The Mindspace Podcast: Inspiring Wellbeing


Get inspired and stay motivated with insights from health professionals, mindfulness teachers, scientists, business leaders, artists, and peak performers. Join Montreal psychologist Dr. Joe Flanders in his long-form discussions of the science and practice of well-being with well-known thought-leaders. Joe stays grounded in evidence-based practic

All Episodes

"As we shift to going back to school during this pandemic, there is an opportunity for everybody to ask, 'what do you have control over in your life?'" In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Dr. Tamara Soles. Tamara is a psychologist specializing in child mental health and well-being. Her practice focuses primarily on coaching parents on how to best support their children in developing resilience. She is the founder and director of The Secure Child clinic, which provides therapy for children, coaching for parents, and workshops and classes. Her website has lots of useful content for parents as well as links to her podcast, This Hour Has 50 Minutes. Dr. Soles and Dr. Joe spoke about: The challenges associated with back-to-school in general The unique challenges of back-to-school during the pandemic How Tamara helps parents cope with the anxiety through meaning-making The impact of government and school board safety plans Early warning signs of distress that parents and teachers should be looking out for Tamara’s best strategies to navigate back to school anxiety How to think about supporting and disciplining a child in difficult moments Connect with Dr. Tamara Soles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her website. Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Sep 11

66 min

“Choosing the meanings that are consistent with the life that we would ideally like to live is the heart of the Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Professor Norman Farb. He is a professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. He’s best known for his research on the neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. He studies the mental habits that determine our sense of well-being. He is also a co-founder of the Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory (MMT). MMT hypothesizes that the reason why mindfulness is effective is because over the long term it can change the foundational interpretations or meanings that we have about ourselves, the world, and the future. Dr. Farb and Dr. Joe spoke about: How mindfulness meditation changes our sense of self and how this plays out in the brain Our brain’s default mode network and its role in well-being The importance of balancing routine and creativity The role of mindfulness in helping us break out of rigid ways of thinking and being The meaning and relevance of Eudaimonic well-being And how psychedelics fit into all of this

May 7

80 min

“Relationships are the keystone of our lives. They are as important to us as our next breath.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Dr. Sue Johnson. Sue is a pioneer in the field of couples therapy. Alongside Dr. Les Greenberg, Dr. Johnson developed emotionally focused couples and family therapy (EFT), which is a couples therapy based on the newest research surrounding relationships: attachment theory. She is also the author of many books like Hold Me Tight, Created for Connection, and Love Sense and is the founder of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), which offers training to therapists in EFT. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Joe spoke about: What is emotionally focused couples and family therapy (EFT)? What is attachment theory? The importance of building a securely attached relationship rather than focusing on communication skills over emotions How we are bonding mammals The 3 factors that define the quality of intimate relationships The 5 stages that an EFT therapist guides their clients through The differences between EFT and more conventional therapies The state of the modern world and EFT’s perspective on it If you’d like to seek services in couples therapy and EFT, please visit our site for more information. Connect with Dr. Sue Johnson on Facebook, Twitter, and her website. Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Feb 12

113 min

“I don't think the fear of disease or the fear of adverse consequences is what gets anybody to make a long term change. I think it's connecting with the positive aspect of whatever it is you're choosing.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Dr. Kara Nance. Kara is a physician, double-board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. She is the founder of WellessenceMD, a medical practice in Chicago with an innovative, integrative approach to primary care and weight management. Kara is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher and uses mindfulness with her patients to address the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural components of diet. Kara takes Dr. Joe on a fascinating tour of nutrition science, clinical best-practices, and the wisdom she has gained from many years of practice. Their conversation covered: An analysis of several popular diets including the Ornish, paleo, ketogenic, and plant-based approaches The scary truth about sugar The challenges of managing our kids sugar intake The role of the microbiome How mindfulness can promote healthy eating And a variety of practical tips and tricks to maintain healthy eating habits If you’d like to learn how to practice mindfulness to help with your diet, eating habits or any other unhelpful habits, please reach out to Mindspace: Connect with Dr. Kara Nance on the Wellessence site and Facebook. Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Jan 17

