Esther Perel — Tactics for Relationships in Quarantine (#418)

Photo by Ernesto Urdaneta

“Maybe you don’t feel that enough people love you, but I can tell you, there’s a world of people out there who need you at this moment.”

Esther Perel

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel (@EstherPerelOfficial) is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Esther is an acclaimed TED speaker and the host of the hit podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work?.

Esther also recently launched Couples Under Lockdown, a bonus miniseries on her podcast Where Should We Begin?. The first episode aired last week and features a couple in Sicily several weeks into their quarantine. Esther will also host an international conversation about the new normal—what it means for our relationships and how we can move forward in a time of social distancing, uncertainty, and grief. It will be broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube. The four-part series, entitled The Art of Us: Love, Loss, and Loneliness under Lockdown, will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. ET, on April 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd.

Please enjoy! 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

This podcast is brought to you by Magic Spoon Cereal and ShipStation. More on both below. 

#418: Esther Perel — Tactics for Relationships in Quarantine


This episode is brought to you by Magic Spoon Cereal! Magic Spoon is a brand-new cereal that is low carb, high protein, and zero sugar. It tastes just like your favorite sugary cereal. Each serving has 12g of protein, 3g of net carbs, 0g of sugar, and only 110 calories. It’s also gluten free, grain free, keto friendly, soy free, and GMO free. And it’s delicious! It comes in your favorite, traditional cereal flavors like Cocoa, Frosted, and Blueberry.

Magic Spoon cereal has received a lot of attention since launching last year. Time magazine included it in their list of Best Inventions of 2019, and Forbes called it “the future of cereal.” My listeners—that’s you—get free shipping and a 100% happiness guarantee when you visit and use code TIM. 

This episode is also brought to you by ShipStation. Do you sell stuff online? Then you know what a pain the shipping process is. Whether you’re selling on eBay, Amazon, Shopify, or over 100 other popular selling channels, ShipStation was created to make your life easier. ShipStation lets you access all of your orders from one simple dashboard, and it works with all of the major shipping carriers, locally and globally, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS. 

Tim Ferriss Show listeners get to try ShipStation free for 60 days by using promo code TIM. There’s no risk and you can start your free trial without even entering your credit card info. Just visit, click on the microphone at the top of the homepage, and type in TIM!

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear an episode with another fascinating therapist? Listen to my conversation with Lori Gottlieb on this podcast in which we discuss the hierarchy of pain, idiot compassion vs. wise compassion, the benefits of learning to “unknow” oneself, why insight is the booby prize of therapy, and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#415: Lori Gottlieb — The Power of Getting to *Unknow* Yourself



  • Connect with Esther Perel:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Esther’s COVID-19 Online Resources 

For Those with Kids 

For Dance Lovers

For Art Lovers

For Theater Lovers

For Music Lovers

For Student Composers/Songwriters

  • Every Wednesday for the next three weeks, Paramount’s New Works Department will unveil a new theme for the series and post guidelines for submissions for that week’s topic.
    • About: Student songwriters, whether in high school, college, or any student who has learned their school won’t be in session for the foreseeable future, are encouraged to write, perform and submit an original song on video about their connection to their school. The deadline to submit is Wednesday, April 1, at midnight.
    • To submit a video, email a downloadable link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to Paramount’s New Works Department at (Note: If filming with a cell phone, horizontal orientation is preferred but not required.)
    • Please visit for more information, and Paramount’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Questions to be directed to
      • Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, April 8th at midnight. The second Connection compilation video will be posted for free viewing on Saturday, April 11, at 8 p.m.
      • The series is currently slated to run for three weeks, through April 18, but may continue until stay at home orders are lifted. Each week’s Connection social media concert will run approximately 30 minutes.

Relief Funds, Donations, Assistance, Etc. in NYC

Other Resources


  • What has Esther’s current day in quarantine been like so far?
  • While conducting remote therapy with couples in quarantine, what noteworthy patterns has Esther been observing?
  • During this COVID-19 crisis, some of us are having difficulty navigating a world that isn’t anything like it was just a few short weeks ago, while others are having an easier time adapting to “the new normal.” How does Esther counsel a couple in which each partner takes the opposite approach?
  • Is dealing with the uncertainty, mortality, and possibly grief of these trying times made easier for those of us who don’t have kids to take care of on top of everything else?
  • When memories of past stressors aggravate the anxieties of the present, and how we might come to terms with them through reframing our self-image.
  • If you’ve got something to say to someone — especially parents and older friends and relatives — write them a letter or call them now. Don’t wait.
  • The paradoxes presented by spending more time with the family, and the power of disruption + impending disaster to accelerate big choices we might put off in less chaotic times.
  • How might someone approach a shared-custody conversation with an ex who seems to be handling the COVID-19 crisis less responsibly than you like?
  • How can couples and families cope and give each other space when they’re quarantined together? How might they use the circumstances as an opportunity to bond with, rather than intrude upon, one another?
  • How can long-distance couples now separated for perhaps longer than usual maintain their connection?
  • Prompts for reconnecting with people you haven’t talked to in a while and keeping the conversation going beyond the perfunctory — especially when you’re communicating with someone who doesn’t easily share their feelings.
  • Putting things in perspective for someone who insists that they’re feeling ‘great’ right now.
  • Advice for people who, either by choice or circumstance, are spending their quarantine alone.
  • Why does Esther think dancing is even better for keeping our spirits up than exercise?
  • What a day of quarantine currently looks like at my house.
  • What a day of quarantine currently looks like for Esther.
  • How Esther makes her global movie and book clubs work.
  • On the importance of maintaining rituals, enjoying music, and decompressing from too much bad news.
  • Parting thoughts.