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Sounds Good with Branden Harvey

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Sounds Good With Branden Harvey is a weekly podcast that explores the lives, stories and adventures of the happiest people on the Internet. Every week, our host Branden Harvey sits down with someone who is spreading hope and positivity in the world, and tries to figure out just what it is that makes them tick. Sounds Good With Branden Harvey is part of the Gradient Podcast Network, with new episodes released each Monday.




Adam Foss — Making an Impact From Inside a Broken System

Former prosecutor, Adam Foss is a fierce voice for compassion in criminal justice reform. He’s currently the founder of Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit organization built around the mission of improving community safety in the US by requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.”. Not only did he advise President Barack Obama on criminal justice reform, but he was also named the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year. There is no other...

Duration: 00:50:59

Drake White — A Roadmap to Your Ideal Self

Drake White is an American country music singer and songwriter from Alabama with a passion for storytelling. With his passionate delivery from the stage, White seems to have inherited his grandfather’s ability to touch crowds with a sermon. However, White stresses that he isn’t a preacher, but doesn’t see a problem with putting his own methods for surviving the world out there. He’s most popular for his debut single, "Simple Life," for his label release early in 2013. A year later, White...

Duration: 00:41:47

Pantsuit Politics — Setting Out to Find the Nuance Again

Sarah Stewart Holland (a progressive) and Beth Silvers (a conservative) became friends in 1999 and haven’t recovered since. Sarah, a professional blogger and social media consultant, and Beth, a human resources executive and yoga teacher, challenged the notion that talking news with your politically opposite college friend is always messy. What evolved out of their friendship was Pantsuit Politics — a podcast that has someone on the right (Beth) and someone on the left (Sarah) having...

Duration: 00:56:40

Dylan Marron — How to Have Conversations With People Who Hate You

Dylan Marron is a writer, performer, video maker and self-acclaimed snacker. He also receives a lot of hate messages on the internet. Producing work that mainly focuses on social justice issues such as race, sexuality and privilege, Dylan’s learned how to take hateful conversations online and turn them into productive conversations offline — an idea and practice that we could all benefit from. Dylan’s creative resume has included (but not limited to) writing multiple series for...

Duration: 00:51:24

Anis Mojgani — Finding Your Way Back to Being Human

Anis Mojgani has been said to be a poet who gleefully spurns the boundaries of poet. He is not only a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, and multiple-time TEDx Speaker, but he’s also an Iranian American living in Oregon with a passion for processing the human interior. Notable to mention: he is one of Branden Harvey’s favorite poets. Anis has performed his slam poetry around the globe and has performed for audiences as varied as the...

Duration: 00:59:58

WeRateDogs — Wielding Twitter as a Joy Outlet

In 2015, WeRateDogs was born. If you would've told Matt Nelson then that he’d be entertaining 750,000 people in less than a year, he would've laughed in your face. For those of you who never knew something like WeRateDogs existed, it does. More than 3 million Twitter followers eagerly await the internet phenomenon of dog photo submissions being paired with witty captions — and the final products are brilliant. Not only is WeRateDogs used as a “joy outlet” for it’s followers, Matt has also...

Duration: 00:55:20

Noor Tagouri — Breaking the Glass Ceiling with a Hijab

Never disregard an 8 year old who dreams of becoming Oprah one day. Noor Tagouri, a Libyan-American storyteller and journalist, is currently one of the most talked about young adults in the country having worked with the CBS Radio, Newsy, CTV News while being known as the first hijab-wearing news anchor on American television. After the release of her first documentary passion project, The Forest Haven Story, and she went on to embark on a unique journey to achieve of her dreams of...

Duration: 00:45:04

John Jacobs — Life Isn’t Perfect, But Life is Good

Where does true optimism come from? How do we choose to gravitate toward hope when there is so much pain in the world? These are questions that John Jacobs, co-founder and CCO (Chief Creative Optimist) of Life is Good, has been resiliently living out the answer to ever since his early childhood. 1989 marked the beginning of his passion for three main things: spreading optimism, helping children in need, and making rad and iconic t-shirts. In this conversation Branden chats with John about...

Duration: 01:07:39

Ashley LeMieux — Holding Sorrow and Joy in the Same Hand

The Shine Project began when Ashley Lemieux’s heart was taken by the inner-city youth of Phoenix, AZ. What began as a small project has now resulted in over 40 scholarships being given to help kids go to college since 2011. Ashley’s life’s work has been a testament to the love she pours out amidst a story that has been embedded with so much pain. In this heartfelt conversation, Ashley shares about how a call one Sunday morning asking both she and her husband to become permanent guardians...

