298 episodes

The Beyond Belief Sobriety Podcast features the personal stories of people who have found a secular path to addiction recovery. We also post interviews with authors and experts in the science of addiction and explore all secular recovery options.

Podcast episodes are posted weekly and we live stream every Friday at 7:00 pm Central on YouTube and Facebook.

Beyond Belief Sobriety Beyond Belief Sobriety Podcast

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.6 • 124 Ratings

The Beyond Belief Sobriety Podcast features the personal stories of people who have found a secular path to addiction recovery. We also post interviews with authors and experts in the science of addiction and explore all secular recovery options.

Podcast episodes are posted weekly and we live stream every Friday at 7:00 pm Central on YouTube and Facebook.

    Episode 292: Afternoon with the Atheists

    Episode 292: Afternoon with the Atheists

    In this episode of Beyond Belief Sobriety, you will meet John C. from Paris, Vick Losick, from New York City, John Huey from Washington D.C., and Larry Knight from Toronto. The four appeared on the podcast to talk about a new secular recovery meeting they started called “Afternoon with the Atheists,” which is named after a panel discussion they have been presenting at Secular AA Conferences since 2016.

    The meeting is intended to provide a safe space for atheists or secularly-minded people in general to find support for their recovery without the burden of a Higher Power, 12 Steps, Traditions, and all the slogans and language found in 12 Step meetings.

    The meetings are held on Zoom every Sunday at 2:00 PM EST.

    Meeting Information

    * Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86933796705

    * Zoom ID: 869 3379 6705

    * Passcode: 965219


    Episode 48: Larry K and the Settlement with the Toronto Intergroup

    Support the podcast

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    To view this and other episodes of Beyond Belief Sobriety on YouTube, visit this link.

    • 37 min
    Episode 291: Overcoming Sugar Addiction with Mike Collins

    Episode 291: Overcoming Sugar Addiction with Mike Collins

    In this episode we talk with Mike Collins. Mike is the founder of sugaraddiction.com and is passionate about helping people overcome their addictions. He is the author of “The Last Resort Sugar Detox”, which you can read for free on his website. This was Mike’s second appearance on our podcast. He was previously our guest on episode 115 which was posted in July 2019.

    What we talked about

    * Mike’s community with over 20,000 participants.

    * Sugar as the gateway drug

    * The recovery community paving the way to address our obesity crisis

    * Sugar is in most of the food we see in the grocery store. We need to eat whole foods.

    * We know more about the dangers of sugar than ever before.

    * As adults we aren’t using sugar to feel good, we are simply fighting withdrawals.

    * Mike’s story.

    * The importance of understanding sugar addiction as a substance use disorder.

    * Sugar addiction impairs emotional development.

    * Thirty Day Detox.

    * Detox to lifestyle program.

    * Spectrum of sugar addiction.

    * Difference between Mike’s program and 12 Step fellowships such as Overeaters Anonymous and other groups.

    * Largest Sugar Detox to start on January 1.

    * The Quit Sugar Summit.

    * Reducing the stigma and increasing awareness of sugar addiction.



    The Quit Sugar Summit

    “Last Resort Sugar Detox Guide”

    • 43 min
    Episode 290: Clean Slate | A Conversation with the Filmmaker Jared Callahan

    Episode 290: Clean Slate | A Conversation with the Filmmaker Jared Callahan

    When it comes to creating a compelling documentary, the process surprisingly often starts with putting the camera down. As Host John Sheldon’s guest on this episode of Beyond Belief Sobriety explains, establishing a relational trust element is essential to capturing those intimate moments that make us forget we’re watching a film. In his absorbing new project, set in a real-world rehab facility, Director Jared Callahan integrates us into the minute-to-minute struggle that is addiction, changing and re-shaping our understanding of it as a disease.  “Clean Slate,” a release from People People Media, tells the raw and very personal story of two roommates who hatch a plan to make a short film about their recovery journey – while still on their recovery journey.

    By putting a vulnerable and unflinching lens on addiction, Jared and his team personalize its grip on sufferers and their families. The hope, says the director, is to cultivate new levels of empathy and broader awareness. “I could have used more statistics or graphs, but for this film the best way was just to say these are the guys and this is the reality at this time,” says Jared, who is also a pastor. “These are people who are your family and neighbors.” The film-within-a-film narrative opens a unique window onto recovery, highlighting the healing power of creativity, even in the face of relapse and isolation. You’ll come away from this conversation eager to watch “Clean Slate” (available on these streaming platforms) and share it with others. Community, says the director, is what knits together hope and progress along the lifelong journey that is recovery. It’s all about building trust and accountability, capturing the beauty of returning to things we have loved and lost along the way. “People who work in recovery circles laugh really hard and cry really hard,” says Jared, “and in that they are not pretending to be perfect. They are just very real.”

    “Clean Slate” is available now across all streaming media platforms, including at Amazon Prime, Apple TV and on YouTube.

