Everything Happens with Kate Bowler

Everything Happens Studios

Are you living your best life now? Not always? This is a podcast for you. Duke Professor Kate Bowler is an expert in the stories we tell about success and failure, suffering and happiness. She had Stage IV cancer. Then she didn’t. And since then, all she wants to do is talk to funny and wise people about how to live with the knowledge that, well, everything happens.  Find her online at @katecbowler.

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Our Editor's Take

Everything Happens with Kate Bowler is about navigating life when bad things happen. On the podcast, guests join the hosts to discuss times in their life they had to deal with misfortune. Stories on the show center on loss, pain, recovery, and changing priorities. From losing a loved one to receiving a serious health diagnosis, invitees share stories of trials and triumphs. Discussions center on moments that cause people to reset priorities and embrace bravery.

Host Kate Bowler is a prolific nonfiction author and Canadian academic. When the married mother-of-one received a cancer diagnosis in 2015, it was devastating. Her bestselling book Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I've Loved) details her experience. The host also has her own TED Talk, which has over 8 million views and counting. Kate started Everything Happens in 2018, three years after her cancer diagnosis.

On Everything Happens with Kate Bowler, listeners can expect personal stories of perseverance. Kate has conversations with experts and everyday people who dealt with unexpected circumstances. Guests on the show have included actor Alan Alda. The M*A*S*H star and Kate discuss the power of effective communication. Alan shares an unpleasant experience he had at a dentist's visit. His story highlights the importance of clear communication. Alan also shares many insights on communicating with empathy in his interview.

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy appears in another episode. She and Kate discuss loneliness and its far-reaching effects. The host shares how she felt lonely after her diagnosis and sought answers. They talk about Vivek's work around loneliness and well-being. Other guests include Ray Hinton, a former death row inmate. His story is about living under a flawed sentence and his life after. Another heartfelt conversation centers on a man who went from partner to caregiver.

Everything Happens with Kate Bowler is about resetting priorities and embracing bravery. New episodes arrive twice monthly.

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

Steph Catudal: Love That Carries Us
Nov 14 2023
Steph Catudal: Love That Carries Us
How do you think about faith and hope when your prayers aren’t answered? What about when they are?  Steph and her husband, Rivs, have the kind of story you might see in a blockbuster movie. Rivs was a professional endurance athlete who was suddenly put on life support with a mysterious lung disease. But then a confluence of shocking events occurred to get him the care he needed to survive. Steph grew up as part of the Church of Latter Day Saints, a faith that believed that if she prayed hard enough, miracles would happen. But then her dad died when she was 14. So how does she understand faith and hope and miracles after Rivs' survival?  In this conversation, Kate and Steph discuss:     How do you talk to kids honestly about life and death and hope?    How pain is a conduit for empathy     How to allow things to just suck and not feel pressure to find any brightsides    How to think about faith, hope, and miracles without idolizing certainty  Steph is someone who knows intimately that life sometimes just happens and that we have to learn to live alongside all of that pain and that joy and that love that somehow coexists. CW: cancer, death of a parent Everything Happens is brought to you by Cologuard®. Are you 45 or older? Start screening for colon cancer with Cologuard, an effective and noninvasive screening option for adults 45 and older at average risk for colon cancer. Rx only. Learn more at Cologuard.com/everything Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here. Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Clover Stroud: The Rituals of Grief
Oct 17 2023
Clover Stroud: The Rituals of Grief
So many of us have experienced a before… and an after.  My friend, the lovely writer Clover Stroud, had her before and after at a young age. When she was 16, her mom was in a horse-riding accident and suffered a serious brain injury that left her severely disabled until she died… 22 years later. The suddenness of that accident layered with the ongoingness of that level of caregiving bonded Clover and her big sister, Nell in remarkable ways.  Then, Nell unexpectedly died.  The grief of losing her sister is captured in Clover’s beautiful book, The Red of My Blood—a book that captures the visceral feelings of grief. The pain. The beauty. The staying wide awake to the life that’s in front of us despite it all. The “how do I go on parenting with all this grief?” The “give me a sign” feeling we crave when our loved ones are gone. In this conversation, Kate and Clover discuss:  Kids who have to grow up too fast due to tragedy and who we become because of itHow some people have to live in ongoing trauma or extended grief due to caregiving or chronic illnessThe unexpected glimmers of beauty that can sustain us amid the ache of lossWhy we need rituals to hold us together during deep grief Kate went to visit Clover at her farm outside of Oxford in England to talk about the things in our lives that almost destroy us but also form us in some remarkable ways too.  CW: cancer, traumatic brain injury, horse accident, death of a sibling Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here. Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Emi Nietfeld: The Cost of Survival
Sep 26 2023
Emi Nietfeld: The Cost of Survival
What does it really mean to “survive” when what you survive… lingers? Emi Nietfeld went from being homeless to graduating from Harvard. But the rags-to-riches story isn’t ever completely true. It skips over the hardest parts—complicated families, long-term trauma on brains and bodies, the ways we wish we could go back and undo what has been done.   This is an incredible story about resilience—what it is, and what it isn’t. You’re going to love the way she talks about the power of her efforts. And the ways she learned to get back up, but should have never had to.  In this conversation, Emi and Kate discuss:  the cost of resiliencethe downsides of relying on the individual therapeutic to solve every problem (and why we should be looking for ways to create systemic or family solutions too)how hope and ambition can pull you toward a futurethe complexities of navigating the value of success when weighed against the lasting impact of trauma Emi carefully interrogates what it really means to “overcome” anything. It makes us all feel less alone when we can say, honestly, that some things can be conquered and some things conquer us.  CW: brief mentions of suicidal ideation, eating disorders, self-harm, adverse childhood, hoarding, trans issues Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here. Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.