Five years ago, Molo Cebrian convinced Luis Muino and Monica Gonzalez to launch the podcast ‘understand your mind‘. An adventure that began as a little fun and that has ended up making it the most listened to psychology podcast in the world. And if that were not enough, now they have turned it into a book.
A few days after its launch, the journalist Molo Cebrián visits Sports world to tell us not only about this publication, but also about the importance of being able to talk openly about mental health.
Question: How was this book born?
Response: We have been with the podcast for a long time. We did the math and in more than five years, in fragments of 20 minutes, we already had more than 80 hours, close to 100. So, we said the time has come to put those topics that are most requested of us into a book, but in a more extended, because sometimes with the 20 minutes we are left wanting more. And here is the book.
Q: How does a podcast become a book?
A: What we have tried is to continue with the same essence with which we work with podcasts. And what cost us the most was the first chapter, but then everything flowed very well. We work in a way in which we really like to surprise ourselves. We don’t like to prepare much in advance of what we are going to talk about. So we made a selection of themes and began to write with six hands. Fortunately, sometimes we talked, sometimes we saw each other and sometimes we used the technologies, the cloud… And with each passing day, with each revision that one gave, one was improving. And today, the good thing is that when we read the book we don’t know which part each one has written.
Q: You told at the beginning that it is not the first time that you have been proposed to do this book. Why this time yes?
A: Well, I think the credit belongs to the publisher, right? And how they have treated us. As they told us that it was important that we take that step so that many more people could get to know ‘Understand your mind’ and the way of working that they proposed to us, which was total and absolute freedom. So we said come on the time has come, we go there and here we are. Who said fear?
Q: Who is this book for?
A: I think everyone, because we have the idea of speaking to ordinary people, but face to face, by our side. And in fact, we make many references to imperfect people club and it is basically those people we want to reach, the people who have realized that it is very good to accept the imperfections that we have and that it does not make anything go away. Knowing that in general each person has one thing that we are good at, two… There are people who even three and in the rest of us are from the heap or from the heap down and nothing happens. And in fact it is very healthy to realize it.
Q: How did you choose the themes that appear in the book?
A: Well, we looked on the one hand at the songs that had been requested the most, that had been requested the most, and we also included some that we wanted, just like that. So the vast majority are topics that were asked of us and that we felt like. We made a previous list of about 30 songs and then we went there discarding and then we put one that each one liked and felt like. Monica, maybe more than the chemistry of love Luis likes to talk a lot about introversion and for me, for example, the one I wanted was to put the last one a lot, the one with how to get along with imperfection. So it was like we do everything, we prepare a little on top, but then we let it flow and almost more the heart decides than the head.
Q: This Thursday you presented the book in Barcelona, how has your public reacted?
A: Well, they practiced assertive communication perfectly. They told us that the title could be improved, for example, but in general I think what they told us was that it was good that they could talk about these issues so calmly, face to face and above all, that what I told you at the beginning, one with a very horizontal communication , that is, we count things but as if we were next to you on the subway. So that is what they have grasped and what we have achieved, which I think was the goal, was to bring the essence of the podcast, the values of the podcast to the book.
“In this book we wanted to convey the essence and values of the podcast”
Q: You just told me that now people are happy because they can talk openly about these issues. What do you think is the key? What has changed in recent years so that we are not afraid to talk about mental health?
A: When I went to college, there were topics that it was better not to talk about: because of the contagion effect, because of suicide prevention, it was better not to talk about it. And it is true that the contagion effect can occur. But of course, if you speak responsibly it is the opposite. And the Papageno effect occurs, which can throw a cable at some point. But I think that the good thing about that effect, the good side, for example, of the contagion effect, of breaking taboos, is that when one speaks, another speaks, another speaks, another speaks. Because when there is no talk, when there is a lot of taboo and there are issues that those who do not come to the fore, what happens? That many times comes the stigma, the fear, the Am I the weird person? Surely no one happens what is happening to me. And in the end the ball gets bigger, worse every day.
When suddenly someone on social networks, maybe a model at night, comments that she is going through a terrible time and that she is going through depression and shares it openly, that expression of emotions seems to me to be very powerful And I think that’s what we’re seeing. We are daring to express the emotions that they say in the books of ‘negative valence’, not to call them negative, because until now I think we have had a preponderance in telling only the good. But it is that the emotions of ‘negative valence’ are there, they are just as necessary, they have their uses, they are messages that they send us and sharing them and opening ourselves up to saying that we are going through a bad time is very good for the person who expresses it and very good for people who do not dare to express it.
“Opening up to say that we are going through a bad time is very good for the person who expresses it and very good for those who do not dare to express it”
Q: How important is it that celebrities now go out every time, explain that they go to the psychologist very normally, that they upload a story crying and saying how they feel?
I am convinced that it is a great thing that the subject of emotional expression and emotional validation is happening to us. We see it in celebrities and the good thing is that we also see it in our colleagues that we follow on social networks and that one fine day they jump in and tweet and say ‘I’m having a bad day’ and surely that day you cheer up and you write to him And in fact it is one of the functions, for example, of the emotion of sadness, which generally leads us to support the person who is going through that moment. If we express it, then the emotion fulfills its function. What we have to be careful about is giving advice, but for me the expression is always a ten.
Q: In your case you studied journalism and then psychology. What made you decide to study this career?
A: I had always liked psychology, I always loved it. I went to bookstores and looked for the psychology section and also the self-help section. And I in 2014, more or less, which was when I left my stage in the media. Well, before I left, I had a lot of doubts and a lot of fears, because I had made a career and a moment of vital crisis and I went to therapy. So I was lucky because my therapy was super effective, I found a psychologist who fit in with me incredibly and I noticed that evolution and that change, and then, well, well I saw the validity of therapy and psychology and I dropped everything. I went away for a while and when I returned to Madrid to continue studying and I had doubts, I decided to start doing a doctorate in communication or start with Psychology, which was the career I had always liked and I started in 2016. To this day I don’t I’m done, but I really enjoy it.
Q: What is the key for the three of you to still be together five years later? What do you bring to each other?
A: The key is that we continue to surprise ourselves and are open to anything. We listen to our emotions a lot, we know each other and we are people open to experience. We are aware of our affinity, but also that we will be able to do other things. We are people who love to talk, but open to new experiences, like this book. The key is to surprise ourselves and be open to what the body asks of us.