Skip to main content
Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L

Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L

By Paris Prynkiewicz
Welcome to my corner of the universe where we dive into topics mental health and mindset related to discover more about the relationship between them. Each episode features advice, tips, and shared experiences from guests with expertise and experience on the topic of discussion.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

From Being Suicidal to Coaching Happiness

Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L

From Being Suicidal to Coaching Happiness

Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L

Social Anxiety in Art & Acting
Welcome to episode #5 of season 2 of the "Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L" podcast! I am so excited to be chatting all about "Social Anxiety in Art & Acting," with my wonderful guest, Katie Chonacas. Katie does many cool things! She is the host of the "She’s All Over The Place" podcast, she is an artist, onscreen actor, poet, painter and musician! You guys don't want to miss out as Katie shares how she was able to overcome social anxiety and how it has impacted her life both personally and professionally. Katie shares great tips for managing anxiety that have been  very helpful for her and I hope  you  guys enjoy learning more about Katie and her awesome story! :)
August 2, 2021
A Look Into Feelings
Thanks so much for tuning into episode #4 of season 2 of the "Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L" podcast! I am super excited to be discussing, "A Look Into Feelings," with my beautiful guest, Elisabeth Brier! Elisabeth is an Assistant Editor at Forbes and Founder of the incredible online platform, MentallyWhere. You don't want to miss out as she shares with me how she came up with the idea to create MentallyWhere and how her own struggles with mental health influenced her to serve others in this capacity. I can’t wait for you guys to hear more about the work Elisabeth is doing and to get into her story as well!  Check out MentallyWhere:
July 26, 2021
Bipolar Disorder on Film
Welcome to episode #3 of season 2 of the "Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L" podcast! Super excited to be chatting with Ben Duffy, creator and director of the short film, "I Do Not Blame Myself." Ben created this short film to interview real people living with real mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to show the reality of what struggling with mental health can be like. But, he also highlights a lot of the good things that come from more conversations on the topic of mental health. Ben was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder like myself and chats with me about the work he did to shatter the stigma related to this. Don't miss this awesome conversation I had with Ben where we talk all things mental health, working to defeat the stigma tied to mental health and so much more!  Check out the film, "I Do Not Blame Myself" :
July 19, 2021
Importance of Mental Health Convos
Welcome to episode #2 of season 2 of the "Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L" podcast. I very excited to jump into this conversation on the importance of having mental health convos with my special guest this week, Kyle Kittleson! Kyle is host of MedCircle, a wonderful YouTube channel and on-demand library of educational mental health videos. Kyle conducts interviews with leading psychologists and psychiatrists on the topic of mental health to inform and educate. Tune into this episode to hear Kyle share with me how he got into the work he does over at MedCircle and how he is making conversations on mental health more engaging and relatable!  Check out MedCircle:
July 12, 2021
Conquering Trauma & Crushing Life
Welcome to episode #1 of season 2 of the "Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L" podcast (formerly the Crooked Illness podcast)! Emily Lehmann is joining us today to share her story on conquering sexual trauma and how she is using her story to help others ! Emily is the host of the "In Lehmann’s Terms" podcast along with being a Mental Health Advocate, Sobriety Coach and Medical Cannabis Educator. This is such a great conversation on the impact that sexual abuse has had on my guest, how she was able to move forward and the lessons she has learned along the way! :) Follow Emily on Instagram: @lehmanns_terms_ Check out her podcast: In Lehmann's Terms
July 5, 2021
A Lesson Not Taught In School
Join my beautiful guest, Ashley Parker, and I as we uncover all the lessons we were not taught in school and how we learned them out here in the real world! Ashley received her M.S.(Masters of Science) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University! She is also the host of A Splash of Ash podcast which is dedicated to sharing actionable lifestyle changes to nurture your mind, body and soul in order to achieve a greater self worth. We cover the importance of learning self-awareness, how this correlates to confidence along with the damage of habitually critical self-talk. We share our morning routines and what we do to add a little more light to all of our days! :)  Follow Ashley:  IG: a_splashofash  PODCAST: A Splash of Ash  WEBSITE:
June 21, 2021
Rethink Stigma & Live Your Best
Tune in to this week’s episode to hear my guest, Samatha Foster, Founder of Rethink Mental Health Incorporated (Rethink Stigma on IG), share her story, vision and mission with me. We get into the role our physical health plays in line with our mental health along with helpful tips and tricks to practice great self-care! Hear as Sam shares how Rethink Stigma is going about making conversations surrounding mental health more normalized and less stigmatized!
June 14, 2021
Art Expression of Body Dysmorphia
I am really excited to bring this conversation to you guys after the chat I had with today’s guest, Alex Rudin. Alex is a multimedia artist based in New York City. She attended the Parsons New School for Design and is the Owner and Founder of Rudin Studios. I am so excited for you guys to hear all the incredible work Alex has done through her artwork especially when it comes to visually illustrating body dysmorphia. I look forward to hearing her story today along with how art has helped her overcome struggles she has faced in the past. Her and I share so many commonalities when it comes to our stories and I am excited to share with you guys as well!! We also discuss the relationship between sexual abuse, body dysmorphia and eating disorders.  Follow Alex: IG: @_alexrudin
June 7, 2021
Overcome Darkness & Prosper
Today, we are going to be focusing on tackling challenges and coming out stronger and wiser. Here to make this conversation awesome is my beautiful guest, Ania Halama. Ania is a published author, graphic designer and success coach who hosts the “Spirituality for Badass Babes” podcast. Tune in to hear Ania share how she was able to overcome childhood trauma, defeat her limiting beliefs and take the scary leap of leaving her successful career in design and marketing in corporate America to embarking on her own journey of self-discovery.