75 min

“While optimism is certainly associated with individual well-being, it’s what allows us to take action. If you’re a pessimist, then why bother?” In this episode, Dr. Joe speaks with Susan Clayton, Professor of Psychology and Chair of Environmental Studies at the College of Wooster. Susan is a globally-recognized authority on the mental health impacts of climate change. She is the lead author of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) report on Mental Health and Our Changing Climate and a contributor to the upcoming report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She is also the author and editor of the Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Conservation Psychology and Identity and the Natural Environment. Her work focuses on the intersection of mental health, environmentalism, and social psychology. In this episode, Dr. Joe and Professor Clayton explore: The basic scientific facts of climate change The mental health impacts of climate change, including eco-anxiety The economics and politics of climate change Recommendations for building resilience in the face of eco-anxiety The possibility of broad social and economic transformation to adapt to climate change If you’d like some support in coping with your concerns about climate change, Mindspace can help. We are launching an eco-anxiety support group in January and we have a few psychologists who specialize in this area. Please visit for more information. For more information on eco-anxiety check out Dr. Joe’s article on the Mindspace blog and his interview on Radio-Canada. Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Dec 2019

71 min

“The word psychedelic was coined by Humphry Osmond. Psyche comes from the Greek word for spirit or soul, and delic means manifesting. So psychedelic means manifesting the mind.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Dr. Elizabeth Nielson and Dr. Ingmar Gorman on the renaissance of psychedelics in western medicine and culture. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has the potential to transform how a wide range of mental health problems are treated. Elizabeth and Ingmar are both at the forefront of this renaissance. Elizabeth is a clinical psychologist specializing in addictive and mood disorders. She is the Director of Education and Training for the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program at the Center for Optimal Living. She is also involved as a researcher and therapist on studies of psilocybin and MDMA, most notably with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) the Experimental Therapeutics Research Laboratory at NYU Langone School of Medicine. Ingmar is also a clinical psychologist. He works with populations who have had experiences with psychedelics and other psychoactive compounds. He is the Director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program at the Centre for Optimal Living. He is the site co-principal Investigator and therapist on a MAPS Phase 3 clinical trial MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder. And he is an NIH-funded fellow at NYU and a board member of Horizons Media. In this episode Joe, Elizabeth, and Ingmar discussed: The history of psychedelics and how we arrived at the psychedelic renaissance Current science and applications of psychedelics The subjective experience of these compounds and their clinical action The role of mindfulness in psychedelic-assisted therapy Future directions in this field Mindspace will be hosting Ingmar and Elizabeth in Montreal on Friday, November 1st. They will be offering a brief presentation and Q&A for the public. And on Saturday and Sunday, they will be leading an introductory workshop on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for healthcare professionals. You can register and find more information here. More information can be found on Dr. Ingmar Gorman on his site and Dr. Elizabeth Neilson here. Stay up to date with the Mindspace Podcast by joining the newsletter. Leave us a review on iTunes, if you enjoyed the podcast. Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Oct 2019

80 min

“How do we resist anxiety? We can hold it with kindness.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Dr. Judson Brewer. Jud is a psychiatrist, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University and the Director of Research and Innovation at Brown’s Mindfulness Center. He has become an authority on the application of mindfulness in the treatment of anxiety, addictions, and eating disorders and his work has been featured in some of the top medical and neuroscience journals as well as in the popular media. His 2019 TED talk is ranked the 4th most popular of the year. Jud’s research and clinical work are highly innovative, partly because of his integration of traditional Buddhist psychology with modern neuroscience and psychology. In recent years he has focused on making his work accessible to the general public and has produced online programs for helping people reduce anxiety (Unwinding Anxiety), overeating (Eat Right Now), and smoking (Craving to Quit). He is also the author of The Craving Mind: from Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love - Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits. Joe and Jud discussed: Jud’s theory that anxiety is actually an addiction to worry The reward-based learning model that underlies the development of all habits, including anxiety, addictions and eating disorders How mindfulness can help “unwind” anxiety and other unhelpful habits The role of the brain’s Default Mode Network in getting us caught in unhelpful habit loops Why episodes of mental illness often recur If you’d like to learn how to practice mindfulness to help with your anxiety or any other unhelpful habits, please reach out to Mindspace: Connect with Dr. Jud Brewer on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. Stay up to date with the Mindspace Podcast by joining the newsletter.

