Winamp Logo
The Best Advice Show Cover
The Best Advice Show Profile

The Best Advice Show

English, General Consumer Advice, 1 season, 353 episodes, 22 hours, 4 minutes
It’s easy to feel helpless as each new day breeds more uncertainty. The Best Advice Show exists as a daily reminder that there are weird, delightful and effective ways to survive and thrive in this world. In every episode of the show, a different contributor offers their own personal take on what they do to make their life better, healthier, saner and more livable.
Episode Artwork

Wearing the Same Thing Everyday with Anne Kadet

Anne Kadet is the creator of the can't miss newsletter, CAFÉ ANNE. -- The Naked Cowboy’s Wonderful Morning Routine -- Leave me your advice by calling 844-935-BEST. 
11/8/20216 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Standing Still with Alex Guarnaschelli

Alex Guarnaschelli is a chef, TV star and mom living in NYC.  LISTEN TO HUNDREDS OF OTHER PIECES OF THE BEST ADVICE SHOW WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Follow us on IG @BestAdviceShow
11/5/20214 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Throwing Your Own Party with Kate Toussaint

Kate Toussaint is a teacher, mom, reader and moderator of the Anti-Racist Coalition. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Follow us on Instagram
11/3/20213 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rewiring Your Brain with Michaela Ayers

Nourish was founded by Michaela Ayers in reaction to the 2016 presidential election. Realizing that we live in a polarized society where it’s increasingly difficult to engage in conversation across our differences, especially conversations about race and racism, Michaela set out to create a middle ground. “I am of the opinion that even though a conversation may be uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean the experience can’t be beautiful,” says Michaela. The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth about Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations LISTEN TO HUNDREDS OF OTHER PIECES OF THE BEST ADVICE SHOW WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BESTTBAS on Instagram Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/1/20213 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Trick-or-Treating with Jen Rusciano

Jen Rusciano is the Executive Director of the Detroit Food Academy. You can support that amazing organization by following this link. Jen was last on the show giving meditation advice. LISTEN TO HUNDREDS OF OTHER PIECES OF THE BEST ADVICE SHOW WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS.To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BESTFollow us on: TBAS on Instagram Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/29/20213 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Finding Structure with Zeke Nicholson

Zeke Nicholson is an actor writer living in Los Angeles. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Follow us on: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/27/20214 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Facing Your Fears with Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr. is an NBA player for the Denver Nuggets. He hosts the Curious Mike podcast. Share your favorite shower strategies at 844-935-BEST! -- MORNING ZESTING WITH DREW PHILP TAPPING INTO CHILDHOOD WITH LAUREN PASSELL Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/25/20215 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Prepping Fruit with Shira Heisler

10/22/20212 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Picking People's Brains with Dr. Taharee Jackson

Dr. Taharee Jackson is the founder and Tone-Setter-in-Chief of Dr. Taharee Consulting, where she works with various sectors on diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion issues. Here's a link to her writing on Medium. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/20/20216 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Aiming at Meh with Brian Selfon

Brian Selfon has worked in criminal justice for nearly twenty years. The Nightworkers is his debut novel. How to hide Self View on Zoom To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Instagram/Facebook/Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/18/20214 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Adding Complexity with Ji Hye Kim

Ji Hye Kim is the chef and owner of MISS KIM in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Food & Wine just named her one of The Best New Chefs in the U.S. GENTLE SALTING WITH JI HYE KIM To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Instagram/Facebook/Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/15/20216 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Facing the Truth with Tamara Lindeman (from The Weather Station)

Tamara Lindeman is a musician from the band, The Weather Station. Their latest album is Ignorance. INVESTIGATING YOUR SHAME WITH HEATHER RADKE To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BESTFollow us on: Instagram Facebook Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/13/20219 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Expressing Your Idea with Shirley Woodson

Shirley Woodson is an artist and educator. She's the 2021 Kresge Eminent Artist. Her solo show, Why Do I Delight is up at the Detroit Artists Market through 10/23. You can download or purchase the new Shirley Woodson monograph, here. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BESTTRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Shirley Woodson shares an art studio with her son. It's right off the highway on the west side of Detroit. But once you step inside, it's peaceful and warm. Her work cover the walls and they're stacked in piles on the floor.  MS. WOODSON: That's a collage. A recent one I did about my family.  ZAK: Ms. Woodson has been in Detroit since 1938 when her parents moved the family from Tennessee. She was just a baby. Today, she's one of Detroit's most celebrated and beloved artists. She makes big, colorful figurative paintings. And she's kind of obsessed with horses.  MS. WOODSON : I do a lot of horses with women riders which I've been doing for a long time. But each one is a challenge.  ZAK: Today she's gonna work on the front right leg of a burnt orange horse galloping alongside a short haired woman in white. Her work is part of permanent collections at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Kresge Arts recently named her their eminent artist of 2021. They wrote...quote "decades of success as an artist, paired with her exceptional and tireless commitment to ensure educational and career opportunities for all artists, have ensured the story of art in Detroit is far more inclusive and honest than it would have been without her efforts. It has also ensured her place as a revered and renowned pillar of Detroit’s creative community." Ms. Woodson's has offered creative advice to students for decades. And perhaps the most foundational art lesson she teaches is this. MS. WOODSON : Well there are no wrong answers in your seeking to express an idea. And there's more than one way to get your idea across. 3 + 3 is 6. 4 + 2 is 6. And 12-6 is 6.  ZAK: And since there are no wrong answers. When we're starting out as kids or adult beginners, Ms. Woodson teaches we don't need erasers on our pencils. And we don't throw our work away! MS. WOODSON : Occasionally I would hear a crumple, crumple, crumple of paper. 'Can I have another sheet of paper? I said, 'We're gonna use all of that and remember. We have to keep all your drawing because we want to see the improvement. We can't see the improvement if it's in the waste basket. ZAK: Before we go. I'm gonna leave you with a lesson you can try at home today. MS. WOODSON : You need 5 sheets of...I was gonna say typing. But nobody types anymore. 5 sheets of paper. And draw a circle, free hand. Hold your pencil so that your hand is not touching the paper. And then place the pencil point on the paper and using your shoulder and the whole motion draw the circle and it can be big to take up the whole paper and go arond as many times as it takes you to see the circle come out. Remember it's your hand that's making the motion. And then you do 4 more. Then you can put something inside of those circles. Do not erase. Sign it and date it and put it in a folder. This may be your beginning.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/11/20216 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Pancaking with Ronia Cabansag

Ronia Cabansag is a podcast producer, student and Best Advice Show intern extraordinaire. Ronia's favorite pancake recipe! To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Follow us on: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: #advice #adviceoftheday #lifeadvice Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/8/20213 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Journaling with Ronia Cabansag

Ronia Cabansag is a podcast producer, student and Best Advice Show intern extraordinaire. #143 : REFRESHING YOURSELF WITH SARA BROOKE CURTIS To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BESTFollow us on: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: #advice #adviceoftheday #lifeadvice Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/6/20214 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Skipping Disdain with Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He was just awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Grant. To contribute your own advice call Zak at at 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/4/20213 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Embracing Dishwashing with Sho Spaeth

Sho Spaeth is an editor and writer at Serious Eats. I'M HUNGRY FOR YOUR FOOD FRIDAY ADVICE! CALL ME AT 844-935-BEST Pan scrapers for sale Listen to BUILD FOR TOMORROW today! This episode was edited by Ronia Cabansag Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/1/20215 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Going Without with Jacqueline Raposo

Jacqueline Raposo is an interviewer, podcast producer, food writer and the author of The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness. If you're gonna try going without, feel free to share your journey with Jacqueline and I at @wordsfoodart and @bestadviceshow! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/29/202110 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Night Prepping with Teaka

Teaka called me on the advice hotline at 844-934-BEST and so should you!!!!!!!! DOING THE HARD THING FIRST WITH TIFFANY PAULSEN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/27/20212 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Using Less with Anne-Marie Bonneau

Anne-Marie Bonneau writes the blog, The Zero-Waste Chef, and has a cookbook out also called The Zero-Waste Chef This episode was edited by Ronia Cabansag To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Follow us on: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/24/20214 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Slowing Down with Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee

Katie Crutchfield is one of the great singer-songwriters of our time. Her most recent album as Waxahatchee is Saint Cloud. Putting Down the Think with Marlee Grace Request your dream Advice Show guest by emailing me at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/22/20218 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Saying it Out Loud with Bethel Habte

Bethel Habte is a producer and reporter @Resistance. LISTEN TO HUNDREDS OF OTHER PIECES OF THE BEST ADVICE SHOW WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TO JOIN TBAS POWER HOUR CLUB EMAIL ME AT [email protected] TBAS # 38: Self-Talking with Steven Handel TBAS # 66: Expecting the Opposite with Sarah May B. TBAS # 88: Talking to Your Best Friend with Lauren TBAS # 285: Evolving Self-Talk with Kelly Travis TBAS #303: Talking to my Younger Self with Chelsea Ursin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/20/20213 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Shaking or Stirring with Tammy Coxen

As the founder and Chief Tasting Officer of Tammy’s Tastings, Tammy Coxen has been sharing her enthusiasm for food and drink for over 15 years. She is the co-author of the cocktail book Cheers to Michigan, co-host of a regular cocktail segment on Michigan Radio (her local NPR affiliate), and writes a monthly column for Hour Detroit magazine. Take a class with Tammy!edited by Ronia Cabansag Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/17/20213 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Climbing Out of the Rabbit Hole with Liana Pavane

LIANA PAVANE IS A DIGITAL WELLNESS COACH AND FOUNDER OF TTYL—A TECH-FREE COMMUNITY DEDICATED TO HUMAN CONNECTION. So much of this show originates with your hard-earned advice. To contribute please call me (Zak) at 844-935-BEST. Leave your name and your advice, followed by your email address in case I have any follow-up questions. Regarding your advice. I’m not particularly interested in platitudes and truisms. I’m after specific, odd, uplifting, effective, real tips from you about how you make it through your days. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/15/20214 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tooting Your Own Horn with Erin Bevel

Erin Bevel is a Co-Founder of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund and Board Member at Detroit Black Community Food Security Network So much of this show originates with your hard-earned advice. To contribute please call me (Zak) at 844-935-BEST. Leave your name and your advice, followed by your email address in case I have any follow-up questions. Regarding your advice. I’m not particularly interested in platitudes and truisms. I’m after specific, odd, uplifting, effective, real tips from you about how you make it through your days. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/13/20214 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Adapative Quickling with Alison Heeres

Alison Heeres is the chef and co-owner of Coriander Kitchen & Farm in Detroit. To offer your own Food Friday advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Repurposing Food w/Zoe Spoon Feeding w/Zoe Editing Your Fridge w/Zoe Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/10/20214 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Giving Advice Well with Lynn Harris

Lynn Harris is co-host of the Forward’s “A Bintel Brief” podcast. A writer, activist and teacher, she founded GOLD Comedy , a school and community for girls and non-binary folks, and previously wrote advice columns for Breakup Girl, Glamour and several other print magazines of blessed memory. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST This episode was edited by Ronia Cabansag Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/8/20213 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Re-imagining Labor Day with Rich Feldman

Rich Feldman is a former auto worker and union official. He's a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. End of the Line: Autoworkers and the American Dream To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: RICH: This is Rich Feldman. I spent 20 years on the assembly line at Ford Motor Company out in Wayne. About 10 years as an elected, local official and about ten years with the international staff of the United Auto Workers. ZAK: Especially on the Labor Day, Rich says it's very easy to be nostalgic about the past. But this year is not like every other year. RICH: Well this Labor Day, which is taking place with almost 200-thousand people killed by COVID and the Movement For Black Lives since George Floyd was's critical that we not think of just going through the motions or just cheering on unions. So while I always say that without a union, you have nothing. With the union I believe you have a chance to have some security and have your voice heard and be responsible for what your work place should be. So my advice is, ask yourself what is the purpose of work and how do we become responsible workers and human beings? And returning to normal is not the way to do's to create a new vision and a new purpose which is gonna take a lot, a lot of work and a lot of reflection. ZAK: Well, how do you answer that question? What is the purpose of work? RICH: So to me the purpose of work is for individuals to do what allows each of us to express our passions, to be responsible to our neighbors, to be responsible to our community and the planet. It's time for us to say, what are we producing as well as our rights and our contractual rights. ZAK: Rich edited an oral history called End of the Line: Autoworkers and the American Dream. I put a link to it in our show notes. Thank you for listening to a special Labor Day episode of the Best Advice Show. I hope today is full or joy and fun and rest and contemplation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/6/20213 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Quarter Cake Clubbing with Savitha Viswanathan

Savitha Viswanathan is a designer, illustrator and founder of Mothertongue Foods. Flavor-basing with Savitha Viswanathan Gifting Meaningfully with Beth Nichols Spontaneously Gifting with Valeriya To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/3/20213 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Choosing Your Doctor with Dr. Jerrold Weinberg

Dr. Jerrold Weinberg is an OB/GYN from Metro-Detroit. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
9/1/20213 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Forgetting Your Purpose with Megan Hellerer

Megan Hellerer is the founder of Coaching for Underfulfilled Overachievers. Inside the career coaching program AOC used to help her go from bartender to Congress DIRECTIONAL THINKING WITH MEGAN HELLERER To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Today's episode was edited by Ronia Cabansag Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/30/20214 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Gentle Salting with Ji Hye Kim

Ji Hye Kim is the chef and owner of MISS KIM in Ann Arbor, Michigan To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Salting with Shira Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/27/20217 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Directional Thinking with Megan Hellerer

Megan Hellerer is the founder of Coaching for Underfulfilled Overachievers. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Today's episode was edited by Ronia Cabansag Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/25/20217 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Looking Backwards with Josh Gwynn

Josh Gwynn is the producer and co-host of Back Issue To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/23/20217 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Yung Pueblo (Diego Perez): Part 3

Diego Perez is the writer behind the pen name Yung Pueblo. His new book is Clarity and Connection. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/20/20214 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Yung Pueblo (Diego Perez): Part 2

Diego Perez is the writer behind the pen name Yung Pueblo. His new book is Clarity and Connection. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/18/20215 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Yung Pueblo (Diego Perez): Part 1

Diego Perez is the writer behind the pen name Yung Pueblo. His new book is Clarity and Connection. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/16/20218 minutes
Episode Artwork

Frying Rice with Hugh Amano

Hugh Amano is a chef and co-author of, most recently, Let's Make Dumplings. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/13/20214 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Focusing on the Gifts with Ian Coss

Ian Coss is the creator and host of the new podcast, Forever is a Long Time. If you have some advice for me, give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. And if you can think of someone in your life who might benefit from this episode, consider sending them this episode. Thanks so much. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/11/20214 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Counter-Offering with Brenden Murphy

Brenden Murphy is an engineer living in Michigan. He gave invaluable plumbing advice last time he was on the show. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Understanding Time Horizons with Justin Waring. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/9/20213 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Avoiding Unwanted Surprises with Jamie Feldmar

Jamie Feldmar is a food writer, editor, and cookbook author, mostly working on things related to food. Stupid Taxing with Jordan To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/6/20214 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Taking it Down a Notch with April Baer

April Baer is the host of Stateside on Michigan Radio The Fog of War To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/4/20216 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Checking in with Janine Rubenstein

Janine Rubenstein is Editor-at-Large of People Magazine and host of the People Every Day podcast To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
8/2/20216 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Gifting Meaningfully with Beth Nichols

Beth Nichols is an amateur baker, professional editor and excellent gift giver. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Paul Hollywood's Fortune Cookies Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/30/20213 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Following the Follower with Andy Eninger

Andy Eninger is an improviser, writer, facilitator and dog dad. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Is there a principal that you could share? Something for those of us who haven't taken an improv class but something we might try in our everyday life, taken from improv? ANDY: The improv philosophy that is serving me the most right now is this sense of following the follower. This sense of looking up and looking out and seeing what somebody else is doing whether that's the audience. Whether that's the person that you're performing with or the musician that you're improvising with and following where they're going and the magic of then they start to follow you and you follow them and they're following you and who's actually leading? It's almost like, have you ever seen a murmuration of birds when they're flying around. You're like which one's leading? They're all leading. They're all following each other. There's this magical sense when everyone's attuned to other people, you can go in this direction together. Even if that direction changes and changes again. ZAK: I'm thinking about concretizing this. I'm in a Zoom now, right, with a dozen of my colleagues. How do I look to follow the follower in a context like that? ANDY: I think it's really powerful for the person that might be leading the meeting to notice, 'Oh, I think people are shutting down. Lemme follow what's going on there by maybe asking or maybe it's time for me to be quiet and see if someone steps up.' I think that's one of the hardest things for someone who's a real driving personality who's leading a meeting is to shut up and leave a space and let someone step in and speak and I think it's not intuitive for leaders to surrender. ZAK: Is there a check-in that people who are natural leaders, like something that they can do just to catch themselves leading and not following the follower? ANDY: I think for a leader to take on this sense of following the follower, probably the best thing that they can do is ask themself, 'what does this person need?' Often, we're trying to apply our perspective and view of the world to everyone else. It's like, 'here's what you need to do' rather than finding out and listening to understand what another person actually needs. Asking those open-ended questions and I think that it goes counter to how many leaders think about themselves. 'Oh, I have to be smart. I need to have the right advice. I have to know what to do.' And there's so many situations where we simply can't know what's right for this person to do in the moment. We may have the vision in mind where we want the scene or the job, the project to head. But what this person needs in the moment can probably only come from that person. It's not going to come from us. I think that's what a leader is surrendering Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/28/20214 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Becoming Art with Caveh Zahedi

Caveh Zahedi is a filmmaker and creator of The Show About the Show and 365 Stories I Want To Tell You Before We Both Die To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/26/20219 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Changing Slowly with Andrew Zerbo

Andrew Zerbo is the chef and creator behind Fermental State More fermenting advice from the archives! To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/23/20215 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Weekly Dating with Kat Harris

Kat Harris (@therefinedwoman) is an author, coach and host of The Refined Collective Podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Kat's last episode from the show is ESSENTIAL! - listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/21/20212 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Talking to My Younger Self with Chelsea Ursin

Chelsea Ursin is the creator and host of the podcast, Dear Young Rocker To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST SELF-TALK ADVICE FROM THE ARCHIVES Self-Talking with Steven Handel Expecting the Opposite with Sarah May B. Talking To Your Best Friend with Lauren Evolving Self-Talk with Kelly Travis Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/19/20217 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Adding One Thing with Maddie Pasquariello

Maddie Pasquariello is a nutritionist. She runs @eastcoasthealth If you have some advice for me, call the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/16/20214 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Talking to Strangers with Joe Keohane

Joe Keohane, a veteran journalist who has held high-level editing positions at Medium, Esquire, Entrepreneur, and Hemispheres is the author of The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting In a Suspicious World. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: JOE: My name's Joe Keohane. I'm the author of the new book, The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting In a Suspicious World. ZAK: We've all gotten rusty talking to strangers because of COVID but also because of our phones and because of where we are as a culture. The thing that I like to do with this show is give people something they can try today. So, give me a strategy for getting back in to where it's not gonna overwhelm and feel like we have to go be friends with the world. JOE: First know that everybody is anxious. Everybody was anxious about talking to strangers before this for a lot of reasons I get into in the book and everyone's especially anxious now because we've been in the hole for a year. So, start easy. Start with a waiter or waitress. Talk to somebody that's at a coffee shop in a structured, public place where your roles are clear, right. You're not just sneaking up on someone on the street which I would not advise people to do. And there's a really cool technique that I learned from a woman named Georgie Nightingall who's this communications expert in London. I took a class with her where she taught people how to talk to strangers and she was very keen and very good at it. The idea that she had was, it involved scripts. So, when we have an interaction with someone at a corner store, right, you go in and say, how you doing? And the person says good, how are you and you say, good, thanks. And that's it. You've put no effort into it. There's no curiosity being exercised. It's just a way to recognize that you're standing there, right? Cause it would be weird not to say anything but you don't want to put any effort into it. So, that's a script and we use those all the time to converse cognitive load and things like that. When you find yourself in a situation like that and someone asks you a scripted question, give them a specific answer. So, what Georgie advised and what she always does and this is brilliant and I do it all the time. When someone says, how you doing? Georgie says, ehhhh, 7 our 10. So now you're off script. You're in uncharted territory. The person's gonna be alert now being like, ok, something different is happening here. I have to dial in. I have to pay attention. And then Georgie will say, how are you doing today? And now she's modeled something and they follow her lead because it's rude if they don't. This is how we communicate. They'll say, oh, pretty good. I'm about 8 out of 10. And then she'd say, what'll take to get you to a 9 today? And then they'll be like, my mother's not been feeling well. Maybe I'll go see her later. Maybe she'll be feeling better. JOE: When you get to that point, you get a glimmer of the other person. You get a glimmer of the depth and complexity of another person you would never register as a human being. People in service positions are often dehumanized. But, just a little trick like that is super useful and super easy and it's really funny and people I find are often kind of delighted by it. It's playful. It's audacious. You do that stuff enough, it leads to a little interaction and you'll feel good after you do it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/14/20216 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making Mistakes with Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman runs a weekly newsletter and podcast called Maybe Baby, which was recently written up in The New Yorker To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Welcome back to the Best Advice Show and today, we're gonna get meta. We're gonna talk about advice about advice. Back in episode #48, Julia Putnam touched on this.. JULIA: You should never give unsolicited advice... ZAK: Today's advice-giver is Haley Nahman. She is a writer and proprietor of the excellent newsletter, Maybe Baby and her advice dovetails nicely with what Julia said. HALEY: I think it's also ok to not follow advice and just make mistakes. I think are own experiences teach us lessons better than anyone else. I really don't think you can learn lessons before you experience them yourself. All the wisdom is out there. If you could just hear wisdom and live it, we would all be perfect but that's just not really how it works. So, yeah, I think my final comment is the worst case scenario is you fuck up and now you are smarter and now you know yourself better. The stakes aren't as high as ever think they are and your life will teach you so much more if you're paying attention than other people ever can. ZAK: Yeah. That's great. I love that. Cause especially me as the maker of an advice show and people that listen to this advice show, I think we can get obsessed in trying to subscribe to or search for the best path, but, can't know until we know. HALEY: Yeah, I spent so much of my 20s trying to follow everyone else's advice. It lands you into a really weird place. You don't know who you are. A lot of pent up emotion that you just want to release that feels feel misunderstood. And it doesn't really help you grow to just follow the perfect path. So, there's always an upside to fucking up. I saw a Kurt Vonnegut quote that said, "the truth is we know so little about life, we don't know what the good news is and what the bad news is" and I think that's true of our mistakes too. We don't know what's gonna help up and what's gonna hurt us until we find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/12/20214 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Knife Skills Are Bulls*it with Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is an American food journalist, author, and former columnist for The New York Times. Knife Skills Are Bulls*it from THE BITTMAN PROJECT To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's The Best Advice Show where every episode I give you one discrete morsel of advice. Today, I'm pleased to welcome back, Mark Bittman, the famous food writer and cookbook author. You know Mark is? He's like your uncle who reminds you, it's fine. Just relax. For example, sometimes you hear a chef talk about how important knife skills are. Mark Bittman disagrees. MARK: And, I saw some famous chef say, if your knife skills are bed, you'd better up your game. And I'm like, how can this possible matter. I know we're not videotaping this but my grandmother, I mean peasants all over the world, cut food by holding it in their hand cutting it with a pretty dull knife. Or maybe with a sharp knife. But that's a different kind of knife skills. But, chefs grew up or in the days of apprenticeships, would be giving a box of onions and say, here, cut these onions and you'd have to learn how to cut 50 big onions in 20-minutes and that's an amazing skill. Incredible. A home cook doesn't need to know how to do that. You cut an onion up any way you want to cut an onion up. It'll still taste fine and the fact that someone can do it in ten-second and it takes you a minute, cause even a novice can't take more than a minute to cut up an onion. So what? So it cost you 45-seconds. I mean, the dish takes you a half-hour to make. 45-seconds is not a big deal. ZAK: It made me think that maybe there's a metaphor in there, too. Like, life is so much more accessible when we don't think we have to be perfect or something. MARK: Or expert. I mean, mostly we don't. No one thinks they have to drive like...I don't know the names of any race car driver. No one, thinks they need to drive like somebody who drives in the Indy 500 if such a thing still exists. No one thinks they need to play tennis like Naomi Osaka just to give credit where credit's due. You just do those things. Maybe you feel bad or you wish you were better but somehow...and I think it's because chefs took over food television and so everybody thinks well if I'm gonna cook, I need to be able to cook like a chef. And, it's not in your interest to think that you need to be a chef in order to be a cook. You just need to think like your grandmother or great-grandmother. These people just cook and they don't fuss around with like, is this parsley minced uniformly enough or is this onion...did it take me 10-seconds to perfectly slice this onion or is this browned evenly enough? Your stove's not good enough for that. You don't have a good enough stove to do a real stir-fry. There's all these limitations in being a home-cook. Live with it. You're not a chef. It's fine. It's not a big deal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/9/20214 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

People-Pleasing with Emily Naylor

Emily Naylor is a audio producer and presenter in London To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I was gonna talk to Emily about a few Spanish comprehension strategies she's devised. But then I realized, she and I had something in common. ZAK: Is that a phrase over there, people-pleasing? EMILY: Yeah, it might as well be my middle name to be honest with you, Zak. (Laughter) ZAK: Emily People-Pleasing Naylor. I am Zak People-Pleasing Rosen. It's nice to meet you. (Laughter) EMILY: You too. Pleasure. Only if you like meeting me. If not then... (Laughter) ZAK: What do you think is the alternative to people-pleasing? Just to please yourself? To be a self-pleaser? EMILY: No, I don't think that quite it either. I think it's to be a person with people. You don't have a to be a people-pleaser. You don't have to be a person pisser-offer. You're just a person with people and it sounds so simple and obvious but perhaps we don't spend enough time thinking, you are a person. Think about how complex you are. Your emotions, hopes, ambitions, worries...what you're gonna be thinking about in 24 hours time isn't, that something said something weird and maybe they don't like me now. That's irrelevant. Think about how you and how complex you are as a person and then think you're in a room with 20 other people and they're just as complex and not in a negative way but you're not that big an influences on their life in that moment. They're going home. They've got to think about what to have for dinner. So, you're just a person with people. ZAK: Ugh, you're making me cry. I love this. Be a person with a people! Stop trying to curate their interpersonal dynamics. Just be with them. EMILY: And be present because ultimately when you're people-pleasing you're trying to manipulate a situation. You're taking a step back. You're not in the moment. You are analyzing little things. You're worrying and that can be quite self-centered and you aren't a person with people. You are yourself worrying about all these things which you can't control. So, don't waste your energy on that. Just be present and listen and try as best as you can in this kind of mindful, social way to let go of those little things. Doesn't mean they're not gonna worry you. If they do, just accept that. You can't shut it off, but, just try to listen to what that person's saying and if they like you or not, that's not really a) your concern and b) you can't control it, so... ZAK: Yeah. Yeah. Them liking us isn't the point. It's just a possible by-product of being present with them. EMILY: Exactly. And ultimately your job as a human being is to socialize with other human beings. We'd love that to be positive. Fine. But also if you are in a super important business meeting or you're in a courtroom and you're defending your client and then the prosecutor is don't want the prosecutor to like you. You want your client to get the best deal. Forget about the people-pleasing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/7/20214 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Learning Languages with Debra Allison

Debra Allison is a seasoned Spanish teacher in California. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: DEBRA: So, my best advice to acquire another language is repetition, repetition, repetition. I'll repeat that again, repetition, repetition, repetition. I'm gonna give you a little tidbit of information about the ways we acquire language and then I'm gonna tell you the two best ways to actually acquire language. The tidbit of information is this. Some people say that they are bad at learning languages. But, there's actually no such thing as somebody who's bad at learning languages. If you're listening to this podcast and understanding it, you're actually good at learning languages. The two ways that we acquire language is one, by reading and the other is by listening. What I mean by reading is when we read materials right at our level and for some people who are beginning to acquire their language, that might be those books with 1-3 words on a page. We learn vocabulary that way. We learn sentence structures that way. We learn grammar through reading. The second way we acquire grammar is by listening right at our level so it's understandable....almost 100 percent understandable but it's repetitive. It's that notion of ugh, I can't get something out of my head. It's stuck in my head. When my students say to me, "Ugh, Mrs. Allison I can't this voice...this phrase out of my head." I might apologize on the outskirts but inside so happy. This is not short-term memory we're talking about. We want to hear something five-thousand times so it just falls out of our mouth without even trying. Language learning or more technically speaking, acquiring a language should absolutely be effortless, like your first language was. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/5/20213 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Spontaneously Gifting Food with Valeriya

To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST STOCKING UP WITH VALERIYA TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's Food Friday on The Best Advice Show and as always, I'm really hoping you'll call the hotline and give me your piece of advice. It's 844-935-BEST. Valeriya called the hotline and offered this... VALERIYA: I feel like often people are really willing to share food with someone when that someone is going through a really big thing. Like grieving the loss of someone dear to them or weathering the exhaustion of a newborn baby or a big thing and that can result in the presence of an overwhelming amount of lasagna in one's kitchen and so what I'd like to advise instead or rather in a addition to is to share food more often as a way of extending comfort to people in your life even when they're struggling with something acute or maybe less intense like a difficult job hunt or a flooded basement or whatever. I feel like in those one-off instances it's maybe even ok to reach out a few hours before dinnertime rather than sign up through a meal-train that you create or something and offer a spontaneous food drop-off. Sometimes when people are least expecting it a warm, home cooked meal can go a long way. Pro tip I found that making sauces like really simple pesto with some garden fresh herbs with whatever nuts you can find in your pantry or if you want to make it fancy, not so hard, but so fancy aioli and putting those little sauces in little zip-locks or small jar can real seal the deal. So, yeah, cook more often for your friends when they're struggling with things that are not big things. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
7/2/20212 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Drifting with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin (@gretchenrubin) is the co-host of the Happier podcast and wrote New York Times bestsellers Outer Order, Inner Calm, The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, and The Happiness Project. - QUIZ - ARE YOU DRIFTING To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Gretchen Rubin is back with another absolute gem on drift. GRETCHEN: So, drift is the decision that we make by not deciding or by making the decision that is just the easiest and causes the least friction. You know, I go to law school because I'm good at research and writing. I become a doctor because both my parents are doctors. I get married because all my friends are getting married. I take this job because someone offers me this job. We're drifting because we're not making an intentional choice. We're not deciding what we're going after. We're just doing the thing that comes most easily. Now, what can be deceptive about the word drift is it sounds like the easy way or the lazy way but drift is often accompanies with a tremendous amount of work. I drifted into law school because I thought, well, my father's really happy as a lawyer, maybe I'll be happy. I'm good at research and writing I can always change my mind later. It's a great education. It'll keep my options open and I don't know what else to do with myself. So drift isn't always the easy way but it's the way that makes us make the non-choice choice. And sometimes drift works out find and people drift into situations and careers that they're happy with. But a lot of times drift doesn't work out that way because we haven't chosen to do something, we've just drifted into it. So, you know, there's a good change that maybe it's not gonna be a great fit. ZAK: How do we know when we're drifting? GRETCHEN: One is if you often have the feeling that you're living someone else's life. Or you feel like you're off-track. I was as a lawyer, clerking for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and I was enjoying it tremendously. I felt so lucky to be there and yet I did feel like I wasn't where I was supposed to be. I felt like I was sort of on a lark. On a detour is the only way that I can describe it. It didn't feel like it was the center of my life. Or, if you have a fantasy that something's gonna blow up your life or in a way that would somehow make it impossible for you to continue or if you have a fantasy life where you're constantly day-dreaming. Or, maybe it's just the opposite. Maybe you're very distressed when somebody talks about something that maybe was once interesting to you but now it's like you can't even bare to think about it because it's so emotionally fraught for you, you can't bare it. Or if you get extremely defensive if somebody suggests that what you're doing isn't the right choice or not the only choice. If you're an associate at a law firm and somebody says something like, well, financial security isn't taht important to me. And you become furious at the idea that somebody would say that. It's like, why is that so energized for you? Often, drift is just feeling like I just did the obvious thing at every turn. I just did the thing that everybody expected for me or that I expected for myself and I took the obvious choice. Often, that is drift. ZAK: Just so you know. If you are drifting. That's ok. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/30/20215 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Free Danny Fenster

CNN "Reliable Sources" Interview with Rose and Bud Fenster They Call It ‘Insane’: Where Myanmar Sends Political Prisoners ‘The darkest days are coming’: Myanmar’s journalists suffer at hands of junta TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: 36 days ago, Danny Fenster was detained and thrown in jail in Myanmar without a charge, without access to lawyer and without a phone call to his family. He has subsequently been charged under penal code 505 a which essentially makes it a crime to practice independent journalism. Danny's family still have not been able to talk to him. It was just last week that he was finally granted a phone call to the American embassy in Yangon. Danny has a hearing this Thursday where he faces as much as three years in prison. Again, the crime being practicing independent journalism. Danny is a friend of mine. I've known him and his family for nearly all my life. But even if you don't know Danny. You should care about this story. I've put a bunch of links to learn more in the show notes. I hope you'll take a few minutes to learn more and then tell your friends and family. For now, though, I'm honored to get some advice from The Fensters. Danny's mom Rose. His dad, buddy and his brother Bryan. ZAK: You three are going through a living nightmare. Have you noticed something that people say that is very helpful or something that people say that isn't helpful. Cause a lot of times we just don't know how to engage with people suffering a tragedy. ROSE: I can speak. Especially from my hospice nursing experience and dealing with life and death and family and all that. I mean, it's definitely some people walk toward you with the right words. Some walk toward you with...they don't know what to say. It might agitate you but you've got to realize that they're coming from a space of love and trying to hold a space for you of love. But people also need to realize, I guess, that sometimes in these situations you don't have to say anything. Just be present and a hug, a look is helpful if you don't know the right words. BRYAN: Yeah, I think just being there really. Showing up, a hug. Don't get me wrong the meal train has been delightful and people going out of their way to do stuff, obviously, just the simple things, really. Knocking on the door, smiling, giving hugs. That's been going a long way for me. BUDDY: You know, it's funny, a lot of people they mention you something like, "I don't know what I would do! I would be losing my mind!" I just smile to myself cause it's like, you don't know what you would do and I don't know if you'd lose your mind. I'm not losing my mind. I'm angry at the unfairness of it. It's a parent, knee-jerk reaction to say something like that and I don't know if I'm gaining anything from it or not, but I think to myself, you really don't know until it happens to you. No one prepares for this kind of thing. Don't bring me food. Just sit down and talk for a minute. That's nice. I appreciate that. I'm not as social as her and Bryan. I'm the quiet guy here but it's very appreciated when someone...doesn't even have to be related to what's going on. Just to talk. Say hi, how you doing. ROSE: And in multiple texts that we're getting and people every couple days people check in and say sending love and prayers and no reply needed. So, that's nice because it's hard to reply to everybody but you care about everybody that's caring for you. BRYAN: And as exhausting as it is to keep talking about this, I find myself comforting my own self by comforting others cause people don't know what to say and I enjoy very much being like, it's ok, come here and let me get my arms around you. Let's talk about it. It's alright. It's a lot of work but it makes me feel better at the same time. ZAK: To follow Danny's sign a petition to pressure the Biden administration to secure Danny's release and to learn more about sweet, brilliant, Danny Fenster...visit   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/28/20216 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Reframing Protein with Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is an American food journalist, author, and former columnist for The New York Times. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Guess who's back. Back again. Bittman's back. Tell your friends. Bittman's back. Bittman's back. Mark Bittman is back to talk about protein. MARK: We do have an obsession with protein and the fact is that the official recommendation for our protein intake is about double what most people need. So, if you're following labels or MyPlate or whatever you're probably eating twice as much protein as you need to eat already. But everybody is obsesses with protein so they're eating more. And actually protein turns out to be much easier to get get than it used to be. So you could actually eat much less. So this is two myths that you're busting at once. One is that you need more protein than is recommended in order to be strong and build strong muscles. That may be true if you're an elite athlete but it's not true for anyone else. So that's one end of the spectrum. And the other end is it's hard to get enough protein and especially for vegans. That's also completely wrong. The key here is that a balanced diet is what matters. Whether it's vegan or omnivorous or flexitarian or pescatarian. If it's a balanced diet you're almost assured to be getting enough protein. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/25/20215 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Thanking and Planking with Lainey and Brody

Lainey and Brody thank and plank from Metro-Detroit. WORKING HARD w/Lainey TRUTH-TELLING w/Lainey GENERATING ENERGY w/Lainey MINIMIZING w/Brody TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: You know me. I'm a sucker for a good morning routine and also the sound of children's voices. So today is a perfect storm of an episode. BRODY: I'm Brody and I'm 10 years-old. LAINEY: I'm Lainey and I'm 7 years-old. ZAK: And my niece and nephew, Lainey and Brody whom you've heard on the show before have this excellent morning routine. It's called Thanking and Planking. BRODY: It started off where we just started every morning doing a little workout, then my dad gave me and my sister an idea to start naming three things that we're grateful for everyday. And we call it Planks and Thanks and it's something that we do every other morning sometimes and it's just a little workout and something that shows what we're grateful for. LAINEY: It kind of just like wakes us up. Gets us ready for the day. And shows us how much we should be grateful for all the things we have. ZAK: And how long have you been practicing this morning routine? BRODY: Maybe two, three months probably and yeah, just makes us happy. Makes us really thankful and just happy with what we have. ZAK: Do you find that you come up with new things to be thankful for? LAINEY: Everyday we can't say, I'm thankful for my couch. I'm thankful for my couch. I'm thankful for my food. I'm thankful for my...we need to see how many things we have and be grateful for everything that we have. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/23/20212 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Muting the Swamp People with Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is the host of the Follow Friday Podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Not all of us but most us are struggling with some form of social media addiction. I certainly am. And that's why today's advice is very refreshing and helpful. ERIC: Yeah. So my advice is to mute people aggressively. Specifically on Twitter but I think this applies to any sort of social media. And my reason for that is part of the way I think you have a good experience online is to curate who you follow to really seek out the best people and try to and just focus your time on the people who are most interesting to you who also represent a broad range of your interests who are not just one thing. But, a necessary compliment to that is that I think you should also be muting, un-friending, un-following...generally speaking policing what else gets into your feed and really trying to be vigilant about not letting too much in that's going to unnecessarily wind you up. There are good reasons to get angry. There are good reasons to get sad but there's a lot of crap on social media and the most effective way to maintain your sanity is to just, you know, mute people, block people, move on...not them drag you down into their swamp, you know? ZAK: Not them drag them down into their swamp. That's really good. Why are we diving into other people's swamps voluntarily? There's no reason to do that. There is the promise of social media that you can learn about divergent points-of-view and stuff and this isn't necessarily what you're talking about. What's the criteria for, if I'm gonna go onto Twitter today and mute the swamp people. What am I looking for? ERIC: Yeah, I think it is really important to distinguish between, I disagree with this and this should be muted. It's not a complete overlap. My main criterion is, is someone acting in bad faith? Are they saying something just to get a rise out of people? Are they saying something that I think they don't really mean? It's a gut call. I don't perfectly know for sure. If you spend enough time online, you can get a sense for when someone is earnestly trying to represent how they feel about something versus when someone is playing the game. Right? When they are playing the algorithm or when they're ramping the all caps or the exclamation points or the adjectives they use to really wind people up and get attention. ZAK: And now after having done this for several years now and ramped up over the last year, how do you describe the difference in your spirit now that you've done this? ERIC: Oh my gosh. It's so much better to really be taking control. I do think that there should be more more intentional proactive efforts made on the part of Twitter and Youtube and Facebook and other platforms to let everyone have a saner make it easier and more transparent of how to use these tools, how to mute people but as someone who has dove into the settings and taught myself how to us them I do feel so much happier when I go online. To your point earlier when you're talking about the difference between what you disagree with versus what you're muting...I don't think people should be getting all of their news, all their information from social media. I think that a healthy news diet comes from all sorts of places and not just online, not just any one website or social app but the reality is that we spend a lot of our time on these apps. This is how, especially during the pandemic, a lot of us have been doing our socializing is just hanging out on these apps and so I think, you know, the more control you can exert over it, it really does have a profound impact on your sanity, your happiness. At least that's what I've found. It really works for me. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/21/20215 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Eating Ice Cream for Dinner with Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is an American food journalist, author, and former columnist for The New York Times. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: If you're a home cook you probably know the name, Mark Bittman. He's a legendary food writer. I've been cooking out of his How To Cook Everything book which my cousin, the goatman gave me when I was in college. I love Mark Bittman. He has a new podcast it's called Food with Mark Bittman and he's here on Food Friday with some very simple, yet profound advice. ZAK: You said something. I think it was in your show that truly re-wired my brain, which is this. If you don't want to cook dinner...DON'T! MARK: I did a story, literally 30 or 40 years ago where I called people who I respected in the food world who were that prior generations' famous food writers...they're all dead...and I said, what do you do when you don't want to cook and one guy said, you know, there's nights where we have a tuna fish sandwich and a glass of milk and we're really happy about that. So, the advice, the straightforward advice there is look at the big picture. It doesn't really matter what your diet is on any given day. It just matters what your diet is in the long-run. Doesn't matter if you have snickers for dinner one night as long as the majority of your diet is sound, it's not like you're going to go into insulin shock and die. You know, or if you decide to eat a big steak that you're gonna have a heart attack. It's like, what are you doing on a day in, day out, basis and if you follow the sort-of...if I say the phrase, good diet, what comes to everybody's mind is the same thing. It's more fruits and vegetables, more unprocessed plants in general, less junk food, fewer animal products. Done. There's nothing else to say. So if you have that attitude over the course of the year then whether you have ice cream or snickers for dinner. As I said to somebody the other day, I'm eating a lot of licorice. It's not an important thing. It's not the big considering and one of our problems is that we look for silver bullets. We look for evil-doing things. Like, don't eat X. Don't drink Coke. Yeah, don't drink Coke all the time but a Coke is not gonna kill and I think it's important...nor is a head of broccoli gonna save you. It's what you do the majority of time that matters. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/18/20213 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Transmitting and Receiving with Somi Arian

Somi Arian is a tech philosopher, international speaker, entrepreneur, award-winning filmmaker and LinkedIn Top Voice among UK influencers. Her work focuses on the impact of technology on society at large, the future of work and digital marketing. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today on The Best Advice Show, where do ideas come from? SOMI: I'm Somi Arian. I'm a tech philosopher, entrepreneur, investor, filmmaker, author. One of those things that really helps me in terms of my creativity and what, you know, has helped me been pretty successful in where I am considering, if you see a picture of where I was born and brought up you'd never believe where I've gotten to and the one thing that really helped me with that was this idea of thinking about, I'm not the one making the music. I'm like the hole in the flute that the music come through me, right? ZAK: Somi's advice is inspired actually by one of my favorite poets who's name I've been mispronouncing for years! ZAK: I say Hafiz wrong. How do you say it? SOMI: Yea ZAK: Hafiz was a Sufi poet from the 1300's and here's the poem that Somi's talking about. A Hole in a Flute I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through. Listen to this music. I am the concert from the mouth of every creature singing with the myriad chorus. I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through Listen to this music. SOMI: I'm a big believer that you don't create ideas but ideas come to you. The idea is already out there. If you think about mathematics, did Einstein come up with those equations or did the equations already exist? You think in terms of laws of physics, chemistry. It's all out there. We are like receivers and transmitters so when you think of yourself as a receiver and a transmitter the thing that makes you successful is when you capture that idea or the idea comes to you. You don't actually capture it. You enable yourself like what makes you successful is put yourself in a position where those ideas come to you and them when they come to you...the thing that I have written on my wall is that every minute that you allow that idea to live longer, you know, it has a better change of surviving and becoming reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/16/20214 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Avoiding the Gloopy-Gloppies with Laine Kaplan-Levenson

Laine Kaplan-Levenson is a producer and reporter for NPR's Throughline podcast. Before joining the Throughline team, they were the host and producer of WWNO's award-winning history podcast TriPod: New Orleans at 300, as well as WWNO/WRKF's award-winning political podcast Sticky Wicket. What's your essential summer advice? Call me at 844-935-BEST. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Summer's around the corner and really, let's be honest, it's already here. I'm svitzing as I record this from my home office in Detroit. So today, I'm pleased to share this essential summer tip from the radio producer, Laine Kaplan-Levenson. LAINE: It's two-fold, really. It's that no matter how old you are, you should never stop wearing kids tear-free sunscreen because if you just stop and think about it for a second, at what age do you want to be tear-full? Not only should I buy kids tear-free sunscreen, I should but kids tear-free sun-stick because that gives me ultimate control. It's hand-held. I am moving at a pace that I am comfortable with around my nose, under my eye, on my forehead and the chances that my entire day will be ruined are just minuscule compared to the gloopy-gloppy grownup sunscreen that, you know, is really full of tricks. So, you know, in terms of what brand I'm not going there. I'm not getting paid by anybody. Obviously, you know, there's natural options to look into and, you know, I don't really have a favorite I'm gonna sell on your here, but if you've never considered this, I highly recommend as we get into the summer season that you drop whatever adult situation you've been fooling yourself with and you go the store and you buy a kids' tear-free sun stick because your life will never be the same. Alright, thanks, man. Talk to you later. Bye. ZAK: Laine is a producer on the excellent NPR show, Throughline. What's your essential summer advice? Call me at 844-935-BEST. Stay cool, pal, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/14/20212 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Cooking with Grandma, Laura Soloman and Alex Chambers

Alex Chambers is an educator and artist in Bloomington, Indiana and Laura Soloman is a lawyer in Philadelphia. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's Food Friday on The Best Advice Show and today I've got a twofer. If you've been listening to this show you know I've been excitedly collecting your grandparents advice. If you have some grandparent advice for me. I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. So today I've got two pieces of food-related advice both from these contributors' grandparents. First, Laura Soloman. LAURA: I think a lot of people just use only one of their senses when they cook. That is, their eye sight. They look at the recipe and maybe they really follow it to a T. But they don't use any of their other senses and I think that really misses an important opportunity. When I was growing up I learned to cook with my grandmother, my Oma, who was blind and as a result we had to use all of our senses. She taught me how to feel the dough, how to measure the ingredients in the palm of my hands, not a measuring cup. How to listen. You know, when the pan was ready for the food. How to even smell when a baked cook was ready to come out of the oven. So, that's my advice for Food Friday. Don't just read a recipe and then wonder why it doesn't turn out right. Use all of your senses because I think if you do that means you're fully present and you're gonna really enjoy cooking just like you enjoy anything else in life when you're really fully there for the experience. Enjoy. ZAK: I love this. Thank you, Laura Soloman. And thank you, Oma! Next up Alex Chambers is gonna talk about something his grandma taught him. ALEX: So, my grandmother died just about a year ago. It was in the midst of COVID but it wasn't due to COVID. She was very well protected from that. She was 99 and a half. Died peacefully. She had said 99 and a half was about when she expected to go. And that was plenty. Her advice for having a good, long life was eat plenty of butter and chocolate. I'm pretty happy to try to follow that advice. At her funeral, one of her 8 daughters remembered that another thing that my grandma always used to say was no bad days. And I think what she meant by that was just that you find a way to get something good out of your day. Find a way to appreciate something that happened during your day. That seems like it was probably good advice. Agreed. That's great advice and one way to do that, it sounds like Alex, is to eat butter and chocolate. How can you have a wholly bad day if you get a little butter and chocolate in there. You can't! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/11/20213 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lowering the Stakes with Sarah Geis

Sarah Geis is a Chicago-based producer and editor, and former artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival. She's the keeper of  To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Follow us on: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/9/20214 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork


Jonathan London is a leadership development professional and songwriter from Michigan. -- My New Habit for Tackling Nagging Tasks: Power Hour. - Gretchen Rubin To join The Best Advice Show Power Hour Club, email [email protected] and I'll send you an invite. Our first power hour is 6/21 @ 3 PM EST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/7/20215 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Editing Your Fridge with Zoë Komarin

Zoë Komarin cooks fun, gorgeous, healthy, delicsious food @ ZOEFOODPARTY TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I'm so excited about today's Food Friday because I'm bringing a returning champion, my friend, the chef, Zoe Food Party. ZOE: My advice is for everyone to take some time once a year or quarterly to Marie Kondo their condiments. Marie Condiment. TM her obviously but also, slash me. The reason being, and I'm sure you can relate. I've actually seen your fridge before so I know this for a fact but if I open my fridge I'm also a culprit. We are all hoarding far too many condiments. Granted, I love having extra stuff around. A hot sauce here, a pickle-y, briny, you know, pickled pepper jar there but if we really were to open our refrigerator and gaze deeply into the abyss we would recognize that we do not look at, touch, or even feel enticed to play with 2/3 if not more of the condiments that make their way into that door. ZAK: Gold's horseradish. I haven't touched this in a long time. I don't remember when I bought this. Trader Joe's Green Goddess salad dressing from December, 2020. Spicer Orchard's Cinnamon Apple Butter. I used it once. Pillsbury vanilla frosting... ZOE: So, what happens. We get something as a gift. We find something when we used to be able to travel. We buy something extra at the supermarket. Whatever it is, we use it, it starts to get cruddy or sticky or in some cases rusty and kind of congealed and then it becomes icky. ZAK: Hoisin sauce from 2018. Oh my god. ZOE: We all have this problem where suddenly we have this collection of things in our refrigerator door literally weighting it down physically but I think beyond the weight of that door filled with all these extraneous, unusable condiments, there's then this blockage. ZAK: Enchilada sauce, best by July 2020. ZOE:The blockage is if you want to open your refrigerator and be inspired by what to cook or what to eat, even if it's just as simple as a sandwich and then you have the hurdle of extra things that are unusable and inedible blocking you, you're gonna shut that fridge door again and again and again thinking there's nothing to eat in there but if you open it and you're inspired by what is there, you're more enticed to pull a few things out and mix and match and make something beautiful for yourself. So I really feel like, again, it could be once a year. If you're inclined to do it quarterly, more power to you but Marie Condiment that door and clean it up and some people might see it as wasteful but to be perfectly honest, I think it's more wasteful to just have it sitting there unused than to just give yourself that editing eye and that breathing room. Your refrigerator needs a little breathing room. ZAK: I love this because once you do this you can open your fridge and literally use anything. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/4/20215 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Calling for Robins with Phoebe McIndoe

Phoebe McIndoe is an artist and host of the podcast, Telling Stories. Cheering up with Leora Howling with Laura To offer your own animal kingdom advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: PHOEBE: I think the advice that I'm really offering is to identify a few bird calls for yourself, get to know the sound a bit and then you more or less created your own treasure hunt going around your city because you can go out and try to identify the calls and find the birds. So I'll start the call off and a robin will fly down to the branch near me. Especially when it's at eye-level and you're looking in its eye and the robin is looking at you and you feel there is a connection there. Dear, Zak. This is a poem. It's called Calling for Robins - When the jobs ran awry - and the real money dried up I wanted to let their liquid gold, spill through my ears  When love went awry  After change and tears  I went to catch eyes with robins in the park  To feel the old spark igniting in new ways  They will just look at me as though I've communicated something in their language and they can't quite understand whether it's real or not. They listen to me and I have no idea what I'm saying to them. So sometimes I try and attach a feeling or an emotion. You are not sure whether it's understood you or not and I think that we always feel that whether it's an animal or a human being. We wonder if the connection is in our heads or whether they felt it too. When words were too  Difficult to pronounce the soft whistle still urged itself up I offer myself to Robins, like the worm with the death-wish Their call giving a shape and clarity to the day  And in the pin-point of their eyes I seem to find some understanding Rooting me back to the earth.  So, when everything begins to feel awry I advise  Calling for Robins.  PHOEBE: So, let's carry on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
6/2/20215 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Evolving Self-Talk with Kelly Travis

Kelly Travis is a health and wellness coach and host of She Doesn't Settle. TBAS # 38: Self-Talking with Steven Handel ZAK: WARNING, today's episode contains use of the s-word. 8 times. Kelly Travis is a health, wellness and leadership coach and she's been doing some work. Not just with her clients but on her self. KELLY: I never had a positive thing to say about myself. It derailed me a lot and what resulted was I never really used my own voice. I never went after goals I actually wanted. I would freeze up in taking action on things that were really important. My self-worth was really shitty. Like I just wasn't good enough. And this work has allowed me to see myself differently. ZAK: One of the things thats helped Kelly move forward is this thing that she does. When she finds her self talking shit to herself, she's figured out a way to talk back to that shit-talker. It's a simple question she asks herself, is this thought useful. KELLY: Because the shit-talker is loud. The other voice in our head that's encouraging and is a cheerleader and tells us to keep going is very quiet. The shit-talker is loud and that's the one we head all the time cause it's on auto-pilot. It's the same stuff everyday. Research shows us 85 percent of our thoughts are the same from the day before. And that question, is this though useful...doesn't matter if it's true...IS IT USEFUL and being able to choose something else that will keep us going in a positive direction. Right? So if I say to myself, I'm such a shitty mom. I can't do this. I suck at this. Is that thought useful? No. What can I think instead. I'm doing the best I can right now. It's messy. It's chaotic but I'm doing the best I can. ZAK:And so it's like, we're going through our day. We hear the negative shit-talking come in and we stop ourselves and say, is this thought helpful? KELLY: Yeah. And that's the part that requires the work. Reminding ourselves to check in because as a society we are just on auto-pilot. We don't pay attention to what we're thinking most of the time. So, having a post-it note up on your computer that says, ask the question or setting a reminder on your phone to ask yourself the question so it becomes something you start to do automatically without thinking after time. ZAK:And we answer the question. Is this helpful? No, it's not helpful. And then what? KELLY: You think of a neutral thought. I don't believe in bullshit positive affirmations. The brain just doesn't work that way. It never worked for me. Now, if you have people that like them and they work, awesome, but it's hard for the brain to go from you suck to oh my god you're amazing! It doesn't work that way so we want to go somewhere in the middle. A thought that we can latch on to that we can still believe but is more helpful, right? So, whatever that is whether it's like the example I gave you which is I'm doing the best I can. Or, you know, something along those lines that keeps us moving in a positive direction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/31/20215 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Cooking with Curiosity with Tiffani Rozier

Tiffani Rozier is a chef, writer, chaser of curiosities and host of the podcast, Afros + Knives To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Hey pal, thanks for joining me for another edition of Food Friday. TIFFANI: My name is Tiffani Rozier, I am what I refer to as a semi-retired chef because my podiatrist only wants it that way right now. I'm a food writer and I host and produce a podcast called the Afros and Knives podcast. ZAK: You step into your kitchen with a very specific vision in mind. You saw this recipe on the internet and you want to replicate perfectly. Well, that is one way to do it. But Tiffani says there's another way. TIFFANI: So if you show up to your kitchen prepared to practice the act of cooking then you kind of leave the idea of failure and mistakes behind as a dictatorship and you just lean into, like, hey this might not come out the way I had originally planned. This might not look like the picture I saw. But in the end no one's tasting this but you or maybe your family and if it's inedible you throw it out, you start again. And so with cooking it's like, connect with the food, connect with yourself. Or connect with your family history. There's just so many things you can be doing when you cook and it's just like, you can learn more about your family history, you can learn more about yourself and your temperament and your ability to wait for something. Cause waiting for yeasted dough to rise can be a thing and if you don't wait long enough you don't get the result you want. If you wait too long, it falls apart. Learning how to have a certain inner-sense of timing and then on top of that you need to stay curious and curiosity for me is kind of like the center belief of my life. People's favorite meals come from that. You're tasking that experience. The experience of a person coming into their kitchen, practicing the art of cooking and using a tremendous amount of curiosity and imagination. ZAK: You're surprising me in one way but you're also reaffirming some core philosophies here. Like, in art we talk about the process is more important than the product. In travel we talk about the journey is more important than the destination and in cooking I always thought of it as an exception. No, it's about the finished thing. But you're saying no, this IS about process over recipe or end result. TIFFANI: Exactly. Getting people to feel good in the kitchen and making them curious about what's possible. It's just like, there's so many ramifications. And so for me I'm like, go back to your kitchen and be curious. If I can tell you nothing else about cooking...go back to your kitchen and stay curious because if you're curious you will chase the information. You will get on Youtube and watch someone cut through an onion so you know what a small dice, or a mince or a brunoise looks like. You will go to a video to watch how somebody sautés a steak perfectly every single time. You will chase the information because we pursue the things that are important to us. For me it's always a win. Stay curious. Be curious. You buy a whole chicken and the first question you should ask is, what can I do with this? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/28/20213 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Putting it in a Rocks Glass with Elia Einhorn

Elia Einhorn is a host at Sonos Radio and Pitchfork Radio and editor of the new zine, Sober 21 To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Quick warning. Today's episode contains a hardy amount of swearing. ELIA: Hey, I'm Elia Einhorn. I wear a lot of hats. I host Sonos Radio, Pitchfork Radio. I hosted the Talkhouse podcast for years. My newest project is Sober 21. It's a compendium that just came out via the Creative Independent as a beautiful zine and online for free and it's these 21 sober musicians sharing crucial tips and hints and advice for musicians who are thinking about getting sober. Maybe sober curious or are newly sober and are afraid that their career is over. We put it together to say it is no. Shit is about to get way the fuck better! ZAK: A lot of us are getting back out into the world and it feels really good. And for the sober among us, Elia has some advice about making that transition smooth and healthy. ELIA: My advice is this. Don't walk around a bar with a pint glass full of Diet Coke. Get your drink in a rocks glass. Get whatever you're having. A Diet Coke. For me, it's a cranberry and soda with lime but get it in a rocks glass. And there's a wonderful piece in Sober 21 about this by Jen Champion and she titled it, Soda Water with a Lime But Will You Put it in a Rocks Glass" and it's something that in sober communities of people who are out at shows, are out at clubs, are playing concerts, we just know this. It's just this implicit experience. Put it in a rocks glass then you don't have some asshole asking you why are you not drinking. But really, why aren't you really drinking! Come on, man. What's the deal? You know that drunk person who's pushing too far. You can do it at parties too. I find you're either at somebody's house where they're putting out glasses if they're feeling a little fancier. Or, there's like a red plastic cup essentially or the equivalent. The Solo cup. Don't drink out of your can of Diet Coke. Don't drink out of your can of Diet Coke. Don't drink out of your gatorade. Put your Gatorade in the plastic cup and drink out of that and you'll almost definitely not have to answer the question all night. And also, a little bit of an addendum; refresh your drink yourself. Cause people are so thoughtful, if they see your drink's getting low they'll grab one for you. Get ahead of that. Refresh it yourself and always have enough in there that you're like, oh, I'm good. Thanks. It's amazing how much of the 3rd degree that totally gets ahead of. I am staunchly pro people drinking when they can drink safely. It's an awesome thing. And I want to say that because I feel like people have this idea that people who are sober are like, oh man. Fuck these guys that are drinking. Absolutely not. It's awesome. If I could drink normally I'd drink all the time which is how I know I'm an alcoholic. And I say that because what I'm about to say next is it's usually the person who's a little but too drunk who doesn't understand the social cues around this. It's like, why aren't you having a real drink? Cait O'Riordan from The Pogues talks about this in Sober 21. Why aren't you having a proper drink cause she lives in Dublin so she deals with this shit all the fucking time. It's just not worth having that conversation with everyone you happen to come across. A lot of people got sober during the pandemic. AA meetings are flooded with new people. A lot of people hit their low, hit their bottom during the pandemic and found help, thankfully and now they're re-emerging and doing things in a whole new way. Getting sober is not supposed to be about being boring and sitting around the house watching Netflix. You're supposed to be out in the mix living your life to the fullest, I'd say. You almost didn't get to have a life. Now you to have it. Fucking live it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/26/20215 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

UPDATE: Resetting with Zak Rosen

Dearest Listener, starting this week, I'm going to put the show out Monday, Wednesday and Friday instead of every weekday. Making TBAS is my favorite thing right now but I have other work responsibilities that require more of my attention. I hope you understand and I thank you so much for your on-going support. Love, z Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/25/20211 minute, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Imposing Deadlines with Laura Herberg

Laura Herberg is a reporter in Detroit and the host/creator of COMPLETE ME. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: This episode is a long time coming. 15-months coming, in fact. That's when I recorded this interview originally. I've been holding it because for the most part we haven't been going to many event together, which is starting to change, thank God. And that's what today's advice is about, at least in part. LAURA: So, Zak. You know that I have trouble getting things done. So much so that I created a whole podcast around that idea. ZAK: It's an absolutely wonderful show. It's called, Complete Me. LAURA: But one thing I'm really proud of which I'm going to give advice on today is the fact that I even launched the podcast in the first place. So for people out there who have a creative project that they've been working on or even just an idea, actually, that they really want to put out in the world. My advice and this is what I did with my podcast is just book the launch event now. Even if, maybe it's not the final, final...the film is finished or whatever event. Maybe it's your showing of where you're at so far. But book it now, tell your friends and don't back out of it no matter what and I think that's the kick in the pants that a lot of people need to get something done. ZAK: I think you're absolutely right. I mean, speaking personally. Deadlines are the only way I'll get anything done. So I think that's brilliant. I feel like, it doesn't even have to be a creative project. You don't have to be an artist or "creative person" to do this. I was thinking, like if you have been meaning to clean out your basement for 3 years, you could plan a house party and send out the invites and then you better clean that shit up before the guests arrive. LAURA: Yes, plan a clean basement party! I love that! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/24/20213 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dressing Salads with Aaron Mondry

Aaron Mondry is a journalist and salad maven. PAUSING WITH AARON MONDRY. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's Food Friday. And today, we're gonna discuss a long held, deeply felt belief of mine. You don't need to buy salad dressing. AARON: I take 2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar and put them in a glass jar. A reused jam jar is a great option. And I shake it up. That's the really, really basic blueprint for a salad dressing. But there's lots of ways you can vary it and mix it up and make it interesting and cater it to a slaw, some greens, Asian radishes. Whatever you want. But that's just the basic blueprint. It's so easy. ZAK: Yeah, I love it. What's the vinaigrette that you make the most frequently. AARON: I'd say I do 2 parts olive oil, 1 part lemon juice, fresh squeezed, of course. Finely mice some garlic. Maybe finely mince a shallot or an onion. Just a little bit. Salt. Pepper. G-d just that is so delicious. It's so good. But you can add a teaspoon of mustard, a little bit of yogurt. If you want to get fancy you can add some black garlic if you have any. It takes 5 maybe 10 minutes. It tastes fantastic. It lasts in the fridge forever and it tastes better than any store-bough dressing you can get your hands on. I guarantee it. ZAK: Yeah. I agree. Before I started making my own dressings my fridge would have like a collection of store-bought dressings that would never get finished. And they would just be all coagulate-y and this frees you from that burden. AARON: Yes. Frees up fridge space and impresses friends, strangely. They're like where'd you get this dressing. Oh, I just made it. Really!? ZAK: Yeah, I feel like you just have to do it once and then you'll be doing it yourself. AARON: Yeah. ZAK: You person at home who hasn't made their own dressing yet. AARON: Yeah you. Why haven't you? ZAK: So you do lemon juice and balsamic vinegar? AARON: I'll typically just do lemon juice but there are tons of great vinegar options including balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, sherry. They all have their own unique taste obviously but I just like lemon juice the best, I think. ZAK: Our house dressing of late has been olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and horseradish mustard. AARON: That sounds really yummy. And thank you for mentioning honey cause it is good to add a little sweetener too cause it can be really sharp without it so some honey or maple syrup will balance it really nicely. ZAK: Yeah. The shaking is also very satisfying I find. AARON: Yeah. Sometimes I'll just take a salad dressing out of the fridge and just shake it and not use it and just put it back. ZAK: Is that true? AARON: No, it's not true. Laughter. But the shaking is satisfying. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/21/20215 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Wondering with Tad Davis

Tad Davis produces stories in Detroit. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I got this voice memo from my buddy, Tad, the other day. TAD: I think to sum it in one sentence is to try to be more...when you're making things or trying to come up with new ideas or working on a creative project that you're excited about buy maybe are stuck and don't know where to go with it is try to unlock your inner-child. I think I've seen that with a lot of creators that I'm envious of. When I hear the things they say, they're so introspective and honest in a way that a little kid could be and maybe not in the sense of the material that they're using but the sense of how they're thinking about it. That there's a vulnerability. That they're not afraid to say what they're thinking and try things that might be out of the norm or uncomfortable as an adult. As I've grown I've just kind of realized that, that the best way for me to make better things or think in a way that is unconventional is to be more bring out that child-like wonder that kids have and use that for my benefit. It's kind of advice that I need as I'm making things. Ok. Thanks, Zak. Bye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/20/20212 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Leaving with Max Linsky

Max Linksy the host of a new podcast, 70 Over 70. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Hey, it's Zak. You're listening to The Best Advice Show and today we're gonna talk about something that I've been wanting to talk a lot more about. We're gonna talk about endings. MAX: My name is Max Linsky. I'm the host of a new podcast. It's called 70 Over 70 and it's from Pineapple Street Studios which is a podcast company I work at. ZAK: Max is gonna invoke some advice his dad gave him at a critical juncture in his professional life. MAX: I was leaving a job and it was the first job that I ever had where my leaving was gonna be a problem for people I was working with. It was gonna make their lives harder? ZAK: Because they were gonna have to pick up the slack you were leaving? MAX: Yeah. There were some things based around things at the time I could do at the place and that was gonna be hard. It wasn't just gonna be more work. It was gonna get worse for a little bit after I left before it was gonna get better. And people were frustrated that I was leaving. And I don't like letting people down and so I was really torqued about it because I knew it was the right thing for me to go and I could't figure out how to both do the right thing and leave and not let people down and I did what I always do when I'm stuck in that way and called him and tried to talk it through with him and he said this thing which stuck with me was that he thinks that how you leave is as important as you how you start. I found that to be a really powerful idea and one that I never thought of. I think we put so much energy into first impressions and so much energy into how we start a job or start a relationship or start a friendship or start, even an interview...I mean I do all these interviews and there's so much energy in how it begins and how we present ourselves and what that means about how it's gonna go. And I think we punt on endings a lot, you know. And in part because they end later than they should have and so feelings have sort of crept in and started I think to kind of poison things and one of the things that was helpful about that idea for me...I mean it helped me in that moment and Iw was able to see it from their vantage point a little more. I stayed a little bit longer than I wanted to but I felt really good leaving. Like, I made a goal to leave feeling good about how I left and that really changed the urgency with which I had to leave, you know? And I think if had just been like, I know the right thing is to go. I can't do this perfectly. Like, rip the band-aid off. I just think it's a thing that would have bothered me going forward. And the other piece of it is that it would have changed my impression of the whole time. And that's the other piece of this that I think is really significant and I think it's really true with relationships. It's true with friendships. And I think particularly when things end badly or end because they need to end, there's a tendency to only remember that last stage. And I think that's a pretty toxic thing, actually. And it's worth investing in ended it well so that all of the strong parts of that relationship or that time or that job or get to hold on to those and not batch 'em in with the shitty end when everyone was being their smallest self. And how you leave is as important as how you start. Just that phrase from him in that moment really flipped the way I was thinking about it and the terms of the choice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/19/20215 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Cultivating Happiness with Andy Kushnir

Andy Kushnir is a writer, landscaper, cook, dad and hubby living in LA To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Hey, it's Zak. It's The Best Advice Show and today we're gonna think in the long term and change our behavior in the short term. ANDY: I grew up playing sports and it occurred to me as I get older and my body continues to break down and get worse and worse by the minute that I can't do this forever and I played soccer growing up and you go and look at a soccer field and there aren't 60 year-olds running around and in the pandemic I struggled with depression and I started to take stock of the older men in my life. None of which I would qualify or describe as happy people and I thought, what's that about? Now, all the older woman in my life are thriving. They are in a million clubs. They're doing a million things. They have a vibrant social life and they seem to be doing very well. And, you know, I started to think, a lot of the older men I know are sitting around and watching MSNBC all day and they don't have anything to do. They don't have a hobby. They don't have a place to go. They don't work anymore. Their whole lives were for work and making money and I so I need to start developing a way to be happy that isn't related to work. So, I began cooking and taking cooking very seriously in my house. We moved during the pandemic from a little apartment in Los Angeles proper and we moved to the valley which is like the suburbs of LA and we got a little house that has a yard and I've taken to re-doing the full yard and that brings me a lot of happiness. I've got all of North Hollywood helping me. All my neighbors have lent me tools which has helped foster community as well through this hobby and being outside has made me happier. Its helped with my depression and its helped me talk about things that aren't just work and honestly I think the whole experience is an exercise in anti-Capitalism. Just finding happiness where I am with what I'm doing and not thinking about how will I pay for blank or where am I in my career. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/18/20213 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Pooping with Kira Newman

Dr. Kira Newman is a physician and scientist who studies poop all day. AVOIDING CATASTROPHE WITH BRENDEN MURPHY To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I took a walk this weekend with a gastroenterologist friend of mine. So, of course we're gonna talk about poop. If you could tell everybody who poops one thing, what would you tell them? KIRA: I think if I could just tell them one thing it would be that there's no right number of bowel movements to have. I think a lot of people get sold this bill of goods that like, you need to have one perfect bowel movement a day. It should look like a snake made out of toothpaste and if you don't do that then there's something wrong with you. But really and truly there are lots of people who poop more than that, less than that...different consistencies and that may just be there normal. ZAK: That's gonna put so many people at ease. That's gonna put so many butts at ease. KIRA: Hopefully. There's definitely stuff we tell people to watch for in their poop. Blood is not a normal thing that should be in poop. Black tar-like poop can sometimes be blood thats been digested. These are things that I want people to know that they should be concerned about. But most poop most of the time is just a sign that the body is doing what its supposed to do. And that's a wonderful thing. ZAK: Can you introduce yourself? Tell me who you are and what you do. KIRA: I'm Kira Newman. I'm a physician. I'm towards the end of my training for gastroenterology. So I study poop all day everyday, talk to people about their poop and help them problem solve when their poop isn't doing what its supposed to do. KIRA: I wish that people paid a little more attention to their poop sometimes cause I think that people don't give it the appreciation that it deserves. ZAK: How do you mean? KIRA: We spend all this time thinking talk about evolution and the magical evolution that gave us eyes that are capable of seeing. But, we all have these guts that are capable of taking all kinds of things from the world and turning them into nutritious things that build an entire human being and nobody appreciates it. Take a moment to be, instead of grossed out, be excited and be like, wow, my body just did something really cool! My body took all the stuff I ate and broke it down and turned it into fuel for me. That's pretty rad. So I hope that people can appreciate it a little but more and just think like, hey, my gut did this for me today and it does it everyday. It doesn't ask for a lot. It doesn't look like the prettiest organ on your body but it's pretty marvelous. ZAK:Thank gut! KIRA: Yeah. Thank gut! ZAK: Thanks, Kira. KIRA: You're welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/17/20214 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Repurposing Food with Zoë Komarin

Zoë Komarin cooks fun, gorgeous, healthy, delicsious food @ ZOEFOODPARTY Zoë was last on the show talking about the superiority of spoons. TRANSCRIPT: Zak: It's so nice to be with you for another addition of Food Friday. Before I get started though, I've been doing some soul searching about this show and I have some big questions about what I want this show to become and what you want this show to become and I want to put together a Zoom call with a handful of you who consider yourselves dedicated listeners...people who love the show a lot and listen a lot. I just want to ask you some questions. If you want to get in on this, I would really appreciate it. Email me at ZAK@ BESTADVICE.SHOW. I will be forever in your debt. Ok, on to today's Food Friday advice. Zoë: Hi, my name is Zoë of Zoë Food Party. I'm a chef and a food curator and in general I have a lot of food ideas and I have sticky hands. Zak: Get ready for a very simple, very effective refrigerator trick. Zoë: I can honestly say it has consistently provided me with a much easier time quickly making myself a meal than any other trick I can think of and that is to always keep a rotating bowl or box or plate of the odds and ends that you're cooking with. In your fridge, ready to grab. And what I mean by that is, every time you cut half an onion for a pasta sauce you have this other half. Or every time you use a couple slices of tomato and you've got a bunch of tomato left. All of these odds and ends I feel like people just put them back in their fridge in a haphazard way. Something's on the top shelf. Half a lemon is in the door. Maybe you wrap your onion in saran wrap because of the smell. Whatever it is, they all need to land in a box. And the box should be clear and the bowl should be clear so you can see in there. And every time you open your fridge and think, oh, I'm hungry and I need to make some food and I don't have a thought out plan. The first thing I do is I pull the bowl or box out and land that on my counter because I'm starting with what I have...what's already in use...what's in flux. I've got half and onion and a carrot and a bit of tomato. If I'm making a sandwich, those should all go in it. It just helps me...It's a catalyst for creating something. It's a starting point. Zak: And for wasting less. It's so great. The amount of avocado halves that browned in my life.  Zoë: That's the saddest thing I've ever heard in my whole life. What's sadder than not getting the full delight of a whole avocado.  Zak: This is fantastic. What's something you recently made out of odds and ends? Zoë: Breakfast. I reached for this scrap bowl and in it were half a zucchini, some red onion. We have some spring garlic from the farmer's market that we store in the fridge. There were some mushrooms. All these little bits and pieces that we just hadn't used up the day before that landed in this bowl and we quickly threw those in a cast-iron pan, got a garlic and salt and chili flake on there and then made some avocado toast and piled it on there and it was absolutely delightful and you know, sometimes it just doesn't matter. Like, you can make a curated avocado toast with exactly what you're imagining should go on one or you can just take whatever you have in the fridge and make one and it's delightful.  Zak: What's it gonna be? Curated avocado toast or whatever avocado toast. I'm going for the latter everytime. Thank you, Zoë. If you don't follow Zoë on Instagram, you must. She puts out amazing videos. You'll learn a lot. You'll chuckle. @ZoeFoodParty. Like I said earlier, if you want to participate in an interactive feedback session with me, email at ZAK @ BESTADVICE.SHOW. And thank you in advance! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/14/20214 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Giving Effectively with Laura Solomon

Laura Solomon is an attorney dedicated to providing specialized, but affordable, legal services to nonprofit, charitable organizations, foundations, business leagues, political action committees, and philanthropic individuals. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I'm Jewish and in our tradition we have this thing called tzedakah. That's Hebrew word that translates to righteousness. But really tzedakah is this ethical obligation we have. And one of the core tenants of this obligation is that we're supposed to give ten-percent or our income to charity each year or to people or organizations in need. The ten-percent principle is something I heard my whole life. But one thing I never learned, at least explicitly, is how to give. And that's where today's advice, from Laura Soloman comes in. LAURA: So, I'm a lawyer. I have a law firm devoted to forming and representing charitable organizations and working with philanthropic individuals to achieve their charitable missions philanthropic visions. I think people benefit from having philanthropic mentors, role-models. I was blessed in growing up with a grandmother who was a survivor of the holocaust who would get her reparation check from Germany and we would sit down at her kitchen table in Washington Heights, New York and write check after check until it was all gone for charitable purposes. And she had a catch-phrase. In German she'd say, "the last dress has no pockets," meaning you don't hoard it. You don't keep it for yourself. Give freely with a full-heart and give now and so I think finding a philanthropist of a generous person that you look up to as a role model can be incredibly helpful. ZAK: I love that. And so you had your grandmother as your philanthropic mentor or at least one of them. What are some questions that I might ask my philanthropic mentor once I find them? LAURA: How have your priorities changed over time? Have you always been passionate about the environment or last year were you more interested in addressing racial disparities? I think it's important to understand that, you know, our thoughts and feeling change over time and therefore our priorities and therefore our philanthropic priorities. ZAK: What's the objective of having the mentor? LAURA: I think you can learn to be good at philanthropy just like you can learn to be good at something else. ZAK: Like, what do you think makes a compatible mentor/mentee relationship in this dynamic? LAURA: Somebody who's open to talking about it. Not feeling as through money or philanthropy is a taboo subject but one that should be part of our everyday lives and part of the conversation. You know, one of the things I think COVID has shown us is that we all have this shared vulnerability. But we can also all share in the repair. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/13/20213 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Customizing Rituals with Andy Eninger

Andy Eninger is an improviser, writer, facilitator and dog dad. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's The Best Advice Show where everyday, I invite a different guest on to offer one piece of advice. Today, we're gonna talk about moving through grief in our own unique ways with Andy. ANDY: My father passed away from COVID-related caused a couple months ago. ZAK: Oh man. I'm sorry. ANDY: Yeah. It's been rough on top of a pretty rough year for him and certainly for the family. I'm also in such a busy phase right now. And I'm like, you can't busy yourself through something like this. And so, I just had to figure out something new and someone recommended, well, think of a ritual. Have a ritual. And so now, I have created this box and I put in this box different things that remind me of him and different aspects of him. A t-shirt that he gave me when I was a little kid that I still somehow have, a ceramic chicken because he hoarded his mom's ceramic chickens after she passed away. Some other little trinkets and I pull out this box, I light a candle and I just breathe ten times and then whatever comes up, comes up. But just that ritual has been profound in just letting me move through it and be really aware of it and be mindful of actually letting myself do that. Because I know on the days that I don't do it, I'm a crab. I'm just terrible. ZAK: So this is a daily thing? ANDY: Yeah, I do it everyday, every other day. I've replaced my meditation with doing this because it's such a focus right now. ZAK: So how did you figure out that this would be a good ritual for you? ANDY: Trial and error. I wasn't sure. I was like, I don't know what a ritual is. When I think of ritual I think of going to church and something huge and based in history. And just simply thinking, well I can make up what it is was completely outside of my experience. I don't know, I'll put together a box and put some things in that box. I don't know what to do with it. I'll just breathe. And I discovered that just that time with those things and those memories of those things also bring is so profound in letting me bring those things to the surface rather than having the be underneath. Here's my little box. I'm gonna use this box for the next ritual. So the next thing. I'm gonna do one thing at a time right now. As I move through this and when it's time to take on the next thing, I want to use this same box and I want to start thinking what the next process that I want to move through...the goal that I'm working toward. But put those signs and symbols into it and use it as a thing that I can return to. Light the candle, put on some music and assemble the elements that allow me to move through that. I think we often feel like ritual has to be something that's handed to us but I think that what's needed in a moment actually lives inside of us too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/12/20213 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Asking Again with Adriana Lozada

Adriana Lozada is the creator and host of The Birthful podcast as well as a working doula, a childbirth and postpartum educator and a sleep consultant. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Adriana is here today to teach us something that I am so incredibly uncomfortable with. Asking again. ADRIANA: This was year's ago and my husband and I were going to the Apple store because both our earbuds had busted. He had an iphone. I had an ipod so his, they were like, here's your replacement, no problem. For me, it was like, you need to make an appointment with a genius. There was no appointments. And it was hours wait. So I asked the person helping us, couldn't they just give it to me. You know that's what's gonna happen at the end. My husband just got it. Can't you just give me one again. He was like, well, I don't know...policy. And I said, can you ask the manager. I'm a doula. So it comes from advocacy and making your voice and needs heard in a very conversational and curious way. Like, why not? Lets just explore this. Is it possible. Not, I'm demanding something to happen. So, that person went and asked the manager and came back and said, no, the manager said no. And I looked up and I said, can you ask them again? ZAK: Whoa. ADRIANA: And of course he laughed and my husband's looking at me like, what!? And he's like, sure. I'll ask again. I'll humor you crazy lady. And he went and came back with my earbuds. hahaha. And he's like, here ya go. And so that was very much the epitome of the ask again moment. But, it's a moment that I've definitely honed in with all I do with my doula clients. Understanding that circumstances can change and asking again does require you to put yourself out there and it does require some vulnerability because you already have the answer you didn't want. If you ask again you might get the one you want. ZAK: My fear is by asking again, people are gonna think I'm a diva or something. How can you give people like me the confidence to actually ask again? ADRIANA: The key point there is you do need to put your ego aside. The outcome doesn't reflect to you or who you are. And I think that also comes from...I'm originally from Venezuela so my other mother tongue is Spanish and there you've got two different words for the verb, to be. And you have ser and estar. And one (ser) is you are. A condition that isn't gonna change. Like, I am a human. I will always be a human. But the other one is estar. It's a condition that is depending on how the moment is. I am cold. That's not who I am. I am cold right now. So, I think having that flexibility in your brain of this doesn't define me has been helpful in being able to navigate that asking again. And then from being a doula for so many years, I get to have the unique perspective of being able to go to different hospitals, work with different providers at home, at schedule cesarian, unmedicated births...The whole gamut and I see one provider might come up or a nurse and say, no, we need to do this and I know just last week in this same hospital down the hall with different providers, we did something different. And so knowing that things can be done in many different ways. There is that strength inside me of, well, I know it can be done differently. Lets see if we can make it different today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/11/20215 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Practicing Passion with Ned Specktor

Ned Spector dance, sings and inspires from Metro-Detroit. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST listen to COUNTER PROGRAMMING! TRANSCRIPT: NED: I'm Ned Specktor. I'm 40 years-old. I just really stand for positivity, optimism and good energy. I feel like my thing that i've been given is energy and I want to share that. I want to build a platform for good. I want to light people up. No matter what situation I get into, I'm just trying to bring good energy to it in a very, very genuine way. When I watch Ned's videos on Instagram. It makes me want to get up and do aerobics. So, here's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna cue this music (electro-pop music begins) and as we listen to his advice, if you wanna do some jumping jacks, I'm not gonna stop ya. NED: My best advice is, as fast possible in your life and even if it's later in your life...but man, like, fight for the time to bring your passion to life. If you said, what do you stand for, I'm on a mission to get people plugged into why they're here and I just feel like it gets buried under bills and fear and jobs and everything but, man, I don't care if it's at night, on the weekends, in the morning, please schedule time to work on the thing that lights you up the most, period, end of story. I feel like the world would be so happy even if you're going to a job that's 9-5, maybe there's a creative way you can bring it into your job but if you know even going into that job, if you know Tuesday nights from 7-8:30, that's my time to work on my passion project. Like, you're ok with the BS that happens. You just know, you know there's something else going on here for me. I'm cool. I'm gonna honor where I'm at like Danny Johnson says, prosper where you're planted. But man, please schedule time to work on your passion. I just feel like we all have a gift. As corny as it sounds. But I feel like we're more than a 9-5 and I think we should honor that. Do great. But please just do it. Yeah, and what I so appreciate about your framing of it is, it really only takes 10-minutes a week or a minute a day. You don't have to quit your job and move to LA. NED: And I will say that. Cause sometimes I get a little radical. I'm like black or white. We've gotta quit our job and go do this. And I've learned to live in the grey a little bit. Ok, cool. I'm working on this live show. This motivational musical we're gonna bring to the dance floor and it's literally, dude, it has literally taken me 6-years. Like legitimately its taken me 6-years because A) insecurity and B) sometimes I can only work on it once a week. But there's a great book called The Compound Effect. Small behaviors practiced consistently over a long period of time produce massive results. Brick by brick. Drop it in the bucket, drop it in the bucket. Like, schedule it. Time Ferris, great podcast, I'm sure you're familiar...he's like, if it's not on the schedule it's not real. And it's so true. You're never gonna be like, oh, I have an extra 90-minutes. Not gonna happen. So, schedule the time for your passion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/10/20215 minutes
Episode Artwork

Telling Your Crush with Erin (from the Society for the Advancement of the Crush Agenda)

Erin is the Minister of Communications for the Society for the Advancement of the Crush Agenda. MAY 7TH IS INTERNATIONAL TELL YOUR CRUSH DAY! TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Yes, I know that's Food Friday but it's a national holiday and we must observe. ERIN: Hi Erin. I'm the Minister of Communications for the Society for the Advancement of the Crush Agenda, a mostly fictional organization that runs a very real holiday, International Tell Your Crush Day. ZAK: When you're talking about crushes. Is it specially romantic of not necessarily. ERIN: Yeah, not necessarily. I think we all have that connotation and that model of crush can help you know what the feeling is. Like, is this a crush or is it not? You know when you have...sometimes we call it sparklies...that whatever the physical feeling is that goes with that intellectual pining for someone. Yeah, it can be a friend crush. It can be someone you appreciate a lot. There's a lot of room here. We're not too big on specifics and exact rules. ZAK: Yeah. And so what are you big on? ERIN: We're big on knowing that people can't read your mind. That's a big premise of good communication in general I think. We all kind of go around thinking...well if they knew they wouldn't have done that thing. I think we assume that our intentions are clear and that our experiences are clear and they're not and so we're big on, if you want somebody to know something, tell them. And so, we think the world is better when people get to hear that they're loved and they're noticed and a valued part of your community and your world. ZAK: I can think of what it sounds like to tell someone you want to be romantically involved with tah you're interested in them. But how might it work for platonic friendships and people in your life? ERIN: We really encourage people to reach into their own creativity and their own thoughtfulness and to figure out what the message delivery needs to be for their particular situation. There's also two categories. There's the people you're gonna tell, I have a crush on you. And that could sound like, hey, I just wanted you to know that I love it when we both show up in the same places and it always makes me so excited if I know you're going to the meeting I'm going to. If you ever want to get ice-cream, let me know. Like, that could be a basic crush tell. There's also people you shouldn't tell you have a crush on. Whether it's your boss or someone you're gonna have to see everyday and it might make things super awkward. But, if you want to celebrate the day, please join and tell those people, you've been my teacher for the last five years and everything you share fills me with excitement for the work that I do in the world and I can't thank you enough. There's so many different ways to do it. I'm gonna use this crush day to tell someone that I had a a really sweet dream they were in. Like I don't even know if I have a crush on them. But in the dream it was so nice being in their presence and so I'm gonna send a text and tell them. ZAK: I love this. I'm thinking about if someone came up to me and said that, like, to be honest I would be wondering, oh that's so, are they interested in me as a partner or are they just interested in me as a friend? How have you dealt with these dynamics? ERIN: That's a great question. I think being careful with your words and saying as much as you need to. Like, you can even say, hey, just so you know...I'm in a committed partnership and I'm not in a position to date other people right now but I also want you to know that I have a little crush on you and it's just fun seeing you when we're both around. Being clear. Setting up what your boundaries are...if you're not sure where you want to go and you want to leave it open, LEAVE IT OPEN! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/7/20216 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Vetoing Mutually with Sarah Knight

Sarah Knight (@mcsnugz) is the author of the NYTimes Best-Selling No F*cks Given guides and host of the No F*cks Given Podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: SARAH: I have a piece of advice that has kept my 20-year relationship moving smoothly and it involves saying no and setting boundaries. So, I call it, MVP...Mutual Veto Power. And this is something that's been working for my husband and I since the early days. We got together in 1999 and it means that you both have the power to say no to something and not be questioned. If I say no, I don't like that paint color. No, I don't want that couch. No, I don't want to go on our honeymoon to Tokyo...The answer is no and we've agreed to not pre-argue about it. We're not gonna debate. We're not gonna engage in guilt-tripping. It's just a no. We both get to have that Mutual Veto Power and what it means is you avoid a lot of conflict and if the other person is just neutral on the know, on the vacation destination or the paint color or whatever then you go-ahead and do it because that way one of you is getting what you want. But if anybody is a no then you don't do it because that way nobody has to do what they don't want. And I have to say, you know, it works for the little stuff and it works for the big stuff and it just takes a lot of the pressure off of a relationship and this could work with, you know, a client relationship, a family relationship. ZAK: Because you've had so much practice with this...I can imagine when it first starts it takes some restraint to not push back. SARAH: It does and I think, you know, what we've learned as a couple over time is that life is much better when you don't force one another or guilt another into doing something the other person doesn't want to do. What you're doing when you say yes to things that you don't want to do or force other people into saying yes to things they don't want to do is you're poisoning the time that you do send together. You're poisoning the relationship. You're creating toxicity that doesn't need to be there and it is not ever, I don't think, my intention or anybody who's trying to get me to do somethings intention to make me frustrated, resentful, angry, anxious about it. Wouldn't it be so much better to just rip-off the band-aid at the beginning, say no, have your no be respected and go on about your day and you know, be able to do things with and for one another that you're both excited about it? ZAK: Hell yeah. My wife and I, we've been together since 2006 and I think some adjacent practice that we do, it's called Who Wants it More? You have to be really honest about, do you actually care about this? And if you do. If you really want to go out to eat rather than carry-out, just invoke, I think I want to go out more than you don't want to go out. And it causes us both to evaluate how much we do care about and then just to be like, ok, you care more. We're gonna do the thing that you care more about. SARAH: That's a really good way to phrase it. I have something similar where I talk about making a selfish decision. And I think you can differentiate between good selfish and bad selfish and what I like to advise people is, listen, is the decision that you want to it helping you more than it's hurting anybody else? Because that's probably good selfish. Bad selfish is when a decision you want to make hurts other people more than it helps you. In which case, why aren't you doing it. Why not just go ahead. Go with the flow. And that kind of ties into the MVP rule of, if it's neutral then the person who wants to do it, we can do it. But if either one is a negative, we just both don't do it. And again, that means that at least somebody is getting what they want all the time and nobody is getting what they don't want, ever. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/6/20215 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Parsing Language with Adam Milgrom

Adam Milgrom is an entrepreneur and dad living from Michigan. ANALYZING ENVY WITH GRETCHEN RUBINTo offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: A few months back, I talked to the wise Gretchen Rubin about envy. GRETCHEN RUBIN: One of the challenges of our lives is to know ourselves and you would think, it's so easy to know myself. I just hang out with myself all day long but it can be hard to be truthful with ourselves and really see what's in the mirror and so sometimes it's helpful to think about questions that get at the truth indirectly and I think an indirect question that's very helpful is whom do I envy? ZAK: Today's advice comes on the heels of that episode. It's from one of my dearest pals in the world, Adam Milgrom. ADAM: Try to think about the difference between jealously and envy. It's an easy thing that people mix up. Jealously is when you want the thing that the other person has and you specifically don't want them to have it. You want to have it instead of them. You want to take it away. Envy is just when you also want it. And when I think about this, nine times out ten what I feel is envy not jealousy. And that makes me feel a lot better about it and feel like I can do something about it. Because when I realize that it's not that I don't want that person to have it, I just also want that. It makes it more about me than about them and I'm not trying to take it away from them but I'm just understanding something that I want. And that feels not as dark and it feels like, oh, if that's something that I want, why do I want that? And should I do something about it? It also feels nice just understanding language. Yeah. ZAK: I got a quick story about Adam. He and I were 16 years-old visiting his grandfather in Miami. We borrowed Adam's grandfather's car. I believe it was a sky blue Ford Taurus station-wagon and we were driving late at night. We didn't know where we were going. And at one point we had to gas up so we go the gas station. I'm driving the car at that point and as we're pulling out I scraped the side of the car against this cement barricade. Of course, I'm terrified. How am I gonna explain this to Adam's grandfather? How am I gonna pay for it? When we get back to Adam's grandpa's condo, Adam says he's the one who was driving and pays his grandpa back for the repairs right on the spot. This is one of the noblest things I've ever witnessed in my life. Adam, thank you for being such a good friend and thank you for this advice. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show and I would love to hear your advice. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/5/20214 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Seizing Detours with Dr. Kidada Williams

Dr. Kidada Williams is the host of new podcast, Seizing Freedom, a historian, author and professor of U.S. History, with a focus on African Americans. She is an Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University. ZAK: It's The Best Advice Show. I'm here to help. KIDADA: My name is Kidada Williams. I am a history professor at Wayne Statue university. I research and specialize in African American history. ZAK: Kidada is also the host of an important, beautiful new podcast called Seizing Freedom. KIDADA: If you had asked me 10 years-ago or even 5 years-ago if I had thought I'd hosting a podcast, I would have said, there's no way in hell. No! Even though I like podcasts, right? I'm a historian. This is what historians do! But one of the things that I realized along the way was how much of the history that I produce in conversation with my peers, my fellow historians never makes it down to the public. ZAK: It was this observation and some unintended circumstances that led to Kidada down this other path. KIDADA: Figure out how to pursue the work that you love and have a sense of where you want to end up or what your destination is. But be open to paths that you wouldn't expect. I think what you realize is that what's meant for you will find you, right? That sort of saying. And if your plan or your intended destination changes a little bit based upon that detour then that will sort, you know, reshape your future and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. It could actually be really good and promising. ZAK: And how do you think you stay open to this idea of like, being willing to get side-tracked or just like, reoriented. KIDADA: I think I stay open by thinking through the possibilities. Thinking through questions about whether or not it's a good fit and trusting my instincts. ZAK: Yeah, I don't remember who told it to me but it's just like asking yourself...actually actively asking yourself, what's the worst that can happen. The downside of exploring the possibilities is pretty low, right? KIDADA:I agree but I think that perspective comes with age and personal experience. So, at 20 I might not have taken a risk like, agreeing to do a podcast. Or, I may have seen it as risky. But, coming through, experiencing things, knowing I can always say no. I can change my mind. I can figure out what the stakes are. I can collect enough information has made it easier for me to sort of explore possibilities and see what's a good fit or what's not a good fit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/4/20213 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Paying Your Taxes with Julia Friedman and Arthur Braverman

ZAK: It's The Best Advice Show and today we're gonna continue our on-going series, Advice from Our Grandparents. If you have some advice from your grandparents, I would love to hear it. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST. JULIA: My name is Julia and my advice is to never complain about paying taxes. Tax day is nearly upon us so this advice seemed timely. My grandfather, Arthur Braverman, used to have all these saying he would repeat and one of them was, "never complain about paying taxes." The reason behind this counsel is because paying taxes typically means two things. You are living in America or are an American and you likely have a job. Two things to be grateful for and not complain about. Both of my grandfathers were World War II vets and taught us to take great pride in being Americans. It is the land that gave our family opportunity. Also, there are so many people in our country that don't have a job right now and are hurting economically, emotionally or otherwise. They don't have the chance to pay taxes. It is important to not forget about them. ZAK: Thank you Julia Friedman and thank you, Arthur Braverman. I've got an old picture of Arthur up on our Instagram @BestAdviceShow. He's wearing a great suit. It was a less schlubby time when that picture was taken. Go check it out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
5/3/20211 minute, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Inventing Cocktails with Kamala Puligandla

Kamala Puligandla is the author of the novella, You Can Vibe Me On My FemmePhone and writes The Dyke Kitchen Column at Autostraddle. IMPROVISING SALADS WITH KAMALA PULIGANDLA TRANSCRIPT: KAMALA: I'm Kamala Puligandla. I'm a writer. ZAK: Kamala is a Food Friday returning champion. We last spoke about salad making. Today, we're taking it to cocktails. ZAK: I like, kind of make an Old Fashioned. I think that's the only cocktail I've ever made. I'm overwhelmed. How can I improve my cocktail confidence? KAMALA: Ok, so I think that classic cocktails are really delicious and really cool but I don't hold myself to doing them in the classic way. So, I like to borrow flavors from them. Sometimes I'll borrow ratios from them. I'm just really into making my own simple syrups right now that have whatever flavor that I'm into. So, recently, I think it was last weekend, a friend of mine was like, come over and hang out in our backyard and everyone was like, we'll bring our own cocktail so I was like, ooo, I have to bring a good one. So, I had some mezcal and I was like, what are some flavors that I can mix into a syrup that would go with the smokiness of the mezcal and I ended up putting some garam masala into my simple syrup with a cinnamon stick and some cloves and then I mixed that into the mezcal with some grapefruit soda. And that was really, really, really good. It's sort of like a paloma but it's like, I don't know, like a spicy paloma. ZAK: That sounds really nice. How do you imagine what will work? KAMALA: So, recently I realized that I thought I didn't like sweet cocktails but that when you add sugar to things it changes the things that everything else tastes. And for awhile, I was trying to resist putting in too much sugar because I have had sickly sweet drinks that I'm not into. But when I'm making my own syrup it helps it marry all the flavors together so that they're a little closer. They don't feel like alcohol, citrus, some other flavor. So that's something that I was like, I should just add syrups to things, But what I'm usually thinking about is like, I have the alcohol taste and I'm trying to figure out what about the alcohol taste I like so that I don't mask it. And then like, what can go with it to sort of enhance that. So with mezcal, I like that it's a little sharp and a little smoky and so I try to add citrus to it. I think citrus helps in every cocktail cause it helps brings the sharpness out and then doesn't overwhelm the smokiness or overwhelm the taste of the alcohol. And then also on something smokey, I was like, what are some other things that I eat that are sort of smokey and I was like, oh, I would put garam masala with chilis which are kind of smokey and I was just like, that sounds good. It sounds earthy and like it would go in the same family as smokey so that's what I was thinking. But then like, sometimes I'll have lighter cocktails. Like if I have gin I like to get a really herbaceous gin and then I don't love floral tastes that much but I do love putting other herbs in there so it's like, I don't know, there's like a rosemary simple syrup that I've made that I like and that sort of brings out the flavors in the gin. Things like that. That's mostly what I'm thinking about. I think it's similar to the salad question. I want something kind of earthy, something kind of bright and then something that's kind of punchy, so like, just pulling those things together and sometimes spicy is a really good addition and sometimes it's totally unnecessary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/30/20214 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Structured Walking with Sharon Mashihi

