The Yes Theory Podcast

By Headspace Studios & Yes Theory

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In order to achieve growth, discomfort is unavoidable. So why not seek it out? Yes Theory co-founders Matt, Ammar, and Thomas are turning off the cameras and turning on the mics to reflect upon how Discomfort actually might hold the keys to meaning and happiness. The Yes Theory Podcast shares behind-the-scenes stories and talks with expert guests to gather insights about the world at large, our place in it, and one another.

Episode Date
American Dreams

While we often seek discomfort, sometimes, it finds us. Our internal discomforts over the course of our careers have shaped who we are and how we deal with situations at hand. On today’s episode, we bring on our close friend, Eric Tabach. Eric, like many of us, has gone through his own internal discomforts over this past year and beyond that have overall landed him in a better place. So stick with us to hear more about the internal conflicts that we have faced this year and how we turn these discomforts into positive attributes in our collective lives. 

Sep 15, 2021
Growing Up Under a Microscope

Growing older is definitely an odd feeling. One moment we’re young 21 year olds starting up a YouTube channel, and then we seemingly blink and six years have flown by. On today’s episode we bring on the one and only, Tommy Dajer. Tommy is Matt’s little brother and has grown up with us along our journey of saying yes. So join us on this episode as we discuss our experiences growing up in Yes Theory.

Sep 08, 2021
Our Secret Weapon For Long-Term Success

Mentors can be a huge driving force in how we carry out our life’s path. From teachers to coaches, parents and even friends, having someone to look to for guidance can help to set you on the right path with clarity and confidence. On today’s episode we bring on one of Ammar’s mentors, Maha Abouelenein. Maha is a fellow podcast host and one of the most fearless networkers we have ever met. So stick around to learn a bit more about how we choose our mentors, what they mean to us, and why they are so invaluable to our success.

Sep 01, 2021
Are We Spiritual?

Spirituality is a convoluted subject. With Ammar being raised as a Muslim and myself being raised mainly agnostic, we had two extremely different experiences growing up with religion. On today’s episode, we are also joined by Rotana Tarabzouni. Rotana was raised under Sharia law in Saudi Arabia and brings her own unique perspective to the table for this conversation. So join us today as we explore religion, faith and spirituality.

Aug 25, 2021
How to Travel like Yes Theory

If you know Yes Theory, you know that we love to travel. On this episode we sit down with Lexie Alford. Lexie is the Guinness Book World Record holder for being the youngest person to travel to every country, and she has some amazing stories to share along with her journey. So join us to hear more about how getting out of your comfort zone can lead you to some of the most amazing experiences that life has to offer.

Aug 18, 2021
Are We What We Eat?

In one of our recent Yes Theory videos, Ammar and I tried a week of the healthiest and unhealthiest diets. On this episode of the podcast, we sit down with two nutrition professionals and reflect on our biggest takeaways from this experience: How our diets affect our mental health.

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Aug 11, 2021
How We Turned Our Greatest Weaknesses into Strengths

Growing up with learning disabilities can massively alter the course of our lives. We can either let them bring us down, or we can use them as motivation. Recent studies have shown that 40% of billionaires are dyslexic. Is there a correlation between the two? Is there a way to change our outlook on our “weaknesses” to instead see them as our strengths? Today Ammar and Thomas talk to Cliff, the founder of Speechify, a company that aims to turn the written word to audio and in the process, helps those struggling with dyslexia. They discuss how Cliff overcame his own learning disabilities, how to turn your weakness into your greatest asset, and Ammar and Thomas's journey with dyslexia. 

Want more Yes Theory? Yes. You know where to find them.

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Aug 04, 2021
Introducing: HiberNation

You're about to hear the first episode of HiberNation, called Sleeping Together. 

What happens in a bed between two people? For some of us, the question can feel like a way to understand love. Special thanks to this episode’s guests, Michele Neff Hernandez and Dr. Wendy Troxel.

You can listen to all episodes of HiberNation, out now

Aug 01, 2021
A Global Identity Crisis

As the world becomes more and more globalized and interconnected, many of us are moving abroad or are from families that did. Growing up while balancing several cultures can leave us with a confusing sense of self. So join us on this episode as we explore our identities and dive into this multicultural phenomenon.

Want more Yes Theory? Yes. You know where to find them.

