORLD Native - nativedeodorant.com with code WORLD Calm - calm.com/WORLD Stitch Fix - stitchfix.com/hilarious Quip Oral Care - getquip.com/HILARIOUS Bark Box - barkbox.com/WORLD

Nov 2019

44 min 36 sec

Max Heller’s life was falling apart. He was drinking heavily, using every kind of pill he could get his hands on, and isolating from society. He was swimming in New York’s East River, walking through subway tunnels, and hooking up with whomever he could find. Then he met Bob the Drag Queen who, after weeks of cajoling, gave Max a complete drag makeover. Thus was born Miz Cracker, a confident and healthier self who looked beautiful in the mirror and who would rise to fame on RuPaul’s Drag Race. We hear about her struggles with depression and her struggles with keeping up on her self-care. This episode contains loads of laughs and passing references to Brecht and Sartre. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Check out our sponsors this week: DoorDash - Download the app and use promo code WORLD Native - nativedeodorant.com with code WORLD Calm - calm.com/WORLD Stitch Fix - stitchfix.com/hilarious Quip Oral Care - getquip.com/HILARIOUS Bark Box - barkbox.com/WORLD

Oct 2019

48 min 55 sec

Actor and writer Charlene deGuzman grew up thinking that women should be like the centerfolds her father had plastered all over the garage: alluring to men and ready for sex. As an adult, this led to a sex and love addiction where the line between sex and love got blurry. Eventually, she hit bottom amid a failed relationship, a disastrous reaction to that failed relationship, substance use, and suicidal thoughts. She got help and, this is a bit unusual, made a critically-acclaimed movie about her recovery experiences. Learn more about Charlene, including where to watch "Unloveable," at charstarlene.com. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate Check out our sponsors this week: DoorDash - Download the app and use promo code WORLD Native - nativedeodorant.com with code WORLD Calm - calm.com/WORLD Stitch Fix - stitchfix.com/hilarious Quip Oral Care - getquip.com/HILARIOUS Bark Box - barkbox.com/WORLD

Oct 2019

42 min 39 sec

Can platforms like Facebook or Twitter or Instagram help with depression? They do offer a quick way to connect with other humans, after all. But then again, do they? Are you talking to a human or are you just alone and typing? Tech thinker and Glitch CEO Anil Dash has been addressing the benefits and problems of social media for twenty years, since before even MySpace and Friendster. He also has a history of depression, which made it hard to run his own business at times, a business he had started when he was seventeen years old. Check out Anil’s podcast, Function with Anil Dash. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate

Oct 2019

40 min 32 sec

It took a long time for singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham to get to some stability in his life. Growing up, his parents had problems with drugs and alcohol, creating a lifestyle that kept the family constantly on the move or on the run all over the Southwest. Speaking of instability, his main outlet during childhood was riding bulls on the rodeo circuit. As he grew up, he tried to leave his past behind to be a traveling musician. When Ryan's parents died, he finally had to confront all that had happened. All the while, he was writing songs about all of it. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate

Oct 2019

42 min 6 sec

Author and blogger Heather B. Armstrong (dooce.com) was in, by far, the deepest depression she had ever experienced and nothing was working to lift it. That’s when her psychiatrist told her about a study using powerful doses of the anesthetic Propofol. Heather had ten appointments where she was placed in a brief medically-induced coma. The idea is similar to electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) but without the electricity and, hopefully, without side effects like memory loss. She shares the story of what led her to try the treatment and how it went. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook.

Sep 2019

41 min 58 sec

While it was easy for audiences to enjoy Mara Wilson as a perky child performer in movies like Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, the young actress had mental health issues that weren’t enjoyable at all. Mara had been dealing with severe anxiety for as long as she could remember. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Matilda started shooting and Mara developed symptoms of OCD. Then came depression, and eventually body dysmorphia, too. Mara Wilson is 32 years old now and has relegated acting to the sidelines. She has a good grip on how her mind works and feels great about her new focus as a writer, but she knows that managing her conditions will be a lifelong job. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Support our show today at hilariousworld.org/donate.

Sep 2019

40 min 9 sec

Whitney Cummings has had a lot of success in Hollywood as a comedian, actress, writer and director, and now she's finally having success in figuring herself out. She's been making connections between the addiction and mental illnesses in her house growing up, the eating disorders she developed, the depression that has persisted, and the codependency that emerged. Turns out when you are able to take a good hard look at things, you can get a pretty good view. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Support our show today at hilariousworld.org/donate.

