Anna David's Launch Pad

Actress and artist Jemima Kirke came on the podcast. Yes, those are thrilling words to write. This is not only exciting because she’s luminous, talented and plays Jessa on freaking Girls but also because she has a history with substances that you don’t hear many people share about.

 

After a wild youth, which included multi-day benders and bouts of depression, Kirke showed up at her mom’s in early 20s, saying she was ready for rehab. She went from one treatment center to the next, finding enough fault with the program there for her to be kicked out (but not before meeting the man she eventually married, who happens to now own a sober living).

 

After years of staying sober and doing the 12-step thing, Kirke began to question whether the one-size-fits-all philosophy about addiction applied to her. And so she had a drink. Contrary to what she’d been told, nothing bad happened. That was a few years ago and in that time, she’s watched her career rise to superstardom and embraced motherhood (in addition to the two kids she has with her husband, she is also the step-mother to his kids from a previous marriage).

 

In this episode, we talk about self-hatred, rehabs just out to take your money and if meeting your future spouse in treatment is “trauma bonding,” among other topics.

 

DO YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY? DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE TO WRITING A MEMOIR HERE!

Direct download: Jemima_Kirke_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

What is there to say about Moby that hasn’t already been said?

The legendary musician, who burst onto the scene with his fifth studio album, Play, is also a DJ, photographer and soon-to-be memoirist (we all know he’s a descendant of Herman Melville, right?) And it’s not just his own music he’s had a hand in; the active animal rights supporter has remixed, co-written and produced music for many of the other greats.

But let's talk about how, in his 40s, he launched into a whole new life: after a bout with sobriety when he was a Christian, Moby developed this reputation as something of a puritan. But he was actually boozing it up, as well as taking plenty of recreational illegal substances, while he brought the party back to his place. It wasn’t until he got to his 40s and the hangovers started to get debilitating that he started to look at the possibility of sobriety. Now he’s years into the sober game and growing all the time. In this episode, he and I talk about deciding to get sober, relapsing, how unappealing the thought of having just a drink or two is and and the fact that people still come up to him on the street to thank him for the epic parties he used to have, among many other topics.

Direct download: Moby_podcast_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Georgia Hardstark has blown up since she and Karen Kilgariff launched the mega popular My Favorite Murder podcast.

But what was she up to before that?

This episode—a re-release from several years ago—focuses on exactly that.

So who is Georgia Hardstark?

Find out everything and more in this ep.

Direct download: georgia_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:20am PST

Bestselling author, ultra-endurance athlete, plant-based nutrition advocate and sober father Rich Roll has been hailed as one of the world’s fittest men. He also graduated from Stanford and Cornell Law and built up a successful law practice, all while drowning in alcohol. Then, after years of sobriety, he realized he was anesthetizing himself with food the way he had with drinking and what started out as a cleanse turned into—well, one of the world’s fittest men. Here, we talk about familial expectations, being an alcoholic in New York and the spiritual aspects of recovery as well as the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, among many other things.

THIS IS A RE-RELEASE OF AN OLD EPISODE AS WE PREP FOR THE SHOW RE-VAMP (get excited)!

Direct download: ROLL_2019_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Marc Maron appeared on the podcast in 2017, back when the focus of the show was on addiction and recovery. This re-release covers his life BEFORE Obama strolled over to his garage for an interview, before he was starring on Glow...essentially when he was already huge but not the hugest.

The legendary comedian and host of the immensely popular WTF podcast needs no introduction but I'm giving him one anyway: Marc Maron has spent a couple of decades honing his craft, has appeared on Conan more than 40 times and is essentially the person responsible for putting podcasting on the map.

Direct download: Maron_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Professional athlete Lewis Howes and host of the podcast The School of Greatness is also what’s known as lifestyle entrepreneur.
The short version of the story is this: sidelined by an injury while playing professional football, Howes had no money, nowhere to live and no interest in doing anything but the sport that he could no longer do.
 
So he took to his computer and managed to become a social media maven in just a few years, earning millions in the process and then coaching and inspiring many others to do the same.
 
As it turns out, he was also dealing with having been sexually abused as a child—an event he never shared with anyone until recently. Now he’s doing what he does: telling others about it so that they can be released from their own shame and then become, as he would say, great. In this episode, he and I talk about dreams, passion, finding inspiration and handling adversity, among many other topics.
 
This is a re-release of one of my most popular episodes from years ago. Enjoy it now that Lewis has become one of the darlings of podcasting—and arguably the world!
 

Could a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.

Direct download: lewis_lp.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Dr. Neeta Bhushan is a former cosmetic dentist turned best-selling author, international speaker, social entrepreneur, advocate of emotional health, and leadership coach.
 
She helps entrepreneurs own their story, create their message in the form of books to chart their next big chapter.
 
She conducts Book To Bestseller workshops, and optimizes businesses to scale their message, their business, and their impact.
Despite having met Neeta a few times, I had no idea what her back story was until this interview—in short, how she was orphaned t a young age, survived an abusive marriage of domestic violence, faced homelessness and essentially defines gritting out of the dark. (Her book is called Emotional Grit, natch.)
 
Would a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.
Direct download: Neeta_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Melyna Harrison is a 7 Figure Entrepreneur and a business coach. While that's amazing, the craziest part of her story is where she was able to build that from.
 
See, she and her husband were doing just fine—his business was moving along, they had a couple kids—when, out of nowhere, they lost everything.
 
She realized she could feel sorry for herself or she could do something.
 
She chose the latter.
 
That led to her becoming a network marketing leader, with 300,000 people under her.
 
Yes, 300,000.
 
How did she do that—while continuing to be a wife and mother (they now have four kids in all)?
 
Hear all about that—and about why she chooses to tell people about her life's darker sides—in this episode.
 
Would a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.
Direct download: Melyna_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Nick Sonnenberg is a serial entrepreneur, business efficiency consultant, Inc. columnist and author of the book Idea to Execution. He is the founder and CEO of Leverage and Efficient Frontier Solutions, as well as co-founder of the Bullseye Mastermind Group. And he's worked with every big business name in the book, from Tony Robbins to Jay Abraham.
 
He's also always seemed, to me, to be the ultimate example of someone who's 100% "together," whatever that's come to mean today. He's also always seemed, to use another word that can conjure up a variety of concepts, "fancy." So I was very surprised to hear that he's the first person in his family to go to college and that he struggled in school with ADD.
 
In this conversation, he talked about how it was that very struggle that led to his success. Listen to hear us chat about mentors, books and more.
 
Would a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.
Direct download: Nick_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

After surviving multiple near-death experiences and impacting millions of lives through his books, Hal Elrod is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one person at a time.
 
As the bestselling author of one of the highest-rated books in the world, The Miracle Morning, and his newest book, The Miracle Equation, he is doing exactly that.
 
He is also perhaps the kindest person I have ever met. I learned this when I met him at a college speaking event over a decade ago and it was reinforced during my process of working on The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery with him.
 
In this episode, he shares multiple gems—including how doctors thought he must have been in denial when he cheerfully accepted the news that he'd never walk again, what the word "acceptance" really means and how a lesson he learned in sales training has changed his entire outlook on life...among many other things.
 
Would a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.
Direct download: Hal_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert and bestselling author of The Art of SEO, Social eCommerce, & Google Power Search. He founded the SEO agency Netconcepts (acquired in 2010) and is now part of a multi-billion dollar ad agency conglomerate.
 
He's optimized websites for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Chanel, Volvo, Sony, and Zappos and hosts two popular podcast shows: Get Yourself Optimized & Marketing Speak.
He's also overcome circumstances that would have destroyed most, including a childhood of constant moving and foster homes. But it was during this childhood, where he was left on his own to take care of himself, that he learned computers...which led him to where he is now: as one of the world's leading experts on Search Engine Optimization.
 
In this episode, we discussed resilience, Tony Robbins, proposing in a hot air balloon...and much, much more.
 
Would a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.
Direct download: stephan_interview_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Shauna Faulisi is the CEO of Soul Wellness Method, a nutrition and wellness practice that's gained a loyal online following and high-profile clientele by teaching an accessible approach to holistic health.
As a celebrity chef and nutritionist, she's been featured in places like Vogue, HuffPost, WGSN, The Zoe Report and PopSugar.
 
As a former model who moved to New York after college, however, Shauna experienced loneliness, which she coped with by developing some not-so-healthy eating habits. Getting her own diet in order led to her helping a celebrity get in shape for a role and then building an entire business around nutrition and wellness.
 
