The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves.
Today I’m sharing my holiday watchlist in case you want to add a few titles to yours for the break and sharing some questions I’ll be focused on to set my intentions for 2023.
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Executive Producers: Dennison Bradford & Maya Cole Howard
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Session 286: My Holiday Watchlist & 2023 Intentions
Dr. Joy: Hey, y'all! Thanks so much for joining me for Session 286 of the Therapy for Black Girls podcast. We'll get right into the episode after a word from our sponsors.
Dr. Joy: As the team and I were looking over the episodes we've released this year, I realized that I was significantly lacking in solo episodes. As a matter of fact, I think there's only been one this year. So before we close out the year, I wanted to have some time—one on one, so to speak—for us to just check in about how I'm doing, hearing feedback from you all about how you're doing. And I really think it has been hard for me to think about it already being December. How are we already closing out another year? Time still feels very, very weird to me. I look at my calendar and I think, didn't I just have this meeting last week? But it really was three weeks ago! I really feel like I have lost the complete ability to delineate the passage of time.
The kids are back in school this year, which helps me to kind of have a bit of a schedule and understand how hours are passing. But in terms of days and weeks, all of that still feels incredibly fuzzy. I feel like so much of this year has really just been me completely consumed by book writing and book editing. I think that most of us would agree that any time you are doing something new in your career, something different, then it is a different learning curve, and I feel like that definitely has been the case for me this year.
For those of you who don't know, if you have just joined the Therapy For Black Girls Community, I am currently writing my first book, Sisterhood Heals, that’s scheduled to come out in the summer of next year and it has been quite the journey. I'm very, very excited to finally share with you all in the summertime but it definitely has been a lot to get here. I think it was just a very different process than anything that I was used to. In a lot of ways, it has felt like writing a dissertation all over again, and for anybody who has written a dissertation, you know that it is not the easiest process. It's a lot of back and forth, a lot of like “change this and edit this, let's rework this,” and so it has been very, very consuming. I think that that is in large part why time has felt so fuzzy this year. It is because it has felt like I have been very much head down in the writing and editing phase while the rest of the world just kind of continues on the outside.
Y'all know that I love a good TV show. I love catching up on all of the new shows that y'all are watching. There have been some really, really good shows that have come out this year and so, in the midst of writing, I have tried to reward myself with episodes of a favorite show or give myself the opportunity to check out new shows as they come out. I thought that it would be good, or maybe helpful to you to share some of what I have been watching, as we prepare to perhaps have a little bit of time off for the rest of the year or at the end of the year. If you're looking for a good show to binge watch or add to your watchlist, I do want to share a couple of the things that I have been watching so that you may check it out and we can have some conversation around it if it's something that you're interested in.
The first two that I'm going to share, all the episodes are out, and they are just great drama and like, lose yourself in a show and like what's going to happen, lots of twists and turns. And beautiful casts. The first one is Reasonable Doubt which is on Hulu. It is the story of a woman who's an attorney, there are some family dynamics, a love interest from the past that kind of enters the story and just lots of great drama. Beautiful cast, Michael Ealy, who of course is always just a pleasure to see on the screen, is one of the actors in the show. That was just a great show to watch because of high drama. I had a chance to get two of my girlfriends really invested in the storylines, so we all were watching it together and chatting about what we thought would happen for the finale. If you're looking for a good one to add to your list for this holiday, for some time off to your watchlist, Reasonable Doubt on Hulu is a great one to check out.
The second one that I just started watching, all of the episodes are up on Amazon Prime, but I am not completely finished yet. So y'all don't spoil anything for me. Riches is the newest one that I am watching. Again, beautiful cast about a family in the beauty industry. I could imagine this perhaps being like a Fashion Fair kind of family or the Johnson family who has been in beauty. But it's a great high drama, lots going on, lots of internal family conflict, lots of juicy threads to kind of pull apart. The last episode that I watched was really getting to a good point, so I'm excited to finish so that I can see what actually ends up happening. Riches on Amazon Prime is another great one to check out.