Sep 2019

71 min

"I like going against the current. It’s a lonely place, but you have your own lane.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Sugar Sammy, a comedian who has performed over 1700 shows in 32 countries in fluent English, French, Hindi, and Punjabi. He got his first break in 2011, when he started touring a bilingual show called You’re Gonna Rire across Montreal. In 2016, he started performing in France to critical acclaim. GQ France said that “the funniest man in France is a Quebecer.” He is now a judge on La France a un incroyable talent, the French version of America’s Got Talent.  Sugar Sammy is known to uniquely tailor his shows to the culture of the audience he’s performing for. He told Dr. Joe that he’s “making a show about you guys. I’m not making it about myself.” His style balances a deep understanding of another culture with mockery. The New York Times described him as a “fearless comic with a talent for provoking both laughter and outrage.”  Starting in September, Sugar Sammy begins his tour across Canada. Joe and Sugar Sammy spoke about: The neighbourhood in Montreal that he grew up in and how it shaped his career How he develops his show from scratch for the country that he’s in How being an outsider helped his comedy career and life Diversity in Quebec The differences between Montreal and other Canadian cities, Quebec and France, and Canada and the US His confrontational style On social media backlash On staying sane in the entertainment industry Connect with Sugar Sammy on his site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Apple Music Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Stay up to date with the Mindspace Podcast by joining the newsletter. Learn more about Mindspace’s therapy, coaching, and mindfulness training programs here. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Aug 2019

69 min

"When I write music, I go back and forth between being mindful and then putting that mindfulness aside to let some kind of sub-personality inhabit me."  In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Conner Molander, guitarist, vocalist, and keyboardist for the Montreal indie band Half Moon Run. The band plays a mix of electronic music, indie rock, and folk and have achieved commercial and critical success with their first two albums Dark Eyes and Sun Leads Me On. They are now putting the finishing touches on a third album due out in fall 2019 and hitting the road for an international tour in July 2019. Conner is thoughtful and introspective and has a lot to say about art & creativity, the music business, psychology, and mindfulness. The interview with covers: The role of flow, mindfulness, and the self in the creative process.  The tension between commercial success and authentic artistic expression How the demands of life on the road with the band sapped Conner’s creative energy and how he managed to restore it  How Conner sees and copes with celebrity Connect with Conner on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Half Moon Run on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and check out their site here.   Connect with Dr. Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Stay up to date with the Mindspace Podcast by joining the newsletter. Learn more about Mindspace’s therapy, coaching, and mindfulness training programs here. Follow Mindspace on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Jul 2019

64 min

“At its deepest, MBSR really allows people to trust themselves and their own wisdom.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with senior mindfulness teacher Susan Woods about contemporary mindfulness and its relationship with Buddhism. They take a deep dive into where Mindfulness-Based Programs (MBP) sometimes align with and sometimes diverges from traditional Buddhist teachings, covering, among other topics like the place for ethics and values in Mindfulness-Based Programs, the role of the mindfulness teacher and the importance of their personal meditation practice, and how mindfulness teacher-training programs are designed. Susan Woods is a clinical social worker and senior Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) teacher, advisor, trainer, and supervisor. She has worked with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Zindel Segal to develop mindfulness teacher-training curricula and has been training health professionals since 2005. Susan is responsible for the professional certification programs at the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI) at UC San Diegoand Centre for Mindfulness Studies (CMS). Susan recently published her first book, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Embodied Presence and Inquiry in Practice, which is now available on Amazon and New Harbinger. She will be in Toronto for a book launch on June 18th and in Montreal for a 2-day teacher training on Inquiry in October, hosted by Mindspace and CMS. You can find more information about her and her work at Mindfulness Teacher Training Programs in Montreal Susan’s mindfulness teacher-training programs are available at Mindspace, in partnership with CMS. Please visit the professional development section of our website to learn more about the MBSR and MBCT facilitation certificates and the events scheduled in Montreal and Toronto. Mindfulness-Based Programs in Montreal Mindspace offers a variety of Mindfulness-Based Programs in Montreal, including MBSR, MBCT, and MSC. Information on our schedule and teachers is available here.

