Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places (general)

Carly Benson is a sober wundekind. The voice behind the mega popular website Miracles Are Brewing, Benson is a yoga instructor, coach, leader of a monthly group about intentional living, co-founder (with Kelly Fitzgerald) of the Bloom Club, co-host (also with Kelly) of the Regroup podcast, and all around spiritual badass. While she and I had never met before, we'd both admired one another from afar—and now, frankly, I want to do as much as I can with her. In this episode, we discuss realizing everything has to change, what it's like to have a sudden spiritual change and how to make your mess into your message, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that I 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, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: Carly_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

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

In it, Greg tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, 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.

His story veers from a night where he was wasted and suddenly realized he was hanging out with dudes who had submachine guns into the rage he feels over the way people order from Starbucks to a riff on pudding, all while managing to make commentary on what it’s like to be a sober man today.

When he’s not making Hammer(ed) Time 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).

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: greg_crazy_people.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am PDT

Jesse Heffernan, the National Outreach and Empowerment Coordinator at Faces and Voices of Recovery, is a Certified Recovery Coach who's over 16 years sober.

I was lucky enough to speak to him about finding a toxic community based on similar "woundedness," wearing a wire to bust drug dealers, whether or not he's clean cut and if the word "addict" is good or bad, among many other things.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that I did with Jesse, 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, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: Jesse_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Today's episode features the person Louis CK named as one of the funniest female comedians of our time: Laura House.

In it, Laura tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, 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.

Her story covers a 4th of July party she once attended that actually lasted three days and included lots of beer, nudity and an eventual police bust. Bonus: it also teaches you how to make a "hillbilly hot tub"!

When she's not entertaining the rest of us with tales of her former debauchery, Laura is writing on TV shows (including Mom and Samantha Who), teaching meditation or performing in her one-woman show, How to Hate Yourself.

Direct download: Laura_Done_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Kenny Pomerance and Ron Tannebaum, or Mr. Clean and RT, are the recovery titans behind the Facebook-for-recovery website InTheRooms. The two longtime friends—who first met when they were in college—launched their site in 2008, when they were both nearly three decades sober. Since then, the site has blossomed—with hundreds of thousands of members attending on-line meetings, watching lectures, using the ITR apps and bonding in ways they never could otherwise.

I've been lucky enough to know these guys since the launch of ITR and they've never been anything but generous, kind and compassionate. This has a great deal to do with how they've been able to thrive—with an astounding 400,000+ members that have a combined million+ years of sobriety.

In this episode, we discuss how many people told them that a Facebook for recovery idea was never going to work, why they don't look at anyone as competition and having a song written for them by Aerosmith, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that I did with Dawn, 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, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: ITR_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Today’s episode features a truly unique soul: author Bucky Sinister.

In it, Bucky tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, 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.

His story is about a friend of his who happened to be "the most batshit crazy person" he knew, the sort of person who'd ask, if you told him your mother had breast cancer, "how nice her tits were." He also explains how much this friend of his taught him about how to be a sober man.

When he's not bringing urns onto a stage (yep—if you listen to the episode, it will all make sense), Bucky is writing. He's the author of not only the hilarious addiction novel Black Hole but also four books of poetry and two self-help books, including Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, 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.

Direct download: Bucky_Done_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Dawn Nickel is a legend in the recovery world. The womab behind SheRecovers, Nickel was in recovery a long time and a self-proclaimed workaholic looking for a change when she realized, while sitting on the beach in Mexico, that what she really wanted to do: help people in recovery. And so she launched a Facebook page. Despite being something of a social media novice, the page took off—attracting hundreds of thousands of Likes as it established itself as the place for women in recovery (from anything) to gather together for inspiration and connection. Now SheRecovers is a business which includes retreats, events and coaching.

In this episode, Nickel and I discuss how she was able to corner the market on women recovering, whether or not the word "addict' is stigmatizing and how she makes sure she doesn't sway back into workaholism (hint: it has to do with going on the SheRecovers retreats).

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that I did with Dawn, 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, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: Dawn_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

oday's episode features one of my very favorite people I know: comedian and writer Mary Patterson Broome.

In it, MP tells a story from our live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, 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.

Her story answers the question many among us may have craved an answer to: what kind of crazy activities go on at comedy festivals? Well, in this one, we learn about "mirror moments," deciding to hook up, how to handle it when the dude who just drove you home pukes all over himself and what to do when a drunk stranger needs to sleep it off when you're sharing a room.

When she's not entertaining the rest of us with tales of her former debauchery, MP is the Editor-in-Chief of AfterParty Magazine and RehabReviews and tours the country performing comedy. She has written for Women's Health and for AOL Originals’ Emmy-nominated Making a Scene with James Franco.

Direct download: MP_Broome_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Today's episode features a very special guest: me. Since I'm releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, 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_3_dealers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Recover Girl takes to the stage again, as I'm giving you another episode featuring a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time—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.

This episode features previous podcast guest Natasha Vargas-Cooper, 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 asks the question many may have pondered: what happens if you're "sober" but take Ambien? (Hint: it may involve texting your boss that you bet he looks good naked.)

Direct download: Natasha_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT