Dr. Joe Tatta is a doctor of physical therapy and the author the new book titled “Heal Your Pain Now: The Revolutionary Program to Reset Your Brain and Body for a Pain-Free Life.”  If you or a loved one is experiencing any sort of chronic pain, you’re definitely going to want to tune into our conversation, which was illuminating in terms of the role that our brains and emotions play in the larger picture of pain.  Dr. Tatta believes that resolving pain has a lot more to do with the brain than the body, and makes a very strong argument for his case. 


— Joe’s surprising philosophy on how to alleviate chronic pain for good  [2:00]

— The difference between acute pain and chronic pain  [3:12]

— Why pain persists sometimes even after an injury had healed  [6:00]

— The types of people who may be pre-disposed to developing chronic pain  [9:00]

— The correlation between chronic pain and depression/anxiety  [12:15]

— How re-framing the way you think about chronic pain can possibly eliminate it altogether [14:10]

— Why Joe believes traditional methods of treating pain, such as medications, will always fail [14:45]

— The difference between pain and suffering [21:00]

— The role that fear plays in pain, and how addressing fear can diminish pain [23:50]


Today’s guest is my friend Kelli — an incredible wife and mother, a vice president at a company you’ve probably heard of, and one of the most all-around brilliant, vibrant people I know.  The story Kelli’s here to share begins shortly after she finished college and moved to Los Angeles, when she unfortunately lost her mother to suicide. What followed were some very difficult years during which she stayed incredibly busy as a way to cope, until a car accident forced her to finally slow down and begin the process of processing her grief…

— The sudden loss of her mother to suicide, and how she coped by staying incredibly busy  [2:25]
— The car accident that forced her to finally deal with her mother’s death  [6:15]
— The disastrous night that convinced her to finally seek therapy  [11:00]
— The process of getting into therapy  [14:30]
— Feeling embarrassment about getting help  [19:30]
— Kelli’s advice for people who may be struggling with intense feelings [25:15]


Today’s guest is Mark Lukach, author of a brand new memoir titled “My Lovely Wife In The Psych Ward.” If the title alone isn't enough to grab you, this snippet from the book’s description says it all:

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Needless to say, when Mark was thrusted into the new role as his wife’s caregiver he inevitably found himself confused, frustrated, and worst of all —  completely alone. So the two big questions Mark and I tackle in our conversation are:  A) How does one take care of themselves and draw the strength to support your spouse during a difficult mental illness? And B) How is his love and admiration for his wife able to remain intact through this journey? Mark’s wisdom on the topic is definitely worth a listen.

— Mark summarizes the story of his marriage and the onset of his wife’s illness and 3 hospitalizations [1:54]
— The (lack of) help Mark’s insurance company offered him when he considered counseling for himself [8:05]
— How Giulia’s illness actually made their family stronger in the long run [9:35]
— Mark’s frustration about the lack of information available for caregivers [12:20]
— How Mark’s love and admiration for Giulia has remained intact throughout her illness [15:05]
— How an active lifestyle, particularly running, became a great source of strength for Mark [16:25]
— The primal nature of running, and it connects us to our human ancestry [22:05]
— How surfing, and even just being in or around water can have similar effects [24:05]
— Mark’s advice to other caregivers [29:55]


“I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was gonna faint. I just thought I was dying. There’s just this place that you have no ground underneath your feet and you don’t know what’s going on with you.”

Above are the words from today’s guest Melissa Woods, describing what it felt like to be inside of a panic attack. Like so many of us — these panic attacks began seemingly out of nowhere for Melissa, and slowly grew into an invisible monster that dictated nearly every aspect of her life. 

Melissa is the author of the recent novel “Getting Past Anxiety,” in which she details her entire experience as well as the healing the journey that changed her life. And in our chat today, we’re able to dig into the nitty gritty details of her a story a bit in hopes that some aspect of her journey will inspire others to move past their undue anxiety woes.



