Help Wanted

The show where comedians Valerie Nies and Regina Soto seek advice they'll likely never take. They scan the self-help aisle weekly and occasionally interview experts who know more about all things the wish they knew a little about.
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Help Wanted





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May 31, 2016

Turning someone down when they ask you out on a date IRL is mega hard. Valerie and Regina talk strategies about how to decline a date, even when you're caught off guard. Honesty is the best policy, but also it's good to have some quasi truths in your back pocket. Saying "I have plans" works nearly all the time. We all have plans, even if our plans are to do nothing. "No thank you" is an appropriate response but yet terrifying to put into practice. Learning to reject people is important. Far too many people go out with people and end up in relationships because they're being nice! This only leads to tragedy , like the movie Irreconcilable Differences, starring Ryan O'Neal, maybe?

May 24, 2016

Comparing yourself to other people has never been easier now that Becky can post all day long about her good hair on social media. Even the healthiest people are apt to compare themselves when we're constantly viewing feeds of successes. But life's not a race or a competition or what have you. Regina has tips for avoiding comparisons and tells us all about her new phone and the Best Buy metalhead who sold it to her. Valerie shares about procrastinating and a bad psychic who farts a lot. Plus, Keanu, and a short synopsis of the movie Single White Female.

May 17, 2016

Judgement: what is it good for and where does it come from? Valerie thinks judgement helps us approach life. It's easier to cut things out or include things if we can form a judgement around them. Regina thinks it comes from her grandma. 

Maybe we're judgy because back in the day, cave people had to use judgement to compartmentalize which berries were poisonous and which were delicious. Everything comes back to the cave people, which explains the popularity of the paleo diet. 

Basically we're all judgmental assholes if we're in a bad mood, but if we're happy, we're pretty chill with everyone and everything. Being judgmental can sometimes be a blast (gossiping with pals) and can sometimes be exhausting (when a person is judgmental all the time). What's the difference between judgement and discernment? Regina and Valerie discuss and learn about the term viveka, a Sanskrit term for taking an objective approach, which even though it's more difficult than straight up judgement, leads to a fuller life. 


May 10, 2016

Erotic romance writer and ethical non-monogamist Jessica Taylor has an honest conversation with Help Wanted about polyamory, swinging, and alternative relationships. Why is it more socially acceptable to cheat than it is to be out in the world as a polyamorist? What's the difference between polyamory and swinging? What are the advantages (awareness about oneself) and challenges (feeling like the odd man out)? What's a triad, a quad, a "v," and a unicorn? Jessica goes through a glossary of terms, shares her experience of how she found this lifestyle, and discusses resources, including podcasts, that are helpful for people exploring ethical non-monogamy. Podcasts change lives and can turn people into polyamorists! Regina and Valerie also talk about Pablo Neruda, essential oils, and what a mess texting is!

May 3, 2016

We have a hard time connecting with people because we are terrible listeners. Everyone feels like their opinions are the most important. So if you want to connect with people, listen to them and treat them like they're a star when they're talking to you. Or,if that doesn't work, just gossip about someone you both can't stand.

Valerie has a hard time believing people gossip about her, and is arageful meditator. Regina ate a Big Boy in Detroit and prefersconnecting with friends over ice cream.

Also, did you know Valerie had a birthday? She talked about it fora month and finally it happened and hopefully she won't bring it upin any future episodes. Until next year.

Plus Prince, birding, Avon, and Mary Kay.

Apr 26, 2016

Pet adoption counselor and owner of creatively named pets, Ariel Greenspoon talks about fur balls, hair balls, dog balls and everything in between: guinea pigs vs. rabbits, fox attacks, gypsies, spaying and neutering, and what to expect when you adopt a pet.  Valerie and Regina recount their journey to Waffle House, hair in food and nonworking jukeboxes. 

Apr 19, 2016

A bunch of us have the feeling we're not qualified to be doing what we do. If you're a perfectionist, have a hard time asking for help, attribute your successes solely to luck, and can't take a compliment, you might suffer from imposter syndrome. Lots of people have this insecurity, including famous accomplishers Michelle Pfeiffer, Emma Watson, Kate Winslet, and Cheryl Sandberg. Some causes for feeling like a fraud include feeling pressure to achieve and being a minority member of a group. Solutions include: validating yourself by making a list of your assets and accomplishments, surrounding yourself with supporters, and realizing even Emma Watson and Michelle Pfeiffer feels this way. Regina sometimes feels like listening to Metallica, and she's no longer apologizing for it. Valerie worries she should have gotten stitches when she cut herself while slicing avocados, and she really hopes she never receives one of those suction basketball hoops with the spongy nerf balls. 