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Jul 28, 2021
Break Free From Your Old Ways

Life is a constant ebb and flow. While some periods propel us forward, others can leave us feeling stuck or lost, especially after this past year with COVID.  In this episode, Thomas and Ammar sit down to discuss this feeling of stagnation, reflecting upon their own experiences and coming to terms with their struggles from the past year and beyond.

Want more Yes Theory? Yes. You know where to find them.

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Jul 21, 2021
The Evolution of our Friendship

Over the past 6 years of saying yes, our friendship has undergone some massive changes. Join us on this episode while we explore this evolution as we try to come to an understanding of what has changed throughout the course of our amazing friendship.

Want more Yes Theory? Yes. You know where to find them.

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Jul 14, 2021
Yes Theory is BACK! Season 2 Premieres July 14

We're challenging you to meditate for 100 days. Check out the video on the Yes Theory YouTube Channel, and if you're ready to try Headspace, you can download it today for free.

Jun 30, 2021
The End of a Chapter

Things are changing in our little Yes Theory world, as well as the broader world, and we aren’t sure what the future holds. Thomas is headed back to Europe for the foreseeable future, and Matt’s stepped back from hosting. It really feels like the end of a chapter (with a new one coming close behind). 

To celebrate and close the last chapter properly, and to end the season on a high note, we took a new spin in this episode. Just like in Episode 8, there are no guests (besides the people that just pop into the recording). 

Instead, we travel with Ammar, Thomas, and Matt to the demolition site of their first home together, and listen as they bury their very own treasure -- a time capsule full of memories from this last chapter together. They reflect on the spirit that brought them together, and how unlikely it was that they were able to get this podcast into the world this year.

We started the season talking about how crazy, uncertain, and out of control this year has felt. That hasn’t changed so much of the course of these last 10 weeks. The lesson we’ve learned is to just -- make the best of it. Keep growing, trying, bumping around. Find some stillness when you can. Fight the burnout. Maintain hope. Lean into your closest relationships.

Make your life meaningful, and just take it day by day.

It’s a wrap on Season 1 of the Yes Theory Podcast. If you’re just joining us, start from the top or choose your adventure. It’s completely up to you.

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Nov 09, 2020
How to Make a Change

Have you ever seen someone staring back in the mirror that you didn’t like? 

We all experience “mirror moments” -- where we see ourselves and the paths we’re headed down clearly. In these moments, we can decide to continue the course or make a change. Sometimes we are seeking big changes -- like choosing to pursue a completely new career or end a relationship. Sometimes we’re vying for simpler -- like just choosing to meditate for five minutes a day or get dressed in the mornings.

No matter how big or small the change you want to make is, it can be tough to get yourself to the breaking point -- where you actually commit… fully. 

So, today, we called on the decorated, plant-powered endurance athlete Rich Roll for some inspiration. He shares with us some of his most intense transformational moments -- from when he first decided to get sober to when he began running endurance races. His repeated transformation proves that you are never too old or too late to change. And that there is always another level to the change you can make.

Thomas Dajer, also known as Tommy, TD, and Yes Theory’s lead editor shares his story of personal transformation as well -- from dropping out of college to now starting to host episodes on the Yes Theory channel. 

And Ryan Holiday, author of so many of the Yes Theory team’s favorite books, stops by to talk about the pitfalls of ego -- the force that often gets in the way of trying to make a significant change. He colors in the full picture, and shows us that often the battle of seeking change is much more internal than external. 

This week, Yes Theory is brought to you by:

Green Chef - Use code "YesTheory80" to get $80 off your first month at

The World As We Know It - Available now, wherever you get your podcasts.

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Nov 02, 2020
What Makes Our Friendship Work

Matt, Thomas, and Ammar have a picturesque kind of friendship. They’ve made memories on nearly every continent, built a business, and chased down their wildest dreams… together. 

But what you don’t see on screen is that their friendship isn’t always easy. In fact, it rarely ever is. As is the case with many things in life, it’s leaning into the hard, uncomfortable parts that makes all of the beautiful parts possible. 

For Matt, Thomas, and Ammar that looks like a mix of going off and doing tough personal work alone, and coming back together to have hard, honest, and deep conversations as frequently as possible. It’s love, commitment, and discomfort -- on repeat.

So in this episode, we’re switching it up a bit. There are no guests. We travel into Yes Theory’s basement to listen to one of many raw, vulnerable conversations between Matt, Thomas, and Ammar.

They talk to each other about some recent struggles, how their relationship has changed throughout the years, and what they’re hoping for in the future. They also share publicly for the first time why Matt has officially stepped back from hosting on the YouTube channel, and what it took to make that decision. 

The entire episode is really just a reflection on how our closest relationships shape us, call up our deepest insecurities, and push us to become better. It’s also a primer for how we can make long-term partnerships last, lean on other people without becoming too dependent, and push forth a collective vision while still maintaining true to ourselves.

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Oct 26, 2020
Why We Seek Discomfort

From climbing up snow-capped mountains in our boxers to running marathons with no training, one of the core pillars of Yes Theory is seeking out the big heart-pumping, mind-bending physical experiences that force us beyond our limits.

But what’s the point of doing all this? Are big challenges effective at helping us build daily exercise and wellness habits? Or is it more for show? 

The science -- of extending past our physical limits -- is layered and complex. But at the most basic level -- the real reason we take on challenges outside our comfort zones is to prove to ourselves that we can. When you do something you thought you couldn’t do, you get to tell yourself a new story about who you are. And that story is priceless, or more precisely the cost of pushing through the challenge itself. 

In this episode, we hear from Matt, Thomas, and Ammar about various experiences they’ve had -- pushing themselves physically, and committing to daily habits -- in the pursuit of re-writing their own stories. For each of them, the scope and nature of the challenge is different, and it provides a unique perspective into the obstacles we face in our physical lives. 

We also hear from Dianne Bondy, an acclaimed yoga teacher and social justice activist, who shares how Western culture impacts the way we think about physical discomfort, and helps us question some of our most basic assumptions. And Aaron Ferguson, a decorated celebrity physical trainer, shares his experience training and competing in an Ironman alongside Matt. He helps us question when we’ve gone too far, and what the purpose of the pursuit really is.

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Oct 19, 2020
The Problem With Productivity

Ever struggled to do your laundry, re-register your car, or make time to go to the dentist? It might make you feel like you’re terrible at “adulting,” but it turns out that’s actually more normal than you think and there might be a pretty solid explanation: burnout.

Anne Helen Peterson, author of Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, joins Matt in this episode to talk about the costs of living in an achievement-obsessed culture, how monetizing what you love can get in the way of building a life, and the systemic issues that have perpetuated a system of workaholism.

We also hear personal burnout experiences from members of the Yes Theory community. And through these accounts, we realize - we’re all struggling to find a sense of balance in our lives.

Generationally, we have no safety net. Job security feels like an illusion and pension-style retirement packages are a relic of the past. And the alternative offer of personal freedom - to work wherever, whenever - comes with a lot of costs to health and happiness. We are tethered to our devices, and feel like insufficient human beings when we aren’t being productive. 

Though we’ve been trained to believe we need to do more to be more, maybe it’s actually the other way around. But how do we start altering the system and building lives that we don’t feel the need to escape from? That’s what we’re getting into in this episode.

To learn more on the topic of generational burnout, check out Anne’s book.

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Oct 12, 2020
The Courage to Hope

“Hope makes you follow your dreams,” says actress Dina Shihabi, from the Amazon Original Jack Ryan. “I would have nothing in my life if I didn't have hope.”

We’re living through a pretty dark time right now. There’s this constant stream of negative news coverage and criticism. It’s hard to feel certain or confident about anything. Which is why it’s more important than ever to tap into our collective reserve of hope - the belief that life can be better tomorrow than it is today. 

In today’s episode, Ammar sits down with Dina to talk about how growing up in Arab countries shaped how they view themselves and the world, and how hope was (and still is) the backbone to their wildest dreams. They share personal stories of needing to overcome cultural friction and disbelief, and finding ways to fuel that inner hope when no one else believed in them. 

Through Ammar’s and Dina’s stories of growing up, moving away from home, and chasing their dreams we come to see: hope is a resilient, beautiful, and messy force that requires us to confront cynicism and fear. 

Hope isn’t just a passive feeling; it’s an action.

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Oct 05, 2020
The Antidote to Anxiety

Pandemics and vast uncertainty aside, life is hard. And for whatever reason, it seems to be getting harder. Studies have shown that the average kid today experiences more anxiety than the average psychiatric patient in the 1950s. 

It feels like there’s this undercurrent of anxiety to everything we do. But instead of dealing with it, we fill our calendars with back-to-back appointments and our lives with endless distractions. We do everything we can to avoid having that anxiety bubble up.

