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8 Inspiring TED Talks to Transform Your Mood

Most of us will be forever changed by this time of quiet contemplation. And yet, on a practical day-to-day level, in the face of so much change and uncertainty, somedays it can be challenging to self-motivate. When that happens, listening to a wise person with openness can create an energetic shift. So the next time you’re craving an emotional uplift, check out these mind-expanding TED Talks.


Your Elusive Creative Genius  Elizabeth Gilbert

International bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert,  of “Eat, Pray, Love,” and “Big Magic,” believes creative brilliance is not limited to a select few. Instead, it's a force, often in hiding, but always there. Gilbert's impassioned talk functions like a virtual snake charmer, penetrating beyond the screen, begging you to summon up your untapped potential. In the process, Gilbert gives you the sense that not looking for that magical spark within, is doing yourself and the rest of the world, a grave disservice.


Give Yourself Permission to be Creative  Ethan Hawke

The perfect companion to Gilbert's talk, film and theater actor, Ethan Hawke, discusses how judging your creativity inhibits its growth. “Human creativity is nature manifest in us,” says Hawke, who challenges you to “play the fool,” forgo mundane habits, and view life through a lens of beauty and interconnectedness. With an undercurrent of mindfulness, Hawke says, “to express ourselves we have to know ourselves.” While some may see art as a luxury, Hawke says, “It's the way we heal ourselves.” 


Can Beauty Open our Hearts to Difficult Conversations? Titus Kaphar

“I believe there is beauty in hearing the voices of people who have never been heard,” says artist, filmmaker, and sculptor, Titus Kaphar. Being a self-taught artist, and black man, surrounded by representations of only white skin, was a struggle for Kaphar. In an effort to change this limited landscape, Kaphar reinforces the beauty of dark skin in his “Jerome Project,'' an exploration of the criminal justice system through paintings of mugshots. The project is a way of saying, “We see you,” to those who lost years of their lives while incarcerated, says Kaphar. To listen is to learn, and expand your own perceptions of beauty. 


You Will Surprise Yourself (and other pearls of wisdom) Jomama Jones

Performance artist, Daniel Alexander Jones, channels his alter ego, Jomama Jones, part “soul sonic superstar," and part wise woman. Speaking from the depths of her soul, Jones asks you to trust your sense of inner resolve, as she illustrates that the unknown is not a place to fear, but rather embrace. 


The Power of Vulnerability Brené Brown 

Professor, lecturer, and bestselling author of “Daring Greatly,” Brené Brown, turns the idea of vulnerability as perceived weakness on its head, by revealing it as a hidden strength or “superpower.” Excavating the roots of fear and trust, Brown makes profound revelations, about bravery, truth, and self-love. 


The Power of Yet  Carol Dweck

Researcher Carol Dweck believes you can deepen the way you think, by expanding awareness around the differences between a fixed mindset and a growth one. Allowing for undiscovered possibility, the growth mindset (yet), makes life an adventure. The idea being that you can purposely choose to grow your brain's capacity, meanwhile enjoy the process of learning and evolving. Dweck offers practical takeaways, such how to best approach a problem that initially appears slightly too hard.


How to find “Flow” (and lose yourself in it)  Diane Allen

Musician Diane Allen dissects the flow state. Instead of something magical, out of your control, Allen explains how to purposely bring yourself into flow, and why doing so can be life-changing. Through the process of discovering her own personal “flow strategy,” and “sharing the message of the music,” Allen explains how she discovered it's possible to shift into flow on command. Even though this state is often equated with the arts, Allen firmly believes, “Everybody is wired for this.” 


My Year of Saying Yes to Everything  Shonda Rhimes

Executive producer/writer of the hit television shows, “Greys Anatomy, Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” and author of the bestselling memoir, “Year of Yes,” Rhimes is a powerhouse talent, a workaholic, who refers to herself a titan. As her producing empire Shondaland skyrocketed, so did her workload. In an effort to initiate major change, Rhimes decided to vanquish her fears by saying “yes” to all the things that scared her; and the choice altered the course of her life. Not only did Rhimes move beyond her fears, but she also discovered mindfulness, and a sense of play that brought her to a place of true confidence and inner peace.



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