A third one to add to your list, if you haven't already, is Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO Max. The second season just started a couple of weeks ago and it is one of the funniest, but not like “fall out laughing” kind of funny. Just like super humorous and just great writing and the actresses and actors are doing a great job. Sex Lives of College Girls is about four women roommates who are in their first year of college and just all of the things that you experience in your first year of college. Just a great story, I have really enjoyed that. The second season just started so you have a couple of seasons to watch if you enjoy a good binge.
The next one is one that we have covered quite a bit here on the show. Queen Sugar y'all know is one of my favorites and is probably one of the most beautifully shot, beautifully acted shows that has ever been on television. It just wrapped up its seventh season and the final season. The series finale premiered last week and was such a beautiful and moving tribute to all that that show has been. It's the story of the Bordelon family. It’s a family in Louisiana so a lot of the scenery felt very familiar to me. It was actually shot not very far from my hometown, at least some of it. It's the story of the Bordelon family and all they go through after their father passes in their efforts to kind of stay close as a family but also to keep their family home and their family land. You see like all of the trials and tribulations that they go through with the people in their community but also as a family unit. The finale was just superb, probably the best finale I have ever seen of a TV show. I won't of course spoil it for you, but I will just say that the closing song of the finale completely took me over the edge, like bawling for at least 10 minutes. Just beautiful. The timing of it was beautiful, the scenery is beautiful. There are seven seasons so if you're looking for something to really commit to over your break, then I definitely would encourage you to check out Queen Sugar. More from my conversation after the break.
Dr. Joy: The next one is not one single thing to add to your list, but there are a lot of great black holiday films coming out. On the OWN network, Lifetime, Hallmark, lots of great black holiday films to check out. I have not had a chance to catch any of them but I have been recording all of them for when I'm finally ready to take a break later this month, so that I can then catch up on all of the great films that there were. If you're looking for some black holiday films to check out, then definitely pay attention to OWN, Lifetime and Hallmark because they have been coming out with just a great lineup all season.
The next one that I would encourage you to add to your list is White Lotus. White Lotus is in its second season on HBO Max and the Season 2 finale, I think is coming out this weekend, so not quite finished yet. Give yourself a week if you haven't started yet, or you can start now and just catch up with everybody else. I will say that for me, this second season of White Lotus has moved much slower than the first one. I also am really missing the comedy that Natasha Rothwell brought to the show last season. She’s just one of my favorite people and favorite actresses. I thought that she was going to be in this season, but she's not here this season and so I'm definitely missing that. I feel like for that reason, this Season 2 is moving slower. But I feel like it's also just a slower storyline but definitely, I think more interesting. We're getting to see less of different places in this second season and it feels like there's this kind of mystery that's kind of unfolding in this second season. So while it did move slower and it took longer to kind of warm up, I do feel like now, as we are preparing for the season finale, it is definitely getting a little spicier, so to speak, and has been a more interesting watch. If you're looking for something kind of drama but also some kind of lighter moments as well, then White Lotus would be a great one to add to your list.
And then one for your family if you have older kids. My kids are six and nine, so I feel like if you have five-year-olds and older, then this show would be a great one to add to your list. It's called The Mysterious Benedict Society and it is on Disney+ and it tells the story of four kids who have these, not supernatural, but they are gifted and have these really special talents that can help them to kind of figure out different situations. They are all kind of a part of this society that helps to, not fight crime, but they solve mysteries and they solve different kinds of issues going on in the world. It has been a great one to watch with the kids because they will talk about what they think is going to happen in an episode and it is really just kind of fun to see these kids grow up through the season. There are two seasons of that, and they are in the second season right now. But I think that that's a fun one to watch if your kids are five and older. Again, that one is The Mysterious Benedict Society, and you can find that on Disney+.
A couple that are on my list that I either have not had a chance to watch or they have not premiered yet, but definitely will be on my watchlist. The first one is the Call me Miss Cleo documentary, also on HBO Max. I definitely grew up at the time where the Miss Cleo commercials and her infomercials were on all the time and so I'm very curious to hear the behind-the-scenes and the actual story of what all was going on there. I haven't seen a lot of people talk about it so I'm not quite sure what the reception has been, but it's definitely one that I'm interested in checking out. Another one is Stutz which is a documentary or a docuseries on Netflix. It is about Jonah Hill and his… I believe the person is a therapist, but I'm not quite sure. I'm pretty sure it's a therapist, but they basically do this documentary together and Jonah is talking to the therapist about his life. But of course, the therapist is also talking to Jonah about his life and talking about the work that they do in therapy. I don't quite know all the details, but that is definitely one that I'm interested in checking out. I've actually heard some good feedback about that one and people have seemed to really enjoy it. I haven't heard many therapists talk about it, though. I am curious to see what it's like because I'm thinking about, okay, what kind of conversation did Jonah and the therapist have about preparing to do a documentary together? So I'm definitely interested in checking that one out to see how that plays out.