Audio artist, screenwriter, performer, and story editor Sharon Mashihi is the creator and host of the podcast Appearances from Mermaid Palace and Radiotopia. Sharon on managing fear and self-doubt, saying yes to your wild ideas, and using rituals to break through creative blocks. Aaron Finbloom and The School of Making Thinking TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Sharon Mashihi is one of my favorite audio people. One of my favorite artists in general, I'd say. She made this podcast called Appearances, which if you haven't heard yet, just stop this episode and go listen to that. But anyways, I was reading an interview with her on a website called The Creative Independent, and she talked with the interviewer about this thing called, Structured Walks. SHARON: Alright. It's recording and unfortunately, I'm not able to fully monitor the levels but they look good. SHARON: You and I would take a walk and we'd time it. SHARON: I was thinking we could do 25-minutes you and 25-minutes me and then we'll both walk in one direction and we'll both walk back. Does that sound good? ZAK: Perfect. SHARON: You know, my friend, Aaron Finbloom, devised this but I always think of Socrates and those dudes. They were walking. ZAK: So, I'm walking on Belle Isle which I may have mentioned to you before. It's the big, public park in Detroit. SHARON: Uh huh. ZAK: So, the concept here is simple. You can try it today with a friend who lives in your town. Or you can do what Sharon and I did and call someone up. You take a walk on your end, like I did in Detroit. And then they'll be wherever they are. Sharon was in New York City when we talked. SHARON: Go first Zak. I think it should be you. Alarm set. ZAK: For the first half of the walk I'm talking through this current creative struggle I'm having. I've been mapping out this historical fiction project but I don't know how to start and I'm intimidated. SHARON: Maybe can you articulate what your hurdle is with fiction? ZAK: And this is all we're talking about for 25-minutes. My current struggle and then when those 25-minutes are up, we turn the tables and it's Sharon's turn. You can do it for however long you want. I think the important thing is that it's equal amounts of time for both people. SHARON: What I had in mind to talk to you about. I'll paint the picture. It has to do with work and art and how organize this next chapter of my life. Um... ZAK: The structured walk is such a simple, effective tool. And it can work for anything. You don't have to be engaged in a creative project for this to work. Maybe you're just having such questions you want to wrestle with about your work life or a relationship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/29/20213 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Stop Yucking My Yum with June Thomas

June Thomas (@junethomas) is one of the hosts of Working, Slate's podcast about the creative process and also the Senior Managing Producer of the Slate podcast network. PERFECTING EGG SALAD w/Nancy Kaffer TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: So, today's advice, I've usually thought of in relation to food, specifically. But June helped me understand it's much bigger and broader than that. JUNE: I was walking down 6th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn and I heard these little kids arguing about whether the child had been correctly accused of yucking someone's yum and it struck me that that is a really profound and very correct piece of advice. ZAK: Yes! JUNE: Don't step on someone else's pleasure. Don't feel that you have to be scornful of what makes someone else happy. If you don't like it, you don't need to tell them. You don't need to argue about their views on something that they take pleasure in. Like, just let it be. So much of the really advice in life comes from the school-yard and I never heard that on the school yard. That was something I only heard the first time a couple of years ago but it is so right, you know. I have a lot of really weird hobbies...things that I like I know objectively, they're not good, but I love them. And so, selfishly, I don't want anyone yukking my yum. But also, it's something that I really try to keep in mind, like, I'm a very judgmental person. I'm a critic by nature as well as sometimes by profession. But, you know, when you're talking with your friends or just a stranger on the street, like, it's a version I guess of live and let live but also, if somebody is getting pleasure and fun from something and it's not harming anyone, that is the greatest thing in the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/28/20212 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Building for Tomorrow with Jason Feifer

Jason Feifer (@heyfeifer) is the editor in chief Entrepreneur magazine and hosts Build For Tomorrow. A novel he wrote with his wife, Mr. Nice Guy, is currently being developed for television.  How are you building for the future? Lemme know at 844-935-BEST. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Hey, it's The Best Advice Show where everyday, a guest offers one morsel of wisdom. JASON: My name is Jason Feifer. I am the Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur magazine. And I self-describe as the guy that gets you excited about the future. In front of you, in front of me, in front of everybody who's listening to this right now, you have two sets of opportunities. Opportunity Set A and opportunity Set B. Opportunity Set A is everything that is asked of you in your job. Everything that your boss expects. All your KPI's, Key Performance Indicators...all that stuff. Opportunity Set B is everything that is available to you that nobody is asking you to do and I am telling you that Opportunity Set B is more important. It is always more important. I have built my career on Opportunity Set B because if you focus on Opportunity Set A, all you are doing is you are helping yourself be qualified to do the thing that you're already doing. But Opportunity Set B is where real Opportunity happens. That's where growth is. If you want to focus on your future, on improving your career on finding new things that you didn't even think that you would be interested in later on, well then you focus on Opportunity Set B all the time and that doesn't mean that you have to be a bad employee. It just means, in fact, I would say it's quite the opposite. Sometimes if you go out and you focus on Opportunity Set B, you are gonna be building new skills that are ultimately useful for you at your job too. But it's also gonna open up all these other avenues. ZAK: Do you have a rubric or a filter for figuring out what's A and what's B? ZAK: It's either, are you expected to do this or are you not. Is somebody measuring you by your performance in this particular area or are they not? You want to find the thing that nobody's asking you to do. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/27/20213 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Heart Connecting with Joey Soloway

Joey Soloway is a showrunner, director, writer and creator of Transparent. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I love the idea of team-building. But usually in action, team-building activities make me cringe. Maybe you're at a work thing, or a meeting, and you're told to do some ice breaker, or an activity meant to bring the room together. It can be so awkward when there's no buy-in from the participants or feels forced or trite. I think we've all been there. But team-building done right, it can an be incredibly uniting and energizing. That's what today's episode is about. I'm a huge fan of the TV show, Transparent. If you haven't seen it. It's on Amazon. It was created by Joey Soloway. JOEY: I remember as I was an up-and-coming filmmaker, somebody told me a story about Quentin Tarantino. When he first arrived on the first-day of Reservoir Dogs...I think it was a grip who was there and he said he came outside. They were building a stage there and he came outside and the camera truck had pulled up. They opened the back-doors and they pull out the tailgate and he jumped up on the tailgate and he ran inside and he's like give it to me! Give it to me! Give it to me! And somebody was like, here...And he took the camera on got out on the tailgate and he took the camera like Simba. He was so excited to take the camera and go fill it with images. So that made me never really want to do that but it did make me want to give a speech from a tailgate. And the first day of the second season (of Transparent) was the day that Marriage Equality passed and so then we were just like, the camera truck happened to be there. So I got up there and said something about Marriage Equality and then we just kind of took turns. Different people wanted to get up and say something. And then it became a tradition where every morning we stopped using a tailgate and started using a big apple box and putting it in the center of wherever we were. So all the actors were get ready. They would all have gone through hair and makeup and be ready to shoot. And before we would go to the set, we would all just start, box, box, box, box. And people would start to gather and clap and say box and the whole every single person would come and stand in the circle around the apple box and people would take turns talking about whatever they were going through. Sometimes it was good stuff like, my kid got a scholarship or sometimes it was like bad stuff like my wife has cancer and it would connect everybody so much. Even if we were wasting time that morning by box going so much longer than anybody planned for or budgeted for or scheduled for, it always made the day go faster cause we all were so heart-connected. And normally the pieces of a machine on a movie, somebody's like, that's not my fault. That's the AD's fault. That's the grip's fault. People were always throwing each other under the bus and then once we started doing box you're not throwing anybody under the bus anymore cause you know there wife has cancer. ZAK: Yes. So much is happening with box. You're decentralizing the leadership. You're connecting. This is something where you don't have to be making TV shows to practice box. I can do it with my family tomorrow morning. I can do it at work. JOEY: Totally. And then like prioritizing wasting time which is amazing. And that would be my favorite time where people couldn't really stand it anymore because we were wasting too much time. I truly believe it actually makes a better product. So, when other people were like, we're running out of time, you can be thinking that this time, that nobody thinks we deserve that is past the amount of time that we've all decided was the right amount of time to spend on love is now the most important time. Just to tolerate the emotion of feeling present to one another and the gratitude that we're making art. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/26/20216 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Shipping Cookies with Darian Muka

Darian Muka is a baker and marketer in NYC. Perfecting Chocolate Chip Cookies with Michelle Ganley. To offer your own FOOD FRIDAY advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I hope your week has been above average, and I hope it gets better with today's Food Friday advice. DARIAN: I'm Darian Yuca. I'm a slightly above average baker. ZAK: Granted, I haven't eaten Darian's baked goods, but calling herself a slightly above average baker has got to be a gross understatement. She told me she has 12 kinds of flour in her cabinet! DARIAN: Well, I don't eat a lot of my own baked goods. I'm not really a sweet person. I really like making them. That's probably why I make a lot of bread. And also my partner has like really bad teeth. So he doesn't like sugar. So we don't really eat a lot of this stuff I bake. So anybody that will take it, I will either send it or walk it to that person. ZAK: And that's what we're here to talk about today. One of the ways in which Darien preps her care packages. DARIAN: Yeah. So anything that's like super soft, um, will harden with air. So when you're shipping it, you want to have something that will release moisture in order to keep the cookie moist. So I put slices of apple inside anything with soft cookies. Um, the apples look absolutely disgusting when they get to the person, but the cookies are really soft. So, um, the apples will like, yeah, they'll shrivel up and your cookies will stay nice and moist. So you have to like warn someone. Cause it's not fun to get like a shriveled apple as like here, I bought you some cookies, but yeah, the, the cookies take away the moisture from the apple. That's like slowly releasing. So they stayed nice and moist, I've done it over like a three to four day shipping period. So it's like, it stays good for a while. ZAK: First of all, it's very nice of the apples they're giving their life to these cookies. But so, so your cookies are in the same bag as the slices? DARIAN: Yeah. You have to put them like directly in the box. Try not to have them touch the cookie because then that part of the cookie will get really moist, like kind of wet. So you want it to like be in the box, but try to like move them to the sides so that they're sharing the same air, but they're not actually touching the cookies. Actually. You couldn't do that like normal in your house too. If you want to keep cookie soft and they're out and they're already baked, just drop, um, Apple slices in, they sell like, um, little discs that are, I don't think they're terracotta, but they're usually used to make Brown sugar moist so that doesn't harden over time. Those work the same. They're a little disk that you can buy, but if you're not trying to buy anything, Apple slices are the exact same thing. ZAK: And the cookies won't take on any of the apple properties? DARIAN: Nope. Um, I'm trying to think if there's like, I'm sure you could do this with another fruit. If someone was allergic to apple and have to have the same, like texture and moisture levels and apples. So I would try like a pear. I'm trying to think if there's...the only thing that's coming to my brain, that would be the same, like consistency. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/23/20214 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making Your Needs Known with Beth Pickens

Beth Pickens is a Los Angeles-based consultant for artists and arts organizations and the author of Make Your Art No Matter What: Moving Beyond Creative Hurdles (Chronicle Books, 2021) and Your Art Will Save Your Life (Feminist Press, 2018).  TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Just saying the word...need, gives makes me hesitate a bit. Instead of coming out and telling someone, I need your help, I usually modify to, I could use your help. But, thanks to today's guest, Beth Pickens, I'm working on being more forthcoming with my needs. BETH: I think we have to always tell people everything that we need because we all float around we're just little children masquerading as adults...just assuming that nobody needs anything and we're the only ones with needs and we have to get rid of those needs or diminish them. But we all need emotional support. ZAK: What's a way that we can practice giving and asking for help? BETH: I like to do everything starting with a quantity. Just quantifying it. A goal of, I'm gonna ask for three things this week that are directly related to my creative practice. And here's what those needs are gonna be and here are some appropriate people I think I could ask. And I'm just gonna practice on the asking. I have no control over the outcome. Then I'm gonna avail myself three times to people. Maybe I'm asked for something or maybe I offer something or I connect with another artist friend and say, this is the kind of help I need right now. What kind of help do you need right now? Let's help each other find it. ZAK: And not necessarily a one-to-one where the help you're offering you're getting back from the same person? BETH: Right. Cause maybe the things you ask for maybe you don't know how to give or you don't have that resource to give. Or maybe the person you're asking for something from, they have a different thing to reciprocate with. Cause we all have different things to offer. Some are universal but many are very different. And we always have to identify, who do we ask...How do we match the ask, the request to somebody's who's appropriate. Rather than I'm gonna try to ask this person for emotional support who I know cannot or will not give it. But if I try hard enough, I can prove that I won by going to the hardware store for a gallon milk. They don't have it to give. So we have to think about who are we going to for which things and one person cannot meet every need which is the fallacy of marriage and modernity. ZAK: Totally. It's kind of like a creativity time-bank you're describing. BETH: Yeah, very much so. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/22/20212 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Re-Entering a Project with Beth Pickens

Beth Pickens is a Los Angeles-based consultant for artists and arts organizations and the author of Make Your Art No Matter What: Moving Beyond Creative Hurdles (Chronicle Books, 2021) and Your Art Will Save Your Life (Feminist Press, 2018).  To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I love a specialist. That's how I'd describe Beth Pickens. BETH: So, I essentially counsel artists. I went to school to be a therapist. I only work with artists and I've been talking recently with artists about how to re-enter a project or something that you have been avoiding for a long time. And you have a lot of fear about. It's a thing that comes up for artists when somebody has like a durational project, a book or an album, or some big thing that they're doing. Sometimes, you know, after the honeymoon phase wears off, it can be hard to sustain that marathon nature to keep going through it. Especially if you don't have somebody waiting for it, if you don't have a deadline or accountability. Um, and so, what will happen is a person maybe will retreat from the long durational project. And then it will start to build into something in their mind that they become afraid of, but they can't get back to, and it becomes this big mental block about, I want to finish that. I'm afraid of it. I don't know how. It's impossible. It becomes this sort of cycle of self-defeat. And so I will often work with clients to help them re-enter, kind of tiptoe back into the water of a big project that they've lost the honeymoon limerence feelings for, but they really are committed to. ZAK: How do you tip toe back? BETH: We start really simple. You start with just like 15, 20 minutes. Just planning to be in the project for 15 or 20 minutes. And I'll often recommend that people actually just kind of go into the world they're creating and turn the lights on. So if it's a manuscript, for example, or if it's a body of music to go first and just inhabit it, read everything they have. listen to everything that they have and do that about four or five times, just for 15 minute increments, maybe once a week, maybe a few times a week, to first just to re-inhabit the universe and let it come alive in your subconscious. Because so often for a big project, the solutions that artists come up with happen when they're not sitting in front of the computer, when they're in the midst of it, it's like when they're on a walk, when they're washing the dishes, when they're doing something else, they can have an idea of, this is where I can go next. Not necessarily a breakthrough, it doesn't have to be that big, but it can be just an indication of this is a next step. So we start with really tiny increments and then celebrating that as an achievement, like telling an artist friend right before you do it and then telling them right after you do it and celebrating, just re-entering, tip-toeing back into the water. And that sort of breaks the myth that seal of I can't do it. It's impossible. There's no way back in. It's just by slowly reentering and not doing it with a ton of pressure that I have to go in and finish it or figure it out. Cause I think that's not realistic. And it's a mean thing to expect of oneself. ZAK: Yeah. I love this two-part process. BETH: Oh yeah. Having somebody outside be like that big congratulations. You can do it again, but for today you're done. You don't have to do that again today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/21/20214 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Quit Future-Tripping with Stephanie Wittels Wachs and (Harris Wittlels)

Stephanie Wittels Wachs is the co-founder of Lemonada Media, host of Last Day and author of best-selling memoir Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss. Harris Wittels (April 20, 1984 – February 19, 2015) was an American comedian, writer and podcast. His book is Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Whoa, I just realized this. Today is the one -year anniversary of The Best Advice Show. We are more than 250 episodes in. Here's to another at least 250. In honor of this one-year celebration I would love to your advice. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Ok, lets get to today's show. I never met Harris Wittels but in my mind, we were dear friends. I get the feeling he had the effect on people. Even if you've never heard his name before, you've you've probably laughed at Harris' jokes. He was a writer on Parks and Rec. and the Sarah Silverman Program, Master of None and Eastbound and Down. He also hosted one of my all time favorite podcasts, Analyze Phish, in which harris, who loved Phish more than most things, spends hours and hours trying to get his co-host, Scott Aukerman, to like Phish too. The band Phish I'm talking about. Harris also invented a word. Before harris, we didn't have a word for an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud. Yes, the humblebrag. We have harris to thank for that.  Today is 4-20. Harris' birthday. Harris Wittels was born on 4-20. That this is a fact makes the world worth living. Harris died in February of 2015 when he was just 30.  Since that time, Harris' sister, Stephanie, has flown her younger brothers flag. In the wake of his overdose, she started a podcast, Last Day in his honor and subsequently she co-founded a media company called Lemonada which recons with the messy, ugly, hilarious, painful parts of living so very well. And so, today, on Harris' bday, I'm here to talk to Stephanie about just one of the many pieces of advice Harris left us.  STEPHANIE: He used to say quit future-tripping. And one of our dear friends from high school got that tattooed on his arm. And its become this kind of mantra for a bunch of very high strung, anxious, neurotic people. And I think what it means is that very cliched, like, live in the moment and you can't control what happens tomorrow. So I love that advice and I have internalized and tried to abide by that as much as possible. There's been a lot of things that have happened to me in the past 5 years, 6 years that, you know, pre-COVID, that would have caused me to future-trip...have caused me to future-trip. ZAK: What does your future-tripping look like? STEPHANIE: Oh, it's movies in mind. I direct them. Star in them. Produce them. Sound-design them. Edit them. They are sprawling. There are multiple sequels and I can just really get caught up in anxiety. I have very intense anxiety. I'm medicated for it. God bless medication. But, I can seriously spiral out on if this, then this and it's not real. It's not steeped in reality. It's steeped in my version of reality. It's steeped in a lot of fear and for me fear is about everything that we can't control. Everything that's unknown. And the thing about life is, it's all unknown! It is all unknown. I am talking to you right five minutes, I have no idea what's gonna happen. I can predict based on prior experience living my life everyday but I truly do not know. So, that's what it looks like for me. ZAK: Next time you're getting ahead of yourself. Directing movies in your mind. Just think of Harris and his advice. Quit future-trippin'. If you don't know Harris' work, give him a Goog. He was one of the greats. You can listen to Stephanie's podcast, Last Day, wherever you hear The Best Advice Show. Thanks, Stephanie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/20/20215 minutes
Episode Artwork

Getting Vaccinated with Ken Haddad

Ken Haddad (@KenHaddad) is the digital content manager at @Local4News in Detroit. LIVE BLOG: Tracking COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan: New openings, clinics, appointments TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's The Best Advice Show where everyday a different guest shares one piece of advice. KEN: I'm Ken Haddad. I'm the digital content manager at ClickOn Detroit and Local 4 and I've been helping people find vaccine appointments in the state of Michigan. After getting a ton of emails from viewers about having trouble finding appointments, I started a live blog and I started live Tweeting any appointments I could find. Any walk-in clinics popping up around the state of Michigan. So basically, what I've been doing is combing through county health department sites, through pharmacy scheduling sites, through community organizations, calling around to pharmacies and just finding out just where appointments are available and offering that information in real time. KEN: My top tip for finding vaccines is to not wait around. There are a lot of waitlists right now. Especially in Michigan and I've heard it's like this in other states as well. Big wait lists at the bigger pharmacies or the country health departments have a giant wait list for all of their residents and people are frustrated with that but there are a lot of other options that you can take upon yourself. Call an independent pharmacy near your house. Call a community health organization that's near your house. There are a lot of places that have vaccine supply but they don't have the platform or the marketing to tell people about it. So that's what I'm finding right now. There's a lot of people waiting 2, 3, 4 weeks for an appointment with the health department. They could have gotten a vaccine around the block from their house yesterday. And then, check with community organizations, like even churches. There are so many clinics happening at churches right now in neighborhoods. Again, they just don't have the platform to get the word out. But if you check with them, just give them a call. They may even refer you to a different church. There's a huge network of that happening right now. ZAK: If people want to find you, what's the best way to do that? ZAK: I have a live blog on ClickOnDetriot.Com or you can follow me on Twitter @KenHaddad and I'm live tweeting anything that comes across my radar pretty much all day and all night. I do sleep during the early morning hours but there will be information there 7 days a week as long as we need to keep giving that information Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/19/20213 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Perfecting Egg Salad with Nancy Kaffer

Nancy Kaffer is a columnist and member of the Detroit Free Press Editorial Board. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: NANCY: I'm a life-long fan of egg salad and I've often thought about how to improve my egg salad. This is slightly controversial. I make my egg salad while the eggs are still warm and everyone I've ever said this to thought it was disgusting and then as soon as they ate it they've been a convert to the warm egg salad theory. So, the way I've started making egg salad is put the eggs in the cold water, turn the burner on high for 15-minutes and then boom the perfect hard-boiled eggs every-time. No lid. Run cold water over them. Peel them. Smush them up with some mayonnaise. Salt, pepper and cayenne and then here's the secret. Toast a piece of bread. Cut a clove of garlic in half. Rub the garlic all over the toasted bread. Put the egg salad on the bread. Eat it as an open-faced sandwich. You will not regret it. It is the perfect egg salad sandwich. ZAK: Raw garlic? NANCY: Raw garlic rubbed all over the toast. It turns the bread yellow-y and then spread your egg salad on there. ZAK: What kind of bread? NANCY: Just white bread. I mean, I guess you could it with...I like a multigrain but for this the texture and flavor a multigrain would over-power the garlic rubbing. Just a nice, white bread, though. Like your Pepperidge Farm or your Sara Lee or your Avalon, your Whole Foods store brand. You don't want your Wonderbread. ZAK: Set the scene for how you're eating this. Are you standing by the sink? Are you sitting down with napkin and plate? NANCY: I normally sit down. I have a thing for decorative napkins. I'm sitting down with an attractive napkin, little glass of iced tea and a book and I cut it in half and eat it by myself. I don't want to be eating my egg salad with anybody else. I want it to be a private experience with me and my book. I love to read while I eat. Egg salad. Book. Iced tea. Garlic rubbed toast. ZAK: Do you want to hear about my ancestral egg salad? NANCY: Yes. I do. I always want to hear about egg salad. ZAK: It's actually not mine. It's my wife's family's. This is why I married her cause I tasted her family's egg salad. We have it on Shabbat on Friday night. And this comes from her grandma. She's from Poland and it's mayo-less...but wait. There's no mayo but wait. Hard-boiled eggs and then cut em up with grated radishes, diced white onion and diced, peeled cucumber and salt and vegetable oil. NANCY: Wow. ZAK: We never eat it as a sandwich. You know, we eat it with, like a piece of challah, maybe shovel some on the top of it but we're eating it with a fork as an appetizer on Friday nights and it's fab. NANCY: I can see that that would be delicious. If you were in the mood for egg salad, that might not quite scratch that itch. ZAK: It's a different kind of egg salad. NANCY: It's surprising how controversial egg salad is. People really have deeply held opinions. ZAK: Well, cause it smells farts. I think that's why people are afraid to admit they like or afraid to eat it in-front of other people like you mentioned. NANCY: I'm not afraid to. It's my oasis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/16/20214 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Letting Go with Gary Macko

Gary Macko is a husband and father living in Michigan. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: When Gary was a young dad, his son loved playing pots and pans. Everyday, he would take them out, make a big pile, make a mess. And then Gary would come in and clean it up. GARY: I can't tell you how many times my wife would look at me and laugh because of watching me put the pans and pots away every single night. ZAK: So your wife understood that it was a kind of fool's errand but you didn't? Is that what you're saying? GARY: Yeah. Yeah. I mean she had certainly some type of EQ that gave her the ability to step back and realize that, you know, this kid is just having a good time and let him be. ZAK: And how long did it take you to learn that lesson? GARY: At least 45-days of solid banging my head into the wall. ZAK: Yeah. GARY: And then when that moment came of like, I'm not gonna do this anymore and it's perfectly fine. It was the most amazing revelation. Get out of the way. Let go and enjoy your life. It's tough to be a perfectionist in a world in which we live in. I mean, you might be able to keep that quest for perfection at some level and be able to modestly chase it. But when you put kids into your world that chase or that desired outcome, it doesn't seem to be achievable anymore. Hi, my name is Gary Macko and I'm a husband and a father of three boys. ZAK: I love this story because Gary pinpoint the moment where he internalized that lesson. Let go. You can't control everything. Perfection doesn't exist. Have you internalized that realization? If so, how'd you do it? Lemme know at BestAdvice.Show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/15/20212 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Morning Routines with Steven Handel

Steven Handel is a published author, coach, and creator at The Emotion Machine, a website dedicated to all aspects of psychology and self improvement in the 21st century. Investigating Your Shame with Heather Radke To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I don't really have a morning routine. I would love to, but I feel like I'm constantly in reaction mode, just basically responding to what the kids need...breakfast, clothes, but still I love hearing about your routines and I'm thinking about the day when I can finally start my own. STEVEN: My name is Steven Handel. I have a psychology and self-improvement website called The Emotion Machine. ZAK: Not surprisingly, Steven has a very intentional morning routine that we're gonna hear about. STEVEN: Reflect on a strength. Reframe a negative thought. Think about one thing you're grateful for. I do that every morning. Those are my three tiny, mental habits I do every morning. And it's a little thing but you have to put in that work everyday, even if it's just 5-10 minutes. It is effort. ZAK: Ok, so you wake up and then take me through how move through those three things. STEVEN: Uh, it's not the first thing I do when I wake up. Usually walk the dog first and have coffee and shit like that but when I' I'm taking a moment before I check my e-mails. It's literally on my to-do list on my daily check-list, I have, reflect on one strength. And I try to choose something different everyday to remind myself of all my strengths or maybe if something really good happened yesterday, I'll be like, oh, that strength really shined through yesterday. ZAK: What was today's? STEVEN: Today I said consistency and the fact that I put in the small steps everyday which is a strength I think about a lot but I think it's a really important strength for sure. And then, find one thing to be grateful for. It could be anything. It could be a good meal I had yesterday or a new opportunity I came across or a new person I met. One thing to be grateful for. And then re-frame one negative thought. So, I have to first think about a negative thought thats been buzzing in my mind and try to re-frame into something more positive or more constructive. ZAK: And all three of those things you put on your to-do list. STEVEN: Yeah. I actually have a fourth one too which is appreciate one thing in nature. ZAK: Like, appreciate it theoretically or go out and find the bird? STEVEN: Something I experience. And I don't really have to go seek it. It's usually if I'm just outside and I see something interesting. There's a lot of interesting wildlife in Florida, especially compared to the suburbs of New York. I see crazy birds all the time. And honestly, my thing a lot of the time is enjoying sitting in the sun. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/14/20213 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Flying Solo with Jenae America

Jenae America is a storyteller, photographer and pulp fiction writer. TRANSCRIPT: JENAE: My name is Jenae America and I'm a storyteller, photographer, pulp fiction writer and a badass woman. Being single was something that I was scared of. I was raised in a house of loving parents. Four brothers and sisters. And as I got older I realized that I put so much pressure on myself...I put a lot of pressure on my young, little, tender heart. I didn't know anything. I witnessed my parents marriage and their arguments and I'm studying about what it's like to be with a companion and so on and so forth and I just found myself being drained and disappointed. ZAK: About what? JENAE: I was drained and disappointed about the relationships I pursued. I was drained and disappointed about people and how they act and how they have the free will to do anything even if you give them your very best. And it just made me feel like I'm unlovable and it's not a pretty site. Especially as a woman because you don't want to be looked at as desperate. You want to look at yourself as confident and cool and calm in any state. And I've witnessed woman who are married who I could just tell, they have a calm about them but it wasn't because of the marriage. It was because of them and they had somebody else come into their life. ZAK: So, what changed? JENAE: What changed was, it was the summer of 2020 and I remember that I'm thinking about my last relationship. It ended just before COVID hit. It was only 4-months with a young guy. He didn't know what he wanted and obviously was using me and I tried so hard to keep him and I remember just thinking about it and then I basically announced to myself I'm gonna stay single and I felt like this spiritual feeling of somebody taking something off of my shoulders. It was almost like a heavy coat and somebody just took it off. And I was like, I feel lighter and I had the courage to pursue that idea to the point that every time I scrolled through social media and there's something about relationships I was able to look past them and be like, that doesn't interest me anymore. Now, I'm not gonna say it wasn't a mental battle but it gave me the strength and courage to not look to others to feel fulfilled but look to myself and my morals and yeah, that's it and accept everything about it. I got more concerned about doing things for me and not for other reasons that had nothing to do with me. I changed my perspective. Basically being single means testing the love you have for yourself and being single is not easy because you feel lonely, you feel you can't do nothing with the urges so the fact that if you're going to a place by yourself you don't have anybody watching your back because that's a benefit as well but it's testing the love you have for yourself because the benefits of being single was, I ended up becoming strong, sharp, interesting and unique. I ended up being pretty dynamic because of how much I've widened my world in being single. Enjoy being single because you deserve to get to know you and love you first. ZAK: That's so beautiful. Like, are you open to being in a relationship if you meet the right person? JENAE: Right now I'm casually dating. I'm enjoying the person's company and getting to know them and I believe if it's meant for me to say, hey, I want to move forward. Well, it takes two to tango and if the person doesn't say anything, I'll be like, well, back to dating me again. And that's easier said than done but I can definitely say it's liberating. It's very liberating. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/13/20215 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Seeking Salt Water with Meiko Krishok

Meiko Krishok is the founder and co-operator of Guerrilla Food (GF), a Detroit-based grassroots culinary team that uses food as medicine. GF is the team behind the  Pink Flamingo To Go farm-to-table carry-out restaurant in the Palmer Park neighborhood in Detroit and Pink Flamingo popular seasonal vintage food trailer that is located in a community garden in Corktown, Detroit. Meiko was last on the show talking about the ease and joy of growing garlic. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: There was a Danish author named Karen Blixon writing at the beginning the 20th century. One of her pen names was Isak Denesen. And it's Denisen who the following quote is attributed to. The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. My guest today, Meiko Krishok, who's been on the show before has been thinking about this piece of advice a lot lately.  MEIKO: To me all those things work in different contexts. So, like, sweat is sort of an easy one. It's like, movement or physical activity and the actual expelling of energy. Right? And how relieving it can be to go for a walk or a run or work in the garden. And then tears is another obvious one. It's sort of about that release emotion, whether it's happiness or sadness. ZAK: What makes you cry? MEIKO: Movies. Every now and again I'll read something and it'll make me cry. You know how some people are like, oh I cry all the time. At this point in my life I don't cry all the time. And then the sea. I do feel like there's something especially therapeutic about the ocean. I don't know if it's chemically what's going in salt water. You can float more in salt water than fresh water. And the waves. ' ZAK: Yeah, I can't wait to go to the ocean again. MEIKO: I've been trying to take Epsom salt baths. ZAK: That's a good home hack! MEIKO: Is it a good home hack but it's not the same. It's not the ocean. You don't get the power with it. But you do get some benefit. ZAK: Maybe you have to cry in the Epson salt bath. MEIKO: hahahah Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/12/20213 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bystander Intervention Training with Dax Valdes - PART 5 (Direct)

Dax Valdes is a senior trainer at Hollaback. SIGN UP FOR The 5 D's of BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING GET TRAINED IN BYSTANDER INTERVENTION by Hollaback in collaboration with ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST ZAK: Thanks for listening to The Best Advice Show. This is part 5 of our week-long series on Bystander Intervention training. With the help of Dax Valdes from Hollaback, we've been going through the 5 D's of Bystander Intervention. DAX: Distract. Delay. Delegate. Document. Direct. ZAK: Five actionable steps we can take out in the world if and when we see someone being harassed. And it's this final D, direct, that seems the most daunting. DAX: So, direct is this is one that everyone thinks about when they think about bystander intervention. You are setting the boundary about what you want the person to do. Hey, stop talking to her that way. That's not cool. And then, that engagement is over and then you turn and you focus on the person who is experiencing that conflict and then you get them out of there. Get them to where they need to feel safe. So, if it's something that's happening on the street, hey man. Why don't you back off and stop saying things to her. And then I would turn to the woman and say, hey, let's get out of here. Let's go for a few blocks and make sure you are all taken care of. And direct can get tricky because the person that is doing the conflict would probably want to get into a back-and-forth with you and it's gonna take all of our will power not to shoot back with the thing that's gonna be the most explosive to meet their energy. ZAK: Direct in particular seems like a real delicate dance because like you say, you're not being combative but you're being resistant in a way. You're being calm but you're also being assertive. This is a challenging one, I think. DAX: Yeah, that does take a lot of practice. Cause, a lot of folks might not feel that comfortable being that direct but, again, if they see somebody doing it in a way that is, oh, I think I could do it. And so maybe it's not the next time they see an incident of harassment happening but maybe the time after that. Seeing two instances, it's like, ok, I can do this. I know what to say and I feel confident enough to do so. And even if it does not go the way that you might originally plan, you have 4 of the other strategies to rely on so maybe direct didn't work and it is something like, delegate, asking somebody else to help you in that instance. Maybe it is somebody who is physically bigger nearby. Hey, can you come here and just help me out here. This guy is yelling at this woman and you look you could, squash him. ZAK: Yeah, you said to do this well it's gonna take some practice. So are you suggesting that there's a way to practice this stuff outside of the loaded situations? DAX: You know, sometimes you're sitting at home, thinking about what you would do in this particular instance if you saw this conflict happening but knowing what these strategies are and reading other people's stories about what happened and what you could have done or thinking about like, oh yeah, I could have done it this way. I could have done it that way is a start for that. But, again, the action doesn't have to be incredibly huge. A small gesture goes a long way. Are you ok? What do you need from me in this moment? How can I support you? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/9/20214 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bystander Intervention Training with Dax Valdes - PART 4 (Document)

Dax Valdes is a senior trainer at Hollaback. SIGN UP FOR The 5 D's of BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING GET TRAINED IN BYSTANDER INTERVENTION by Hollaback in collaboration with ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: In the last year, anti-Asian and xenophobic hate has skyrockets all over this country. And of course, street harassment has been endured by humans since the beginning of streets. But the organization, Hollaback, wants us to know that we aren't powerless...that we can do things as random people on the street when we witness harassment. DAX: My name is Dax Valdes. I am a Senior Trainer at Hollaback and I'm based in the traditional land of the Lenape in New York City. I'm originally from San Fransisco and I have the privilege of doing this work with Hollaback and uplifting these trainings for my Asian community. ZAK: All week I've been going over Hollaback's 5 D's of Bystander Intervention training. Distract. Delay. Delegate. Direct. And today's D... ZAK: Tell me about document. DAX: So, you're creating documentation of the incident so this is something that you can do with your phone. So you can take a photo or a video. We're all glued to our little rectangles and so you can hold your phone sideways and record what's going. It's Monday, March 22nd. It's 3:30 and this woman is yelling at this guy and his two kids and where you are...I'm standing on 59th and Broadway in broad daylight and it's happening right there. And what we recommend that you do is you should give that footage to the person that was experiencing harassment so they can decide what to do with it because we don't want to blast that footage on our socials without them knowing because then we're just essentially replaying someone's trauma over and over again. ZAK: Yeah, I could see someone's instinct to go on Facebook or Instagram Live during that situation, but that's not what you recommend. DAX: It's gonna work differently for everybody but if it is particularly traumatic for that individual, having that footage can be really helpful in showing what harassment looks like for them and maybe at large as part of their community and they have agency on how they're sharing so they can share it on their socials or with their family and friends that this is what this looks like. ZAK: And so it's like going up to them after and being like, do you want me to email this to you? DAX: Yeah. I saw what happened. And it's like a combination of Delay afterwards. I saw that. That wasn't cool. I'm sorry that happened. I took this footage so if you want to report this or whatever you need...This is for you. And again, showing that they're not alone and that people are looking after them or people are looking out for each other. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/8/20214 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bystander Intervention Training with Dax Valdes - PART 3 (Delegate)

(Warning. Today's episode contains a news clip which describes a disturbing hate crime that recently took place). Dax Valdes is a senior trainer at Hollaback. SIGN UP FOR The 5 D's of BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING GET TRAINED IN BYSTANDER INTERVENTION by Hollaback in collaboration with ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Warning. Today's episode contains a news clip which describes a disturbing hate crime that recently took place. It's The Best Advice Show where everyday I share one piece of advice. Something that hopefully you can try at home. All week I'm featuring Dax Valdes. He's a trainer with the group, Hollaback and their mission is to end harassment in all forms. So, this week we're going over the 5 D's of Bystander Intervention Training. We're learning about what we can do if and when we see someone getting harassed. The first D we learned on Monday in Part 1, Distract. Yesterday was Part 2 when we learned, Delay. And today, Part 3...Delegate. ZAK: Can you just set-up a scenario? DAX: One of the attacks that happened in Queens where a man pushed a woman over. NEWS CLIP: Police in Queens arrested a man accused of shoving an Asian woman to the ground. 47 year-old, Patrick Mateo is charged with assault and intent to cause physical injury and harassment. On Tuesday, the 52 year-old woman was outside a bakery on Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing when the suspect had gotten into an argument with her and then pushed her. Her head hit the metal newspaper stand. She needed ten stitches. The attack is the latest in a spike of unprovoked attacks against Asian-Americans. DAX: If you happened to be there in that scenario, one of the things that you could have done is, hey, go and tell someone and say, can you go check on her, see if she's ok. I'm gonna try to get help. Or, I'm gonna check on her. I'm gonna see if she's ok. Can you go into the store and ask the store manager to call the police or can you ask them for a band-aid cause not everybody will have gone through a Bystander Intervention training and people want to help usually, but they just don't know what to do. So, we gotta tell them. Hey, back up. That guy is harassing that woman. I'm gonna see if I can go intervene. ZAK: And one thing that you're not saying is like, in this delegation one is like, you go and pin the aggressors down. That's now part of this. DAX: No. you don't know what the other person might be capable of. If we're meeting violence with violence, physically or verbally...If we get caught up in that then we are not doing the best job that we can do as a bystander to help take care of the person in conflict. Cause it's not about us or even them in that moment. It's about the person who's experiencing that disrespect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/7/20213 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bystander Intervention Training with Dax Valdes - PART 2 (Delay)

Dax Valdes is a senior trainer at Hollaback. SIGN UP FOR The 5 D's of BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING GET TRAINED IN BYSTANDER INTERVENTION by Hollaback in collaboration with ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Hello. Thanks for listening. This is the show where everyday I give you a little morsel of wisdom that you can try. Sometimes immediately. This wee on the show, I'm doing something a little different in that I'm featuring the same guest everyday. I'm talking to Dax Valdes a trainer from an organization called Hollaback. DAX: Hollaback is an organization that was founded in 2005 by a group of friends and there mission is to end harassment in all its forms so they started this as a blog post and they were collecting stories of harassment and they read those stories and they started to notice that the only thing good thing that ever happened to people who experienced harassment was when somebody intervened on their behalf to help them out. ZAK: Dax is here to teach us about what we can do as bystanders when we see someone getting harassed. DAX: These tools, these strategies, these methods are for anybody experiencing or sees an instance of harassment. But the lens is hyper-focused right now, so...we're focused on the AAPI experience. ZAK: The group Stop AAPI hate just put out a report where they counted 3800 incidents of Anti-Asian harassment since March of last year. Yesterday, In part 1, Dax taught us about the distract method of Bystander Intervention. It's one of the 5 D's that Hollaback trains people in. Today, the second of the 5 D's. Delay. So, imagine this... DAX: Somebody driving by in a car and yelling a racial slur and everybody's shell-shocked, like, did that just happen? Another tactic is delay. After the incident is over, you check in with the person who's been harassed. Even, I saw that. That wasn't cool. Are you ok..? can make a huge difference. ZAK: Why is that delay? DAX: Because you're waiting until the harassment is over and those moments of harassment happen so quickly sometimes that it's all you can do is delay and just check in with them. ZAK: So you're kind of going and validating this thing that just happened. You're not pretending it didn't happen and you're making sure the victim is ok. Interesting. So, what else can you say to a complete stranger who you've just witnessed be harassed. DAX: Acknowledging what happened and making an offer how you can support them in the moment is great. Hey, do you want me to wait with you until your friend comes to get you. Do you want me to go with you and talk to a store manager or wherever it happened. In some cases, it's like, do you want to go report this or do you need help reporting this? Depending on what the person needs at that moment. So, being able to take care of them and make them feel supported in something that is super scary for them is a small action that goes a long way. ZAK: Thanks you Dax Valdes. Dax is from Hollaback. If you want to get trained in their 5 D's of bystander Intervention, you should! You can sign up at their website. It's free. It will take about an hour. It builds on the stuff that Dax and I have been talking about on the show. I've put a link in the show notes. Hollaback is doing these trainings in collaboration with Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/6/20214 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bystander Intervention Training with Dax Valdes - PART 1 (Distract)

Dax Valdes is a senior trainer at Hollaback. The 5 D's of BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING GET TRAINED IN BYSTANDER INTERVENTION by Hollaback in collaboration with ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE. New York police have arrested a man who viciously attacked a 65-year-old Filipino woman near Times Square as she was walking to church on Monday To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's episode contains graphic and disturbing descriptions of a recent hate-crime that was caught on video. I'm not gonna play a video but you will hear me listen to it. If you want to see it, I linked to it in our show notes. And if you don't want to see it or hear the descriptions, skip this episode. AMY GOODMAN, DEMOCRACY NOW excerpt: ZAK: (Watching recent attack on 65 year-old woman in NYC). Oh my God. Oh my God. AMY GOODMAN, DEMOCRACY NOW excerpt: New York police have arrested a man who viciously attacked a 65-year-old Filipino woman near Times Square... ZAK: That's one of the things that makes this video even more disturbing. But it's to watch these guys, apparently, they're security guards, literally close the door on this woman. I don't know what could have been done. The attacker is really violent. Really fast. But, depending on the situation. Depending on how physically violent it is, there are several things we can do as bystanders. DAX: Hollaback is an organization that was founded in 2005 by a group of friends and there mission is to end harassment in all its forms so they started this as a blog post and they were collecting stories of harassment and they read those stories and they started to notice that the only thing good thing that ever happened to people who experienced harassment was when somebody intervened on their behalf to help them out. ZAK: All week on the show, we're gonna learn the 5 D's of bystander intervention from Hollaback. DAX: Distract. Delegage. Document Delay. Direct. ZAK: Five actionable steps that we can take to help out the person who's being harassed. DAX: Not necessarily dealing with the person doing the harassing but taking care of the person in conflict. At the start of quarantine last year, there was an uptick in reported crimes towards Asian-Americans and a lot of these incidents go unreported for any number of reason. ZAK: But a lot of these incidents are reported. The group Stop AAPI hate just put out a report where they counted 3800 incidents of Anti-Asian harassment since March of last year. Most of these attacks aren't physically violent. 70% are acts of verbal abuse and harassment. Alright, so what can we do? When we talk bystander intervention training, the first to think about, says Dax... DAX: You gotta just trust yourself. If you feel comfortable stepping in. Great. You should do it. And it's always a judgement call and it's always a brave thing to do. If you're seeing something that's erupting into physical violence, you have to prioritize your safety. But if it's something like... ZAK: You see two people on the sidewalk and they don't appear to know each other. And one of them is verbally attacking the other. What do you do? DAX: You can drop something. Accidentally spill your drink in-front of somebody. Oh, I'm so sorry. ZAK: Distract. DAX: If you see somebody in conflict, you could walk up to them and say, I'm sorry I'm late. Who's this? Well, we gotta go. Thanks. Even if you don't know them. Or, don't I know you from somewhere or could you give me directions. If you're starting a conversation with the person who's in conflict, you don't have to talk about refer to what you just saw or what's going on with the person who's doing the harassing. Just keep it cool. Talk about something unrelated and hopefully the person who is doing the harassing is starved of attention and they exit the scene. It might not always work that way but you're doing that, other people are seeing this and thinking, oh, yeah. That's something I can do. Learn more about your ad choices.
4/5/20216 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Urban Foraging with Jean Wilson

Jean Wilson is an artist, farmer and urban forager in Detroit. ZAK: Today on The Best Advice Show, I'm dipping into my archives. 13 years ago I got some advice from Detroit farmer and artist, Jean Wilson. She taught me a super effective way to pare down my grocery bills. It's Food Friday. ZAK: It's about 9 o'clock, I just pulled up to a westside, organic market. I'm here with Jean Wilson. So, what are we about to do? JEAN: We're about to dive in a dumpster and look for some fresh produce. ZAK: Are you diving just for yourself? JEAN: I do end up feeding myself and then also my mother who's on an income of $500 dollars/month social security and my friends and then end up cooking large meals for sometimes hundreds of people. ZAK: You're cooking for hundreds of people you just said? Just random people you find on the street? JEAN: Well, like last weekend we cooked up as much food as we could and we took it down to the lower, Cass Corridor area and served people over there. When I see a lot of food, I find a way to get rid of it. I just can't see this food going to waste. ZAK: Let's go. JEAN: This particular place doesn't waste very much at all. ZAK: We're looking inside a big, metal dumpster. It's about a third of the way full, there are probably 10 garbage bags. JEAN: Light ones we toss aside. When it's heavy it's a good sign. I'm gonna hop up inside. Keeps me inside. ZAK: Jean's in the dumpster. I'm gonna stay outside. You just ripped open that bag. I see some Cliff Bars. Empty, though. Jean, you've done this before. You are moving like a super-human right now. You've already gone through 4 bags. What constitutes what's take-able and what isn't? JEAN: I just take stuff that's good. Like, this whole onion looks good. This apple looks entirely good. ZAK: When was the last time you went into a grocery story and paid for food. JEAN: I've probably spent 50 dollars in the last five years. Seriously. ZAK: Whereas most people spend on themselves, maybe 200/month would be a modest estimate? JEAN: My mother spends six or seven dollars a week because she's particular. I'll eat anything. I just pick out the healthiest stuff and I pick out what I have. Sometimes there was just cheese and crackers for a few days, well, that's ok but as long as I continue to dumpster for food the quality and freshness and quantity and choices have been amazing. We should be getting together and making sure that this food doesn't go to waste. We all should be eating all the food. ZAK: What is that a mango? JEAN:Yeah, that's a really good mango. There's a couple good apples. ZAK: How about them apples? Jean, what is garbage? JEAN: Something that can't be used at all. Something that can't be eaten or fed to the worm box in the kitchen or the compost in the backyard. ZAK: But what we just put in my trunk, that's not garbage? JEAN: What do you think? Wanna come over for dinner tomorrow? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/2/20216 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Writing Joyful Lists with Sylva Florence

Sylva Florence is a writer, translator, bike-tour leader and author living in Italy. Her new book is called Finding the Sylva Lining. Read her blog here. Scheduling Joy with Nate Mullen. If you have advice call me and tell me what it is @ 844 935 BEST! TRANSCRIPT: SYLVA: Hi Zak. My name is Sylva Florence and my advice involves making lists. It started because I suck at organizing my life. I'm an artist and so I think in a very creative, scattered way and so I started to make lists and I noticed I get an absurd amount of joy when I cross things off my list. And I started to obviously keep myself on task better and keep myself organized better because if I don't make lists, I'll forget things like, paying my bills. So, but I've also been starting to add other things to my list which were not just things I needed to get done but things I wanted to get done and even more things that were delightful to get done. Like, I'll just read you my list that I made today. Taxes... Ride Bike Farmers Market. I love in Italy so I am very lucky to have an incredible farmer's market and as long as I put farmer's market on my list then I remember to go get healthy vegetables and say hello to my farmer lady. Clean house already. I didn't quite get to that so that will have to be put on tomorrow's list. Chill. That's gonna happen shortly. Hi-Gene. Because I try to reach out to someone everyday. At the end of each day I make a list for the next day and I have fun with it. Yesterday I put... Get up and do a happy dance because I spent a lot of time in-front of the computer and I needed to get up and move. So, anyways, make your lists, check them twice, have some fun with them. Include some things you wouldn't normally put on a list, like get up a do a happy dance. And maybe it will give you the same pleasure it gives me to accomplish various kinds of tasks and also have included a little bit of joy and all you need to do is write it down. ZAK: Silva Florence is a writer, translator, bike-tour leader and author living in Italy. Her new book is called Finding the Sylva Lining...cause that's her name! So good, Sylva. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
4/1/20214 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Automating Your Finances with Joe Saul-Sehy

