Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places

100 EpisodesProduced by Anna David

Light Hustler features stories by and interviews with actors, writers, comedians, musicians and other fascinating folks as they talk about drinking, drugging, addiction, sobriety, recovery and mental health. The most serious subjects with the lightest of tones, Light Hustler shows people sharing the… read more

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Jessica Sele on Why Men Should Never Tell Women to Smile

December 12th, 2018

16:47

Today’s episode features the very funny Jessica Sele from one of my live  storytelling shows.

In her own words, Jessica Sele is a “deeply weird human being and stand-up comedian.” She’s performed at the Bridgetown …

Comedian Matt Gallagher on A Series of Bad, Drug-Related Decisions

December 6th, 2018

17:20

Matt Gallagher is an actor and comedian who has performed all around New York and Los Angeles.  His work can also be seen on CBS, ESPN, The History …

Author Dana Bowman on Trying to be the Perfect Sober Mom

November 28th, 2018

34:47

Author Kristin Casey on Surviving Addiction and Rock Stars

November 18th, 2018

36:25

Kristin Casey is a recovered alcoholic and addict who's survived clinical depression, numerous addictions, the panhandle of Texas and 17 years of …

Writer and Podcaster Tawny Lara on Documenting Sobriety From Day One

November 14th, 2018

30:15

Tawny Lara is an entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. She’s the founder of SobrieTea Party™ and Readings on Recovery™ and an award-winning filmmaker of her recovery documentary, Fixed Up. She's also the co-host …

Tennis Pro Murphy Jensen on Changing Treatment Success Rates

November 7th, 2018

43:12

Recovery Advocate Tim Ryan on Turning Negatives Into Positives

October 31st, 2018

29:40

Anna David on Calling the Cops on Yourself

October 24th, 2018

13:24

Super Agent Darren Prince on Bottoming Out at the Top

October 17th, 2018

34:30

Darren Prince is a sports and celebrity agent who has represented Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Pele, Joe Montana, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Dennis Rodman …

Bucky Sinister on Going to Poetry Readings Wasted

October 10th, 2018

13:24

Bucky Sinister is a stand-up comedian and author of nine books, including Black Hole: A Novel and Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, …

Kane Holloway on The Hilarity of Slapping Someone While Drunk

October 3rd, 2018

12:54

Kane Holloway is a Seattle native who resides in sunny L.A. Kane is a nationally touring comedian, podcast host and he has performed on Laughs on …

Eddie Pepitone on How Love Went Out a Long Time Ago

September 26th, 2018

24:49

Eddie Pepitone is the subject of The Bitter Buddha, the critically acclaimed documentary about his life, and is also occasionally a part of his stand-up act. As a comedian and actor, he’s been on WTF and Conan …

Amy Dresner on Getting Into and Out of the Psych Ward

September 19th, 2018

15:13

Amy Dresner is a former professional stand-up comic, having appeared at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and The Improv. Since 2012, she has been a contributing editor of the online addiction and recovery magazine …

Kristi Coulter on When a Blog Post Turns into a Book Deal

September 12th, 2018

45:40

Kristi Coulter holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. She is a former Ragdale Foundation resident and the recipient of a …

Dr. Jamie Marich on EMDR Trauma Therapy

September 5th, 2018

47:30

Dr. Jamie Marich is an EMDR bad-ass. Sure, that's a kind of crazy way to identify someone but it's what our medical consultant (and previous podcast …

Anna David on Being an Intolerant Ex-Smoker

August 29th, 2018

13:56

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me.

The …

Gayle Saks on Writing About Recovery as a Counselor

August 22nd, 2018

35:31

Gayle Saks-Rodriguez has been a writer since filling her fourth grade diary with such perfectly crafted sentences as: “Ricky is getting confirmed …

Dr. Lauren Casey on Falling in Love With a Lifer in Recovery

August 15th, 2018

35:21

Dr. Lauren Casey has a fascinating story. The international recovery coach, award-winning author and public speaker specializing in sex industry work, women’s health, substance abuse and trauma hasn’t just learned her …

Brian Finkelstein on Cocaine and Hookers

August 8th, 2018

13:59

Brian Finkelstein is a writer who has been nominated for two Emmys. He is also a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and is a …

Ken Garr on Competing in the Special Olympics

August 1st, 2018

14:20

Ken Garr is a graduate of Second City who has performed at The Laugh Factory, MGM Grand and Hollywood Improv, among many other places, and has been …

Ally Weinhold On Taking Acid to Get Sober

July 18th, 2018

14:14

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up …

Having Miraculous Mornings with Joe Polish

July 11th, 2018

57:06

In a rather short period of time, Joe Polish has become one of my favorite people around.

The genius marketer (who presides over The Genius Network) …

Uncovering Shocking Family Secrets with Tina Alexis Allen

July 4th, 2018

33:08

You could call Tina Alexis Allen an actor. After all, she recently starred in the hit WGN series Outsiders.

You could call her a playwright. After …

Anna David on Her Three Dealers

June 27th, 2018

12:25

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me. (By …

Going From Attorney to Author With David Griggs

June 20th, 2018

32:18

David Griggs has a JD, an MBA and extensive experience representing and advising clients in matters involving employment, contract, regulatory, …

Ally Weinhold on What Happens When You Bring a Homeless Man Home for Dinner

June 14th, 2018

14:14

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up …

Laura House on Her Panic Marriage

June 6th, 2018

28:51

If there’s anyone who can make a ridiculous drinking story hilarious, it’s Laura House. A headlining comedian who has performed on HBO, Comedy …

From Raves and Car Stealing to Recovery and Advocacy with Ivana Grahovac

May 30th, 2018

37:20

Ivana Grahovac is a wonder to behold. And she's even more wondrous once you know her story.

The Director of Advancement for Facing Addiction and …

How the Unlucky Get Sober with Kane Holloway

May 25th, 2018

12:53

Kane Holloway is a Seattle native who resides in sunny L.A. Kane is a nationally touring comedian, podcast host and he has performed on "Laughs on …

How Getting Sober Sucks and Doesn't Suck with Jules Posner

May 16th, 2018

12:57

Jules Posner cut his teeth in his hometown of San Francisco, where he honed his act by yelling over rowdy bar crowds, coffee grinders, and shouty …

When Your Ex-Boyfriend Takes Out a Restraining Order on You with Ally Weinhold

May 9th, 2018

14:43

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up …

Going From Zero to Hero with the Comedian ANT

May 2nd, 2018

32:20

The comedian ANT has been everywhere: a regular on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Tyra Banks Show, he is the only comedian to appear on all …

Anna David on Eating Space Cakes and Losing Her Mind

April 25th, 2018

13:26

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me. (By …

20 Years of Sobriety with John Taylor of Duran Duran

April 18th, 2018

48:48

To say I was excited to interview John Taylor would be the understatement of the century. As an allegedly together adult, I resisted the urge to tell …

Greg Behrendt on the Night a Burrito Saved His Life

April 11th, 2018

26:49

Today’s episode features an absolute doll of a human being: Greg Behrendt.

In it, Greg tells a story from the Light Hustler live storytelling show …

Feeding the Good Wolf with Brad Vos

April 3rd, 2018

30:03

Brad Vos is a mental health and addictions recovery advocate who, in his words, "promotes the opportunity, and not the sacrifice, that recovery provides." Canada-based, he's someone who's tried numerous roads to …

Ask the Shrink: Can You Tell When Patients Are Lying to You?

March 28th, 2018

7:58

Most every addict who's been in therapy has lied to their therapist or psychiatrist.

The question is...do shrinks know when you're lying? We asked LA board certified psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman for his take.

How to Balance Work and Life with Recovery Elevator’s Paul Churchill

March 27th, 2018

36:19

It’s hard to picture Paul Churchill as an active alcoholic. He’s nevertheless got the back story to prove it—including years of destructive drinking, …

Ask the Shrink: What Do You Do When a Patient is Treatment Resistant?

March 21st, 2018

7:25

Some people suffer from depression and other mental issues that doesn't respond to medication. What are they—and their doctors—supposed to do?

Double board certified psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman lays out some options.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper on Trying to Seduce a Bipolar Man With a Jesus Complex

March 20th, 2018

12:47

We all have stories. Some of us have funny ones. Others have tragic ones. If you're Natasha Vargas-Cooper, you have both.

If you listen to the …

Ask the Shrink: How Do We Break Down the Stigma Around Mental Illness?

March 14th, 2018

7:59

Addicts are increasingly more comfortable coming forward and sharing about their problems. But the same doesn't seem to be true for those suffering from mental illness. What can we do about that?

Dr. Josh Lichtman, a …

Losing A Brother to a Heroin Overdose with Stephanie Wittels Wachs

March 13th, 2018

47:14

Stephanie Wittels Wachs has endured something a sister should never have to experience.

In February of 2015, she lost her brother Harris to a heroin …

Ask the Shrink: What is Narcissism and NPD?

March 7th, 2018

7:13

We live in a world where everyone is diagnosing our president as narcissistic. So what, exactly, are we saying and are we allowed to diagnose someone …

Ryan Hampton on What Can Happen When People in Recovery Come Together

March 6th, 2018

34:08

You surely know about Ryan Hampton by now. Not only has he become one of the world's leading recovery advocates, fighting to take down nefarious treatment centers and shady players but he's also the author of the …

Ask the Shrink: How Do You Separate Depression and Anxiety?

February 28th, 2018

8:16

In this episode, I talk to addiction psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman about how depression and anxiety manifest—and overlap.

Developing Healthier Relationships with Laura McKowen

February 27th, 2018

37:28

Ask the Shrink: Do You Send Every Addicted Patient to AA?

February 22nd, 2018

7:18

AA is a controversial topic within recovery circles. Some are all for it, some violently opposed.

So where does a prominent addiction psychiatrist …

Bucky Sinister on How Addicts Are Scared of All The Wrong Things

February 20th, 2018

14:19

Bucky Sinister is a poet, self-help author and comedian, he has published four books of poetry and two self-help books, including Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfists, Freaks, and Weirdos. His journalism, …

Making Sense of Sexuality in Recovery with Jen Matesa

February 13th, 2018

39:41

Jen Matesa is a recovery powerhouse.

Unafraid and unapologetic, she speaks out about two "s"'s that scare some others—namely, Suboxone and sex.

She's …

Laura House on Going From Bible Loving Texan to Drunk Foreign Exchange Student

February 6th, 2018

27:45

If there’s anyone who can make a ridiculous drinking story hilarious, it’s Laura House. A headlining comedian who has performed on HBO, Comedy …

Getting off Fentanyl But Continuing to Do Drugs with Drew Grant

January 30th, 2018

35:55

I first met Drew Grant through friends, when we both lived in New York. She was a young, dynamic, cool, talented writer who'd worked at Salon and The …

Coming Back From Darkness with Sean Paul Mahoney

January 23rd, 2018

33:28

How to Combat a Tech-Related Addiction with Gabe Zichermann

January 16th, 2018

35:10

Gabe Zichermann is an unlikely hero in the addiction recovery world as he literally spent the first half of his career making sure we got hooked on tech. The world’s foremost expert and public speaker on the subject of …

Why AA Doesn't Work with Producer Scott Steindorff

January 2nd, 2018

25:54

Prolific TV and movie producer Scott Steindorff has convinced authors like Philip Roth and Gabriel Garcia Marquez to give up the film rights for …

Becoming Accountable with Sober Evolution’s Austin Cooper

December 31st, 2017

32:27

Austin Cooper didn’t want to live anymore.

Like many people suffering from addiction, he was at the too-scared-to-live, too-scared-to-die crossroads. He’d forgotten that he had people who loved him.

When those loved …

Surviving Columbine and Finding Recovery with Austin Eubanks

December 26th, 2017

35:09

Austin Eubanks shouldn't be alive. And he certainly shouldn't be thriving.

An injured survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, Eubanks was …

Drunken Escapades with Comedian Jodi Miller

December 21st, 2017

13:04

Jodi Miller is what they call bust-a-gut funny (do they call it that or did I make that up?).

She's also, as they say, blue. So if you're prone to blushing, you may want to skip this one.

If, on the other hand, you …

Launching the Global Recovery Movement with Greg Williams

December 19th, 2017

34:25

Filmmaker and Facing Addiction co-founder Greg Williams puts most recovery advocates to shame. And he’s one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet.

Here’s how the story goes: Williams got sober and was doing just a …

How to Get Arrested and Destroy Your Fraternity with Travis Jones

December 13th, 2017

19:33

Travis Jones is a video editor by day and a storyteller by night.  He has performed at The Moth and various other shows around LA.

In this episode, he tells arguably the funniest story I've ever heard about getting …

From Gutter Punk Rocker to Recovery Hero with Wes Geer

December 12th, 2017

37:32

Wes Geer may have once looked like an unlikely recovery hero.

The founding member of the band Hed PE, Geer went down the path familiar to many young, …

The Shame Behind Male Eating Disorders with Brian Cuban

December 5th, 2017

33:18

Brian Cuban is the ideal recovery advocate.