Jun 2019

86 min

“Research shows that mindfulness gives athletes greater access to flow states.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Joe speaks with Pete Kirchmer, Mindfulness Coach and Program Director of UCSD Center For Mindfulness mPEAK (Mindful, Performance Enhancement, Awareness & Knowledge). The mPEAK curriculum builds on the foundation of MBSR to help people cultivate an optimal mindset for performance and life around it. Pete works with athletes, executives, leaders, musicians, dancers, law enforcement, military personnel, first responders and anyone else who pushes themselves towards excellence. He is also developing the mPEAK Coach Training program, for mindfulness teachers who want to work with performers. The interview explores the rich territory around mindfulness and performance. As many practitioners know, mindfulness can enhance focus, clarity, and purpose. And yet it is not obvious how to integrate the practice into the goal-oriented context of performance. After all, mindfulness is typically associated with acceptance of present-moment experience and a detachment from outcome, whereas performance is all about outcome. Joe and Pete take a deep dive into these issues, exploring: - How to make sense of the apparent paradox between mindfulness and performance - The link between mindfulness and flowSome concrete examples of how to bring mindfulness into performance experiences - How Pete uses his own mindfulness practice to sustain his own energy and passion - Some experiences Pete has had working with clients who you would expect to be highly skeptical about mindfulness training If you or your organization are interested in this approach, Mindspace has an experienced team of Mindfulness Coaches in Montreal, including Joe, who can guide you through mindfulness training and its integration into peak performance. Please reach out at or

May 2019

66 min

“I think the most successful people understand what a good investment is, and I think investing in alignment between values and action is one of the best investments one can make.” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe welcomes Adrian Schauer, CEO of Alayacare, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and philanthropist. Alayacare is Adrian’s third startup. It provides software for home health care agencies with the mission “to enable the type of care we would want our loved ones to receive at home.” They now have 130 employees and their software enables hundreds of thousands home healthcare visits every month around the world. Last year, they raised over $13 million. Adrian is also active as an angel investor and sits on the board of several companies. He is also the co-founder of the Madiro Fund, a non-profit that seeks “to invest in sustainable local projects promoting the health of communities in sub-Saharan Africa.”  In this conversation, Joe and Adrian explore the theme of creating and sustaining meaning at work, both for individuals and leaders in organizations. They cover:  - Adrian's purpose as an entrepreneur - How he approaches keeping his employees and stakeholders engaged and inspired - How mindfulness has impacted the culture at Alayacare - The importance of aligning actions with clearly articulated values - both personally and professionally  - What practices he relies on to stay healthy, balanced, motivated, and energized One final note: Mindspace has an increasingly robust offering to organizations interested in improving engagement, culture, and well-being. Our team brings expertise in mindfulness and 30+ years experience in management consulting to the table. So if this is something your organization is considering, please visit or reach out at

Apr 2019

51 min

"If we can cultivate compassion, that's the very best thing we can do both for ourselves and for others." In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe welcomes Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, writer, translator, humanitarian, and photographer. Matthieu was born in France in 1946, to French philosopher Jean-François Revel and artist Yahne Le Toumelin. He trained as a scientist and got a Ph.D. in molecular genetics in 1972, but moved to Nepal to become a Buddhist monk, rather than pursue an academic career. He has been in Nepal ever since. Matthieu's unusual journey and training give him a truly unique perspective on the intersection between contemplative traditions and contemporary science. He shares these insights in his long-standing involvement with the Mind and Life Institute, translation of ancient Buddhist texts, public speaking, and writing best-selling books, including Happiness, the Art of Meditation, and In Search of Wisdom. He is also the Dalai Lama’s French interpreter and close friend. In 2000, after exhibiting never-before-seen brain activation while meditating in a brain scanner, he was playfully nicknamed “the happiest man in the world.” Matthieu is also highly active as a humanitarian, supporting animal rights and creating Karuna-Shechen, an organization dedicated to “developing and managing programs in primary health care, education, and social services for the under-served populations of India, Nepal, and Tibet.” All of the proceeds of Matthieu's books, photographs, and events are donated to Karuna Canada, the Canadian chapter of which is based in Montreal. Matthieu is actually going to be in Montreal this month (Saturday, April 13th), for an event put on by Karuna-Shechen, called Meeting of the Minds: Taking Care of Life. On the panel sits people from all walks of life: Steven Laureys, a neurologist, Maria João Pires, a world renowned pianist, Alexandre Jollien, a philosopher, and a worker who spent 15 years in animal slaughterhouses. Matthieu hopes the event will be "a two fold fulfillment of aspirations of oneself and that of others." All proceeds of the event will go to Karuna Shechen projects in Asia. I'd like to apologize for the quality of the audio for this episode. Unfortunately, this interview came together at the very last minute, and Matthieu's internet was not working correctly. However, you'll find a full transcript of the interview at our blog: In this conversation, Dr. Joe and Matthieu spoke about: - Matthieu's thoughts on the explosion of the popularity of mindfulness - The fundamental research he is involved with in regards to meditation - His concerns about modern society and the environment and climate change - What he calls happiness - How altruism and love can save yourself and the world

