playlist

The most popular talks of 2019

Which TED Talks were watched most in 2019? These talks reflect a year defined by fighting for what's right, believing in the good despite all the bad, supporting others and yourself — and hoping for the best in the decade to come.

  1. 11:13
    Greta Thunberg The disarming case to act right now on climate change

    In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world's attention. "The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions," Thunberg says. "All we have to do is to wake up and change."

  2. 10:46
    Lýdia Machová The secrets of learning a new language

    Want to learn a new language but feel daunted or unsure where to begin? You don't need some special talent or a "language gene," says Lýdia Machová. In an upbeat, inspiring talk, she reveals the secrets of polyglots (people who speak multiple languages) and shares four principles to help unlock your own hidden language talent — and have fun while doing it.

  3. 15:16
    Carole Cadwalladr Facebook's role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy

    In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election — Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?

  4. 15:06
    Nora McInerny We don't "move on" from grief. We move forward with it

    In a talk that's by turns heartbreaking and hilarious, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny shares her hard-earned wisdom about life and death. Her candid approach to something that will, let's face it, affect us all, is as liberating as it is gut-wrenching. Most powerfully, she encourages us to shift how we approach grief. "A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again," she says. "They're going to move forward. But that doesn't mean that they've moved on."

  5. 19:19
    Matt Walker Sleep is your superpower

    Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep — and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don't, for both your brain and body. Learn more about sleep's impact on your learning, memory, immune system and even your genetic code — as well as some helpful tips for getting some shut-eye.

  6. 11:14
    George Blair-West 3 ways to build a happy marriage and avoid divorce

    Choosing to marry and share your life with someone is one of the most important decisions you can make in life. But with divorce rates approaching fifty percent in some parts of the world, it's clear we could use some help picking a partner. In an actionable, eye-opening talk, psychiatrist George Blair-West shares three keys to preventing divorce — and spotting potential problems while you're still dating.

  7. 12:14
    Katie Hood The difference between healthy and unhealthy love

    In a talk about understanding and practicing the art of healthy relationships, Katie Hood reveals the five signs you might be in an unhealthy relationship — with a romantic partner, a friend, a family member — and shares the things you can do every day to love with respect, kindness and joy. "While love is an instinct and an emotion, the ability to love better is a skill we can all build and improve on over time," she says.

  8. 20:32
    Johann Hari This could be why you're depressed or anxious

    In a moving talk, journalist Johann Hari shares fresh insights on the causes of depression and anxiety from experts around the world — as well as some exciting emerging solutions. "If you're depressed or anxious, you're not weak and you're not crazy — you're a human being with unmet needs," Hari says.

  9. 13:31
    Brittany Packnett How to build your confidence — and spark it in others

    "Confidence is the necessary spark before everything that follows," says educator and activist Brittany Packnett. In an inspiring talk, she shares three ways to crack the code of confidence — and her dream for a world where revolutionary confidence helps turn our most ambitious dreams into reality.

  10. 6:32
    Natalie Fratto 3 ways to measure your adaptability — and how to improve it

    When venture investor Natalie Fratto is determining which start-up founder to support, she doesn't just look for intelligence or charisma; she looks for adaptability. In this insightful talk, Fratto shares three ways to measure your "adaptability quotient" — and shows why your ability to respond to change really matters.

  11. 17:24
    Suleika Jaouad What almost dying taught me about living

    "The hardest part of my cancer experience began once the cancer was gone," says author Suleika Jaouad. In this fierce, funny, wisdom-packed talk, she challenges us to think beyond the divide between "sick" and "well," asking: How do you begin again and find meaning after life is interrupted?

  12. 9:58
    Emily Nagoski How couples can sustain a strong sexual connection for a lifetime

    As a sex educator, Emily Nagoski is often asked: How do couples sustain a strong sexual connection over the long term? In this funny, insightful talk, she shares her answer — drawing on (somewhat surprising) research to reveal why some couples stop having sex while others keep up a connection for a lifetime.

  13. 11:32
    Sydney Jensen How can we support the emotional well-being of teachers?

    Teachers emotionally support our kids — but who's supporting our teachers? In this eye-opening talk, educator Sydney Jensen explores how teachers are at risk of "secondary trauma" — the idea that they absorb the emotional weight of their students' experiences — and shows how schools can get creative in supporting everyone's mental health and wellness.

  14. 16:26
    Lori Gottlieb How changing your story can change your life

    Stories help you make sense of your life — but when these narratives are incomplete or misleading, they can keep you stuck instead of providing clarity. In an actionable talk, psychotherapist and advice columnist Lori Gottlieb shows how to break free from the stories you've been telling yourself by becoming your own editor and rewriting your narrative from a different point of view.

  15. 15:14
    Dan Ariely How to change your behavior for the better

    What's the best way to get people to change their behavior? In this funny, information-packed talk, psychologist Dan Ariely explores why we make bad decisions even when we know we shouldn't — and discusses a couple tricks that could get us to do the right thing (even if it's for the wrong reason).

  16. 13:43
    Mike Cannon-Brookes How you can use impostor syndrome to your benefit

    Have you ever doubted your abilities, feared you were going to be discovered as a "fraud"? That's called "impostor syndrome," and you're definitely not alone in feeling it, says entrepreneur and CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes. In this funny, relatable talk, he shares how his own experiences of impostor syndrome helped pave the way to his success — and shows how you can use it to your advantage, too.

  17. 12:59
    Deepa Narayan 7 beliefs that can silence women — and how to unlearn them

    In India (and many other countries), girls and women still find themselves silenced by traditional rules of politeness and restraint, says social scientist Deepa Narayan. In this frank talk, she identifies seven deeply entrenched norms that reinforce inequality — and calls on men to help usher in change.

  18. 16:03
    Sandeep Jauhar How your emotions change the shape of your heart

    "A record of our emotional life is written on our hearts," says cardiologist and author Sandeep Jauhar. In a stunning talk, he explores the mysterious ways our emotions impact the health of our hearts — causing them to change shape in response to grief or fear, to literally break in response to emotional heartbreak — and calls for a shift in how we care for our most vital organ.

  19. 13:37
    Cathy Mulzer The incredible chemistry powering your smartphone

    Ever wondered how your smartphone works? Take a journey down to the atomic level with scientist Cathy Mulzer, who reveals how almost every component of our high-powered devices exists thanks to chemists — and not the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that come to most people's minds. As she puts it: "Chemistry is the hero of electronic communications."