May 31, 2021
The Power of Gratitude
Super excited to be getting into the power of gratitude and what practicing it has done for my guest and I. Today I am chatting with Krystal Karmatz, mindset coach and the creator of the B.O.L.D. Mindset course! After diving into this course and the many incredible conversations I have had with Krystal, I just knew I had to have her get into this topic with me. I couldn’t think of anyone better to bring this topic of conversation to the Crooked Illness table with me other than Krystal! Tune in to hear Krystal's powerful story along with gratitude has done to improve her mental health!     For more of Krystal check her out on Instagram: @krystalkarmatz
May 24, 2021
Storytelling Through Art
I am excited to get into this episode with my wonderful guest, Kristel Nielsen. Kristel is the creator of Your Art Your Story, a non-profit organization dedicated to research, advocacy and education services for families experiencing suicide loss or suicide attempt. I am so excited to have Kristel here with us to share her story and the incredible work she has done and is doing at Your Art Your Story! We also discuss the stigma surrounding discussing the topic of suicide, suicide prevention and suicide awareness.
May 17, 2021
Failing to Success
There is such a powerful story behind this one that my beautiful guest, Stevie Griffin, and I will be diving into. Stevie is a journalist for Extol Magazine along with running her blog “Healthy Life Healthy Mind” and her nonprofit called Diamond Bucket Project. I am very fired up to have Stevie here to share her story with us and share all the ways she has been able to use failure to propel herself forward in all the work she has done and is currently doing. We get into the meaning of failure that Stevie had in the past and how she views failure today. Along with this, we dive into the role social media has played when it comes to harming and helping our mental health!
May 10, 2021
A Story on Mental Health Turned Film
I am very excited to have Jaime Bennington, son of the late Chester Bennington, here with me to get into the meaning behind today’s episode title. Jaime is a writer, director, visual artist and the man behind the short film “A Chant” which gives  a powerful insight into the life and mind of someone living with paranoid schizophrenia. Jaime will dive into his story and all of the incredible work he has done and is currently doing for the world of mental health. We talk overcoming trauma, defeating the stigma associated with mental illness and how to move away from problem-focused thinking to solution-based thinking!
May 3, 2021
How to Think Unbroken
The name of this episode has two meanings that will be discussed with my awesome guest today, Michael Anthony. Michael is an author, international speaker, coach, podcaster, advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma and the founder of Think Unbroken. Michael shares with me the meaning and creative process behind Think Unbroken. He also describes the importance of forming and maintaining powerful and effective daily habits. We also discuss dealing with unresolved trauma and the relationship our physical health has to our mental health!
April 26, 2021
CBD Benefits from Former MLB Athlete
I am joined by Kyle Blanks who will be sharing his personal story along with the role and effect CBD has had in his story so far. Kyle is a former MLB athlete who played for the San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, and Texas Rangers. Kyle is also the co-owner of Road Runner CBD, an awesome company we will be hearing about in the episode. I am very excited to have Kyle here to share his story with us, the role CBD has played in his life and the benefits it has brought to his everyday life.
April 19, 2021
The 5 C’s of Self-Love
We are dedicating this episode to focusing on self-love, happiness and how to have more of this in our lives. Here to join me in this conversation is my beautiful guest, Brandy Edwards. Brandy is the founder of The Self-Love Challenge, a motivational speaker, attorney and yoga instructor joining us from Dallas, TX! I am so excited to have Brandy here to dive into this topic, share key pieces from her story and walk us through what the 5 C’s of self-love are. We also dive into how to defeat our  inner-critic and embrace our inner-cheerleader along with the power in celebrating  small successes  along the way. 
April 12, 2021
The Power of Removing Your Mask
Tune into this week's episode to hear my incredible guest's story and lessons learned from this powerful story. Minda Parker joins us to share how she overcame a life-threatening brain aneurysm and AVM rupture in February of 2020. Minda is a military veteran and founder of God is my Glow Up, her apparel and accessory company. She gets into the effects this recovery process had on her mental health and adjusting back to everyday life. She shares lessons on tackling anxiety, the power of supportive relationships and what practicing daily gratitude has done for her.
April 5, 2021
Living in Problems VS. Living in Solutions
This episode is all about moving more toward solution-based thinking and living! I am so happy to have my guest, Lori Baker-Schena, here to share the solution shift with us along with her powerful story! Lori is a life coach who provides advice on building effective teams, staying motivated, conflict management and living a solution-centric, happy life. We discuss overcoming our negative inner critic, building up your emotional core and the power of reframing the meaning of failure! Find more about Lori at:
March 29, 2021
The Importance of Discovering Yourself
This is the episode for you to learn all about the importance of self-discovery! I am joined by the awesome Annie Graft, who also hosts the let’s get uncomfy podcast! In addition to this, Annie is a serial entrepreneur who has served in the military, founder of Fit Life Fit Me, author and Executive National Vice President with Arbonne. I am so excited to have Annie here with us today to explore this topic, share her story and drop some incredible tips on what it means to discover yourself! She shares the most challenging and most rewarding parts of her self-discovery journey. Annie also shares the role fear plays in holding back some from embarking upon their self discovery journeys and how to overcome this!