Apr 2019

36 min

In this episode of the MindSpace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Dr. Zindel Segal. Zindel is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto. He is best known for co-founding Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), along with his UK colleagues, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. MBCT is an adaptation of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s eight week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for people suffering from depression. It combines the tools of cognitive therapy with the practice of mindfulness. The focus is on changing the relationship with one’s thoughts rather than the thoughts themselves. It has proven to be especially effective in preventing the relapse of depressive episodes. Zindel has made an enormous contribution to the field of clinical psychology. His impact is reflected in an impressive publication record: he is an author of over 100 scientific publications, some in high profile medical journals and some featured in popular news media such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN Health and the New York Times. He is also an author of 10 books, including 2 very well-known ones on MBCT: 1) The Mindful Way Through Depression, which is a guide to using mindfulness to manage mood and 2) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, which is the bible for teachers of MBCT. In this episode, they discuss: - The story behind the creation and evolution of MBCT - Zindel’s take on how exactly MBCT and CBT are helpful for managing mood - The challenges he and is team are facing around the dissemination of MBCT - The current science of mindfulness and well-being

Mar 2019

61 min

In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe focuses on well-being in the legal profession. Working in law is one of the most demanding and stressful jobs in the world: tight deadlines, long hours, a hyper-competitive culture, and the weight of supporting demanding clients. In 2016 a study showed that lawyers and law students suffer from substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and stress in far greater numbers than the general population. In the first half the podcast, Joe speaks with Yan Besner, a partner at Osler, a national law firm. Yan is recognized as one of the best real estate lawyers in Canada. Joe and Yan discuss: - Yan’s struggle with depression, anxiety, and stress as a young lawyer - The therapies that helped him recover - How he maintains his mental health these days - How the culture in law firms is slowly changing to support mental health In the second half of the podcast, Joe speaks with Bree Buchanan, co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing. Bree is leading a cultural transformation that will help promote mental health in the legal profession. Joe and Bree discuss: - The 2016 study showing that lawyers and law students disproportionately suffer from substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and stress - How lawyers can cope with these problems - Her personal struggles with substance abuse, anxiety, and depression - How her work in this space aligns with her life purpose.

Mar 2019

64 min

“Stress is a friend, but it can become an enemy if you don’t take care of it.” - Professor Sonia Lupien This episode of the Mindspace Podcast is dedicated to Bell Let’s Talk day, January 30th, 2019. Please share this post on social media (see instructions below) to contribute to mental health initiatives focusing on anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace health. In this episode, Dr. Joe talks with professor Sonia Lupien. Sonia is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal. She is also the Founder and Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress. Sonia is a highly prolific research scientist, with dozens of publications in some of the top journals in her field. In recent years though she has directed some of this ambition to making her scientific discoveries more accessible to the public. For example, she set up a website to explain all of her lab’s findings in accessible language. She published Par Amour du Stress (the english version is called Well Stressed). And she appears regularly on local radio and TV. She also recently released a stress management iPhone app called iS.M.A.R.T., which was funded by Bell Let’s Talk. Sonia was generous enough to share with us one of her worksheets from her DeStress for Success program. You can download it here. It’ll come in handy during the podcast. In this episode, Sonia and Joe discussed: - The basics of stress physiology - The upside of stress and the importance of the stress mindset - How stress is impacted by social media - The link between stress and mental health - The strategies her research has identified as the most effective for reducing stress To help support the Bell Let's Talk campaign please share this episode on social media. And if you want to support the Bell Let's Talk campaign directly in other ways, on January 30th, Bell will donate 5 cents for the following actions: 1. Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk and every Bell Let’s Talk video view on their Twitter page 2. Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk video view on their Instagram page 3. Facebook: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or every Bell Let’s Talk video view on their Facebook page 4. Snapchat: Every snap sent using the Bell Let’s Talk filter or every Bell Let’s Talk video view 5. Texts and Phone Calls: Every mobile and long distance call and text made by Bell Canada And finally, if you are struggling with stress in any way, please feel free to reach out to Mindspace for information on our therapies, mindfulness trainings, and workplace programs at

