Tools for Your Practice

Book/Shop, Erik Heywood, Oakland

Book/Shop, Erik Heywood, Oakland

Therapy works best when people take an interest in absorbing and synthesizing into their lives the ideas we explore in sessions. If you're looking for tools, here are some of my recommended resources, including books, podcasts, apps, videos, audio programs. I am always updating this list, so keep checking back. 

BOOKS (Many of these are available as audiobooks):

PODCASTS

  • Tara Brach - My favorite teacher of Buddhist psychology & meditation. Podcast includes talks & guided meditations. She is clever and accessible and has the most calming voice ever. The meditations are a bit long, so I wouldn't recommend for beginners -start with the talks. 
  • The Marie Manuchehri Show ... Where Energy and Medicine Meet - Energy work is my new passion and, in my opinion, Marie is the most accessible, practical, warmest, sharpest teacher. She takes callers' questions about their health, relationships, careers, true calling and helps them understand how to clear their blockages and shift towards health (I know, it's hard to explain). Start with her early episodes for more instruction and/or read her book
  • Dr. Pat Allen Podcast - She's a bit obnoxious, an acquired taste, and may offend you. While I don't agree with all her ideas, I love her take on the over-masculization of women these days and how it affects dating and relationships. You can also listen to her radio show, which tends to have better audio quality. See my posts here and here.
  • Relationship Alive! - Host Neil Sattin gets great relationship experts as guests and asks provocative questions. 
  • Heart Wisdom with Jack Kornfield - One of the leading Western Buddhist meditation teachers. He's taught many of the best teachers in the country. It's like if your dad was a hip spiritual cat. 
  • Against the Stream - Punk x tattoos x drugs meets Buddhism. My favorite teachers are Mary Stancavage, Matthew Brensilver, Cheryl Slean, Joanna Harper. Also check out their centers in Santa Monica & Silverlake. 
  • Being Well Podcast with Dr. Rick Hanson - One of my main resources on how to train & change our brains. I totally agree with most everything he says. Kinda nerdy in a good way. 
  • Sounds True: Insights at the Edge - In-depth interviews with a wonderful assortment of spiritual teachers & psychologists. Sounds True is a publishing house which continually exposes me to an impressive array of teachers and topics. 
  • Life Made to Order by Kelli Cooper - Podcast about the Law of Attraction. Kelli has a hilarious no-nonsense style & East Coast accent. She fleshes out abstract concepts into real-life applications. Start with the earliest episodes. 

AUDIO PROGRAMS

  • Your Brain on Love by Stan Tatkin - Better to listen to this one than to read it, I think. Tatkin has an easy-to-follow explanation for how our attachment patterns (island, wave, or anchor) play with those of our partners and how to best navigate our individual differences. 
  • The Ecstasy of Letting Go by Judith Orloff - "Surrender allows us to let go of our compulsion to over-think, doubt our intention, and hold back from our complete experience of living," teaches Dr. Orloff. I really like the way she talks about how to tune into and listen to our intuition. 

APPS

  • Headspace  - Headspace makes it easy for people just learning the art of meditation. Their level one course features easy, 10-minute sessions for each day that will help you get into the habit of meditating regularly. 
  • Mindfulness App - Collection of really good guided meditations from my favorite teachers (for a $1 or so). I highly recommend Jack Kornfield (especially for Loving Kindness) and Tara Brach. Also Pema Chodron, Rick Hanson, Stephan Pende Wormland, Kelly McGonigal, Kristin Neff. 
  • Insight Timer - Thousands of free meditations. I love chakra meditations and some of my favorites are: "I AM Yoga Nidra - Journey through the Chakras" by Amrit Yoga, "Chakra Lights" by Estelle Godsman, "7 Color Rays Meditation for Balance" by Arielle Hecht
  • Mindfulness Daily - Set personal reminders to nudge yourself to be mindful throughout the day. The "Pause button" helps you take 15-second mindful pauses whenever you're stressed or catch yourself on autopilot. 
  • Buddha's Brain - Buddhism meets neuroscience. Rick Hanson, whom I mentioned above, teaches practical exercises in how to shape your brain for greater happiness, love & wisdom. 
  • New York Times - Whatever your news source of choice, it's important to stay connected to the events of the world and get out of your habitually self-absorbed mind. 
  • Better - Helps you get paid back by your health insurance for your out-of-network therapy and medical bills. 
  • Classpass - App that lets you sign up for classes at a variety of different exercise studios. Exercise always makes you feel better!
  • Spotify - Let yourself explore & experiment with different kinds of music that you don't normally listen to. This helps keep your brain active and engaged. When's the last time you sat and just listened to music? Or played a whole album from start to finish? Check out the "Discover Weekly" playlist, where some magical algorithm somehow nails your musical preferences and selects a new batch of wonderful songs for you to discover each week. 
  • Notice I did not mention Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. These apps have a tendency to create an unproductive compare-and-despair mentality in us And You Know It. 

YOUTUBE

  • Oceanside Restorative Yoga - Slow stretches with a bolster/pillow to open your body. If you're wanting to attempt being with your emotions instead of avoiding them, this would be a great way to start. 
  • The School of Life - From the author of the most widely read NYTimes article of 2016, "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person," the School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture. In a series of intelligent, immeasurably helpful videos, articles, and courses, they address such issues as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one's past, and how to achieve calm. 
  • Abraham Hicks - The ultimate source for The Law of Attraction. It's kinda crazy & out there, so if that stuff turns you off, this might not be your cup of tea. You can get a taste for The Law of Attraction in my earlier posts and see if it appeals to you. It's the kind of thing that once you hear about it, you'll start hearing about it more and more. 
  • Jason Stephenson - Hundreds of guided meditations. These might seem cheesy at first, but I think they're well-done. I especially like him for nighttime / sleeping. 
  • Esther Perel - My favorite sexuality & relationship teacher. She's an especially gifted speaker, so it's worth watching any video featuring her. 
  • For deep sleep - Moby, Long Ambients: Calm. Sleep ; Tibetan Singing Bowls