March 22, 2021
Conquering Problems of the Body & Mind
Joining me in this conversation today is my guest, Debbie Emick! Debbie approached me to be a guest and I am so glad she did because she shared an incredible story with me of being a survivor of multiple chronic illness and autoimmune diseases. She is also the author of The Other Side of Perfect: Discovering the Mind-Body Connection to Healing Chronic Illness. Debbie also shares how she overcame perfectionism and people pleasing. She dives into the mind-body connection when it comes to unresolved trauma and what her experience was like searching for the magic bullet solution.  
March 15, 2021
Walking Through Emotional Detoxing
Today we are going to be getting into what emotional detoxing is all about! Joining me in this conversation is my special guest, Sherianna Boyle. She is an author of 9 books, professional speaker, adjunct professor of psychology, founder of Emotional Detox Coaching® and Sherianna walks me through the CLEANSE method she developed when it comes to emotional detoxing, the power of overcoming trauma and how she was able to overcome the most challenging times in her life. Along with this, she shares the most helpful thing for her in overcoming her own, personal traumas!
March 8, 2021
An Innovative Way of Healing
As you can see from the title of today’s episode we are going to be getting into the meaning behind “an innovative way of healing.” Here to join me in this conversation is my guest, Dr. Chuck Weber. Dr. Chuck is a board certified psychiatrist practicing from the Family Care Center (FCC) in Colorado Springs, CO.  Chuck is going to get into the technological breakthrough known as TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and it’s incredible benefits. I am also happy to have him here today to learn more about him, the work he is doing and the incredible results he has seen so far since starting his practice!
March 1, 2021
Defeating Our Inner Enemy
As you can see from the title of today’s episode, “Defeating Our Inner Enemy,” we are going to be discussing what this means, what it looks like and how to go about tackling this. Here to join me in this conversation by sharing her remarkable story is Brandi Benson. Brandi is an author, speaker, business owner and Ewing sarcoma cancer survivor. She is also the founder and CEO of Resume-Advantage, an employment service for both civilians and transitioning military veterans. I am very excited to have Brandi here today to dive into her story and how she was able to defeat her inner enemy and how you can too! She shares her experience being deployed in the military, receiving a  Ewing Sarcoma cancer diagnosis and turning her journal dedicated to her nephew, Donavin, into a book for all to read.  
February 22, 2021
What’s Breaking Taboo All About?
We are going to be diving into two meanings behind this title. We are, of course, going to be getting into ways to break the taboo surrounding mental health along with the non-profit organization called Breaking Taboo, founded by today’s guest. Joining me today is Serena Sun, the Founder and Director of Breaking Taboo, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mental health awareness and suicide prevention education. I am so excited to have Serena here today to share her story and chat with me about this incredible organization, the work done so far and future plans to continue breaking the taboo! 
February 15, 2021
Living Authentically Using This Technique
We are going to be diving into a special technique that has helped my guest live life fulfilled as his authentic self..... Joining me today is Eric Almeida, an emotional freedom technique practitioner who works with his clients to tackle their emotional pain to live their fullest lives. I am so excited to have Eric here to dive into the work he does, what it means, how it is beneficial and how it has transformed his life. Eric describes how he went from having a horrible panic attack, suffering with anxiety and dealing with agoraphobia to being able to face his fears, start an antique shop and become a certified practitioner to help others. Also.... if you guys use coupon code "Crooked Illness” you will get $30 off your first EFT session with Eric!
February 8, 2021
Mindset Work to Overcome Anxiety
My guest today is the beautiful Maya Roffler, host of the Mayapinion podcast where she discusses leadership for established, upcoming and aspiring leaders. Join me as we dive deeper into Maya's story, her experience with anxiety, panic attacks and her tips for overcoming this. Maya highlights key changes she made to her habits and daily routine that helped take her from the darkest moment of her life to a place of fulfillment and joy. We cover gratitude practices you can add into your daily routine, tips for managing anxiety and key moments in Maya's journey so far that are helpful to highlight!  
February 1, 2021
A Story on Overcoming Cancer & Mental Strength
Today we are going to be hearing an incredible story on overcoming cancer and the mental strength that played a role in this story. Here to tell this story is my guest, Fitz Koehler. Fitz is a fitness innovator with a Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences from the University of Florida, who is president of her own company, Fitzness International LLC, a fitness company that specializes in providing fitness education through mass media. Fitz is also a professional race announcer who hosts some of the largest running events in America and author of her new memoir, My Noisy Cancer Comeback. We chat about the role mental strength has played in her experience pre, during and post cancer. Fitz also shares the important habits she has developed and practices on a daily basis that keep her moving. We also dive into the benefits of eliminating toxic relationships and negative self-talk has on the quality of your life. 
January 25, 2021
Being “in the way” vs. “on the way”
It was such a pleasure speaking with Dean about his story, life’s work and greatest lessons on my podcast, Crooked Illness. Dean provided immeasurable value with how he overcame incredible obstacles in his personal life to arrive at the place he is now. He spoke about the concept of being “in the way” vs “on the way” in regards to obstacles we come across in life. He shared insight on how to move away from personalizing failure, how to start responding vs. reacting and how to move forward in all areas of life. Dean is truly an incredible person who has made it his mission to share the life lessons he has learned with others.
January 18, 2021
The Power of Forgiveness
Today we are going to be getting into what it means to forgive ourselves and others and the power in doing that. Here to join me in this conversation is my guest, Kevin Clark. Kevin has found deep purpose through his work in the behavioral health field as a therapist, specializing in treating addiction and trauma. He shares with me what learning and practicing forgiveness has done for the quality of his life along with the role self-love played in this!