Would a book help your business? Click here to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com.
Direct download: Shauna_interview_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Emily Fletcher is the founder of Ziva Meditation and the creator of zivaONLINE, a powerful 15 day training in mindfulness, meditation and manifesting. She is considered the leading expert on meditation for performance and has spoken at Google, Harvard Business School, Apple and been named one of the top 100 women in wellness to watch.
 
In this episode—taken from my Apple TV show—we talked about all those accomplishments, but also what led to them...namely being on Broadway, with all her dreams allegedly coming true, cowering under a table because she couldn't handle the anxiety.
 
We also touched on why meditation is good for your sex life. Yep, we covered all the bases—so to speak—here.
Direct download: Emily_Fletcher_interview_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Emily Lynn Paulson is an author, network marketing leader, certified professional recovery coach, and a member of the long-term recovery community. Formally trained as a chemist and a teacher, she rose to success in the top tiers of a direct marketing skincare company, where she gained her voice and a platform for sobriety and healing. Emily's on Instagram at @highlightrealrecovery and lives in Seattle with her husband and their five children.
 
Sober since January 2, 2017, her recovery path is focused on ruthless honesty, grace, and self-love. She is passionate about connecting women with resources for recovery from trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse, and believes that sharing our truth with each other is the best resource of all.
 
And you get to hear all about it in this special two-part episode! Why a two-parter, you ask? Because my company is the proud publisher of Emily's first book, Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life. which was just released and has been called an "instant classic in the recovery genre." We did our first interview when we were just embarking on the project together and our second as we were coming up on the book release.
If you've ever wanted to know the behind-the-scenes as a writer prepares to share her dark to find her light, it's all in this episode.
 
Do you want to know if you should work with Launch Pad to share your story? Fill out a form at www.launchpadclientform.com to find out.
 
Direct download: Emily_Done_2.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Rory Vaden is the New York Times bestselling author of Take the Stairs. His insights have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur, Inc, on Fox News national television and in several other major media outlets. As a world-renowned speaker, His Tedx talk has been viewed nearly 3 million times, he is a 2x World Champion of Public Speaking Finalist, has been called one of the top 100 speakers in the world by Inc Magazine and was recently inducted into the professional speakers Hall of Fame. He is the Co-Founder of Brand Builders Group where he teaches people to build their influence, their reputation and their personal brand.
 
But we didn't talk about that...well, we didn't talk ONLY about that, anyway. We also chatted about being born in a trailer park, moving multiple times throughout childhood and the keys to success.
 
We also talked about his SPECIAL GIFT only for you guys: a free call to talk about building your brand. To schedule it, go to www.brandbuildersgroup.com/lighthustle/
Direct download: Rory_Done_2.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Brian Kurtz has been a serial direct marketer for almost 40 years. Just how successful has he been at that, you ask? Well, in his first job, company revenues went from approximately $5 million (in 1981) to a high of over $150 million (in 2006).
 
His first book, The Advertising Solution, was released in October of 2017 while his second book, Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing, was released in April of 2019.
 
Well, that last book release didn't exactly go as planned. How? Well, most people find book releases stressful but Brian's was more stressful than most: he had a stroke that week.
 
The experience changed everything for him. Hear how in this episode. And get a copy of Overdeliver, as well as the crazy amazing bonuses he has overdelivered at overdeliverbook.com.
 
DO YOU HAVE A BOOK IN YOU? GO TO WWW.FUTUREAUTHORQUIZ.COM TO FIND OUT.
Direct download: zm8bn9bfdjtv7cxssduj.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Natasha Case is the CEO and co-founder of Coolhaus, which is the is the leading women-owned ice cream business at grocery stores. If you're craving it right now, have no fear: it can be found in 7,500+ gourmet grocery stores.
 
She has been named a Forbes 30 under 30 Food & Beverage, Zagat 30 Under 30, Linked in 10 under 35 for Food & Leisure, and was recently named UCLA LGBTQ+ 2019 Alum of the Year. She co-hosts the podcast, ‘Start to Sale’ through Eater/Vox Media.
 
She is also my business idol; in fact, when I first started brainstorming the entrepreneurs I wanted to interview, she was at the top of my list. (YES I said that last week - if you listen in sequential order - and here's the crazy part: Suzy Batiz and Natasha Case are my TWO business idols and both of these interviews actually happened on THE SAME DAY.)
 
Anyway...it was a true delight to discover that she's funny, cool...and very open about the challenges of opening a business with her life partner. Listen to find out how a business that started with an engine-less truck purchased off of Craig's List has evolved into a $500+ business...and the struggles that came along with it.
 
Should you be sharing your story? Go to www.futureauthorquiz.com from your computer to find out.
Direct download: Natasha_Case_Done_1.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Suzy Batiz is the founder of Poo~Pourri and supernatural.
She experienced some of life’s lowest lows — poverty, sexual and domestic abuse, depression, two bankruptcies and a suicide attempt — which led to what she calls the luxury of losing everything. After harnessing the power of intuition, her journey led her to building her businesses from the ground up without ever taking a dollar of outside investment. Suzy harnessed the power of true transformation and turned ALIVE IDEAS into a $500+ million empire.
 
She's been featured by leading publications including Forbes, CNBC, Fast Company and Entrepreneur. She has been named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women in America (2019), EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2017), Conscious Company’s World Changing Women (2019), EarthX’s Community Leader of the Year (2019) and is WBENC (Women Owned) certified business owner. She's given presentations for Conscious Capitalism, Google, HustleCon, SXSW, Create & Cultivate & the In goop Health summit.
 
AND she was my dream guest...my White Whale, if you will. And I got her! She does not disappoint. Listen if you want to hear the clearest explanation I've ever gotten on how early life challenges play into success and so much more.
 
Should you be telling your story? Go to www.futureauthorquiz.com from your computer to find out.
Direct download: Suzy_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Joseph A. Clark, CFP, is a Certified Financial Planner and has been in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. He is the Managing Partner of The Financial Enhancement Group, LLC, an asset management and financial planning firm based in central Indiana. The firm currently manages more than $450 million serving families in 31 states. Joe is also a former Adjunct Assistant Professor at Purdue University, having taught the Capstone course for the Financial Counseling and Planning program for 7 years. He is a Charter Member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group and has appeared on various national and local media outlets. Joe writes a weekly column for The Herald Bulletin and is the host of a weekly radio show called “Consider This” that airs on WIBC Saturday’s 6-7am, as well as other stations throughout the country.   

But we didn't talk about any of those accomplishments during our chat. Oh, no. We talked about WHY he accomplished so much, in particular the way his childhood struggles and the vagaries of life contributed to his success. Do you remember looking for a friend during recess? Do you want to know how that relates to managing money? Listen to find out more.

Direct download: Big_Joe_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:20am PST

Katie DePaola is an entrepreneur, author and the founder of Inner Glow Circle. Exactly one hundred days after opening her business, Katie’s brother died from an accidental overdose. Also a Lyme Disease survivor, she built her business from her bathtub, taking the company from self-funded startup to million-dollar business. Katie has turned her greatest challenges into her greatest opportunities and says her business is what saved her life. Through certification programs, memberships and online courses, Katie has taught thousands of women how to “glow through what they go through.”
 
In this episode, we dove deep into things I've silently pondered forever...like if people who wonder why we're all on this planet are smarter or just more depressed than others, whether or not shifting your mindset is a decision or moment of grace and of course the role struggle plays in success. We also decided to become friends. Don't miss this one! Well, don't miss any of them. But especially don't miss this one.
 
Should you be sharing your story? Take the quiz to find out: www.futureauthorquiz.com or https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/5d168d0f1d45c90014e00b0b
Direct download: Katie_Done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Paul Ollinger is a nationally-touring stand-up comedian, author, Ivy League MBA, former Facebook sales leader and host of the podcast Crazy Money.
 
What this means, between the lines: he was one of the first 250 Facebook employees, which means that...well, he was able to retire at the age of 42.
 
But does that make him successful? That's what we discussed here—getting into the fact that he discovered he loved stand-up comedy while in business school (ie, the last place on earth you go to discover you want to go into one of the least financially rewarding careers imaginable), how he still worries about the gas bill even after his Facebook windfall and the ways he tries to raise his kids to appreciate and understand money.
 
This type of conversation is exactly what I'd hoped to be able to have when I decided on the new version of the podcast. Warning: if you listen to it, you may come away with different definitions for "struggle" and "success" than you ever had before.
 
Have you ever wondered if you should write a book? Go to www.futureauthorquiz.com to get the answer.
 
