Harder Than Healing | All Points North

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a podcast produced in partnership with WarriorNOW

A Green Beret, a playwright, and a clinician with expertise in learning disabilities walk into a podcast studio … the result? A podcast that cuts through the noise surrounding mental health for uncensored conversations with real people.


Harder Than Healing grapples with the perceived differences in trauma, mental health, and learning disabilities. Our hosts, Donald (a Green Beret), Nathaniel (a clinician), and Jason (a playwright), share the stage with a wide range of guests to process, heal, and move forward. Together, our hosts, guests, and listeners forge connections here and NOW – as a Network Of Warriors united in storytelling.

Ep 1: A Clinician, a Playwright, and a Green Beret Walk Into a Sound Studio

Meet Nathaniel, Jason, and Donald: your hosts of Harder Than Healing. This episode sets the stage for the show and what we’re hoping to accomplish. We’re covering a lot of ground, but we’re not pulling any punches. Let’s get into it.

Ep 2: The Enemy Gets A Vote

The Episode About Substance Abuse

Megan Marx joins Nathaniel, Jason, and Donald to talk about the pathways into and out of substance abuse: why it happens, how it overlaps with trauma and neurodiversity, how it affects the body, and how preparing for sobriety is similar to preparing for battle.

Ep 3: Whiskey Tangro Oxfot

The Episode About Dyslexia

With the help of their guest, Angela Moriera, the hosts of Harder Than Healing explore different ways of thinking and what it feels like to be dyslexic. They start unpacking the misconceptions by asking “What *isn’t* dyslexia?” and exploring the potential superpowers that come with thinking differently.

Ep 4: Drowning Pools

The Episode About Trauma

The song “Bodies” by Drowning Pool became a favorite of soldiers in the early 2000s; a drowning pool is also a powerful metaphor for trauma. In this episode, we’re diving into trauma and the drowning pool metaphor with our guest, Greg Callaghan, a childhood sexual abuse survivor and Vietnam Veteran. We explore what trauma is, why it happens, who it affects, how all trauma overlaps in some way, and why “trauma is trauma is trauma.”

Ep 5: ADHD and Other Superpowers

The Episode About ADHD

Raise your hand if you have ADHD. If your hand is up, you’ll probably have an easier time listening to this episode. If you’ve ever struggled to understand ADHD, you’ll get to experience it from the inside. Nathaniel, Jason, and Donald get some help from the second generation of Harder Than Healing: Vince, Davon, and Donnie – kids who get ADHD, because they live it. Together, we explore what ADHD is, ADHD superpowers, ADHD kryptonite, and the common thread between neurodiversity, Veterans, and artists.

Ep 6: Killing Your Darlings

The Episode About Depression

What’s the difference between feeling depressed and having depression? And what’s the difference between feeling depressed as a Veteran and feeling depressed as a civilian? Nathaniel, Jason, and Donald talk with Steve Hueston, host of The Dogs of War Podcast, to explore the relationship between “holding on” and different forms of depression, and how our culture can get better at addressing depression, supporting people who struggle, and finding connection.

Ep 6: Good Dog/Bad Dog

The Episode About Anxiety

What is anxiety? Jason, Nathaniel, and Donald explore the metaphor of anxiety as a guard dog – one that can overcorrect or act up when threatened. With this metaphor in mind, they talk with special guest, Craig Knippenberg, and discuss how the guard dog translates to different arenas – like the battlefield or the classroom – and what we can do to distract it. Together, they explore the roots of anxiety and the consequences of anxiety, discuss how anxiety can lead to depression and addiction and show up in different ways, and share hacks for thriving alongside a vigilant guard dog.


The Episode About Triggers

What is a trigger, and what different ways to we respond to them? Are triggers always negative? In this episode, Jason, Nathaniel, Donald, and Producer Tiffany talk everything triggers: what they look like, how PTSD happens, and what to do. Donald shares some of his triggers after returning home from deployment, how he worked through them, and what he does to help his Veterans cope with triggers. They share grounding techniques for Veterans and civilians how and when to start practicing so you can handle triggers when they come up, and setting boundaries around talking about trauma.


The Episode About Triggers

This episode picks up after the previous discussion on trauma with Kyle Quincey, former professional ice hockey defenseman turned mental health advocate. Kyle talks with Jason, Nathaniel, and Donald about being conditioned to chase the highs of adrenaline in a shared arena – and how the abrupt loss of the combat environment feels isolating, dehumanizing, and completely disorienting. Kyle shares how he uses community and plant medicine to help himself and others find peace in calm.

Ep 9: Call and Response

The Episode About the Fans

Jason, Nathaniel, and Donald answer questions from Harder Than Healing fans – about trauma, achievement, addiction, healing, anger, supporting other people, boundaries, agency, control, oversharing, treatment, humor, power, and more shared human experiences.

Ep 10: Scenes From the Rat Park

The Episode About Connecting the Dots

After 10 episodes and countless stories shared by guests, listeners, and our cohosts, Jason pitches his ideas for plays based on discussions from Season 1 of Harder Than Healing with Nathaniel, Donald, and actress Janessa Ho. This episode embodies the goal of Harder Than Healing – cutting through the noise surrounding mental health to find connections in our shared struggles. Together, they summarize and build on the themes and topics of Season 1.