Sep 2019

49 min 20 sec

You might know Pete Holmes from his many standup specials, his talk show, or Crashing, the HBO series he created and starred in. You might not know the long and varied spiritual path he's traveled in his life. Pete was an incredibly devout Christian, living by the Bible and obsessed with avoiding eternal damnation. Following traumatic life events, he arrived first at atheism and finally at a consciousness-based worldview influenced by thinkers like Ram Dass and Joseph Campbell. Sticking around for all parts of that journey: a love of comedy and some rather aggressive anxiety and depression. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Support our show today at hilariousworld.org/donate.

Sep 2019

42 min 19 sec

We asked our listeners for books they've read that give an accurate depiction of the reality of depression. Happily, we got enough great suggestions to weigh down a shopping cart at the bookstore or leave a library card smoldering. A name that came up a lot was author Jenny Lawson, who happens to be a friend of the show. On this episode, we talk with Jenny and get audio suggestions from a lot of THWoD-balls. Be sure to visit hilariousworld.org for a complete list of titles.

Aug 2019

33 min 5 sec

Taking a trip somewhere new can be wonderful: the new experiences, the exciting culture, the unusual foods. For people who deal with depression or anxiety, travel can also introduce a variety of problems. It necessarily involves getting out of the familiar and that can leave one feeling isolated, worried about negative possibilities, and unprotected in a world that sometimes doesn't work out all that great as it is. In this summer mini-sode, we hear from Jeremy Pelletier, a non-profit director and geographer who recently wrote about the pitfalls and triumphs he's experienced traveling. We also check in with Dr. Karriem Salaam from Drexel University's College of Medicine for valuable tips on what to do and not to do. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate

Jul 2019

29 min 48 sec

Look, we know that THWoD can get a little, I guess, intense at times. Depression is a heavy topic and stories about it are often packed with bummers. So in this special episode, we rounded up some of the funniest moments from our three seasons and packed them all together for a hilarity highlight reel. The laughs tend to come from unexpected places and within the context of the chat so you can be sure that none of it is corny and there are no jokes you've heard before outside the show. In the end, it's all about coming together over the topic of depression, telling truths, sharing stories, and yes, having a good laugh. Support our show today at hilariousworld.org/donate.

May 2019

40 min 50 sec

It's not easy to pinpoint where L.A.-based comedian Solomon Georgio is "from." His family is Ethiopian but he was born in a refugee camp in Sudan. The family traveled to St Louis, then on to Fresno, where he was bullied so much in 2nd grade that he threatened suicide in the middle of class. Then there were many years in Seattle where he says his parents were abusive and had no tolerance for Solomon's homosexuality. A disastrous runaway trip to Los Angeles ended up in a return to Seattle where he embraced comedy and relocated himself, again and much more successfully to Southern California. His depression isn't a thing of the past but he's definitely in a good place. Support the show at HilariousWorld.org/donate. Calm -- Get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription when you visit calm.com/world

Dec 2018

48 min 7 sec

The idea was to become an engineer or maybe an architect. Jonny Sun has degrees in both, and he's a dissertation away from a doctorate in urban studies and planning from MIT. But a phenomenally humane, funny, and popular Twitter account has placed him in an unexpected comedy career. Meanwhile, he realized that this dark sad feeling he's had forever has a name.

Dec 2018

47 min 30 sec

"There's a lot to unpack, John," says comedian, actor, and writer Naomi Ekperigin during the course of this interview and indeed there is. The New York native, now uneasily dwelling in Los Angeles, has dealt with anxiety, depression, a very complicated relationship with her father, as well as problems with alcohol and cutting. Comedy has been in there too both as a respite from mental turmoil and sometimes a source of neurosis. With the help of her fiance' (who is also a rich source of her comedy material), sobriety, and a lot of self-awareness, she's on the rise in the comedy world.

