295. Buyer Beware: Pseudoscience and the Wellness Industry, featuring Pooja Lakshmin

When it comes to self-help, it’s important to be cautious of information that seems too good to be true. Especially, in today’s world of digital wellness influencers where there is a lot of misinformation out there that could cause you more harm than good. Subsequently, it’s essential to thoroughly research products and services before making any decisions or commitments. 

To raise awareness about this issue, we (Debbie, Jill, and Yael) got together to co-host an episode dedicated to this very important conversation. We also invited Pooja Lakshmin, a board-certified psychiatrist and author of the book Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness to discuss the nuances of pseudoscience and what it means to practice real self-care. Expect evidence-based self-care methods, in addition to tips on how to do your due diligence as a consumer. 

Listen and Learn:

  • What led Pooja to make some pretty drastic decisions in her own quest for self-care
  • The differentiators between faux self-care and real self-care
  • The idea of using ‘pauses’ when making decisions and boundary setting 
  • Pseudoscience and the challenges it poses to the field of psychology
  • Examples of scientists behaving badly 
  • Red flags for identifying faux self-care
  • Suggestibility: we can be easily influenced in ways that are problematic






About Pooja Lakshmin

Pooja Lakshmin is a psychiatrist, New York Times contributor, an assistant professor at George Washington University, and a leading voice at the intersection of mental health and gender with a focus on helping individuals escape the tyranny of self-care. In 2020, she founded Gemma, a physician-led women’s mental health platform centering on impact and equity. She also maintains a private practice where she treats women struggling with burnout and perfectionism, as well as clinical conditions like depression and anxiety. Her new book which we are here to discuss, Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths not Included) is out now.

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Episode 295