Jan 2019

89 min

“I think that we can boil down well-being to two basic questions: How successful are you in moving towards your goals? And how well integrated are your various goals?” In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with professor Colin DeYoung. The purpose of the Mindspace podcast is to inspire well-being: to help us all move toward a healthier, more joyful, and more meaningful life, for ourselves and our communities. We are convinced that a scientific understanding of well-being provides a strong foundation for this pursuit and Colin is an exceptional guide to this area of science. Colin DeYoung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the study of personality and its biological bases. He is well-known for his Cybernetic Big Five Theory, which provides a unifying theory for personality psychology and personality neuroscience. More info on Colin’s research can be found at This episode is particularly relevant at this time of the year - it’s the beginning of 2019 and for many of us, it is a period of reflection - a moment to clarify our hopes and dreams for the next 12 months. The podcast today should align nicely with this state of mind as Colin talks a fair bit about the philosophical bases of well-being science. The conversation also addressed the impact of the following variables on well-being: - Personality - Habits - Values - Goals - Mindfulness meditation Colin and Joe speak about the Big 5 theory of personality and how it has surpassed the Myers Briggs approach to become the dominant model in personality science. If that discussion makes you curious about your own personality, you could get a report on your Big 5 profile by filling in a simple questionnaire. Which will soon be available on the Mindspace website.

Jan 2019

82 min

“I would very much hope that the Canadian and the provincial governments would stop pussyfooting around, and start giving some real and concrete advice on how to use cannabis responsibly.” Dr. Claude Cyr is a family physician who has been practicing for over twenty years. He prescribes medical cannabis to his patients judiciously. He is a part time lecturer at the McGill University Department of Family Medicine and an associate researcher for the Quebec Cannabis Registry. He is widely considered a pillar in the medical cannabis community. In 2015, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced his intention to legalize cannabis. One year later, Claude founded Doctors for Responsible Access (DRA) to bring the medical community into the conversation of legalization. The DRA’s primary focus is on the potential negative impact that legalization could have on youth and the mentally ill. In this conversation, Claude provides a level-headed, balanced, and nuanced perspective on the benefits and drawbacks of legalization of cannabis. In this episode, Joe and Claude discussed: - The medical uses of cannabis - The potential benefits and drawbacks of cannabis on mental health - How to responsibly use cannabis - How to give advice to your teenagers on using cannabis - The medical potential of psychedelics

Dec 2018

85 min

“Good leadership is, yes, about listening. It's about understanding. But it's also about creating contexts in which people can become activators and create new possibilities for themselves. I feel like I am succeeding when the people around me are fulfilled and engaged and self actualized.” In this episode of the MindSpace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Kim Manning. Kim is a professor, researcher, and principal of the Simone de Beauvoir institute at Concordia University in Montreal. She is also a community organizer, an advocate for transgender rights, and a politician. After transitioning from her research in Chinese politics and Maoist ideology, Kim became involved in social action research, namely an advocate for transgender rights and the dignified treatment of that community. She began her journey because of a transformative experience she had with a gender nonconforming family member. That experience led her to play an integral part of passing Bill C-16, legislation which looks to extend Canada’s Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to protect gender expression and gender identity. Kim recently transitioned to a career in politics, which she sees as the pursuit of her highest purpose. She is currently running to be the federal Liberal party’s nominee in the Montreal riding of Outremont, where she feels she can best serve her community. To find out more about her political campaign, please visit For more on her academic work, please visit her Concordia profile. Joe and Kim discuss: - Her personal experience with a gender nonconforming family member that inspired her to become an advocate for the transgender community - Her role in supporting Bill C-16 and confronting its critics, including Jordan Peterson, the U of T professor who got a lot of attention for his views on the Bill. - The excitement and challenges of her political campaign - How her family, her sense of purpose, her meditation practice, and even Zumba classes(!) help her maintain a modicum of balance in her crazy life.

