Is your self talk serving you? – Brian Pennie, PhD | EP58 recap


Addiction nearly killed me, but I received a gift on that fateful day in October. Call it what you will: a perspective shift, an awakening, or simply dumb luck — that’s not important – what matters, is that it completely changed the course of my life.”

This week on the show we are joined by Brian Pennie, who is an author, speaker, PhD candidate, and university lecturer.

His used to be very different, however. On October 8 2013, he experienced his first day clean after 15 years of chronic heroin addiction.

In what seemed like an instant, the world seemed to glow. The colours were more colourful. Sounds were more cheerful. Things that were once hollow were now full of depth. Brian felt more alive than ever before and he has looked back since.

Captivated by this sudden change, he started to question why he felt so alive. He didn’t see it at first, but then it hit me. It had tortured me my entire life. The voices in his head, the stories that he spun himself – the ones that drove his anxiety and, in turn, his addiction – they were gone. For as long as he could remember, thinking had consumed him – his mind racing about what he thought needed to do – but the voices were silent, and his anxiety was gone. The race was over and his new life had begun.

Over the course of the next few years, he acquired a substantial publishing deal to write his first book. Brian continued to win several academic awards including a fully funded (€100,000) PhD scholarship at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. Brian secured lecturing positions at both Trinity College and University College Dublin where he teaches the neuroscience of mindfulness and addiction.

Today we dive into the power of our narratives, the space between our ears and the criticality of its health.


Notable moments in this episode:

🗡️ (12:42) – what coming to terms with rock bottom looks like
❤️ (39:46) – how to view the role of identity during change
🔒 (47:16) – the practical habits you can take on today to embrace change

Enjoy folks!


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