Another one that's on my to-be watchlist is the third season of The First Wives Club. The First Wives Club, I feel like is one of the best shows that not a lot of people are talking about. This is a show on BET+. If you don't have BET+, maybe you don't even know it exists but I definitely think that this is worth the subscription. This is a show that stars Michelle Mitchenor, Michelle Buteau, and Jill Scott, and they play a group of friends and their partners. You're kind of seeing like the everyday lives, ins and outs of their friendships with one another, but also their relationships with their partners and dating lives. It is just a great show. Very funny, very beautiful, but also just very realistic and just a feel-good show, I think, and very relatable. If you have not checked out The First Wives Club on BET+, I definitely would encourage you to check it out. Like I said, the third season started recently so I have not caught up on the third season yet, but I'm definitely planning to try to do that while I have some time off.
Finally, I do know a lot of people are anxiously awaiting this. The Best Man: The Final Chapters is premiering soon on Peacock. If you watched The Best Man movies, then you know that it follows this group of friends following a wedding and then them getting older, deals with loss. So now we are seeing them in kind of this final era of the story and so I'm very, very excited to see where these storylines go. This is just a beautiful cast. The cast just looks gorgeous in some of the trailers and pictures that I've seen and so I'm really, really curious to see how they are going to adapt the story for streaming because it's on Peacock. But also just to kind of see what kind of storylines we're gonna get, like where are we picking up in the story of these characters and how are things going to play out? Definitely looking forward to The Best Man: The Final Chapters on Peacock.
If there are other things that you are watching that I have not added to my list, definitely let me know so that I can add to my list. As you can tell, I'm planning a huge, just kind of “veg out, watch TV” the entire holiday break. We've decided not to travel this year and so I'm really looking forward to kind of just being in my pajamas for extended amounts of times, snacking and watching some good TV. If there are things that you have loved that are not on my list, please share those with me on social media so that I can add them to my watchlist, so that I do not run out of great things to watch over the break. More from my conversation after the break.
Dr. Joy: As we are preparing to close 2022, I know typically, I do a little bit of a reset with you all and share some things that I'm thinking about, some journal questions to really help us to think about how we're going to close this year and prepare for the next. And so I don't necessarily have a list of journal questions for you for today, but I do have five questions that I am exploring for 2023 and really want to be intentional about. If those would be helpful to you also, I want to offer that just to kind of get you started to thinking about what you want 2023 to look and feel like.
The first question that I will be exploring a lot in 2023 is, in what other areas do I need help? So Luvvie Ajayi Jones, who is a three-time New York Times bestselling author, often shares this quote that says: Let my helpers find me. I really love that quote because I do think it is something that we don't think about enough, is really asking for help. I definitely feel like as Therapy for Black Girls has grown, as I have done different things in my career, I have needed help in areas and didn't even always know what I needed help with. I think the idea of letting my helpers find me, what that embodies to me is that you just have a spirit of knowing that you need help, even if you don't know exactly what it looks like. And so something that I really want to think more about and be more intentional about this next year is to get very clear on what other areas I need help in.
We've been talking a lot about the idea of asking for help, just in general, in the Therapy For Black Girls community. It definitely seems like something that a lot of sisters struggle with, I think a lot of us are socialized or have just relied on having to do things on our own and so the idea of asking for help just doesn't always come easily or is not something that we always think about. I think that that is something that I would encourage us to really consider for 2023. What other areas do we need help in? And how can we do a better job of actually asking for help? In some of these conversations with sisters, it feels like sometimes they will ask and then people don't step up or they don't step up in the way that you expect and so that then reinforces like, oh, I just got to do it myself. But could it be that maybe you just didn't ask the right person? Or maybe you just didn't ask clearly enough for people to actually understand what you needed help with. I just want us to think about the idea of asking for help and not feeling like we always have to do all the things on our own. But instead, asking in what other areas do you need help? And allowing the helpers to find you.
The second question that I will be exploring is how can I slow down? This has really hit me. Shout out to Apple products because they will, of course, show these flashback pictures like, oh, your life three years ago on this day. And so, I will get these, kind of constant updates of baby pictures of the kids and I'm just kind of witnessing how quickly it all passes. I will look at pictures of my now nine-year-old when he was one and just can't even imagine that that time has already gone so quickly. When I get these reminders, it just really encourages me to think about how I can slow down and really appreciate and be present in all of these moments. Not only with my kids, but also in my own life. And so that's something else that I would offer you all as well. Are you moving too fast, going from thing to thing, that you're not actually slowing down enough to appreciate what's happening, or really processing things in the moment because you're now off to the next thing? That's the second question I'll be pondering - how can I slow down?
Question number three is how can my connections be deeper? I have really been missing my girlfriends during this pandemic. I really kind of have been in the house for the better part of these three years and a lot of that meant I was not seeing my friends. We were kind of sustaining our relationships through text messages and FaceTime and Zoom calls and all of those things. And so just this year, probably within the last three months, I have had two different opportunities to connect with different sets of friends for a cabin trip and then my college friends and I went back to Xavier for Homecoming this year. And so it has really just reminded me how important… Not that I didn't know that these relationships were important, but how much I really value alone time with them and time when we're not trying to attend to kids or also talking to our partners. Just time with them was just incredible. And so it is something that I want to be more intentional about for 2023. And having that time with them but also looking at ways to make sure that we are connecting, even if it is still just by text messages. Making sure that we're being intentional about continuing to grow and cultivate our relationships with one another. That's the third question that I will be considering for 2023. How can my connections be deeper?
Question number four is how can I move more? Related to being in the house for almost the past three years has meant that I have really not been doing a whole bunch of physical activity. I will do some walking here and there, I think I've talked before about how I love to hula hoop so I also will do that every now and then. But I definitely want to be more intentional about moving my body in 2023 and so that is something that I really want to pay attention to. How can I move more? And not in just very structured kind of ways, but also random dance parties or other things that are fun ways to move and not just a 20-minute exercise class or something like that. I really want to have fun in moving my body. That's question number four.
Question number five is how can I ask for more of what I want? This one really has been on my mind after a recent session with my therapist. She said something to me that I will also offer to you in case it's helpful. She said that people can present things to you in whatever way they like, but you also get to say “this doesn't work for me” and ask for something else. This is not even something that I necessarily thought that I struggled with. We talk a lot here about taking up space and being assertive and I didn't necessarily think that this was something that I struggled with. But clearly, because we talked about it in session, it does still come up for me like I imagine it does for many of you too. It just really reminded me that it's always okay to ask for something different. It's always okay to ask for more of what you want. The answer may not always be yes, but it's always okay to ask. So I offer that to you, too. Is there something else that you need to ask for? Do you need to ask for more support from somebody in your life? Do you need to ask for a more flexible work schedule? Are there things that you know would work better for you that you just have not asked for? Here is the gentle nudge to hopefully ask for that.
Do you have any questions that you are pondering for 2023? Are you already thinking about how you're going to be more intentional? Or are you already thinking about what your vision board might look like? I definitely want to hear that so make sure that you also share that with me on social media. Use the hashtag #TBGinSession so that I can follow the conversation.
Alright, y’all, that's all I got this week. I hope you're winding down for the year and looking forward to some fun days with family and friends ahead. We'll have another new episode next week to wrap up 2022 and then we'll take a short break until January 4th. Be sure to text who have your girls right now and encourage them to check out the episode. And don't forget to let me know what else I should add to my watchlist. If you're looking for a therapist in your area, check out our therapist directory at TherapyForBlackGirls.com/directory.
And if you want to continue digging into this topic or just be in community with other sisters, come on over and join us in the Sister Circle. It's our cozy corner of the internet designed just for black women. You can join us at Community.TherapyForBlackGirls.com. Thank y’all so much for joining me again this week. I look forward to continuing this conversation with you all real soon. Take good care.