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

Vic's Story: Part Two

The season ends with Vic Vela coming to terms with one of the biggest health scares of his life, while also navigating an emotional, historic championship run for his beloved Denver Nuggets. Over the last few months Vic recorded audio diaries of his experiences. He shares some of his best and worst days as he copes with a health crisis that nearly took his life — along with edge-of-your seat playoff basketball musings — all while trying to stay sober and taking things one day at a time. You can also check out Vic's original memoir episode from Season 1. 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 Mixed by: Kibwe Cooper Additional editorial support: Rebekah Romberg, Emily Williams, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Matthew & Steven Fisher

Matthew Fisher always felt like an outsider. He struggled to make friends and was overcome by mood swings. By age 13, he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. His father, Steven, watched from the sidelines, desperately trying to help his son. This is the story of how a father and son found recovery and healed their rocky relationship. 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: Jo Erickson Additional editorial support: Erin Jones, Kibwe Cooper, Emily Williams, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Khadi Oluwatoyin

Khadi Oluwatoyin was always a high achiever. She excelled in law school and got her dream job, as a lawyer in New York City, in her early twenties. Racial and gender barriers didn't stop her. Nothing stood in the way of her career, except alcohol. But when Khadi sought help for her drinking, she often found she was the only Black woman in the room. So she created her own recovery group for Black women and nonbinary folks to help others — and herself — through recovery. 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: Emily Williams Editor: Jo Erickson Mixed by: Kibwe Cooper Additional editorial support: Erin Jones, Rebekah Romberg, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Aaron Taylor

Aaron Taylor was a standout athlete at the University of Notre Dame. He went on to become a Super Bowl champion with the Green Bay Packers. But behind all that success, Aaron was a high-functioning alcoholic. After an injury ended his career, Aaron had to come to terms with his addiction and heal the childhood trauma he had never addressed. 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: Kibwe Cooper Editor: Rebekah Romberg Additional editorial support: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Pebe Sebert

Pebe Sebert's dreams of becoming a professional songwriter started coming true when Dolly Parton recorded one of her songs and it became a hit. But Pebe felt like a fish out of water, and she used alcohol to deal with those feelings. Other drugs came into the mix, too. But after she had her daughter Kesha, Pebe knew something had to change — and years later, Kesha became the pop star Pebe always dreamed of being. 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: Emily Williams Editor: Erin Jones Additional editorial support: Jo Erickson, Rebekah Romberg, Kibwe Cooper, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Natalie Hodges

Growing up, Natalie Hodges practiced the violin every moment she could. She was good, and the practice made her excellent. She started down the path of becoming a professional violinist until debilitating performance anxiety put a wrench in her dreams. But it helped her discover the root of her problems — and put her on the road to recovery. 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 editorial support: Jo Erickson, Kibwe Cooper, Emily Williams, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Drew Robinson

Drew Robinson was a talented professional baseball player. It seemed like all his goals were coming to fruition. But he couldn't shake a sense of deep inadequacy. Those feelings eventually brought him to the darkest moment of his life. In that moment, he realized he was here for good reasons, and he committed to living. 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: Jo Erickson Additional editorial support: Kibwe Cooper, Emily Williams, Erin Jones, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Carnie Wilson

Like her father, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Carnie Wilson found solace and joy in music. She started the group Wilson Phillips with her sister and childhood friend. But then, it turned out she inherited some of her father's addiction issues, too. With the help of her community, she rose from her darkest place. 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: Kibwe Cooper Editor: Rebekah Romberg Additional editorial support: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams, Andrew Villegas Music: Daniel Mescher and Brad Turner with additional music from Universal Production Music Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale Thanks also to Rachel Estabrook, Hart van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson, Kim Nguyen. BackFromBroken.org On Twitter: @VicVela1

Trailer: Get Ready For Season 4!

We're back with more stories about the highest highs, the darkest moments and what it takes to make a comeback. Back From Broken returns on July 7, with more emotional and raw storytelling, joyful moments and hope. Make sure you're following Back From Broken wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss an episode 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!

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