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Sounds Good with Branden Harvey

Sounds Good With Branden Harvey is a weekly podcast hosting hopeful conversations with optimists and world-changers about the unique experiences that drive them to use their influence for good. Episodes are released every Monday.
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 31, 2018

Erica Mandy left her six-figure 'dream job' as a TV news reporter in Los Angeles, the second largest news market in the country, all because of two things: 1) She kept hearing from people that they were tuning out news all together because it was too "depressing." 2) She, herself, was feeling depressed and anxious from ten years of covering horrific stories and presenting them in an alarmist way.

So, she decided to do something about it. She up and quit her secure, six-figure job to launch a new kind of news with theNewsWorthy. It presents a few of the top national stories of the day in a less alarmist way + provides several more upbeat tech, business, entertainment and other interesting news in what I call a "fast, fair and fun" way.

theNewsWorthy has now been featured on Apple Podcasts several times and has been written about by Brit+Co and was named one of Salon.com's "12 Essential Current Events Podcasts."

In this episode, Branden and Erica dove into what it’s like to work in the news industry, how we can fight to make it better, and how we can be more intentional about consuming the news.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/erica

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Sponsor: The University of Helsinki has become one of the top 1% of world’s research universities and it’s especially remarkable because of its focus on seeking solutions for global challenges and creating new ways of thinking for the best of Humanity.

The application period for the International Master’s Programmes starting in August 2019 is currently open. If you want to continue your education toward making a difference in the world, you should absolutely apply before January 11, 2019.

You can learn more about the University of Helsinki and apply for their master’s program at helsinki.fi/admissions.

Dec 24, 2018

Brandi Lea is a nonprofit founder living in Colorado Spring, Colorado who loves people in incredible ways.

She’s the co-founder of a non-profit called Beauty for Ashes Uganda which works toward long-term sustainable development and deep healing for single mothers and widows in Uganda.

In this episode, Branden and Brandi dive into Brandi’s experiences with trauma and what her path toward healing has looked like, what it means to run an organization that’s focused on mutually transformative relationships, and how faith plays into all of this.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/brandi

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Sponsor: For listeners of Sounds Good, Hover is offering 10% off your first purchase when you visit Hover.com/SoundsGood.

Dec 17, 2018

British visual artist Shantell Martin has originated her work upon the foundation of these two key questions: WHO ARE YOU? And ARE YOU YOU? After moving to New York from Tokyo, she became best known for creating stream-of-consciousness drawings and light projects with childlike wonder and joy. Her artwork (— which is mainly lines and stick figures —) has appeared in the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora,  well as many other well-known art venues in New York.

In this conversation, Branden and Shantell discuss how understanding who you are and asking unconventional questions are keys to keeping the wonder alive in your work.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/shantell-martin

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Sponsor: The University of Helsinki has become one of the top 1% of world’s research universities and it’s especially remarkable because of its focus on seeking solutions for global challenges and creating new ways of thinking for the best of Humanity.

The application period for the International Master’s Programmes starting in August 2019 is currently open. If you want to continue your education toward making a difference in the world, you should absolutely apply before January 11, 2019.

You can learn more about the University of Helsinki and apply for their master’s program at helsinki.fi/admissions.

Dec 10, 2018

Dwayne Reed is the rapping teacher from Chicago responsible for the viral hit, Welcome to the 4th Grade. You may have seen him on Good Morning America or in an Old Navy commercial directed by Pharrell Williams.

Dwayne, or as he’s called in his classroom: Mr. Reed, genuinely cares about his students and has found a number of creative ways to show them.

In this episode, Branden and Dwayne gush over how amazing teachers are and have a conversation around battling with depression.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/dwayne

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Sponsor: For listeners of Sounds Good, Hover is offering 10% off your first purchase when you visit Hover.com/SoundsGood.

Nov 26, 2018

In 2015, Inc. Magazine recognized Noonday Collection as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. But years earlier, as Jessica Honegger stood at a pawn-shop counter in Austin, Texas, and handed over her grandmother's gold jewelry, her goal was much more personal: to fund the adoption of her Rwandan son, Jack, by selling artisan-made jewelry.

