The Atlantic is following the launch of its How to Build a Happy Life podcast, hosted by the renowned social scientist Arthur C. Brooks, with a second season about navigating the challenges of changing your life. In How to Start Over, Atlantic staff writer Olga Khazan analyzes what it takes to change our relationships, our work, and our perspective—with a practical approach to one of life’s greatest mysteries: how to reinvent ourselves. A trailer is out now for the season, which begins May 30 and will run weekly through early July.
Change can be hard. Inertia is powerful, mortgages and marriages are long-term, and personality traits can feel hardwired. But we’re also in an era characterized by change. How to Start Over offers a guide to starting over and explores why change is so hard and whether it is, sometimes, overrated. Olga, who recently participated in The Atlantic’s In Pursuit of Happiness event, will talk to neuroscientists, unlikely friends, psychologists, job coaches, grieving parents, new parents, and estranged lovers about how to know when you should start over—and how to do it right.
“We are coming out of a long period where the luckiest among us were confined to our homes, left to ruminate over everything that’s right and wrong about ourselves and our relationships and the people around us. I found myself sort of itching for a reset,” Olga says in the trailer. “If I’ve learned one thing, it is that change challenges our natural instincts; it forces us to be introspective, and it makes us realize just how hesitant we could be … This series is your guide to starting over in some of the challenging areas of life with a practical, evidence-based approach to big-picture questions.”
Olga has memorably explored issues of personality, relationships, and behavior in her writing, including in recent pieces such as “What It’s Like to Get Worse at Something,” in which she reflected on the process of learning a new skill, and “I Gave Myself Three Months to Change My Personality.” Most recently she explained a rash of odd and aggressive behavior in the third year of the pandemic in “Why People Are Acting So Weird,” and how to change your mind about the pandemic in “You Were Right About COVID, and Then You Weren’t.”
Check out the trailer for How to Start Over and subscribe here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Episode one drops Monday, May 30. Please reach out with any questions or requests.