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Happy Mind, Happy Life: 10 Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day. A science-backed guide to a calmer, happier you.

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Is Everything You Know About Depression Wrong? With Johann Hari

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  January 22, 2020

RE-RELEASE: This episode originally aired last year as a two-part episode.

For the past few decades, almost every year, levels of depression and anxiety have increased in Britain and across the Western world. But why? One of the most important voices in this area, Johann Hari, went on a forty-thousand-mile journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He shares the fascinating findings of his research in this week’s podcast. Johann explains that although we have been told a story that drugs are the solution to depression and anxiety, in many cases, the cause is not in our biology but in the way we live. 

Johann argues that being depressed or anxious does not mean that you are crazy, weak or broken, rather, that your natural psychological needs are not being met. And it’s hardly surprising – we are the loneliest society there has ever been. We discuss how loneliness affects us, how social prescribing can transform lives, the role trauma plays and how shame is both physically and emotionally destructive. Johann believes that societal values have been corrupted and explains the effect that this is having on our health. We talk about the role of the workplace and how having autonomy and choices can reduce the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Johann goes on to share the incredible heart-warming story of the people from Berlin district called Kotti – a story of how an unlikely community was borne out of desperation and the unbelievable transformations that occurred for the whole community as a result of it. Finally, Johann shares some truly inspirational top tips. This really is a captivating and incredibly important conversation – I hope you enjoy it!  

CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains swearing and themes of an adult nature.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Find out more about Johann:

Website    Facebook   Instagram    Twitter

Johann’s books:

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope

Chasing the Scream: The Search for the Truth About Addiction

Further learning:

Dr Chatterjee’s resources:


*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP