YANSS 187 – How to use brain science to escape the ‘event horizon of the black hole of anxiety’ and rid yourself of bad habits

In this sprawling, strange, and mind-bending episode, Dr. Jud Brewer, a neuroscientist and addiction psychiatrist, discusses the biological origins of our bad habits and how we can change them using new techniques derived from his lab’s research.

Well, he tries to talk about that, but I keep interrupting him to try and solve the great mysteries of consciousness and the self. For instance, if you want to hear a neuroscientist quote Einstein — “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.” — then go from talking about worms and cigarettes to warning you to be careful with your brain or “you can go over the event horizon of the black hole of anxiety,” and the only way out is to add more information to the system to it can propel itself away from the worry black hole — this is the episode for you.

Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Patreon – Soundcloud – Omny

Great Courses Plus

This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Psychology of Human Behavior taught by David W. Martin. Learn about how your mind makes sense of the world and what motivates us to think, feel, and behave differently from one another. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.


Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

Visit DrJud.com to learn more about Dr. Brewer’s research and apps, and use code YANSS20 for 20% off any of the DrJud habit change programs.

Brewer is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love — Why We Get Hooked and how We Can Break Bad Habits — and his TED Talk on how to change a bad habit has more than 12 million views. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT. He has held research and teaching positions at Yale University and the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness.

We talk about so many things in the show, from mindfulness to meditation to psychedelics to why we get stuck browsing the Netflix menu until we run out of time to watch a movie before bed — and lots more. It’s a free association smorgasbord of thinking stuff that will rattle your head.

Links and Sources

Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Patreon – Soundcloud – Omny

Previous Episodes

Jud Brewer’s Website

Brewer’s Lab: Mindsciences

The Craving Mind

The Apps ( use code YANSS20 for 20% off )

The Mindfulness Center