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When Song, Faith, and Joy are Enough

When Song, Faith, and Joy are Enough

The full name of the song is “Ndikhokhele Bawo,” which means “Lead me, Father” in Xhosa. These South African youths, assembled in their school’s courtyard, transform their place of learning into a concert hall with nothing more than the power of their voices. But it’s their spirit of joy and solidarity that lifts the beautiful into the realm of the sublime.

Learning About Depression. And Fighting Back.

Learning About Depression. And Fighting Back.

Forty percent of Americans will suffer a major depressive episode at some point in their lives. Five percent of the world’s population is suffering from it at any given time. It’s a disease that’s too often misunderstood—when it’s not overlooked entirely. Recovery writer Annie Highwater offers this primer on the many forms depression can take, and the variety of paths available for dealing with it.

King’s Return Encore: “Amazing Grace” Acapella

King’s Return Encore: “Amazing Grace” Acapella

The Dallas-based quartet often focuses on spiritual and gospel music, and like any truly gifted performers, they make even the most familiar classics sound and feel brand new. This time, they’ve chosen a song that never gets old, and one with a special resonance for many in our Allies community.

IFS: Embracing and Listening to Our Multiple Selves

IFS: Embracing and Listening to Our Multiple Selves

“Most of the world’s problems arise from a misunderstanding about parts and burdens,” Dr. Richard Schwartz asserts. In IFS, which he founded, the “parts” are our multiple internal selves, and the burdens are the trauma and wounds they try to manage on our behalf. The simple but radical proposition of IFS is that these multiple selves arise for good reasons and have a lot to offer—if we can help them change with the seasons of our lives.

“Hi Ren” Brings the Inner Demons out in the Open

“Hi Ren” Brings the Inner Demons out in the Open

Our sanctuary blog is often a place where you’ll find light, comfort, and tales of perseverance in the face of immense challenges. Today is no exception—but a warning: all of those familiar qualities are accompanied by one of the more vivid portraits of suffering we’ve shared with you.

Loneliness Is an Epidemic. Love Is the Closest Thing We Have to a Cure.

Loneliness Is an Epidemic. Love Is the Closest Thing We Have to a Cure.

You don’t need anyone to tell you that loneliness sucks. But did you know that it’s an all-but-out-of-control epidemic in the modern world, and that lives are shortened because of it? That’s the lamentable truth. But happily, as Dr. Jill Carnahan relates, the remedy is accessible to nearly everyone.

As Real As It Gets: Stand By Me In Central Park

As Real As It Gets: Stand By Me In Central Park

No studio, no mixers, no lights, no amplifiers: when Cover Story Doo-Wop sings “Stand By Me” under the Bethesda Terrace arches in New York’s Central Park, it’s their talent and deep feeling that carry us away.

“Ave Maria” Acapella: The Sublime In a Stairwell

“Ave Maria” Acapella: The Sublime In a Stairwell

A work of A work of artistic genius can feel immune to the passage of years. But for works meant to be performed, “timeless” does not Mean “static.” This stairwell recording of Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” by four gifted young Texans, imbues new life and grace into a song loved round the world.

Dr. Gabor Maté: The Power of Addiction, the Addiction to Power

Dr. Gabor Maté: The Power of Addiction, the Addiction to Power

Across four decades of work on issues of trauma, addiction, childhood development, stress, and illness, Dr. Gabor Maté has become an internationally recognized thinker, author, and public speaker. But his brilliance is only one side of the coin. The other side, evident in all his remarks, is profound compassion. In this TED talk, both qualities are on full display.

Dopamine, Addiction, and the Brain: Understanding the Science Can Help Us Change

Dopamine, Addiction, and the Brain: Understanding the Science Can Help Us Change

The research has taken three quarters of a century (and counting). But the findings are truly remarkable: pain and pleasure are naturally balanced in a healthy brain. Substances can drastically disrupt that balance, however. In the effort to restore it, our brains go into overdrive. Fortunately, we can help it along—and help ourselves at the same time.

Using ChatGPT To Fight Depression: Some Creative Ideas

Using ChatGPT To Fight Depression: Some Creative Ideas

ChatGPT is not a living mind, let alone a therapist. It is, however, proving to be an immensely useful online assistant for people across the world. Little wonder that professionals and others are finding ways to apply its powers of information gathering and synthesis to the challenge of living with depression. This article offers one emotion expert’s tips on how ChatGPT and related technology might be able to shoulder a bit of that burden.

Dating Someone With Depression: A Brief Guide

Dating Someone With Depression: A Brief Guide

More than one quarter of U.S. adults report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. The disease makes life challenging in all kinds of ways, and relationships are no exception. For partners of those suffering depression, the inability to “fix” the other’s condition can be difficult and frustrating. But even though we can’t cure our partners’ depression, we can learn skills that strengthen our relationships and make them more fulfilling for both parties.

The Evidence Is In: A Walk in the Woods Really Is Good for the Soul

The Evidence Is In: A Walk in the Woods Really Is Good for the Soul

Many of us know it from our own experience. Now there’s science to back it up: time in nature brings a host of benefits for our bodies, minds, and emotional wellbeing. This article from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine provides an overview of the latest research. Spoiler: it’s all good news.

A Work of Genius In the Hermitage

A Work of Genius In the Hermitage

It was a gift of General Potemkin to Catherine the Great; it was a challenge for one of the great inventors of 18th-century England. It remains an extraordinary, and entirely functional, work of art.

Out of the Mouths of Babes (and Comedians)

Out of the Mouths of Babes (and Comedians)

Comedian DJ Pryor says that he’s always spoken to his children (even when they were toddlers) as if they could understand his every word. The approach seems to be working with 15-month-old Kingston, who holds detailed conversations with his dad. Sure, it’s in a language known only to the two of them, but that hasn’t stopped the world from being charmed.

Oh, What a Little Breath Work Can Do!

Oh, What a Little Breath Work Can Do!

Intentional breathing practices have been around for millennia, but Western medicine has taken notice of their potential benefits only recently. This great primer on breath work covers the numerous ways it can improve wellbeing and reduce stress and anxiety. It also shows you some easy, no-fault ways to get started.