Direct download: Paul_O_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Tony Grebmeier describes himself as a husband and father first and then an entrepreneur, podcast host, journal creator, and host of the BEFULFILLED community.
 
It's this value system that may be what's most responsible for his success. While he's best-known for building a multi-million dollar business, it's his mission in life to create a community where entrepreneurs know they can achieve anything they want despite their past.
 
Sober since 2008, Tony had gotten to the point where he was alienated from his family and suicidal when he was able to rediscover meaning in his life. His main message when it comes to finding personal and professional success is to find a community. But his second one is to try to understand where you come from so you can make sense of who you are.
 
There's a reason I'm partnering with Tony on his BeFulfilled journals: the guy gets it. I'm therefore thrilled to present him as the first guest on this new incarnation of the podcast.
 
Have you struggled on your way to success and would the journey make a good book? Take this quiz to find out!
Direct download: Tony_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

As the podcast moves into this new incarnation, it felt important to really break down what the words "struggle" and "success" really mean.
 
Here's why: I've discussed the podcast's new focus with people and I keep finding that they assume I'll be talking to people about their business challenges.
 
While that will definitely be part of the conversation, the main thing I want to get at here is WHY so many successful people have had life throw so many struggles their way... particularly in childhood. I want to get at what made these people use their struggles to fuel their journey, rather than allowing it to bring them down.
 
And so I brought Lauren Wallett back to the pod to chat this idea out. In this episode, we talk about Oprah, escaping your family and how money can and can't make you happy, among many other topics.
Direct download: Lauren_StoS_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Name change time! Yes, the podcast formerly known as AfterPartyPod, Recover Girl and Light Hustler is now transitioning into Struggle to Success, where I'm going to be interviewing some of the world's highest achieving people about how they've been able to make their greatest struggles into their greatest success. While I'll still be talking to some people about their issues with addiction and journey into recovery, I'll also be chatting with folks about other struggles and journeys.
 
I'm so excited about this transition and thrilled about some of the people I've lined up as guests. Look out for the first Struggle to Success episode next week and please know how grateful I am to you for sticking with the show through its many incarnations.
Direct download: transition_episode_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Mike Bayer, also known as Coach Mike, is Founder and CEO of CAST Centers and author of the Best Self: Be You, Only Better.
 
His career began over 12 years ago as a mental health and addiction counselor. After a residency at The Hazelden Foundation, Mike spent five years in the field and became one of the leading interventionists in the country. He did crisis consulting for several of the country’s top treatment programs, including the Hazelden Foundation.
 
Fifteen years ago, he founded CAST Centers, a treatment center that provides a network of professional support – including doctors, psychologists, counselors, and instructors – to help clients heal and improve their mental health, emotional health, and their overall well-being.
 
He's a regular contributor to Dr. Phil, television’s #1-rated daytime talk show. He's also on the Dr. Phil Advisory Board, which consists of 18 of the most accomplished and respected health care professionals in the country.
 
In this episode, we discussed how you go from struggling with addiction to coaching high-end clients and then becoming a weekly Dr. Phil guest and selling over 100,000 copies of your first book.
 
Direct download: mike_bayer_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Lauren Wallett is a woman of many occupations: business coach, personal coach, writer and my co-host on SHE-E-O, among other things.
 
We spend an insane amount of time together and this episode is real fly-on-wall stuff: basically what we talk about when there aren't mics around (btw the mics got screwed up and so the interview was done on my Iphone...sorry if it sounds wonky).
 
Only listen if you want to hear us confess those things we normally don't—getting into being attracted to dysfunctional men, STD's, skin picking and much more.
 
Oh, yeah.
Direct download: lauren_iphone._Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kevin Chiu is the co-founder of Catalyst, an NYC-based startup that has raised $5.5M from top venture capitalists like True Ventures & Work-Bench to build a customer data platform that helps tech companies reduce user churn and increase product adoption. Prior to starting Catalyst, he led sales teams at fast-growing companies like Greenhouse Software and DigitalOcean. Kevin also recently received the Forbes 30under30 award for Enterprise Technology entrepreneurs.
 
He is also two years sober, after a series of incidents that showed him he may have a drinking problem (including a time he got mugged while in a blackout). If you want to know the secret to getting sober and then raising millions of dollars, this one is a must-listen.
Direct download: Kevin_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:33pm PST

In 2014, Willam (Bill) Freer launched the first Family & Friends SMART Recovery meeting in Washington, DC. He was elected to the SMART Recovery Board in 2017 and was named chair of its first Communications Committee. That same year, he became a founding Board member of SMART Recovery International. He helped write the SMART Recovery Five-Year Strategic Plan: Freedom from Addiction.
 
Now serving as President of SMART Recovery, Bill was a guest on our recent Light Hustle retreat where we were able to sit down and chat about the history of SMART, why this program appeals to certain types and how they have a special rule about how you can't trash AA, among other topics.
Direct download: bill_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Todd Zalkins is an addiction specialist, private counselor, interventionist, and public speaker.
 
The author of the memoir, Dying for Triplicate, Zalkins was the subject of the award-winning documentary The Long Way Back: The Story of Todd “Z-Man” Zalkins, which documented his own descent into addiction as well as his relationship with the band members of Sublime.
 
Todd is the Founder and CEO of Four Keys, Inc., an integrative enterprise that encompasses four major aspects of recovery: interventions, treatment recommendation, private counseling, and public speaking & education.
 
We got to know each other at the recent Light Hustle Publishing retreat, where we talked about sharing our stories, ate s'mores (Todd's first!) and sat down to record a chat about addiction, publishing and what it was like growing up in the belly of the beast.
Direct download: todd_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

We break from our regular programming of stories and interviews for a guided meditation designed to help you get in your body, breathe and then access the part of you necessary to share your story.
 
If you think you may have a story inside of you but haven't been sure how to access it, give this meditation a try.
 
We'll be back next week with another interview. But in the meantime, why not give this a try?
Direct download: meditation_Done_2.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 7:59am PST

Mia is a teetotaling NYC broad currently living in LA. She gave up drinking in September of 2015 when she finally stopped ignoring the fact that she would never live the life she so craved if she didn't remove the booze. After nearly 4 years of living this unmasked lifestyle, she has organically created a community online of like-hearted women. Mia is currently facilitating alcohol-free adventure retreats, hosting book club circles and will soon be launching her signature Get High Naturally Breathwork and Coaching programs for the Gray Area Drinker.
 
In this episode, we talked about finding a community in recovery, how sobriety may give you a "second" marriage and getting out of your comfort zone, among many other topics.
Direct download: Mia_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Ruby Warrington is a British writer and thought leader currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Formerly Features Editor on the UK Sunday Times Style magazine, in 2012 she launched The Numinous, a cosmic lifestyle platform that updates all things "new age" for life in the Now Age. Ruby also works as a consultant, while other projects include "sober curious" event series Club SÖDA NYC and spiritual coaching program Moon Club.
 
Author of Material Girl, Mystical World, Ruby's second book, Sober Curious, was published on December 31 2018. Offering an eye-opening new way to think about our relationship with alcohol, Sober Curious reveals the enormous benefits that come from unlearning the mindless habit of drinking and embracing the life-enhancing choice of sobriety: greater joy, clarity, confidence, and connection.
 
In this episode, we talked about what it means to be sober curious, the importance of sharing our stories and why one should never sign a new business deal when Mercury is in Retrograde, among many other topics.
Direct download: Ruby_Done_1.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Omar Pinto is a Life Transformation Coach, Addiction Recovery Specialist and Lifestyle Entrepreneur who hosts the popular SHAIR podcast.
 
He took his last drink and hit of cocaine in May 25, 2003. This was the beginning of his journey into personal development.
 
Over the next 15 years he would completely transform his life - Mind, Body and Spirit. It took him four years to successfully complete the 12-Step recovery process in Narcotics Anonymous.
 
He launched SHAIR in February 2014 and it now boasts over 1 million downloads. Omar has also cultivated a thriving Facebook Community with over 5,000 members and runs a successful personal development Life Coaching business.
 
Today, Omar is living his dreams by helping people transform their lives and become the best version of themselves, working remotely from his home office with clients from all over the world, continuing to learn and grow as a coach all while living in Costa Rica with his beautiful wife and daughter.
Direct download: omar_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Arlina Allen is many things. A Silicon Valley executive, she is also a writer, the host of The ODAAT Chat podcast and the founder of Sober Life School. Sober since 1994, she's been married for 21 years and is the mother of two teenage boys.
 