January 11, 2021
The Power of Hypnosis & Habits
Today's conversation is focused on the benefits of hypnosis and building good habits. I am excited to have my guest, Doug Sands, here to share with us what hypnosis is, what is has done for him and how it has helped transform various areas of his life.  Doug is a consulting hypnotist who works with clients all over the globe and I am happy to dive into this conversation with him! He gives an example of what a typical session is like, how practicing hypnosis for over a year has nearly eliminated his depression, significantly lowered his anxiety and raised his self-confidence!
January 4, 2021
Technology for Mental Health
We are going to be exploring a type of technology that’s sole purpose and goal is to improve your mental health. Joining me in this conversation today is Dmitri Leonov, the cofounder of Taopatch and co-organizer of Transformative Technologies Lab, the largest community of entrepreneurs focused on using technology for human thriving. Dmitri shares the way in which this patch of technology has helped his energy levels, focus, mental well-being and flexibility. He also shares interesting research findings of how this technology has improved depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease!
December 28, 2020
Stories of Optimism in the Face of Adversity
Today is going to be a fun episode because I have two guests  joining me to chat about a special message inside a book they wrote together. Raeesa and Jamie are the authors of “Where’s My Lemonade?” A book born from the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It includes 17 inspirational stories to keep you going and to illustrate the many obstacles and struggles that are conquered. Raeesa, Jamie and I chat about the theme of hope, how they overcame their most challenging moments and how mental health issues do not discriminate. I hope you guys enjoy this conversation today and leave feeling more empowered and prepared to tackle your day or whatever you may be facing!
December 21, 2020
Self-love & Perfectionism
This is the episode for you if you want to learn about the role self-love plays when it comes to perfectionism. Join me and my guest, Elizabeth Su, wellness writer and founder of Monday Vibes Newsletter, as we dive into the power self-compassion has in defeating perfectionism. I was so excited when Elizabeth reached out to talk about this topic because not only does she has personal experience with this topic but she studied this while at Columbia University working on her MA in Clinical Psychology. We share the may forms perfectionism can take (procrastination, imposter syndrome, fear of failure, etc.) and how to better understand and combat them!
December 14, 2020
Ted Talks to Save Lives
I am excited about this episode right here because my guest, Frank King, is joining me to talk about the 5 Ted Talks he gave on mental health, the work he is doing for suicide prevention and more. Frank King is a TED Talk coach, a former writer for the Tonight Show for 20 years and a speaker and standup comic who has worked with Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres! Frank reveals what it was like sharing that he was suicidal for the first time on stage during his first Ted Talk and what continuing to share his story has done for others. Frank describes what chronic suicidal ideation is, how it effects his life and how he discusses it in his Ted Talks to help others. 
December 7, 2020
Normalizing Mental Health Convos
This is the perfect episode if you are interested in learning about different approaches to normalizing mental health conversations. Here to join me in discussing this topic today is my guest, Cynthia Siadat. Cynthia is a psychotherapist in CA specializing in working with trauma and high achievers. We describe how to explore mental health conversations from a more compassionate vs. critical way. We also dive into how to go about stripping the shame away from our own mental health experiences. Cynthia and I also share our thoughts on therapy and some advice for those on the fence about trying it out!
November 30, 2020
A Story on PTSD Healing
Today we are going to be talking about PTSD with my guest, Brent Magnussen. He is a best selling American author, a professional speaker, and a former U.S Army Combat Engineer. Brent sits on the board of the Resilient Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves US Veterans and First Responders who suffer from PTSD acquired during their service. RWF provides scholarships to Veterans and First Responders with PTSD to study the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the academy of their choice. We will get into why Brent decided to practice jiujitsu, what it has done for his PTSD and what he has tried in the past to help with this. Brent will share the #1 thing jiujitsu has brought him that he misses from his time in the army and how it has helped him transition from life in service to life out of service. 
November 23, 2020
How to Wonder More & Worry Less
This is the episode for you if you have ever wanted to work on having more wonder in your life and less worry. What do you do to  go about getting more of the good and less of the bad? My guest, Jason Godoy, is here to share this secret with us all. Jason is a reiki healer, podcast host of the "Wake Up With Wonder" podcast and the creator of the Wonder More Worry Less challenge. This free self-discovery challenge (I'm doing it!!) will help you unlock heightened self-awareness, incredible gratitude practices and how to flip the switch from worry to wonder to get shit done!
November 20, 2020
Being Bipolar
In this episode, my guest and I share stories, experiences and conversations about bipolar disorder. Mimi, founder of Rad or Die, a business consulting and event coordination business, joins me in this conversation. We have both been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and we created this episode to dive into what our experiences with this has been like, the perception of mental illness and the role of stigma in overcoming struggles. We talk about what things have helped us, hurt us and made us continually committed to working toward ending the stigma associated with mental illness.
November 16, 2020
Do This Every Morning
This episode is for you if you are looking to try out some new practices related to gratitude or if you just wanna learn more about what that is, what it means and what it looks like. I know I definitely wanted to learn more about this after hearing about the effects it can do for your mindset and overall well being. I will be sharing the top 5 things I've been doing to practice gratitude and how it has helped me with starting my day, feeling refreshed, feeling thankful and feeling ready to attack the day!
November 9, 2020
Stories on Addiction Intervention
Today’s episode we will be talking all about addiction intervention, what it entails and the importance behind it. Joining me today to share his story related to this is my guest, Scott Jones. Scott is the co-founder of Addiction Training Center (ATC), a platform to train individuals on intervention training techniques. Scott will be sharing details on his experience when he struggled with addiction and what he learned from that time in his life. He will also share a key piece that is missing when it comes to recovery and the ways ATC is helping to fix this.  