    Key Takeaways

    * About the inspiration behind “Clean Slate”: How Jared surprised himself by getting sucked into the compelling story of two roommates – aspiring filmmakers – in rehab.

    * How Jared used both the film-within-a-film and a foundational trust relationship as a portal into a very specific, raw season of his subjects’ lives.

    * The recovery environment itself is a sort of central character in the film, holding space for the laughter, tears and vulnerability that form the heart of the documentary.

    * The Brutality of Relapse: About the real-time story of a principle in the film whose course to recovery is not straight.

    * What Jared Hopes People Get Out of “Clean Slate”:

    • 31 min
    Episode 289: Soberlink | Accountability in Recovery

    Episode 289: Soberlink | Accountability in Recovery

    Accountability is at the core of any recovery program and, as we are reminded on this episode of Beyond Belief Sobriety, there are many roads to get there. Host John Sheldon invites his guest, Mark Knobloch, to share some of the strategies he finds most helpful to the people he advises as an addiction recovery advisor. Having been a previous guest of the pod (Episode #181 can be found here), Mark has returned to delve a little more deeply into the benefits he has seen play out for users of Soberlink, an in-home system featuring a cutting-edge breathalyzer with facial recognition technology. The system offers transparency and peace of mind while those in treatment re-build confidence in themselves and trust with those they love.

    John and Mark reflect on the importance of meeting people fighting addiction wherever they are – physically, emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually. Both have found through the course of their own journeys that less dogma means more room for authenticity in recovery. With alcohol in particular and addiction in general so prevalent across the globe, there is growing momentum towards calling out an industry that lobbies relentlessly to make this potentially lethal substance glamorous. It’s everywhere! But because of conversations like this one, a growing number of people are bringing awareness to the powerfully negative impact alcohol has on individuals, families and entire communities. Mark shares reflections on his work and the meaning it brings to his life 10 years into sobriety, emphasizing the sense of purpose (and fun) he has found in supporting others in finding their unique paths to health and freedom.

    It was a pleasure to hear Mark’s first-hand observations about our partners at Soberlink – who have given Beyond Belief Sobriety ongoing support and sponsorship. Click here to learn more about the unique remote alcohol technology that Soberlink has created to help provide accountability for people in recovery. The system includes a high-tech breathalyzer device with facial recognition that allows you to share your sobriety in real time with loved ones.

    To view this and other episodes of Beyond Belief Sobriety on YouTube, visit this link.

    Key Takeaways

    * Mark previously appeared in Episode #181 (which you can find here) to discuss a variety of tools and resources he uses in recovery. He has returned with a special focus on his experience deploying the Soberlink

    * At 10 years in recovery, Mark has gotten a lot out of following different routes to sobriety and self-understanding, including the 12 steps, yoga and meditation.

    * The importance of meeting people in addiction where they are and enabling them to progress through a course of treatment that works for them as individuals.

    * Thoughts on Smart Recovery, a cognitive behavioral therapy-oriented program for sobriety that both John and Mark have explored with interest.

    * How Soberlink helps solidify peace of mind while trust is being rebuilt among people in recovery and their family members.

    * Finding the Path: Active listening is a cornerstone of Mark’s approach to coaching, encouraging conversation with open-ended, empathetic questions.

    * It Takes All Kinds: Mark reviews a range of sobriety tools that have been effective for those he counsels,

    • 34 min
    Episode 288: Katy Jacopi | Challenges of a Secular Recovery

    Episode 288: Katy Jacopi | Challenges of a Secular Recovery

     As she shares with Host John Sheldon on this episode of Beyond Belief, entering recovery as a non-believer at the height of pandemic presented Katy Jacopi with special challenges. Where to find community and support when the Alcoholics Anonymous concept of a “higher power” isn’t the right fit? “The reason I couldn’t deny that I had an alcohol problem was my skepticism, my ability to ask questions and not just take something at face value,” she explains. “It’s who I am and I wouldn’t be where I am today without this thought process.” Like John, Katie is speaking out where she can to ensure that the most inclusive possible message reaches the greatest number of people – without shame or the need to subscribe to any one set of beliefs.

    Katy, who is a poet and writer, shares the story of her journey to recovery, which she ultimately cobbled together with a mix of intuitive, personal choices. You’ll learn on this episode about the many alternative groups and formats that have sprung up to serve a broad spectrum of people – resources that can still be hard to locate today, let alone 25 years ago when John first got sober in a more narrowly AA-centric world. “We’re so conditioned to be afraid of doubt,” says Katy, who is starting a podcast on exactly that topic. “If we give voice to that fear, but also acknowledge how doubt has a positive impact on who we are as people, I think it can help facilitate a bigger conversation.” Get out your notepad. This conversation highlights lots of great recovery groups!

    To view this and other episodes of Beyond Belief Sobriety on YouTube, visit this link.

    Key Takeaways

     After she was diagnosed with bipolarism, Katy uncovered the existence of a problem with alcoholism and went in search of secular support.

