with martha beck
and rowan mangan

A podcast for people who are trying to figure it out.

It’s a crazy time to be alive, and a lot of us feel bewildered… a lot! But this could actually be a sign that we’re on the right track.

In this podcast, join Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan for help figuring out everyday conundrums. We do this by re-learning how to connect with our natural instincts in situations where our cultural training can’t help us.

That’s why we’re here. That’s what we’re figuring out. If you’re bewildered, join us!

Latest Podcast Episodes

Procrastination. We’ve all been there. 

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Ro explore why we procrastinate (hint: cultural conditioning strikes again) and how we can find our way out of it by listening to—and negotiating with—the wild parts of [...]

Episode #39

Always Growing Up

Many of us buy into the cultural idea that there is only one way to parent, and if we do it correctly, things will turn out okay, and everyone will approve of us. But when grown children leave home, [...]

Episode #38

Smashing Language

Can we be free from the culture if we still use language? That’s the question Martha and Ro discuss in this episode of Bewildered. While we are all encased in the language we learned as children, when we learn [...]

Episode #37

Blowing Up Your Life

Blowing up your life—why such violent imagery?

Martha and Rowan say it’s because the culture is so powerful you need an explosion to break out of it! 

On this BeWild Files episode of Bewildered, they talk about making the decision to [...]

The culture believes there’s always a single right choice, and if you don’t make that right choice, you could end up wasting your whole life. So is it any wonder a lot of us freeze in panic when faced [...]

Episode #35

Helping Too Hard

Martha and Ro are back with another BeWild Files episode of Bewildered to discuss things that YOU, their listeners, are trying to figure out.

This episode is all about codependency—sacrificing your own needs for those of someone else—behavior that can [...]

Episode #34

Cave Early

Our culture stresses that we should never, ever give up on anything, no matter what the cost to our happiness or health. Yet our bodies have a way of telling us when something isn’t right—first in a whisper but [...]

Martha and Rowan have a very special guest on this episode of Bewildered—the incredible Elizabeth Gilbert! 

The bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE joins Martha and Ro to discuss the question: Why is our culture so hostile toward women who [...]

Episode #32

Longing and Belonging

It’s that time again on Bewildered…Martha and Ro are bringing you another installment of The BeWild Files, where they talk about things that YOU, their listeners, are trying to figure out.

In this episode they dive into questions from listeners [...]

Episode #31

A Space for Dreaming

Culture teaches us to strive for stability—and that once we have it, we’re never meant to change. But in nature, everything is always changing, including us.

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan explore the fascinating process of letting [...]

Martha and Rowan are taking a brief break, but the podcast is still here for you! This week we have another “Best of Bewildered” episode for you to enjoy.

Why is it that sometimes when life looks most amazing, it [...]

Do you strive for perfection? Or does the need to be perfect prevent you from striving?

We all have some kind of beauty or wisdom inside of us, but “perfection paralysis” often stops us from sharing it. In this episode [...]

Episode #28

Scary Scary Freedom

Freedom. Many of us value it above everything else—so why does it sometimes feel so terrifying?

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan talk about how the culture teaches us to fear freedom—that to be safe we must do [...]

Episode #27

Raising Wildlings

When it comes to parenting, culture comes on strong. There are so many contradictory opinions out there, and the judgmental attacks on parents come fast and furious about every little thing.

Under this kind of pressure, how can parents raise [...]

Have you ever found yourself answering “I’m fine” when the exact opposite was true?

Toxic positivity, or what Martha and Ro call “happy-washing,” is the cultural pressure to force ourselves into a state of performative happiness.

In this episode of Bewildered, [...]

Episode #25

Are You a Messy?

A gracious German author once asked Martha if she was “a messy” after seeing the disorderly state of her hotel room. (She’d been frantically searching through her luggage moments before.)

But is being “a messy” a permanent label that defines [...]

Is enough ever truly enough?

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan examine our culture’s pursuit of “enough”—a pursuit that never satisfies because it never ends. 

Drawing on Asian philosophy, their own helpful (and often hilarious) stories, and the occasional [...]

Episode #23

Outfoxing Anxiety

Did you know anxiety disorders have risen 400% since the pandemic?

(And that’s just the diagnosed cases.)

The cultural idea is that we’re victims of our chemistry. But when it comes to anxiety, we have a lot more choices than we [...]

Episode #22

The Time-Bound Mind

Is the culture trying to pull the wool over our eyes about time?

(Spoiler alert: YES.)

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan explore the concept of time and our complex relationship with it.

From the “rubber time” of non-Western cultures, [...]

Every culture has what Martha and Ro refer to as “hooks”—powerful influences that compel us to behave a certain way and that even shape our identity. How much we buy into the culture determines the extent to which we [...]

Site Design Lilt Creative
Development Alchemy + AIM