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Brain Yapping

Science • Comedy

Brain Yapping – The Podcast; an amusing, entertaining, ramshackle and illuminating look at how science can really work hosted by neuroscientist and author, Dr Dean Burnett (The Idiot Brain, The Happy Brain) and journalist Rachel England. Part of the Cosmic Shambles Network.

Popular episodes

Sometimes things are just crap. And that's OK

Nov 15 • 29:53
And so we reach the final episode in this series of Brain Yapping, and after 12+ weeks of discussing how the brickbats and misfortunes of life have affected them, what have Dean and Rachel learned? They’ve learned, basically, that shit happens. But also, you aren’t obliged to find 'deeper meaning', or 'silver linings', or 'positive outcomes' from it. Not every trauma has ...

A Wake to Possibilities

Oct 4 • 34:22
Since the last episode, Rachel has gone on two trips, and Dean has attended his father’s wake, more than 18 months after his passing. As a result, our hosts discuss the importance of rituals and ceremonies for our wellbeing, the cons and unexpected pros of long intervals between, and whether the pandemic has presented us with an opportunity to rejig traditional customs, to...

Exercising Restraint

Oct 4 • 31:56
Throughout the pandemic and lockdown, a lot of attention and emphasis was placed on exercise, and keeping fit. Countless people insist that it’s a key facet of good mental health. But, is it? Can regular exercise really be such a potent benefit to Mental Health? If so, why? If not, what’s the deal there? And can it end up doing more harm than good? With both of them engagi...

Remembering lockdowns… or not

Sep 20 • 29:21
Dean and Rachel return to their podcast after an unplanned hiatus, during which they genuinely forgot they were in the middle of doing a podcast. But problems with memory and thinking are thing that many have complained about during the pandemic. What’s going on there? Why would having a more predictable life make you less able to remember it? Our intrepid Brain Yappers ex...

How's the Weather?

May 31 • 30:40
The return to normal life continues apace, and having run out of everything else to talk about, Dean and Rachel fall back on the classic British standby: the weather. But for a good reason; with travel still restricted and indoor pursuits only tentatively available, the weather plays a bigger role in our day-to-day lives than ever. How does this affect our moods and mental...

Returning to Normalish

May 10 • 31:08
With vaccine rollouts proceeding apace, weather improving, and lockdown restrictions easing, it seems like life is returning to some sort of normality. But what’s it like to go from prolonged lockdown to in-person socialising? Are we going back to normal, or is it some strange new reality, with new rules and expectation? And what effects can this have on us on our wellbein...

Haters Gonna Hate: Criticism’s Impact on Wellbeing, in the Era of Covid and Beyond

Apr 26 • 35:26
If there’s one thing that Covid and lockdown hasn’t been stingy with, it’s criticism. All the new rules, regulations and expectations introduced by the pandemic has inevitably led to many more opportunities to condemn people for getting things wrong. Why do we do this so readily? And why is criticism often so impactful, to the extent that it can interfere with our mental w...

Climate Change, COVID, and the Anxiety of Global Problems for Individuals

Apr 12 • 35:57
The COVID 19 pandemic is a global problem. Climate change is an even bigger one. But people are individuals, and can rarely make meaningful interventions on such scales. This has many implications for our wellbeing and mental health. To mark the launch of her new book 'Everyday Activism - How to Change the World in Five Minutes, One Hour or a Day', Rachel leads the discuss...

The Darker Side of 'Protecting the NHS'

Mar 22 • 28:27
The current mantra of protecting the NHS at all costs is logical and helpful, but nothing comes without cost. A listener reports that he’s been far less rigorous about seeking help for his health issues during the pandemic. This spurs Dean and Rachel on to discussing the possibility that, particularly with regards to mental health matters, the fixation on protecting the NH...

Won't SOMEONE think of the children!

Mar 8 • 31:37
Dean has young children. Rachel doesn't, but knows many people who do, and it seems they’re all somewhat concerned about exactly what long periods of lockdown, isolation, and lack of school is doing to them, both in the short and long term. Dean and Rachel delve into the practicalities, science, and general misconceptions of just how vulnerable and fragile children are (o...

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