Joe Saul-Sehy is the creator and co-host of the Stacking Benjamins and Money With Friends podcasts Understanding Time Horizons with Justin Waring To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today on the show, a few simple tweaks you can make to automate your financial picture. JOE: That's one of my favorite things to talk about, Zak and I think it's the hidden thing that people don't think about. They think they need to make more money. They think that they need to pay attention to their budget a lot. Which, you know, both those things are great but, man, automated your financial picture so that money just goes to the right place I think is the best advice I've got. ZAK: Heck yeah. So, I have been meaning to do that for, I don't know, five years and just haven't. So, how would you suggest folks get started? JOE: Well, the cool thing about it is that you just do it once. The nice thing about automating your finances is you do it once and it's all done. And I think that the way we think about it is that our brains can only handle so much at one time. Here's where I'm coming from. Sherlock Holmes, the smartest guy who never lived, in A Study in Scarlet, he famously said, 'What the deuce is the solar system to me.' And what he's really saying is he only has so much room in his brain attic and he needs to just focus on the important stuff. And one of my favorite researchers about time management, a woman named, Laura Vanderkam. She talks about our brains being a battery and that battery during the course of a day, it runs out. So, I don't want my brain battery running out before I remember to build my net worth. So, this is where automation comes in and all these important things we need to do, like remember to save and pay the bills on time. If we automate that stuff, we can just focus on the most important thing in our financial life which is finding ways to be better at our job and maybe make more money or have a more fulfilling career. ZAK: I love it. So, what do you use to automate? JOE: So, the first thing I have is something that helps me track my money and I use a low-cost program called Tiller cause I don't like ads but there's plenty of free things. There's a great one called Clarity Money. There's another one called Mint. There's Money Lion. The bad news about those apps is that they will market to you at the same time as they're helping you but what I like about all of these is that you can set alerts that you tell you when you go over set numbers. So if I spend too much money at a restaurant. This happened to me just a few weeks ago. I go through a drive-thru to pick up some food and immediately my phone buzzes because I went over my restaurant budget for that week. I really like the fact that I don't have to pay attention to my money every minute. I just have to pay attention at critical times. The other thing, though. The one that most people have is if you have a job and you have direct deposit, almost everyone direct deposits to their checking account and this is a really easy, automation shift. So, you already have the automation, we just have to have it go to the right place. Have that go to you savings account instead. And all of a sudden your brain has flipped and now the money is automatically saved and instead of deciding how much of your paycheck you want to save, now your money is already saved and you have to decide how much you want to spend and now we're doing critical task, number one, I think, which is we're disassociating the amount of money that we make from the amount of money that we spend. And when I made that one switch, all of a sudden where I didn't think I could save money before, money started piling up in my savings account because I'd always leave a little there instead of taking every dime to spend on whatever I needed that walk. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/31/20215 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Asking the Dumb Question with Jesse Thorn (and Larry King)

Jesse Thorn (@JesseThorn) is the owner of the podcast network, Maximum Fun and host of the podcasts, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go! and The Turnaround. The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn Interviewing with Aaron Lammer To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's The Best Advice Show where every weekday, someone I like offers one morsel of advice. Ideally, something you can start practicing today. On this episode, I'm gonna talk interviewing with one of my favorite interviewers. JESSE: I'm Jesse Thorn and I'm owner of the podcast network, Maximum Fun and also among other things the host of the NPR show, Bullseye. ZAK: Jesse' gonna talk about interviewing an iconic interviewer on his podcast about interviewing. And for those of you keeping tracking at home, this is my second interview with an interviewer about interviewing. The first one was with Longform podcast host, Aaron Lammer. There's a link to that in the show notes. Ok, here's Jesse talking about an essential piece of interview advice you can try at home, even if you don't have a talk show. JESSE: Like, the thing that I think about all the time that I learned from...I did a show called The Turnaround where I interviewed famous interviewers and I just did it because I never went to journalism school or had a mentor or anything. I just was like, doing my college radio show until I was 40. And, we sort of were surprised that Larry King said yes to coming on the show. Like, basically, we just made a list of every famous we could think of, sent out one email to each of them and saw who said yes. Cause it was a low-budget show. ZAK: But you had for people that haven't heard it, you had Ira Glass, Brook Gladstone, Larry King, did you get Terry Gross? JESSE:Yeah, that was the first time I talked to Terry Gross and I was very gratified. I'm a huge fan. But Larry King I was not a huge fan of, may his rest in peace. I wasn't against him or anything, I just never had cable tv as a kid so I never saw him, you know? And I never listened to overnight talk radio. But, I went into his house and he had this big house in Beverly Hills. ZAK: Did someone answer the door or was it him? JESSE: Yes, his assistant just a really sweet, obviously, intensely competent man. His assistant offered me a bottle of water and I was like, what is this gonna be like? And he sat us down in Larry King's trophy room which was like, the trophies were like structural to the room. There were so many trophies and prizes and pictures of him with Hank Aaron or whatever and he came in and he just Larry King right away. The moment he walked in the room, I understood why he was Larry King. Cause you're like, oh, this guy is the most engaged person ever. He locked eyes on me. He was completely present with me and the question that he said he was really proud of when I asked him about this, he said, one time a pilot came on my show... LARRY: And I said when you're going down the runway do you know it's gonna take off? And he said I never think about it. Yes, it will take off but it may not stay up. An engine could go. Birds can fly into the plane. But if I'm going 160 MPH down that runway, it has to take off. Now it may take off for five feet and crash but it will lift off the ground. But he never thinks about it. JESSE: And to me, that's like the perfect question because Larry King doesn't care that it makes him look dumb or makes him look like he doesn't know about pilots. ZAK: Yeah, there's narrative in that question. JESSE: Yeah, and it's like go so much emotional content, you know? ZAK: I spend my entire life not trying to sound dumb. Trying not to sound dumb. Not trying to sound dumb. See? And so, to know that one of the keys to really engaging and asking good questions is to not worry about sounding dumb. This is the work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/30/20215 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Not Doing Wifey S#^t with Niccole Thurman

Niccole Thurman is a Los Angeles-based Actress and Writer. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's advice from actor, writer and comedian, Nicole Thurman, contains some explicit language. You've been warned. NICCOLE: Don't do wifey shit for a fuck boy. I saw that on a t-shirt once and I was like, fuck yeah. ZAK: Tell me more. I love this. NICCOLE: Ok. Ok. So, don't do wifey shit for a fuck boy. It's about not giving yourself and your time and your emotional labor to a man who is emotionally unavailable, stunted, not interested in actually being in a relationship...any of the above. I feel like when I saw that shirt I was in a relationship with a guy who was completely, emotionally unavailable, had told me he didn't want to be in a relationship to start the relationship. But I still was like, no no, I know what's best for us. Like, we like each other. We should be together. So then we ended up in a relationship that he did not want to be in and he was deceptive and not good the whole time because of it. ZAK: And you were doing wifey shit? NICCOLE: I was doing wifey shit! We lived together. He drove my car. His name was on my insurance. We went to weddings together. I was way more emotionally invested then he was, talking about future events, saying, I love you, to no return. ZAK: Did you see that shirt during the relationship? NICCOLE: During the relationship. I was downtown in LA and I was walking to work and I was almost, always in a bad mood cause the mother fucker was always doing something. So, I was walking and I saw this woman crossing the street and it said, Don't Do Wifey Shit For a Fuck Boy and I was like, damn! ZAK: What did you do in the moment? NICCOLE: It was one of those epiphany moments. I think it's like, you see it happen all the time where it's like, a man will tell you directly something about how he feels or he's not available to give you what you want and woman will be like, oh, I can see potential here. They see a project. They don't see a product. They don't see the person in-front of them that doesn't want the thing. And so I think it just put that in my head. Cause you don't think of your boyfriend as a fuck boy while you're dating them. After I broke up with him one of my friends was like, I always thought he was a fuck boy. And I was like, what!? Why didn't you tell me. But then you start to see the light like, I'm giving all this energy to someone who's not gonna be around in a year, six-months, whatever. ZAK: Did it change the way you are in relationships now? NICCOLE: I'm way more cutthroat, but in a good way for both me and the guy. If a guy's like, I can't be dating right now, I'm like, byeeeeeee! ZAK: My last question is. It was hard for you to acknowledge that he was a fuck boy during the relationship. For people that are in relationships now and want to figure out if maybe they're with a fuck boy. Is there a question you can ask yourself to help you see more clearly? NICCOLE: I think there's a series of questions. And there's also a series of moments that you need to pay attention to and not brush off because I think it's easier to brush the moment off and keep moving forward with this thing that's not happening. You have to say, did he ever say, I don't want to be in a relationship. You deserve more. Or, I can't give you what you need. Or, I don't know if I'm there yet. I don't know if we're on the same level. Like, those phrases...GET OUT. If you want a relationship. These are for woman that want a relationship. I'm a person that wants a relationship and I wasted a year and a half of my life on someone that didn't want the same thing because I wasn't listening to the...I wasn't getting the clues up front. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/29/20216 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making Matzah with Liz Alpern

Liz Alpern is passionate about reimagining tradition and bringing people together. Liz is co-founder of The Gefilteria and co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: The Jewish holiday of Passover is coming up this week. It's a holiday commemorating the Israelite's liberation from slavery in Egypt. And today on Food Friday we have some advice about Passover, celebration, symbolism and liberation. Our guide is Liz Alpern. She's a Jewish food entrepreneur, educator and cook author. ZAK: To start, for our non-Jewish friends, what is matzah and why do we eat it on Passover? LIZ: So, matzah is a ritual food of Passover. A ceremonial food of Passover. And so, it is essentially like a cracker or a flatbread and it has symbolic meaning because in the story of Passover, in the story of Exodus that's told during the Passover holiday, the whole idea is that the Jews were slaves in Egypt and they fled very quickly. And they barely could bring anything with them and so they, like, didn't have time for their bread to rise and so they threw some flour on their back and kind of got the hell out of dodge. You know what I mean? And so, matzah is bread. That biblical bread that is associated with this fleeing of Egypt and on a spiritual level there's this whole process that you do in your life but it's supposed to have a spiritual element to it. I mean, "supposed to" in air quotes. You clean your house of all of the leavened products. You get rid of them leading up to the holiday. And so there's this spiritual meaning that I've learned around this which is about confronting your ego. Confronting all the things that are puffed up. Confronting the stuff that you're carrying that is maybe taking up too much space, right? And so this idea of this cleansing process maybe the week before and then during Passover eating this humble, flat bread that is like, the literal symbol of what it is to be humbled has a lot of spiritual meaning and the way it's translated is that it's the bread of affliction...this bread that symbolizes the experience of slavery. ZAK: How do you do it? How do you make your own matzah? LIZ: My gosh. So easy. You take some flour. You mix some water. Basically, it's 4 parts flour to 1 part water. So, I mix this very, very, very basic dough. I roll it out as thin as I can. I break it up into some chunks. Roll it out, thin, thin, thin, thin. Poke some holes in it and I throw it in the oven and I bake it for about 5-6 minutes total. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/26/20214 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Avoiding the Evil Tongue with Emily Berman

Emily Berman is a mom and audio-maker based in Washington DC. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Do you ever gossip about somebody over text and then you realize to your horror you sent the text to the person you're talking shit about!? Of course you have, you're human. And if you haven't, good on ya. But if you have like the rest of us, you might appreciate this advice. EMILY: DO NOT TALK SHIT ABOUT PEOPLE IN WRITING. Don't do it in text. Don't do it in an e-mail. Don't write it on a piece of paper. Don't write it down. And this works on a lot of different levels. You can go very deep with this. Like, biblically deep. First of all, its saves you from being caught in a very embarrassing situation. It pauses you for a second. If you just like, have this rule that you're not gonna write things down. If you're not gonna say anything bad about someone pause. You're not gonna text it. You have to call the person to say it. You have to call whoever you want to talk to. Are you gonna make the call just to say that thing? So, it gives you a second to reflect. And if you call, ok, you call and you say it and then maybe notice how you feel after that. Like, was it worth it to call to say that? Like sometimes maybe but generally speaking it feels pretty bad to might start to notice. I've started to notice that it feels pretty bad to say negative things about people. EMILY: And, this is not my idea. This is one of the most important laws in the Torah, which is the laws surrounding Lashon Hora which means evil speech or evil tongue is what is means exactly. And it's really one of the worse things you can do in the Torah because it is so destructive. Things you say about other people can be destructive to them in their lives in so many ways. EMILY: It's an on-going practice. Everyday you're going to be confronted with this situation of like, you have the thought of something you feel about someone else. Something you need to get off your chest. And then you have your choice of like, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna quickly express those thoughts to someone else? Are you going to keep it to yourself? And like, you're gonna practice over and over not writing it down. Not making the call to express the feeling and then eventually, I don't know if I can say I think the thoughts less, but I feel like it's becoming a smaller and smaller part of my personality and my goal is to be a person who does not say negative things about other people. ZAK: When you're suppressing the urge to write shit or talk shit, what do you do then with that feeling of like, man, this person just was being an asshole and I want some catharsis from it? EMILY: Ok, so like, sometimes I don't do it perfectly. Like, sometimes I do pick up the phone and call the person I want to talk to about it and vent for a second. But, it's like I'm getting quicker and being more empathetic to the person I would have said something negative about. Little by little it doesn't feel as much like suppression, although at the beginning when I first learned about this, it did feel like I was suppressing things and I felt stifled. I just want to say what I think. I just want to say...I just want say how I feel and that's important because I feel it. But it actually becomes a spiritual practice of empathy. Cause it feels terrible to think that other people are out there saying bad things about me. And if we're all just doing that, that's such a heavy reality to be living in. So, I guess I am trying to do my part to change the reality...change the way we all communicate with another and just, I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna say something bad about you, Zak. Laughter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/25/20216 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Saying Yes with Marty Maddin

Marty Maddin is a husband, father and a leadership and performance coach. Tell me your regrets at 844-935-BEST OR [email protected] TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Ok, it's July, 1995. Where are you in your life at that point? MARTY: So, I am in high school and it's summer time and I'm working at a day-camp. ZAK: And so, in your mind you've got a lot going on? MARTY: It sounds funny when you say it now, but yes, at the time I thought I was pretty busy with life. MARTY: I have an older brother and he thought it would be really fun to go to Chicago to see the Grateful Dead. They were playing at Soldier Field and I thought it was a great idea and I thought about it for a day or so and then I just kind of got a little lazy and felt like I was kinda busy with all the different things that I thought were going on at the time and so I told him, you know what, lets just wait until next year. Maybe I'll join you next year. I think he was planning on going either way so he was nice enough to invite me but I kind of told him I was too busy. ZAK: Is it I don't have the time? I don't want to put the energy into going? What do you think was your headspace then? MARTY: Probably the biggest thing was I felt like I could just do it at any point in the future so why do it right now. ZAK: That was July 9th, 1995. Grateful Dead plays at Soldier Field. They open with Touch of Grey. They close with Box of Rain and that ends up being their last show ever. Because one month later... ARCHIVAL NEWS: Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead guitarist who kept the counter-culture of the 1960s rocking and rolling right into the 90s died today in California. He was 53. MARTY: It was a crazy moment because I was on the bus working when I found out that he passed away and I really did have a moment of, oh my gosh, I blew it. That can never happen. I can never get that chance to go to that concert with my brother and see Jerry Garcia perform and so it was sad. I chose incorrectly. I, you know, being a little lazy there was not the right choice. I think the advice is to...well it's really two things. It's to live in the moment because it's so easy to have regrets about the past and to be worrying about the future and what you have to do or what can happen or how much time you have and to stay present to what you have right in-front of you right now. What I had in-front of me in that moment was an amazing opportunity to go spend time with my brother and go see an amazing band and because I was worrying about things that I needed to get done, I missed that opportunity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/24/20214 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Prepping Your Garden with Alice Bagley

Alice Bagley is a gardener, biker and time-banker from Detroit. Throwing Seeds with Alice To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Welcome to The Best Advice Show where everyday a different guest offers a little morsel of wisdom for you. ALICE: Hi, this is Alice Bagley from Detroit, Michigan where I am a gardener and biker and time-banker and probably some other things. My advice today is to wait to clean-up your garden until it's warmer. Here in Detroit we're having a warm spell. Its gotten up to 60 or 70 degrees the past few days but it's gonna get cold again and if you clean up all the leaves and sticks and other brush in your garden you can clear away the eggs and cocoons of a bunch of insects that we like such as butterflies and preying mantises and lovely, native bees. So if you can you should wait to clean up your garden. ZAK: But, Alice says, if you feel like you need to be more productive in your garden. There are some things you can do, like... ALICE: Prune your fruit trees and your bushes. This is the right time of year to do that. There's a bunch flower seeds that actually like to go through freeze/thaw cycles. Especially wildflowers so you can put some seeds around to do that. If you must plant some thing which I totally feel that too, some seeds you can plant this time of year are peas, carrots, beets, spinach, salad greens. You can also look in your vegetable garden to see if some stuff lived through the winter like spinach usually does and I was able to find some beets and carrots out in the garden too. So if you do have to clear-off the garden you put on your mulch, like maybe you put down some leaves and straw, you can just clear them off of the place where you're gonna plant things. You don't have to clear your whole garden out. You can just push the leaves or straw off to the side, plant the seeds that you want to plant and hopefully it will be more spring-like soon when the temperature is more reliably above 40 or 50 degrees everyday. That's the time of year to start clearing out your garden beds and all the old, dead plants from last year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/23/20212 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Saying the Nice Thing with Shira Heisler and Evangeline Garreau

Evangeline Garreau writes the Good Questions newsletter. Read it! Shira Heisler is a physician and complimenter. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I'm pleased to welcome back Best Advice Show regular and the love of my life, my wife, Shira. SHIRA: If you have a compliment for anyone. Like, if it just crossed your mind and you're like, hey, that guy has beautiful eyes. Or, oh, you're really kind and generous. Or, you look pretty today. Whatever compliment you have for anybody who crosses in your life, stranger, friend, partner...tell them. ZAK: That's a great piece of advice, Shira. SHIRA: That's why it's on the show. ZAK: For sure, but I was complimenting you. SHIRA: Oh. Laughter. Good. Good. ZAK: I love this advice. I recorded it with Shira a long time ago and I finally got around to putting it together today and actually, literally, five-minutes after I finished editing this episode and uploading it, I got this voicemail on the advice hotline. This is unbelievable! EVANGELINE: Hi, my name is Evangeline Garreau and my advice is to say the nice thing. I don't remember where I first heard this but the idea is that every time you think something nice about someone, you should tell them. For me this mostly shows up with clothing. Anytime I notice a cool shirt or a nice piece of jewelry, I want to tell the person how great it is. This happened a lot more pre-pandemic but still on Zoom calls when I notice that people make an effort, I want them to know that they look great. It makes me feel good to give them a compliment and it makes them feel good to receive a compliment. And often it leads to friendship. People tend to like you more when you tell them nice things about their clothes. I also feel like it's the kind of thing that when you practice in a low-stakes context, like, complimenting someone's outfit, it gets easier in a high-stakes context like, telling someone you love then for the first time. I have an example that's not quite that high-stakes but recently I had a moment where I was feeling really grateful for my mom and my sister. We were navigating a hard family issue and I felt really good about how it was being handled. And, I had a moment where I thought, should I say something or is that totally sappy to just tell them, oh, man, you guys are so great. And then I thought, say the nice thing, and I'm glad I did because they deserve to know how much they mean to me and who knows what's gonna happen tomorrow. So, whether it's about shoes or true love...say the nice thing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/22/20213 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Self-Containing Sandwiches with Ma'ayan Plaut

Ma'ayan Plaut (@maayanplaut) is Senior Manager, Audience Development & Engagement at PRX. Plating with Ma'ayan To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's Food Friday and today return contributor, Ma'ayan Plaut is here to talk about sandwiches. Not just any sandwich, though. MA'AYAN: I don't know if it's cause I miss my parents a lot right now but I've been making a lot of what my mom likes to call the two-handed sandwich. And it's actually more of an idea than it is a recipe and it's delicious because it's filled with all sorts of crunchy vegetables...usually lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts, for my mom it has to have avocado in it. If you're me, any type of savory spread, avocado included, also welcome. And the main thing here is that it's piled super-duper high. It's absolutely beautiful to look at and it's the best. First bite, last bite, all of them are great. The only challenge with the two-handed sandwich is that it's really just that. It only works best if you're holding it with two hands and whoa is you if you decide to put it down for any reason whatsoever. So, the thing is with all of those crunchy vegetables and all of the spreads, everything starts sliding in every direction, so the bread might fall off completely because of all the stacked, multiple dimensioned things on top. The vegetables, especially if they're slide-y vegetables like cucumbers or sprouts, they just slide side-ways and you kind of just end up with something I call a miserable tossed salad with bread that just so happens to be on the side or on the bottom. So my solution is actually to self-contain the sandwich and that usually comes from one of two things. It's either a well-places toothpick or you can wrap your sandwich up either in wax paper or aluminum foil and that just gives you some extra, internal stability when all of the slide-y and crinkly and gravity-defying fillings have all these ideas about what a strong, free-standing structure really should look like. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/19/20212 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Living in a Yellow Submarine with Dr. Glenn Gass

Dr. Glenn Gass is a provost professor emeritus at The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: This is Dr. Glenn Gass. GLENN: I'm a provost professor emeritus at The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and just retired this past May. ZAK: When I was Professor Gass' student in his History of The Beatles class. Yes, that's a real class and yes it was most the beloved class on campus and one night in class, professor Gass told us this Beatles story which remains one of my favorite Beatle's stories. And I think the essence of this story has a jewel of wisdom that I've been thinking about a lot, which we'll get to. But first, let's go back to the spring of 1966 when The Beatles were recording the song, Yellow Submarine. GLENN: And they had a bunch of friends over. Marianne Faithful, Brian Jones, Hunter Davies, Alf Bicknell. They just said, come on in. They just wanted normal voices singing the chorus, so it didn't sound like The Beatles singing in perfect harmony. They had Mal Evans with a parade bass drum and they had the cocktail party. That's actually Patty Boyd, George's wife that has the big shrieking, high life in the middle of that and the glasses clinking and all the sound effects. So, anyway they did this and they did the overdubs singing, we all live in a Yellow Submarine and everyone was having a great time. Who knows, it's 1966, so they're probably having a really great time. The engineer, Geoff Emerick went to lock up the tapes and turn off the lights and he came back out to turn out the lights in the studio. He walked in the control room and looked down to Studio 2 and saw everyone was still there. They were there with Big Mal Evans and that parade drum in the front of this conga line with everyone on the person in-front of them's shoulders, swaying back and forth singing, we all live in a yellow submarine. I mean there's no tape running. The song is done. They're having so much fun, they didn't want it to end. That's so beautiful on so many levels. The Beatles just want to be together. They want to sing and have fun together. You wouldn't likely do that on a George, Paul or John song but for Ringo, lets all gather round our friend and just have a good, old sing-a-long. ZAK: I love it so much. I love thinking about how, the song in this instance, maybe not with all their output, but maybe in this case, the song was just a by-product of their friendship. GLENN: Yes. ZAK: The song wasn't even the point. The point was them being together and having fun and, awesome, this amazing song came out of it. GLENN: The point was being together, having fun and the song expresses that. My friends are all aboard. Many more of them live next door. The whole song was about being together with your friends and the fact that Paul wrote it not for himself but for his friend. So, it not only is about friendship, it sort of embodies friendship. ZAK: We have these really loud baseboards cause we have a boiler with hot water heat and in our bedroom it sounds like we're in a submarine right now and I've been thinking about the song and thinking about how, all of us, are in our own...if we're lucky to have our own proverbial submarines with the people in our lives we love. Like, we're just kind of very insulated in our own yellow submarines right now. GLENN: Yeah and everyone's submarine is so different. ZAK: At the beginning of the pandemic, parents with young families were talking about how they would have impromptu dance parties. It's like finding fun where they can because we don't have access to all these old ways of having fun outside our houses. So, I feel like that's another thing that this song makes me think of. It's just like, make meaning amid the isolation. GLENN: Create the world you want to be in. Create the atmosphere you want. And damn the torpedoes we're gonna do this submarine song and we're gonna have fun with it. Learn more about your ad choices. V
3/18/20218 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Falling Asleep with Karen Semone

Karen Semone is a senior director of innovation at Salesforce. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Warning, today's episode might put you to sleep. But if it does, that's a good thing. Here is Karen Semone's advice for falling asleep easier and dreaming better. KAREN: You basically think of a place that you loved as a child. For me it's my grandma's house. And you take a visualized tour of that house. It's not about the people in the house. It's about the place. But it's very much a sensory experience. So you really feel what the handle of the door feels like. You smell. You visualize the smell. You try to remember details of where the photos are on the photo wall, where her art was. And you walk through the rooms. And more often than not, by the time I've gone through the whole house, I'm asleep which is awesome. You enter through the garage and she has this very old-school screen door and I think it is a form of meditation because you have to be really methodical and sort of, slow. Sometimes I like to pretend like I can smell her famous pecan sticky buns that she would always make in the morning. ZAK: Is it always your grandma's house that you do? KAREN: It's funny. I change it up but it usually tends to be places I visited in summertimes as children. So I have a couple of cottages that I did or my aunt's house where she had a pool. And I think that might just be because it's light-hearted memories. Like, positive associations. And I tend to have nicer dreams since I started doing it. My name is Karen Semone. I am a senior director of innovation at Salesforce. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/17/20212 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Doing the Hard Thing First with Tiffany Paulsen

Tiffany Paulsen (@thetiffanypaulsen) is a screenwriter, producer, director. Her most recent film, Holidate, is on Netflix. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Thanks for listening to another episode of The Best Advice Show where everyday I talk to someone new who's got a little morsel of wisdom for you. Something you can take with you and try, hopefully immediately. I've been in touch with some listeners recently who hear my daily call-out for advice but think they don't have anything good to offer. You're wrong. You do. It doesn't have to be sage and profound. My favorite type of advice is stuff the advice-giver is still working on. So, what is it? What are you working on in your life that you think might be valuable or helpful to some other people to work on? That's the stuff that I want to hear. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST. So, that thing about the advice-giver still working on the advice. That's true of today's episode. TIFFANY: Hi. My name's Tiffany Paulsen. I'm a screenwriter, producer, director. Most recently I wrote the romantic-comedy, Holidate for Netflix. The thing that I try to do and I want to get so much better at is, do the hard thing first. Doing the hard thing first is something I'm really working on and is helping me because I find when the hard thing is out there and I mean the email I don't want to send, the call I don't want to make, the thing that's broken in my house that I have to figure just hovers. It hovers in my workspace. It hovers in my energy. And it slows everything down. So, getting that thing that I don't want to do that I'm regretting out of the way is really helpful. ZAK: And once you're able to do that. Once you actually get the hard thing done first, what does that do to the rest of your day? TIFFANY: Well, first of all I find that the hard thing is never as hard as I'm anticipating that it's gonna be. So, it instantly relieves anxiety. And for me as a writer, I just feel like anything I can do to free up my creative space and my brain-flow is always gonna be more positive to my work-day and have a better outcome with my work-day. So, I really am finding that getting that, however big or small, but the thing that I'm dreading the most about the day or the thing that I just don't want to tackle. If I could just not procrastinate it, it's gonna be far beneficial to get it done. And changing that mindset of, like, ok, what is it? What do I need to deal with? I'm gonna just get it done, it's that...ahhhh. Wasn't that bad. I don't need to think about it anymore. I can put that great line on my to-do list for the day and cross it out. So, I think for me I get an instant, positive, reaction. An instant, release of some negativity or some worry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/16/20213 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Taking a Chance with Bob Wells (from Nomadland)

Bob Wells runs Cheap RV Living and appears in the film, Nomadland. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: BOB: My name is Bob Wells and I live in a van and I have a website called and youtube channel called, Cheap RV Living and I like to tell people they have a choice. ZAK: If you've seen the new movie Nomadland, then you know Bob Wells. He was in the movie. He was in a couple scenes. He looks just like Santa Claus. Here he is in the movie which stars Frances McDormand as a woman in her 60s who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, is traveling across the country in a van. And then she meets a bunch of other van-dwelling people and we learn about their lives. One of those people is Bob Wells, who plays himself just like a lot of the characters. Nomadland Excerpt ZAK:I connected with Bob last week over Zoom. He was visiting his family in the Pacific Northwest and I was in my office in Detroit. BOB: Ok, here's my one piece of advice. Our society is organized to give us the most possible menial, unimportant choices that we possibly can have. So our life is full of meaningless choices. But the big choices in life are really few and far between and we don't get to make them. So, if I could tell your audience anything, I would tell them that they have many, many more choices then they know and to stop worrying about the little, tiny ones that are meaningless and think about the big ones. Think about the ones that will impact your life and the lives of the people you love. Question everything. Look at all the possible options. Take a chance. ZAK: And what's the first time you remember consciously taking a chance on something unconventional. BOB: I wasn't brave enough. I feel in the trance and stayed there. I was deeply hypnotized. I went through a divorce so I set up two households and I couldn't afford to pay for two households so I was forced into a different choice. I had always been a camper and a backpacker. I saw a van on the way to work for sale and one day the idea popped into my head... completely unconventional choice. I could live in that van. I can live in a tent for months at a time. I can live in that van better! I stopped. I bought the van and I moved in. And at first I hated it. I felt ashamed. I felt like I was a failure. I had utterly failed in the American Dream and all of a sudden. Well, not all of a sudden. Gradually, I fell in love with that life and for the very first time in my life, I was happy. ZAK: What do you think is our species essence? BOB: It's connection. Our species essence is connection. Connected to nature. Connected to each other. Connected to the sacred. It's deep, profound. You ask any anthropologist about what humans are. We are a pack animal. That is a simple, science of humanity. We are pack animal. And instead of being a pack animal that lives in packs, profoundly connecting to each other and everything around us, we've become ants or bees in a hive. And we've lost all connection to each other. ZAK: So do you live by yourself in the RV? BOB: I do live alone in my RV but I usually have a pack around me. ZAK: Well some of us aren't going to become nomads. At least not yet. What do you think is something that we might practice today to get some of the feeling that you get from being on the road without actually packing up and hitting the road like you did? BOB: Well, you can embrace minimalism. That's one thing you have to be pretty minimal. Nomads were all minimalists. Things were a burden. The attitude always was, if I have too much stuff and I have to carry it to the next stop cause that's where the food and water is, then that stuff is a burden and I don't want it. So that is an attitude that every nomad had and you could adopt tomorrow. You can stand up right now, get a bag, go around, find a lot, a lot, a lot of crap in your house that you don't need and get rid of it. And that will free you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit meg
3/15/20217 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Loving Garlic with Meiko Krishok

Meiko Krishok is the founder and co-operator of Guerrilla Food (GF), a Detroit-based grassroots culinary team that uses food as medicine. GF is the team behind the  Pink Flamingo To Go farm-to-table carry-out restaurant in the Palmer Park neighborhood in Detroit and Pink Flamingo popular seasonal vintage food trailer that is located in a community garden in Corktown, Detroit. Growing Garlic Fermented Honey Garlic TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Welcome to another addition of Food Friday where talk food advice. MEIKO: My name is Meiko Krishok and I live in Detroit. I have a food business called Guerrilla Food and run an off-shoot of that business which is Pink Flamingo Food Truck and Pink Flamingo To Go carry-out restaurant. One thing I've been enjoying that I've been learning how to do that I really enjoy doing because it's so low effort is how to grow garlic. This is the time of the year where it starts to pop-up a little but because you grow it in the fall. You don't really need to have access to water to grow it. You just need a space to put it in the group and cover it up really well in the winter time so it doesn't freeze and I just think it's like, one of the best food sovereignty things that we can be doing that's also not very hard. You know for things like onions and stuff you either need to grow the seeds or you need to get transplants and garlic you literally just take the cloves, right? Any cloves. Even stuff from the grocery store and then you just need a place to put it in the group that can go into the ground about 6-inches or so. And then you just cover it really well. I like to use leaves and then if you have straw. So, I literally don't even water the garlic. I just put it in the ground, cover it and then in the spring I uncover once it's warm enough and wait for it to grow the little garlic scapes. It grows this little curly-cue and that part will flower if you don't pick it. If you break it off of at the right time of the year, then all the energy goes down into the bulb and then the garlic grows and then you have garlic by July. ZAK: Garlic continues to be just, obviously it's part of so many recipes...but it's the thing that I'm perpetually so intoxicated by in the kitchen. It's just the best. MEIKO: Yeah. It's so good. You can do so many things with it. One thing we've been doing recently which has been so delicious is you take peeled cloves of garlic and you put em in a jar and then you put honey on top. And the honey will ferment the garlic and it just mellows it out slowly over time. But that is really delicious. You can eat the cloves of garlic or you can the honey. And you just let it sit for as long as you can and eat a little bit every day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/12/20214 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Operating from Abundance with Taylor Cox

Taylor Cox is a writer, comedian and host of the podcast, Hills I'd Die On. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/11/20213 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Starting Young with Dr. Celeste Holbrook

Dr. Celeste Holbrook (@drcelesteholbrook) is a sexologist, speaker and author. She was last on the show talking about the reality that one of you wants to have sex more than the other. I want your advice about having difficult conversations! Call me at 844-935-BEST or email at [email protected] TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I'm excited for some more advice from Dr. Celeste Holbrook. CELESTE: I am a sexologist. I've had my own practice for 7-years and I've been a sex educator for 10. ZAK: Today's episode may not be suitable for children. But it also may be suitable for children. ZAK: I was actually thinking leading us to this interview, we're gonna need to put a disclaimer for kids at the top of the episode but I wonder what do you think about how early is too early to start talking openly about sex. CELESTE: I mean, I'm a little biased, Zak. Laughter. I definitely have told my 8 year-old not to touch their clitoris at the table. So probably never too early. ZAK: But yeah, what have you noticed in your own children or friend's children or client's children, like, what do you think is a healthy way to start talking opening about sex? CELESTE: Start early by naming body parts what they actually are. And that starts when they're 18-months old and then grow the conversation...The conversation matures as they mature. It's not just one conversation. It's not just one talk. It's something you talk about through and through, over and over. My kids knew about what was by the time they were four. We're the ones that bring all the shame to the table. ZAK: Hmmm. Uh huh. Uh huh. CELESTE: So, early. Early. ZAK: Yeah. And when you say, you know, actually name the body parts, you mean like, say penis instead of pee peep. Stuff like that? CELESTE: Correct. Plus it gives a sense of trust that you're gonna tell then the right things from the very beginning, So at age 9, you're going, it's not your tee-tee, it's your vulva. It's not your wee-wee, it's your penis and then they're going, well what other things did they lie to me about. You know. ZAK: You're giving yourself more work. CELESTE: Yes. That. *Laughter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/10/20213 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Checking In with Ronald Young Jr.

Ronald Young Jr. is the host of Time Well Spent and Leaving the Theatre and the associate producer for the Seizing Freedom podcast from VPM and Witness Docs. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Welcome to The Best Advice Show. Spring is here in Detroit. I'm grateful for the sun. Today's advice comes from Ronald Young Jr. And this is advice like all the advice on this show that you can practice as soon as you hear it. I think it's really simple but super important. Here's Ronald. RONALD: So, I went through a break-up in September. When you're in a relationship you always have at least one person that you can talk to, lean on, stay stuff to. And my life feels like, and I feel like maybe to my detriment, feels so compartmentalized outside of being in a relationship that I don't really sometimes I find myself outside of all my compartments. I don't have big group of friends that still hangs out. Like, I do from college but we're all separated now. So I feel like often, I'm a single person with no kids and unmarried so it's very often...and I feel like other single will probably understand this to. Especially when you live by yourself. People just don't...It's easy to be lost in the cracks. And I only mean in terms of social interaction and communication. ZAK: I hear that. For sure. Yeah, that makes sense. RONALD: You're married, right? ZAK: I'm married and I have two kids. So, it's like the opposite. And I take it for granted. I take the morning conversation I have my wife totally for granted. RONALD: Yeah. That's something I miss. Like, with my ex-girlfriend, I miss being able to talk to her in the morning or talk to her in the afternoon or chit-chat. But what I would tell you is that you probably have a single-friend out there who's just like me. Who lives by themselves, no kids...Just reach out to them. Just say, hey man, what's up. Hit 'em up. And if you really want to do a service, hit him up regularly. I have one or two friends that I know can count on I'll talk to, probably, a couple times a week but, it's different cause you get out there and there's no guarantee that I'm gonna have regular interaction if I don't seek it out, which feels like crazy at times. You know? Cause yours comes by default. ZAK: Yep, it's a real effort that you have to make to reach out and it shouldn't fall on you entirely or even the majority. It should be, you know, reciprocal at its best, but right now, like, yeah being alone sounds really challenging right now. RONALD: And to be honest, that's the first time I articulated it. Because I don't think anybody owes it to me to reach out to me. I just think that it is something like, when I was communing to work and I was getting coffee before I went to work at the coffee shop or going in and talking to the employees or even the people that cleaned the building. I had a friend in the mail-room who me and him would have these long conversations. So, you had all these incidental interactions with people and when you're a single person and you don't live with anyone. I don't have pets, kids...those incidental interactions are all gone and I think that's something that...And I know a lot of people and families are suffering cause they're getting sick of each-other. It gets challenging and all that. And I completely understand that. And that is its own struggle. But I just feel like those incidental interactions are important. And I'm an extrovert. And I didn't say all that to say the onus is on YOU to talk to ME. It's just saying, for a lot of us singles out here. We have to generate and then the other part is, when the depression and all that stuff sets in, it then becomes hard to generate that interaction. And so, even a, hey man, what's going on? What you up to? Just one of those is nice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/9/20214 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Playing Exhibition Matches with Suneel Gupta

Suneel Gupta is the author of BACKABLE: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance On You. He's the founder of RISE and is on faculty at Harvard University. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Hey, it's The Best Advice Show where every weekday I talk to someone awesome and they give you one thing that you can do today to improve your life. Today, the writer and entrepreneur, Suneel Gupta. He just put out a book. It's called Backable. What does it mean to be Backable? SUNEEL: Backable're able to walk into a room and people want to take a chance on you. And the thing that makes backable unique is that it's this mix of creativity and persuasion. Even when the creative idea you have...even if that's yourself isn't fully baked. You may not be the obvious choice. You may not have the perfect resume and yet there's a leap of faith that people want to take on you. ZAK: And in his book, Suneel proves that it's not just natural talent that can make people want to take a chance on you. There's a bunch of things you can do to become backable or get to get ready to be backable. Like using low stakes practice sessions to prepare for high stakes moments. SUNEEL: We call these exhibition matches. And those exhibition matches tend to be very, very sloppy. ZAK: But sloppy, at least initially is good. Because Suneel says long-term success comes from short-term embarrassment. SUNEEL: So, if you're gonna be embarrassed, the viewpoint is why not be embarrassed in-front of friendlies in these low stakes moments. What ends up happening is you get to this level of mastery where you can be fully tuned-in and fully present with what's happening inside the room. Charlie Parker, the jazz musician had this great quote which is, somebody came up to him one time and said, how do you have such incredible stage presence? And his answer was, practice, practice, practice and then forget yourself and just wail. And I think that's the state that we really want to get to. But we can't get there simply by winging it. We get there only when we have such incredible mastery of our material that we're no longer wondering what to say next. We're fully tuned in and adaptive to exactly what's happening inside the room. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/8/20212 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Using Your Joy with Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. How Black women have built movements and cultivated joy by Amanda Alexander The Club From Nowhere: Cooking for Civil Rights To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Every Friday on the show we talk food. Today's episode is also the final installment of Amanda Alexander week. Amanda is the founder of the Detroit Justice Center. AMANDA: We're lawyers who support people's movements here in the city and who are fighting for a world without jails and prisons. ZAK: Amanda and I have been diving into the letter she wrote to her niece, Fiona, and later published in the Boston Globe. It's all about how Black woman have created movements and cultivated joy. And Amanda's letter is filled with some deep, deep wisdom and advice. Like this, find what brings you joy and use it for movements. AMANDA: Given that the task is as big as remaking society, and ending mass incarceration, creating conditions for people to thrive, it means that the problem is so deep that there is work for everyone all the time. And so, that means that everyone can be part of the solution and being part of the world that we need. And actually, there's so many good examples of people putting their talents and passions and particular joy to work for movements. ZAK: Like Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere. AMANDA: They were a group of cooks and bakers from Montgomerie, Alabama who made and sold food to help fund the Montgomerie Bus Boycott. It was 382 days long. And people often think that it was Rosa Parks, she refused to give up her seat, and maybe a few days later the busses were integrated. ZAK: Right, this spontaneous thing. AMANDA: Right, but this was a very long time and so people were doing things like The Club from Nowhere did to take their skills in cooking and baking and using the proceeds from sales to power right back into the movement. So in that case creating some delicious food that would fuel people and fortify their bodies and then taking the profits from that and very literally funding movement work. ZAK: We watch a lot of Mister Rogers around here and he has a song that you just reminded me of. The song is, There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You. AMANDA: Oh, I love that. ZAK: And this is an example of...find the thing that you care about or that you are good at or that you love and, like, use that for the greater good. AMANDA: Yes. Everyone has a role to play. ZAK:I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I have. Thank you so much, Amanda Alexander. If you haven't read her entire piece, How Black Woman Have Built Movements and Cultivated Joy, you must. It's at The Boston Globe. It's also linked in our show notes. As always I want to hear your advice. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/5/20214 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Admiring Ease with Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. How Black women have built movements and cultivated joy by Amanda Alexander TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Welcome back to my week-long series of advice with Amanda Alexander. AMANDA: The founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. We're lawyers support people's movements here in the city and who are fighting for a world without jails and prisons. ZAK: Earlier this year, Amanda wrote a letter to her young niece, Fiona. She wrote it in response to a question Fiona's mom posed to Amanda. How do you stay focused on Black joy and liberation? And how can I raise my child with that sense of possibility? Amanda thought a lot about those questions and came up with this beautiful letter, full of advice that was recently published in The Boston Globe. All week, I'm digging into that letter with Amanda and today we're gonna talk about one piece of advice which I find so vital. The advice is, admire ease, not just struggle. AMANDA: I try to admire our great movement builders not just for these moments of confrontation that are seared into our collective memory, but also for their ease. There's this photo that surfaced in the last few years of Rosa Parks doing yoga and there's the documentary of Toni Morrison that came out a couple years ago and there are just these images of her sitting by the water on the dock by her house. I loved learning in that documentary that Toni Morrison loves a good party and loves to dance. And there's a reason that that photo of James Baldwin and the Freedom Rider, Doris Jean Castle, the photo of them dancing together feels so good and it's because they're delighting in each other's freedom and their own. And so I think it's important to see and celebrate and create these moments of delight. To delight in each other's freedom and not just honor the struggle. ZAK: And I think it also helps to remind that we're all these three-dimensional people and we're not one thing. Like, Rosa Parks isn't just responsible for having catalyzed the Montgomery Bus Boycott, she's also, like, a lady that likes Yoga! You know, we're all these things at once. AMANDA: Yes. Yeah. Yes we are fighting for freedom in a very different world but right now we need to delight in each other's freedom. We need to dance. We need to make music. We need to stretch our bodies. Whatever it takes to feel free with each other. ZAK: Yeah. I just googled this photo of Rosa Parks practicing yoga. AMANDA: Right. There are several. I think they're in the Library of Congress. ZAK: She looks so cool, too. Like, cool and calm in that moment. AMANDA: Yes. Yes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/4/20213 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Affirming Courage with Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. How Black women have built movements and cultivated joy by Amanda Alexander TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: My wife does this, a lot, and I don't know how she learned it. But often, she'll be the one in a room to say the thing that other people don't have the courage to say, myself included. And, Amanda Alexander who I'm featuring on the show all week believes that when we see someone do this...When we see someone speak up and act courageously, it's important to go up to them and them them for it. AMANDA: Yeah, I think back to...I'm a lawyer...and in law school there were these moments where it was often Black woman who would say what needed to be said, We had been talking about a case for 45-minutes and talking around the real issues of race or white supremacy or all of that and then there would be the person would just cut through it all and say what so many people were thinking and feeling and it being important to go over to that person, you know, or in the moment, in front of everyone, building on that comment so that it's something that's affirmed right there in-front of everybody else. And just standing alongside that person and I think that there can never be enough people who are saying what needs to be said and so, just affirming that courage when we see it and when we hear it. ZAK: Yeah, this should be taught in schools. Like, what an important life-skill this is, to affirm someone else's courage and to practice it yourself when you can. And we're not taught that. AMANDA: Yeah, it's a micro-thing and I think that I learned it from a friend of mine who is just really good at that and it was a law school friend who just modeled that really well and I saw the way that their, um, affirming that courage it made it ripple. You know? So, suddenly you have not just courageous individuals but a whole community of people who are emboldened by each other's courage. ZAK: Yeah. Yeah. Courage is contagious. AMANDA: Yeah. I mean I think it's really then creating a culture of courage. ZAK: All week on The Best Advice Show, I'm featuring Amanda's advice. She first collected it in the Boston Globe in a piece entitled, How Black Woman Have Built Movements and Cultivated Joy. This is part 3 of Amanda week and I'm excited to bring you two more episodes, tomorrow and Friday. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for thanking the brave ones among you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/3/20213 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Defining the Future with Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. How Black women have built movements and cultivated joy by Amanda Alexander - TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Last summer Amanda Alexander and her friend Mo Connolly were at a protest together. It was led by students calling for Police free schools in Detroit and as they were leaving the rally, Mo asked Amanda... MO: In the wake of everything that's going on, how do you stay focused on joy and possibility and liberation? How can I raise Fiona with that sense of possibility? ZAK: Fiona is Mo's daughter. And though Amanda and Mo aren't actually sisters, Amanda is Fio's honorary aunt. And Mo's question got Amanda thinking a lot. She compiled her thoughts in a letter to Fiona. It was published in the Boston Globe recently and all week, Amanda and I are talking about it and the advice it contains. Like this...Define the future worth fighting for. AMANDA: So, this is one where I try to stay very clear on what is a question worth fighting for? What is at stake? I say in the letter that there are so many well meaning people in the world who would have you believe that the question of our day is how do we end cash bail? Or, how do we keep police from shooting black people? And I think the powerful thing that our movements have shown in the last few years is it's not about demanding scraps or the basics of what we think we can win but staying focused on what is the future that we're truly fighting for. Like, what does it actually gonna take for black people to thrive and be free and so I say it's not these other questions about cash bail or police shootings, it's the same question that freedom movements have posed for generations which is how do we expand black joy and liberation and ensure that all people on the planet can thrive? AMANDA: And lately I've been thinking of it in terms of, how can we have all the elders that we're supposed to have? I am tired of losing people in their 40s or 50s or 60s and I think it's going to take a lot for us to create the conditions where we can just delight in watching each other grow old, you know? I want to be 80 and 90 and watching each other. And I think if we stay focused on that vision and what it's gonna take in terms of the whole shift in society to get there, that to me is what it means to define the future that we're fighting for and it also means being able to define what victory is and isn't so that we know that we're not settling for something that's less than that. Or a vision that's too small. And so I shared in the letter to Fiona that, you know, Rosa Parks has been painted as an integrationist and she was always clear in her time that if wasn't about integration. That wasn't the point. It wasn't about getting to sit next to white men on the bus. The ultimate goal was to discontinue all forms of oppression against everyone who is weak and oppressed. And so when she was black listed down in Montgomery after the bus boycott, she couldn't find a job. Her husband couldn't find a job. She came up to Detroit and she spent the never several decades working on housing and economic development here in the city and building up things like the first Black-owned shopping center in the country in the early 1980s. She knew that the work was to cultivate Black freedom and to create the conditions that we would need for all us to thrive and it was simply about integrating the bus system. And I think it's that clarity of vision that probably kept her focus on the long haul of the struggle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/2/20216 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Practicing Freedom with Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. How Black women have built movements and cultivated joy by Amanda Alexander TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: One of Amanda's nieces is named Fiona, or Fio. And Fio is the inspiration for all the advice Amanda is gonna share this week. AMANDA: So this was last summer when people had taken to the streets in the wake of the calling of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and Tony McDade and Elijah McClain and so many people. And I had gone to a rally that was called by some brave, young organizers here in the city of Detroit and they were calling for police free schools. So they were demanding that all of the funding for police be cut by next here. And Mo and I were there with her daughter, Fiona, who is now almost 2 years-old and we were leaving the rally and Mo turned to me and just said, you know, in the face of everything that's going on. All of the misery and trauma and everything that we're up against, how do you stay focused on joy and possibility and liberation? And the second part to her question was, how can I raise Fiona with that sense of possibility? And I certainly can't give parenting advice. I'm not a parent. I wouldn't presume to do that. But I did think there might be some things I could share with Fiona directly. So I decided after giving her what felt like a throwaway answer, I promised to give it more thought and sat down and spent some time with old journals thinking back on what are some of these practices that feel second-nature to me now that are so part of how I live. What is there that I could pass on to Fiona as she's coming up? And what could be useful to her and to folks in her generation. ZAK: Amanda's letter to Fiona was first published in the Boston Globe on February 11th. The headline is, How Black Woman Have Built Movements and Cultivated Joy. And so all week Amanda and I are gonna dig in to that letter and talk about some of the advice that she shared with Fiona which I think is also very relevant to you and me. Today's advice, practice your freedom. AMANDA: So this one I wanted to let Fio know that even-though we are fighting to be free, we also have to practice our freedom now. Most weeks I'll take a tech Sabbath so I just put my phone away and laptop away and I sit down in the morning at my dining room table and I write out a list and at the top of the page I write, TODAY I WANT. And then I listen. I want to make it clear this is not a to-do list. This isn't a list of things I should do but it's a list of things that if I really listen deeply to my gut and to my intuition, it's what I want. Today I want to be by the water or I want to take a walk through tall trees or I want to hear my friend's voice. And it keeps me in the habit of being guided by my intuition and making sure that I know what I want and I know what it feels like to practice my freedom and making sure there's a distinction between that and the imposition of someone else's will. And I got this idea after reading Lorraine Hansberry's list she had written back in 1960. She would write a list of her likes and hates. Things like, I love Mahalia Jackson's music. I like my husband most of the time. I like dressing up. And what stuck me was how well she knew her interior world. As a Black, queer woman in the 50s and 60s and I just really admired that and I wondered, do I know myself that way? Do I know how I feel most free? So I wanted to challenge myself to do that every week and to stay in that practice and to know what feels good to me. How I want to move through the day and by knowing that I can then communicate what I feel, what I want and what I need and it helps me show up in my relationships better. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
3/1/20216 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Improvising Salads with Kamala Puligandla