This first step launched an unexpected side-hustle that would grow into Noonday Collection. Jessica embarked on this new journey and teamed up with her first artisan partner, Jalia, a Ugandan jewelry maker. She saw the meaningful impact Noonday brought to Jalia's community and knew it was the right move.

Fear crept into Jessica's heart as she realized her success, or failure, meant the same for Jalia. But refusing to let fear hinder her goals, Jessica found the necessary (if imperfect) courage she needed along the way — the courage to leave comfort and embrace a life of risk and impact.

In this episode, Branden and Jessica talk about the Enneagram, moving forward even when experiencing fear, and the difficulties of running a business.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/jessica

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Sponsor: For listeners of Sounds Good, Schmidt’s Naturals is offering free shipping when you use the code GOOD at SchmidtsNaturals.com.

Nov 19, 2018

Morgan Harper Nichols is a writer and artist whose work revolves around people and their stories. As a musician, she’s seen her song, “Storyteller” garner over 1 million Spotify plays and as an author, her self-published book of poetry has become a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Inspirational Poetry. Her Instagram has gained an audience of more than a quarter million followers.

In this episode, Branden and Morgan dive into using Instagram for good and building empathy through art.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/morgan

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Sponsor: For listeners of Sounds Good, Hover is offering 10% off your first purchase when you visit Hover.com/SoundsGood.

Nov 12, 2018

After serving four years as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corp, including a combat deployment in Iraq where he was hit by four IEDs in four months causing a traumatic brain injury, Richard Casper returned home suffering from post-traumatic stress. That is, until he discovered the healing power of music and art.

After experiencing first-hand the profound impact they had on his own healing, Richard co-founded CreatiVets in 2013 to help other veterans. CreatiVets' art programs foster self-expression in a way that allows veterans to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing.

In this episode, Branden and Richard talk about the important work he and CreatiVets are doing to help those who sacrifice everything for our freedom

soundsgoodpodcast.com/richard

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Sponsor: Visit SchmidtsNaturals.com today and use our special code: GOOD to get free shipping and help support this podcast.

Nov 5, 2018

Gustavo Guerrero was born in a small town in Honduras in April of 1992. After being raised by his Aunt, Gustavo became an immigrant in America at the age of 12 after he moved to South Carolina to live with his parents.

Gustavo is a talented musician and his love for music became apparent early in life when at the age of 6 he created his own drum set out of paint cans and kitchen pots and pans.

While attending high school, he found refuge in the music room as he learned more about music, himself, and North American culture.

As a DREAMer he is passionate about advocating for human rights, immigration reform, and civil and political rights.

His bilingual cover of John Lennon's hit song, "Imagine" with YouTuber, Alex G., has reached over 4 million views. In 2017, the Democratic National Committee chose their cover as part of their campaign to fight for the DREAM Act to protect almost 800,000 immigrants.

In this episode, Branden and Gustavo dove into Gustavo’s personal story, the nuances of immigration policy, and how music can be used as a tool for building empathy.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/gustavo

Oct 29, 2018

Nirrimi Firebrace is an award-winning Australian photographer and writer who catapulted into the public eye when she was just a teenager because of the unique way she shares her story through photos and words online.

Shortly before recording this conversation, Nirrimi lost her brother to suicide. After realizing she didn’t have many photos of the two of them together, Nirrimi decided to give back to others — even in the midst of her grieving — by photographing others with their loved ones.

Nirrimi runs a popular blog called Fire & Joy, where she shares both heartbreaking and beautiful stories of her life. As a photographer she’s shot for Netflix, American Apparel, First Aid Kit, and Zelda Williams.

This episode originally aired in July of 2016.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/nirrimi

Oct 22, 2018

In 2015 when protests broke out in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray, photographer and activist Devin Allen was one of the first photographers on the scene to share his photos with the world.

His photos were quickly shared by celebrities like Rihanna and Beyonce and one of his most iconic photos landed on the cover of TIME magazine. Since then, it’s been a crazy year for him. Under Armour hired him to tour with Steph Curry around Asia shooting photos, Pope Francis was gifted a book that included some of his work, and he had some of his photographs shown at the Smithsonian.