In her own words...
 
"When I was 25 I hit rock bottom.
 
I had managed to alienate my family and all my friends. Although I was ambitious, my drinking and using was getting the way of my sales career. My heart was broken after ending a relationship and I had no evidence that I would ever feel different.
 
I stood at the abyss and I had to make a decision.
 
Through a series of fortunate events, I managed to find a community of people who had overcome their addictions and were willing to help me do the same.
 
These people changed the entire trajectory of my life.
 
I started out feeling lost, full of self loathing, demoralized and hopeless. But after a short time, my life began to transform. I felt a new zest for life. I began to see life beyond addiction. It was as if the veil in front of my eyes had lifted and I could see a path to the life I had always dreamed of.
 
All I ever needed was the right information, the right support and the willingness to do the necessary work. For that, I will be forever grateful.
 
After this type of “near death” experience, it is human nature to want to shout the message of recovery to the entire world."
 
In this episode, we talk about long-term sobriety, dating cops and why it's so important to share your story with the world.
 
Direct download: arlina_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Anna David is a NY Times bestselling author, journalist, occasional TV talking head, coach, creator of this podcast, CEO of Light Hustle Publishing and the person typing these words.
 
This story involves the time she opted to respond to a missive from a stranger that read "I'm hot and you're hot; plus, I'm sober and you're sober."
 
But was he sober? Well, that's something she found out more about when he moved from LA to New York to be with her. Just how did this love story end? You're going to have to listen to find out.
Direct download: anna.newcomer_dating_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Bucky Sinister s a stand-up comedian and author of nine books, including Black Hole: A Novel and Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks and Weirdos.
 
He's told many stories at numerous shows—including one where he brought a now-deceased friend (in an urn) up on stage with him—but it's safe to say this is the most graphic tale he's told at a Light Hustler show.
 
Just how does a story about dating a mysterious woman with a mohawk get graphic? Let's just say it has to do with a tattoo of hers he discovered in an intimate moment.
 
Want to know what in God's name that means? You're going to have to listen.
Direct download: bucky.homeless_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Lauren Wallet is an award-nominated actress and director who starred on the South African reality show My Top Billing Dream, has been interviewed on national television since she was nine years old, and ran Star Quality Performing Art School and Fame Academy in South Africa.
 
The story she told starts off innocently enough—a nice night out in South Africa with a few new friends but quickly devolved into flying across the world for a romantic adventure with a guy she met in a blackout.
 
Direct download: lauren_sfo_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Matt Lieb is a comedian, writer, and actor from Los Angeles. As a stand up comedian in San Francisco, he was named one of the “2016 Best Comedians in the Bay Area” by SFist and has performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2017, SF Skecthfest 2013-2017, and the 10,000 Laughs Festival in Minneapolis.
 
Matt’s comedy has been featured on the VICELAND, Hulu, SeeSo, and Gabriel Iglesias’ “Stand Up Revolution Radio” on SiriusXM. Currently, Matt is a correspondent on Emmy Nominated short form series The Star Wars Show, a writer/performer on Newsbroke on AJ+, and staff writer for Audible’s original series Bedtime Stories for Cynics with Nick Offerman, where he has written for David Spade, Tommy Chong, Nick Thune, and more.
 
In this story, he talked about an attempt to get clean from heroin which ended with a realization that he could get high one last time, in his childhood bedroom, if he was willing to use a turkey baster to inject drugs into a place that sun doesn't shine.
 
Yep, that place.
 
Direct download: matt_lieb_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Matt Gallagher is an actor and comedian who has performed all around New York and Los Angeles. His work can also be seen on CBS, ESPN, The History Channel, and MTV. He created and starred in the popular live storytelling series THE STORY CELLAR with Jessica Wood, and you can see his first one hour special, A Stumble in the Woods, on Amazon now.
 
In this story, Matt delves into a night he decided to try acid. And then decided to do more acid. And then decided to get into a cage with a bull. Yep. It's all true. Listen and you'll find out.
 
If you want to find out what happened, you have to listen.
 
SHOULD YOU BE SHARING YOUR STORY? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!
Direct download: matt_g.acid_Done_1.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Anna David isn't just the person writing these words. She's also the NY Times bestselling author of seven books, TV talking head, journalist and blah blah.
 
In this episode (taken from the Light Hustler live storytelling show), she/I tells/tell a story about an early sobriety "date" with a movie star, who taught her/me that the glamorous life may not be all it's cracked up to be.
Direct download: Anna_babysitting.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kane Holloway is a Seattle native who resides in sunny L.A. Kane is a nationally touring comedian, podcast host and he has performed on "Laughs on Fox." He has appeared on VH1's "Walk of Shame Shuttle," "FNX Comedy Experience" and started the Podaholics comedy network. You can hear his comedy album "See What I Did There?" On iTunes.
 
In this episode, he talks about a night he and his friend stole his dad's car but also delves into a potential answer to the age-old question: what happened when you see your friend wearing his pants as a shirt?

Direct download: Kane_dec_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

A native of West Texas, Debi Hall has appeared on film and performed in Dallas as well as in Story Salon, BackStory, I Love A Good Story in Los Angeles. She’s written story collections for performance, a collection of screenplays and several novels.
 
In this episode, she tells a story about the surprising way she found to handle a low point in her sobriety.

Direct download: Debi_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Eddie Pepitone has appeared on numerous hit TV shows, including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show and Law and Order. He’s performed at some of the biggest venues in the comedy scene including The Improv, Caroline’s on Broadway, Largo at the Coronet, and both the LA and NY Upright Citizens Brigade Theaters. He hosts the popular comedy podcast Pep Talks and is the subject of The Bitter Buddha.

In this episode, he touches on adult coloring books and a number of other non-sequiturs but ultimately zeroes in on his favorite topic: the fact that we're living in the end of times.

If you want to hear him speculating on the sort of shares people might have in meetings when they've had to fight for their lives to arrive there (and you do), you have to hear this one.

Direct download: Eddie_dec_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 7:19am PST

Melanie Vessey co-starred with Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon and performs all over at major comedy clubs and festivals. Her comedy special/album #WildAnimal will be available in November.
 
She is also a fierce talent who has been sober over two decades—a fact she shares about in ways that may make you pee your pants.

To hear her story about long-term recovery, which includes performing for naked Trump supporters, download this episode ASAP.

Direct download: Melanie_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Anna David is, well, someone who writes about herself in the 3rd person out of the misconception that you will believe someone else is writing this. She writes books and articles, talks on TV and stages and tells stories about things like relapsing on 4.5 hits of ecstasy, which you can hear here...

Direct download: Anna_Done_3_NEW.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kristin Casey is a recovered alcoholic and addict who’s survived clinical depression, numerous addictions, the panhandle of Texas and 17 years of Catholicism.

Her first book, Rock Monster, documents a tumultuous six-year relationship with rock legend and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, their drug-fueled train-wreck breakup and her ensuing suicidal spiral. Unlike every other affair-with-a-rock-star book I’ve ever read, however, it is as literary and poignant as it is salacious and gripping.

In addition to writing for The Foliate Oak Literary MagazineThe Nervous BreakdownFrom The Asylum$pread, and elsewhere, Kristin works in the field of sex therapy as an intimacy coach and IPSA trained Surrogate Partner Intern.

In this episode, we talked about letting go of resentments before writing a book, what exactly an intimacy coach is, why the writers who succeed are the ones who keep going in the face of rejection and who, really, was the monster in her story, among many other topics.

Direct download: kristin_casey_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 6:27pm PST

Annie Grace is the bestselling author of the hit book, This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life as well as the just-released The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-Day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control. Her unique approach has helped thousands of people change their relationship with alcohol by looking at their subconscious beliefs about drinking that are at odds with their conscious desire to live alcohol free.

In this episode, we discussed how her book became successful, what sobriety really means and what it all has to do with a famed back doctor, among many other topics.

Direct download: annie_grace_Done.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Amy Dresner is a former professional stand-up comic, having appeared at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and The Improv. Since 2012, she has been a contributing editor of the online addiction and recovery magazine TheFix.com. She’s also written for the Good Men Project, The Frisky, Refinery 29, and has been a regular contributor to Addiction.com and PsychologyToday.com, where she has her own addiction blog entitled “Coming Clean.” Her first book, My Fair Junkie, was released in 2017 and is now available in paperback.

In this episode (from the Light Hustler live storytelling show in LA), Amy tells a very funny story about how she met a woman at an AA meeting who made her think she was gay. Spoiler alert: she’s not. How did she realize that? You’re going to have to listen to find out.