Nov 2018

67 min

Rob is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa. He specializes in the study of shyness, social withdrawal, and social anxiety in childhood. He is also the director of the Pickering Centre for Research in Human Development. He has published hundreds of journal articles and book chapters, as well as several books, including his most recent ones Quiet at School and the Handbook of Solitude. In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with professor Robert Coplan. They discussed:  - The characteristics of shyness as a temperamental trait - The extent to which shy children are vulnerable to mental health problems later in life and what interventions protect their development - Recommendations to parents for best supporting shy children - How parents should manage anxious adolescents’ academic performance anxiety and smartphone use

Nov 2018

77 min

In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe speaks with Pascal Auclair about meditation and its role in cultivating well-being. They discuss:  - Pascal’s background and how he got into practicing and teaching meditation, including some interesting stories from long retreats he has sat. - His take on how meditation helps people live healthier and happier lives - explored through some practical examples from real life. What people can do to enjoy some of the benefits of meditation, even if they don’t have time for long, silent retreats. - Pascal’s perspective on the “secular mindfulness movement,” including some recent challenges from the scientific community, suggesting that all meditation teachers should develop greater sensitivity to the mental health problems that can arise in meditation. - The reason for his commitment to Social Justice in his practice and teaching.

Nov 2018

87 min

Dr. Jean Twenge is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University. She is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and books including her most recent, iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. In this episode, Dr. Joe speaks with Jean Twenge about the impact of smartphones on adolescent mental health. They also discussed Dr. Twenge’s research on generations and what she has learned about iGen, her findings about the mental health problems this generation is facing and why she thinks it is associated with if not caused by their smartphone use, and what parents and professionals can do about these issues.

Nov 2018

32 min

In this episode of the podcast, Joe interviews David Treleaven. David is a writer, educator, and trauma professional living in the Bay area, whose work focuses on the intersection of mindfulness, trauma, and social justice. He is quickly becoming an important figure in the mindfulness community, especially since the release of his book Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness. He received his master’s in counselling psychology at the University of British Columbia and a doctorate in East-West psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is currently a senior teacher with Strozzi Institute, which helps leaders embody skillful action and integrate personal and social transformation. In this episode, David tells Joe about the basics of how mindfulness can help with trauma recovery. They also spoke about some of the risks involved in using mindfulness unskillfully with trauma survivors. And they spent some time unpacking David’s claims that trauma is inherently political, and that mindfulness teachers ought to develop greater sensitivity to the social and political context of trauma.

Nov 2018

73 min

In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe Flanders interviews his mentor, Dr. Patricia Rockman. Dr. Rockman is probably the Canadian authority on mindfulness teacher training and has a strong international reputation in this field. She has taught close to 150 Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) groups, trained dozens of mindfulness teachers through the certification programs at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, and brought mindfulness to many organizations. She’s an associate professor with the University of Toronto and the Director of Education and Clinical Services at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. In this conversation, Dr. Rockman tells Joe about what contemplative dialogue is, her work at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, power and politics in the mindfulness field, what a good mindfulness teacher is, and how her students have influenced her life and practice.

Nov 2018

57 min

In this episode of the Mindspace podcast, Dr. Joe Flanders interviews Dr. Willoughby Britton, Professor of Psychiatry, and Dr. Jared Lindahl, Professor of Religious Studies, both at Brown University. Joe and his guests discuss the emergence of contemplative neuroscience, Dr. Britton's critical stance on mindfulness research and the whole mindfulness movement, Jared's take on the importance of sensitivity to individual differences and cultural diversity in mindfulness and meditation, and finally they share their views on the potential adverse experiences that can occur while meditating.

Nov 2018

47 min

Christian is an unbelievably successful business man. He worked for a global pharmaceutical company for many years, before making the transition to advertising in 2013. He took the lead of the health division at Tank which quickly became an industry standout, thanks largely to Christian’s smarts and leadership. But in the spring of 2017, a series of bad sales numbers triggered a downward spiral into mental illness that would leave him panicked, 30 pounds underweight, and unable to get out of bed. In this episode of the podcast, Christian tells Joe about his plunge into anxiety and depression, the “mental boot camp” that got him going again, his “recipe” for maintaining well-being, and how he talks about the experience with his colleagues. He also tells us why, after all that, he considers the experience a gift. Christian offers rare and inspiring examples of how corporate leaders can embody openness, humility, and courage when dealing with mental health in the workplace. His story also highlights the importance of making self-care a priority, the impact of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and mindfulness meditation, and the value of understanding well-being as a skill to be developed and maintained.

Nov 2018

68 min

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