Kamala Puligandla is the author of the novella, You Can Vibe Me On My FemmePhone and writes The Dyke Kitchen Column at Autostraddle. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's Food Friday. KAMALA: I'm Kamala Puligandla. I'm a writer. I do a lot of things but it usually revolves around writing. ZAK: Kamala writes a column called The Dyke Kitchen and I knew I needed to talk to her after I read her piece, The Art of Salad. KAMALA: Yeah. I don't know, I love salads because I think the possibilities are endless and I think all the things that I might want to eat when I'm hungry...If I don't really know what I want, all the things I could want will be in a salad. ZAK: For people who don't feel like free-form salad musicians, how do you think one can practice becoming a better salad improviser? KAMALA: I think part of it is having a bunch of stuff ready. I always have citrus at my house. Partially cause I'm in LA because you can turn it into a dressing or you can put it in whole and it will just drip its juices in, which is one of my favorite lazy salad methods. Put a bunch of wet stuff in your salad and then you don't have to make a dressing. That's kind of one of my cheats for salads. ZAK: I consider my mom a salad artist and I think that's where I get a lot of my chops from. Pun intended I guess. Chops. Like, for people who aren't confident in making salads or think that salads are boring, how can you help them feel more empowered in making a delicious salad that's actually gonna be satisfying. KAMALA: I think that people have this notion that salads are gonna be healthy and I think if you discard that, you're more likely to have a better salad. So, the thing is it's going to be healthy if you're eating vegetables. But you still have to use fat or else it tastes terrible and also a friend of mine told me that you have to have fat in order to digest the raw ingredients, so I was like, ok, great! So there's that and you can also put spices and flavors in to your salad. It doesn't have to be a bare, acetic salad. I put chicken in there and I'll grill my chicken with fish sauce and curry paste and other things like that, so that it's definitely not a boring salad. I think all the things you might like in a non-salad food, you can have in a salad food too. Sometimes I put the seasoning that I would put in my beans in my salad dressing. And things like that where I'm just like, what is some other taste that I like and then I'll put it in a salad. ZAK: This is such good salad therapy. KAMALA: I'm glad! Wait, what are your favorite salads? ZAK: Oh, last week I made a chicken shawarma salad where the dressing was tahini. KAMALA: That sounds so good. ZAK: With pickled cucumbers and pickled radishes. Um, when your grocery shopping, do you think about the salad that you're eventually gonna make? KAMALA: Sometimes I do. A lot of times I don't. The way that I grocery shop is like, ok, I sort of set my fridge up like someone's deli bar at the store except for it's in my refrigerator. So, I'll be like, ok, here's a couple vegetable I'm gonna cook a particular way that's like, flavorful but I could always add more to it and then I also get a couple of proteins that I'm gonna do something do and then it's like, ok, do you want to have it with noodles, do you want to have it with rice? Do you want to just put them together? Do you want to put that in an egg dish? ZAK: You have them prepped already? KAMALA: Yeah, so one of my favorite things to do is just to blanch broccoli and blanch green beans and then they're pretty much ready to eat but I could cook them again if I wanted to or I could just throw them into things, like if I'm making instant noodles, I could put broccoli in there. I also roast eggplant a lot and that's one of my favorite salad ingredients. So I just have a little thing in the fridge of whatever vegetables I bought that week. I guess I'm not putting a lot of raw ingredients in the salad except for my greens. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit meg
2/26/20215 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Coming Back with Greg Fox

Greg Fox (@gdfx) is composer, drummer, teacher and coach. He was last on the show talking about the 2 of 3 rule in episode #129. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: You might remember Greg Fox from episode 129 of this show. He talked about the 2 of 3 rule. The idea is you need two of the following three things for a project that you're thinking about to be worthwhile. GREG: And those three things are, good hang, good product and three, good pay. ZAK: Today Greg, who is a composer, drummer, teacher and coach is back with some more advice and an exercise he teaches his drumming students. GREG: In my teaching, the first exercise I teach everybody is an exercise of just spending five-minutes doing single strokes while focusing on the breath. ZAK: Single strokes. Just left, right, left right, left, right. This is something you can try at home. You don't need to be a drummer to practice this. All you have to do while you're doing left, right, left, right is just to notice when your thoughts start to drift. GREG: And then bringing them back to the breath. And that practice is not about how much of this five-minutes can I spend fully focused on my breathing as some sort of measurement of success or failure. It's about those moments where you notice, oh, I'm thinking about this thing that happened yesterday or I'm thinking about this thing I'm excited or anxious about that's gonna happen tomorrow and say, oh, I am thinking about this thing. Now I'm focusing back on my breath. And that's the exercise, right? Coming back. And so if you're doing that while you're drumming, right...I am drumming and then the thoughts start to drift, I'm over here thinking about when I was in my car yesterday and had this argument with somebody...Oh wait a minute. I'm drumming. Come back here. It's not about perfectly always being in this levitated moment. It's just reminding yourself to check in and remember, oh, I'm just in this body right here in this moment. And what am I doing right now? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/25/20213 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Quoting Yourself with Alexandra Cohl

Alexandra Cohl (@pod.draland) is the host of The Pod Broads podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Are you someone who wants to be heard but you feel a little nervous to actually come out and say the thing? ALEXANDRA: And someone who wants to connect with other people and feel seen and help other people feel seen and someone who ultimately does like to share parts of themselves in a public space. ZAK: If so, you should heed Alexandra Cohl's advice, which is this... ALEXANDRA: Do not be afraid to quote yourself and share the words that you say. You have important, thoughtful, funny and quotable shit to say and you don't have to wait for someone else to do it for you. ZAK: That's Alexandra Cohl reading from a post she wrote on Instagram last year. In other words, that's Alexandra quoting herself, quoting herself about quoting oneself. ALEXANDRA: So, don't be afraid to quote yourself is essentially saying, don't be afraid to identify what about yourself is important and worth being heard. It is not atypical for woman to feel like people are gonna view them as full of themselves if they are shouting themselves out or being very confident. You know? Like an "overly-confident woman" is seen as a negative thing in society. Not with everyone of course, but as a societal structure, that's kind of a thing that goes along with it. ZAK: Yeah. Yeah. And what do you think is the difference between you before you started sharing parts of yourself and Alexandra know? Someone who posts a lot and who quotes themselves a lot. ALEXANDRA: I would say, prior to doing this I was way more stuck in my anxiety, depressive cycles and my feelings of being very alone. And I deal with PTSD and i think this has been an outlet for me to be able to come back into my power and to not be afraid to speak up in situations where in the past I wasn't able to do that. And so its really helped me cultivate and hone my own voice an opinions in a place where I get to hold the reigns and I'm not answering to anyone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/24/20213 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Procrastinating Properly with Mason Currey

Mason Currey (@masoncurrey) is a writer living in LA. Mason Currey's Subtle Maneuvers - John Cage on music and mushrooms - How about singing the chorus to Yellow Submarine and sending the recording to [email protected] for use in a near-future episode? THANK YOU. TRANSCRIPT: MASON: So, my advice is specifically for people doing creative work or people doing work that involves a lot of idea generating or problem-solving which I think is a lot of people. And it comes from an e-mail interview I did with the artist, Maira Kalman. For my first book I was asking her about her daily routine and her work habits and in one of her replies she said, "I procrastinate just the right amount." And I remember thinking at the time, yeah, haha, me too. But since then I've come to think there's a real kernel of wisdom in that response. That, actually it's kind of an idea. To procrastinate just the right now amount because at least in the all the research I've done on writers' and artists' habits and creative process, you see how important ruminating on an idea is, letting an idea percolate in the back of your mind. I think we've all had the experience with, you kind of plant the seed and then you have an idea out of the blue while you're in the shower or taking the walk. But you need that PLUS a burst of focused, head-down work. You kind of need both things. And I think procrastinating just the right amount is kind of a great strategy or shortcut to getting the ideal balance of letting the idea percolate...letting your brain gnaw away at it in the background and then actually executing the piece of work and getting it done. ZAK: And how have you figured out how to build procrastination into your routine. MASON: I think I'm maybe a natural at that. This whole project of studying people's routines began with an act of procrastination. Many years ago I was supposed to be writing an article for this magazine I worked at, at the time. I went into the office on a Sunday afternoon. I was gonna do this thing and instead I was slacking off, surfing the internet and I was reading interviews with, like, writers about their routines cause it felt like maybe that would get me in the mood to work and I was like, somebody should start a blog to collect these little snippets. And then instead of writing this article I started this blog and over the course of many years it turned into book projects and now this newsletter, but I always felt bad about procrastinating. I never felt like I was doing something good or effective or strategic. And now I'm starting to think it's not something to feel bad about. It works for me. I think it works for a lot of creative people and maybe you should cultivate it a little bit instead of beating yourself up about it. ZAK: Yeah, that's a big point. Just the way that you view procrastination. Because if you have shame around it rather than, like you're saying, just cultivating kind of a positive air around it...the shame is going to impact the work and impact the amount you procrastinate. MASON: Also, if you get an assignment and get straight to work on it, you might be being very efficient but I think you're missing out on the part of the process that leads to the best work. You're missing out on plant the seed and then let it work away in the back of your mind. That kind of efficiency might be inefficient in creative work because you're losing out on part of the process that leads to the best ideas. And then doing this effectively requires understanding yourself, understanding your own habits and your process and that is always a good thing to try to do creative work. Like, I think you should be aware of how you work best. When you've had success what kind of conditions created that? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/23/20216 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Letting Them Be with Lorraine McDonald

Lorraine McDonald is a mom, spouse and family doctor living in Oregon. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST For a fun time, please record yourself, solo or with your pod, singing the chorus of Yellow Submarine and send it to me at [email protected] or leave it as a voicemail at 844-935-BEST. TRANSCRIPT: LORRAINE: My advice is never try to achieve a greater level of happiness with children. When your child is happy don't get in the way of that. Don't try to make it better or improve what they're doing. Don't interrupt their flow. Just let them be. ZAK: It's fantastic. Do you think it applies to adults too? LORRAINE: Absolutely. I think it applies...we learned it with out first our child in that she was a kind of sensitive baby and if you would go up to the mobile and show her, look how this bell rings...she would just start crying when she was happily looking at the mobile. So, my husband and I would say, don't try to achieve a greater level of happiness. And it works all the way up to adulthood. Imagine, you're working on a puzzle and your partner comes along and says, hey, did you know this piece goes here?! I think that it wouldn't make you happier. It would maybe annoy you and interrupt your enjoyment of what you were doing. ZAK: In a way, it sounds like you've kind of removed some of the ego from being the all-knowing mom and just to step back and watch them. How do you think that impacts their development? LORRAINE: I think it actually improves your relationship with them and as far as their development, they're more independent and courageous and willing to try things and then come and talk to you about it and that solidifies your relationship more than if you're standing over their shoulder trying to help them get to the goal faster. ZAK: Right. Yep. I find myself doing that a lot. Like, my 3 year-old is trying to do this puzzle but she's maybe not even doing the puzzle. She's just stacking the puzzle pieces. And my impulse is to get her on track. But, like, what am I doin!? She's having fun stacking the puzzle pieces. LORRAINE: Right. And maybe you can just say to yourself internally, I'm really enjoying watching her have fun with those puzzle pieces. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/22/20215 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Haitian Flavor-Basing with Cybille St. Aude Tate

Cybille St. Aude Tate (@cybillestaude) is a chef and author living in Philadelphia. Haitian Epis - I'm famished for your Food Friday Advice! Call me @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Back in episode #185, Savitha Viswanathan talked about making an Indian miraproix, a really strong flavor base you can use in a bunch of dishes. SAVITHA: Onions, garlic, ginger and green chile. ZAK: We're gonna go down a similar road today but in an entirely different part of the world. CYBILLE: My name is Cybille St. Aude Tate. I am a children's book author and chef. ZAK: More advice in packing in flavor efficiently and effectively today on Food Friday. CYBILLE: Epis is like the golden goose of Haitian gastronomy. Epis is used as a marinade for meats or for fishes. It's also used as a flavoring base for soups and stews and rice dishes. And originally, it started off as kind of being scraps or whatever you had in your fridge, kind of coming together and being pureed as something that you could just, kind of, hold and utilize whenever you needed it. So, the basis of it is a flavor-additive but it's also a celebration of all the tasty, aromatic aspects of Caribbean cooking. The beautiful thing about epis is that you can make it on a lazy Sunday and you'll have it in your fridge for weeks. It's great too because you'll pack all your flavor in there and you don't have to consume yourself with adding too much salt or sodium or extra stuff to you meals because the epis really takes care of it all. ZAK: What about ratios? How should we be thinking about how much of each thing to include? CYBILLE: That's also the beautiful thing about epis and the most frustrating thing about certain Caribbean food elements is that when our aunties and grandma's are making these things, they're just throwing things in there. So my rule of thumb is that I make to make a big batch of it...I use a lot. You can't buy half a bunch of cilantro, right? You have to buy the whole bunch of cilantro and so to control your waste with that, I'm letting those herbs that I have to buy large quantities of kind of navigate how much I'm preparing because if I don't have another use for the cilantro, it's gonna go bad. Cilantro goes bad so quickly. So, I just use like a bunch of cilantro, a bunch of parsley. A head of celery, two bell peppers. Just making sure that the ratio is somewhat proportionate and equal and even. And no epis is created equal. Someone might not like cilantro. There are so many cilantro hater out there! That's like a thing. ZAK: Yeah, it's very divisive. CYBILLE: Yeah. So if you don't like cilantro and parsley's your jam or if neither of those work for you, you can pick another herb. You can pick thyme, basil, rosemary. Just make sure that not one element is outshining the rest because you really want a nice complimentary, well-bounded flavor or seasoning because it's easier for it to adapt to the many applications of this one dish. ZAK: I put an epis recipe in the show notes today. Remember, it's interpretive. Make it what you want. You should follow Cybille St. Aude on Instagram. She's doing some really interesting work at the intersection of food and culture and community. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/19/20214 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Quelling Jealousy with Nicole Thurman

Niccole Thurman is a Los Angeles-based Actress, Improviser and Writer. Most recently, you could catch her on Indebted (NBC), in the movie Desperados (Netflix). A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO) and Shrill (Hulu). To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: NICCOLE: I'm Niccole Thurman. I'm an actress. I'm a writer. I do comedy. I'm a cool aunt. Those are my jobs. ZAK: There's this mantra Nicolle has for herself. Don't get jealous. Just work harder. NICCOLE: Cause, of course you're gonna get jealous and want to be competitive. It's human nature, especially I think there's some American thing like, I want to keep up with the Jones'. I want this. I want that. You're not satisfied with what you have in the moment. But once you start to realize that getting jealous is not gonna do anything except creative negativity and take the focus off what you need to be doing. Once you realize that that's not helping you, your brain starts to rewire itself, I feel like. ZAK: How do you see or how have you noticed your work ethic evolve since you've internalized this? NICCOLE: It just changes the way you think about work because instead of working to beat someone else, you're working against yourself or you're working more within yourself so you are more focused than you would be. And I think that once you start having that mantra repeating in your head, you start working differently. You start working more within yourself and for your own goals and not looking in the periphery. You're just looking forward to what you want to do. And it's inspired by a positive reason. It's not inspired by wanting to beat someone else down or take them down. It's inspired by just wanting to better yourself. ZAK: So I just went on to IMDB and you have so many credits. It looks like you're working a lot. You're in shows that I've watched and are respected. Do you think there is a point at which you get where the jealousy receded entirely? NICCOLE: I don't know. For me, I don't get super jealous but I definitely want something more. Which is, you know, I'm learning to work through that and not do that as much because it's not helpful at all. It's also about learning to be grateful for what you have. When you say, I look at this and see all these credits and to me I'm like, Oh yeah, but they're not THE credits I want! So getting past that. But I think it will always be there. I think that's what propels you to do more but it also can hinder your work. ZAK: This is good. And I really like that Niccole isn't claiming that you can get rid of jealously. Of course you're can't but you can quiet it down. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/17/20213 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Composing Forgiveness with Kat Harris

Kat Harris (@therefinedwoman) is an author, coach and host of The Refined Collective Podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: You've been cheated on. You've been lied to. You've been taken advantage of. Someone stole something from you. Someone offended. Someone abused. Someone assaulted you. Before you confront the person that wronged you, maybe consider this strategy. KAT: I will write a letter to that person that I never send to them. So, let me get out on a piece of paper every thing that I want to say. You cheated on me. You lied to me. And when you did that, this is how it made me feel. And, I'm angry. I'm pissed. And I want you to know this. And so, really almost, you know...we have these fake conversations in our hand of, oh, if I got another chance to talk to that person, I would say this! Do that. Write it all out. Don't send it and sit with it for a day or two and then write yourself a letter back from that person. ZAK: Damn. KAT: What do you need to hear from them? When I've done that with people that have hurt me or ex's or family members, it's amazing how healing it actually is and how oftentimes, all i really want is to be acknowledged. I'm so sorry I did that. I wish I wouldn't have done that. I'm so sorry for the pain that I've caused you. If I could take it back I would. Just write out exactly the words that you need to hear because the reality is, you may never get those words. And when I hold on to un-forgiveness in my body, it only impacts me. ZAK: There's a time and a place, right, to do actual conflict-resolution in your life. But what you're talking about is, this is instances where it doesn't need to resolve itself? KAT: Yeah. It could be with a person in your life that maybe they're not on this earth any more. I have friends that have un-forgiveness toward parents who are no longer on this earth. It could be a person that you are not in relationship with and it doesn't feel right to have that closure with them. It could be with someone who you want to have an in-person conflict-resolution with but you first want to figure out, what am I actually upset about here. And so, before going balls to the wall in an in-person conversation or a FaceTime, Zoom, whatever that may be...You really sitting with, what's coming up for me? What in me feels pricked by this situation? What boundaries feel violated? And, what actually do I want to hear from them because I think sometimes we feel hurt and that feeling of hurt feels so big or anger feels so big but typically under anger is sadness, disappointment, feeling the rejection, not being seen. And so, really I think that letter exercise gives you that permission to let the dust settle a little bit and figure out, oh, here's what's really coming up for me. I thought it was this but really, it's this. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/17/20214 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Reframing Moments with Evan Major

Evan Major is a social worker and parent in Hamtramck, Michigan. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: EVAN: My name is Evan Major and I am a school social worker and first-time parent and I got the piece of sage advice from a friend when approaching this journey that every age is the best age and that's what I wish to pass on. ZAK: I'm coming off a historically awful night's sleep. Our baby was up every couple of hours. Some type of 5-month regression or something and I was feeling so bad for myself in the middle of the night. I was resenting being a parent. I was resenting all the responsibilities I had taken on in deciding to become a parent and I was feeling pretty low. And so today I'm gonna try to be more like Evan and remember that... EVAN: Every age is the best age. ZAK: Every age is the best age. EVAN: Instead of, you know, when they're not sleeping through the night and screaming and trying to bang their head on the crib, you know, to be lamenting that and think about your level of sleep deprivation or how unsure you are of what comes next and how clueless you ultimately are as a first-time parent. It's easy to focus on those things. But just have an appreciation for every moment makes you think, wow, I really like the sound of that cry, you know. I'd like to think of it as a song. Wow, he's really trying to communicate. Wow, he's such a good communicator. Wow, this is such a special moment. It's not gonna happen again. ZAK: Yawns. Every age is the best age. Every age is the best age. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show. I want to hear your advice. Every age is the best age. Call me at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/16/20212 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Game-ifying Cooking with Al

Al is a professor and created the Single Folks Food Tumblr. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Every Friday on the show, we do something Food-related. But it's still relationship week so today I'm gonna combine the two with Al. ZAK: You ever eat off the spatula? AL: Oh yeah! Laughter ZAK: Awhile ago, Al was going through a break-up AL: And I had been living with that person for 2 years and we did all of our chores together. We did the cooking, the laundry, the everything and so now the basic facts of my life...the subsistence chores behaviors all became twice as long as they had been. ZAK: Right. So, what did you do? AL: What I did is I started playing a game with myself where I would just see how few dishes I could use to make a meal and keep a tally for myself. I mean it's not a revolutionary idea but one thing that I just did is I warmed some tortillas on the stove without anything and cut up an avocado and sliced the avocado in the avocado shell and put the salt in the avocado shell and then just sort of squeezed the avocado out from the skin on to the warmed up tortillas. So I did use a plate for the tortillas but I think, in theory, I could have just squeezed it directly into the tortilla in my hand. ZAK: Right. So no pots and plates and one plate at most. So that's a win. AL: That's a win. Yeah. ZAK: So you're like, game-ifying this process that at first was just depressing and overwhelming? AL: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's trying to infuse a situation that just felt like resentment and exhaustion and disappointment and turn it into something exciting...that I can be excited to do. ZAK: And the objective is, don't use too many dishes and what else? AL: Feed myself. Laughter. At some point, not to make light of, at some point it just became very difficult to feed myself and I think part of it is can I just feel a little but excited about taking care of own body and also make it as easy on myself as possible. So, little clean-up, low clean-up. ZAK: If you are in Al's boat and are having a hard time motivating yourself to cook, you should check-out their Tumblr. It's called SingleFolksFood.Tumblr.Com, One-Dish Easy Prep Meals for Vaguely Conscious People with No One to impress. I Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/12/20213 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Letting it Go with Lindsey Maddin

Lindsey Maddin is a legendary mother, daughter, sister and friend from Metro-Detroit. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's relationship advice week and today, my older sister Lindsey and I are going to talk about nit-picking. LINDSEY: With your partner, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend. Just think, if you're really annoyed at something and think you're about to get into a fight...Sometimes people get annoyed at how their partner loads the dishwasher. Maybe just let them load the dishwasher and don't make it a whole thing. ZAK: Right, if they don't do it the same way as you, what does it matter? They're not saving as many cubic inches as you, per plate. Who really cares. That kind of thing? LINDSEY: Exactly. I just think about, is this something that's gonna bother me in 24-hours. And more often than not, the answer is no and it's like, ok, I'm annoyed right now. I'll just take a breath and leave it. ZAK: Because the nit-picky things are the things that don't matter the next day. LINDSEY: Exactly. And it's hard. I'm not perfect at it by any means. But I do find that if I think about it...I'm like, ok, instead of just being like, why aren't you doing it this way, be happy that they're doing it all. There's definitely things that I do that are I know bothersome and they don't always get addressed. So, try to give the benefit of the doubt and just let some of these small things blow over. ZAK: Right. LINDSEY: And then if it is something that still bothers me the next day, I will communicate about it and deal with it then or, even maybe write something down to get my thoughts out and have a more thought-out fight if you want to call it that or discussion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/11/20212 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Emphasizing Your Quirks with Conor Barnes

Conor Barnes write the blog, ideopunk. Check out his expansive list of 100 tips for a better life. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: This week on the show, I'm sharing relationship advice. And today, I've got something for you to think about next time you're on a date and really, next time you're getting to know anyone new. ZAK: My guest is Conor Barnes and his advice is inspired by a book called Models by Mark Manson. Here's how Conor articulates a piece of Manson's dating advice. CONOR: When dating, de-emphasizing your quirks will lead to 90% of people thinking you're kind of alright. Emphasizing your quirks will lead to 10% of people thinking you're fascinating and fun. Those are the people interested in dating you. Aim for them. Often when people date, I think they're kind of, how to say it, they're not playing to win, they're playing not to lose. So, their goal is to be kind of acceptable to all the people they're seeing on dates, in hopes, like, that they won't ruin it. They're like, G-d, if only this person will accept me. I have to hide the parts of myself that don't quite fit or are edgy or are risky. And, Mark Manson argues and I would argue cause it just made so much sense to me is that, that's actually a terrible strategy. The goal in dating isn't to find somebody who finds you acceptable. The goal is to find somebody who's really exciting about you and somebody that you're really excited about. Like, you don't want to be with somebody who thinks, oh, they're alright. You want to be with somebody who's like, whoa, this person is weird like me or weird in a way I've never encountered before. I keep thinking about them. ZAK: Yeah. CONOR: Yeah. I think that's really crucial but the issue is that it's scary to do that. ZAK: What's your area of weirdness? Cause I could tell you mine. CONOR: Oh, please. If you go first, I might be able to think of one. ZAK: I sometimes fear that I'm bringing up pooping or farting too soon in a relationship. CONOR: Right, right! Yeah, that's a perfect example. Yeah, that would turn off a good chunk of people. But if you find the right person with it, you're set. ZAK: That's right! CONOR: What comes to mind right now is an instance where I didn't shy away from it and it led to the date not working out. I was on this date with somebody who, we found each other online and we both were really into music. That was great. We'll go on a date and talk about music. And that particular month, I was in a huge metal phase and the woman asked me, what are you listening to right now. I said, right now I'm really stoked about Pig Destroyer. ZAK: Is that a band? CONOR: Yeah, they're a grind-core band. And I was like, check out this album and this song. The album has this grotesque cover art and the lyrics are just brutal and to me I think it's really well done. But, I realized, wait, this was a risky thing to do on the first date. And then I never heard from her again. And at first I was like, aw shoot, I shouldn't have brought that up. And then right after, I thought, no, if she was into metal too or thought that it was neat, that could have been great. ZAK: Conor's advice on dating is 1 of 100 tips for a better life he recently shared on his blog, ideopunk. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/10/20215 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Spontaneous Transformation with AprilRose

April is the host of, AprilRose Speaking available wherever you listen to podcasts. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: A little while ago I started collecting your grandparent's best advice. Or just things they did or said that stuck with you in someway. It started with Sam and his grandma. SAM: And the only piece of advice I ever heard her give was, be polite and do whatever the hell you want. And that is what's on her gravestone in South Florida. ZAK: And then Laura called in to tell me about this thing that her grandma did that she now tried to emulate. LAURA: Just by example. She didn't tell me to do this. But I learned after she had died that she had done something very kind for someone. And she never talked about it. I thought that was such an interesting practice that I try to do that myself. ZAK: If you're holding some memorable advice from one of your grandparents, I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. So it was many years ago and April was at her grandma's house. She had just gone through a break-up. APRIL: I was just sitting there. I think Lifetime was on. I must have had this sad look on my face. I wasn't really say too much. I think she just picked up on my vibe and she looked at me and she knew what I was going through. We didn't really talk about it in detail. She looked at me and said I just want you to know that you're not a throwaway girl. ZAK: Did you think before you said that you were a throwaway girl? APRIL: I just didn't understand why somebody who knew that I loved them wouldn't allow me to love them. So, it kind of made me feel like it was something wrong with's something that people probably don't like about me, you know? Maybe that was my thought-process before and so it really flipped my perspective like, hey, this relationship didn't work but I'm not throwaway girl. Let's pick the pieces back up. Let's put some nice clothes on and have some fun with the girls and move on with my life. And that's how I live my life every single day and I teach my children that too. ZAK: I wasn't sure this was true before but I've heard April talk about it and a couple other people I recently talked to...this thing about hearing the right words at the right time from the right person... APRIL: I want you to know that you're not a throwaway girl. ZAK: And in a moment, you're actually changed. APRIL: And that really set me up not only for moving forward as far as relationships and picking the pieces up and knowing that I deserve love. And just because this relationship didn't work or this man decided he did not want to be with me and I had his children...that didn't mean my life was over. I could still be appreciated for who I am. ZAK: April is the host of AprilRose speaking, a podcast you can find wherever you listen to The Best Advice Show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/9/20214 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tempering Rage with Eileen MacDougall

Eileen MacDougall hosts Book Stew on WCTV. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Before I get going, you should know today's episode contains the F-word. Twice. This Sunday is Valentine's Day, and I thought I'd use the holiday, as bogus as it is to some share some relationship advice I've been collecting. If you've been at home, all day, every day with your partner for the past year or so, you might be looking for some strategies to deal with spontaneous rage. EILEEN: If we hit our ultimate point where we're really in conflict and going after each other, we came up with a way to slow that process down. Other people might find beneficial. It's like a stop-gap measure before your rage goes off the charts. ZAK: This is Eileen MacDougall. EILEEN: So, I had been thinking about when our daughter played soccer. Someone did something particularly egregious on the field, the refs had the ability to drop these flags. There was a yellow flag that was a warning and red flag that was ok, you're out of the game. And I thought that was such a great way to stop people from doing stupid things without screaming at them, because obviously, refs can't do that. ZAK: Refs can't, but, of course, we at home do have screaming as an option. But that's what Eileen and her husband were trying to avoid. Bless them. EILEEN: So, I have some index cards. Two purple index cards. That's a tribute to Prince cause I love Prince. And on the first one, in big block letters is WTF in red, red Sharpie...which is obviously What The Fuck. And the second one in big block letters is WTAF in gold Sharpie. Which is What the Actual Fuck. And that is the ultimate...that's the equivalent of a yellow card and a red card. And we keep the cards in our napkin basket and our napkin basket sits on the dining room table. ZAK: So, just to clarify, WTAF is worse than WTF? EILEEN: Oh, absolutely. You throw the actual in there and that's like, forget it. That's the extra emphasis. So, one time it was a stupid pandemic thing and this one time, which really had to do with Chinese food which is so stupid. So, the protocol behind bringing food in is pretty established. Whoever does the ordering goes out and gets it gets to come home and see a set table. So, that was one time that that didn't happen. ZAK: Wait, what didn't happen? EILEEN: He hadn't put glasses of water down at the table. So, it wasn't like there was a completely unset table for Chinese takeout. It was like, he left out one thing and I had just come in from outside. It was cold. I had to schlep to the Chinese place and pick up the food so I think came in and I was, like, a little bit mad about me being the one to go out and then when I looked at the dining room table and there was one element missing, I just lost it. And I was probably on the verge of losing it about everything, anyway. So, I actually threw the WTF card. I picked it up and I dropped it in-front of him at the table. And he looked at me and he picked up the WTAF card and threw it at me. So we had these two cards sitting on the table and we were still in a rage but as soon as the cards came down, we just started laughing cause it was so silly and funny. It forced us to just look at each other and go does this matter? Does this mean anything? Can we get past this? Just the laughing which never would have happened without the cards broke-up the whole disagreement and put us back to maybe merely grumbling at each other and some muted apologies. And that was all we needed. So now we have the cards there and they reside there permanently and I think we've agreed that when we get vaccinated and when things get better, we can either burn the cards or we can just keep them enshrined somewhere in the napkin basket on the dining room table so that they're always there if ever need them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/8/20215 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Preparing for Peak Performance with Ray Anthony Barrett

Ray Anthony Barrett (@rayanthonybarrett) is an artist and chef. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: We made it through another week, friends. You know what that means...Food Friday. RAY: I'm Ray Anthony Barrett. I'm an artist and chef. I'm on the road working on an art project, searching my roots, learning about a lost knowledge of the land and trying to define for myself what it means to be free today. Before I set out on this journey, I came back to something I learned in Boy Scouts which is be prepared. And as I found my way into kitchens the concept of mise en place fits nicely into that notion of be prepared. It's basically, before you start cooking, you have all your ingredients prepared, chopped and ready to cook. Anthony Bourdain talked about mise en place in terms of the 6 p's in his case which is proper planning prevents piss poor performance. In my experience, having a mantra or motto that is positive or an affirmation is helpful. So I modified that to proper planning produces peak performance. I'm camped in this canyon near the Salton Sea right now and being able to trust my gut and survey the situation and prepare myself accordingly...I make plans, I make to-do lists and, you know, it's like, plan for the worst, hope for the best. But, also, what I'm learning in life and also being out here in the elements, in the wilderness is, you have to be prepared to completely throw that away and adapt to the situation. ZAK: If you want to live vicariously though Ray on his roadtrip. You an follow him on Instagram at Ray Anthony Barrett. As always, I'm very hungry for your food advice. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. If you're enjoying this show, please leave a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/5/20213 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Drinking Water with Anna North

Anna North (@annanorthtweets) is a senior reporter at Vox and a novelist. Her newest novel is Outlawed, a Western adventure in an alternate world. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ANNA: I feel like all my best advice is stolen from other people and this advice is something I overheard one of the New York Times political reporters say when we were all covering the 2016 Conventions. So, we're working around the clock, like really stressed, we're very tired and she was like, it's really important when you're on deadline, you know, you're working really hard for a project when you're not able to get a lot of rest of a lot of sleep. You think you want to drink a lot of coffee and keep yourself caffeinated but actually that's bad and it will back-fire. First, you should eat a lot, but most importantly you should drink a ton of water. Like drink water is the most basic advice ever but it actually works. So then I've kind of employed this ever since. Especially if I'm on deadline for something. If there's a really stressful project. The reason it works is that, first of all, you have to get up and pee all the time so if forces you to get up out of your chair and not just be starting at your screen. Second of all, you're hydrated which is good. Third of all, you're just doing something with your hands. Like, I think is why people used to like cigarette breaks, cause you just want to be doing something. So you have water, you're constantly drinking water. It helps you stay focused. This has been hard for me cause I really hate water. I hate drinking water. They tell you drinking 8 glasses...I've always found that so annoying. But, I'll drink water if I have to, like if I'm having dinner or something. But I don't like it. There are people that just enjoy having a nice glass of water and I'm not one of those people. But it really helps when you're on deadline. My name's Anna North. I'm a senior reporter at Vox and I'm also the author of three novels, the most recent Outlawed, which is out now with Bloomsbury. ZAK: Drink water. So simple. So important. So obvious but still so difficult for some of us. Thank you, Anna North. What are you doing to make it through? Give me a call at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. If there's someone who you think should hydrate more but you don't know how to tell them, send them this episode. Thanks. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/4/20212 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Practicing Impressions with Josh Ruben

Josh Ruben is an award-winning actor, writer, and director whose feature film SCARE ME - which he wrote, produced, directed & starred alongside Aya Cash and Chris Redd - debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. -- You Made it Weird #210 with Josh Ruben - -- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST -- TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: When I need to laugh until it hurts. Like, keep over laugh, my go to source is this one episode of a podcast I like called, You Made it Weird. JOSH RUBEN ON YOU MADE IT WEIRD: Well, the thing about life is one day you'll be dead. I don't know why it's an elephant at the end of everything I say... ZAK: The guy doing the Robin Williams impression is Josh Ruben. And the guy laughing so much is the host of the show, Pete Holmes. JOSH RUBEN ON YOU MADE IT WEIRD: Pete, come downstairs, it's bit time! That was Mrs. Doubtfire... ZAK: You can even hear the engineer in the studio laughing. *Laughs.* ZAK: This is me listening at home. *Laughs.* ZAK: The interview is well over 90-minutes and a huge portion is just like this, Josh riffing on a bunch of impressions. JOSH RUBEN ON YOU MADE IT WEIRD: My name is Leonard Lowe. PETE HOLMES ON YOUR MADE IT WEIRD: Is that the character from Awakenings? How did you pull that? ZAK: We're gonna get to the advice, but first this is my favorite of Josh's impressions. JOSH RUBEN ON YOU MADE IT WEIRD: Yeah, buddy. I'm pretty into photography, actually as an actor... ZAK: Josh, the master impressionist, was kind enough to meet me on Zoom and give me some advice about how to do a good impression. JOSH: The more specific the better. Broad ones stink. Look for that. The weird tongue, lip-smack, shifting of the weight, you know? ZAK: And what do you think makes Jeff Bridges such a fun one to do? JOSH: I think it's the musicality of his voice. Friendly, dopey golden retriever kind of quality about him. And from there, the fact that you can just say anything. Yeah, I hit another man with my It's just fun to do. Who doesn't love Jeff? ZAK: Yeah, he's such a lovable guy. Buddy. Buddy. JOSH: There ya go. Yeah. Buddy! If you catapult your underbite, you know, your lower mandible on the D, I think that's how to do it. Give it a try. ZAK: Buddy. Buddy! JOSH: Yeah. Buddy! It's almost like you're barfing out the D. ZAK: Buddy! JOSH: Yeah, there ya go. Yeah. ZAK: He's just being nice. I've got a lot of work to do. Josh Ruben is an amazing impressionist. He's also the writer, director and star of the new terrifying and funny movie, Scare Me, is available on demand. And you might know Jeff Bridges was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. I'm sending lots of love his way today. Buddy. Buddy. I love you, buddy. Buddy. Buddy. As always, I want to hear your advice. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/3/20214 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tapping Into Childhood with Lauren Passell

Lauren Passell is founder of Tink Media and co-founder of Lasso Audio, the first management company and agency for podcasters. She is also the curator of Podcast The Newsletter. SUBSCRIBE to Podcast, The Newsletter - -- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST -- TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: When I set out to make this show, I couldn't have predicted the predominance of shower advice. But here I am with the 4th episode devoted to shower or bath advice. It started with Drew in episode 5 and how he likes to start his days with an orange in the shower. DREW: It's just such a pure, little moment of absolute sensual wonder and joy. ZAK: Then there was Ken in episode 18. KEN: I've discovered a new kind of coffee in the middle of the day and it's something that I'm calling the lunch-hour shoer. ZAK: And Jules in episode 103. JULES: My advice is to wash your feet because they often get forgotten. ZAK: And now Lauren in episode 203. LAUREN: Ok, this thing that I do every single day since I was 5 years-old and I didn't tell anyone about it till I was 21. It was a secret I had with myself. I call it Shower Belly. And every single has to be bar soap. You get bar soap and you lather it on your stomach for a long time until there's a layer of soap. It has to be a true layer and then I draw on it. And I call it my Shower Belly Creations and it makes me really happy and it's a little ritual I have with myself. ZAK: What did you draw today? LAUREN: Pizza. When I can't think of anything to draw I usually draw pizza. ZAK: Like, one slice? LAUREN: Yeah, like a triangle. And then you can make toppings. Or for some reason a phone or Mary Poppins, rainbows, stars. Always up for new ideas. ZAK: Like, what does it do for you? LAUREN: I think part of it is that I've been doing it for so long. Maybe people can't enjoy it if they haven't been doing it their entire lives. But it's like a little therapeutic. It feels like I'm really, really cleaning myself. I'm taking care of myself. It's like the one time in the day where I'm not listening to a podcast or talking. People say they have shower thoughts. It's like a good time to just think about yourself and the drawing though, I think it just reminds's something playful. It makes me laugh. I do it everyday and it always makes me laugh! Cause it seems like I'm a grown-up, I should have stopped doing this by now. It's so stupid and I love stupid things. ZAK: Me too. LAUREN: I think that's why I don't stop doing it. ZAK: Yeah, and I don't want to beat it to death but something's like you's a daily ritual that you've invented to connect yourself to your child-self. Which is like a metaphor, like always remember to have a child's curiosity, but you're physicalizing and so I think that makes life better for, yeah? LAUREN: Yeah. And, you know, I have really good memories of my entire childhood. It's like a safe place I'm going to or something. I didn't need to be on Lexapro when I was five years-old when I started doing Shower Belly. It's this safe spot that I can go to at the beginning of my day so I can start my day being happy and laughing in the shower. ZAK: Lauren Passell is the curator of Podcast, The Newsletter. If you are looking for a ton of new podcast recommendations every week, Lauren's newsletter is the place. She says she listens to about 5 hours a day of podcasts. Amazing. She also is the founder of Tink Media. Thanks Lauren. If you have some shower related advice for me I think we should keep this going. Please let me know what it is at 844-935-BEST. And if you're enjoying this show, please consider leaving a rating or review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Stay clean, friends. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/2/20214 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Amusing Yourself with Cheri Passell

Cheri Passell runs I Love Italian and runs Barbie_Snack on Instagram. -- Always Beginning with Norene Cashen - -- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: My guest today, Cheri Passell, has some advice particularly for woman over 40. But I think it applies to all of us. CHERI: This sounds so trite, but my advice is to never stop dreaming and to dream big. And it's not as trite as it sounds because something happens to woman, woman over 40. It happens to men to but not as much as it does for woman. Woman become pretty invisible. All the sudden you notice when you come into the room, nobody really notices you. I was at a party, my husband's company party that I didn't really want to be at anyway and I thought, oh, nobody really wants to talk to me. I mean people were doing it but you know, like, I wasn't the interesting person to talk to in the room, you know? And I kept thinking, hey, I have lots of really interesting things to talk about! I could see the look in their face. They were thinking, I wish I was over here talking to this person instead. They were kind of looking for an escape route. You know when somebody looks out of the corner of your eye and you think, oh, you're not paying attention to me. You're looking over there at that. ZAK: Yeah, we all know that look. What did that feel like? CHERI: I think for a lot of woman it's pretty devastating. But, it didn't destroy but it made me rethink my life. Lets put it that way. ZAK: In what way? CHERI: My desire to amuse myself has always been greater than my need to please people. So, I just decided to start looking for ways to amuse myself. I think a lot of woman my age thing, it's too late. Particularly my age cause I'm now 64. But even when I was in my 40s I thought, I don't know if I want to use the word re-invent, but it's find out what was still there for me. It's not over yet. I think woman think oh, I should have done this, I should have done that. Well, do it. And I always thought, oh, I should have studied languages in college. And I probably should have but what's stopping me now. So, when I was about 45, I started taking Italian lessons and I started watching Italian movies to improve my Italian and that's when I just became this expert-ish person on Italian Cinema cause I was so into it. ZAK: Cheri became such an enthusiast that she started a blog, CHERI: And I never thought it would be anything. I think some people are afraid to start things cause they think, I won't be any good. That's not the point. I just wanted to do something that I thought would be fun. But eventually I developed a little audience and now I go to the Venice Film Festival with press credentials every year. I mean, it turned into something. I'm not bragging, honestly. ZAK: I know. CHERI: Everybody should do this. I'm not special. If you find a passion, do it! Just go for it. ZAK: I love it and I love so much this thing that you articulated which I think is really a North Star for, for a good life is, amuse yourself and don't try to please others. That's so big and so hard for so many of us. CHERI: Yeah. ZAK: When Cheri isn't writing about Italian Films. She's running her Instagram account Barbie_Snack which really could only exist for her amusement. But it looks like people really like it. It's so weird and delightful. CHERI: I call myself a Barbie artist. ZAK: Cheri's advice today pairs particularly well with the episode we did called Always Beginning with Norene Cashen. I linked to that in our show notes. If you have some advice for me, give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. And if you can think of someone in your life who might benefit from this episode, consider sending them this episode. Thanks so much. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2/1/20214 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Leavening with Michael Strausz

Michael Strausz is a sourdough enthusiast, baking in Fort Worth, Texas. Starter-Along Sourdough Pizza Recipe | Serious Eats - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: We've come to the end of another week of The Best Advice Show. It's Food Friday. If you have some food-related advice for me, call me on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. MICHAEL: I mean, it's pretty cliched, but it was during the pandemic, I think a few months in and my spouse, Kate, she started to think, maybe we should try sourdough. So first we tried to make our own starter and we failed. So we gave up on that but then we just borrowed some from a friend. Cause, that's the nice thing about sourdough is that you can share it very easily. So we got some from a friend and we started feeding it. I feel like that was around June. And we've been feeding it and using it a ton ever since. ZAK: It's kind of like a lifestyle. MICHAEL: Definitely a lifestyle. I really like the fact that I can keep this thing alive in my fridge and use it to cook and I really like just the ability to sort of continue to produce my own leavening agent. I think that if it wasn't for the pizza dough and breads that I make with it, including pita bread, it's very good with pita bread by the way. If it wasn't for that, I probably wouldn't do it. But just being able to have your own leavening agent that you're growing is really enjoyable. ZAK: Do you have a name for yours? MICHAEL: We call it The Animal. And my kids will joke sometimes that I love it more than them, or it's third, after the two of them The Animal is a close third. ZAK: And for those of us who are like, alright, there's too much work. There's this living thing in our fridge. Make the pitch for why we should try this. MICHAEL: So, if it's in the fridge. The work that it takes you to just keep it alive is once again. You get it out of the fridge. You take some out and then you add in, you know, the same amount of water and flour. So, I usually do 100 grams cause I have a kitchen scale. It takes like a minute. You pull a little out. You add the same amount of water and flour and then put it back in the fridge and that keeps it alive and that's it. And then whenever you want to use it, it's there. ZAK: So, I'm gonna include your favorite sourdough recipe in the show notes. What might that be? MICHAEL: It would be the pizza dough. I'll send it to you. It's from Serious Eats. MICHAEL: I'm Michael Strausz. I'm the President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Education Agency in Fort Worth which runs a pre-school. The Lil Goldman Early Learning Center. ZAK: Thanks for listening to the show. If you're enjoying it, please consider leaving a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts. And again, I am hungry for your food advice. Call me at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/29/20213 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bringing it Down with Stephanie Slagle

Stephanie Slagle is Senior Director, Brand Agency and Sales Strategy at Graham Media Group. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: STEPHANIE: Oh hi. I'm Stephanie Slagle. I work with sales teams. ZAK: Stephanie and I work for the same company, Graham Media. She's a gem. STEPHANIE: I'm a very high-energy person. I'm kind of always like, bleeeeeee. I actually had a mentor of mine tell me long, long ago that when someone goes up you go down. And what he meant by that was when the energy level of somebody because they're stressed or concerned or worried and these are all real things...when you're managing people all of these things are real things and their energy and stress and concern level goes up...if you take yours down then you will help them come down. Right? Because it's usually fear or a concern and anxiety that they're challenged with, that gets them to that state. And in the beginning, because I am such a high energy person, I was like, that's crazy! Why would you do that? But over time I started practicing it and so when someone would come in to my office saying, oh my God I lost an account! I physically would get quieter and say, what happened? The very act of taking your voice, your tone and your energy down, they naturally kind of match you and it helps them calm down. ZAK: And have you brought this strategy outside the office? STEPHANIE: I did eventually. Initially it was, I do this at work to kind of help manage things. But now it's become natural to who I am. When there is a big stressful moment, it's, let's get back to what can we control. ZAK: Have you figured out a helpful way to manage your stress or the stress of those around you. If so, I would love to hear it. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST or email me at [email protected]. Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/28/20212 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Avoiding Catastrophe with Brenden Murphy