Duration: 00:56:05

Zim Ugochukwu — Cultivating a Love for Curiosity and Travel

Zim Ugochukwu believes that everything about travel comes from a spark of curiosity. She’s currently the founder and CEO of Travel Noire, an award-winning boutique travel company and is a passionate advocate for personal transformational. Her background consists of everything from cloning genes at 19, to running a national anti-tobacco campaign, working on the Obama campaign, becoming a precinct judge while in college, and travelling through 90% of Asia. In this conversation, Branden and...

Duration: 00:51:04

Shantell Martin — How to Find Your Way to Yay

“Who are you? Are you you?” British visual artist Shantell Martin has originated her work upon the foundation of these two questions and is now an unconventional truth-teller in her field. After moving to New York from Tokyo, she became best known for creating stream-of-consciousness drawings and light projects with childlike wonder and joy. Her artwork (mainly lines and stick figures) has appeared in the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora, Bata Show Museum, as...

Duration: 00:45:52

Jonny Sun — The Strange Hope of Being an Alien

You've probably seen @jonnysun's "weird Twitter" tweets of his life as a lonely alien experiencing earth. What you might not know is that Jonny Sun, the Asian Canadian playwright, artist, architect and comedian has a master's degree from Yale, is a PhD candidate at MIT, and is a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center. In this episode, Branden talked to Jonny about navigating the world of happiness in art and academia while wrestling with depression and anxiety. They also giggled through...

Duration: 00:54:23

Eric Holthaus — Recognizing the Human Story in Weather

In 2014, Rolling Stone referred to Eric Holthaus as “the Rebel Nerd of Meteorology”, mainly in regards to his reputation for being defiantly optimistic in the world of science. His work as a meteorologist and writing has highlighted the belief that climate change is the most important and consequential story of our time. Furthermore, Eric’s transparency about living with autism and advocating for self-care have changed the way he interacts with the rest of the world. In this conversation,...

Duration: 00:32:32

Rick Hanson — The Neuroscience of Good and Bad News

Dr. Rick Hanson is a psychologist and New York Times best-selling author who creatively works at the intersection of three circles: psychology, neuroscience and the contemplative wisdom that has been established around the world. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR and has focused on helping people turn everyday experiences into a powerful sense of lasting well-being. In this conversation, he speaks to the empowerment that comes with using our inner resources for...

Duration: 00:58:06

Yonathan Moya — Humanizing the Mexico/U.S. Border

Yonathan Moya is a photographer responsible for the creation of a project, Border Perspective, that took him on a 9-day photographic journey along the U.S. & Mexico border. As he took part in different dialogues and sought to tell truthful stories of those he encountered at the border, he gained a fuller understanding of a place he called home. Through his photography and international work, he wants to challenge others to see the world around them differently and go beyond their current...

Duration: 00:51:17

Stephen Kenn — Objects as a Gateway to Connection

Stephen Kenn operates a Los Angeles based design studio focused on furniture and leather goods. Driven by curiosity, Stephen takes a thoughtful and optimistic approach to his work, believing there is always a way to make things simpler. He begins all design projects by seeking out materials that will last a lifetime and experimenting with new processes. In this conversation, Branden and Stephen discuss the idea of seeing objects as an opportunity for story. More:...

Duration: 00:42:47

Ahmed Badr — Challenging the Refugee Narrative

When Ahmed Badr was 8 years old, his family's home in Baghdad was bombed. He and his family became refugees and moved to Syria. After living in Syria for two years, they applied for a UN Refugee resettlement program and were placed in the United States. Ahmed is the founder of Narratio, a platform for creative expression that seeks to create empathy and alleviate childhood illiteracy by empowering youth through the publishing of poetry, photography, art and narrative. Ahmed is also a...

Duration: 00:39:09

Ken Wytsma — Exposing the Myth of Equality

Ken Wytsma is is a leader, innovator, and social entrepreneur. He is the author of The Myth of Equality, Pursuing Justice and The Grand Paradox and president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is also the founder of The Justice Conference, an annual international conference that introduces men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations on racial inequality and social justice. More:

Duration: 01:00:06

Sara Li — Raising Your Voice to Start a Movement

Sara Li is the founder and director of Project Consent, an international nonprofit campaign that aims to combat sexual assault and rape culture by raising awareness about the importance of consent. She founded Project Consent in high school and is now seeking to maintain a sense of normalcy while running a fast-paced and influential organization while in college. Sara is also a writer and contributes to MTV, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog and more. More:

Duration: 00:33:26

Jeremy Courtney — Unmaking Violence with Preemptive Love

Jeremy Courtney is cofounder and executive director of the Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), an international development organization based in Iraq that brings relief to families fleeing war in Syria and Iraq, helps refugees rebuild their lives, and provides lifesaving medical care for children in conflict zones. More:

Duration: 00:46:08

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