Direct download: Amy_Done.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Once upon a time, I wrote a book called Party Girl. I was very proud of it and had high hopes it would be made into an audio book and movie. Alas, those dreams were dashed. But just like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, the dreams are now alive!

It’s actually not nearly that dramatic. But there is renewed movie interest in the book (optioned by Martin Scorsese’s producer!) and I decided to make my own dream happen by getting the audio rights to the book back from HarperCollins and recording and releasing it on Audible myself.

And now! I’m giving the first bit of it exclusively to you guys in this episode. I do hope you like it. And then I hope you’ll go pick up a copy of the audio book. If you’re not an Audible subscriber, it’s free!

Direct download: Party_Girl_Done.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features the very funny Jessica Sele from one of my live  storytelling shows.

In her own words, Jessica Sele is a “deeply weird human being and stand-up comedian.” She’s performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and SF Sketchfest and was described by Bitch Magazine as a “hilarious and talented queer woman.”

The story she tells has to do with a fire, a crack addict just trying to be helpful and a very special cat. How do these things tie together, you ask? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out.

Direct download: jessica_S_Done.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Matt Gallagher is an actor and comedian who has performed all around New York and Los Angeles.  His work can also be seen on CBS, ESPN, The History Channel, and MTV. He created and starred in the popular live storytelling series THE STORY CELLAR with Jessica Wood, and has just completed filming on his first one hour special, A Stumble in the Woods, which will be available for streaming soon.

While this episode is from his first time appearing in my storytelling show, it certainly won't be his last. In it, he tells a seriously disturbing and yet unabashedly hilarious tale about getting deep into hard drugs. Warning: it is a bit graphic so if you're new to sobriety, this may not be for you. If you're not in danger of getting triggered, however, be prepared to laugh your ass off.

Direct download: Matt_Gallagher.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 11:27am PST

Dana Bowman speaks and writes about recovery, momhood and beating the perfection myth. An English teacher for over 20 years, she decided to take up a writing at momsieblog.com while mothering two babies. A chance submission to Glennon Doyle watched her blog go viral and she promptly landed a book deal. Her first book, Bottled, was selected as a Kansas Notable book in 2016. Her second book, How to Be Perfect Like Me, was released in August 2018 and landed her on The Today Show.

In this episode, we discuss imposter syndrome, directional dyslexia and being a recovering perfectionist, among many other topics.

Direct download: DANA_BOWMAN.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kristin Casey is a recovered alcoholic and addict who's survived clinical depression, numerous addictions, the panhandle of Texas and 17 years of Catholicism.

Her first book, Rock Monster, documents a tumultuous six-year relationship with rock legend and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, their drug-fueled train-wreck breakup and her ensuing suicidal spiral. Unlike every other affair-with-a-rock-star book I've ever read, however, it is as literary and poignant as it is salacious and gripping.

In addition to writing for The Foliate Oak Literary MagazineThe Nervous BreakdownFrom The Asylum$pread, and elsewhere, Kristin works in the field of sex therapy as an intimacy coach and IPSA trained Surrogate Partner Intern.

In this episode, we talked about letting go of resentments before writing a book, what exactly an intimacy coach is, why the writers who succeed are the ones who keep going in the face of rejection and who, really, was the monster in her story, among many other topics.

Direct download: kristin_casey_Done.mp4
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:40pm PST

Tawny Lara is an entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. She’s the founder of SobrieTea Party and Readings on Recovery™ and an award-winning filmmaker of her recovery documentary, Fixed Up. She's also the co-host (along with previous podcast guest and all-around bad ass Lisa Smith) of the hot new podcast Recovery Rocks podcast.

But she's also someone who started documenting her sobriety journey from the beginning. With so many people out there wanting to tell their story but scared to jump into the fray, Tawny serves as the perfect example of someone just getting out there, making her mark and, well...rocking it.

In this episode, we talked about growing up as a rocker, what to tell people who are thinking of sharing their stories and our random meeting at a Macklemore concert, among many other topics.

Direct download: TAWNY_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Murphy Jensen is an entrepreneur, former professional tennis player and French Open Champion. He’s also the Founder & EVP of Business Development for WEconnect Recovery, an addiction relapse prevention and real-time outcomes data platform that just raised 6 million (yep). He was ALSO one of my first friends in early recovery, back when we would hang out at our friend Allison’s place and really just wander around trying to make sense of our new lives.

In this episode (which was taken from this Facebook Live interview), Murphy and I talk about what it was like to go to meetings in pajamas, realizing you were meant to do more than teach rich people how to play tennis and whether or not those psychic readings we got in 2000 turned out to be true, among many other topics.

Direct download: murphy_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

As one of the world’s leading recovery advocates, Tim Ryan tirelessly tours the country speaking to addicts and their families. The star of A&E’s Dope Man and bestselling author of From Dope to Hope: A Man in Recovery, Ryan found recovery in prison and is committed to sharing a message of hope after losing his son to an overdose soon after finding sobriety himself.

The creator of the 501c3 A Man in Recovery, Tim is a regular subject on national media, a Global Goodwill Ambassador and was an invited guest to the State of the Union address.

He has been a featured thought leader on numerous television shows and publications, including Fox & Friends, Varney & Company, Martha MacCallumUSA Today, Newsweek, The Chicago TribuneThe Doctorsand The Steve Harvey Show, among many others.

A regular on WGN radio, Tim has also appeared repeatedly on CNN and HLN, spoken on TEDx stages and was named one of the top 100 visionary leaders in the world by Real Leaders magazine in January, 2018.

But in this episode, we didn’t talk about his resume. We talked about turning from the Dope Man into the Hope Man and the importance of sharing your story, among many other topics.

Direct download: tim_ryan_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Anna David is, well, the person writing this. In addition to writing in the third person, she's the New York Times bestselling author of six books, a contributor to The New York Times, Time, Playboy and more, a writing coach and the creator of this site/podcast/storytelling show.

In this episode, she/I tell a story about living in West Hollywood in the 90s, giving your front door key to every coke addict in the vicinity and calling the cops on yourself when you become convinced that your neighbor is trying to kill you.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Anna_neighbor.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Darren Prince is a sports and celebrity agent who has represented Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Pele, Joe Montana, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan, among many others.

He's also sober for a decade after a brutal struggle with opiate addiction.

Finally (and most importantly—to me), he's a friend.

We've spent the past year working on his memoir, Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top, and I'm thrilled to say that it's the first release from the Light Hustler Publishing imprint. Already an international bestseller in four countries, the book has been making waves all over.

In this episode, we discuss what role trauma plays in addiction, why to wait until you have some sobriety under your belt before going public and how Magic Johnson saved Darren's life, among many other things.

Direct download: DARREN_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Bucky Sinister is a stand-up comedian and author of nine books, including Black Hole: A Novel and Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks and Weirdos.

In this episode (which is from the Light Hustler live storytelling show in LA), he veers from his planned story to regale the audience about what it was like to go to poetry readings completely wasted.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Bucky_poetry.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kane Holloway is a Seattle native who resides in sunny L.A. Kane is a nationally touring comedian, podcast host and he has performed on Laughs on Fox. He has appeared on VH1's Walk of Shame Shuttle, FNX Comedy Experience and started the Podaholics comedy network. You can hear his comedy album "See What I Did There?" On iTunes.

In this episode (from the Light Hustler monthly live storytelling show), he talks about how funny it was when he drunkenly slapped someone he didn't know (spoiler alert: it wasn't funny at all).

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Kane_slap.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Eddie Pepitone is the subject of The Bitter Buddha, the critically acclaimed documentary about his life, and is also occasionally a part of his stand-up act. As a comedian and actor, he’s been on WTF and Conan repeatedly, as well as on The Last Comic Standing, The Sarah Silverman Program, Happy Endings, Flight of the Concords, 2 Broke Girls, It’s Always Sunny and so many more.

In this episode—which is from the Light Hustler live storytelling show in Los Angeles—he (hilariously) talks about why having commitments in AA is silly, how love went out a long time ago and so much more.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Eddie_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Amy Dresner is a former professional stand-up comic, having appeared at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and The Improv. Since 2012, she has been a contributing editor of the online addiction and recovery magazine TheFix.com. She’s also written for the Good Men Project, The Frisky, Refinery 29, and has been a regular contributor to Addiction.com and PsychologyToday.com, where she has her own addiction blog entitled “Coming Clean.” Her first book, My Fair Junkie, was released in 2017 and is now available in paperback.