Dec 2018

48 min 58 sec

Mental health is a journey. Rarely does someone have a problem, fix it completely, and never worry about it again. On this episode, we touch base with three popular guests we've had on the show to see how they're doing today. Gary Gulman has a new lease on life and a new lease on an apartment, Linda Holmes has a new friend, Janelle James is keeping her ears sealed, and "Steve", the embodiment of listener Bri Traquair's anxiety, has been restrained. Also on this episode, your chance to receive cool THWoD merch and support the show! HilariousWorld.org/donate Check out our sponsor this week: Calm -- Get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription when you visit calm.com/world

Dec 2018

48 min 55 sec

It's pretty easy to be a fan of Aparna Nancherla. Not only does she create incredibly funny, smart, relatable comedy, she does so in a variety of formats. You can catch her standup on Netflix or Spotify and you can see her acting work on shows like "Bojack Horseman" and "Corporate" as well as movies. But as she has become more famous in recent years, Aparna's anxiety and depression have made some of that work harder for her carry out. That's especially the case with standup, the foundational format for comedians. Hear how she found her calling in comedy and how she's now trying to manage her mental health in a world where she gets paid to get up in front of strangers and talk about her vulnerabilities. Check out our sponsor this week: BarkBox - Get a free extra month of BarkBox when you subscribe to a 6 or 12 month plan at barkbox.com/world

Nov 2018

43 min 54 sec

In a whole lot of ways, improv comedy is the opposite of depression. It requires you to be present in the moment, unconcerned about past regrets and future anxieties. It means connecting with other people and taking fun risks. And it's full of laughs. Actors and real-life married couple Jamie Denbo ("Orange is the New Black", "Ghostbusters") and John Ross Bowie ("The Big Bang Theory", "Speechless") have plenty of experience in improv, having met twenty years ago in a class taught by Amy Poehler. At the time, John was coming off a breakdown and Jamie was headed for one. They talk about how improv helped and sometimes hindered their path to self-discovery and how they've learned to harness improv's power. Check out our sponsor this week: Care/Of - TakeCareOf.com and use promo code HILARIOUS at checkout for 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins.

Nov 2018

50 min 38 sec

True stories of beautiful epiphanies and majestic, horrible disasters. Talk therapy is one of the most popular ways to address depression and it's one of the most effective. Still, at its root, talk therapy is a relationship between two humans -- strangers, mostly -- trying to figure out something complicated together, and that is inherently complicated. Our listeners have stepped up to provide true life tales of therapy gone comically bad and therapy that worked out great. You'll hear about dogs, Flag Day, awkward online dating, painful wedding photos, and even a wedgie. Check out our sponsor this week: Calm – Get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription when you visit calm.com/world

Nov 2018

37 min 54 sec

Comedian and writer Guy Branum was expected to be a construction worker his whole life. Maybe a football player. He was large, strong, and grew up in a town more known for agriculture than metropolitan sophistication. After scoring good grades and pining for places usually seen in the movies or magazines, he moved on to college and then law school in Minnesota, where he was able to come out as gay and realize that his interests were way more tilted toward comedy than the practice of law. What's it like to find yourself after suspecting you don't belong anywhere? Check out our sponsor this week: Care/Of - TakeCareOf.com and use promo code HILARIOUS at checkout for 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins

Nov 2018

43 min 42 sec

Our show took to the stage recently for a live event packed with laughter, insight, and music. We were joined by Paul F. Tompkins, Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, and Ana Marie Cox, who all shared their experience with mental illnesses as well as what it's like to be out and about in the world with people knowing what they've gone through. We spin through the hilariously depressing world of Google Reviews in Google Review Theater, take a visit to an O. Henry marriage therapist, and even hear a little about how this very program got started. Check out our sponsors this week: Stitch Fix -- stitchfix.com/HILARIOUS

Oct 2018

1 hr 18 min

Finding and using the right words for something as complex as mental illnesses can be exasperating. And it can take a lot of effort to avoid the wrong words. In this episode, using words, we explore terms like "crazy" or "addiction" or "depression" and how they are so often abused, co-opted, and twisted. Guests include Paul F. Tompkins, Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, Ana Marie Cox, as well as licensed therapist Emily Bulthuis, who discusses the benefits of accurate terminology and how to gently approach those who misuse mental health words.

Oct 2018

45 min 21 sec

He's a writer, a stand-up comedian, and an actor, but Scott Thompson will likely always be best known as one of five members of The Kids in the Hall, one of the best sketch comedy groups ever. Scott has made a lot of people laugh, but his life has been filled with events that aren't funny at all: a school shooting, mental illness in his family, violence, cancer, professional setbacks, and a firebombing. We hear about what knocked Scott down and how he kept managing to get back on his feet.