November 2, 2020
My Mental Health Story
I was excited to feature my story on Keith Snider's Anxiety About Anxiety Podcast and bring it to you guys here! I will be sharing the reason I am so passionate about talking about mental health and mindset topics. I'll be getting into my own personal story with the struggles I faced during my hospitalization with bipolar disorder along with what it was like to work in the same place I was once a patient. Additionally, I'll be talking about how I overcame the stigma I associated with my experience and how all these experiences taught me the power in vulnerability.  
October 30, 2020
Dealing with Death
I was invited to have this conversation around death, grief and how we handle this on my friend's, Luke Cuccurullo, podcast (Cuccurullo Conversations). Luke and I describe our own personal experiences with how we've handled a few deaths of those we were close to, what this looked like and how we dealt with the loss. This is a very interesting conversation that I have never had before and that breaks down the meaning of the essence of grief. 
October 26, 2020
The Power & Purpose of Language
Get ready to tune into this conversation on language as it relates to your relationships, passions, interests and many other areas of your life! Joining me in this powerful conversation today is my guest, Mark England! Mark is a TEDx speaker, professional speaking coach and co-founder of Procabulary and Enlifted. Procabulary and Enlifted both provide cutting edge online training programs and world class coaching in the art of communication for individuals, organizations and businesses. We will be exploring the ways most people use their language to train wreck their imaginations and lives and how to step out of this pattern. Mark describes the difference between conflict and architect language along with steps to transition your language in order to add powerful and lasting value to your life.
October 23, 2020
What’s Intentional Living All About?
Do you ever wonder about your purpose in life or what it actually means to live "intentionally?" Have you ever struggled with having too many goals you want to achieve and no clear direction? If so, you will love the insight, tips and stories from this conversation I have with my guest, Sean Rosensteel. Sean is the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book, The School of Intentional Living and the founder of the Intentional Living Academy. Sean and I get into what your purpose is right now and the meaning of the relationship between areas of life and areas of school. I also reveal a major thing Sean has personally helped me with!
October 19, 2020
Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking
If you have a fear of public speaking then this episode was made for you. Join me as my guest, Brenden Kumarasamy, and I get into where this fear often develops, what it means and the overarching role public speaking plays in our lives. Brenden went from working a great job at IBM to being a communication expert and Founder of MasterTalk. MasterTalk is his platform and YouTube series dedicated to helping purpose-driven  entrepreneurs master public speaking and sharing their ideas with the world. We have a conversation about the defining difference between decisions vs. passions along with the consequences of the inability to take action on our passions.
October 16, 2020
A Look Inside Reporting on Mental Health
Tune into a conversation between myself and my guest Michael Simonson, a mental health journalist and freelance public relations representative. Michael shares what his role as a reporter comprises of, what it has been like so far and what prompted him to get into this type of work. We share our stories related to being hospitalized and the importance of talking about mental health. Michael also shares a bit about his latest work as a journalist covering stories on mental health and what he's learned so far from the work he's done.
October 12, 2020
The Origin of Crooked Illness
Why did I decide to name my podcast "Crooked Illness?" I break down the reasoning behind the name for you guys in this episode! I get into the two perspectives (patient vs. employee) I gained related to my own experiences with bipolar disorder and how they contributed to the meaning of Crooked Illness. I describe how those two perspectives really pushed me to design this podcast as a space for people to hear stories, experiences and  topics related to mental  health and mindset. So for those wondering or wanting to learn more on the background of Crooked Illness..... this is the episode to find out all about that!
October 9, 2020
Body Image Struggles to Recovery
Today will be an important conversation covering the topics of body image and eating disorders with my guest, Alison Haase. Alison is an author, blogger, athlete and an eating disorder survivor. Alison wrote “The Addict in Aisle 7” where she gets into the drug addiction she experienced, along with alcoholism as a teen, her journey to sobriety, and the one thing most stigmatized of all - eating disorders. We chat about what body image is, the pursuit of perfection depicted in the media and what it is like having and recovering from an eating disorder.
September 25, 2020
The Making of Miranda Girl
Today’s episode  will  be a conversation between my guest, Michelle  Miranda, and I about  the creation of her magazine: Miranda Girl and the events that led to the birth of the magazine. Michelle explains how she combined her love for English literature and writing along with empowering others to create her magazine. We discuss the ways the magazine helps identify the commonalities people share  rather than focusing on differences. Michelle offers great insight on what the power of being vulnerable has done for her life, the evolution of her magazine and what it can do for you.
September 18, 2020
Living the Dream Vs. Dreaming of Living
It's with great pleasure that I welcome Dr. Robb Kelly to the podcast! Dr. Kelly is a triple threat against the disease of addiction because of the 20 years experience he has working with addicts and alcoholics, the knowledge he gained from receiving his PhD in psychology from  Oxford University and being a recovered alcoholic himself. Some refer to him as "The Gordon Ramsay of the Addiction World" because of his direct, no-nonsense, and candid approach to recovery. He talks about the power of self-belief, the importance  of how we talk to ourselves and how to live the life you've only dreamt about right now.
September 16, 2020
Consequences of Lacking Confidence
Is there an area of your life that you know you lack confidence in and that you want to change? I get into how I used to lack confidence in sharing my podcast when I first started it. I break  down all the reasons behind this along with how I overcame that. We can lack  confidence in how we look physically, how we manage finances, asking for help,  sharing things with others and even trying something new. I describe how becoming more confident in yourself and your abilities you make you feel better, happier and open more doors for opportunities to connect with others on an authentic and meaningful level.
