IFYC's Guide to Gratitude This Holiday Season

Whether it’s a tale as old as time or a new bestseller, we all have stories we turn to for comfort. In a year where we collectively witnessed life-altering transitions and upheavals, we hope that this festive season we all get to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures together – like tuning into a favorite podcast, winding down with a worn-out paperback, or cozying up on the couch to binge watch a thrilling show.

Here are some fan-favorite stories that kept our team grooving and settling into an attitude for gratitude this year. We hope these will inspire you and bring you as much joy as it did to our team.

The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema - a podcast to facilitate your journey home to yourself by providing weekly inspiration and tips led by Dr. Thema Bryant, a licensed psychologist (President-Elect of the American Psychological Association), ordained minister, and sacred artist.

The Ezra Klein Show -- Named a best podcast of 2021 by Time, Vulture and Esquire. Each Tuesday and Friday, Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike?

 "The Show of Delights" -- an episode from NPR’s This American Life, a weekly public radio show heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown -- Conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.

"The Promise" - Tracy Chapman

“We Are” - John Batiste album

Hope - Cindy Lauper (Tracy Young Remix video on YouTube). “If hope is a thing with feathers, lost in the storm, then see us fly together.”

Meet Me At Our Spot (Live Performance) - Tyler Cole x Willow Smith x The Anxiety

Aaqa from Coke Studio 9 (With subtitles) - the first collaborative single of the duo Abida Parveen & Ali Sethi, this song is the kind of devotional piece that greets your soul with immaculate clarity from the very onset.

Achtung Baby - U2. This year marks the 30th anniversary of this edgy and enduring album.

Ted Lasso -- Small-time American football coach Ted Lasso is hired to coach a professional football club in England, despite having no experience coaching football. What he lacks in experience, he makes up with optimism, kindness, and....biscuits.

Bones or No Bones Day – TikTok

Reservation Dogs – Hulu. Four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma steal, rob, and save in order to get to the exotic, mysterious, and faraway land of California.

This story about Eliot Middleton from South Carolina who fixes and gifts cars to his neighbors in need, from the CBS Evening News.

My Name is Pauli Murray -- Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat, Pauli Murray fights for social justice. A non-binary Black lawyer, activist, poet, and priest, Murray influences both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall.

The Biggest Little Farm -- A couple are followed through their successes and failures as they work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. Over the years, the desolate land they purchase begins to thrive and is transformed.

Miss Sharon Jones -- Filmmaker Barbara Kopple follows rhythm and blues singer Sharon Jones as she tries to hold her band together while battling pancreatic cancer.

Tina -- A revealing and intimate look at the life and career of musical icon Tina Turner, charting her improbable rise to early fame, her personal and professional struggles throughout her life and her resurgence as a global phenomenon in the 1980s.

Stylelikeu - a platform for radically honest docu-style videos that gives voice to people who stand proudly outside of norms and are comfortable in their skin.

Only Murders In The Building -- Three strangers share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one.

Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir by Akwaeke Emezi – A memoir told through candid, intimate correspondences where Emezi traces the unfolding of a self and the unforgettable journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world.

Reasons to be Cheerful -- Stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful.

GuRu by RuPaul Charles -- His dedication reads “To all you sweet, sensitive souls out there in the world—look for the light in the world, in people, in places, in art and music. Light will lift you up.”

Weekly digest from Jet Propulsion Laboratory -- Because sometimes you just need to remember how small we are!

Lost Prophet: A Life of Bayard Rustin -- One of the most important figures of the American civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin taught Martin Luther King Jr. the methods of Gandhi, spearheaded the 1963 March on Washington, and helped bring the struggle of African Americans to the forefront of a nation's consciousness.

The Progress Network newsletter -- A weekly dose of everything that's going right in the world.

Love is the Way by Bishop Michael Curry and Sara Grace -- Walk the path of love with one of the warmest, most beloved spiritual leaders of our time, and learn how to put faith into action.

Promises of Hope for Women -- A book filled with different Christian verses and scripture that assist in the battle of staying in and holding on to hope.

Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile -- Evocative and piercingly honest, Broken Horses is at once an examination of faith through the eyes of a person rejected by the church’s basic tenets and a meditation on the moments and lyrics that have shaped the life of a creative mind, a brilliant artist, and a genuine empath on a mission to give back.

To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue – A compelling blend of elegant, poetic language and spiritual insight offers readers comfort and encouragement on their journeys through life.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee -- A saga about four generations of a poor Korean immigrant familywho fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from their home.

Gilead Quartet by Marilynne Robinson -- With plainspoken writing, these four tightly-crafted novels explore theology and morality and resonate like the best kinds of sermons. 



#Interfaith is a self-paced, online learning opportunity designed to equip a new generation of leaders with the awareness and skills to promote interfaith cooperation online. The curriculum is free to Interfaith America readers; please use the scholarship code #Interfaith100. #Interfaith is presented by IFYC in collaboration with ReligionAndPublicLife.org.


more from IFYC

At its core, secularism is an approach to governance, writes Jacques Berlinerblau in his new book ‘Secularism: The Basics.’ And critically, it is one many religious people, not just atheists and agnostics, support.
Join IFYC on February 7 at 10 AM CT for an important conversation with Black thought-leaders, activists, and organizers engaged in on-the-ground efforts to destigmatize HIV and eradicate the virus.
The metaverse has dramatic implications that should make all of us sit up, lean in, and claim our role in shaping the worlds within the world that is being created.  
A chance encounter with an army chaplain put Colonel Khallid Shabazz's military career on a different path.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who survived a hostage-taking at his synagogue last Saturday, gave the closing remarks at an online White House briefing Friday, with an impassioned plea for civility.
Rather than focusing on canonical doctrines, a workshop trains educators to teach “lived religion” -- all the creative things that people do with their traditions.
The Vietnamese Buddhist monk, described as 'the second most famous Buddhist in the world, after the Dalai Lama,' by one expert, founded a worldwide network of monastic centers. He once said: "My life is my teaching. My life is my message.”
Many content creators use their platforms to build community beyond their brick-and-mortar congregations, to dispel myths, break stereotypes and invite people from diverse faiths to get a glimpse into their lives.
IFYC's innovative online learning experience, #Interfaith: Engaging Religious Diversity Online, offers lessons on how to approach others online in a way that leads to building bridges.
Lessons from Thich Nhat Hanh, the person who nominated Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize and encouraged King to speak out against the war in Vietnam.
What Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and activist Thich Nhat Hanh taught me about the power of mindful breathing through art.
A scholar of democratic virtues explains why Dominican monk Thomas Aquinas’ thoughts on hope are relevant today.
From covering spirituality in Silicon Valley to writing an online newsletter about her own journey to Judaism, reporter Nellie Bowles keeps finding innovative ways to reflect on religion and technology.
Six ways religious and spiritual leaders can help the internet serve their communities right now.
At the request of his editors at Religion News Service, Omar Suleiman writes about waiting with hostages’ families.
Regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill, the PNBC leaders said they plan to lobby Congress in March and register voters weekly in their congregations and communities.
King’s exasperation at self-satisfied white Christians holds up a mirror that is still painfully accurate today.
A day before the U.S. Senate was expected to take up significant legislation on voting rights that is looking likely to fail, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s eldest son condemned federal lawmakers over their inaction.
The congregation’s rabbi, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, is particularly well connected to the larger interfaith community and on good terms with many Muslim leaders.
For Martin Luther King Day, an interfaith panel reflects on the sacredness of the vote and the legacy of Reverend King.
In his new book, Princeton historian Julian E. Zelizer reexamines the life of Abraham Joshua Heschel and finds lessons for interfaith political activism today.

The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.