In this episode (from the Light Hustler live storytelling show in LA), Amy talks about one of her visits to the psych ward—explaining what group therapy was like, what other residents had as goals for the day and the fellow patient who was smarter than the doctors, among other things.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Amy_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kristi Coulter holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. She is a former Ragdale Foundation resident and the recipient of a grant from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Awl, GlamourVoxThe Mississippi ReviewLongreads, and elsewhere. Her debut essay collection, Nothing Good Can Come from This, was published by MCD Books/FSG Originals in August 2018. She lives in Seattle, where she is working on her next book. 

We talked about Nothing Good Can Come From This, being a high-functioning alcoholic and what happens when a story you write goes viral, among many other things.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: kristi_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Dr. Jamie Marich is an EMDR bad-ass. Sure, that's a kind of crazy way to identify someone but it's what our medical consultant (and previous podcast guest) Dr. Josh Lichtman (not to mention everyone else) says about her.

Her are her stats: she travels internationally teaching on EMDR therapy, trauma, addiction, expressive arts, yoga and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. She is the founder and director of The Institute for Creative Mindfulness, developer of the Dancing Mindfulness practice and co-developer of the Yoga Unchained approach to trauma-informed yoga. She is also the author of five books on trauma recovery, most recently EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care (with previous podcast guest Dr. Stephen Dansiger).

She's also over 16 years sober.

If you’re asking yourself at this point, “What in God’s name is she talking about and what is this EMDR thing,” EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and while it doesn’t tend to involve much eye movement anymore, it is a form of trauma therapy that helps people to reprocess their past.

If you ever go to my Facebook page, you may have seen me sharing lately about how I've started doing EMDR. It's been changing my life so I was thrilled to be able to interview one of the world's leading experts on the topic. This episode is a can't miss, folks. Who knew talking about trauma could be so fun?

Direct download: jamie_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me.

The story I tell here is about the journey I took from two-pack-a-day smoker to the most self-righteous ex-smoker the world has ever seen. If you want to feel better about your own self-righteousness, I highly recommend giving this a listen.

Direct download: Anna_smoking_copy.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Gayle Saks-Rodriguez has been a writer since filling her fourth grade diary with such perfectly crafted sentences as: “Ricky is getting confirmed tomorrow. Since I’m Jewish, I’m not really sure what it does. I should congradulate [sic] him though.”

She has graduated to being published in places like The Fix, The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog and Salon and has appeared on HuffPost Live. Now she's working on her memoir, You Ain't No Soccer Mom, about her work with female inmates and at an all male sober living. She was also a contributor to Light Hustler's first anthology, Darkness Before Light: 12 Writers on Addiction, Sobriety and Recovery.

In this interview (which originally took place over Facebook Live), we talk about being the only contributor to the anthology who's not in recovery, shelving one book proposal to work on another and her experiences in my coaching program for writers, among many other topics. We also—spoiler alert—had a lot of fun. Listen here.

Direct download: gayle_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Dr. Lauren Casey has a fascinating story. The international recovery coach, award-winning author and public speaker specializing in sex industry work, women’s health, substance abuse and trauma hasn’t just learned her area of expertise by studying.

Now sober, Casey is a former high-end escort who found sobriety and then, to her utter surprise, found herself falling in love with a prisoner she began writing in prison. They’re still together decades later and now Casey has a book coming out about her entire story. I’m proud to say that she wrote the proposal for Breaking the Chains: Drugs, Millionaires and the Prisoner Who Set Me Free in my All the Write Movescoaching program and that the book will be released by Zephyr Bookshelf in 2019.

This episode is from one of my Facebook Live interviews and it’s a juicy one.

Direct download: Lauren_Casey_episode.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Brian Finkelstein is a writer who has been nominated for two Emmys. He is also a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and is a host/storyteller for The Moth. You can read his story “Perfect Moments” in the Moth’s first book, 50 True Stories.

He has performed eight solo shows in a variety of venues, from the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen to the Summer Nights Festival in Perth, Australia and New Zealand. Brian’s told stories on public radio shows including Good Food, The Business, UnFictional, Marketplace and many more.

At the Light Hustler storytelling show, he told a story about wild nights at a Brooklyn speakeasy called Kokie's where you could buy cocaine, a roommate named Babyface, dating a Muslim girl and quitting hookers, among many other topics.

Direct download: Brian_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 1:43pm PST

Ken Garr is a graduate of Second City who has performed at The Laugh Factory, MGM Grand and Hollywood Improv, among many other places, and has been seen on Hulu, Playboy and Funny Or Die. His comedy album, So I’m Sitting in Jail, is now available on the DASH Radio app.

In this episode from my live storytelling show, he talks about competing in the Special Olympics, feeling all your feelings in sobriety and burying an idea three levels into someone’s head, among many other topics.

Direct download: Ken_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up show at Bar Lubitsch, called Awkward & Aggressive and recently co-produced a pilot called Murder Roommates with her sketch team, BadAssKnitties, and WhoHaha.

This story is about the time she realized she needed to get sober and so she did the most logical thing she could think of to bring on the spiritual experience that she thought getting sober would require: she took a bunch of acid.

Want to know what happened next? You best listen.

Direct download: Ally_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

In a rather short period of time, Joe Polish has become one of my favorite people around.

The genius marketer (who presides over The Genius Network) and I met in early 2017 and connected over the fact that we were both trying to change the message around addiction. (Related: we also connected over the fact that we were both once active drug addicts.)

And so we partnered with Hal Elrod and Honoree Corder on creating a book in the Miracle Morning series that focused on addiction recovery. You can get it here!

If you're not familiar with The Miracle Morning, it started as a book written by Hal Elrod. Published in 2012, it quickly became one of the highest rated books on Amazon, with over 2500 five-star reviews.

The premise: changing your life starts with following certain habits and tactics every morning. I'll be honest: when this opportunity first came up, I thought, "Look, I already meditate and pray in the morning. What could this book tell me that I don't already know?" Well, here's what I learned: the day after reading it, I changed my morning routine, incorporating movement, affirmations and much more into it. There's something magical in Hal's message—perhaps because he's one of the kindest people ever, perhaps because he's experienced events that would have destroyed most of us...and come out with the most hopeful attitude I've ever experienced.

Here's the concept of our particular book in the series. As many of us know, addiction can be fatal, and while it may sound glib to say something simple like attending to your morning can magically influence the course of your recovery, implementing this Miracle Morning practice can help you transform any area of your life...all before 8 am. The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery outlines cutting-edge research, all designed to support your recovery.

Here's some of what we cover in the book: Why mornings are critically important to an addict’s success, how your alarm can be a gift, challenge, and opportunity, the Five-Minute Five-Step Snooze-Proof Wake-Up Strategy, how the Six-Minute Miracle Morning can be the remedy for an overly packed schedule and much more. (Bonus: we've included morning routines from some of our favorite folks in recovery, including Recovery 2.0's Tommy Rosen, Wes Geer from Korn, actress Mackenzie Phillips and more.)

In this episode, Joe and I interview each other about our respective morning routines and how we strive to live miraculous lives.

Direct download: Joe_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

You could call Tina Alexis Allen an actor. After all, she recently starred in the hit WGN series Outsiders.

You could call her a playwright. After all, she wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed solo show Secrets of a Holy Father and the 12-character one-woman show Irresistible.

You could also call her a writer. After all, she's the author of the un put down-able new release Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception and Double Lives.

But really the most interesting thing about Allen is her life story: the last of 13 children from a religious Catholic family, Allen ended up becoming her father's greatest confidant. This started with them each acknowledging that they were gay, moved on to wild notes out doing poppers at all the gayest clubs of DC and ended with...well, you've got to read the book to find out.

Direct download: Tina_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me. (By the by, the show, which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.)

The story I tell here is about the three cocaine dealers I had during my using days, the different signature moves they had and how I ended up in rehab with one of them.

Direct download: Anna_dealers.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

David Griggs has a JD, an MBA and extensive experience representing and advising clients in matters involving employment, contract, regulatory, licensing, eminent domain, business, injury and other areas of law.

But that's not what's interesting about him.

What's interesting about him is that he's a sober addict who decided to let some of his most shameful stories out—first through articles, then through a book proposal and now through a book—Taming the Wild Things in My Head, a memoir which will be released by Zephyr Bookshelf later in 2018.

In this interview—which happened over Facebook Live—he explains his descent into addiction, how he pieced his life back together and why he decided to share that journey with the world.