Apr 12, 2016

How do you find a life coach? Why would you hire a life coach? What does a life coach do? Valerie and Regina get the skinny on coaching from Vasavi Kumar, a business coach, who among other accomplishments, has appeared on Basketball Wives to help with anger management. Vasavi talks about the word "coaching," a bit about how she works with clients, and her own mentors. Tony Robbins is mentioned a lot.

Apr 5, 2016

Birthdays are weird. Or, they can be. Usually because people either have crazy expectations for what their celebration should look like or for where they think they should be in life. Valerie and Regina discuss what makes a birthday "good" or "bad," the pressure of wishing someone a happy birthday on Facebook, celebrating birth "months" or "weeks," surprise parties, and those flowers from the 80s that were sent to people in long boxes. Plus, Demolition Man, damn good ice cream, and Valerie uses feminism to justify a confrontation with line cutters in an organic grocery store.

Mar 29, 2016

Author and journalist Wendy Paris talks about good divorce and her book "Splitopia: Dispatches from Today's Good Divorce and How to Part Well." Paris, who has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and New York Observer talks about her own experience with divorce, why endings aren't failures, how to be your highest self in the midst of a painful divorce by following her 7 principles of parting. She also touches on the topic of dealing with friends (divvying up?) post-divorce, throwing divorce parties, counseling and prenups, and the consciously uncoupled: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and other celebrities whose divorces were not the worst things ever, like Jennifer Gardner. 

Mar 22, 2016

Comedian Wyatt Tall joins Reg and Val to chat about the New York Times best seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, an expert folder and possible sociopath. Wyatt shares his experience following the KonMari Method and explains how the process of minimizing his belongings and keeping only items that bring him joy has led him to make positive change in his life. Also, personifying and showing gratitude for your possessions; how to pronounce feng shui, theater, and umbrella; the rhythm method; excessive blenders; spotting Kurt Russell at SXSW; and tips for DIY aromatherapy.

Mar 15, 2016

Valerie and Reggie answer listener questions about Tinder and the online dating rat race: managing expectations when someone isn't into you, attracting people with snappy openers, and parting ways without being a ghosting asshole. If you're feeling bummed about dating, do things that make you feel good: hang out at your independent book seller, buy lipstick, or books about lipstick, go to Six Flags, and get back in the game. If you want to introduce yourself with a match, never ask how they're doing. We have evolved past cordial nonversation and need to be more attention getting. Tired of a person you've been seeing? STOP GHOSTING. Be an adult about it and send them a simple text saying you're no longer interested. This is a civilized society, people! Tantric sex is strictly for rich, white people.

Mar 8, 2016

James C. Leary, best known for playing Clem on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, talks about his career path from performing improv at Texas A&M and learning from Charna Halpern and Del Close in Chicago to moving to Hollywood to write features and act in shows like: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the telenovela Los Beltran, The Comeback, and a lot of commercials. We talk about the struggles of wanting validation from complete strangers and having an unquenchable thirst to perform. He gives advice for breaking into the industry and shares his experience leaving LA to focus on getting sober and to cultivate a creative life outside of Hollywood: representing his Buffy character at conventions, writing about becoming a G-List Celebrity for GeekNation, and performing in Austin, Texas. We also hear his Cockney accent.

Mar 1, 2016

Regina talks about codependency, the "disease of the lost self," and recovery from it, based on her own experiences and the resources she's found helpful such as Melody Beattie's book Codependency No More. What does codependent behavior look like?  Valerie uses this opportunity to figure out whether or not she is codependent. Regina thinks Brangelina are a little unhealthy and Valerie, wary of the altruistic, dares to ask the question on on all our  minds...Mother Teresa: nice gal or codependent? Plus, Ash Wednesday, "kind of" Catholicism, Uruguayan massage therapists named Jorge, and panties vs. undies vs. knickers.