— Her negative experience taking anxiety medication  [3:04]

— How seeing a chiropractor helped launch her healing journey  [4:54]

— What her panic attack symptoms felt like [7:04]

— How nobody in her family ever knew she suffered from anxiety until her book was published [8:44]

— Trying to manage anxiety as a single mom [10:34]

— Diagnosing anxiety via a psychiatrist versus attempting to decode the message anxiety has for us [12:34]

— How her anxiety morphed into claustrophobia and agoraphobia [13:04]

— How she met her transformational healer, and the process that helped her address the root cause of her anxiety [21:24]

— Can anxiety be inherited from a previous generation? [27:54]

— Why a novel was the ideal way for her to share her story versus a self-help book [33:04]

April 28, 2017

On “13 Reasons Why”

Today, I’m joined by 18-year-old Mattis, and we’re talking about the trending Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” which is as addictive and entertaining as it is controversial and downright disturbing at times. If you’re not familiar, the show centers around the unfortunate suicide of a young high school girl named Hannah, and a set of audio tapes she leaves behind for 13 of her peers whom she felt played a role in her decision to end her life. While many feel the show is spreading awareness about teen suicide prevention, others - including some of my colleagues in the mental health profession - fear that show may actually be sending the wrong message who those who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.

**Spoilers are present throughout this episode**

Topics we explore in this episode include:
-The extremely graphic suicide scene at the end of the series
-Is this show a realistic representation of the typical high school experience?
-Are younger people mis-interpreting the message of this show in a dangerous way?
-How to handle someone confiding their suicidal thoughts in you
-Should parents let their kids watch this show?


Anxiety and panic attacks can happen to just about anyone, at any time. And that includes successful TV personalities! Which brings me to today’s guest, Molly Fay, who is the host of the “The Morning Blend” based out of Milwaukee, WI.  She opens up about her experience dealing with a sudden onset of anxiety, the roots of which can likely be traced back to the loss of her brother to suicide. We talk about the effect this had on her career, and what she ultimately did regain her sense of normalcy. 

Highlights of this episode include:

-The story of losing her brother to suicide, and the qualities of mental illness that can go unnoticed

-Does she think suicide is a selfish act?

-How cognitive behavioral therapy was the turning point to resolving her anxiety

-At what point should someone experiencing anxiety symptoms seek professional help?

-Her views (and mine) on anxiety medication, and more.


Today I’m joined once again by my wife, Julie, and we’re digging into the topic of creativity and how it relates to all the various aspects of our lives, especially undue anxiety. I have a theory that certain types of the anxiety I see in both kids and adults these days may really not be much more than pent up creative energy begging to be let out. But a lot the things we encounter on a daily basis can prevent this from happening, especially as we start to develop a concept of who we think we are and who we think we aren’t.  So if you’ve ever been told that you can’t sing, dance, draw, paint or play an instrument - this one is especially for you. And look out for a special creative challenge toward the end of the episode if you’re up for it!


Highlights of this episode include:

-Is there correlation between anxiety and creative energy?

-How small comments and incidents can repress our creativity

-How facing your biggest fears can lead to your biggest breakthroughs

-The benefits of encouraging creativity from a young age


Dr. Helen Odessky is an anxiety expert and the author of the brand new book titled “Stop Anxiety From Stopping You.” She describes her early experiences with anxiety as a youth as feeling like there was a cinder block on her chest, and many years later has dedicated her career to understanding the ins and outs of the panic and fears we all face everyday. Check out her book at the link below. You might recognize the guy who wrote the foreword!


Highlights of this episode include:
-The dreaded school lunchroom and anxiety
-How panic manifests differently in people
-Anxiety advice that absolutely DOES NOT
-Should you remedy panic attacks with Coca Cola?
-Two surprising things that can short circuit (but not cure) anxiety
-Tips for taking ownership of your anxiety


John is a fun guy. He’s a blast to talk to, loves playing the guitar, and loves helping people. But he’s a guy who has been plagued by anxiety in many different shapes and forms throughout the many years that I’ve known him.  Whether it’s drug use, “school refusal,” chronic stomach pain, or even something as peculiar as obsessive dieting, the culprit has always been able to be traced back to the many-headed beast of anxiety.  John’s here today to share his story about all the different ways his undue anxiety has affected him throughout his youth, as well as the incredible healing powers of the guitar!

Highlights of our conversation include:

-Consistently missing school when he was younger
-Quitting drugs cold turkey after a particularly wild night
-The importance of having positive role models to talk to
-How anxiety can be a good thing once in a while
-And of course, the wide variety of his symptoms throughout the years


Mark Goblowsky is a husband, father, U.S. Air Force veteran, martial arts expert, and host of the Strength Through Struggle podcast.  Following a particularly rough upbringing, Mark was seeking a more structured adulthood; a code that he could live by, which he found through the military as well as his martial arts training. But nothing could prepare him for the day that his changed forever in just an instant - the day his 3-year-old (at the time) son suffered a traumatic brain injury in a tragic accident.


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