And now over a year after his rise to fame, Devin is helping change his community and the way it’s perceived for good.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/devin

Oct 15, 2018

As founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen fights the chronically neglected global epidemic of violence against the poor. While a member of the 1994 United Nations team investigating war crimes in Rwanda, Gary Haugen’s eyes were opened to the appalling extent of violence in the developing world. Upon his return to the US, he founded International Justice Mission, an organization devoted to rescuing victims of global violence including trafficking and slavery. Today, IJM is responsible for rescuing more than 45,000 people from slavery and other forms of violence and helped local authorities arrest more than 3,500 suspected slave owners and other criminals.

Gary has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero” – the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership. His work to protect the poor from violence has been featured by Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the New Yorker, Forbes, the Guardian, and NPR.  He is the author of several books, including Good News About Injustice and, most recently, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence.

In this conversation, Branden and Gary go behind the curtain and dive deep into the story International Justice Mission, lean into the power of systems that care for the individual, and explore the idea that joy is the oxygen behind doing hard things.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/gary

Oct 8, 2018

At 28 years old, Scott Harrison had it all. A top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, models on repeat. But 10 years in, he was unhappy and morally bankrupt. Walking away from everything, Harrison spent the next 16 months on a hospital ship in West Africa and discovered his true calling. In 2006, with no money and less than no experience, Harrison founded charity: water.

Today, Scott Harrison’s work at charity: water has mobilized over one million donors around the world to fund over 28,000 water projects in 26 countries that will serve more than 8.2 million people with clean drinking water. Scott has also been recognized on Fortune's 40 under 40 list, Forbes’ Impact 30 list, and was ranked #10 in Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.

In his return for a second conversation on the podcast, Branden and Scott dissect his newest book Thirst: an inspiring personal story of compassion, redemption, second chances, and the transformative power within us all.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/scott

Oct 1, 2018

Founding Omaze with his business partner Matt, CEO and co-founder Ryan Cummins is responsible for the online platform known for raising hundreds of millions of dollars for charity by raffling once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Today, Omaze is breaking the traditional model of charity and creating more good than ever before.

Chances are you've seen an Omaze video, although you may not have realized what company was behind it. Whether it’s blowing up tanks with Arnold Schwarzenegger, watching the series finale of Breaking Bad with its stars, hanging out with Iron Man, or making a cameo appearance in the new Star Wars film, each campaign is making charity go viral — now responsible for working with 150 charities in 175 countries.

In his lifetime, Ryan Cummins has worked with influential change-makers through Live Earth, talking with 120 Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners, MacArthur Genius Grant recipients, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

In this conversation, Branden and Ryan dive deep into the origin of Omaze, the intersection of philanthropy and storytelling, and the power of living for something bigger than yourself.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/ryancummins

Sep 24, 2018

After watching a special of The Oprah Winfrey Show about the AIDS epidemic in Africa, 11-year-old Kendall Ciesemier founded the organization Kids Caring 4 Kids in 2004. After this event, Kendall knew she had seen the opportunity she was waiting for — a chance to give her life more purpose than the chronic liver disease she had grown up fighting against. She spent the next eight years spreading awareness and supporting students in Zambia — growing generous hearts and global vision among kids.

Today, Kendall is a producer, writer, and social entrepreneur who works at digital news company, Mic — where she notably broke a story about Alice Marie Johnson that drew the attention of Kim Kardashian West, President Donald Trump, and the world. Kendall’s work has also been featured in a wide variety of news programs and publications, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Glamour Magazine, and Forbes. Kendall has been honored as the 2014 Glamour Magazine College Woman of the Year as well as one of Youth Service America’s “Top 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People.”

In this conversation, Branden and Kendall dive deep into her story of thriving in the midst of life’s struggles, finding purpose and passion, how to use media to drive social change, and where to begin after overcoming adversity.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/kendall

Sep 17, 2018

Jamie Tworkowski’s life changed in 2006 when he met Renee Yohe and wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms.” He posted the story on MySpace and began selling TWLOHA t-shirts as a way to help pay for Renee’s treatment. Today, TWLOHA has now responded to 200,000 messages from people in 100 countries, in addition to giving two million dollars to mental health treatment and recovery.

Jamie is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms and the New York Times bestselling author of ‘If You Feel Too Much’. Currently, he’s been putting his time into HEART CAMP — a two-day workshop that invites the attendees to dive into matters of mental health, authenticity, writing, starting something that matters, and bringing their heart to work.