Brenden Murphy is an amateur plumber from Michigan. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BESTTo offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's episode is a little longer than usual, but it contains some advice that you are going to carry with you for the rest of time. There are few things more terrifying than this moment. ZAK: Ok, I'm in my bathroom. I'm just wondering if you can tell me how you became an amateur plumber. BRENDEN: Well, in my life, toilets seem to get clogged a lot. As embarrassing as that is to admit, it's true. So I know for me, personally, if I go into anyone's bathroom and there's no plunger I won't go number two. I'm gonna find another bathroom cause I'm like, I'm not gonna risk it. ZAK: I think it's very big of you to admit that you clog toilets. But everyone has clogged a toilet. And if you say you haven't clogged a toilet, I don't know if I would even believe you, you know? BRENDEN: Right. ZAK: Brenden Murphy is here to save the day. Here is his advice on how not to make toilet overflow and humiliate yourself in four easy steps. So you've flushed the toilet and it's not going down. BRENDEN: My first piece of advice is to get some hand soap. If you put a couple squirts of hand soap just right over the toilet hole, what will happen is, soap is a lubricant, it'll help it go down easier but the soap will also, when you start plunging, it will help keep the odor down so there won't be a smell associated with it. And everything will just be a little cleaner. ZAK: Aren't you glad you tuned in today. Step number two, the plunging. BRENDEN: The basic advice is you wanna make sure it's sealed around the hole because you're not actually pushing the material down with that plunger handle. You're creating a pressure difference that's going to pull the material into the pipes. So, one way that you can do that faster is when you push down with the plunger, jerk it back and instead of doing a slow forward, backward, when you push it down and it's sealed, if you do a quick jerk, that should create a little more pressure and that should help it move faster. ZAK: Ok, you got that? First soap, then the quick jerk. Now on to number 3. BRENDEN: The third piece of advice which I think is the most important one is when you get to the point when you might have to flush it again, you know, like the water is low, maybe you need some more water, if you add more water, it will help push the material down but of course you don't want to overflow the toilet. So, if you look to the left of the toilet, there will be a knob. In most houses it's a handle. It's normally coming out from the wall about one-foot off the floor. It's silver and that's called the supply line shut-off valve. ZAK: Yes. Here is this valve you're describing which I have never noticed before. BRENDEN: There should be a handle/lever on it that you can turn to the right. That's gonna limit the amount of water. You want to make sure the water level is pretty low but as long as it's fairly low and it looks like it's a decent amount, by shutting off the supply line you should not overflow the toilet. It shouldn't spill out. ZAK: Ok, so we're almost home free. Soap. Plunge. Turn the supply line off and at this point you can flush, hopefully everything goes down. BRENDEN: And then you turn back on the supply line. Everything fills up. Everything's somewhat clean. And my last piece of advice is to take that plunger and to plunge your toilet once it's clean water. You've already got the plunger out. You've already filled up the toilet with clean water. So, go ahead and rinse it off. My name is Brenden Murphy. I'm a cost-estimator in Sterling Heights, Michigan and I'm an amateur handyman. ZAK: Brenden, I speak for myself and all the listeners of The Best Advice Show, you've just saved us so much heartache. Thank you so much. If you have any life saving advice, I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more
1/27/20216 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Drive-By Hugging with Brian

Brian is a husband, father and hugger from the Midwest. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST ZAK: Brian is from the Midwest. He works in insurance. His daughter is grown now, but when she was a little kid. BRIAN: I noticed a funny thing. She was a pretty easy kid to raise but if she was ever upset or crying or cranky, hungry, tired...if you sat down on her level and just pulled her in for a little bit and if you'd feel her take a deep breath and she would just let go. And I thought, that's funny...Not yelling at her, not telling her to do anything. Just grab her and hold her a minute. When I would come home from work and I'd be exhausted somedays, getting home late and she'd run to the front-door and she'd hug me and I said that's a fake hug. That's a movie hug. Give me one of your real hugs and she would squeeze me as hard as she could and I would say, I can't breathe! And her response always was, try. BRIAN: But then I recently was reading about hugs and when you hug 20-seconds or more there's actually a hormone, oxytocin. It makes you let go. It lets rest. It lets you relax. And during this pandemic, I was always a person that was gone and traveled and I've been home a lot and I have a little of this feeling. And I saw my wife getting a little bit more anxiety too and we would occasionally, just, I'd pass her in the kitchen in between calls and I'd realize, hey, that's big hug opportunity. And I'd just reach out and grab her and at first she'd be surprised but she'd hug and then she'd try to walk away and I'd say, no, it's gotta be 20-seconds. That's when you really get the full effect. ZAK: Yeah. Do you have a name for these long hugs? BRIAN: I call them a drive-by hug. Because I almost pass her and then I turn around and say, whoa, I missed a chance for a hug there. ZAK: That's so sweet. Do you count to 20? BRIAN: I actually don't count but I do it by breaths. Cause I try to take deep breaths when I do it too. ZAK: Do you think it works on yourself if you do a self-hug? I'm thinking about folks who don't live with other people. BRIAN: You know, I think it does. ZAK: Can we try a 20-second self-hug? BRIAN: Yeah, let's do it. ZAK: I'll follow your breaths here. ZAK: Listener feel free to breathe and hug along with us at home. Extended Breaths..... ZAK: I feel better. What's not to like about that? I want to thank Brian for sharing this concept of the 20-second drive-by hug with me. I've been practicing at home. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show and I want to hear your advice. How are you getting by? Lemme know on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. And here's an idea. I know we can hug anyone outside of our pod right now, but maybe sending them this episode would be a nice consolation. Thanks. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/26/20213 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Feeling Through with Amy Dallas

Amy Dallas is a public defender living in New York. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: AMY: I am Amy Dallas and I am a person, a mother, a public defender, a person interested in restorative justice and a very emotional lady. Andrew and I, my husband and I have this concept that we call mood transferring where one person might be in a crabby mood, right? And the other person's just minding their own business at home and it's all being emoted through huffs and puffs around the house and even though you might not be articulating what is going on if you're the crabby one, suddenly the other person's like, what's up? What is going on? And if it's not really communicated or worked through then suddenly that other person's crabby because you've been crabby around the house. ZAK: Right. Crab soup. AMY: Yeah, and then also maybe you do articulate what's going on with you and you do burden them with all the emotions that you're feeling and you're like, whoa, I feel so much better and now they're walking around with it. And then they might have it for the next day or two and it just kind of goes back and forth with this mood transferring and I've found that it's not necessary to do always put these emotions on someone else or put it in a space where it doesn't need to be. So, I've let myself find time, especially during the pandemic to just be alone and feel things through. So, like I'll go for a run or go for a long walk and just let those tears come. If it's something that's coming up that's making me sad. But I find that in doing that I'm able to function in a more balanced way. It's like, I can modulate my personality a little bit more appropriately where it's necessary. It's been really helpful during this time to just let myself feel all those feelings through. There's also clarity that emerges after a session of feeling through whatever I'm going through. ZAK: But I don't think it's always a burden to dump stuff or express to your partner or your friend what you're going through. So how do you distinguish when you want to modulate and do it on your own and when you want to share it with someone and kind of off-load to someone you trust? AMY: Yeah, I think in these moments where we're home with our loved ones so much, I think it starts to emerge when it's necessary and when it's not. Like, something might be coming up for me my partner's clearly in a different headspace. I don't necessarily need to shift the whole perspective of what's happening at home for this one thing that's coming up for me. And also, by knowing that I will allow myself a time later with it, I can also hold it and deal it with later and not make it a as it's coming, burdening. But of course, yes, I think also in going through some emotions on my own, when I do want to talk about something with my partner it can be a much more clear conversation. ZAK: We've been watching a lot of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood in our house. And Amy's advice reminded me of one of my favorite songs from that show. It's called, There Are So Many Feelings. It goes like this...(singing)... There are so many feelings for you to know So many feelings like colors in the rainbow Be happy with a smile Or sad with a frown So many feelings ZAK: If you have some advice for me, I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/25/20214 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Generating Energy with Lainey

Lainey is 7 years-old and a motivational speaker based in Michigan. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: My niece has been getting really into cooking. And the other day she made something she was really proud of. LAINEY: A whole chicken. Like, it's not just chicken thighs or chicken nuggets. It's an entire chicken without the head. ZAK: Right, the full chicken, minus the head. Yeah. Can you describe what you had to do to make it? LAINEY: You need to take the giblets out of the chicken which is basically the insides of it. And you take some salt and you take some pepper and you put it over it. And then you can put some cut-up onions and carrots around it and then you can put some oil or butter on top. And then you just cook it for 70-minutes and that's literally all you do. ZAK: What temperature did you do it on? LAINEY: 400 degrees. ZAK: Lainey's not here just to talk about chicken. She just sees cooking something kinda complex as a metaphor. ZAK: With the chicken recipe you thought that it was gonna really difficult. LAINEY: Yeah, we were about to make it and I kind of just was tired and I wanted to watch a show cause it was after school and then I did it and it was super fun and we ended up making a great meal and I just thought I should let everybody know this good tip. ZAK: What do you think it is about us humans where we think about a task and we get so overwhelmed by it that we don't even try it? LAINEY: Um, I think maybe you might even be tired. You probably are thinking in your head, I can't do that. If you just think about it and get it over with it could actually end up being super fun. ZAK: Right, like, so often we feel like, I'm too tired to do this but once we actually do the thing it gives us this renewed burst of energy, huh? LAINEY: Uh huh. LAINEY: My name is Lainey. I am 7 years-old. Uncle Zak? ZAK: Yeah? LAINEY: I have a question. Should I say I'm 8 years-old just in case you post this during April? ZAK: No, I'm gonna post it before. LAINEY: Alright, great! I'm 7 years-old. ZAK: Thanks for listening to another edition of Food Friday on The Best Advice Show. Is there a young person in your life who might want to offer some advice? I would love to hear it. I'd also love to hear your advice as always. As always, give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. If you're enjoying this show please consider sharing it with your friends and family. And also, leave a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/22/20213 minutes
Episode Artwork

Interviewing with Aaron Lammer

Aaron Lammer (@aaronlammer) is co-host of the Longform Podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I love a good question. When I listen to interviews or watch them or read them for that matter, I'm often more impressed with a move the interviewer makes than with the answer given in response. One of my favorite interviewers is Aaron Lammer. He co-hosts a podcast called Longform where he interviews writers. His questions often surprise me and therefore his interviews go in places I'm never expecting.  AARON: My advice about interviewing...I heard an interview I think on Marc Maron with Seth Rogan and he was talking about how they would prepare for the Ali G show. He was a writer on the Ali G show and he was like, we don't know what's gonna happen in one of these but there's only so many possible ways these can go and I'm just gonna play out a bunch of scenarios and we're gonna write jokes where if it goes this way...we're gonna write hundreds of jokes. They're not all gonna happen but he's gonna be armed with a bunch of these sort of forking path, choose your own adventure style. AARON: So my advice about interviewing is to kind of pre-visualize a conversation that way. Less like a list of questions and more like a forking tree of possibilities and themes. That kind of gives you the power to, like, steer the conversation but not steer the conversation too much. You're giving yourself enough forks that it can go a variety of ways and you can still have some degree of, like, preparation. And people actually...there aren't that many possibilities, even to a wide-open scenario, short of just walking in and being like, hey, what do you want to do talk about, you kind of know some places a conversation can go and I found that much more helpful than having way too many questions which is what I did as an interviewer when I was starting...was like, I'll just prepare by having hundreds and hundreds of questions and then, of course, it doesn't land on those questions or you can't side-track your brain quickly enough to pick up on them. The thing I like about the forking tree is that you don't have to refer back. You're always moving forward. If you pass a point, if you pass a question, well of course that was gonna happen, you couldn't possibly take all the forks of the tree. ZAK: Thank you for listening to my interview with an interviewer about interviewing. Aaron Lammer is co-host of the Longform podcast. If you have some advice for me, I always want to hear it. Call me on the hotline at 844-935-BEST and as always, if you're enjoying this show, please leave a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/21/20213 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Analyzing Envy with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, Better Than Before, The Four Tendencies & Outer Order, Inner Calm. Her podcast is Happier with Gretchen Rubin. --- Doing Without Delay with Gretchen Rubin - Living the Bigger Life with Gretchen Rubin - --- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Before Gretchen Rubin was a best-selling author on the subject of happiness and habits and human nature, she was a lawyer. And not just any lawyer. She graduated from Yale Law School and went on to clerk for supreme court justice Sandra Day O'Connor. GRETCHEN: And what I realized about the Supreme Court is I was surrounded by people who loved law. They were reading law journals for fun. They wanted to talk about cases at happy hour, during lunch hour, you know, any chance they got they just loved it and I thought I want to do an excellent for Justice O'Connor, I want to do the best job I possible can but I don't want to spend one extra minute on this than I have to and I thought, in the end I can't keep up with these people who honestly love it. ZAK: And that leads to her advice for today. GRETCHEN: One of the challenges of our lives is to know ourselves and you would think, it's so easy to know myself. I just hang out with myself all day long but it can be hard to be truthful with ourselves and really see what's in the mirror and so sometimes it's helpful to think about questions that get at the truth indirectly and I think an indirect question that's very helpful is whom do I envy? Envy is a very unpleasant emotion. We often don't want to admit to ourselves or to other people that we do feel envy but it's a very helpful emotion because what it's show us is that somebody has something that we wish we had for ourselves and that's a very, very useful thing to know. And in my case I remember know how you get those alumni magazines from your college? And I was reading about all the different people in my class and I noticed some people had really interesting law jobs and I was like, uhhhh, that sounds great. And then some people had really interesting writing jobs and I was sick with envy. And I thought, well, I should learn something from that because those are the people that I envy. They're the ones that have something that I wish that I had myself. ZAK: So next time you're banging your head against the wall, thinking to yourself, what do I actually want to do in this life? Maybe a better question or a more helpful question in that moment, is whom do I envy? So good. Thank you, Gretchen Rubin. ZAK: This is the third episode Gretchen has been on. The first two I got great feedback about. You should check them out. I put the links in our show notes. But here's an excerpt from Gretchen's episode called Doing Without Delay. GRETCHEN: Anything you can do in less than a minute, do without delay. If you can hang up your coat instead of throwinG it over the chair. If you can put a document back in the folder. If you can put a dish in the dishwasher, go ahead and do without delay and what this does is it gets rid of this scum of clutter on the surface of everyday life. And for most people outer order does contribute to inner calm and this is a way that you can create more outer order without spending a lot of time or energy dealing with it. You just do it as you go. ZAK: If you have some advice, I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. And if you want more Gretchen Rubin you should check out her podcast. It's called Happier. She hosts it with her sister, Liz Craft. It's so good. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/20/20213 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Minimizing with Brody

Brody is 11 years-old. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Are you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you've collected over the course of your life? Do you want to start getting rid of it but don't know how? Well, today I've got some advice for you. Ok, nephew Brody. It's mid-January and you guys have been doing something kind of interesting this month. BRODY: Yeah, so, for this month everyday we have been trying to give away things. So for the first day, we gave away one thing. Second day, we gave away two things and just started to add up and this is called minimalism and it is just, like, the idea of the less you have the happier you are. So we're testing it out seeing if it works. ZAK: Like, on the first of the month you gave away one thing. The second day of the month, two things and so forth until you get to the end of January, where by the end you're giving away like 30 things, huh? So does it work, this idea of the more you give away the happier you are? BRODY: Yeah, I think so. So far it's working and I'm happy! ZAK: Whoa, it's pouring hale out here if you hear that, people. How do you figure out what you want to save and what you want to give away? BRODY: The things that I want to save are the things that bring happiness to me. They bring joy. Stuff that I use a lot. And just stuff that I don't want to keep are the things I might use once every year or something. But they're just those small things that don't really make a difference. It's not like you have to go until the last day. You can stop on the 20th if you had to give away one more thing it would be something that brings joy to you. ZAK: Oh, I see. So, when you get to the point where the only things left to give away are things that bring joy to you, that's when you know that you're done. BRODY: That's kind of the goal. ZAK: Oh, that's cool. I love that. And what was this exercise inspired by? BRODY: My dad watched a documentary and he just told me the idea so we tested it out. ZAK: Great. BRODY: I'm Brody Maddin. I am 11 years-old and I'm from Michigan. ZAK: What I like about this form of purging is that it kind of turns it into a game. Sounds fun to me. Brody's sister gave some advice on this show. It was the second episode we ever did. It's called Working Hard with Lainey. Here's an excerpt. LAINEY: Because when you finish the thing that you were working hard for, you really feel good that you accomplished it and that you're done with that thing so you can start working hard on another thing. ZAK: Our entire archive of nearly 200 advice episodes is available for you to listen to wherever you listen to podcasts or at BestAdvice.Show. And if you have some advice for me, I'd love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/19/20213 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Advice for Living with Martin Luther King Jr. and Julia Putnam

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a column for Ebony magazine from 1957-1958 called "Advice for Living." You can read all of them at The Martin Luther King, Jr Research and Education Institute. Julia Putnam is one of the co-founders of the James and Grace Lee Boggs School.  TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I didn't learn this until the other day, but Martin Luther King Jr. Was an advice columnist for Ebony magazine. Starting in 1957 he wrote monthly answering reader's questions. He was still in his late twenties at the time. I hope that today you're thinking about King or reading about him, maybe listening to his speeches. But right now I want to share some advice from him because this is an advice show. I'm going to read you a question from an Ebony reader and then reading King's answer is my friend.. JULIA: My name is Julia Putnam. I'm a lifelong Detroiter and I am one of the co-founders of the James and Grace Lee Boggs School.  ZAK: Did you know that Martin Luther King was an advice columnist?  JULIA: I did not know that.  ZAK: So he was asked to start it in 1957 and so I was just thinking about the historical context and reading about it. 1956, he spends, uh, on the Montgomery Bus Boycott. And then in early '57, he co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. And then he's like, yeah, I'll write a column for you Ebony. Like he's taking on a lot.  JULIA: Well that makes sense. Right. There was a lot to do. ZAK: Yeah. And he's in his late twenties at the time.  JULIA: That's really interesting.  ZAK: So he wrote it only for, I think like he did 15 issues, 15 monthly issues because he was stabbed and almost killed in '58. And his doctor's like, uh, Martin, maybe you should like, you know, relinquish some of your commitments. JULIA: Yeah, do less.  ZAK: So this is from Martin Luther King Jr's advice column that he wrote in Ebony magazine. And this question and answer that we're going to go over is from that first issue. Is love really the solution to the race problem? Are there not times when a man must stand up and fight fire with fire? I will grant that love, as Jesus lived it, is the ultimate ideal. But it seems to me preachers ought to be honest and tell folks if they live by the turn-the-other-cheek doctrine, the sharp boys out here in this cold world will strip them and boil them in oil. Why don’t you preachers admit that love, in the highest sense of the word, is impractical in the world of today? JULIA: King writes...I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism; but of practical realism. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, love is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil, and this can only be done through love. Moreover, love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. The aftermath of the “fight fire with fire” method which you suggest is bitterness and chaos; the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and the creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce, destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do that. Yes love—which means understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill, even for one’s enemies—is the solution to the race problem. Often love is crucified and buried in a grave, but in the long run it rises up and redeems even that which crucifies it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/18/20217 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Staying Home with Abra Berens

Abra Berens (@abraberens) is a chef, former farmer, and writer. Her book is Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ABRA: My name is Abra Berens and I am a chef and cookbook author based in Three Oaks, Michigan. ZAK: Abra was last on the show to talk about holiday cooking. She's here today for another edition of Food Friday to advice us on how to save time, save money and not waste people's work. ABRA: Food waste is something I feel very passionately about because I have spent time farming and also in restaurant kitchens where margins are notoriously very slim. But, it's more the farming side which is that I think it is, and I don't use this word lightly, but I think it's a sin to waste food unnecessarily because you're wasting someone's work and you're wasting a ton of resources. You know, the fertility that is pulled from the soil into those vegetable or into those animals just to get thrown away is, is really a shame and so my biggest advice for how to not waste food is don't go to the store. You have something in your house that you can eat and so if you just, like, don't know what's in your kitchen or what's in your pantry just don't go to the store and go home and look around and I'm sure you can make something. And I think that that is the best way to not have food waste. Just don't go to the store. And then you'll have something and then you won't waste it cause it's not sitting in the back of your fridge. ZAK: That's great. I feel like I've had barley that I've been thinking about using for quite some time. What's your favorite thing to do with barley? ABRA: Uh, my favorite thing to do with barley is like a barley risotto where you just cook it, adding the liquid a little bit at a time and then it gets really creamy and then you just put a big, weird vegetable salad on top and if you're a meat-eater or a fish-eater that would go great with it but also you don't really need it. And the other thing about grains is that all of them have some form of protein. I think in this country we're really obsessed with the amount of protein we eat and each one has some form of protein and so they really often are complete meals and they're usually very filling. ZAK: I'm gonna make that barley risotto. Sounds delicious. Thank you Abra Berens. Abra has a book out. It's called Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables. If you have some Food Friday advice for me, as always I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. And if this show is doing something good for you, I would love it if you shared it with your family and friends or wrote me a rating or review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to pods. Thank you so much. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/15/20213 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Winning Friends and Influencing People with Will Moore

Will Moore (@mooremomentum) is an entrepreneur, speaker, life coach, and happiness expert. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It might surprise you, considering I make this show, but I'm kinda cynical about self-help literature. One of the more well-known titles in that genre has got to be Dale Carnegie's, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I admit it, I've actually never read it, but just the title has always rubbed me the wrong way. But not Will Moore. It's one of his favorite books. WILL: So, How to Win Friends and Influence people, if I could sum that book up one sentence, it's make other people feel important. ZAK: And how do you do that? WILL: If you look at every interaction as an opportunity to potentially build a friendship, an alliance, you never know what can come out of something. And looking at things that way versus being on your phone, looking down when you're walking past people in the office or, you know, focusing on yourself when you're talking to people and not asking questions and not making eye contact, not smiling, not making the other person feel important. You know, going back to Dale Carnegie, knowing little details like, ok, you have a daughter that's three. You're about to have another kid, next time I talk to you, hey, did you have that kid? How's it going? Little things like that, then that other person goes, oh wow, I like this person and they want to do the same and before you know it you've developed a friendship, an alliance, and you're literally helping each other build goals and its become an opportunity with that person. ZAK: My cynical nature thinks, you know, especially with the book like, How to Win Friends and Influence people, it's like, you're doing these things, you're listening to people, you're taking interest in them not because you genuinely care but because you have this ulterior motive of gaining influence so how you establish a phony filter for yourself? WILL: That's a really question. So, I actually believe in fake it till you make it. At first, there's gonna be, like this doesn't feel natural. This doesn't feel right. Because you've been locked in your own brain and you've been this victim for so long and to all of a sudden start asking people questions and be interested, you're not really interested at first, right? So let me get that clear. You're forcing yourself to be, but here's what's gonna happen and this is exactly what happened with me. Meanwhile, when I first started doing it in the back of my mind I'm thinking, ok, I'm doing what I'm supposed to. I'm asking them questions and stuff. But then something magical starts to happen. It actually starts to happen and then you're asking them questions, you see the smile on their face. You see their reaction. They start asking you questions and then you genuinely become more interested in these people and it kind of builds its own momentum and then it's a relationship and it's a friendship and when we have these friendships we care about our friends, right? My name is William Moore. Just somebody who...I'm a momentum builder. I'm helping people to build momentum via habits to help ensure that they become the best version of themselves which will, I hope, in turn help the world become the best version of itself. ZAK: You can find Will on Instagram at MooreMomentum. You can also find us at BestAdviceShow. Thanks so much for listening and as always I would love to hear from you. Give me call on the hotline and tell me your advice. 844-935-BEST. And if you are enjoying my show, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks. Bye/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/14/20213 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Negotiating Sex with Dr. Celeste Holbrook

Dr. Celeste Holbrook (@drcelesteholbrook) is a sexologist, speaker and author based in Texas. You can get on her calendar for a complimentary 30 minute discovery call at her website. To offer your own sex and relationship advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST! TRANSCRIPT: CELESTE: My name is Dr. Celeste Holbrook and I am a sexologist. The question I get asked the most is how much sex should we be having and I never give a number. Because the amount of sex you should be having is the amount of sex that you and your partner can agree on is healthy and pleasurable for the both of you. And so for some clients that's ABC sex, like anniversary, birthday, Christmas and for other clients it's a lot more than that. So, whatever works for the two of you is what works. ZAK: Yeah, how do you suggest couples where...couples deal with the reality where one of them wants to have sex a lot more than they other. CELESTE: So, sex is always a negotiation. We have to remember that there are no two people on earth who want to have sex at the same time, in the same way with the same amount of enthusiasm. That's pretty rare. And so it ok that one of you wants to have sex more than the other one. It's about communicating and figuring out what frequency works for both of us. And it is a negotiation. It's going to have to be. But the more that you can focus more on making the sex quality, the less quantity matters as much. It still matters. But it doesn't matter as much when you work on having really good quality sex. ZAK: And what does that take? CELESTE: Communication. Intentionally. Anticipation. And negotiation. Again, it's always negotiation of what feels good to you? Let's do that for awhile. What feels good to you? Let's do this for awhile. And then this feels good for both of us. You know? ZAK: Valentine's Day is coming up. And whether or not you celebrate that holiday. Whether you're with someone or you're not...I'm putting together a week's worth of advice leading up to that day which is February, 14th. Very excited about that. I'm also excited that I got a lot more advice from Dr. Celeste Holbrook so you'll be hearing a lot more from her. Also, I want to hear your sex and relationship advice...advice about being single...being together. Give me a call on the hotline 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/13/20212 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Modulating Energy with Kevin Smokler

Kevin Smokler is Co-Director of the documentary film, Vinyl Nation and author of three books about pop culture, including most recently Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to ’80s Teen Movies. His essays and cultural criticism have appeared in the LA Times, Salon, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, Vulture, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Decider and on National Public Radio. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: For way too long, like a couple years, my wife and I have been planning to sit down and make a household budget. I don't think it's gonna be that hard but I've psyched myself out of it and at this point I don't really know what we're waiting for. So, if you're like me or today's guest, you might get overwhelmed by tasks that aren't that hard so hopefully this advice is gonna help you out. KEVIN: My advice is about energy. How to spend it and how not to waste it. I am, for the most part, terrible at spending energy wisely. I have a tendency to be easily overwhelmed by things that shouldn't easily overwhelm anybody. ZAK: Like what? KEVIN: Like, I find paying bills really overwhelming. Like, even bills that are not unreasonably high or onerous to pay. I find fixing things really onerous. Even if it's like something I've fixed a thousand times like a burnt out lightbulb. It doesn't make any sense. Not from the outside at least. And what I have learned in making a movie which is a kind of creative and professional pursuit I had never done before is that there are different kinds of energies for different kinds of tasks. Energy meets the task the same way like a key meets a lock. And as such, you can change the amount of energy you spend on something based on what it is and finding that match means that you're not wasting energy or unaware of how to spend it to get that thing done. I find most of the anxiety around that comes from that mismatch of believing something is going to require a lot of energy when it's not. I'm only at the point where I've realized this is the thing I have to do. I'm not at the point of doing it well yet. ZAK: Yeah, well that's my favorite kind of advice on this show. It could be called, like, This Is Something I'm Working on rather than The Best Advice Show. There's more humility to it. And so how do you then in the moment or at the beginning of the day recalibrate and reorient the energy levels with which you're gonna have to distribute to various tasks? KEVIN: On a really successful today and it's typically when I get up early enough to convince myself I have time, I'll write out everything I have to do that day and then when I get to it, I'll write out the pieces that have to be done and if I don't do that which, that happens pretty rarely...If I don't do that what I'll do is when I approach something that seems insurmountable, I'll say to myself, have I done this before? Have I done a version of successfully before? Well, ok, then there's probably a fossil record of doing it successfully before somewhere. Either it's an email I've written before or it's a task I've performed before and then you just take 30-seconds and say, ok, well, I did this once. It worked. How did I do it? And then repeat and adjust...maybe you have a to adjust a few things here or there so the amount of new energy you have to spend on that thing is not that big. It's really mostly a version of something you've done before. I'm Kevin Smoker. I'm the Co-director of a new documentary called, Vnyl Nation. Which is a documentary exploration of the come back of vinyl records available at In my day job I write books about pop culture. ZAK: Ok, I want you hold me accountable. This week, we're gonna do the budget and it's not gonna be overwhelming. We can handle. Thank you Kevin Smokler for helping me realize that. You've been listening The Best Advice Show and I want your advice. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Thank you so much, I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad
1/12/20214 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Evolving Goals with Amy Shira Teitel

Amy Shira Teitel is a space flight historian, author, YouTuber, public speaker and occasional TV personality. Her book is Fighting For Space. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's advice comes in the form of the life-story of a woman born in 1905 in the Florida panhandle. Bessie Pitman grew up poor. She became a teenage mom. And she lost her son in a house fire when he was just 5 years old.  AMY: And didn't get along with the rest of her family. And when she was 23, she up and moved to New York City. She was a beautician by training at this point, took on a new name and just completely reinvented herself.  ZAK: Bessie Pittman became Jackie Cochran. Her goal early on was to create her own line of cosmetics and sell it around the country. She learned she could cover a lot more ground as a traveling saleswoman if she learned to fly. She earned her pilot's license in 3 short weeks. She fell in love with flying and abandoned her cosmetics career for a life in the air.  AMY: As a pilot she wanted to be the best and the fastest and her goal was the Bendix Race which was the preeminent race in the country at the time and she did it in 1938. So then what was next? Well she ended up leading the Woman's Air-force Service Pilots or the WASPS in the Second World War, leading the first all-female flying squadron and after the war learned to fly a jet, became the first woman to really train as a test pilot and and the first woman to break the sound barrier in 1953.  ZAK: Cochran continued to create new goals for herself and push herself toward them. AMY: The kind of takeaway there is if you hit a goal, don't get complacent and stay on that plateau, just you know, oh I did it! So what's the next step and continually pushing...she kept pushing herself to the next one. That's just a level of inspiration, I think, you can apply to anything is, if you hit a goal, find the next goal. I 'm Amy Shira Teitel. I am a space flight historian, author, YouTuber, public speaker and occasional TV personality. ZAK: Amy's book is called Fighting For Space. It chronicles Jackie Cochran'e story as well as that of Jerrie Cobb. It's available wherever you get books. You can find a picture of Jackie Cochran on The Best Advice Show Instagram page. And if you know some advice that comes out of someone's adversity that you've read about or maybe your own, I would love to hear about it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/11/20212 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Flavor-Basing with Savitha Viswanathan

Savitha Viswanathan is a designer, illustrator and founder of Mothertongue Foods. Mothertongue Foods - Regional Mirepoix- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPTS ZAK: Today on Food Friday, you're gonna become a better cook. SAVITHA: Hi Zak. My name is Savitha Viswanathan and my Food Friday good advice is how to make Indian mirepoix. For people who like to cook Indian food or would like to try cooking Indian food, it's a great shortcut and before I start cooking any Indian dish, I make batch. Mirepoix term for chopped celery, carrots and onions. And it's used as a base in a lot of dishes. And my Indian style mirepoix has four ingredients, onions, garlic, ginger and green chile. I use these ingredients in just about any dish I cook from vegetable curries to meat dishes to spiced-lentils. To make a batch I chop one onion, four cloves of garlic, two inches of green chili and two inches of fresh ginger. You can make double and triple batches and keep them in the fridge and use as needed. It's really helpful when you're trying to cut back on time but don't want to cut back on flavor. ZAK: Savitha is a designer and illustrator and founder of the project, Mothertounge Foods. I put a link to her site in our show notes. There's also a picture on our Instagram of Savitha and her 13 year old son, Naveen. He helped her comes up with her advice on today's show. Thank you, Naveen! Lastly, I put another link in our show notes from the website, The Kitchn about regional mirepoix from around the world. If you're enjoying a show leave a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. I really appreciate it. I'll talk to you soon. Bye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/8/20211 minute, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Creating Autonomous Zones with Holly Wren Spaulding

Holly Wren Spaulding (hollywrens) is a writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist and author of ‘Familiars’ and other books and the founder of Poetry Forge. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Whether you have five minutes or five hours, today's advice is to create your own autonomous zone. HOLLY: In other words, to have free spaces in your life free of other people, free of the profit motive, you know the pressure to be earning a living during that time. Free of interruption. Free of social media. Free of duties and obligations that impinge on, for one thing, the imagination. And the way in which this is practiced in my life most diligently is in the morning hours from 7-10 am, I treat as sacrosanct. There's no appointments, no e-mail, no social media, no interaction family members. That's my writing time. ZAK: Do you think for people that don't have a creative practice, there's value in creating these autonomous zones? HOLLY: Absolutely. And that's why I think it is, at its core to me it's about a couple of different things. It is about practicing being free. Like, who am I and what do I care about when I'm not sort of being...sort of bounced from obligation to obligation or duty to duty. My life is not free of those things. Yours isn't. They exist. I think of this time as helping me be more well-resourced for when I do have to go engage with the drudgery or make a living or whatever it is. But this idea that we can get to know ourselves in that free space...have a secret a life that doesn't belong to anyone else that we don't easily give up. And that's a big deal I think. And then also to find out, like, there's something arising in me, maybe, that is as interesting or compelling as what's happening in the outside world. So, like, what is putting pressure on your imagination? What is stealing your time? What is costing you greatly in terms of your, you know, the bandwidth you have to make whatever you want to make? It is frequently the allure of what's happening in the outside world. ZAK: Holly Wren Spaulding is a poet and writer. HOLLY: And I'm the Director of Poetry Forge where I work with writers and artists in a teaching capacity. ZAK: How are fortifying yourself? Please let me know by calling the advice hotline at 844-935-BEST and if you can think of someone in your life who might be enlivened by this idea of creating their autonomous zone, maybe you can send this episode to them. You can do that at BestAdvice.Show or just sending them to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/7/20213 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Refining Your Calendar with David Plotz

David Plotz is the CEO of City Cast and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest Podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: The art of saying no. It's something we've talked about on this show before, but not like this. DAVID: There's a whole category of invitation that one gets, or one used to get, used to get back in the days when there was invitations and things to do. But there will be invitations and things to do in the future. And there were invitations to do something so far off in the future that it was like, you couldn't even imagine it. You couldn't even conceive that that future would ever come and so you'd get an invitation, like, go to this party or have dinner with this person or appear on this panel. And it's months and months out and your natural assumption is, oh, it's so far away...yeah, that's fine, I'll plan for it, it will be great. I've got a great piece of advice which is, whenever you get an invitation for something that's more than 48-hours away, you ask yourself, would I do it tomorrow. Not would I do it in a hypothetical tomorrow. Look at your actual schedule for tomorrow and be like, if I realized I had to do this tomorrow, would I want to do it and if you want to do it, if you imagine, like, oh yeah, I would do it because tomorrow I have to drop the kids off at football practice and then I have a little space...yeah, it would be fun. That would be fun. Then you can accept it but if you're like, you know, actually, I don't relish the prospect of doing this tomorrow then don't accept it. ZAK: And have you experienced any subsequent FOMO from saying no? DAVID: I cannot think of a thing about which I've experienced FOMO. I literally cannot think of anything like that. I'm trying to imagine if there's anything like that. No. No. There was a trip to...maybe there was some trip somewhere which I once said no to and then I had slight, tiny tinge of regret but I can't even remember what it is so it can't have been that much regret. No. I'm David Plotz and I'm the CEO of City Cast which is gonna be a network of daily, local podcasts in cities around the country. And I'm the also the co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest Podcast. ZAK: Full disclosure, City Cast is funded by Graham Holdings. They are the parent company of the company I work for, Graham Media. Just so you know. Thanks for listening today to The Best Advice Show. I want to hear your advice. What is it? Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. I hope that the start of your year is going ok and that this show is helping in some small way. Bye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/6/20213 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Following Rabbit Holes with Jordan Brown

Jordan Brown is an educator and creator living in Sacramento, California. He makes music here - -- Stupid Taxing with Jordan Brown (a different Jordan Brown) - TRANSCRIPT: JORDAN: What's up, Zak. My name is Jordan Brown. I'm an educator, traveler, creator. I live in Sacramento, California. My advice is, when listened to music always check the liner notes. Always read the liner notes. When you're listening to records or CDs, look on the back of them and see who played on the songs, right? There can be producers, musicians, engineers and even people in the studio at the time that have added to this album. Some liner notes go into detail about how the album was made and who was involved, right? And if you're listening to new, digital music. Spotify or Tidal or Apple or something like that, you can usually click around the song to find the credits of that song and you can see who the performer, the producer, or maybe the original writer or engineer were on that track. And then the best thing about this part is that gives you a whole new knowledge base of musicians to choose from. You know, I love to find the bass player on one album and then realize, like, that bass player has another album of their own or that keyboard player is part of a group. It's just dope, right? Um, and this advice has helped me become a better researcher. As a kid I would dig for records and look for different artists, and get curious about who was creating that album. I think that practice of digging in the crates, it helped me become a seeker of knowledge. And knowing that there's always something out there. There's always someone creating something or something like that. I don't know. It just kind of brought me to this wanting to learn more and I think that's why I love hip-hop. Cause it's always bringing knowledge into action. You think of the phrase, hip-hop. Hip is being knowledgeable and hop is using that action. So, check out the liner notes next time you listen to music. ZAK: Why did I give all my CDs away? Jordan Brown also makes his own music. I put a link to his Soundcloud page in our show notes. He is the second Jordan Brown to contribute to The Best Advice Show. The other Jordan Brown gave some advice early in the show's run, it's called Stupid Taxing. I also put a link to that in our show notes. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show. And I would love for you to call the hotline like Jordan Brown did. The number is 844-935-BEST. What's your advice? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/5/20213 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Putting Down the Think with Marlee Grace

Marlee Grace is a dancer, writer, quilter, community radio show host and author of Getting To Center. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Happy New Year, friend. Welcome back to The Best Advice Show. I know January is a time when a lot of us are making resolutions and trying better. But it's not a sprint. It's a marathon. So, what I'm trying to say is don't put too much pressure on yourself to get it all in this month during resolution rush-hour. I wanted to start the year off with some advice which I think is pretty universally relevant. MARLEE: My name is Marlee Grace and I'm a dancer and a writer and community radio show host. ZAK: The advice Marlee is gonna share today is something that lately, she's been keeping directly in-front of her on a sticky note. MARLEE: I'll show it to you. It's written on my wall. I have this phrase I've been using that's borrowed from a 12-step program which is, Put Down the Think. I really, kind of, get physical around it too. I'll kind of put my hand to my head and extract with my fingers to be, like, everything is ok today. Moving on. ZAK: Just to clarify. Marlee will take her fingers to her forehead and gently lift upwards, stroking her bangs. MARLEE: It's the dancer in me. I have to be physical. It's my only understanding's my only way to integrate. I have to move it from my brain to my heart-space. ZAK: So when you're trying to extract the thoughts, what are you trying to take out? MARLEE: When something becomes obsessive. Like, I like thinking. I like a lot of my thoughts. But when it starts to get beyond today. It's like a future tripping of well what's gonna happen if this happens? What's gonna happen if we ever have to move? What's gonna happen if we break up? What's gonna happen if our neighbor breaks up? Like, just when it starts to's like when you're scrolling and all of a sudden you're looking at Kim Kardashian's cousin's Instagram and you're like, how did I get here? Like, the trail is so, so long so it's like that's what I'm trying to put down and just like a little bit of Be Here Now, if you will. ZAK: Sure. And if you could describe your mental state the moment after extraction. MARLEE: Hmmmm. You know, I think it goes between fear and relief. I think that if I think all the possible endings, I will be less effected when one of them happens. So, I think I'm protecting myself by going through all worst cases scenarios. I'm like, well if I know all worst case scenarios, when they inevitably happen i'll be better off. And so sometimes putting down those thoughts is scary because I have to actually commit to being in the unknown. I have to commit to not knowing. And then once I'm past that it's like, what a gift. It's the best feeling in the world to have no idea what's gonna happen today. ZAK: Put down the think. I know it's so much easier said than done by I think that physicalizing it the way Marlee does, with her hand to her forehead kind of extracting outward...I think that's a very helpful way to think about it. Marlee's latest book is called, Getting to Center. I've linked to it in our show notes. If you know of someone in your life who might benefit from today's advice, please consider sending them this episode. And as always you can call me and give me your advice. I'm really anxious to hear it. Not anxious, excited. 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. Thank you so much. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1/4/20214 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Writing to 2020 with Sara Brooke Curtis

Sara Brooke Curtis is a writer, artist and radio-maker living in Massachusetts. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: This is episode 178 of The Best Advice Show and it's gonna be the final episode of the year. I will be back with fresh episodes on Monday, January 4th, 2021. Before I go, though, I'm going to share a piece of advice slash creative praxis specifically designed for the end of the year.  First though, I just want to thank you for listening. If you've given me your advice this year, thank you.. If you've shared the show with a friend, thank you! If you've put into practice something you heard on the show, wow. that is so cool! Making the show has been a balm for me in what has been the most challenging year of my life. Probably yours too. So I hope its been helpful for you. Remember, I am constantly on the prowl for new advice. Call me on the hotline to share at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. I'm also gonna ask you one last time to please leave a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. That is one way really effective for this show to find new listeners. That's not to say I'm not thrilled with you, my existing listening. Thanks again. Ok, the last piece of advice of the year comes from return contributor , artist, writer, radio-maker, Sara Brook Curtis. SARA: At the end of every year I write a letter to the past year and I basically start out, I'm just like - what was this all about? Who were the people that were key players in my life this year. What types of wine was I interested in drinking? What were the really shitty parts of the year? What sticks out as the most, like, magical part of the year. And I write, well, pre-toddler, I'd write for like, 10-hours. But now I just write for however long I have and I write this long, kind of time to the past year. ZAK: To the year itself? SARA: To the year itself. Like, it's sort of a time to take stock for me in this very tangible amount of time of, what did I actually do and who was in my life and how did I make meaning out of my life? And then at the end of the reflecting on the year, I do a bit of, like, hello to the next year and then I write, um, you know, what I'm hoping it might be about like who I might want to fold back into my life. Like, what rituals or routines do I want to bring back. What kind of big questions do I have that our big, big questions and then sort of more minuscule questions. And then I put it in an envelope and I seal it up and I write in Sharpie, letter to 2019, or letter to 2018...whatever it is...and then I put it in a box and, yeah, I've been doing that for like, 15-20 years. ZAK: Dear 2020, you got some nerve. You gave me a pandemic this year. But you also gave me a baby. You gave me back pain, but you also gave me so much pleasure. 2020, you're a real son-of-a-bitch, but I still love you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/23/20206 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Care-Thinking with Asaya, Jiro and Jakey

Asaya Plumly, Jakey Erwin and Jiro Root are members of CareThinc. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ASAYA: Hi Zak, my name is Asaya. ZAK: Asaya called the advice hotline recently to tell me about this thing that he's been experimenting with. ASAYA: I've been not as active in the streets as I would like to be. So I've been trying to put money where I can. But recently I got together with some people in my family so that we're bundling our money together and then we kind of research groups in my area or their area or wherever they are. ZAK: And they figure out which organizations they want to support. Asaya has subsequently set up a group like this with his friends too. I got to to Zoom with them the other day. ASAYA: Zak, are you in Detroit? ZAK: I am. Yep. ZAK: What I love about what Asaya is doing...he calls the group CareThinc, by the way, is that they are fighting their own loneliness and doing some good. ASAYA: So, I reached out to some people that I know and love and care about and would love to be in more consistent contact with. ZAK:That's Asaya. And here's his friend, Jakey, who's part of the group too. JAKEY: Like COVID has placed a lot of challenges on how we find and keep community and I like this idea of just creating another avenue for community that's centered around a concept and centered around an idea of care and centered around, you know, being involved. ZAK: One of the really cool things about this group is when they started, everyone didn't know each other. Asaya was the link, and he was excited to introduce some of his friends to other friends who hadn't met yet. JAKEY: And I've really enjoyed meeting everyone. And I love my friend, Asaya, and I love to meet his friends, so...yeah, it's really fulfilling. ZAK: Another member of the group, Jiro, points out that one of the functions here it to... JIRO: Encourage each other to do something that should actually come naturally to people. ZAK: Today's advice, get together with the people you love. Pool your resources and put them toward something you believe in. That is pretty, pretty, good, Asaya and Co. If you want to see Asaya and Jiro and Jakey and myself trying to touch each other over Zoom, you can see that screenshot at @BestAdviceShow on Instagram. It's really goofy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/22/20202 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Doing Good with Luther Keith

Luther Keith is the Executive Director of Arise Detroit! To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Luther Keith is a connector. He runs a group called, Arise Detroit, which highlights activities and programs you can get involved with. I wanted to check-in with Luther to talk about giving back. ZAK: Especially around holiday time, people want to do something good. But what advice do you have for people to help them sustain the good work that they're doing spread it out, you know, throughout the year? LUTHER: I would say, find some people that you talk to. Maybe you know them from church. Maybe you know them from being on the block. Maybe you both have children in school together, or something like that. Find some people who share your passion, your love for whatever it is you want to do and for how you want to make a difference. To get anything done, I don't care if it's sending a rocket to the moon or building a neighborhood business, you need people, you need a plan and you need action. You gotta get up off of your A-S-S, get a plan together and find people of like mind who share your passion and your vision. ZAK: Tomorrow on the show I'm gonna introduce you to a group of friends who have done just that. They call themselves CareThInk and they've figured out a way to hang out and do some good, all over Zoom. That's tomorrow on The Best Advice Show. If you've been enjoying the show this year, please consider leaving me a rating or reviewing the show on Apple Podcasts. That is a way that other people will discover the show and that will help me keep making the show. Thank you so much. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/21/20201 minute, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Best of the Best Advice, Pt. 5

This week I'm sharing some of your favorite episodes of the year. Today on Food Friday, Salting with Shira. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/18/20202 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Best of the Best Advice, Pt. 4

This week I'm sharing some of your favorite episodes of the year. Today, Listening with Sterling. Sound-artist, illustrator and music producer, Sterling Toles, spent the last 12-years (yes, 12 YEARS!) working on an album with the Detroit rapper, Boldy James. Manger on McNichols is out 7/22 on Sector 7-G Recordings. It would be a mistake to skip this masterpiece. Sterling also appears in conversation with the late, great, Philosopher-Queen of Detroit, Grace Lee Boggs, in the new-ish book, A People's Atlas of Detroit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/17/20206 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Best of the Best Advice, Pt. 3

This week I'm sharing some of your favorite episodes of the year. Today, Expecting the Opposite with Sarah May B. Sarah is the host of the podcast, Help Me Be Me. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/16/20204 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Best of the Best Advice, Pt. 2

This week I'm sharing some of your favorite episodes of the year. Today, Doing the Dishes with Sam and Hannah + an impassioned rebuttal from Hannah Wolfman-Arent. Don't miss Sam's brother and mother and their amazing advice from earlier in the year! Remembering with Andrew Langberg - Waking Up with Lois Langberg - Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/15/20203 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Best of the Best Advice, Pt. 1

This week I'm sharing some of your favorite episodes of the year. Today, Scheduling Your Joy with Nate Mullen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/14/20201 minute, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Elevating the Mundane with Teri Turner

Teri Turner the founder of No Crumbs Left, regular contributor to Whole30 and editor @thefeedfeed. Give me your food advice by calling the hotline @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Cook and food blogger extraordinaire, Teri Turner, is back this week for another episode of Food Friday. And she's here today to talk about how we can transform everyday meals into celebrations, if we want. And one way to do that is to use cloth napkins. TERI: And I mean you can get them at the second hand store. You can go to World Market, you know. I'm not suggesting it's a silk napkin. But, if you use cloth napkins everyday and I did my entire kid's lives, it simply makes a moment of celebration at the dinner table. It just makes you feel special. So whether I'm taking lunch to go or I'm eating here, I always have cloth napkins. It simply makes food taste better. ZAK: And not to mention of course, the environmental impact that you're having. TERI: I love that. The other thing my dad taught us is that when you have beautiful things - when I got married you get beautiful china and silver and all that - so if you have beautiful things, whether they're your grandmothers, wherever you got them from...use them. Don't wait and put them in the cupboard for a day in the future so you don't break it. If you have beautiful things take them out, enjoy them, make a beautiful meal. Celebrate that moment. It's better to break something than to stick it away in the cupboard and never use it. ZAK: Teri Turner is the force behind No Crumbs Left: Inspiration for Everyday Food Made Marvelous. She's got books, a blog, a beautiful Instagram feed. She's a fun follow. This has been yet another episode of Food Friday and guess what, I'm running very low on Food Friday advice. That's why I want you to call the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Give me your food advice. Thank you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/11/20202 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Not Knowing with Merrill Garbus from Tune-Yards