Sober since 2007, the attorney and best-selling author of two books about his recovery is willing to talk …

Anna David on What Drinking Gave Her (and Then Took Away)

November 30th, 2017

12:51

Today's episode features a very special guest: me. Since I'm releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to …

Coming Out About Your Addiction with Lawyer Lisa Smith

November 28th, 2017

35:27

Just How Uncomfortable is Being Sober? As Greg Behrendt Explains, Very

November 24th, 2017

15:45

Today's episode features an absolute doll of a human being: Greg Behrendt.

In it, Greg tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) …

SheRecovers Co-Founder Taryn Strong on Coming Out as an Addict

November 22nd, 2017

33:31

Taryn Strong was sitting atop the largest resource for women in recovery and keeping a secret: namely that in between hosting retreats in places like Bali, where she and her mom Dawn Nickel were getting women to open up …

Getting Sober as a Teen with Lindsay Adams

November 17th, 2017

13:19

Lindsay Adams is no joke.

Yes, she tells jokes but the seriously funny comic also got sober when she was a teenager after surviving—well, some pretty horrific shit. And she bakes! She has a baking show on something I'm …

Finding the Funny in Binging and Purging with Angela Gulner

November 15th, 2017

38:28

Jessica Sele on How to Get Wasted and Shame Everyone in the Vicinity

November 10th, 2017

12:41

Today's episode features the very funny Jessica Sele from one of my live  storytelling shows, Hammer(ed) Time.

In her own words, Jessica Sele is a "deeply weird human being and stand-up comedian." She's performed at the …

Therapist Kelley Kitley on Sharing Your Trauma With Your Clients

November 8th, 2017

31:54

Therapist Kelley Kitley could have kept quiet about her own past.

She had a thriving practice—first in Santa Monica, then in Chicago—and didn't need …

Anna David on Smoking Two Packs of Cigarettes a Day

November 3rd, 2017

15:02

Today's episode features a very special guest: me. Since I'm releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to …

Making the Decision to Open Up About Recovery With Garrett Hade

November 1st, 2017

32:50

Reminiscing About Your First Intervention with Bucky Sinister

October 27th, 2017

12:54

Today’s episode features a truly unique soul: author Bucky Sinister.

In it, Bucky tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) …

Mary Patterson Broome on People Who Ask Her If She Really Needed to Quit Drinking

October 25th, 2017

11:27

Today's episode features one of my very favorite people I know: comedian and writer Mary Patterson Broome.

In it, MP tells a story from our live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, which takes place every other month in …

Defying Impossible Odds with John Clint Mabry

October 20th, 2017

39:38

What John Clint Mabry has endured would have destroyed most people.

John Clint Mabry is not most people.

During a tragic car accident when he was …

Sara Benincasa on Having a Panic Attack in Italy

October 18th, 2017

16:52

Today's episode features a woman everyone loves: Sara Benincasa.

Benincasa is a screenwriter, recovering stand-up comedian and the author of "Real Artists Have Day Jobs" (William Morrow 2016); "DC Trip" (Adaptive …

How to Brew Miracles with Carly Benson

October 13th, 2017

42:42

Carly Benson is a sober wundekind. The voice behind the mega popular website Miracles Are Brewing, Benson is a yoga instructor, coach, leader of a …

Comedian Greg Behrendt on Hanging Out with Crazy People While Under the Influence

October 11th, 2017

31:20

Wearing a Wire to Bust Drug Dealers with Jesse Heffernan

October 6th, 2017

37:57

Jesse Heffernan, the National Outreach and Empowerment Coordinator at Faces and Voices of Recovery, is a Certified Recovery Coach who's over 16 years sober.

I was lucky enough to speak to him about finding a toxic …

Laura House on the 4th of July Party That Lasted 3 Days

October 4th, 2017

24:34

Today's episode features the person Louis CK named as one of the funniest female comedians of our time: Laura House.

In it, Laura tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, which takes place every …

The Two Longtime Friends Behind InTheRooms.com

September 28th, 2017

35:23

Kenny Pomerance and Ron Tannebaum, or Mr. Clean and RT, are the recovery titans behind the Facebook-for-recovery website InTheRooms. The two longtime …

Bucky Sinister (and Urn) on What It Takes to Be a Good Sober Man

September 27th, 2017

18:07

Today’s episode features a truly unique soul: author Bucky Sinister.

In it, Bucky tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) …

From Workaholic to the Inspiring Woman Behind SheRecovers

September 21st, 2017

40:55

Dawn Nickel is a legend in the recovery world. The womab behind SheRecovers, Nickel was in recovery a long time and a self-proclaimed workaholic …

Mary Patterson Broome on Comedy Festival Shenanigans

September 20th, 2017

12:04

oday's episode features one of my very favorite people I know: comedian and writer Mary Patterson Broome.

In it, MP tells a story from our live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, which takes place every other month in …

Anna David on Her Three Dealers

September 13th, 2017

11:12

Today's episode features a very special guest: me. Since I'm releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to …

Recover Girl Talks Creativity: The Language of Recovery

September 8th, 2017

6:14

In this episode, Anna David speaks about how discovering the fact that recovery had its own language inspired her to focus her own work on the topic.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper on Taking Ambien in Recovery

September 8th, 2017

12:42

Recover Girl takes to the stage again, as I'm giving you another episode featuring a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time—which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the …

From Party Chica to Sober Senorita with Writer Kelly Fitzgerald

September 6th, 2017

39:24

Kelly Fitzgerald is probably the most successful sober blogger in the world. The voice behind The Sober Senorita, Fitzgerald launched to internet …

Going From Gang Member to World Famous Tattoo Artist with Freddy Negrete

September 1st, 2017

50:24

Freddy Negrete is inarguably one of the world's greatest legends in the tattoo world. The former Chicano gang member perfected the art of "prison" black and grey tattoos before going to work for fellow tattoo legends …

Eddie Pepitone on Neighbors Who Smoke Pot and Being Addicted to Self-Improvement

August 30th, 2017

19:07

Recover Girl takes a turn this time, as I'm going to start releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time. It takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of …

Recover Girl Talks Creativity: Why You Never Run Out of Stories

August 24th, 2017

5:59

In this five-minute episode, Anna David talks about how new ideas occur to her every time she thinks she's shared everything she has to say about recovery.

Handling Trauma in Recovery with Buddhist Teacher Dave Smith

August 17th, 2017

46:43

Buddhist meditation teacher Dave Smith has been studying the Dharma since 1993 when a series of traumatic incidents (including the death of his sister and girlfriend) motivated him to seek help. Over the next decade, …

Recover Girl Talks Creativity: Deciding to Write About Recovery

August 10th, 2017

5:54

In this five-minute episode, Anna David discusses how she gently dipped her toe into the waters of writing about recovery—before ultimately …

Embracing Creative Dreams in Recovery With Writer Jenna Hutt

August 3rd, 2017

45:20

Writer Jenna Hutt always knew she had a story to tell. The Colorado-dwelling wife and mother of one had an inarguably interesting life and had been …

Recover Girl Talks Creativity: How "One Day at a Time" Helped Me Write My First Book

July 27th, 2017

6:22

In this special five-minute episode of Recover Girl, Anna David discusses how she wanted to write a book her whole life—but didn't make any progress …

Going From Anonymous to Recovery Writer with Mary Patterson Broome

July 20th, 2017

41:53

It seems crazy that comedian Mary Patterson Broome hasn't been on the podcast before. The Alabama-bred lady has performed stand-up comedy at clubs, …

Recover Girl Goes to the Shrink: If You Take an Addictive Medication Enough, Are You Going to Become Addicted?

July 13th, 2017

8:11

Dr. Josh Lichtman answers a listener's question about whether or not you're guaranteed to become addicted to an addictive medication if you take it enough.

Becoming a Pastor in Recovery with Rock Star Royalty China Isler

July 6th, 2017

52:27

China Isler—ne, Kantner—is someone I've known for a while...since I was 10, as a matter of fact. This is because we went to the same grammar school …

Recover Girl Goes to the Shrink: If I Take Medication, Am I Still Sober?

June 29th, 2017

6:57

A listener was told by her sponsor that because she takes anti-depressants, she isn't actually sober. Dr. Josh Lichtman gives his take.

Becoming a Writer in Recovery With Paul Fuhr

June 22nd, 2017

41:50

I'm going to have to be honest here: I'm very invested in Paul Fuhr's recovery—and it's not just because I am a selfless person.

I've gotten to know …

Recover Girl Goes to the Shrink: What is Bipolar 2?

June 15th, 2017

10:25

A listener's psychiatrist diagnosed her as Bipolar 2. Then she found out the psychiatrist was wrong. What is Bipolar 2 and how is it different than …

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