Oct 2018

53 min 21 sec

Comedian and actor Chris Gethard has a lifetime of experience with depression. Chris has turned moments of his life dealing with the illness into an off-Broadway show and an HBO special, which is more than one might expect from a fight-prone, often manic, kid from West Orange, New Jersey. We cover a lot of ground in this talk, including the role of a racist homeowner in his lowest moment.

Oct 2018

52 min 57 sec

Young people can be morose, angry, withdrawn. It's often chalked up to being a "phase," a natural initiation ritual to adulthood. What if it's not? What if it's a mental disorder in need of help? We hear from the always-entertaining comedian and writer Jen Kirkman about her efforts to understand her head. We also talk with Jennifer Rothman, NAMI's Sr. Manager for Youth and Young Adult Initiatives and Dr. Sue Swearer of the University of Nebraska. Plus, a montage of past guests trying to figure out what the hell happened in adolescence.

Oct 2018

53 min 23 sec

Long before Neko Case was known as one of the top singer-songwriters working today, she was a punk teenager running around the streets of Tacoma, having ditched a neglectful and dangerous house. Fortunately for her and her eventual fans, she got her life on track, developed a strong interest in music and threw herself in to making it. We hear about how she got herself together in spite of her parents, how depression came to wallop her, and what she did to get on track once again. Plus, we hear about how she joyfully wept when trying to talk to Janelle Monae's backing band.

Sep 2018

51 min 59 sec

We asked you, our listeners, for the songs that help you most when depression is really acting up, and the stories behind those picks. On this episode hear stories about and music from Leonard Cohen, Bjork, Neil Young, Radiohead and so much more. We even get some peaks behind the songs from Craig Finn of The Hold Steady and former American Idol star Crystal Bowersox.

Sep 2018

52 min 28 sec

You can think of Dave Nadelberg's vast Mortified project as The Hilarious World of Embarrassment, Awkwardness, and Redemption. Through stage presentations, film, TV, and books, Dave invites people to share their most mortifying writing. It's very funny, sure, but it's more than that. Dave says the process of dragging your younger self out of that old trunk can provide understanding of who you were and what motivated you. That, in turn, can offer valuable insight into who you are. Also in this episode, John is dragged kicking and screaming into revealing his 2nd grade secret identity.

Sep 2018

40 min 36 sec

A lot of rappers are heavily influenced by the rough and real streets where they grew up. Mike Eagle grew up on those streets too but he was always inside, reading books and watching TV. He loved comedy, cartoons, and especially the wide range of music available on cable, everything from N.W.A to Spin Doctors. Those influences, as well as his unusual mind, make for a fascinating sound. Ever wonder how 90s pop and rap mix with anxiety, depression, isolation, psychology, and comedy? Take a listen.

Sep 2018

50 min 20 sec

You know the feeling, right? You finally achieve something -- a new job, a promotion, an award -- and while you know you should be proud, you just feel like a big phony who will soon be exposed. You feel like you don't really belong there and you suspect that someone else should be there instead. It's called Impostor Syndrome and it's more common than you might think. We're joined by Dr. Valerie Young to talk about who it effects and what to do about it. And we're joined by you, our listeners, sharing stories of Impostor Syndrome at its most ludicrous and the unorthodox but effective ways you've found to treat it.

Aug 2018

38 min 54 sec

Yeah, you don't hear a lot of on-stage material from Chris Rock or Sarah Silverman about the time they were on a mission with their unit in Iraq and they took a bullet to the back of the skull. But you hear about that from Thom Tran, a US Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient who not only talks about his experiences on the battlefield but shows video on stage of that injury as well. The Vietnam-born, Buffalo-raised comedian is based in Los Angeles now, gathering acclaim for his jokes and stories while working to help other veterans find the next chapter in their lives.

Aug 2018

49 min 8 sec

Celebrity chef and Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern has made a reputation as a culinary expert with an adventurous streak, traveling the world and sampling tree grubs, shark meat, tarantulas, and horse rectums among many other cuisines. But before his current fame, he was on the street, stealing handbags to fuel his alcoholism, which existed to deaden his long-held depression. We hear about hitting bottom, redemption, and Andrew’s friend, the late Anthony Bourdain.

Aug 2018

42 min 56 sec