September 14, 2020
Post-College Depression
The idea for this topic stemmed from a conversation I had with a really good friend of mine about life after college. If you have gone to college, are in college, or have not gone to college, you will most likely be able to relate to a few things I talk about here. The way I always saw it was that there were two types of people. The ones who graduate and know what their next moves are and the ones who graduate and have no clue what their next steps are. I get into how both are totally normal and totally okay. I describe the way comparing ourselves to others never ends well along with how we learn through experience and the value  we gain from that experience. 
September 7, 2020
Speaking On Addiction, Loss & Recovery
Joining me to share his story related to the title of this episode is my guest, Nick Lechnir. Nick is an author, speaker, photographer and the founder of Leapfrogging Success. Leapfrogging Success is a business that aims to help anxious, analytical introverts become confident and powerful speakers. Nick is joining me today to share his story on how he used his experiences related to addiction, abuse, trauma and mental health struggles to become an accomplished speaker. He offers exceptional tips on how you can overcome your fear of public speaking, why we struggle with this and how to prepare before giving big talks. 
September 2, 2020
Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful
Episode 29 features an incredible, returning guest of mine. His name is Ryan Stanley and he was on my episode titled, “Utilizing Curiosity over Judgement to Empower a Creative Mindset,” where he spoke about  the ways in which we can shift the view we have of ourselves and others in order to move away from judgement and more toward a nature of compassion and understanding. The reason I wanted to make this episode with Ryan today is to discuss his book, which is the title of this episode, “Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful.” In this book, Ryan provides the tools to patch up those feelings of stress, overwhelming moments and anxiety that we all experience, so we can heal on our own. He shares with me where he got the inspiration for the book, the meaning behind certain messages within it and how you can apply the messages in this book in your own life.
August 28, 2020
A Way to Overcome Crippling Anxiety
Do you struggle with anxiety, know someone who does or just want to learn more about anxiety? Then this episode is perfect for you. In episode 28, I am joined by Jesse Harless who shares with me something he discovered that helped him overcome his anxiety. Jesse is an advocate, trainer, author, and the founder of Entrepreneurs in Recovery®. Entrepreneurs in Recovery® consists of in-person and online events and workshops that empower individuals and groups to unlock their highest potential. Jesse speaks about his work and the experiment he did for 30 days to conquer his crippling anxiety. 
August 21, 2020
Healing PTSD through Yoga Therapy
In episode 27, Anissa Hudak joins me to talk about how yoga therapy can help heal PTSD. Anissa is a certified yoga therapist and founder of the Trauma Healing Yoga Therapy Program. She is a 2x rape survivor with an intimate understanding of the complex issues traumatized women face and created her program to help them navigate their healing journeys. She works with people with all types of physical conditions, but she specializes in working with those suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and all trauma-related issues and has been for the past 5 years. The episode features a description of what got Anissa interested in starting her own Trauma Healing Yoga Therapy Program and how it relates to healing PTSD. Anissa also describes how PTSD/trauma starts in the body and how yoga therapy can be an option to release it. Anissa's focus is healing the whole person physically, not just the parts that seem to need the most immediate attention.  check out the work she does on her website:
August 17, 2020
Ending the Stigma Associated with Mental Illness
In episode 26, Jay Shifman joins me to discuss what stigma is, what it means and how to overcome it. Jay is a Mental Health and Substance Misuse & Recovery Speaker, Coach, and Advocate, and the host of the "Choose Your Struggle" podcast. He is ten years in recovery and survived multiple suicide attempts and an overdose. As a result of these experiences he made it his mission to fight to end stigma by telling his recovery story and advocating for opportunities for others to do the same.  This episode features tips on how Jay overcame stigma and advice for those struggling to overcome stigma associated with mental illness or addiction. 
August 14, 2020
The Connection Between Genetics and Addiction
In episode 25, I am joined by Dr. Kenneth Blum to discuss what the connection between genetics and addiction is and what it means. Dr. Blum is an American scientist who is considered to be the father of “Psychiatric Genetics.” He has published over 550 peer– reviewed articles and written 17 books concerning genetics and addiction. In addition to this, he has been the recipient of many grants and awards including a Life-Time Achievement in Addiction Medicine and the Presidential Award for Scientific Excellence. The episode features a conversation on what interested Dr. Blum in getting into this field along with highlights of his key research findings. Dr. Blum describes research he has done to discover better treatment options for those suffering with various addictions. 
August 12, 2020
From Being Suicidal to Coaching Happiness
In episode 24, I am joined by my guest, Amanda Webster, who shares her journey to becoming a Mind-Body Wellness coach.  Amanda specializes in Holistic Nutrition, is a fitness instructor for Fitness Beyond Borders, a spokesmodel and fitness coach for The Abs Company and she has been published in Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.  She has two decades of personal experience with mental health, addiction and suicidal tendencies. This episode features tips on overcoming trauma and depression along with a discussion on what happiness is and why happiness looks different for everyone. In addition to this, Amanda speaks about the importance of mindfulness and how to go about building your foundation for creating lasting happiness. 
August 10, 2020
Coaching in Crisis
In episode 23, I am joined by Ellia Marcum, the owner and operator of Mood|Well,  a crisis coaching business. Ellia started this company to help other women thrive from mental illness and a plethora of different life crises. She speaks about the work she has done with Mood|Well and the reason and inspiration that led her to start her business. She talks about her experience personally and professionally related to trauma, healing, and the power of vulnerability. Ellia offers great advice on how she has helped her clients overcome feeling stuck and what you can do if you find yourself in that place. 