 

Direct download: david_FB_live_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up show at Bar Lubitsch called Awkward & Aggressive and recently co-produced a pilot called Murder Roommates with her sketch team, BadAssKnitties.

Her story asks a seemingly simple question: what happens if you bring a homeless man home for dinner?

If you’re Ally, you make that into a hilarious, ridiculous story.

Enjoy.

Direct download: Ally_homeless_man.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 8:03am PST

If there’s anyone who can make a ridiculous drinking story hilarious, it’s Laura House. A headlining comedian who has performed on HBO, Comedy Central, NBC, she is originally from Texas and moved to LA after starring in MTV’s cult-favorite Austin Stories. She’s written on the Emmy-winning shows Mom and Samantha Who, BAFTA-winning Secret Lives of Boys, as well as Nicole Byer’s Loosely, Exactly, NicoleThe George Lopez Show, Mad Love, Blue Collar TV and more.

This story is about what can happen when you marry a guy you shouldn't (spoiler alert: it doesn't go so well).

She told it at my live storytelling show, which happens on the last Friday of every month at Open Space Cafe (457 N. Fairfax Ave) in LA.

Direct download: Laura_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Ivana Grahovac is a wonder to behold. And she's even more wondrous once you know her story.

The Director of Advancement for Facing Addiction and former Executive Director for Transforming Youth Recovery wasn't always the poised spokesperson today. In fact, she's the girl who spent so long raving in Croatia that she decided to drop out of school and move to Milan to model. While living the so-called glamorous life (which she swears wasn't glam), her heroin addiction took hold.

Numerous stints in treatment followed, as did jail time after she stole a car.

And then, against all odds, Grahovac had a spiritual experience that not only got her sober but also made her not experience opiate withdrawals.

Hear about the entire journey by downloading this episode.

Direct download: ivana_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kane Holloway is a Seattle native who resides in sunny L.A. Kane is a nationally touring comedian, podcast host and he has performed on "Laughs on Fox."

In this story, told at the live monthly Light Hustler storytelling show, he talks about a number of experiences—being bald at the wrong time, physical pain and what happens when the person rooting for you seems to be giving up on you. The overall theme: even the unlucky can find recovery. And, if that supposedly unlucky person is named Kane Holloway, he can make it into comedy gold.

Direct download: Kane_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 9:18am PST

Jules Posner cut his teeth in his hometown of San Francisco, where he honed his act by yelling over rowdy bar crowds, coffee grinders, and shouty vagrants that have become commonplace in the San Francisco comedy scene. Now based in Los Angeles, he is one of those comics whose writing and delivery make standup seem like it’s just a funny person talking off the top of their head. Reality isn’t far behind the illusion; his riffing paces his written material in quality.

This story, which had people screaming with laughter (and asking when he'd be back to perform again), covers the solo drinking games Jules liked to play, how having a bird shit on your head can be lucky and different reasons sobriety sucks and doesn't.

Direct download: Jules_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up show at Bar Lubitsch, called Awkward & Aggressive and recently co-produced a pilot called Murder Roommates with her sketch team, BadAssKnitties, and WhoHaha.

Her story asks a seemingly simple question: what happens if you hack your ex-boyfriend's email and then send the woman he's dating a break up email? And what if you follow that with a series of decisions that culminate in his feeling like you're a danger to his life?

If you're Ally, you make that into a hilarious, ridiculous story.

Enjoy.

Direct download: Ally_W_Done_1.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

The comedian ANT has been everywhere: a regular on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Tyra Banks Show, he is the only comedian to appear on all five seasons of NBC’s hit series Last Comic Standing. He was the host of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club and starred in the LOGO series, U.S. of ANT. His hit stand-up DVD, ANT: America’s Ready and comedy CD “Follow my ass!” have sold tens of thousands of copies. On his hit podcast Second Chances, he interviews people about their, you got it, second chances in life.

But he's much more than his resume. ANT, who's in recovery after a great deal of tragedy in his life, has an ability to turn even the darkest stories imaginable (say, this one, about his cat, partner and dad all dying) into touching hilarity.

 

Direct download: ANT_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me. (By the by, the show, which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.)

The story I tell here is about why someone like me should have never smoked pot—let alone gone to Amsterdam to eat a succession of space cakes.  For more about who I am when I’m not eating space cakes and losing a day of my life, click here. For more about the workshops I lead where I teach people to take their most disturbing or interesting experiences and make them into stories, click here. For more information about my online writing classes and coaching programs, click here.

For a list of events, so you can stay up to date on future storytelling shows, click here. If you want to see live broadcasts of the show, go ahead and Like my Facebook page, since that's where we broadcast them!

Direct download: Anna_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

To say I was excited to interview John Taylor would be the understatement of the century. As an allegedly together adult, I resisted the urge to tell him that my adolescent bedroom was papered with his image (covered in lipstick kisses, despite the fact that I didn’t and still don’t wear lipstick). In short, my inner 14-year-old was having a conniption fit while my outer adult had a glorious, insightful conversation with a brilliant, thoughtful man with over two decades of sobriety.

Those who only think of Taylor solely as Duran Duran’s pretty boy will be delighted to hear what an analytical and kind guy he is—a man who speaks openly about what it was like to have worldwide fame while he was still living at home with his parents and talks about a recovery meeting as a place where he’s thrilled to be able to meet people from all walks of life.

In this episode, we talked about his must-read autobiography In The Pleasure Groove, what it’s like to go from blaming everyone to taking responsibility for yourself, how no one really acts their age and the joys of watching soccer, among many other topics.

Direct download: john_taylor_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 9:46am PST

Today’s episode features an absolute doll of a human being: Greg Behrendt.

In it, Greg tells a story from the Light Hustler live storytelling show which takes place the last Friday of every other month in LA.

His story veers from a night where he was wasted and cold and ended up with a burrito stuck to his hands but also touches on driving a car into the ocean and why we should bring our solutions and not our problems home.

When he’s not making Light Hustler audiences nearly pee their pants with laughter, Greg is performing (both as a comedian and musician) or writing (oh yeah; he’s the guy who co-wrote the seminal book He’s Just Not That Into You, among other bestselling books).

To see the calendar for future storytelling events, click here. To catch the live broadcasts of the shows, go ahead and give a like on Facebook, since we play every show on there.

Direct download: Greg_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Brad Vos is a mental health and addictions recovery advocate who, in his words, "promotes the opportunity, and not the sacrifice, that recovery provides." Canada-based, he's someone who's tried numerous roads to sobriety, including 12-step and SMART Recovery, but finds he has a "bad wolf" who can talk him out of staying on the right path.

But he's determined to let the good wolf take charge, something that's evident in his new project—the website Sobertunity, which also includes accounts on Instagram and Facebook.

Brad and I first got to know each other when he joined the accountability group I run with Sober Evolution's Austin Cooper and from day one, he's been active in the group—sharing updates, schedules, plans...and his struggles. He's therefore the ideal person to show the rest of the world the sort of stuff we do in there. He also happens to be very funny and as someone who's semi obsessed with people sharing their "light," I cherish any opportunity to let hilarity reign.

In this episode, we discuss escaping a soulless sales job, staying on the path and how animals can help with our recovery, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!

Direct download: Brad_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Most every addict who's been in therapy has lied to their therapist or psychiatrist.

The question is...do shrinks know when you're lying? We asked LA board certified psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman for his take.

Direct download: josh_lying_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

It’s hard to picture Paul Churchill as an active alcoholic. He’s nevertheless got the back story to prove it—including years of destructive drinking, a DUI and a suicide attempt.

Yet no one could accuse him of resting on his laurels once he found sobriety in September of 2016. No, sir. He launched the podcast Recovery Elevator soon after getting into recovery and then, 20 episodes in, decided to start an accountability group. Now Recovery Elevator is something of an empire—with retreats, groups and more.

Still, all didn’t become shiny and perfect overnight. Instead, Paul wrestled with plunging too quickly into projects destined to drown him. He’s now stepped back slightly but still has the sort of fire that has inspired his followers and fans. In this episode, we discuss the impact pets can have on recovery, how acceptance truly is the answer and launching businesses because we were looking for things that didn’t exist, among many other topics.

OTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!

Direct download: Paul_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Some people suffer from depression and other mental issues that doesn't respond to medication. What are they—and their doctors—supposed to do?

Double board certified psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman lays out some options.

Direct download: treatment_resistent_josh_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

We all have stories. Some of us have funny ones. Others have tragic ones. If you're Natasha Vargas-Cooper, you have both.

