10 Life-Changing TED Talks

Crystal Jackson


Time feels like a fluid concept. Some days, it seems to rush by. Other days, it hangs heavy on our hands. Yet, the measures of time don’t change. It’s our perception of time that is altered based on our experience of it.

During times of high stress, I often find myself absently binge-watching television or streaming movies. I find it more difficult to read without becoming distracted. The words seem to jump and dance on the page, skittering away before I can decipher their meaning. At times like this, I find myself turning to audiobooks and videos instead.

TED Talks, in particular, stand out for me when I have trouble following a plot. These short concise speeches outline their topics and provide a new perspective. Sometimes, they change my mind. At other times, they’ve even changed my life.

Here are ten that stood out for me that could change your mind — and perhaps even change your life.

How Not to Take Things Personally by Frederik Imbo

Taking things personally is giving up your power to other people. Imbo explores this question: “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” Here’s how you can be happy without taking things personally.

The Magic of Not Giving a F*** by Sarah Knight-

How are you spending your time and energy? While you’re here, make a budget for how much to care. Are you fascinated already? You should be. Listen now, but be warned: if swearing triggers you, this is not the TED Talk for you. In the interest of full disclosure, this might be my new favorite one!

How to Grow as a Person (And Why It Sucks) by Johnny Crowder

“Why do we expect mental and emotional change to happen instantly? We need to embrace the idea that slow incremental change is sustainable and effective even if it’s not as romantic as we’d like it to be.” We don’t need to wait to make changes, and change takes time.

Frientimacy: The 3 Requirements of All Healthy Friendships by Shasta Nelson

Forget social media friends. How many friends do we actually have? How many of those friendships are healthy?

The Danger of a Single Story Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The stories we tell about ourselves and others matter. Here’s why.

Feelings: Handle Them Before They Handle You by Mandy Saligari

Addicts, parents, humans with feelings: this is for you. Learning to take care of ourselves and to feel vulnerable helps us handle our emotions — before they handle us.

Staying Stuck or Moving Forward by Dr. Lani Nelson Zlupko

If you feel stuck right now, you don’t have to stay there. Dr. Nelson Zlupko talks us through how to begin moving forward. Here’s where we can take back our power.

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

Would it surprise you to know that courage and vulnerability coexist? Vulnerability doesn’t make us weak. It’s what makes us strong.

The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Love by Katie Hood

Do you know the difference between healthy and unhealthy love? Katie Hood takes us through the signs of dysfunctional behavior. She also suggests that healthy love is a skill set we can learn.

Sleep is Your Super Power by Matt Walker

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Have you ever heard anyone say that? Matt Walker explains clearly why this is a terrible life philosophy. Sleep isn’t a luxury. It’s not even just a necessity. It’s our super-power. Here’s why.

I don’t know if they’ll change your life, lower your stress, or do anything for you at all. But when streaming endless shows gets tedious, TED Talks, podcasts, and even audiobooks can give us an alternative that can help us open our minds and learn a better way of being.

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA

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