In this conversation, Branden and Jamie get real and personal about the cost of putting everything into your work, moving courageously toward transition and new chapters, and why the greatest thing we can do is to choose to stay until tomorrow.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/jamie

Sep 10, 2018

Before we figured out that it wasn’t ok to stand out and do crazy things for fear of rejection, we had a period of our lives where we weren’t afraid to do stuff. Author, speaker, and media producer, CJ Casciotta, has passionately given himself over to the idea that if we’d get back in touch with what makes us different, we’d change the world.

CJ Casciotta has helped some of the world’s biggest brands discover their unique identity and share it creatively including Lululemon, The United Nations, MGM Studios, and Whole Foods. He also spends time speaking around the country at places including TEDx, STORY Conference, and charity: water, to name a few.

In this conversation, Branden and CJ talk about his newly released book: ‘Get Weird: Discover the Surprising Secret to Making a Difference’ — diving deep into the truth of how getting weird just might be the key to making the world a better place.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/CJ

Sep 3, 2018

Civil rights activist, teacher, and author, DeRay Mckesson thinks hope is the belief that tomorrow can be better than today. As one of the leading voices in the Black Lives Matter Movement and the co-founder of Campaign Zero, DeRay has spent his life working to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy-makers with commonsense policies to ensure equity.

He’s most notably known as the host of Pod Save the People and named as one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 — as well as as one of the 30 Most Influential People on the Internet by Time Magazine in 2016.

In this conversation, Branden and DeRay talk about his book ‘On the Other Side of Freedom’ and his personal journey of advocacy and activism that has caught America’s attention.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/deray

Aug 27, 2018

Most notably recognized as the most popular figure from ABC’s The Bachelor, Ben Higgins is someone who is currently leveraging his platform of fame for good. Currently known for hosting iHeart Radio’s pop culture podcast, Almost Famous, nothing could have adequately prepared Ben for how appearing on one of the highest grossing television shows would ultimately pave the way for him to accomplish his humanitarian dreams.

Today, Ben is the CEO and founder of Generous, a ‘for-purpose’ business that aims to use profits to fund operational expenses of nonprofits doing sustainable, life-changing work around the world. Ben also sits on the board of Humanity and Hoped United — a nonprofit working to assist underserved villages in Honduras through creating jobs, access to education, clean water, and health care.

In this conversation, Branden and Ben unpack what it means to lead a life of purpose and generosity, the importance of getting angry about injustice, the burden of fame, humanitarian work, and living into the meaningful questions that inevitably come with faith.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/benhiggins

Aug 20, 2018

Lisa Gungor’s faith was the lens through which she viewed her marriage, music, and dreams—all of which the world witnessed through her and her husband’s Grammy nominated band, Gungor. Yet, when the lens was shattered through events like the unraveling of a career, the loss of a worldview, and the birth of a baby girl with heart defects, it led Lisa to a tumultuous place — until it gave way to a new perspective.

In this conversation, Branden and Lisa talk about her process of writing her latest book, The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen. She also unravels what it means to hit rock bottom, understand what suffering is, feel what love can do, and continue to open our eyes to wonder in the heartbreak.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/lisa

Aug 13, 2018

While living in Ethiopia in 2010, Founder and CEO of the lifestyle brand ABLE, Barrett Ward, saw firsthand how extreme poverty forced young women, generation after generation, to resort to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and their families. He saw that they needed an opportunity to earn a living with dignity, empowering themselves to end the cycle of poverty. This was the beginning of Barrett’s life’s work at ABLE.

Leading a fashion lifestyle brand might be an unlikely role for someone self-described as ‘not a fashion guy’, but that’s exactly where Barrett Ward then found himself. Barrett is now the visionary behind the rapidly growing Nashville-based company disrupting the fashion industry with a social conscience. Today, the company employs more than 300 women in Ethiopia, Peru, Mexico, and Nashville.

In this conversation, Branden and Barrett unpack the importance of making an impact where it matters most, building a company based on radical transparency and second chances, and the importance of fostering an attitude of gratitude in your sphere.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/barrett

Aug 6, 2018

Jodi Ettenberg is a Canadian ex-lawyer who later discovered her passion in the world of food and travel. On her award-winning website, Legal Nomads, she’s helped people all over the world to explore the world around them, not with fear and suspicion, but with open-minded curiosity and compassion.

