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That’s All Folks.

Welp. Here we are. The final episode of The Man Rules podcast. Dan and Andrea (the show’s producer) take the opportunity to reminisce, reflect, and ruminate on what might be next... Sometimes, abundance comes from letting go. You’ve gotta make room to receive whatever gifts may be coming your way. Thank you for making room for The Man Rules podcast. We hope your time with is was only the beginning of your journey toward freedom and personal fulfillment.


What Men Would Tell You... About Having All The Answers

There's no tenure for manhood. The false promise of The Man Rules, is that if you follow them closely enough, for long enough, you will soon rest easy in your identity as man. But, the truth is, a man's status as a man will have to constantly renewed--daily. Sometimes hourly! Think of all the opportunities he has throughout the day to mess up, and have his man card revoked! (Men: For help with this exercise, see the list of The Man Rules, and ask yourself how many you've followed and how...


Childhood Heroes and Personal Mythologies

All stories we relate to are based either on our wishes or on our fears. Sometimes--or maybe even often--both. That's what makes this week's episode with friend of the show Rick Belden such a powerful one. Rick leads Dan through a fascinating discussion about the ways in which we internalize our favorite childhood stories to develop personal mythologies and use them to guide the ways we show up in the world. Though it may seem a little silly to you at first, if you try the exercise Dan and...


Coping with Changing Gender Expectations

This week, friend of the show Dr. Michael Levittan is back to help us sort through the many changes in our expectations of men and women over the years, and how psychology and psychotherapy have played a role in helping shape and guide those changes. The conversation centers around the American Psychological Association's latest recommendations for treating men, and branches out into a lively discussion about what "traditional masculinity" means, and whether there are some aspects of...


All Good Things Must Come to an End

After more than two years of operation, we have made the difficult decision to end production of The Man Rules podcast. So, this week Dan's solo episode--his last solo episode--is about what it means to embrace change. One thing we know for sure is that change is constant. It's not good or bad. The amount of control you have over what changes and what doesn't is very limited. (Some folks even believe that in most cases, you have no control at all.) So, what do you do with that? Short...


How to Stay Sober AF

Early sobriety can be lonely. Many people recovering from alcohol and other substance use disorders find that they have to change their entire social structure. And, that's not something that happens overnight. It takes time to develop an entirely new social life when you've had to leave the old one, that was built around substance use, behind. Many people believe that they will have to give up activities where drinking and drug use are sometimes considered "the norm,"--like concerts and...


What Men Would Tell You... About Winning

"If you're not first, you're last." That's the mantra of Ricky Bobby, a champion NASCAR driver (played by Will Ferrell) in the cinematic masterpiece, "Talledega Nights." The great thing about that quote, and about the movie, is that it gently pokes fun at The Man Rule that says real men always win. And, in the process, helps us begin to see that rule in a new way--or maybe to see it for the first time if it's been part of The Water for you most of your life. In this episode, Dan and...


Leggo my Ego

Dr. Lou Cox has studied the ego for decades. He joins Dan to talk about his work and his new book, Ego: The Ghost in Your Machinery. Specifically, he and Dan talk about the male ego and how men thrive and suffer as a result of their dances with the ego. Cox talks about two essential needs every human being has: the need to be accepted and the need to be true to who we are, our own unique self-expression. These two needs can be in conflict with each other which creates confusion and...


Support the Podcast

This week, Dan's back with an update on our makeshift pledge drive. We hear from Noah, a longtime listener who has pledged his support, and Dan makes a case for you all to be like Noah. (If you can.) Would you be willing to offer a small monthly donation to keep the podcast running? (Say, around $5 or $10 a month?) If so, send an email to and let us know you’re interested. If enough folks say “yes” we’ll go through the process of setting up an official donation channel…


Loving Like You Mean It

Chances are, you've had several relationships throughout your life. Some are ongoing (friends, family, etc.) Some ended. (boyfriends/girlfriends, spouses, lovers.) Some maybe even ended badly. If you reflect on the relationships that ended badly, and on the times in your ongoing relationships where things weren't going so well, do you notice any patterns in your behavior and reactions? If so, you are likely starting to uncover your attachment style. In this episode, Dr. Ron Frederick,...


Is Masculinity Toxic?

Thankfully, discussions about gender conformity and its influence on mental health, crime, and violence have hit the mainstream. A big part of that discussion focuses on the idea of "toxic masculinity." Is masculinity itself at the center of all of mens' problems? And are men at the center of all the world's problems? It can certainly feel that way if you spend a lot of time on Twitter... Randy Flood, author of the best article on toxic masculinity we've ever read (as well as several...



We've been producing episodes of The Man Rules podcast every week for almost 2.5 years now. It's been an honor to provide this for free to our listeners as a resource for those in recovery, and those who just want to live more conscious lives. Unfortunately, we've reached a crossroads with the show. If we can't find a source of funding to cover the show's monthly expenses, we'll have to discontinue production. Would you be willing to offer a small monthly donation to keep the podcast...


Sugar Addiction and Compulsive Overeating

When we think about addiction and recovery, we tend to think specifically about drugs--both recreational and prescription-- including alcohol. But, some people struggle with other substances and behaviors that we don't often talk about when we talk about addiction--things like compulsive shopping/spending, work addiction, video game addiction, porn addiction, and compulsive overeating, to name a few. In this episode, Andrea (producer extraordinaire of our podcast) talks vulnerably with...

What is Love?

Is love a feeling or an action? Is it a choice we make, or is the result of a magical bond with another person that is impossible to explain? Do you decide to be a loving person, or are you just born that way? If you've listened to this podcast before, you've probably guessed that the answer is "both/and." Psychiatrist Michael McGee joins Dan this week to talk about love as both a practice and a guiding principle. And, this is not mere navel-gazing, people. Dr. McGee breaks it down into...


What Men Would Tell You...About Sex

"If it's true that men want sex 24/7, what does it mean if he won't have sex with me?" "Why won't he engage in foreplay before sex or cuddling after? There's no affection or intimacy." "Why is sex only about what he wants? Doesn't what I want matter?" If you're a woman who has asked yourself these questions about your man, you are certainly not alone. Why are these issues so common in relationships? And what can be done about it? This week, Allen Berger is back to help Dan shed...


Doing 'The Work' with Byron Katie

Look around your local gym long enough, and you're likely to see the phrase "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional," emblazoned on a bumper sticker, a T-shirt, or a bicep in the form of a tattoo. It's one thing to adopt that mantra as a way to encourage yourself to eke out one more rep or run one more minute. It's another to adopt it as an overall way of life. That's what Byron Katie specializes in. "The Work" that it takes to wake up to reality, let go of negative perceptions about...


Let's Talk About Sex

Our culture is weird about sex. We're surrounded by allusions to it constantly--in our advertisements, TV shows, movies, music, websites--but it's rare for any of those mediums to address it in a way that isn't salacious or jokey. It's rare to see any real or fictional characters in popular media talking about sex in a way that's mature and reflective. In this episode, Dan gives a short talk on what it might mean for men if we all started having more earnest conversations about sex,...


A Deep Dive with a Stay-at-Home Dad

Men's experiences as fathers are more varied than popular culture would have you believe. Although the doors are beginning to open a little wider for men who want to take on duties that were traditionally only part of Mom's domain, there is still a lot of stigma to battle. Today, in honor of Father's Month, Nate Brewer talks to Dan about his experiences as a stay-at-home Dad. He explains both how he made the decision to stay home with his kids, and how people tend to react to the...


What Men Would Tell You... About Their Fathers

When we become fathers, so many of our choices are reactions to how our fathers raised us. We often either fall in line with his expectations, or rebel against them. Either way, we aren't really making our own choices, based on who we most want to be. In this episode, Dan and Allen offer up some exercises you can do to begin to separate your own needs and desires from your father's. It's the first step toward developing more conscious fatherhood, and more conscious masculinity.


Gay Men and Their Fathers

In honor of both Father's Month and Pride Month, we're replaying this episode from 2018, featuring the late Tim Clausen. Tim interviewed more than 80 men for his book Not the Son He Expected: Gay Men Talk Candidly About Their Relationship with Their Father. The book, and Tim's interview here on the podcast, are helpful and encouraging resources for gay sons, their fathers, and for all those who love and care about them. Tim's own personal stories about his relationship with his father,...