    * Reframing “higher power” as something other than God still wasn’t a comfortable fit for Katy, who found the entire concept problematic, regardless the language or imagery in which it was couched.

    * Can – or should – the 12 steps written nearly 100 years ago be reconceived in ways that make them more inclusive?

    * Katy got clarity about her alcoholism through conversation with a knowledgeable, empathetic friend and writing poems about her experience getting sober.

    * What defines sobriety? It’s a process of change as understood by each of us individually in our own way and time. Even if there’s a relapse, you are still going through a process of change!

    * The most important thing when it comes to supporting recovery? Meet people where they are and with the intention of helping them reach their goals!

    * John shares two resources he has explored:

    * LifeRing Secular Recovery

    * Smart Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction

    * Reflections on the unfortunate tensions that can shroud AA meetings when people are unaccepting of those with a secular orientation.

    * Often the most dogmatic people are the most vocal – and create the most tension in rooms – with regard to the necessity of a “higher power” in the context of AA.

    * Dealing with a potential mental health issue? Removing alcohol is a great first step towards clarity, diagnosis and treatment.

    * Openness is key to removing stigma and reaching people in search of recovery.

    * The reasons Katy reached out to John:

    * She’s starting her own podcast and wanted to experience being a guest.

    * She sought an opportunity to share her story and ask her questions.

    * She wanted to discuss hurdles she encountered as a non-believer seeking help.

    * Katy shares plans for her upcoming podcast, which will feature stories about how doubt has factored into the lives of people in transition.

    * Closing thoughts on the power of doubt,

    • 59 min
    Episode 287: Addicted In Film

    Episode 287: Addicted In Film

    Film is a medium uniquely able to capture emotional nuance, and that’s especially true when it comes to narratives about addiction. This episode of Beyond Belief Sobriety features an accomplished Hollywood veteran’s encyclopedic look at the many films (far more than you might imagine!) that tackle everything from the reality of relapse to the ripple effect of sobriety on longtime relationships to the intimate ways in which 12-step programs save lives. Ted Perkins has written “Addicted to Film: Movies We Love About the Habits We Hate” for anyone interested in recovery, anyone who loves someone in recovery and anyone who cares about the many impacts that a whole spectrum of addictions have on society. “Movies are really very interesting vehicles to tell some very profound things not just about addiction,” he says, “but the story of people overcoming addiction.”

    Host John Sheldon discovers how Ted came to his expertise and why he chose to write this book, which has also inspired a movie club for all of us interested in watching and chatting about fascinating, moving and sometimes funny addiction-related films. In rapid fire succession, Ted is taking us on a tour of movies dating from the 1936 film “Reefer Madness,” with its covert racist agenda, to the 1988 release of “Clean & Sober,” a film with special resonance for John, who got sober that same year. If you’ve ever wondered about multi-dimensional resources out there that you haven’t yet tapped, this episode will equip you with a long list of movies to check out and a deeper understanding of the social, political and scientific trends that have shaped our understanding of addiction and recovery through the decades!

    Click here if you’d like to purchase “Addicted to Film: Movies We Love About the Habits We Hate” and don’t miss Ted’s movie club, which you’re invited to join for free here.

    Key Takeaways

    * Hollywood’s partying culture in combination with the film business’s cyclical nature set the stage for alcohol addiction, which Ted addressed through the Smart Recovery Program.

    * After deconstructing more than 100 films with themes touching on addiction and recovery, Ted began to see interesting patterns emerge as well as both heroic and sad narratives worthy of illumination.

    * Directors like Blake Edwards and Billy Wilder had to crusade for projects dealing with addiction and recovery – topics that in general made Hollywood executives squeamish.

    * Alcoholism as a pathology and real social phenomenon had never been depicted in film prior to Billy Wilder’s 1945 film, “The Lost Weekend.”

    * Recovery, relapse and the failure of many people to make it out of the grip of addiction is real and worthy of addressing in the popular culture.

    * All about the many layers of “Reefer Madness,” a 1936 film that traces back to the original war on drugs and advanced hidden messages rooted in a racist agenda.

    * About the story of “Gia,

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
124 Ratings

124 Ratings

happy girl roblox fan ,

Love love love

I was very slow to finding real recovery because I couldn’t identify solely with any one program. I love this podcast for showing there are many ways to recovery. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and the host has what it takes! Thanks to the host!

12664175 ,

Very Intelligent, Insightful Conversations

This podcast has been so insightful and down-to-earth at the same time. The guests have a wealth of knowledge that resonates with those who are in recovery or even those who are still in active addiction but want to heal. The host, John, shares parts of his story that relates to each of his guest, making me, the listener, feel like I get to know more and more about him while learning about the guest at the same time. It’s so interesting to listen to these incredible stories of overcoming and gives anyone hope.

galflorida ,

Even better in 2021

John has really expanded his guests and is a really good interviewer. I only listen (don't watch) and it is very easy with his podcast. He delicately works with some guests like Huey who are "my way or the highway I know what is right" to allow his perspective to show as well.

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