Jodi’s writing has been recognized by the world’s top online publications such as the New York Times, BBC, National Geographic, The Guardian, CNN, and Bloomberg.

A decade later, because of a crazy unfortunate turn of events involving a spinal tap, Jodi is left wondering if she’ll ever be able to live her life of food and travel ever again. In this conversation with Branden Harvey, Jodi shares her wildly heartbreaking and powerful story for the first time on a podcast since the turn of events that changed her life forever.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/jodi

Jul 30, 2018

In a pit of depression, Ben Nemtin and his three best friends decided to create the world’s greatest bucket list to make them feel alive. They bought a rickety old bus and criss-crossed North America, achieving the unthinkable. And most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list — this was the beginning of The Buried Life movement.

Ben Nemtin is now the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? and the star of the MTV show The Buried Life. As the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, Ben’s message of radical possibility has been featured by major media outlets including The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and NBC News. An acclaimed keynote speaker, Nemtin has presented his '5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible' to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world.

From playing basketball with President Obama to streaking a professional soccer field, from raising over $400,000 for charity to placing a record-breaking $250,000 bet on roulette—Ben’s bucket list quest has inspired millions to chase their dreams and realize that impossible is possible.

In this conversation, Branden and Ben dive deep into how to make the impossible possible and why humanity puts off the things we really want to do in our day-to-day lives.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/bennemtin

Jul 23, 2018

From his humble beginnings in Bradenton, Florida, R&B singer and classical guitarist Reggie Williams Jr. never expected his side project R.LUM.R to blow up. Then the internet found him and his music took off with the release of his 2016 single "Frustrated" — racking up over 39 million streams on Spotify to date. He has also won fans with singles like "Be Honest," "Tell Me," and "Love Less."  NPR Music labelled R.LUM.R a "fast-rising artist whose falsetto is no joke" and he has played at major festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

The heart behind R.LUM.R’s work is a desire to give back to music what he believes it gave to him — which was a place of belonging, refuge, and release ever since his complicated youth.

In this conversation, Branden and R.LUM.R fearlessly unpack the scars behind his successes and tell the truth about why empathy is the most powerful tool inside storytelling.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/RLUMR

Jul 16, 2018

Mike Donehey is and singer, songwriter and guitarist primarily known for his work as lead singer in the Christian rock band Tenth Avenue North. What many people don’t know, is that Mike’s journey as a musician began after a near-fatal car accident where he was told he would never walk again. He then picked up a guitar during his days in the hospital and began to write music.

Now, the band has long been known for the depth and vulnerability of their songwriting since they released their acclaimed national debut, Over and Underneath, in 2008. Quickly winning fans’ allegiance with radio staples, the band was named the Gospel Music Association's New Artist of the Year in 2009. The group gained further momentum with 5 full-length records that spawned hits that have led to selling in excess of one million albums to date.

More importantly, Mike is willing to dive into controversy. Over the last several years, he’s used his platform to advocate for Black Lives Matter, fairer treatment of immigrants and refugees, and other social issues.

In this conversation, Branden and Mike dive deep into matters of faith, balancing your personal life while gaining fame, speaking truth to power in politics, as well as the importance of refusing to give up your humanity for the sake of a brand.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/mikedonehey

Jul 9, 2018

Benjamin Von Wong is a world-renowned photographer who decided to use his talents to make a difference. He never set out to be a photographer, and he became one almost by accident. Nevertheless, in the space of the past 5 years since he quit his day job as a mining engineer, he’s earned a worldwide reputation as a brilliantly original photographic artist, and was even named one of four winners of this year’s Imaging Alliance award for Visionary Photographers.

Benjamin now creates fantastical visual worlds through photography, virally promoting worthy causes, then posts them on his website so people can experience the creative process in a visceral way. Something he’s known for is creating work that looks hyper-realistic and photoshopped, but it’s based on capturing images of what is actually in front of his camera.

In this conversation, Branden and Benjamin dive deep into the importance of using your curiosity  to make a positive impact in this world — and figuring out how to do that in a creative way that makes people care.

soundsgoodpodcast.com/benjamin

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