Rank #1: Yoga
There is controversy about different types of yoga and whether they ring true to the original purpose of the practice. So when we do yoga, are we doing it for the right reasons?
Valley Fontaine hears from the director of a 98-year-old yoga institute in India, a religious studies professor in the US, an instructor who teaches yoga for you and your dog, founders of a yoga festival in the UK, and the 2016 women’s yoga champion.
(Image: Woman in Yoga pose near Indian temple. Credit: Pikoso.kz/Shutterstock)
Mar 24 2017
Rank #2: Grief
The pain of losing a loved one initially seems so unbearable, yet most bereaved people do eventually find a way to adjust to their changed life. So what happens when we grieve and why does grief sometimes get complicated?
Mike talks to Bill Burnett, who is learning to live without his wife, Betty. She died in 2010 after 43 years’ marriage, yet Bill still talks to her photo and asks her advice. And, we hear from Rhonda O’Neill who lost her husband in a plane crash and then her young son to kidney disease two years later. She describes feeling tormented by the belief she could have done something more to save her son’s life.
We also hear from eminent UK psychiatrist Dr Colin Murray Parkes, who describes what happened to one of his patients who buried his grief, and from Dr Katherine Shear, professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and director of the Center for Complicated Grief.
(Photo: A woman hugging a man. Credit: Vibe Images/Shutterstock)
Oct 07 2016
Rank #3: Interviews
(Image: Someone at an interview, Credit: Shutterstock)
Feb 19 2018
Rank #4: Dogs
On this episode of The Why Factor, we find out why dogs are so special. Mary-Ann Ochota delves into the emotion, science and history that sets them apart - be they friend, foe or food.
(Image: Essex Search and Rescue, Credit: Gabriela Jones/BBC)
May 28 2018
Rank #5: Poetry
(Image: A poet writes before a poetry performance at a club in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Nov 15 2014
Rank #6: Chess
Nov 01 2014
Rank #7: Loneliness
Feelings of loneliness do not only come from the position we can sometimes find ourselves in. Studies of twins in Holland have shown that loneliness has a hereditary element. And surprisingly loneliness can also be contagious.
Mike speaks to the Chinese artist Li Tianbing about how growing up under China’s one child policy shaped his art and to a Swedish entrepreneur who invited 11 people to come and live with her to combat her loneliness.
(Photo: Woman alone on a bridge. Credit: Shutterstock)
Jun 17 2016
Rank #8: Romance
Afua Hirsch talks to Eddie and Justin Outlaw about their experience of Romance as a gay couple in America’s deep south. We also hear from Kiru Taye, a Nigerian author who wanted to challenge the predominately white and western world of Romance novels; and sex and attachment expert Sarah Merrill describes how the romantic instinct is etched into our very biology.
Yet in the world of swipe right, swipe left dating apps – how might our experience of Romance be changing?
(Image: Book, heart pages, Credit: Shutterstock)
Sep 18 2017
Rank #9: Attraction
Beauty, facial symmetry, personality and values all play a role in our attraction to others. Evolution biologist Dr Anna Machin from Oxford University explains the science behind attraction. Dr Machin explains how chemicals released in our brains gives us the confidence to approach someone who we are attracted to and how the smell and taste of a prospective partner can tell us a lot of their genes and whether they will be a compatible mate.
(Photo: A couple gazing at each other. Credit: Shutterstock)
Jun 27 2016
Rank #10: Self-Harm
She speaks to Matthew Nock, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University who explains the type of person most at risk of engaging in self-injury and the reasons why they use it to regulate their emotions.
News reporter, Aidan Radnedge, describes why he began self-harming at university; and how his family and friends have given unstinting support throughout his road to recovery.
Writer and editor, Janelle Harris, explains what it was like to discover that her daughter, Skylar, was self-harming aged 11. Now 18 and having graduated from high school, Skylar is no longer injuring herself and is looking forward to going to college next year.
Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Priory Group of mental health hospitals and clinics in the UK, offers advice for parents on how to react if their children are self-harming – and offers alternative coping strategies for those struggling to deal with their feelings.
If you’ve been affected by the issues in this programme, please visit the following websites for support and advice:
Befrienders Worldwide: http://www.befrienders.org/about-self-harm
Talk Life: https://talklife.co/
Presenter: Catherine Carr
Producer: Sally Abrahams
(Image: Sad beautiful girl, Credit: Wayhome studio/Shutterstock)
Jun 05 2017
Rank #11: Laziness
(Photo: Legs extended on a hammock. Credit: Shutterstock)
Mar 19 2018
Rank #12: The Female Orgasm
It appears research has been hindered by the assumption that the female body works in the same way as the male body and that for women, arousal is all in the mind. There’s also a general attitude that studying sexual pleasure isn’t important and that female orgasms aren’t important to study as they serve no purpose for reproduction.
Researchers are slowly correcting these assumptions and making surprising discoveries.
We’ll take you behind the scenes to two orgasm labs to bring you the latest research on how orgasms work for women. We’ll also hear from Callista, who struggled with excruciating pain during sex for many years but was told the problem was all in her mind. Her journey to diagnosis shows how little is known, even amongst gynaecologists and doctors, about female sexual pleasure.
Presenter: Aasmah Mir
Producer: Phoebe Keane
(Image: Woman's hand grasping a bed sheet. Credit: Shutterstock)
Dec 02 2016
Rank #13: Nudity
A fully-clothed Mike Williams visits a life drawing class, speaks to the founder of a topless protest group, and hears from an academic about how the former East German government tried, but ultimately failed, to ban public nudism.
(Photo: Tourists look at David by Michelangelo in Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Italy. Credit: Lornet/Shutterstock)
Dec 06 2014
Rank #14: Serial Killers
(Image: Dark city alley, Credit: Shutterstock)
Oct 23 2017
Rank #15: Polygamy
Lucy hears about rotas, hierarchies and curfews from the stars of a popular South African reality TV show about a businessman, his four wives and their ten children. The creator of a dating website in Gaza explains why many of his clients are looking for second or third wives. A woman who left her Mormon plural marriage in the American state of Utah tells how having to share her husband with a sister wife had a devastating impact on her mental health. What about polyandry – one woman marrying multiple men? Anthropologist Katie Starkweather explains why some societies have favoured it.
(Photo: Models on wedding cake, Photo credit: Shutterstock)
Jun 26 2017
Rank #16: Sibling Birth Order
(Image: Siblings of different ages, Credit: Shutterstock)
Apr 02 2018
Rank #17: Habits
(Photo: New Habits v Old Habits Credit: Shutterstock)
May 01 2017
Rank #18: Hunting
She finds out that the majority of hunters don’t actually like the act of killing, but hunt because they enjoy the adrenaline-fuelled tracking, or being out in nature with heightened senses, or simply to provide for their families in a way they find much more satisfying than simply buying meat in a grocery store. And then there are some reasons that go deeper.
(Photo: A hunter with this dog and a deer)
Jan 01 2016
Rank #19: Perfume
(Photo: A craftswoman works on a perfume bottle at a fragrance workshop in Paris. Credit: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
Dec 20 2014
Rank #20: Fishing
To find out more about how people continue to fish internationally, we hear from a fishing community in Alaska, and about tuna fishing in the Maldives. On the North East coast of England, we meet a fishing party as they complete successful day’s fishing from the tiny harbour of Staithes – and further along that coast, we hear from a trainee at the Whitby Fishing School who explains why he wants to join the fishing industry. Professor Calum Roberts of York University in the UK explains the motivation behind fishing and the changing character of fishing today.
(Image: Old fisherman with nets, Credit: Shutterstock)
Jun 25 2018