If you listen to the podcast regularly, you know about Natasha but for anyone new around here...she is a wondrous sprite who graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a double major in history and public policy and has been published in such places as The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine and GQ, among many others. Her book, Mad Men Unbuttoned, was praised as “a well-versed primer” by The New Yorker and “likely to become a trivia-lover’s bible” by The New York Times. Oh and in her spare time, she created the popular LA storytelling show Public School.

In this story, she discusses taking Ambien and then driving to 7-11 for cigarettes, the emails she shouldn't have sent and why being addicted to people is so much worse than being addicted to substances, among other (funny) (and tragic) things.

This episode is from my live storytelling show, which happens on the last Friday of every month at Open Space Cafe (457 N. Fairfax Ave) in LA.

Direct download: Natasha_Bipolar_Love_Interest.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Addicts are increasingly more comfortable coming forward and sharing about their problems. But the same doesn't seem to be true for those suffering from mental illness. What can we do about that?

Dr. Josh Lichtman, a Los Angeles-based board-certified psychiatrist, breaks down his thoughts.

Direct download: josh_stigma_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Stephanie Wittels Wachs has endured something a sister should never have to experience.

In February of 2015, she lost her brother Harris to a heroin overdose.

Her brother wasn’t some low-bottom, down-and-out guy. Quite the opposite. He was actually nothing short of a legend in the comedy business, having been hired as a writer on The Sarah Silverman Show a year after graduating from college. From there, his career was on fire—he wrote on numerous MTV Movie Awards and was a writer and actor on Parks and Rec. When he died, he was on the verge of moving to New York to write on and star in Master of None with his friend Aziz Ansari. (In his spare time, he invented the word #humblebrag and wrote a book about it.)

In order to process her grief, Stephanie turned to the page…specifically to Medium.com, where she wrote a piece called “The End of Empathy,” about a stranger’s reaction to their family’s grief. The post struck a cord and next thing Stephanie knew, she was writing a book. Well, that book, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss, is out now. And it is brilliant and juicy and wonderful and horrible and basically tells such a gripping tale of what it’s like to be the sister of a genius who just happens to be a drug addict that you will feel confident you actually knew Harris Wittels when you’ve put the book down.

In this episode, we talked about the surreality of talking about a book that only exists because your brother is gone, if there’s anything she would have done differently and the strange and even hopeful places her mourning has taken her, among many other topics.

Direct download: stephanie_wittels_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

We live in a world where everyone is diagnosing our president as narcissistic. So what, exactly, are we saying and are we allowed to diagnose someone we don't know based solely on their symptoms?

Dr. Josh Lichtman provides some answers.

Direct download: narcissism_josh_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

You surely know about Ryan Hampton by now. Not only has he become one of the world's leading recovery advocates, fighting to take down nefarious treatment centers and shady players but he's also the author of the upcoming book American Fix: Inside the American Opioid Addiction Crisis—And How to End It.

He's also one of my closer friends.

We work on a lot of things together but the one we're most excited about right now is our upcoming Light Switch: Turning on Your Inner Hustle retreat. It's happening the last weekend in April and will be a medley of workshops, treatments, bonding, laughter, panels and plenty of LA woo woo stuff. In this episode, we talk about the retreat (and our EARLY BIRD SPECIAL pricing which ends, alas, on March 8th) but also about the gifts that can come from bonding with our fellows in recovery (among many other topics).

 

Direct download: ryan_retreat_episode.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to addiction psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman about how depression and anxiety manifest—and overlap.

Direct download: anxiety_vs_depression_josh_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

I've long admired Laura McKowen.

The sober mama is a prolific writer (you can see her many posts over at LauraMcKowen.com), podcaster (for years she co-hosted HOME, now she's co-hosting Spiritualish) and all-around honest person living in recovery.

What do I mean by honest? Well, follow her on Instagram and you'll see more than just Ghandi quotes and hot photos. The woman spills it out there—and people love her for it.

While we met at the Unite to Face Addiction rally in the fall of 2015, this is the first time we were able to chat one-on-one. And what a chat it was! Tune in to hear us get into losing our virginity, the stories we tell ourselves and developing healthy relationships with other women, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!

It's better with the lights on. So go out there and hustle your light, Light Hustler...

Direct download: laura_mckowen_Done_1.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

AA is a controversial topic within recovery circles. Some are all for it, some violently opposed.

So where does a prominent addiction psychiatrist stand? Does he tell all his patients who are addicts to go there?

The answer may surprise you.

Direct download: josh_aa_final_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Bucky Sinister is a poet, self-help author and comedian, he has published four books of poetry and two self-help books, including Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfists, Freaks, and Weirdos. His journalism, film reviews, and short stories have appeared on The Rumpus, The Bold Italic, and a number of other online and print publications. His novel, Black Hole, is flat out the funniest novel I've ever read about addiction.

He's been something of a regular in my world—a repeated podcast guest and performer at my live show. This episode is from one of those live shows and in this story, he talks about being terrified of small talk but not remotely scared to score drugs from strangers or get in fights.

This episode is from my live storytelling show, which happens on the last Friday of every month at Open Space Cafe (457 N. Fairfax Ave) in LA. Sign up for the newsletter to make sure you’re notified when shows are coming up and/or stay up to date on the schedule here. For more about the workshops I lead where I teach people to take their most disturbing or interesting experiences and make them into stories, click here. For more information about my online writing classes and coaching programs, click here.

Direct download: Bucky_Scared_of_Wrong_Things.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Jen Matesa is a recovery powerhouse.

Unafraid and unapologetic, she speaks out about two "s"'s that scare some others—namely, Suboxone and sex.

She's written extensively about both—Suboxone in blog posts like this one and the sex in two of her four books...especially her most recent one, Sex in Recovery: A Meeting between the Covers (her previous book for Hazelden, The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober, also got into meditation, exercise, nutrition and more).

She has spoken and written widely, teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh, is a psychotherapist in training and is currently working on her second master’s degree.

Sober since 2010, she was one of the first sober bloggers and she's been dedicated in that time to giving the public reliable information about addiction and recovery without advertising or paywalls. Her commitment to removing social stigma from addiction and recovery earned her a fellowship at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Plus, she talks sex...here we got into best vibrators, losing your sex drive when you're taking opiates and what constitutes good sex. Get some great sex (info) and more in this episode—just in time for Hallmark's favorite holiday.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!

Direct download: jen_matesa_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

If there’s anyone who can make a ridiculous drinking story hilarious, it’s Laura House. A headlining comedian who has performed on HBO, Comedy Central, NBC, she is originally from Texas and moved to LA after starring in MTV’s cult-favorite Austin Stories. She’s written on the Emmy-winning shows Mom and Samantha Who, BAFTA-winning Secret Lives of Boys, as well as Nicole Byer’s Loosely, Exactly, NicoleThe George Lopez Show, Mad Love, Blue Collar TV and more.

This story is about how she went from being a girl who knocked on doors trying to talk to strangers about Jesus to vomiting Pina Coladas all over a bus to peeing her name in the hallway outside of a teacher’s hotel room. Did she end up suffering consequences for being a host family’s worst nightmare? Well, no—and yes. It all makes sense if you listen.

This episode is from my live storytelling show, which happens on the last Friday of every month at Open Space Cafe (457 N. Fairfax Ave) in LA.

Direct download: Laura_Done_2.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST

I first met Drew Grant through friends, when we both lived in New York. She was a young, dynamic, cool, talented writer who'd worked at Salon and The New York Observer, among many other publications.

While I'd always found her somewhat fascinating, that feeling was only enhanced when, during a causal conversation, she mentioned that she had a brief addiction to Fentanyl. I was working at The Fix website at the time and so I did what I did whenever anyone mentioned drugs...promptly assigned her a story. While she wrote that piece under a pen name, a few years later—in the wake of the Philip Seymour Hoffman overdose—she came out under her own name.

Drew and I recently got in touch again, when she spoke to the students in my coaching program. She told me that her story with drugs had only gotten more Byzantine since we'd last spoken and so I did what I do whenever someone tells me that...promptly invited her to come on the podcast.

I knew it would be such a different story than the one my guests usually tell. This one didn't involve a bottom, a resurgence, church basements (well, there are some church basements in her story but not many) and eventual sobriety.

Instead it started with childhood chronic masturbation and ADD meds, Xanax tapering and much, much more. In this episode, we discuss what it was like to be on so many medications that you thought loved ones were out to get you, being intervened on by heroin addicts and how to handle doctor shopping across three states, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!

Direct download: Drew_interview_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00am PST