But what if we didn’t? What if we stopped trying to numb and distract? What would it look like to just accept anxiety as a fact of life and deal with it head on? 

That’s what we’re getting after in this episode. Along the way, Matt shares the intimate details of how he’s grappled with anxiety through the years and Ammar discusses his inability to meditate. 

Most importantly, Andy Puddicombe, the former monk and co-founder of the meditation app Headspace, stops by to help us to identify ways to cultivate a more mindful approach to life, deal with emotions as they come, and find more presence. 

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Sep 28, 2020
The Path to a Kinder World

Remember the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated? You probably learned it in kindergarten.

Chances are you haven’t really upped your kindness game since. Most of us haven’t. The older we get, the more responsibilities, anxieties, and personal pursuits take over. And kindness simply doesn’t make the to-do list. 

It’s not that we think kindness is any less important than in kindergarten. No, it’s the opposite. Most people agree that practicing kindness is more important than ever. But there’s a gap, between what we say we value as a society, and what we do.

In this episode, we’re getting to the source on how to close that “kindness gap.” 

Houston Kraft, a kindness advocate and educator, explains how we can overcome what gets in the way of deep kindness and start incorporating it into our daily lives.

François Clemmons, also known as Officer Clemmons on the acclaimed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, shares stories about Fred Rogers, and how he showed him the true meaning of kindness on and off camera. 

For more on how to live a more kind life, check out Houston’s brand new book Deep Kindness here:

This episode is sponsored by:

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Sep 21, 2020
How To Chase Your Dreams

Before Yes Theory, we were just three guys trying to figure out what we wanted to do in life. We didn’t know much, just that we didn’t want to walk predictable paths. Luckily, we each had mentors that inspired us to stop thinking and start doing--anything and everything outside our comfort zones. 

In this episode, we call back two of those early mentors to talk about why having novel experiences is so crucial for creativity, meaningful relationships, and business. And how it is truly the foundation for making any dream happen.

Jason Silva is the host of the award winning show, Brain Games, and is a self-described epiphany junkie. Ben Nemtin is the acclaimed writer, public speaker, and television personality from Matt’s favorite MTV show, The Buried Life. 

Together, these two wise stages help us figure out - how do we start breaking routine and chasing our dreams (even in the world’s current conditions)? Is now really the time to prioritize our personal goals? And above all else, how do we push through the fear of trying new things?

This episode is sponsored by:

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Sep 14, 2020
Let's Turn This Year Around

If 2020 was a question, it would be… how the heck do you make the best of a situation when you can’t even understand the situation? 

When we asked Harvard Professor and Atlantic columnist, Arthur Brooks, he said so matter of factly, “You have to be an entrepreneur about your life.” 

And when we asked Ozan Varol, the self-described perpetual dropout (but more importantly the rocket scientist, lawyer, professor, and author behind the book Think Like a Rocket Scientist), he told us the story of why he dropped out of a comfortable, well-paying career in the middle of a pandemic. 

Together, these two brilliant academics help us understand - is now the time to play it safe or take risks? What can we do to make the best of this year? How can we move through this vast uncertainty, and make 2020 a year worth remembering? Or should we just follow Thomas’s lead and ditch this whole year and find some buried treasure?

This episode is sponsored by: 

Liquid I.V. - Get 25% off your first order when you use code YESTHEORY at

Green Chef - Visit and get $80 off your first month.

Talkspace - Use promo code YESTHEORY at for $100 off your first month.

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Sep 07, 2020
Introducing: The Yes Theory Podcast

Welcome to Yes Theory — the audio experience. We’re your hosts Thomas Brag, Ammar Kandil, and Matt Dajer. You may know us from our YouTube channel with the same name, or maybe not. 

We believe the best things in life are outside your comfort zone. We’re talking about meaning, connection, you know all the good stuff.

Over the last 5 years, we’ve made a habit of seeking discomfort and creating videos about it. We’ve had the unthinkable honor of traveling around the world, conquering everyday fears - with friends, strangers, celebrities, and each other. 


In this show, we’re going to reflect on some of the experiences we’ve never shared before, digging into our own personal archives. We’ll also be chatting with expert guests and friends to find out why this idea of “seeking discomfort” is so powerful.


We’re super excited to bring you this show. Subscribe wherever you’re seeing this trailer. New episodes drop weekly—starting very, very soon.

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Aug 31, 2020