Merrill Garbus is a musician. Her band is Tune-Yards. She put together a collage-y, meditative livestream thing to benefit @EBMC_Oakland, East Bay Meditation Center this Saturday @ 5pm PT / 8pm ET.   - ATTEND - With @thaogetdownstaydown, @esotericatropical, @DJCecil --- HASTENING SLOWLY w/MERRILL - ---- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: MERRILL: I am Merrill Garbus. I have a band called, Tune-Yards. Advice I wish I had taken to heart sooner is to say, I don't know, more often. ZAK: I always think I'm gonna be better at saying, I don't know. But then in the moment when someone's like, Have you heard of bla bla bla. And I'm always like, Yeah, I think so. MERRILL: Me too! Oh yeah. ZAK: It's so hard. It takes some real discipline. MERRILL: It does take discipline. Are you a first-born child? ZAK: No. I have an older sister. MERRILL: So, I'm a first-born child and I always blame it on that but apparently it's not that but the sense that I should be the one who's in the know all the time, like I'm the boss. The boss has got to know versus, like, so much of the effective leadership I've seen over these years of being alive, always it's a more powerful leader who says, I don't know and I know some people who might and so I'm going to go consult with them. It's always so much more effective. Yeah. ZAK: Yeah, it's such a good one. Do you think there's a practice for training yourself how to say, I don't know? MERRILL: I think that your idea of discipline around it...You know just a daily commitment to saying, I don't know when I actually don't know. Even if I framed my day that way. And for me that also has to do with honesty which has been...rigorous honesty is what they say in the 12-step world...that I'm always in a better place when I'm grounded in honesty cause then I'm not pretending. I'm not holding this reality up. To just say, I actually don't know. There's nothing wrong with it. I think in a lot of worlds it is symbolic of weakness. That if I let go of control of this situation and say, I don't know then who knows where things will go. Even that feels like white supremacy culture, actually. The idea that the leader should know and all should follow the leader, versus the group knows and the knowledge should be sourced from the group. Just even saying it feels so much more powerful, especially given this particular moment in history. ZAK: Yeah, it's just such a relief to say. I. Don't. Know. MERRILL: It is. ZAK: Merrill is a return contributor to the show. Her last episode is called, Hastening Slowly. I linked to that one in our show notes. If you like today's advice, I'd love for you to share it with a family member or friend. Also, if you love this show, please consider leaving a rating or writing a review on Apple Podcasts. It's gonna help other people discover the show. Thank you so much. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/10/20203 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Effective Bossing with Marc Summerfield

Marc Summerfield is the author of Leadership: Three Key Employee-Centered Elements with Case Studies - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's advice is about being a good boss. My guest is Marc Summerfield. MARC: I'm a registered pharmacist and I have managed pharmacies in various health settings for over 45-years and recently I retired. ZAK: Based on Marc's decades working as a boss and doing research, he's distilled what he thinks it takes to be effective down to three elements. MARC: Connection. You have to connect with people. Gratitude. You have to make sure they know you appreciate them. And responsiveness. You have to respond to their needs. ZAK: So, we're gonna work our way through these three elements. First one, connection. MARC: Of course, there's a line you can't go over in terms their personal lives but they have to feel that they have a connection with you and that they can talk to you, express their opinions to you and that you'll listen and that you care. ZAK: Ok, now gratitude. MARC: And it doesn't have to be that sophisticated. I once worked for a pharmacist who got in early everyday and as people came in, he thanked them for coming in and for being at work and for participating. And then at the end of the shift, he stood at the door and thanked them each as they exited. And those simple things, people just have such a need to know that their work, their presence, what they contribute is being appreciated. ZAK: And lastly, responsiveness. MARC: Just listening to them and responding to what's called their implicit and explicit needs. Explicit are the ones they express, like I'd like to have a water cooler. I'd like to have a new type of name badge or whatever. And then the other thing is their implicit needs...the ones they don't express but you can figure out what they need in order to do their jobs better because some people just may not realize what they need or may not express them. ZAK: Marc has thought so much about being a boss that he wrote a book about it. It's called Leadership.. I linked to it in our show notes. If you are a boss, I wonder if these principles resonate with you. Regardless, I hope you're being good to your people. This is The Best Advice Show. I would love to hear your advice. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/9/20202 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Successive Approximating with Eve Boltax

Eve Boltax (@boltaxcam) is a professional violinist and certified Feldenkrais® practitioner and a graduate of the Boston Feldenkrais Training Program. About Feldenkrais - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's episode is experiential. EVE: It's hard to express unless you've experienced it but we still try to put words to it. ZAK: Eve Boltax teaches a sensory-motor learning process called, Feldenkrais. EVE: We move so habitually and we don't even think about - we're not conscious - of the ways that we're moving so Feldenkrais is a way to help us find other options and other ways of moving without pain. Without anxiety. So wherever you are, if you can, lie on your back on the floor on something comfortable. Maybe your bed or a mat and just take a moment to notice how you're making contact with the floor. And then if you're on a chair, you can notice how you're making contact with the chair...noticing the parts of you that are supported by whatever you're lying on and then notice the parts that are lifted away, where you're not making contact. Where you are not being supported. And then begin to do a really, really slow movement of rolling your head. A little to the right. A little to the left. And as you do this movement of rolling your head...if you're sitting you can be looking right and left...go slowly so you can feel the quality of the movement. So it's not about doing a big movement or doing it well but just noticing how you do the movement and noticing the difference between the two sides. And then pause and rest for a moment. And then play with lifting one shoulder away from the floor. So, you can start with your right shoulder. Lifting your right shoulder just a smidge away from the floor and then letting it go back to rest on the floor. You can try that a couple times. Lifting the shoulder and bringing it back. And looking from where you can reduce your effort during the movement. Where can you do less? And then let that go. Pause for a moment. And then a few times play with lifting the other shoulder. Lifting the left shoulder, gently, delicately away from the floor and then letting it rest back on to the floor. And between each moment you can pause and take a moment of rest so that each movement feels fresh and new. ZAK: Of course, Eve's classes are much longer than this, usually about 45-minutes. But this will give you a sense of it. EVE: One piece of advice that comes out of this that I love is that learning happens in successive approximations. So the first time you do something, it's just your first approximation of whatever that thing is or whatever it is you're doing. Then the next time you come back to it, you get to improve a little but on that first approximation. ZAK: To learn more about the Feldenkrais process and Eve, follow the links in my show notes. Hope you like today's episode. It was a little different. As always, I want to hear your advice give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/8/20204 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Not Being Annoying with Dan Levy

Dan Levy (danlevyshow) is a writer and comedian living in LA. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: DAN: My name is Dan Levy. I am a dad. A husband. A writer/producer and a comedian, here in Los Angeles, California. I would say my advice would be very simple, which is, never be annoying. No matter what field you are in or trying to get in to. My advice to everyone is don't be annoying. I say this as someone who definitely has gone through annoying phases. But, I feel like you are most successful and you succeed the most when you are likable and nice. Obviously, if you can be funny that's always helpful. But I find sometimes when people are annoying, it sometimes comes across as desperate and desperate is no good. ZAK: I feel like annoying people don't know that they're annoying. DAN: That is the biggest problem. The problem is, though, I feel like they don't realize that and those people...a lot of times, don't really move forward with what they're trying to accomplish because I really believed that it comes across as insecure and just that desperation which is not something anyone wants to be a part of. ZAK: What does annoying look like to you? DAN: I would say annoying could be telling the story. Aggressively asking for help. Sending too many emails before someone responds to the first one. ZAK: Do you think that it's possible to gently tell someone that they're being annoying and for them to curb their behavior? DAN: Um, yeah. I think there's a way. I think, you know, you could gently say, like, hey, you don't need to talk so much. Someone told me that one time. They're like you don't need to keep on talking. You don't need to keep on pitching. We hear you. And I'm like, alright. Note taken. ZAK: Speaking of annoying, this is probably an annoying question but what's it like for you to be a Dan Levy that didn't just win a thousand Emmys? DAN: I'm very used to it at this point. ZAK: Dan Levy, the guy I'm talking to isn't Dan Levy, the guy that just swept the Emmys for Schitts Creek. DAN: I've been confused with him for so long that it's just part of my life's rhythm at this point. I respond to emails, Thank you so much. He's the best. I didn't win the Emmys though. I'll forward the email to him. hahahah. ZAK: If its not too annoying of me to ask, I would love for you to write a rating or review for this show on Apple Podcasts and if you're liking the show please consider sharing it with your family and friends. I really, really appreciate it. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/7/20203 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Holiday Cooking with Abra Berens

Abra Berens (@abraberens) is a chef, former farmer, and writer. Her book is Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: singing: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanza, but not really because this year is so weird and doesn't feel like any other year. ABRA: My name is Abra Berens and I am a chef and cookbook author based in Three Oaks, Michigan. ZAK: The holidays are coming up and they're gonna be very different from a what a lot of us were hoping for or expecting. So, what do you have in mind for how we can think about cooking for the holidays? ABRA:The beauty of holiday food is that it is...there's so many traditions and there's so many things that signal the holidays. Or like, what is the dish where it's not Thanksgiving without that dish there. But now that holidays are all wonky because of this terrible virus, if you find yourself trying to fulfill a pre-conceived notion of what it's supposed to be, just stop. And think about what you actually want to eat. And make that instead. You know, so if it's like, well we always make crown roast or we always make this thing, maybe you can just stop and think, well, everything is off the table this year, so what do you actually want to eat? And then let that be your guiding force. ZAK: You're talking about kind of detaching from expectations and like, being ok with the moment. ABRA: And yeah, what did we all have to read Art of War in the 8th grade or something. It's sort of like Art of War-ing your menu or your life, I guess. Like, instead of facing the thing head-on, can you just side-step it? ZAK:I mean I love that and I think for people that aren't chefs, we're sometimes overwhelmed with like, what do I want? What do I actually want? Do you have thoughts on how to figure out what we want? ABRA: I mean I think slowing down is probably the best thing. Sometimes I'll just open the fridge and be like, well, there's some carrots. There's some red cabbage, uh what else do I go? And I'll literally just take a bite of carrot and just slow down and think, what other flavors come to mind when chewing on that piece of carrot and then I'll just make those. So if I'm eating a carrot and I want something spicy, then I'll just a chili-oil with it or some kind of spicy pepper or if I want something even sweeter, maybe I would roast them with maple syrup, you know, the way you would sweet potatoes or whatever. So, I think that you can do some of that sort of thinking. ZAK: chewing. Hmmm. Carrots. Abra Berens book is Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables. As always, I really want to hear your food-related advice. Give me a call on the hotline, 844-935-BEST. And if you're enjoying this show, please consider rating and reviewing on Apple Podcast. Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/4/20203 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Killing Comfort with Nichole Christian

Nichole Christian is a writer, artist and mother from Detroit. I want to collect your favorite advice from this year. The advice that you're actually practicing in real life that you learned from this show. Tell me what that is by writing me at [email protected]. Or you can call the hotline, 844-935-BEST. I'm gonna collect your responses about the best, Best Advice, and put together a week or two of greatest hits episodes. Embracing Discomfort with Wendy Walters - TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Since the start of COVID and actually long before that, I've been on a quest for comfort. My friend, Nichole was also on that quest. But now she says she's given that up and suggests, maybe, we do the same. NICHOLE: Kill comfort. Choose now. ZAK: So is now uncomfortable? NICHOLE: Yeah. Yeah. It's completely uncomfortable. But it is what it means to be alive. The more I let go of comfort, the more I accidentally open myself to surprise. To now. To things I've just forgotten. And I think that that's really where life is. Now is a lot richer, even with all of the hell surrounding it, now is a lot richer than we allow ourselves to believe. ZAK: And for those of us who are comfortable in comfort, what's an exercise to tap into embracing the discomfort? NICHOLE: I've had comfort but I think comfort requires a kind of clinging and grasping that you do it so long you don't even know you're doing it. And so the things that you're holding on you probably know what you love to eat, you know where to go for this, you know where to go for that. Well, when all that's gone, who are you? So, what if you didn't choose the thing you always chose? What if you didn't say the thing you always said? What might that teach you? Comfort is transactional. You give something and you get something back. Discomfort says you go through it, the understanding may not come for a while. And if you are ok with that, you might find some surprise. You might find yourself able to do things you never thought yourself capable talk to people you never thought you learn from things that, um, you'd completely shut yourself off from. ZAK: This advice kind of feels like a koan to me. It's gonna take some real work to unravel and figure out how to practice. But that's why I like it so much. NICHOLE: My name is Nichole Christian and I am a writer and a deep believer in the power of creativity. ZAK: Discomfort has been a theme on a couple of episodes of this show. The most recent one was with Wendy Walters. WENDY: Discomfort is a real gift in terms of teaching you how to get past something that is completely internal. ZAK: I linked to her entire episode in our show notes. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show and we are coming up to the end of the year. That means I want to collect your favorite advice from this year. The advice that you're actually practicing in real life that you learned from this show. Tell me what that is by writing me at [email protected]. Or you can call the hotline, 844-935-BEST. I'm gonna collect your responses about the best, Best Advice, and put together a week or two of greatest hits episodes. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/3/20203 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Howling with Laura Hawley

Laura Hawley is a psychotherapist and artist living and howling in Philadelphia. She has a side gig running a support group for hospital clowns. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: When I get new messages from you on the advice hotline, it makes my day. Especially this one. LAURA: Hi Zak, this is Laura Hawley. So here's my advice to deal with stress and grief and also just kind, wanting to be connected with other people and also to be slightly, oh I guess slightly absurd, which is, my advice is to at a specific time of the week, just go ahead and tip back your head and really howl. Like, just howl for whatever you're feeling at the moment. Maybe grief for somebody. Or maybe outrage. Or maybe just a kind of longing to be nearer to other people. It's a very satisfying practice. I've been doing it for awhile now and I send out invitations to my friends and I'm hoping at some point I will have sent out enough invitations that I'll hear them while I'm howling at 7 PM EST on Fridays. Anyway, that's what I do. ZAK: Ok, do you want to try this with me? Let's do this. HOWWWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. I want to hear your advice. 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/2/20201 minute, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Investigating your Shame with Heather Radke

Heather Radke (@hradke) writes essays, criticism, and reported pieces on subjects including the gender politics of ponies, the utopian possibilities of jumpsuits, the early days of public radio, the dark history of eugenics and the cultural history of the female butt. Man Against Horse by Heather Radke and Matt Kielty is a story about your butt - Exorcising the Icky with adrienne maree brown - TRANSCRIPT: Today's advice comes out of a project the writer Heather Radke has been working on. It's a forthcoming book about... The cultural history of the female butt and people always ask me why I'm writing this book which is like, fair enough, that's a good question! But, I think the most straight-forward answer is I have a big butt. I grew up in a place and at a time where that was a thing to be, sort of, ashamed of or at the very least it was not considered beautiful or sexy or good. And so, I felt a certain amount of shame about it and I feel like the project is sort of an investigation of that shame and I guess my advice is actually to investigate your shame because I feel like that as an artists as a writer, its been a very fruitful part of my practice. I've done it in a number of different ways and I also just feel like as a person when you start to really get curious about why you're ashamed of something, you end of finding out so much more than you could have ever expected and in this case, you know, and I think in a lot of cases, you end up finding really interesting political material, you know? That the shame around a certain kind of body is a shame around race and gender and gendered ideas of bodies and racialized ideas of bodies that we kind of hold in ourselves without ever knowing it. Because the nature of shame is that almost don't want to bring it into your consciousness fully, so, that means that there's a lot you kind of don't understand about it and you don't experience...unless you really think about it and you really try to unpack it then you don't fully understand what's creating the shame in the first place. ZAK: What do you think is on the other side of taking your shame seriously and investigating it? HEATHER: I was thinking about this just this morning because I think that the answer that you want to be the answer to that question is that your shame goes away. But I don't think that's true. It's almost like lancing a boil or something. There's still a scar there. It's not gone but there's some weight or kind of...there's something that's diminished by taking it seriously and getting interested in it. ZAK: Yeah. And I wonder how much of the, the investigating of shame for people, like what percentage will come back to race and capitalism. HEATHER: I mean, well you know I think 100 percent is answer! hahahah. And that's a joke I have about this book. It's like come for the butts, stay for the critical race theory, you know? ZAK: Totally. HEATHER: But I also think it's a good just in the storytelling mode, it's a good... ZAK: Oh, my God, it's literally a back door! HEATHER: Hahahaha. There ya go. Also, full of puns. ZAK: Heather Radke's book about butts is coming soon. But if you want to hear more in the meantime, she did this amazing story on Radiolab called Man Against Horse. I've linked to it in the show notes. And then there's another episode from this show with the writer and pleasure activist with adrienne maree brown called, Exorcising the Icky, which I think goes well with today's episode. The thing I know for sure is if I share it with someone, some of the ickyness goes away. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show and I want to hear your best advice. Give me call on the hotline. I'm always here for you. 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/1/20204 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Letting Go of Fear with Jack Cheng

Jack Cheng (@jackcheng) is a Shanghai-born, Detroit-based author of critically acclaimed fiction for young readers. His debut children’s novel, See You in the Cosmos, is winner of the 2017 Golden Kite and Great Lakes, Great Reads awards for Best Middle Grade Fiction. Share Your Good News With Us! - TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: With COVID raging on and us spending so much time indoors, it's really easy to feel disconnected from our hometowns. And now, probably more than ever, what we're reading online feels like the only, or at least predominate reality and it's not pretty. But the writer, Jack Cheng recently had an experience that reminded him there is a chasm between stories we read online and the actual reality happening outside our door. JACK: So I signed up to be an election worker earlier this year and I worked both the March Presidential Primary and then the August Local Primary and I worked this past November General Election and just, like, going into it I think I had a lot of anxiety around...cause I was reading all these things in the news about, like, oh, you know, open and concealed carry and issues with like, potential challengers and poll-watchers. Yeah, I was just really on edge going into that day but once the day started and once people started coming in to vote, you know, we ended up seeing a lot of the regulars we saw in past elections in our precinct. And I think it was just this feeling of relief and this feeling that, like, maybe things aren't as crazy or as bad as I thought they were gonna be. I actually was trying to jot down little notes in my phone throughout the day and like, one of the notes that I wrote down was, "I will not let fear rule my life." And I think what that meant to me was I will not let this imagined world I've created in my head from reading all the news and from scrolling through the twitter feed...It's like, I will not let that become my reality. But, yeah, we had a number of challengers on site and they were all very respectful and all curious about the process, rather than looking for faults in the process. They were just trying to understand the work we were doing that day. ZAK: Yeah, do you like Regina Spektor? JACK: I don't think I've listened to any album all the way through of hers. Why? ZAK: You just reminded me of this great lyric of hers that I love where she says, "People are just people. They shouldn't make you nervous." JACK: Hahaha. That's great. ZAK: Jack Cheng's most recent novel is See You in the Cosmos. ZAK: I think this is a good time to tell you about a new project my colleagues at Graham Media are working on. It's called Something Good. It's a series highlighting the best in humanity. And we want to hear about the good that you're bringing into this world. If you go to SomethingGood.Show and then click that link at the top that says "Share your good news" it will take you down into a portal where we get to hear about what you've been up to. We can't wait to hear from you. Thanks so much. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/30/20203 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Leftovering with Susannah Goodman

Susannah Goodman is an artist, potter and community organizer in Detroit. I want to start collecting your grandparents best advice. What did they tell you that sticks with you? Let me know by calling the hotline, 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Did you make an entire Thanksgiving dinner for a bunch of people this year, even though there were just a few of you eating it? Well, today's advice is for you. It comes from Susannah Goodman. SUSANNAH: I'm an artist and potter and community organizer in Detroit. ZAK: Oh, and you may have noticed the new intro music. Friend of the show, Artemus Samual, suggested we pick out some specific Food Friday theme music. That's what this is. Ok, on to Susannah's advice. SUSANNAH: When you make enough food to freeze some of it, which you should. Whenever you're cooking something that you're really excited about, especially in COVID times, you should make enough to freeze it cause you're gonna get tired of cooking. You're probably already tired of cooking. But if you make enough to freeze it, make sure that when you put it in the freezer you label it. But not just label it. Label it with, like, gusto and flare because so often when you're hungry and you don't feel like cooking and you, like, open your fridge or you open your freezer, you're like, ugh this frozen thing. It doesn't look good and it doesn't inspire you to want to defrost it but if you write more on the label, like, 'zesty, coriander, chutney' or 'That one time you made gravy with Grandpa!' You know, if you attach both a story or some descriptive words to it, it makes the whole act of defrosting an exciting thing cause you kind of get to relive that moment. ZAK: And it gets you past that hump of, 'uhhhh this is boring leftovers' to 'Ohhhh! I remember this was great!" SUSANNAH: Totally and then you can even build it into your meal planning too. Like, "Oh, this week I get to defrost this thing that I remember from so many months ago." ZAK: I love that. How did you figure this one out? SUSANNAH: I actually figured it out when my grandparents stopped being able to really cook for themselves super regularly. So when've I would visit them I'd make these big feasts and like, freeze in good 2-person portions all the different elements of the meal and to motivate them to defrost it I would just like put the date and a little note for them on it. And then they could just...I just imagined them navigating their freezer feeling less disabled and more enabled to relive the family meals that we've had together. But it's also been really helpful in COVID. ZAK: That's a really nice granddaughter thing to do. Thank you, Susannah Goodman. And this reminds me. I want to start collecting your grandparents best advice. What did they tell you that sticks with you? Let me know by calling the hotline, 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/27/20203 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dwelling in Gratitude with Nikki Sanchez

Nikki Sanchez is a frontline activist, academic, media-maker and a decolonial and anti-racist educator. Watch Nikki's TEDx talk “Decolonization is for Everyone” - How to Do Thanksgiving with Less Waste - TRANSCRIPT: NIKKI: Pialli Cualli Tlaneci. Ni itoca Nicola Sanchez-Hood. Ni Cuscatleta, ni Maya Pipil den Cuscatlán. My name is Nikki Sanchez. I am a front-line activist, an academic, a media-maker and a decolonial and anti-racist educator. ZAK: It's American Thanksgiving and Nikki is here to remind us that this holiday isn't just about jubilation. To a lot of people, Thanksgiving is... NIKKI: ...the basis of genocide of Native American people in what's known as North America now and so the harms that it causes to celebrate that as a jubilant day when for so many people it is very intimately still linked to the trauma that they live in their lives and their communities. But additionally to that, Thanksgiving as a holiday has been borrowed and manipulated into American culture from many, many diverse and very old traditions around the world that our celebrating harvest and showing gratitude and reaffirming commitment to reciprocal relationships with land and with one another and other co-habitants of your landscape and so I think rather then needing to throw away this holiday we could reclaim it and repurpose it back into its truest origins. For most people if they did their own genealogies, they could find significant holidays that were similar that are really around gratitude and wellness and that's an opportunity to really connect with who you are and what your gifts are and what your lineage is as well things that bring you joy and comfort. ZAK: And so, before calling blasphemy on the idea of maybe not eating turkey today, Nikki suggests we create menus inspired by our own heritage and backgrounds. NIKKI: And that not only really affirms our connection to our own ancestors and our own identifies but also it's probably much better for our individual bodies because we've evolved, adapting to those specific foods and it's definitely better for out global health because we're not over-sourcing and overproducing a single mono-crop just for one day of the year. ZAK: I wonder what you think a question that people can ask themselves on Thanksgiving might be to help them reframe what the holiday can mean for them. NIKKI: Yeah, I think a really important question is what am I truly grateful for. The pandemic, I think for many people has helped reveal the things that we most value and the second questions is how can I take time to actually dwell in my gratitude. So rather than just having the thought, I'm grateful for my wife, I'm grateful for my children or I'm grateful for this river that provides me fish...what does it actually feel like to enact or demonstrate and embody gratitude in a way that feels most authentic to you, not necessarily how it's externally prescribed or marketed but in a way that really feels authentic is a healthy practice. ZAK: I hope your holiday is full of meaning and embodied gratitude. I want to thank Priya Krishna for her piece in the New York Times. It led me to Nikki Sanchez and inspired today's episode. It's called, How to Do Thanksgiving with Less Waste. I linked to it in our show notes. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show. If you have some advice to offer, I would love to hear it. The hotline is always open. 844-935-BEST. THANK YOU. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/26/20204 minutes
Episode Artwork

Tempering Disappointment with Chelsea Devantez

Chelsea Devantez (chelseadevantez) is a comedian, TV writer, filmmaker host of podcast, Celebrity Book Club. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Chelsea Devantez is a very busy creative person. CHELSEA: I am a comedian, TV writer and filmmaker and I also have a podcast called, Celebrity Book Club where I recap and celebrate really great female, celebrity memoirs with a new guest every week. ZAK: A while ago, Chelsea figured out a way to temper her disappointment. It might work for you too. CHELSEA: In order to do something creatively and do it really well you have to put your heart and soul and everything into it, but then, you know, at lease when you're in my line of it, the entertainment line, it means when it doesn't go well, it's absolutely devastating and then it's hard to get back up again because you put everything into it. So the piece of advice that me and my friend, Ashley Nicole Black, I can't remember who came up with it, if it was me or her, but we gave it to each other which is to line up another project when you're midway through your current project. So if you get your dream show and you're gonna pitch it, now line up your dream feature and before you can hear the answer to one of them, you've already put so much momentum into the second one that you can never hit the ground completely because momentum of the next project is already holding you up. ZAK: Yeah, so you're saving yourself from that awful deflation, devastation moment when they say, we're not picking up your show, and you're nothing because you had all your eggs in that basket, so you're spreading out your eggs! CHELSEA: You're spreading out your eggs and you're also, when you get that devastating news, you have a net which is like, well I'm still working on this other thing. So, I can't fall too hard because I held up some of my emotions with the other projects. ZAK: Can you compare and contrast the way a no felt then to the way a no feels now? CHELSEA: Oh my gosh. Yeah. I would be sobbing with all the lights out for maybe, like, seven hours to the point where my roommate at the time came home and was like, 'Do we need to call somebody!?' So, yeah, I would get knocked down really hard and it would take me a long time to come back and the depression was really intense. So, this really changed things for me when I learned to spread out my passions and not fully give everything until the moment it was truly going so that I always had a creative pursuit I was exciting about and no one could ever take it away from me because I always had something creative I loved going on. ZAK: To practice this advice it seems you've got to work maybe even twice as hard but it really seems like a great way to save yourself from a lot of a heartache. Thank you, Chelsea. Good stuff. If you have some advice I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/25/20202 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Saying No with Aaron Handelsman

Aaron Handelsman is a leadership coach living in Detroit. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: AARON: Stop saying yes to what's really a no. Like, you know how somebody might ask you to do something or you'll think about something and be like, I should do that, but your whole body is contracting in on itself and you're like, no, no, no, no, no but your brain is like, I have to. I must. I should. And so you say yes. And then you either avoid it until the very end or your feel a little resentful or do it begrudgingly. Stop doing that...for a week! If you're somebody who finds yourself having a hard time saying no, there's this idea that, like, unless you can actually say a pure and authentic no, it's also impossible for you to say a pure and authentic yes, to anything. And so, it can be a pretty transformational process to just practice saying no and noticing what happens in your body and starting to relearn that you're free, actually, in your life. And that your body usually knows the answer to what it really wants you to do and doesn't want you to do. And the simple exercise of seeing how many times you can say no to things that, for no other reason that you don't want to do something. Myself in my own life and so many people I work with, like, really live like we're not allowed to say no. And it creates a lot of pain. ZAK: Because you might come off as selfish, unhelpful... AARON: Totally. Egocentric, absorbed, not good enough. ZAK: And you're not saying don't be helpful. AARON: No! I think most of us feel our best when we know that what we're doing is of service to something bigger than us. But there's a difference between choosing to do something from that place of like, oh, I want to do this. One, because I know it's gonna be beneficial to other people and tow because I want that experience right now. And doing the same activity from a place of obligation, you might have the same action but a wildly different experience and potentially impact. I'm Aaron Handelsman and I am a leadership coach. I work with leaders who are committed to living into the fullest version of their legacy and impact. ZAK: This is Aaron's second piece of advice on this show. His first episode is called, "Sharing Yourself with Aaron Handelsman." I put that in the show notes. Just say no, friends. Just. Say. No. But say yes to rating and reviewing this show on Apple Podcasts. Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/24/20203 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

What's the Best of the Best Advice?

Maybe I'm more tired than I realized. The episode that was supposed to run today, Grandparent Advice with Sam Greenspan and Renée Wolf McKible, I accidentally launched on Saturday. Whoops! So, what should have been today's episode is already in your feed. Don't miss it! It's part 1 of an ongoing series I'm really excited about featuring your grandparents best advice. But as long as I've got you here, I want to ask, what advice from this show have you actually integrated into your life? We're over 150 episodes in and I want to start reflecting on some of the stickiest advice you've heard on the show. Let me know by calling the hotline at 844-935-BEST or by writing me at Z A K at You can also respond to the instagram video I posted in the comment section. I'm so excited to hear what's stuck with you this year. I'm thinking I'll collect your greatest hits into a week or two of shows at the end of the year. Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/23/20201 minute, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Grandparent Advice with Sam Greenspan and Renée Wolf McKible

Sam Greenspan is the creator and host of BELLWETHER, a podcast of speculative journalism and TALKGROUP, a radio zine about the lockdown & the uprising. SEND ME YOUR GRANDPARENTS' ADVICE @ 844-935-BEST! TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I mentioned my late grandpa's disdain for sticky fingers in a recent episode and it got me thinking him and his most reliable piece of advice. It was to - when you're meeting someone - always shake their hand firmly and look them in the eye. The fact that handshakes are now frowned upon would have been really hard for him to take. I want to hear about the advice your grandparents passed on to you and I think it would make for a cool recurring series on the show. Maybe we'll "Grandpar-rants", like rants from your grandparents? Maybe not the best name. I'm open to your ideas, though. Regardless, what advice from your grandparents sticks with you? Lemme know at 844 935 BEST. We're gonna kick off the series today with Sam Greenspan, talking about his grandma.  SAM: She was a real badass, feminist, woman. I remember she always had a needle-point pillow on her couch that said, "A woman's place is in the house and the senate." And the only piece of advice I ever heard her give was, be polite and do whatever the hell you want. And that is what's on her gravestone in South Florida. Yeah, Renee Wolf McKible. Be polite and do whatever the hell you want. ZAK: Renne Wold McKible, thank you for that. I love it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/21/20202 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making Your Show with Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal is the host of Somebody Feed Phil and the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today on The Best Advice Show, I talk to a dream guest, Phil Rosenthal. Phil is the host of the Netflix show, Somebody Feed Phil. It's a food/travel show and since we can't travel right now, the closest I get to travel is watching Phil's show. You should watch it too. Phil also created a little sitcom that you may have heard of, it's called Everybody Loves Raymond. Today on the show, we talk about TV and creativity and of course, food. It's Food Friday. PHIL: The best single piece of advice I ever got was from an old show-runner named, Ed Weinberger who I asked for advice from when I was writing the pilot for Raymond and he said this, "Do the show you want to do because in the end they're gonna cancel you anyway." It's a way of life. Not just about the sitcom. We all get cancelled one day. hahaha. So live your life. ZAK: And what's the alternative? What's the flip-side of that advice? Not making the show you want to make. What happens to you then? PHIL: You take all the notes from the studio and then you're dead anyway because you took their notes and they made it terrible but they don't take the blame. They blame you. Sorry. Either way you're out of luck. Most things don't get on the air so they're gonna cancel you anyway. If you're not gonna get on, why do what they want? ZAK: How do you think that advice applies to folks that don't make TV. PHIL: Once you're in a position where you can call the shots a little bit. Where you've already worked on other people's things. You've worked for other people. If you were opening a store and it was finally your store and you saved up enough money, right? Would you take advice from everybody on what should be in that store? You might listen to everyone but at the end of the day, you put in that store what you want to put in that store! What you want to sell in that store. If you're making sandwiches, you're gonna make the sandwich the way you think it should be made. Not the way that guy thinks it should be made unless you agree that that's better. But if you don't think that that's better, why would you listen to that guy!? It's your store! It's your sandwich. Do the show you want to do because you're probably gonna fail anyway which is the joke part. The joke part is because they're gonna cancel you anyway, right? But it's only half a joke because most of the time businesses, all businesses don't make it. And it's rare to have wonderful success. But you don't have a chance at wonderful success if you take everybody's advice that goes against your own. ZAK: So that leads me to my final question is, what is the greatest sandwich you've ever eaten. PHIL: Ooooo, that's a very good question. The first thing that pops in my head is Howlin' Ray's hot chicken, fried chicken sandwich. It might be the best fried chicken I ever had. It might be the best sandwich I ever had. That's in LA. You know, sometimes it's the sandwich that you're having right now that is the best. People say, you say this is the best all the time. Yes! It is the best. I'm having it right now which makes it the best. ZAK: My wife always makes fun of me for that. She says "You say every movie is the best." But that's an aspiration! Why wouldn't you want that? PHIL: It is the best. It's the best of that thing. Right? Of course there's qualifiers but it's the best of that at this moment in my life. I can't judge it ten years from now or ten years ago. I'm judging it right now! Not it's the best. Warren Zevon went on David Letterman when he was dying of cancer. He knew he was dying. Letterman knew he was dying. The audience knew he was dying. We knew this was gonna be his last appearance. Here's another piece of great advice. Letterman said, "Do you have any advice being in your position?" And he said, "Dave, enjoy every sandwich." Learn more about your ad choices. Vi
11/20/20205 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Breaking Trances with Dustin Block

Dustin Block is a dad and the audience development lead at Graham Media. Hear Dustin's other episode from TBAS about story-catching here - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Yes, I know there's an election tomorrow but I've got bigger fish to fry. There is an entire generation of children lost in a trance. Fortunately for us, Dustin Block has the antidote. DUSTIN: Hey Zak. I just got hit with an idea for some best advice so I wanted to share it before I missed the moment. I've learned something about kids getting lost in streaming shows or online anything. So, here it is. When they're lost in the trance of watching the show, they don't respond to their name at all. Like you can just be like, 'hey. hey. hey' and it's like you're not even there. But, if you respond as if they're a character in the show, it snaps them out of it. I have no idea why this works but i just did it at breakfast. My 7 year-old was just watching his show, completely tuning us all out and then I addressed him as a character in the show and he turns to me and it's like he heard me perfectly. I've tested this over many years, kind of as a joke out of frustration they won't respond so I'll just pretend like I'm one of these characters and the success rate is around 100%. It's amazing. I don't understand the psychology. No idea why this works. But it does. Any parents frustrated with kids who won't answer them, try talking to them as if you were in the show or they are a character in the show. ZAK: This is bonkers in the best way. I'm so excited to try this. Thank you, Dustin Block. He is the audience development lead at Graham Media. You have been listening to The Best Advice Show. If you have some advice on breaking trances or anything, I want to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. And if you don't have kids in your life but have a friend that does, consider sharing this this episode with them. Thanks so much. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/19/20202 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tipping with Diana Seales

Diana Seales is a professor at the University of Michigan. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Recently, Diana and her son have gotten really into this very specific hobby. We'll talk about what that hobby is, but her advice, which you can apply in any way you want, is to find something that is different from the world you normally inhabit, something that will take all your focus, and something that has an end-point, something you can throw yourself entirely into even for just a little while. So, that thing that Diana has been throwing herself into is tree-tipping. What the hell is tree-tipping? DIANA: hahahah. You know, it's crazy, like, I'm really embarrassed in a way to talk about it but it is what it is and it's something thats given me a lot of comfort during these uncertain times and I would say it's something that I never ever would have discovered this but because my boyfriend, who's also a nurse, and so we don't get to do this all the time, like I feel like it has to be supervised by him...I don't trust my son and me to just do it on our own. But when we have like hours to spend which is usually later in the day or in the weekends, we'll go out into the woods and my son and Chad, who's my boyfriend, are very good at spotting the ideal tree tipping tree. hahahah ZAK: What makes an ideal tree-tipping tree? DIANA: It looks obviously dead. It's something that's probably leaning a little bit. But their technique is much more refined. But from what I've gathered so far, it's something that's totally dead. It's leaning a bit and then if you give it a few pushes and it seems like it's going it's a tree that's going to fall over anyway but you're just helping the process along by pushing or kicking it. Usually like pushing and rocking it back and forth. hahahah. ZAK: Can you describe what's so compelling about this? DIANA: One thing is it's very excited to have a purpose when you're walking through the woods, especially when you have an 8 year-old. Like my son loves to walk through the woods anyways, but we want to spend as much time in nature so you're going through the woods, you have a specific focus, you're looking for that perfect tree that's ready to come over. It's just an exciting adventure. The other thing is while you're doing it you're very focused cause there is an element of danger in it as well as accomplishment. So, you know, like when you're in these uncertain times or certainly in the work that I do, like my work is very heady. I'm a professor at the University of Michigan. I'm finishing my PhD at Michigan State University and having something that like, in a half an hour time is like exciting, dangerous, out in the woods, but for the most part it's just a very focused activity. And it's just something you would never do normally. This is something that's just outside of my wheelhouse. hahahah. ZAK: When Diana is tree-tipping, she's professoring at the University of Michigan. I would love to hear your advice. Give me a call on the hotlone at 844-935-BEST. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/18/20203 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Breaking from the Barrage with Samantha Scott

Samantha Scott is a content producer at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Mister Rogers Remixed | Garden of Your Mind | PBS Digital Studios - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: In COVID times we're meeting strangers so rarely now. I miss it. And so when I get the chance to talk to someone I don't know, I really relish it. That's what happened when I met Samantha at the dog park. Our dogs were bonding and soon we were talking and she told me about this big shift she's recently made in her life. I think it's great advice. SAMANTHA: If you just need a break from the daily, constant, unforgiving, unrelenting sort of notifications and and alerts and just, this, constant sense of urgency...try PBS. hahaha. PBS is the one. They just give it to you straight. They give it to you the 360 view and they move forward and I think at this point in time that's this world needs. We just need to get to the point and move forward with solutions. And, to be honest, I used to make fun of my mom all the time for watching PBS and 60 Minutes...growing up that's something old people did. My mom unfortunately passed away about 3 years ago and this year I said, to honor her I want to do something that reminds me of her and so I woke up that day and I was like, PBS. ZAK: How has your brain and spirit changed since you made the shift. SAMANTHA: So much calmer. It really felt like a weight was lifted and I wasn't expecting that. So, I've literally just dwindled it down from watching CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and then getting the alerts on my phone to now, just PBS. You know, sometimes it feels like they just like to hear themselves talk. ZAK:Totally, and if you tell me you have breaking news one more time when it's definitely not breaking news, I'm gonna strangle someone. SAMANTHA: I'm gonna scream. Breaking news, they're still counting ballots in Philly. Ok!!! hahahah. It feels like they're playing on our stress. They know that we're anxious so breaking news about nothing just kind of feels unfair. Like, stop trying to get me amped up for no reason. We're already on edge. It's just been a wild year. We don't need anymore stress. ZAK: Samantha Scott is a writer living in Detroit. If you are looking for the ultimate PBS balm. I can't recommend enough, "Mister Rogers Remixed." It's this short video that PBS studios put out in 2012. I'm gonna link to it in our show notes but here's a taste. Mister Rogers Remixed excerpt: Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind..?" I want to know how you're calming your nerves. Let me know how by calling the advice hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/17/20203 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Being a Person with Josh Gondelman

Josh Gondelman is a comedian, writer, and co-creator of Modern Seinfeld on Twitter. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Josh Gondelman is one of the funniest people on the internet and in real life. He's a stand-up. He writes on the TV show, Desus and Mero and his coolest credit, in my opinion, is that he co-created the now inactive but deeply beloved Modern Seinfeld twitter feed, which launched the characters into contemporary, internet era situations, like this one..."Jerry meets a woman on JDate but when he begins to suspect she's faking her Judaism, Kramer volunteers to investigate." Ok, why am I telling you all this? I guess it's because, if Seinfeld resonates with you, I think today's advice will too. JOSH: So, my advice is for over-thinkers and it's to just ask yourself, like, 'What would a person do under these circumstances?" Like, if you're up against a dilemma where you're like, I do this or that, not one where you're weighing huge, qualitative differences or like, big choices you're weighing against each other, but if you're like, 'Do I do this? Is this a violation of etiquette and norms' or whatever then it's always like, 'What would a person a do? ZAK: Can you think of a recent example? JOSH: I recently got to work with somebody on a recording that I'm a big fan of and I was like, I had such a good time, should I email and say 'I'm a big fan. This was cool. I appreciate it.' And then I was like, 'Is that like a dork thing to do? Then I was like, no, I'm gonna do that because, like, a person would do that and a person on the other side as long as I'm like pleasant and respectful and don't ask anything of this other person, like, they would probably be happy to hear it...ranging from neutral to happy to hear it. ZAK: It seems like in a lot of these examples, you weight the decision and then you go ahead with it because you're thinking like, yes this is a normal thing to do. Are you ever in the position where the normal thing to do is, oh I better not do that? JOSH: Oh, that's a great question. I think it depends on what your inclination is. I think if you're a person who tends to overthink things, it's like a nice little nudge to be like, this is not an unreasonable thing you're considering doing. But, if you're the kind of person who maybe is sometimes extra assertive...if you're like, you know what I'm just gonna call this person up and tell them to give me a go ok, like, how would they react to that? Do they want to hear that from me? Is that something that you feel like your relationship has space for? ZAK: Right. So how often do you find yourself asking this question, what would a person do? JOSH: I think I ask myself a lot. But it's diminished over time because I think it's now hardwired a little bit with me which is nice. Like it feels like I've rewired the way that I maneuver. ZAK: Isn't that such an amazing thing? JOSH: Totally. I think it's awesome. It's like one of the coolest things about being a human is that you can, like, see results and I think there are probably people, I imagine, who live with depression and other kinds of mental illness might have a harder time feeling clear about, like, what they deserve or what they're capable of asking for and so I don't want to be like, this is easy for everyone to do. But if it's something that you can apply, that you feel able to apply, comfortable to apply...and also, I think this friend Sarah Haji, I believe it was Sarah Haji that coined the slogan that became a pretty popular meme for awhile of, "Grant me the confidence of a mediocre white man." So I understand the gender and sexuality and racial privilege at play too which is why I'm not like, "Be demanding! Throw your weight around!" But I do think that being polite and courteous and asking for the thing you want once, like, you so rarely get what you want if you don't ask and people are so rarely mad if you ask for something politely once and if they are, they are being unreasonable not you.
11/16/20205 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Getting Froggy with Lauren Helmbrecht

Lauren Helmbrecht is a snack lover living in Eastern Washington. When she’s not “froggin’ it”, she’s writing ads for a women-run sports media company. PLEASE share your videos of you eating like a frog on Instagram using #FoodFridayFrog and at me @BestAdviceShow. TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: My grandpa was a neat freak and he used to hate it if we got anywhere near him with food on our fingers. Especially it was sticky food. If we did, he'd call us icky-poo or sloppy weather. I wonder what he'd think of today's advice. LAUREN: Hi Zak, my name is Lauren Helmbrecht and I live in Eastern Washington. My Food Friday advice is to eat snacks like a frog would. So let me explain, so the way you do it is you pour a bowl of snacks, I usually like popcorn or goldfish and then instead of using your hands to grab the snack, you just use your tongue. Yes, it looks really weird when you first try but there are a couple really good benefits by doing it this way. First, if you're eating anything with a lot of flavoring on it, you don't have to worry about getting all the extra gunk on your fingers. There's no more Cheeto fingers cause all that flavor goes to your tongue. Second, you never have to worry about sharing with anyone because you're eating with your tongue. It looks really weird. And third, you have an extra hand, so if you're using the remote of you're on the phone, you can still be enjoying your snack one-handed while using your tongue. So, I encourage anyone if you're interested, maybe pour yourself a bowl of popcorn and just try it. It might feel weird at first, but I personally love it. I never have gross, flavorful fingers anymore because I'm getting all the flavor when I eat it with my tongue. So that's my advice. Try it out. ZAK: Oh, I think this is frog-tastic advice. Thank you, Lauren. Life is too difficult and stressful not to try this, don't you think? You've been listening to another addition of Food Friday on The Best Advice Show. Oh, and I've got a video of Lauren eating popcorn like a frog on our Instagram page. That's at Best Advice Show. And I would love for you to share a video of you eating popcorn like a frog on Instagram too! Use #FoodFridayFrog and @ me @BestAdviceShow. What the world needs now is Food Friday frog videos, sweet Food Friday frog videos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/13/20202 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Remembering Naomi Long Madgett with Bill Harris

Today we remember Detroit's poet laureate, Naomi Long Madgett (1923-2020) with help from poet, playwright, arts critic, a Wayne State University emeritus professor of English, Bill Harris and artist, Nichole Christian. You Are My Joy and Pain - NLM's Monograph - TRANSCRIPT ZAK: Detroit lost one of its creative giants last week, Naomi Long Madgett was the city's poet laureate since 2001. She was also a teacher, mentor and publishing powerhouse. In 1972, she founded lotus press because she was tired of there not being enough places for black poets to publish. Today's advice is to seek out her work. There's a ton of it. I talked to poet, playwright and Detroiter, Bill Harris about what Naomi Long Madgett meant to him. BILL: She was a gentle lady and a kind of quieting presence and was always for that reason fairly intimidating to me. I always wanted to be my best self when I was around Naomi and, you know, after I got to know her as a person, she still had that kind of effect on me...that kind of aura as if she were an aunt in the family but that side of the family I needed to please. ZAK: And who was she on the page? BILL: She was a craftsperson and the kinds of things and insights at the center of her work that could only be reached through this process of being, I think, very still and very skilled at what she did. There was never any bombast. There was never any kind of look at me...drawing attention to herself. But just on the page it was a kind of internal and artistic logic that was amazing to see and the kind of images she was able to evoke were just please to both emotional and aesthetic sensibilities. ZAK: Naomi Long Madgett's final collection of poetry was published very recently, in October of 2020. It's called, You Are My Joy and Pain. Here's Detroit artist and poet, Nichole Christian reading a poem from that collection. It's called Deep. NICHOLE READING: Toward the deep clear waters that you are my dry roots yearn To stir and probe past clay and sand to wells of being is all my hope To watch one withering leaf grow green and turn to kiss the sun ZAK: Naomi Long Madgett was 97 years-old. Rest in Poetry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/12/20203 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Finding the Right Person with Matt Lipstein

Matt Lipstein lives in Austin, Texas. He hosts a weekly radio show on KOOP-FM called Free Samples and he makes ambient music under the name, The Moss End. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: 10 years ago, Matt was living in Brooklyn. It was a cold, January morning after a snowstorm. MATT: And I was heading out to our car which was parked on the street as you do and when I went up to the car, I noticed something was amiss and I went to turn the car on and all the lights came up on the dashboard when I did that. Like I've never seen that before. And, uh, I went outside and I brushed some of the snow off the side of the car and I realized that my car had been hit by something and then as I look up and down the rest of cars that were parked on that side of the street, all the cars were hit by something and I thought that because it was a snowstorm, it was likely a snowplow that had come and just nailed an entire side of the street just kind of scratching up all the sides of the cars and knocking off side-view mirrors and all that. ZAK: It's a great way to start your day. MATT: It was a rough one. ZAK: So Matt calls his insurance company and they tell him, they'll pay for the damage but not the one-thousand dollar deductible. MATT: And I felt this since a city of New York snowplow had hit my car and so many others that it was worth calling the city of New York to find out if they would pay for my thousand dollar deductible and what unfolded was a year and a half process of trying to get the right person on the phone to understand what happened and why it seemed reasonable to ask the city of New York to pay for that thousand dollar deductible. ZAK: How many phone calls do you think you made over the course of that year and a half. MATT: I would have to guess I made at least 20-25 phone calls. ZAK: And your final call, who was that to and what were they able to do for you? MATT: So, I somehow made my way to...I believe the person's title is comptroller. In about 2-minutes, he was like, yeah, of course we should pay that. And then just in an instant the skies opened and he made it happen and within a few weeks after that I got a check for a thousand dollars from the city of New York. ZAK: Wow. Ok, so...the advice that comes out of this crazy 18-month journey is what? MATT: Always get the right person on the phone. Make sure that they understand your problem or your request and then try to gauge if they have the knowledge or the access to help you. And if they don't, you can go one of two can either politely disconnect from that call and try again or you can ask to escalate to get to the right person. But either way, use your sense and see if that person is the right person on the phone and usually you know whether they are or are not. ZAK: Right. And I feel like to actually do this takes a combination of skills, patience, resilience, persistence...You have to be willing to say to someone like, 'you are not helping me' which I think for some people can be challenging cause you don't want to, if you're a people pleaser like me, you don't want to hurt their feelings. It seems to me that you need to either be that type of person or practice to get this right. MATT: I think practice sounds right. I mean, something that i've said to people a lot on the phone is, 'don't take this personally. I know that you're trying to help me but I'm not getting the results that I need. Can I speak with your manager or supervisor." Or, I'm going to disconnect and see if I can get someone else on the phone. ZAK: Now that is some hard-won wisdom. Matt got in touch with me through the advice hotline. I would love for you to do the same thing. If you have some advice, give me a call at 844-935-BEST. And if you're enjoying this show, please consider leaving a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks so much in advance for doing that. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/11/20204 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sitting with Debbie Beane