Feb 23, 2016

Scott Adair, a financial advisor associate, gives us the skinny on what we should all be doing to prepare for retirement. He tells us the difference between a stock and a bond and why investing in gold is probably not smart, talks about index funds, gives us strategies to get over fear of saving money and educate ourselves about investing with sites like investopedia. He also talks about socially responsible investing (SRI, investing strategies that consider both financial return and social good (e.g., green companies, companies that pay equally). We also talk about Wall Street, Gordan Gecko, and The Wolf of Wall Street, and learn why hiding money in your mattress isn't a good a investment strategy but could be a good idea if you're mattress needs extra support.

Feb 16, 2016

We have a helpful and insightful conversation about death positivity with Sarah Wambold, a hip funeral director who's been working with dead folks for 10 years. Why are we so reluctant to talk about death, and what good might come out of addressing it? Plus Making a Murderer (Sarah's from Wisconsin and has an insider's scoop), classic morgue stories, necrophilia, Six Feet Under, natural burials and natural cemeteries, the importance of rituals, funeral playlists, and the worst band in the world: Blue October. Regina plans her funeral. Valerie remembers an encounter at the medical examiner's office. 

Not sure what the "best" way to be is at a funeral? Here are Sarah's funeral etiquette tips, that differ, depending on who you are in relationship to the deceased: 


  • The Dead Body: can look and act however they want!           
  • Family/Close friends: can act however they want but must follow wishes of The Dead Body.
  • Friends/Coworkers: pay respects to #1, there to support #2, don’t overt exert their self-importance.
  • Acquaintances/Followers/Fans: go to funeral if able to, pay attention to decisions made and think about/talk about your plans with other loved ones.

General Funeral Etiquette Guidelines

  • Go to the funeral! If you are worried about the visual of death, go in support of being a visual of life-of the full life of the dead. Otherwise it will just be a dead body in a room.
  • No rules on the "right" type of funeral, touching the body, showing emotions. 
  • If unsure of your emotions, offer support to someone clearly struggling. 
  • If no "funeral" occurs, there is a mourning period, which is sort of a funeral. Mark the calendar to reach out after a week, monthly, yearly. 


  • Follow instructions on parking and funeral processions if that is what is set up. 
  • Try to respect timelines. It will give everyone more time and peace to memorialize. 
  • You can wait outside the funeral home/service space until you are ready. 


Feb 9, 2016

Comedian, actress, and online dater Kim Stacy shares her experience with dating apps Tinder and Bumble. Her advice for successful dating: be honest about your intentions, use photos that highlight your personality, know your hell nos, never leave anything you want to see again at a guy's house, and be selective about giving out your digits. Oh, and always flirt with a Baldwin brother, even if it's the bloated one from Celebrity Intervention. We cover what makes an activity good for a first meeting (drinks/coffee) and what could be a trap (lengthy miniature golf courses). Regina can't stand the large number of men posing with fish on dating apps. Valerie will date a 55 year old if he looks like Hugh Laurie. Everyone would date Luke from Gilmore Girls.

Feb 2, 2016

We treat sleep like an unwanted houseguest inconveniencing our lives, but it's damn important. In this episode we have tips for better sleep as suggested by the National Sleep Foundation and notorious rich and privileged sleeper: Gwyneth Paltrow. Things that encourage sleep: night time rituals (freaky), adhering to a schedule (boring), avoiding naps and corndogs (what is the purpose of life?). Good advice for anyone who suffers from insomnia or who could just stand to take better care of her/himself. We finally learn what a duvet cover is and what makes Egyptian cotton so Egyptian. 

Jan 26, 2016

This episode contains all things scatalogical. Regina "prefers air fresheners" Soto has allergies and Valerie "big fan of matches" Nies discovers the portmanteau of your Help Wanted hosts is "VAGINA" (pronounced vageena).

Pee shyness is an actual, real issue, that affects one out of ten men and any woman in a new relationship. Poop is an automatic relationship killer. Celebrities use a lot of toilet paper and Regina has tips for office bathroom etiquette: don't talk on your phone, don't make small talk, clean up after yourself (who's always making the bathroom a mess? ISIS?), and always use a courtesy flush. Plus what your stall preference says about you, and a listener poll regarding UTIs and yeast infections that surely no one will take part in.

