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Your Life Lived Well

Health & Wellness Podcasts

Using behavioral science to live better with chronic illness.

Using behavioral science to live better with chronic illness.


United States


Using behavioral science to live better with chronic illness.




Stigma, Acceptance & Mental Illness

Why do we have such a difficult time accepting the reality of mental illness? In this episode, we’ll talk about the reasons why many are uncomfortable with mental illness, and we’ll suggest some better ways to think about what mental illnesses are are. We’ll also introduce some steps we can all take to improve our support and acceptance of mental health conditions.



Everyone thinks they should relax more, but we can’t make ourselves relax. It doesn’t work that way. Here’s why relaxation is important, what’s getting in our way, and how we can really get to it.


"You Don't Look Sick"

96% of us with lasting health conditions are largely or completely “invisible.” We don’t have any external signals that remind others of the battles we are fighting inside. That’s confusing to others and they don’t understand. Here’s why we’re confusing, what’s really happening, and how we can help one another appreciate what invisible illness does to our lives. Listen to this one with someone in your life who needs to understand.


Pain isn't What You Think

Pain is sending you a message, but we tend to misinterpret what it’s trying to tell us. Our pain systems also get confused and overwrought. Chronic pain also easily becomes “noise,” and not a meaningful signal. In this episode, we’ll dive into the weird world of chronic pain and discuss some research-backed strategies you can implement to improve your life.


Stress isn't What You Think

Stress is a part of life. Sometimes, it’s even a good part of life. It’s always there, so we must learn better strategies to cope. In this episode, we’ll discover what stress really is, distinguish between its helpful and harmful forms, and learn so better ways for dealing with it.


Fear isn't What You Think

Fear is part of being human. We’ve all experienced it — whether we admit it or not. But for such a common experience, we misunderstand it far more than we realize. This episode is a deep dive into what fear really is and what it’s doing for us. It’s also about how to make fear your friend.


Burnout & Compassion Fatigue

“Burnout” is rampant in the healthcare and caregiving professions. “Compassion fatigue” strikes even the most devoted loved ones and caregivers. These can leave us feeling angry, guilty, confused…or just empty. But they are natural, understandable reactions to the lasting and repeated trauma of supporting others through the worst moments of their lives. Here’s how to recognize their effects early and some things to do when they strike.


Finding Hope when Hopeless

Staying hopeful is a real challenge with chronic illness — for those diagnosed and for their closest loved ones. In this episode, I invite you into a raw conversation about becoming hopeless and finding hope again in your own life. Hope is a precious resource for life with a chronic illness. It can become stretched too thin by our challenges, but we can renew and restore it with patience and support. Hope is a skill that can be learned and must be practiced.


Be Kinder to Yourself

Most of us aren’t very kind to ourselves, but we need to be. This episode dives into what it really means to be kind to yourself, as opposed to just occasionally “nice.” Along the way, we understand what self-esteem and self-compassion are doing in your life, how they can become challenged by the ongoing distress of life with chronic illness, and what we can do to improve self-esteem and (more important) bolster self-compassion.


A Good Night's Sleep

We all need better sleep. Better sleep is a necessary key to a better life. But good sleep seems to be in short supply. In this episode we talk about why so many of us sleep so poorly, and we suggest the most important things research says we can do to insure the good night’s sleep we all crave.


Move It!

We know we’re supposed to exercise. So why is it so hard? What should we do? Why should I care, especially when I already have a chronic health condition? How can we get started and keep going? We’ll answer these questions and more as we talk about how to get moving.



In this second episode on meditation, we discuss research supporting its benefits (and its limitations). Dr. Payne also introduces you to several kinds of meditation that can be useful for improving quality of life with chronic illness. And we discuss tools and communities that can help you with your journey.


Look on the Bright Side!

There’s a lot about life with a chronic health condition that rightly gets us down. When we’re feeling bad, those around us often resort to advising that we need to “look on the bright side” — as if that were the actual problem. However, our mindset does have a huge impact on our quality of life. It’s not simply a matter of “choice,” but there are tactics that really can help us brighten our outlooks and improve our experiences, even under the most difficult circumstances.


Good Grief!

Grief is not what we expect. It’s messy. It doesn’t follow a neat path. And it’s not always neatly resolved. Yet loss is a necessary part of living — and it’s something that a life touched by chronic illness must navigate. Here’s a better way to think about grief and some strategies for accommodating the real demands of loss.



Meditation isn’t what you probably think it is. We dive in to meditation as exercise for the parts of our mind we want to be strong, a way to become more aware and forgiving of ourselves, and an indispensable tools for improving your quality of life when faced by the distress of life with a chronic health condition.


Joe Mays on Football, Health & Life

I’m happy to welcome Joe Mays, former NFL player (and Kansas City Chief) and co-owner of Kansas City’s Laya Center, a holistic wellness spa. We share a wide-ranging conversation about everything from holistic healing, the lasting health consequences of a life in football, vegetarianism, adapting to health traumas, and the role of risk in a fulfilling life.


Help! I was just diagnosed!

You, or someone you love, has just been diagnosed with a life changing — maybe life threatening — medical condition. It’s big. It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. And life won’t be the same. Here’s how not to lose yourself or the things you love about your life. Learn the three most important things you need to do first.


“How You Doin’?”

It’s an innocent little question, and maybe the most difficult one we face with a chronic illness. We’ll unpack the minefield of, “how are you feeling today?” Do we tell the truth? A casual lie? Where do we draw the boundary of disclosure and how do we handle the consequences of this common, well-intentioned social inquiry?


Masculinity, Marijuana & Veteran’s Health with Jason Dye, LSCSW

Join us for a wide-ranging conversation with veteran and VA Social Worker, Jason Dye. How to encourage veterans to get help. Handling Post Traumatic Distress and supporting your loved one’s battle with PTSD. Better transitions from military service back into society. Masculinity and acknowledging health issues. The importance of caring for yourself. The political fight over medical marijuana. And a frank discussion of how our illnesses can attack our masculinity and self worth. (recorded...


A Perfectly Good Airplane

Why does a guy with multiple sclerosis jump from a perfectly good plane…a lot? Probably not why you think. It’s about fear and dreams. In this episode, we talk about how to face your fears and reclaim your dreams stolen by time and chronic illness.