Debbie Beane sits on the floor in Lake Tahoe, California. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST ZAK: For this episode, I want you to get up out of your seat. DEBBIE: Hi, I'm Debbie in Lake Tahoe, California. My advice is to sit on the floor. We spend so much time in chairs almost everywhere and that repetitive positioning of our bodies has far-reaching effects on our joints and muscles. Use it or lose it is a real thing. So if you only ever bend your knees 90-degrees and your hips 90-degrees to sit in chairs then those joints start to lose the ability to bend any further and your muscles lose the ability to lift and lower your body weight to and from the floor. So many of us go to yoga or other classes or the gym to work on the ranges of motion required for your body but if you just skip your couch and instead sit on the floor in your living-room, you're getting a lot of the benefits of those classes without taking any extra time. You could eat your meals at the coffee table instead of the dining room table or watch your evening TV or visit with your friends on your deck outside without the support of a chair and that lets your body do the work and reap the benefits of that work and it's like getting more exercise just built into your daily activities. If getting all the way to the floor is too hard or too uncomfortable which it will be for a lot of people, you can start with just a low stool or ottoman or stack of cushions or something and maybe you'll sit on those for months or years before going any further. In fact, some of the discomfort when you're on the floor is almost the point because it'll make you change positions every five-minutes cause you're not comfortable and that's just that much more movement that you're getting instead of popping on the couch and staying in one position for the duration of a movie or whatever. It's a way of sitting without staying completely still for hours. So, sit on the floor. ZAK: I am literally getting out of my chair in my office...and sitting on the floor and recording this outro. Thank you, Debbie. I'm sitting cross-legged right now. I feel vigorous. No, I do. I feel good. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show. I would love to hear your advice. Give me call like Debbie did on the advice hotline, 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/10/20203 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Getting High on Your Own Supply with Andy J. Pizza

Andy J. Pizza (@andyjpizza) is an American illustrator, podcaster and public speaker. He is the host of the Creative Pep Talk podcast. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ANDY: My name is Andy J. Pizza and I'm a podcaster and a public speaker and I'm an illustrator for clients like the New York Times and Warby Parker and Nickelodian. ZAK: One thing that Andy is constantly talking about on his podcast, Creative Pep Talk, is this idea of getting high on your own supply. ANDY: If you can satisfy your own creative hunger with your own work then people with similar sensibilities will feel it too. It'll taste great to them. It's just like...I learn a lot from chefs because I think there's kind of a democratic, down to earth kind of creativity that you find in food and I actually think that when it comes to food, nobody is cooking things that they don't think tastes great. If you watch any of these chef shows they say, this is terrible, did you even taste it!? And you're like, oh, I didn't know that as they're making stuff, they're going along tasting it on their own palate. That palate, that taste, that is their inner-compass. That's how they know if it's working or not working. And for me getting high on your own supply is about that. It's that I'm making this story to see if it can make me cry. I'm making this, you know, picture to see if it gets me pumped to be in that space. I'm making this t-shirt to see if I wanna sport it and if I don't come through that lens, if I don't base my creative work on my own palate, it's just baseless. ZAK: Can you give me an example of someone else's work where you know, like, the creator is indeed getting high on their own supply? ANDY: The first one I would say I have, one of my heroes, creatively, is Aaron Draplin. Do you know Aaron Draplin? ZAK: The bearded, designer guy? ANDY: Yeah, the bearded guy. He's a big inspiration to me and it's funny because our work doesn't look anything like each other but I love the guy. And he was one of the first people I saw just wearing his own hats his own t-shirts his own pins. Just constantly decked out and actually, it's interesting because not only does it mean that you can actually increase your, calibrate your taste and get better at your creative work, but it's also something about you wouldn't buy a Toyota from a guy driving a Honda. Like, there's just something about full belief in what you're doing and full buy-in that happens from just being sold out to your thing. And I also heard once, Amy Poehler say something like...Do you think Parks and Rec is funny, like is it funny to you? And she's like, if it wasn't the funniest show on TV to me, I couldn't be making it. That's it! All you have is that inner medal detector and if you can't...that is the only thing that can get you closer and closer to creative gold. ZAK: mmm, mmm, mmm. I love it. And it's time for me to be honest. I love this show! That's why I make it. All the advice that I run here is stuff that I am genuinely nourished by and strive to try. If you feel the same way, thank you so much. I'm so glad you like it. Please consider sharing this episode or this show with some friends and family who you think might also find value in it. I really appreciate it. This is The Best Advice Show. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/9/20203 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Optimizing Eggs with Laura Idema Shaunette and Lywen Chew

Laura Idema Shaunette and Lywen Chew have two ways to impress your palate and your friends with eggs. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Welcome to another addition of Food Friday on The Best Advice Show. Today I've got a twofer. Two pieces of advice on optimizing eggs. LAURA: Hi Zak. This is Laura and I just wanted to call in to share some of my best advice in regards to making a really mean frittata. So in a greased pie dish or cast-iron pan. Whatever you like to use. I prefer cast-iron. Before you pour your eggs and all that other goodness into bake, you want to sprinkle a nice, healthy layer of shredded cheese on the bottom. It's gonna bake into a really beautiful crust. It's gonna be gluten-free and it will impress all of your cheese-loving friends. Just a way to take your frittata up a notch. And in these times we all just need a little more cheese. Don't just attend the brunch the brunch potluck. Alright, cheers. ZAK: Ohhhhh, yes please. I can't wait to try that cheese crust. Laura Idema Shaunette is a renaissance woman living out in Telluride, Colorado. She does it all. The next piece of advice comes from Lywen Chew in California. LYWEN: My advice is very simple. I love to poach eggs and when I poach the eggs I don't like the whites floating all over the place. So when you're poaching your eggs all you need to do is add maybe a tablespoon of vinegar to a small pan of water and that makes the proteins coagulate and then you have very nice looking, professional eggs. The other thing is when you're having poached eggs, they're always great over avocado. What else can I say? Alright, bye Zak. ZAK: If you want to do like Laura and Lywen did and call the advice hotline with your Food Friday advice or really any advice, I am so game to hear it. My number is 844-935-BEST. This has been yet another crazy week in a year full of crazy weeks. Treat yourself to a frittata or a poached egg and take care of yourself. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/6/20202 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Being Late with Meredith Nicoll

Meredith Nicoll is a musicologist and singer living in Germany. Owning Mistakes with Emily Barr - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: MEREDITH: Hi Zak, this is Meredith and my piece of advice is for chronically tardy myself. hahah. In the past I would show up in a chaotic mess, usually and apologize and say oh my god, I'm so sorry but this and this happened and this and this got in my way and I decided to stop the excuse part. I still apologize but keep it very short and sincere and then I leave it at that and I focus then on the meeting that I'm supposed to be that and the important thing in the moment. That is unless, of course, the person wants an excuse or they're angry and then I tell them because the socially-acceptable excuse is traffic or you know, the normal ones. They don't really satisfy very much. I say, "I know I'm late. I really am working on how not to be late and the strategies that I have didn't work today. I'm really sorry." And this has two great benefits. First of all, it kind of neutralizes the situation and it's really hard for the person to get mad at a person who is taking responsibility and has an action plan for not doing it again. And second of all, for me personally also when I give an excuse that's kind of the generic, socially acceptable it then causes me also to believe them when in fact it wasn't traffic it was because I didn't set an alarm when I started watching YouTube or I didn't put my keys next to the door so I couldn't find them and therefore I missed the bus. It is super uncomfortable not saying anything or not going into to detail about why I was late but I've found not giving excuses in that very moment really helps me be honest with myself and makes me more responsible to other people. ZAK: Today's episode pairs especially well with Emily Barr's advice. EMILY: One of the things that I have learned is that when you screw up on the job you do something wrong. the best thing you can do is go right in to your boss or call them or whatever and just say, hey, I really screwed up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/5/20203 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Refreshing Yourself with Sara Brooke Curtis

Sara Brooke Curtis (@sbcsays) is a radio producer and writer living in Western, Massachusetts. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Today's advice could be a game-changer. It's not gonna be easy, though. SARA: So, what if every-time you get the impulse to obsessively refresh your email, instead you do a little dance, you take a breath, eat a piece of fruit, call a friend, even just look outside. See what that does for you instead. ZAK: I mean, I guarantee that that is gonna be better for my life...if I do that. I refresh my email like a hundred times a day. What am I doing? SARA: What are you doing? Like, doesn't it make you feel so frenetic. ZAK: Yeah, and there's like...I don't even know what email...I think I'm gonna be getting an email like where someone's gonna be giving some award or something. But I didn't apply for any awards. I haven't done anything to earn the award. Like, I don't know what I'm hoping for. SARA: But that's the thing, right? Like...those are the questions that I think are really important to ask yourself. When you're stuck in that loop, because I feel like it essentially is a loop when we keep refreshing our feeds of any kind. Like, what do you want and how can you tangibly get it? You know what I mean? Like what is the hunger? If it's just that you're looking for attention or you're looking for affirmation that you're a good human on this planet, you're doing something interesting, you're beautiful, you're smart, you're, how do you find that recognition in ways that you have more control over it and maybe that are more nourishing in the long run. SARA: My name is Sara Brooke Curtis and I am a radio producer and writer living in Western, Massachusetts. ZAK: Have you figured out ways to ween yourself off your tech addiction? I would love to hear what you're doing. Call me at 844-935-BEST. You can also e-mail me at [email protected]. Thanks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/4/20202 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Voting with John Lewis, Susan B. Anthony, Barack Obama, Alan Moore and Noa

ZAK: It's Tuesday, November 3rd and today's advice is simple and it's profound and it comes from a chorus of voices including my 3 year-old daughter. NOA: Go vote. ZAK: Go vote. The late John Lewis said, "The vote is precious. It is the most powerful, non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we must use it." NOA: Go vote. ZAK: "Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it." - Susan B. Anthony. NOA: Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. ZAK: "There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. It all matters." - Barack Obama. NOA: Go vote. ZAK: And the writer, Alan Moore said, "People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people." NOA: Vote. ZAK: And so this is one last ditch effort to get you to go out and vote. If you're hearing this on Tuesday before the polls close. It's not too late. Go to, find out where your polling place is, grab a mask and vote. It's your civic duty. NOA: Duty. hahahahaha. ZAK: It's your duty as an American citizen to vote. NOA: Duty! hahahahaha. That's silly, my dad. Go vote. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/3/20201 minute, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Voting with Vince Keenan

Vince Keenan has been working on promoting informed voter participation for about 30 years. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: For this year's election, probably more than any other one in our lifetimes, the logistical conversation about how to vote and where to vote is super important. VINCE: Find your drop-off locations or make sure you're mailing your ballot in time. Those are incredible important pieces of information but they're also incidental. Get them taken care of and then focus on the most important thing which is who are you gonna vote for and how are you gonna cast your ballot. In the most important terms, an election in the United States of America is that it is an opportunity that comes up on a regular basis for the people of this country, the electorate, to affirm that they believe in the two truths that hold us all together as a nation and that is that everyone is created equal and everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and those concepts are what we affirm when we vote. ZAK: Vince Keenan has been working on promoting informed voter participation for about 30 years. VINCE: The consent of the governed is how we derive power. ZAK: It's likely you already know who you're voting for for president and it's also likely that if you haven't looked at your absentee ballot yet or if you're planning to vote in person, you're gonna look at that ballot and see a bunch of races that you know nothing about. At least that's what is was like for me when I was looking through my absentee ballot. VINCE: And it's that feeling, that's not a great feeling when you're like, 'Uhhh, I don't know. Maybe I'll pass on filling it out. I don't know enough about it.' Or maybe you fill it out based on what you can glean from that moment when you're reading it the first time. Or voting from home gives you that opportunity to do some research to try and figure it out. But I have never run into anybody that said I feel really good about casting a vote that's really uninformed. ZAK: And so, if you haven't voted yet, take some time today to figure out who you're gonna vote for, for those less prominent races. There's a website called Ballotopedia which I'll link to in our show notes. That's a very good source to learn about these lesser known candidates. Of course, also check out the endorsements from your local newspaper. And for the judicial races, I texted my lawyer friend who has a much better sense of those things than I do. I felt much better after that, knowing my voting was a little more informed than it would have been otherwise. Oh and if you still don't know where you're supposed to vote, just go to Vote.Org. You can find your polling place there. And remember, if you are using an absentee ballot, be sure to sign the envelope where it says you should. Happy voting. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/2/20202 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Cooking Resourcefully with Eli Sussman

Eli Sussman is a co-founder and chef at Samesa restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: It's Food Friday and today on the show a smorgasbord of cooking advice. ELI: My name's Eli Sussman. I'm talking to you from Brooklyn, New York and I'm one of the co-founders and chefs of Samesa Restaurant which is a Mediterranean restaurant. ZAK: Today's advice revolved around being resourceful in the kitchen and the first thing to consider, says Eli, is that recipes are meant to be fungible. ELI: You need to understand that it's not a legally-binding document. You can navigate away from that recipe. So think about ways that you can use what's in your cabinet and not have to rush out and buy 100-dollars of ingredients every time you want to make a recipe. So think about spice substitutions. If it calls for a certain, specific type of spice that you don't have on hand, google it, figure out what it may sort of taste like and see, ok, I don't have Aleppo flake which is something we use a lot in cooking at the restaurant. But ok, I can use chili flake and achieve a similar result. Ok, I don't have sea salt. Can I use regular salt? These are certain things you learn overtime while cooking...just what works as a good substitution. The recipe calls for brown rice. I don't have that but I do have, you know, spaghetti. Is it gonna be weird if I cook it and serve it over spaghetti? Or is it gonna be fine? Is it gonna be better? So there are all these different ways where you can tweak recipes and move to a place where you're actually using up the things that are in your cabinets as opposed to just always buying new stuff which leads to this scenario where you have so many things that you just have sitting around that you never end up using because you're afraid to experiment and use them in a way where you're substituting for a specific other items in recipes. ZAK: That's great. Do you have advice about how to use up the odd stuff in the kitchen? ELI: Yeah, totally. I think the best way to use up vegetables that are just sitting around in your fridge is to just do a stir-fry. And basically a stir-fry works in any ethnic style of cuisine that you like. If you're going for a Vietnamese, Italian, Indian root, whatever type of food you may feel comfortable cooking, or not, but just simply roasting some vegetables in a pan, getting the pan hot, sautéing them, letting them get some caramelization, break down a little bit. Covering them with a good amount of spice that you're comfortable with and then serving them just with either a grain that you have. Like that's a full meal. You don't need protein in every single meal and that's an awesome way to get rid of just vegetables that are just sitting around. And then if you have a lot of starches around, I love to cook potatoes and have them in my fridge as a building block to a meal. So a lot of people will peep and blanche potatoes right before the meal. But I say get a big bag of sweet potatoes or Yukon Golds. Two sort of things that cook very quickly and easily just by boiling them in water and are delicious on their own and then you can use them breakfast. You can turn that into a hash. You can put it in a salad and eat it cold for lunch and then for dinner, you can take those cold pieces of potato, toss them in a little bit of oil and roast in a pan or in the oven till they get crispy and then serve them with a piece of chicken. You don't beed to cook everything to order for every single meal that you have and that's a good way to get rid of a bunch of stuff. ZAK: Eli Sussman and his older brother, Max, are the authors of several cookbooks. Most recently, Classic Recipes for Modern People. This has been another episode of Food Friday. Thank you so much for listening. And as always, I want to hear your advice...your food related advice especially. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/30/20204 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sitting in Silence with Sua Im

Sua Im is a teacher in Worchester, Massachusetts. Listening with Rikke Houd - Listening with Autumn Brown - Listening with Sterling Toles - Listening with Eleanor McDowell - Listening with Dallas Taylor - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Do you know what I love? (Long pause). Silence. SUA: Hi Zak. My name is Sua Im and I'm a teacher from Wooster, Massachusetts. I'm a special educator and this is my advice. My advice is to be ok with silence. There's a term for it in teaching. It's called Wait Time. Wait Time refers to the silence you give your students after you present a question or a thought or any other opportunity to gather their thoughts before they respond. It sounds simple but it's really hard. We want to fill the silence. We ask follow-up questions or provide clarifying points or make assumptions about what they must be thinking but really we just need to be silent. In the silence is where magic happens. I work with students who have learning disabilities, many of whom take longer to process information than their peers and they're used to people interrupting their thinking time...their magic-making. They've trained me to stretch out that silence. It's nothing for me now to be silent for an entire minute. That doesn't sound a like a long time but trust me, it is. I'm almost always surprised by what comes after the wait time. It's a letting go of control and showing trust and making space...real space for my students. ZAK: Sua's advice goes really nicely with the week-long listening series we did back in July. You should go back and check that out. RIKKE HOUD: Go somewhere where there's trees and birds and sit there. If you sit there for awhile suddenly there's this sort of parralel society of birds that have very interesting lives and you can just start by listening to them and watching them. ZAK: You've been listening to The Best Advice Show. I would love to hear your advice. Give me a call like Sua did on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/29/20202 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Starting and Finishing with Erica Heilman

Erica Heilman (@rumblestripvt) is the host of the podcast, Rumble Strip. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ERICA: My name is Erica Heilman and I think my only religion is the religion of starting and finishing and starting and finishing. ZAK: Are you referring specifically to non-utilitarian, creative things or starting anything in general? ERICA: I think the former. I think it's any creative thing at all. There's always a reason not to do it. I mean I think that making anything, the making of it in my case anyway, it's a kind of existential crisis every time because I don't know what it is or what it's going to be or what it...I don't know what I'm making and so to sit there and figure it out it is the nearest thing to religion that I have that that is possible. And be aware that as soon as you begin to do that, there will be this massive undertow. Really compelling, strong, dark undertow which is comprised of all the many reasons why you shouldn't do it. Um. It will be there. It will meet you there and it will pull at you and if you decide to do it anyway, that is a very brave act and I think it's a practically religious act because it's an act of faith and you will be delivered to some other place if you do that over and over and over again. Do it four times. Make four things without reason, without any expectation of audience but make four things the best you can and the fourth one will be better than the first one. And the twentieth one will be better than the fourth one. That is a certainty because you'll fall in love with what you're doing and you will want it to's'll be playing and you get better at playing the more you play. You know? And it's in a strange way it's deeply, you know, self-absorbed and selfish but it's also I think really generous. You know? ZAK: Yeah, it's a total contradiction. Erica Heilman hosts the excellent, unique and soul-affirming podcast, Rumble Strip. I hope today's episode gives you some strength to start and finish and start and finish and start and finish and start and finish. I'd love to hear from you. Give me a call on the hotline if you have some advice. Give me a call on the hotline if you have some advice at 844-935-BEST. And if you're looking for something to start and finish how about writing a review for this show on Apple Podcasts? It really helps. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/28/20203 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Talking to Your Pain with Alex Elle

Alexandra Elle (alex_elle) is an author & wellness consultant living in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and children. She is the author of multiple books and journals, most recently After the Rain, Neon Soul, and Today I Affirm: A Journal That Nurtures Self-Care. She hosts the podcast, hey girl. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ALEX: Hi, my name is Alex Elle and I'm an author and self-care facilitator who is passionate about bringing people closer to their voice by way of writing practice. ZAK: One thing Alex has written that I wanted to talk to her about is the following quote. "Making peace with your pain is a daily practice." I know everyone's different but what might that practice look like for someone who's just starting to figure out how to make peace with their pain? ALEX: I know for me as a writer, I like to put things down on the page so I often tell my students and clients to greet your pain with a sense of curiosity and doing that requires a daily practice of not running from the things that may hurt us, scare us, etc. And facing it head-on which is extremely uncomfortable and no one really like doing it, myself included. But I think it's very important for our spiritual growth, personal growth and just evolution in general to be able to create a practice of not running from the pain and looking at it in the face and being ok with whatever's there, looking back. ZAK: Is there a writing exercise that you teach that kinda gets people in that mode of, of, you know, being ok with being around their pain? ALEX: I tell folks to write a letter to their literally writing Dear Pain and going for it. A free-write letter that can be funny at times or can be serious, it can be rooted in love or it can be like, you know, I don't feel like dealing with you anymore hahahah, I would like you to leave me having that dialogue makes people feel a little less intense about it and when we put down our pain on the page we can often see that it's not as big as it feels when we're carrying it in our mind or in our heart. So it just kind of gives a sense of ease to the practice, not that it's gonna make it go away all at once and all of a sudden but that it kind of gives us this space of compassion and understanding for ourself. ZAK: Dear pain, you think you're so cool and special and dark. You're not. You're here today, gone tomorrow. Like everything. Love, Zak. Alex Elle's new book is After the Rain, Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love. I want to hear how you deal with your pain. Give me a call on the advice hotline at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. Also, if you found this episode helpful, please consider sharing it with your family and friends, that's how this show is gonna sustain itself. Thanks a lot. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/27/20203 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Streamlining with Jon Jordan

Jon Jordan is the style editor for WDIV, Local4 in Detroit and the style editor for Style Wise Jon. Check out his fashion and style tips here - TRANSCRIPT: JON: People have a vision or a notion that being well dressed means you have to spend a lot of money and you have a lot of time figuring things out and there's nothing worse...well, I suppose there are worse things but starting your morning in a closet that's disorganized and your confused about what to wear and you don't like your choices and you can't see anything, that's not a good way to start your day out. ZAK: But have no fear, fashion guru, Jon Jordan says there's a cure for this. The uniform. JON: You can wear basically the same thing every single day and the uniform is a look that streamlines your wardrobe efforts because it is basically a variation of the same thing and the references that I have for this are some really high-end people in the fashion world like the designer Tom Ford. He basically wears a black blazer and a crisp white shirt and a great pair of jeans and loafers everyday and he doesn't vary from that. ZAK: For people who are fashion challenged or people who just don't feel confident in putting together an outfit. How do they decide what their uniform can and should be. JON: I think you rely an expert and that might be somebody in a store or a trusted friend because there are basic rules that will help them out like, things should fit well, things should flatter, things should actually feel comfortable. I'm Jon Jordan. I am the style editor for WDIV, Local4 in Detroit and also the style editor for Style Wise Jon on Youtube for Graham Media. ZAK: My uniform lately has been hiking socks, sweatpants and a t-shirt with baby spit-up on it. I call the look COVID Casual. But seriously I love this idea of streamlining and embracing minimalism. Thank you, Jon Jordan. I've linked to some of his Youtube videos in our show notes. I want to hear your advice. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST. This is The Best Advice Show, talk to you tomorrow. Bye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/26/20202 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Loving Legendarily with Teri Turner

Teri Turner is the founder of the popular blog No Crumbs Left. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: I have a perfect guest for Food Friday...Teri Turner. TERI: I am the founder of No Crumbs Left which is can find it on Instagram, Facebook, it's a blog, it's a cookbook, Pintrest, for tips, tricks, ideas that take food from ordinary to extraordinary. ZAK: Teri's advice is about food is about food but it's also about love which to her, and to me, and probably to you, are one in the same. TERI: Have your house be the one where the kids come to. You have beautiful food and it's sitting on the stove because you get to know who your kids are, see who their friends are and it is such a gift and it will bring your family together. And if you cook with your kids nobody can ever take that away from your kids. We are so bonded by food and our love for food that it's a wonderful thing. ZAK: Do you think it was because you were making such good food that you were the magnet house? TERI: I think it's like, you know, if you could love your kids in a way that is legendary. I came from real love. Such deep, over-arching, amazing love. Celebrate your kids and them be who they are. And that's just what we knew and my parents loved us not in a spoil us kind of way but just we really knew that we were loved and so for me, I was able to give that same kind of love to my kids. And part of that for me, what that looks like for me personally is creating beautiful food that we enjoyed together. But my feeling is if you didn't come from that kind of love and many people don't, you can create that in your own life. You don't have to say, 'Oh, she had that so she can do it.' No, be that life. Be the love you want to give. ZAK: You're making me cry, Teri. TERI: Oh, I love that. Thank you. We always on our podcast, we cry, on the No Crumbs Left Table Talk podcast we cry every-time. ZAK: Obviously before you invite all the neighbored kids in for a big pot of chili and your famous, homemade cornbread, you know probably weight for the pandemic to end. But this advice in your back pocket until then. Imagine the meals that you're gonna make for your kids or your friends or your neighbors. That's what I've been doing. I can't wait to start hosting dinner parties again. Big sigh. You can hear Teri's podcast, as she mentioned, it's called No Crumbs Left Table Talks. You should follow her on Instagram. No Crumbs Left. Her stuff is beautiful. She's so loving. And this is a good time to thank my parents for cultivating the kind of house that my friend's wanted to be at. Also to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for doing the same. And to all you out there who have homes with open doors. Thank you so much. This is The Best Advice Show. What a year it's been. I hope this show has helped you through it. If it has consider leaving a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. As always, I want to hear your advice. Give me a call on the hotline. 844-935-BEST. I'm running low on Food Friday episodes. Give me your food tips and tricks and hacks. I want to hear 'em. I'll talk to ya next week. Bye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/23/20203 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Finding Catharsis with Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra (@meganstielstra) is the author of three collections: Everyone Remain Calm, Once I Was Cool, and The Wrong Way To Save Your Life, winner of the 2017 Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Review of Books. She is a 2020 Shearing Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. An Axe for the Frozen Sea - TRANSCRIPT: MEGAN: For the first 6-months of the lockdown, my son and I quarantined at my mother's house in rural Michigan which in some senses was really lovely because her home is in the middle of the woods and on the other side of the woods from her house is the Amtrak going from Ann Arbor to Chicago every single day at 6 o'clock. There were things that I was experiencing myself that I wasn't expressing cause I didn't want to worry my kid. I didn't want to worry my mom. I didn't understand what was happening in the world. I was trying to keep my kids safe. My mom is immune compromised so I was there to help her out as well too. So I was trying to keep her safe. So all these things are happening inside my head and heart and what the hell do I do with it? One of my favorite writers, Lidia Yuknavitch, talks about how our bodies can't possibly carry everything that we've been given to carry, so we have to get it out of our bodies so we can see it. So everyday at 5:50 my kid and I would go outside and we would walk, like down the road from my mom's house and then we would stand by the tracks and we would wait. You feel it first in your feet like you feel the train coming up through your shoes and up through your legs and then you can hear it and then you can see it and as it gets closer and closer it gets louder and louder and you can feel it more throughout your own body and as soon as the front of the train would cross right in-front of us we would start screaming. And for him it's just letting out the energy and for him it's letting out everything that I can't say, and I can't talk about and I can't express how scared I am and I don't know where to put out all of that fear so it's just a release through the body and sometimes we would throw rocks and sometimes we would like break sticks and just like this physical release of everything that we'd been carrying all day and I could feel the brambles in my back unwind and everything...and you try to do this stuff in yoga class or in running but it never works, right? But just kind of that primal screaming my face off for the 2-minutes it took for the train to pass, which sounds like such a short period of time, like 2-minutes but really it is a long time to scream without stopping. Like even if we just sit-here for that's a long time of dead air space and that's a long time to open your mouth and just be truthful. ZAK: mmmm. What's a good way for each of us to find our own form of release, you think? MEGAN: Whatever you're doing right now, can you stop and roll your shoulders? Can you remember to breathe? I don't mean that in any yoga, magical, just let yourself breathe, I mean it just straight up, are you actually breathing? I mean that with edge and knives and whiskey but are you actually breathing because I haven't been. It's a thing that I have been forgetting to do. So just even this awareness that we live in a body and how are we getting whatever emotional response we're having to the world out of it. Can you break something? Cause if you don't put it out of ourselves in these possible bonkers but also maybe healthy ways, it's gonna come out of us in ways that aren't healthy. So maybe that means booze or drugs or sex or cruelty or violence. Domestic violence numbers are up right now...just trying to think of what people are doing to care for ourselves. ZAK: I'm gonna go scream. MEGAN: Please do. I hope everybody does. ZAK: Yes. Go scream listeners. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/22/20205 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Culture Shifting with Céline Williams

Céline Williams is a culture engineer, business strategist, speaker and founder of reVisionary. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: Whether you are a boss or hope to one day be a boss, I think today's advice from an executive coach is essential. I feel like most people I talk to are pretty disappointed with the culture at their work. If you have any thoughts about why you think that is...that it's so widespread that people are dissatisfied with the way their workplaces run. CELINE: I think it's because most leaders and most organizations are really attached to an old paradigm of how things work. Partly because for some organizations, that's how it worked for them 15 or 20 years ago and we have lots of large organizations and small organizations that are attached to an idea that was effective 20 years ago or 30 years ago or 50 years ago and that's not the case anymore. ZAK: So say there's a boss listening to you right now...what's something they might try tomorrow when they go into work to start shifting things? CELINE: Well first and foremost, ask your people what their experience of the culture is and actually listen. I, I often talk about culture iceberg which is that the leaders are at the top of the culture iceberg and they are where 5% of the reality of what is happening in their organization. And middle-management is lets say aware of 30% of it and then you get down to the front-line workers and they're aware of 100% of it. So what often happens is we run on assumptions. We are human beings who like assuming things and who like to create categories in our brains cause that keeps us safe, so we assume that our experience of the culture is the same as someone else's and leaders are especially bad at it because often leaders see the positive things more than the negative and so the first and easiest thing a leader can do is go in and ask their people, ask their direct reports, ask the people underneath those people...but talk to people about what their experience of the culture is and make it safe for them to say, this sucks and here's why. Make it so that there's no fear for them to actually tell you the truth of what they're seeing and that, when you have that information and that data you can actually do something with it. Otherwise you're trying to make changes on assumptions. And we all know what happens when you assume. CELINE: My name is Céline Williams. I'm the founder of reVisionary and I'm an executive coach and a culture strategist. ZAK: Are you happy at your work place? I want to know why. What's working there that the rest of us can learn from. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/21/20202 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Creating Ease with Shane Bernardo

Shane Bernardo is a food justice organizer and the founder of Food as Healing - To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: SHANE: My name is Shane Bernardo. I'm a lifelong resident of the city of Detroit also known as occupied Anishinaabe territory. I'm also a food justice organizer and the founder of Food as Healing. My advice is to do everything with ease. Now this might seem like a really tall order but what's more important than to focus our energy on checking in with ourselves and our needs around kindness and compassion. We often think of these things as virtues that we extend toward others but how many times have we forgotten to extend those things to ourselves? So, what this looks like in practice is whenever you feel a sense of nervous energy, anxiety, frustration or regret...ask yourself this question. 'In this moment what do I need in order to bring more ease into my life?' And hopefully what that helps you do is helps you refrain from having life just happen to you. It helps you maintain your sense of self, personhood, humanity and dignity and these are things that anyone should be afforded. A lot of frustration comes from feeling like we don't have control over our own well-being and that's such a terribly unhealthy place to be in. This point is even more critical considering that we're in a global pandemic and that the need for racial justice and racial healing in this country has been unmatched like no other time in this country's existence and it also recognizes how the capitalists profit from maintaining the psychic toll that all these things have on us and especially those of us that are on the margins that sequester this impact that it has. So I'd like to invite you to maintain this practice as a form of resistance, as an act of resistance and ask yourself on a daily basis, at least one time, ask yourself what do I need to create more ease in my life. Try it on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/20/20203 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Embracing Discomfort with Wendy S. Walters

Wendy S. Walters is a writer and the Director of the Nonfiction Concentration and Associate Professor of Writing, Nonfiction in the School of the Arts at Columbia University. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: WENDY: Well, I think I'm used to being uncomfortable so I am very enthusiastic about other people being uncomfortable because it kind of makes you pay attention in a slightly different way than you would with others and, you know, I say this to my son all the time you know you have that moment of discomfort, uh, but generally you survive it. Like, usually 9.9 times out 10 you survive your discomfort. So, I think that the discomfort is a real gift in terms teaching you how to get past something that is completely internal. Other people may not recognize that you're uncomfortable but you feel it and you know when you stop being uncomfortable and the more resilience you can develop in terms of that discomfort, the more engaged I think you can be with other people who aren't like yourself. Many Americans...they associate being uncomfortable with being in danger. On the base level being uncomfortable is not having access to choosing the options that you would normally choose. And for many people that is experienced as catastrophe. That is experienced as damage and I think that is really, it's an overstatement and it in some ways reflects how much we become accustomed to being catered to. ZAK: So is this advice...make yourself uncomfortable? WENDY: Let's see, is it make yourself uncomfortable or is it if you find yourself in the space of being uncomfortable, embrace it as a moment for opportunity and reflection on who you are and what you value. ZAK: Wendy S. Walters is a writer and professor of writing at Columbia University. I want to hear your advice. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. If you're finding this show valuable I hope you'll share it with your friends and family and maybe even write a review on Apple Podcasts if that's where you listen. That's gonna help this show sustain itself. Thank you in advance. I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/19/20202 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Popping with Ben Friedman

Ben Friedman pops corn and makes films in LA. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT ZAK: It's Food Friday and today's advice, yes, it's related to food and food prep but I think you can also read it as a metaphor. The advice comes from filmmaker, Ben Friedman. BEN: I love making popcorn and I know that other people would like stove-top popcorn too cause it's the absolute best. And I think that one place where people get stuck is they try and get every kernel popped and what ends up happening is that opens them up to the risk of burning a couple of kernels and that will just ruin the whole batch. And so my feeling is always that it is better to leave a couple kernels un-popped and to get a great batch of popcorn every time than to try and get every single kernel and risk losing the whole bowl. Kind of like that 80/20 rule but more like 98/2. That's it. ZAK: So is this really advice about not being a perfectionist? That's how I hear it. Regardless, I want to hear your advice. Give me a call on the hotline like Ben did at 844-935-BEST. This has been yet another week of The Best Advice Show. I love making this show. If you love listening to it, please consider sharing it with your friends and family. Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/16/20201 minute, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Weighing Options with Greg Fox

Greg Fox (@gdfx) is a composer, drummer, teacher and coach. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: You might be a freelancer or an artist or just someone trying to figure out what to do next. I think today's advice is gonna be especially helpful if you check any of those boxes. It's gonna help you narrow your focus and figure out what's really important. GREG: My name's Greg Fox. I'm a human being. And I play music. I run a music studio. I teach drumming and I also am a certified professional coach. ZAK: One of Greg's early teachers taught him what he calls the 2 of 3 rule. It's a really simple filter for trying to figure out whether a project is worth taking on, or not. GREG: The idea is that you need a strong 2 out of the following 3 things for the project to be worthwhile. And those 3 things are good hang, meaning you enjoy the company of the people you do the project with. Good product, meaning you enjoy the work that you're making, right? Uh, you like whatever it is you're working on and sharing with other people when it's finished. And 3, good pay, right, the money solid, right? So 2 out of those 3 should be strong for the project to be worth doing and I'd add as an asterisk to the entire thing that if you are involved in a project and you find yourself constantly or regularly questioning whether or not you should do the also probably just should do it. ZAK:And once you started using this, like, filter to apply to your work and creative life, did you find yourself saying no more frequently? GREG: Yeah, definitely. And I also left some projects that I had been doing. Whenever anything comes in now I do think of it in those 3 terms and you know, a lot of times people will say yes to doing something and then wish they hadn't, right? And, uh, it's a good way of avoiding that. It's been very, very effective for me. It's been awhile since I've found myself in a situation where I regretted saying yes, you know? ZAK: And if you're not wondering about whether or not you should be doing a project. Like if it's pretty obvious that you should, then you don't really need to apply this advice. GREG: If you're not wondering, man, I don't know. This band that I love so much and everybody in it is so great and we actually make some dough now and then...nobody's asking themselves whether or not that should do that project. It's like when you start to find yourself asking those questions, this is a good way to evaluate, like, maybe to clarify it for yourself. ZAK: Super clarifying, Greg. Thank you so much. If you have some advice to offer I would love to hear it. Gimme a call on the Best Advice Show hotline, that's 844-935-BEST. 844-935-BEST. ZAK: Also, you should follow Greg Fox on Instagram. He's an amazing drummer. You can see him drum there. I put a link to his website and Instagram in our show notes. Alright, I'll talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/15/20203 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Noticing with Susannah Goodman

Susannah Goodman (detroit_fertile_earth) is an artist and potter and community organizer in Detroit. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: SUSANNAH: Yeah, so this piece of advice is really simply stated that the more you look, the more you'll find and it's just related to the way you can walk through the world. I firmly believe that, um, wonder and awe is a muscle that you have to exercise and the more you use it the more it becomes accessible to you. So I use it when I'm feeling stressed. Before pandemic times if I was like on my way into a meeting or something and I was worried about what was gonna happen, sometimes I would just sit in my car and look at, I don't know, grass on the berm on the side of the parking lot and just watch the way the wind blows across it or how fertile just little bits of sod are in all the places in our urban landscape. If you just sit and observe the more patience you have with yourself in the process, the more it will become available to you for appreciation cause I think when I'm the most stressed is when I'm like not observing the world around me. ZAK: When you're in your head? SUSANNAH: Yeah. ZAK: Huh. Yeah. Well we're outside right now in our friend's backyard. Normally I imagine this would be like an internal monologue of you, uh, you know, noticing but can you do it externally and help me understand how you would do it? SUSANNAH: I think the best thing about being outside for me recently has been just watching the way trees move across the sky when the wind is blowing cause it's this great reminder that we're sitting at the bottom of this giant air ocean and looking up from the ocean floor at these massive, amazing bits of tree seaweed or something, hahaha. I'm Susannah. I'm an artist and potter and community organizer in Detroit. ZAK: I want to hear about the ways you deal with your stress and anxiety. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. And if you can think of somethine that might benefit from Susannah's advice consider sending them this episode. You can do that by going to Best Advice dot show. Thanks. Talk to you soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/14/20202 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Investing with Doron Levin

Doron Levin is the Editor-in-Chief of Better Investing Magazine. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: When anyone starts talking about investing, I get so bored. But I know it's pretty important to pay attention, at least to some basic principles when it comes to this stuff. And so, I talked to longtime financial journalist, Doron Levin. He says for young people especially, their greatest asset might be time. DORON: When you've just gotten your first job, it's very, very important to start investing and it's very, very important to realize that money invested over time can generate tremendous sums. So you have the compounded annual growth rate...let's say an average of 7% which is what you get in the stock market, generally speaking. Over time that can generate massive amounts of money. So if you start when you're in your 20's, by the time you're 50 you can have money that will pay for your kids' college, that will buy you a house on the lake, that will allow you to retire, that will allow to change jobs or allow you to do a lot of things and give you a lot of freedom but you have to start early and recognize that time is an asset. ZAK: Even if you're making, like, 30-thousand dollars a year? DORON: Even if you're making $30,000 and all you can put aside is $1,000, you should definitely do that. And then if you get a job at a place that has a 401k, which is a retirement account taht allows that money to compound, tax-free, then you should do that as well. There are lots of stories of janitors, teachers, fireman, people like that who retire with tremendous, tremendous pension accounts or tremendous savings accounts simply because they over time always invested and never spent that money and allowed it to accumulate and allow it to generate even more and more interest and the amounts become exponential. ZAK: Doron Levin is the editor-in-chief of Better Investing Magazine. If you have some pragmatic life-advice that we should hear, give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/13/20202 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Deciding with Nell Wulfhart

Nell Wulfhart (nellmwulfhart) is a decision-coach and writer. More about Nell's decision making practice @ DECIDE AND MOVE FORWARD - -- To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: One of my favorite things is learning about jobs I didn't know existed. That's why I was very exciting about today's interview. Can you tell me who you are and what you are? NELL: Sure, my name is Nell Wulfhart. I'm a decision coach and I help people make tough decisions in one-hour sessions where we go over the problem and by the end of the one hour they know what to do and can start taking action. ZAK: Do you know any other decision coaches? NELL: No. ZAK: So you may have invented this job. NELL: I think I did kind of make it up, um, but it turns out there's a real need for it. Like people really struggle with it. I'm wondering if there's a way to start getting decision making into school curriculum or something because it seems to me like this is a really useful skill and something you can get better at but a lot of people have such a hard time with it. ZAK: Can you tick off a cross-section of the types of decisions you help people make? NELL: People who are wondering whether or not to start their own business. People who wonder if they should take a job, especially when that job involves like moving their family. People want to know whether to stay in relationships. I told somebody whether or not they should have a second child. I've given someone advice to quit their job and set-up as a sex therapist. It's a pretty wide range. ZAK: So you're actually coming out and saying you should do this? NELL: Yes, I wanted to call my site the Decision Maker but a friend of mine told me that people prefer to have a little more agency in their decisions so I should be the decision coach but it's essentially, by the time people get to me they've spent so long agonizing over these decisions that they just want someone to tell them it's ok to do what they want to do and this thing that they...these two things they're deciding between there is one better option and that's what I give them. ZAK: So that's usually the case that it seems clear? NELL: It almost always seems clear to me. I mean people come to me with hard decisions. Sometimes it's very early like somebody is in a bad relationship so you tell them break up with that person. Sometimes, like, it really is a very difficult decision but I know that any kind of decision and then taking action on that decision is better than continuing to stew in indecision so, literally any decision I tell them to make is better than continuing to be in the state of analysis paralysis. ZAK: Which brings us to Nell's advice. NELL: Take less time to make your decisions. The problem that most people have is that they spend way to much time trying to make decisions...which is essentially trying to predict the future, right, we're tying to figure out what decision is gonna make us happier, what's gonna make us feel better but we're all just taking out best guesses. And there's a certain amount of time, certain things to consider, pro and con list. I love a pro and con list but after that there's a lot of wheel spinning. There's a lot of going back and second-guessing and talking to other people and to me that is just a total waste of time and energy. So, the way that we know whether we like things is not by thinking and trying to predict that we might like them, it's by trying them out. So, my suggestion would be to take that time you would normally spend agonizing over a decision and use it to start taking action on one of your options. Because you'll have spent the same amount of time but if you take action you will have real tangible data about whether or not this is a good decision and the same amount of time will have passed as if you were still just thinking and debating and wondering. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/12/20204 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Splitting with Shira

ZAK: Back here with regular contributor, Shira. SHIRA: Hi everyone. ZAK: You have another gem for us today for Food Friday? SHIRA: Yeah, this is my advice called splitsies. theme music SHIRA: So I think, in general, whether it be you're out to dinner with your partner, your friend...I advocate for a splitsies set-up and this means that we get two dishes and we split them. And I think that this is a good practice on multiple levels. First of all, you get to try two dishes instead of one. But maybe even a more essential thing is that it makes the eating process this wonderful, you know, kind of, adventure. We're in it together. We're discovering these new foods together. And I really think that that is a good way of like, connecting and I think it elevates the experience cause it makes you guys in it together. So, Zak and I, we always go splitsies. ZAK: And you might be thinking, well what if the other person gets more than me. What you and I do, we're very fastidious about doing an even split. It's not like, oh yeah you have a bite of this, I have a bite of this. No no no. We do ever/thing short of busting out a ruler. SHIRA: Yeah, cause your bites are bigger than my bites. So we learned early on, I'm not doing bite for bite cause Zak's bites are a lot bigger than mine. ZAK: I take a big bite. SHIRA: Yeah, so we just truly just split it in half so there's no discussion and people don't feel like, oh, if I go splitisies, I'm not gonna get as much. We take away that component. Split it directly in half so everyone gets the equal amount and that's not a concern for the splitsies action. ZAK: Great. I love you. SHIRA: Love you too. Splitsies for life. ZAK: Splitsies for life. ZAK: I'm very interested in how couple's make it work from the micro to the macro. Tell me what you do at 844-935-BEST. That's 844-935-BEST. This has been another week of The Best Advice Show. Please share it with your friends and family. And as always, consider rating and reviewing the show on Apple Podcasts. It all helps. Thank you so much. I hope this helps. Bye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/9/20203 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Refreshing Your Space with Keisha TK Dutes

Keisha (TK) Dutes is an audio producer and the co-host of the new podcast, Open World. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPT: ZAK: We're home. We're probably not going anywhere anytime soon. And so today's advice inspires you to make your place as cozy and fun as possible without breaking the bank. KEISHA: Hi, I'm Keisha TK Dutes. I'm an audio producer and with my home space, I like to make different rooms so that I can go from room to room and have a different experience everyday. My bedroom is peaceful, I got plants. Then the bathroom is like a black aunty jungle. Cause I know that's where I do my thing. And I get ready for the morning and if I have to stare at myself I want to see jungle wallpaper behind me. You know? hahaha. And the living room is like an abstract-modern thing and that's just cause over time I would buy little things from like vintage stores or through traveling and even if I didn't have like a proper place to stay, I had like a box somewhere with these little things. ZAK: Some of us are living in houses that we haven't put a lot of time into designing just cause, like, you know, we got work, we got family, we got all this stuff to do. But now we might have some time to think about and organize our space. Do you have some advice about getting started? KEISHA: Yes, go through the stuff that you have already. You have so much... I think a lot of people pack away their lives but I went through like, pieces of paper...there's always a bag of envelopes somewhere. Right? Go through that bag of envelopes. Go through that bag of cards. Some of the cards will look nice enough to like, just tack up on the wall or put in a frame. There will be photos that you forgot. Put them on the fridge. Like little stuff. The fridge can be the jumping off point for like...ok, cool...I really like the colors in that photo. Boom, lemme paint my cupboards. You know, like, find your stuff first then start branching out. Going through my stuff and finding things over time it helped me to buy less things. ZAK: You might be searching for something to listen to while you're redesigning your place. If so, check out TK's new project. It's called Open World. It's a fiction anthology podcast about how science and technology serve as a backdrop for imaging a better future. It's really cool. You've been listening to The Best Advice Show. If you have some advice I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/8/20202 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Working from Anywhere with Mike Gluck

Mike Gluck is the co-author of Everydata and author of 40 Freelancing Secrets. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST TRANSCRIPTS: ZAK: Where would you say is the most beautiful place you've gotten work done? MIKE: Probably, I mean my brother and his wife live out in Hawaii so I've gotten some work done out there which is nice. The local park is pretty cool. Just knowing that if I have my laptop and a wi-fi connection most of the time, I can do pretty much whatever I need to do anywhere, anytime. ZAK: For lots of us, working from home is new and this setup takes some getting used to. I asked for some advice from long-time freelancer, Mike Gluck. He says with the great freedom of working at home, it can be much harder to get stuff done...and if you've been doing this for the last six months like I have, you know you're not just gonna be able to work from nine to five. You have to be creative. MIKE: So, yeah, I've got to two teenage boys and one of them loves tennis, one of them loves fishing. And the one, Zack, who loves tennis works very early in the mornings on the weekends, so lsat Saturday, I think, I dropped him off at work at 6:30 in the morning. I'm not gonna go and sit inside a Starbucks right now, so instead, I grabbed my laptop and I went to work. It was light out and I sat on a bench and I got some work done. And then for fishing, my younger son loves to fish and he scoped out all these fishing spots around where we live so, you know, sometimes I'll go and just sit in a chair and hangout and we'll talk about life or whatever, but, you know, he likes to do it everyday, so sometimes what I'll do is I'll bring a lawn chair, I'll bring my laptop and I'll sit there and I'll get stuff done for part of it.  I think you have to embrace that. One of the benefits is that flexibility, but you also have to look for those pockets of time when you can work and you can be productive because you can't just nap during the day and go to the gym and do your laundry and then not work at night or on the have to find those times when, ok, I have an hour here, I have half an hour here, I have three hours here. Let me take advantage of it. It doesn't have to be in a traditional work setting at a traditional work can do it whenever, wherever,  ZAK: Mike Gluck is the author of two books, one of which is called 40 Freelancing Secrets which you might find very valuable right now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit