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What's The Power Of A Simple Thank-You?

Ryan Lash
Photographer: Ryan Lash/TED

Updated December 16, 2022 at 8:18 AM ET

About the Episode

When A.J. Jacobs set out to thank everyone who made his morning cup of coffee, he realized the chain of thank-you's was endless. This hour, Jacobs shares ideas on gratitude — and how to make it count.

About A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs is an author and journalist, best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments. He is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine.

Jacobs' works chronicle his self-experiments, which have involved taking a vow of total honesty, following the Bible literally for a year, and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey. In addition to his books, Jacobs has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine and Dental Economics magazine.

He holds a BA from Brown University.

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This episode of TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and Diba Mohtasham. It was edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Katie Monteleone
Katie Monteleone is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She started out as an intern for the show in January 2019. After her internship, Monteleone began producing for Life Kit before returning to the TED Radio Hour team in October 2019 as a full-time producer.
Diba Mohtasham