How To Help Anyone In Your Life Who’s Struggling: Fantastic Strategies From A Yale-Educated Psychologist


The Mel Robbins Podcast with Dr. Lisa Damour


Listen to the Mel Robbins Podcast twice per week, every Monday and Thursday, to achieve the life of your dreams.


I am thrilled to share this conversation with you. It is packed with practical strategies that will help the people in your life who may be struggling.  

Dr. Lisa Damour is a clinical psychologist and author of three New York Times bestsellers.  She earned degrees from both Yale and the University of Michigan and has more than 30 years of experience working with teens and families.

Her latest book, The Emotional Lives of Teenagers, has been nothing short of life changing.

Today you will learn…

-five words you need to know when someone you love is struggling

-the signs that tell you when someone is “costly coping”

-what to say that will prevent a conversation from turning into a battle

-why your kids dump all their emotional garbage on you

-when it’s time for a therapist

-why struggles are signs of being “mentally WELL”!

I started using Dr. Lisa’s strategies with my family the moment we finished recording this episode. They work! 

You will leave this episode full of the resources you deserve. Plus, you’re going to love Dr. Damour (and how hopeful she makes you feel) as much as I do. 

Xo Mel 

And if you need to take the reins in your own life, sign up for my free Take Control mini-course to get inspiring support, guidance, and motivation.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • 4:00: Two things psychologists look for when assessing mental health.
  • 5:15: Too many people are not distinguishing between these qualities.
  • 6:15: When exactly IS adolescence?
  • 8:30: We’ve had the wrong idea about what it means to be mentally healthy.
  • 12:45: What’s the difference between a “normal” reaction vs one to be concerned about?
  • 15:10: Do you know someone who is managing by “costly coping.”
  • 16:45: So how do you help your kid?
  • 20:00: This is how you don’t turn a conversation with your child into a fight.
  • 24:00: Take these steps when it’s time to confront your teen.
  • 27:30: Here’s how I wish I’d handled Chris’s depression differently.
  • 30:20: Let’s look at the difference in emotions between genders.
  • 34:15: How do you help people in your life who just can’t let it go?
  • 39:00: Do your kids do this, too? It’s called the “defense of externalization.”
  • 41:40: This is how my own mother set me straight.
  • 44:00: How do you know when it’s time to get a therapist involved?
  • 46:30: Can’t find a therapist for your child? Use this resource.
  • 48:00: Here’s how the lockdown impacted our kids. 
  • 54:30: When are suicide thoughts normal and when are they concerning?
  • 58:00: What happened to our nervous system during this time?
  • 1:00:00: These are the concerns of Dr. Damour that we should watch for.
  • 1:01:30: When do healthy habits become an obsession?
  • 1:08:15: How do you let kids have emotions without letting them run the home?
  • 1:14:00: Here is the most important thing you can offer your teen.

Need to have a difficult conversation? Listen to "Difficult Conversations: Why You Need Them and How to Have Them."

Resources and go deeper:

  • For Closed Captions: Watch on YouTube and turn on “CC.” For instructions to turn on closed captions, click here.

Dr. Lisa Damour:

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In The Mel Robbins Podcast, Mel takes you behind the scenes in real-time. Every episode is packed with tactical advice, hilarious screwups, compelling conversations, and the tools and inspiration you need to create a better life.