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Our Favorite TED Talks

Well before the age of YouTube and viral videos, the first-ever TED event took place in 1984, introducing an invite-only audience to the compact disk, 3D graphics from Lucasfilm, and the e-book. Several thousand talks later, anyone can access the revolutionary ideas presented on the TED stage on the organization’s beautifully designed website; you can browse, download, and listen to them with greater ease than ever. For better or for worse, the best TED talks aren’t just about the best ideas, they’re about the best stories, the best performances—the best theater. Below, we’ve collected a sampling of our favorites and divided them into categories we think are helpful: mind, body, food, parenting and education, career and growth, and talks from our very own goop contributors.

Parenting & Education

  • Andrew Solomon: Love, No Matter What

    This is a paradigm-shifting talk about how we view “illness” and identity—and what our love for our children can teach us about our culture, and what it means to be human.

  • Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

    In one of the most-watched TED talks of all time, Ken Robinson challenges our most basic assumptions about primary education, and how it affects kids’ learning and development.

Mind

  • Eleanor Longden: The Voices in My Head

    Through a retelling of her own journey back to mental health after a schizophrenia diagnosis, Eleanor Longden exposes how ill-equipped our biomedical systems are to deal with mental illness.

  • Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight

    Alright, so this is as much about the body as it is the mind, but it’s really about what happens to our minds when our bodies fail us: Brain researcher and neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor takes us through a stunning journey of what she experienced during her own massive stroke.

Body

Career & Growth

  • Alain De Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

    Philosopher Alain de Botton gives what is ultimately a soothing, reassuring talk about the fallacy of meritocracy and how we can alleviate our own career anxieties.

  • Shonda Rhimes: Year of Yes

    It comes as no surprise that Shonda Rhimes gives a (really) good speech; Here, you can hear her describe her widely publicized “year of yes” as part of a moving, excellent, and often funny narrative that breathes life into the tired “work/life balance” genre of advice.

  • Casey Gerald: The Gospel of Doubt

    The writer and business leader recalls important lesson he learned as a child—one that taught him the importance of questioning our beliefs and embracing uncertainty.

  • Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

    Elizabeth Gilbert’s vulnerability, humor, and frankness make her insights here, about creativity and the nature of “genius”, profoundly resonant.

Food

  • Ron Finley: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA

    When Ron Finley gave this talk in 2013, he also brought the idea of a “food desert” to a much broader audience—all while painting the role of a gardener as a renegade.

  • William Li: Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?

    By explaining the body’s process of angiogenesis—and the anti-angiogenic foods that could prevent the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor—William Li explores if it’s possible to have cancer without disease?

From goop Contributors

  • Jill Willard: Making Space for Intuition

    Expect more than just a lecture from this eight-minute talk, where Willard guides you through a simple, effective meditation.

  • Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

    Nearly 30 million people have watched this TEDx talk from research professor Brené Brown, who shares her enlightening work on vulnerability and human connection with wit and humor. Here, she did a Q&A with us about perfection and the culture of scarcity.

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