Back From Broken Back From Broken is an interview series about what it takes to recover from the biggest challenge of your life — and what others can learn from your adversity. Colorado Public Radio's Vic Vela, an award-winning journalist who's also a recovering drug addict, hosts the podcast.Vic talks with guests about challenges like substance abuse, mental illness, gambling addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each story describes the highest highs, the darkest moments and what it takes to make a comeback. It's a raw, empathetic show that's ultimately about hope — and how recovery is possible.
Back From Broken

Back From Broken

From CPR News

Back From Broken is an interview series about what it takes to recover from the biggest challenge of your life — and what others can learn from your adversity. Colorado Public Radio's Vic Vela, an award-winning journalist who's also a recovering drug addict, hosts the podcast.Vic talks with guests about challenges like substance abuse, mental illness, gambling addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each story describes the highest highs, the darkest moments and what it takes to make a comeback. It's a raw, empathetic show that's ultimately about hope — and how recovery is possible.

Most Recent Episodes

Jackie Wallace & Ted Jackson

When journalist Ted Jackson set out to do a story on homelessness, he never imagined he'd meet a former NFL player who'd made it to three Super Bowls. But there was unhoused Jackie Wallace, a former cornerback facing a long journey of recovery. After Ted wrote a story about Jackie, the two became good friends. But then, as the years passed, Jackie disappeared — twice. Yet Ted refused to let Jackie slip away. This is the powerful story of their friendship. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Editor: Erin Jones Additional producers: Jo Erickson, Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Morgan Sinclair

Morgan Sinclair wrestled with his identity as a trans man growing up. He turned to drugs to numb his feelings, and struggled with addiction. As a teen, he found a way to break free through rehab, as well as Denver's unique 5280 High School. Now, at age 19, he's four years sober, out and proud — and has his whole life ahead of him. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Jo Erickson Editor: Erin Jones Additional producers: Rebekah Romberg, Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Lissa Yellow Bird-Chase

Lissa Yellow Bird-Chase is an Arikara woman who, after years of struggling with addiction and abusive relationships, has found healing, recovery, and purpose in investigating unsolved murders. The story of her spiritual path to recovery is memorable and moving. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Luis Antonio Perez Editors: Rebekah Romberg, Erin Jones Additional producer: Jo Erickson Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Leah V

Leah V got married young. Her relationship was tumultuous, with high highs and low lows — including a physical altercation that ended with Leah in jail. But therapy changed her life and allowed her to heal. Now, she's a successful writer and social media influencer, and a role model to others. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Editors: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones Additional producer: Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Jim Belushi

Actor Jim Belushi is famous for his work on shows like Saturday Night Live and movies like About Last Night. He also knows firsthand the pain of losing a loved one who struggled with drugs. Jim shares moving memories of his late brother John Belushi, and talks about coping with grief and finding a way to move forward. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Jo Erickson Editor: Erin Jones Additional producers: Rebekah Romberg, Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Lynn Chen

Lynn Chen faced comments about her weight from her family at an early age. Later, when she became an actor, she heard about her weight from her Hollywood colleagues. She developed an eating disorder, but found an unusual way to get help and heal. The actor, who appeared on "Grey's Anatomy," speaks candidly about food, eating disorders, body image, and boundaries. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Editor: Erin Jones Additional producers: Jo Erickson, Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Shane Price

At an early age, Shane Price realized he could pour on the charm with women, and at 16 years old he started his career as a pimp. After a violent incident left him shaken, Shane made changes to his life. Today, he works in Black communities as a leading figure in advocating for prison reform. He's also the director of Power of People Leadership Institute in Minnesota, which offers support to ex-offenders. This is the story of how his transformation came together. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Back From Broken is conducting an audience survey so that we can learn a bit more about you and get your feedback. Please take a few minutes to tell us about yourself, and share your thoughts about this show, by visiting backfrombroken.org/survey. Thank you! Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Jo Erickson Editor: Erin Jones Additional producers: Rebekah Romberg, Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Tierre Caldwell

Tierre Caldwell grew up without a father in a violent gang setting in Minneapolis. As a teenager, he developed addictions to drugs and alcohol. After an argument, he shot a man and was sent to prison for seven years. He wound up in solitary for six months, where he had no choice but to stop using and face his demons. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Back From Broken is conducting an audience survey so that we can learn a bit more about you and get your feedback. Please take a few minutes to tell us about yourself, and share your thoughts about this show, by visiting backfrombroken.org/survey. Thank you! Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Jo Erickson Editor: Erin Jones Additional producers: Rebekah Romberg, Luis Antonio Perez Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Kevin Dale, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Trailer: Season 3 Is On The Way!

When we can meet each other with empathy and compassion, we can find hope. That is exactly what Back From Broken is all about. And it's why we're coming back for a third season. Back From Broken returns on March 4, with some of the most powerful stories we've ever told. So please make sure you're following Back From Broken wherever you get your podcasts. And if you're already following us, do us a favor: Share Back from Broken with a couple of friends who could use it. Thank you for listening and supporting the podcast!

Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden's struggle with addiction has been intense — and very public. His battle with alcohol and cocaine addiction came under scrutiny as his father, Joe Biden, ran for president. But with the support of his family, Hunter found the help he needed. His recovery story, which he shared in his book "Beautiful Things," offers hope to those who are still struggling. Back From Broken is a show about how we are all broken sometimes, and how we need help from time to time. If you're struggling, you can find a list of resources at BackFromBroken.org. Host: Vic Vela Lead producer: Brad Turner Editor: Dennis Funk Producers: Jo Erickson, Luis Antonio Perez, Rebekah Romberg Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner Executive producers: Brad Turner, Rachel Estabrook Thanks also to Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Kim Nguyen, Francie Swidler. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1