August 7, 2020
The Art of Executing Goals
In Episode 22 I am joined by my guest, Jan Fara, to discuss "The Art of Executing Goals." This conversation covers the journey of my guest and what he did to take critical action on turning his goals into accomplishments. In addition to this, we are going to be offering some tips on how to help inspire you to take action on yours. Jan was born in the Czech Republic and currently lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a fellow Podcaster (Host of the Beer and Chill Podcast), Artist and the first Czech professional wrestling trainee from GPWA (Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum). GPWA is a big school located in Scotland where many famous pro wrestlers have come out of after perfecting their craft. Jan will be speaking about the journey he took to turn his dream of becoming a professional wrestler into a reality. 
August 4, 2020
Why Treatment Doesn't Work So Well
This episode is an incredible conversation between my guest, John Giordano, and I on the topic of treatment for addiction. Mr. Giordano is an author, certified hypnotherapist, entrepreneur and an expert in the treatment of addiction and the founder of The National Institute For Holistic Addiction Studies. In addition to this, John has provided counseling and trauma recovery services to law enforcement officers and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. He is a state and federal expert witness and also the Chaplain of the North Miami Police Department. As a 10th-degree black belt and National Karate Champion, he also trains law enforcement officers and Green Berets in self-defense and negotiation techniques. Mr. Giordano has also contributed to over sixty-five research papers with his close friend and colleague Dr. Kenneth Blum, discoverer of the addiction gene. Their papers have been published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals such as: Neuropharmacology, The American Journal of Psychiatry and The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. John virtually sits down with me to share his story with addiction and how it has effected and transformed his life for the better. John describes current treatments for addiction and why they are ineffective along with the lifestyle choices people make that contribute to the problem. In addition to this, John shares valuable advice on how he dealt with his own addiction and how he was able to overcome it to help empower others. For more on John Giordano visit his website:
July 28, 2020
Utilizing Curiosity over Judgement to Empower a Creative Mindset
In this episode, I am joined by Ryan Stanley, professional life coach and author of "Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful: A First Aid Kit for the Emotional Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises of Life", to discuss judgement vs. curiosity. Ryan has changed the lives of hundreds of clients from all walks of life through his profession of coaching. He was also the first ever Internal Coach for one of the world's top coach training organizations where he coached staff from entry level to C suite on everything from daily professional growth to how they want to show up energetically in other more personal areas of their life. He offers incredible insight into the differences between judgement and curiosity and how to utilize curiosity in our daily lives to achieve our goals. He describes the ways in which we can shift the view we have of ourselves and others in order to move away from judgement and more toward a nature of compassion and understanding. 
July 20, 2020
Fear Busters
In episode 19, Neishma Gerena, my returning guest, and I dive into what it means to be a "fear buster." She offers great advice on how people can understand, work through and overcome various fears (public speaking, fear of failure, etc.). We get into some personal experiences we've had dealing with our own fears and how those experiences ended up helping us grow. We break down where fear often originates and what is at the root of most fears we all struggle with on a daily basis. I hope you guys enjoy this episode! Check out Neishma's podcast, "What is," available on Anchor, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. If you are interested in becoming a guest on Crooked Illness send me an e-mail at 
July 17, 2020
Healthcare Dysfunctions & Potential Solutions
My guest, Erika Feinberg, and I have a conversation about common dysfunctions within the healthcare industry and potential solutions to rectify them. Erika works as the CMO of The Perfect Companion, a home health care service in Phoenix, AZ. She is also a public speaker, best-selling author, corporate trainer and specializes in psychosocial counseling and the creation of growth strategies for existing businesses. Our conversation highlights Erika’s interest for getting involved in the healthcare field along with her experiences in the field. She also shares advice for those who wish to get involved with creating positive changes for healthcare services.
July 9, 2020
The "All-in" Mentality
I virtually sit down to have a conversation on the "All-in" mentality with my guest, Ruben MC Medina. He is an artist, producer, motivational speaker and DJ. He primarily works as an interactive edutainment (education and entertainment) motivational speaker. We dive into the meaning behind having an "All-in" mentality and our conversation highlights the benefits of this type of mentality along with a few drawbacks. Medina discusses how this type of mentality has influenced and contributed to the work he is doing to inspire, motivate and help others through all of his platforms. For more information on him visit his website: 
July 6, 2020
The Power of Problems
In this episode, I talk about how I used to view problems and the way I view them today. I open up about certain problems I’ve dealt with in the past and the lessons I learned as a result of that. I reframe the view of problems as negative into a positive view that offers the opportunity for growth and learning. I talk about the power we sometimes give to our problems that enables them to grow and become unmanageable. I offer ways to shift that view to looking at problems as a way of understanding how to solve, maneuver and handle them.
June 29, 2020
Waiting is a Dream Killer
We all have moments in our lives where we wait. We may wait because we are unsure, scared, happy where we are or nervous to see what else we can open ourselves up to. But instead of spending so much time waiting, try to understand what is making you want to wait. Try to understand the cause of your decision to wait. Once you understand what is at the root of that decision it will be helpful moving forward. However, there are some things in life you should take some time to decide on. I am not advocating that everyone should just rush into every decision they make. But I am saying that people should carefully think things over and try to understand why they want more time to decide on something. Opportunities present themselves to us at various points in our lives but not all of these opportunities are the same and all of them may not be available forever.
June 19, 2020
The Bigger Picture
This episode I bring on my guest and beautiful friend, Sandra Nijiva, to talk about racism and discrimination. We have a conversation about this issue and Sandra shares her own personal experiences with racism growing up and how she has handled these situations. This is a powerful interview that I hope you find eye opening, informative and enlightening. Check out the interview Sandra did on this topic on her podcast “Organically You.”
June 11, 2020
The Power of Empathy
In this episode, I talk about the power that empathy has in different aspects of our lives. I break down what empathy is, what it does and what it means if there is a lack of empathy in different scenarios. The message that inspired this episode is to try to understand the emotions of others. It is not always easy to take a step back and dissect where another person is coming from. I talk about my experience with this and in how trying this has improved the quality of my relationships. I hope you guys enjoy this episode! 
June 8, 2020
Sexual Assault’s Effects on Mental Health
In this episode, I talk with Luke Cuccurullo, a fellow podcaster and former reality television personality with a civil engineering background. Luke shares his story and describes the effects sexual assault has had on those close to him as well as how it has impacted his life. We talk about how this can be a difficult topic to open up about and the reasoning for that. Hopefully, these experiences we shared are helpful to those who have gone through a similar experience or know someone who has. Check out Luke’s podcast called “Cuccurullo Conversations” available on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
May 18, 2020
“People Pleasers” with Julie Scott
In this episode I chat about people pleasing with life coach, author and speaker, Julie Scott! She shares how she went from being a total people pleaser to taking back control of her life and using her experiences to help others live a life of confidence, passion and authenticity. We talk about what it means to be a people pleaser, the effects it can have on your relationships and how to step out of that role and into one that aligns with your true passions in life. To check out Julie’s work visit:
May 14, 2020
Your Own Worst Critic with Robby Reyes
On this episode I have my good friend and amazing hair stylist, Robby, here to talk about what it means when we are our own worst critics. We are going to be talking about this topic and how it relates to our own self-views and how being too critical of yourself can be damaging. Specifically related to the beauty industry where Robby works, we are going to be talking about how many people are unable to see their own beauty because they are comparing themselves to others on Tv or social media. I thought this would be a fun episode after talking with him about how so many people struggle with this on a daily basis. I even used to struggle with this myself and still have days where I am overly critical of myself! I hope you all enjoy this episode and take something away from it. ❤️
May 4, 2020
Avoid the Quarantine Blues with Sandra Njiva
In this episode, I have my friend Sandra Njiva share some tips on how to avoid the “quarantine blues.” She was born in Zimbabwe and currently lives and works as a medical assistant in New York. She shared great tips with me that I thought would be amazing to share with you guys! This is a difficult, challenging and unprecedented time but she shares what she has done to remain positive, productive and motivated during this time. I hope you all enjoy this episode and are staying healthy and safe!
April 25, 2020
Becoming Vulnerable with MaKayla Kellor
In this episode, MaKayla and I talk about what it means to become vulnerable in mental healthcare. I am so glad to welcome her to the show to share her own personal experiences along with the work she does in her non-profit called Becoming Vulnerable. We talk about overcoming the fear of being vulnerable along with the benefits of opening up. I hope you guys enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed creating it. Thank you for all the love, support and feedback!
April 17, 2020
Mindset Shift with Stephanie Anderson
In this episode I bring on my very first guest, my friend Stephanie, to share her thoughts on the power of mindset. She shares a little bit of her story and how working on personal development for the past two years has transformed her quality and outlook on life. She shares some of the things she has done to shift her mindset in order to live a more fulfilled and happy life. I hope you guys enjoy this episode because it was so much fun working on this interview and being able to bring it to you guys here! Thank you so much for all the support, feedback and love I have received so far!
April 8, 2020
Failure is Feedback
In this episode, I talk about looking at failure in a more positive light. I talk about how failure is commonly viewed in a negative light and the consequences this can have in various areas of your life. If you change the way you view failure, it can open doors for growth and learning in a number of ways discussed here.
March 26, 2020
Walking away from Negativity
On Episode #5 I get into ways that negative relationships can effect your life and what to do about it. I share how my latest interview on the "Organically You" podcast with my friend Sandra inspired me to post this episode. I get into how toxic relationships of all kinds can impact you mentally and even lead to guilt and sadness about cutting it off. I talk about how to identify if the relationship is toxic and to understand how it makes you feel overall. I mention how who you surround yourself with and how they make you feel ultimately contribute to how you view your self, your abilities and your self-esteem. I hope this episode was helpful and I appreciate all the feedback and support I've received so far.
March 17, 2020
Where are you putting your energy?
This episode talks about the positive and negative places we can place our energy on a daily basis and how it can ultimately impact our relationships, productivity, passions and self-confidence. What you give most or all of your energy to can either influence or delay success in areas of your life. Do you spend the majority of your time trying to place your energy in more positive or negative places?
March 4, 2020
Today’s topic is about my own personal experience with having been misdiagnosed with depression. I share my story and thoughts on therapy, medication and treatment to help those who are struggling with this issue or know someone who has dealt with this. This information is also to provide clarity to those wanting to learn more about what being misdiagnosed is like and I use details from my own experience to paint that picture.
February 21, 2020
Appreciating Progress
I get into an easy way to appreciate progress made on goals in the past and how this ties into where you are now and where you hope to be in the future. I share my exercise that helps with overthinking, procrastination and over analyzing. Take time to appreciate the accomplishments you have made and the obstacles you’ve overcame! I hope this is helpful and helps with goal setting and personal development ❤️
February 7, 2020
February 1, 2020
February 1, 2020
The Relationship between Mental + Physical Health
I wanted to share my thoughts on my passion for mental health and how properly caring for your physical health plays a key role in sustaining optimal mental health. I talk about being introduced to how your diet, exercise and nutritional choices can either help or hurt your mental health.
February 1, 2020