Jan 19, 2016

Did you know that sugar gunks up your organ systems? And that sugar actually has no health benefit? And did you know that Valerie once accidentally killed her college roommate's fish? Sarah Marie Curry, a sugar free aficionado and author of the blog Unsweetened Sarah Marie, informs us on all things sugar, explains why it's bad news, and shares her experience kicking the stuff. Regina informs us there are 56 names for the word sugar. If you're not quite ready to kick sugar to the curb, Sarah Marie shares tips for easing in slowly to find out what works best for you.

Jan 12, 2016
Are you overwhelmed because you say yes to everything? Are you more disappointed when friends don't cancel plans? Do you feel busy constantly because you overcommit to plans? Do you tell white lies because saying "no" to a commitment is too scary? We talk about this and more in this episode of Help Wanted. 

Valerie hates The Hobbit but likes the many meals a hobbit eats. Are dens still a thing?
Does any living happen in a living room? 
Regina shares tips to stop feeling overwhelmed from Katie Den Oudin, and halfway reveals the identity of her imaginary tv boyfriend, a guy named Brian from Staten Island who sometimes wears a sports coat.  
Part of avoiding overcommitment is knowing what your hell yeses are and your hell nos. Valerie's number one hell no: book clubs. 

Valerie shares some tips on how to say "NO" gracefully. (Shout Nein! and then curtsy), followed by a discussion on hug rape and is hiring a French maid helpful? Or just another point of stress?
Jan 5, 2016

Is it ever appropriate to contact an ex? Do we seek validation from our past loves? Regina's ex creepily contacts  her. Valerie believes you can be friends with ex and frequency of contact can increase the farther away they live and lengthier the time you've spent apart. She thinks maybe there's an equation somewhere in that theory. Justin "Throw Some Skin in the Game" Dehn is a big believer in a 3 to 6 month post-breakup moratorium on talking to exes. He's the most mature, highest road taker when it comes to running into exes. Regina and Valerie share tips about when it's appropriate (on a birthday or when someone dies) and when it's not (when you're drunk and lonely or you need some wood hauled) to reach out to an ex. And the whole gang brainstorms ideas for getting over an ex: banging a drum at a sweat lodge, visiting Haiti, or blowing it out a little with some Montreal rebound sex. #ThereforeTrue #PainIsHard

Dec 29, 2015
Are you making New Year's resolutions? Do they stick? Or are they forgotten the second week of January?
Regina vows to date herself and her city in 2016; she wants to re-fall in love with both. Valerie wishes she could commit to a morning routine like seven highly effective people on five different continents. Whatever you resolve this year, Help Wanted shares some tips from Amy Morin, a woman who knows how to make a goal stick.
Dec 22, 2015

Do you take risks in your life? Or are you too afraid? Margie Warrell, author of Brave and Stop Playing It Safe, suggests these tips to practice taking more risks in your life:

1. Acknowledging Your Fear.

2. Taming Your Fear.

3. Harnessing the Power of Your Fear.

We visit with Britney Salyer, a risk taker, who spent 3 years Eat-Pray-Loving in SE Asia, a land of helmet-less motorbiking toddlers and breakfast-for-dinner eaters. In short, a land of risk takers. Britney tells us about hostile hostels and nearly dying in Phnom Penh. Valerie mispronounces Phuket, and we learn Regina watches a lot of TV. Plus a risk-taking quiz listeners can take along with us to determine if they have the balls to bungee jump through life or if they'd rather read a book while staying at a resort of nerdy introverts.

Dec 16, 2015

We talk about the grossest-tasting, yet, best-working wellness vitamins, Instacart, parents, nightmare next door neighbors, and murder-rapists (mapists). How will Valerie deal with her mom bringing all of the sugar from the upper Midwest to Austin for the holidays? Regina has tips on gift-giving, guilt-ridden gifts, and bow overcompensation. Wanna know how to have an effective breakdown around your family in the organic dairy section of the grocery store? Valerie's got the answers. If you'd rather learn about how to deal with family over the holidays sans breakdowns, we have tips from the  much more qualified Therese Borchard. Last but not least, how helpful are gift cards and aromatherapy diffusers? 

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