Dr. Janelle Junkin is a lot of things—musician, community music therapist, humor researcher, activist. And, her work brings her to some of humanity’s most challenging places, from conducting research in post-genocide Rwanda to providing music therapy to children in hospice. But the throughline for all her service is a recognition that no one is disposable, everyone has something to offer, and, no matter what you’re doing, you can’t take yourself too seriously.
In the second episode of In Stitches Podcast, we explore Janelle’s wide-ranging work with affected communities and the importance for mental health providers to receive care of their own. Plus, Janelle shares the role humor plays in her personal coping as well as her academic research on creativity and humor.
Dr. Junkin brings joy and strength—and, sometimes, a good laugh to some of the most challenging places. And the world is better off for it.
Within the DNA of all comedy communities is the desire and willingness to help in the face of tragic events. The Hampton Roads area felt it deeply after May 31st and has banded together to create this event supporting the victims’ families. I believe laughter is the surprise recognition that we are not alone. It brings us closer to one another. It doesn’t erase the event, pain or fear, but sharing in a positive experience in the wake of darkness could often be a step towards healing. If you are near Town Center tomorrow (July 14th), stop in to the Virginia Beach Funny Bone for their Comedy Marathon between noon and midnight in support of the community. #VBStrong