Resilience is one of the buzzwords of the moment with multiple self-helps books and motivational speakers all promising us we can learn to be resilient, and use this skill to manage our pain. But what exactly is resilience and why does it help some people to cope better in times of stress than others?
In this Why Factor, Abby Hollick examines why some people, in the face of trauma, seem to be extraordinarily resilient and tests her own inner reserves to discover if she is naturally resilient or not.
Dr David Westley, head of psychology at Middlesex University
Ann Masten, professor at the University of Minnesota
Lucy Wairimu Mkuria, psychologist
Dr Nimmi Hutnik, author of Becoming Resilient: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Transform Your Life
Melanie Reid, journalist for The Times
Dr Atle Dyregrov, clinical psychologist and Director of the Centre for Crisis Psychology in Bergen.
Presenter and Producer: Abby Hollick
Editor: Andrew Smith
(Photo: Man being rescued by two firefighters. Credit: Getty Images / Stock Photo)
Why does music affect the way we feel?
An exploration of why and how music can exert a powerful effect on our emotions. Why does one particular collection of notes make us want to get up and dance, and another calm us down?
Edwina Pitman hears from record producer turned neuroscientist Daniel Levitin about how our brains process music and from psychologist Victoria Williamson about how we react to the memories that sounds trigger. Renowned Hollywood film composer Brian Tyler demonstrates how he creates music that reflects the many shades of emotional grey between happy and sad, and Emmanuel Jal, the South Sudanese-Canadian musician and former child soldier, reveals how music helped him come to terms with the trauma of his childhood.
Bryan Tyler - film composer and conductor
Dr Daniel Levitin - neuroscientist, and Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at The Minerva Schools at KGI and author of This Is Your Brain On Music
Dr Victoria Williamson - Lecturer in Music Psychology at the University of Sheffield and author of You Are The Music
Rob Wood - founder of Music Concierge
Bibi Heal - opera singer
Emmanuel Jal - singer and musician
Presented and produced by Edwina Pitman
Editor: Andy Smith
Why do we need to talk about men?
Many men believe their gender is under siege from a welter of criticism about male attitudes and behaviours. Not everyone accepts the idea of a masculinity crisis, but this programme looks at the concept of the “man box” – a set of attitudes and assumptions which many males struggle to deal with. Artist Grayson Perry joins the discussion.
Presenter: Michael Blastland
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Andy Smith
(Photo: James Mace, Barber. Credit: Ian Burt)
Why grandparents are important
Asked to describe your grandparents, you may conjure fond childhood memories of trips to the park or going round for your favourite dinner after school. You may live just around the corner and see your grandparents daily or they might be a welcome voice on the phone, brightening your day from afar.
Elaine Chong discovers just why it is that grandparents matter so much to us and she finds out what happens when grandparents step in to raise their grandchildren.
In the township of Umlazi, near Durban in South Africa, she meets a group of grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren singlehandedly, after the children lost their parents in the Aids pandemic.
She uncovers research showing grandmothers have played a vital role in the survival of their grandchildren for centuries, especially before modern medicine and support services existed.
She hears the incredible story of an 11-year-old boy who is being raised by his grandparents and repays their devotion, by saving his grandad’s life.
Have you ever stopped to consider why your grandparents hold such a dear place in your heart?
Elaine hears evidence all those childhood visits, trips and gatherings play an important and lasting role in shaping our personalities.
Presenter: Elaine Chong
Producers: Ben Robinson, Nicola Dowling and Carl Johnston
Editor: Andy Smith
(Photo:Grandmother’s at the Community Centre, Umlazi, South Africa. Credit Nkosinathi Shange)
Why do we cheat on our partners?
Infidelity is seen as the ultimate betrayal, and many relationships are brought down by it. Around the world most of us agree that it’s wrong for a married person to have an affair, but that doesn’t seem to stop us: why? The answer could lie in our DNA. In this week’s Why Factor, Phoebe Keane hears how research into the mating habits of prairie voles could shed light on the extra marital affairs of humans and explores how we make decisions in the heat of the moment.
Professor Steven Phelps, University of Texas at Austin
Assistant Professor Andrea Meltzer, Florida State University
Professor Lucia O’Sullivan, University of New Brunswick
Nicolle Zapien, Professor California Institute of Integral Studies, Psychotherapist, and Sex Therapist
Presented and Produced by Phoebe Keane
Editor: Richard Knight