Episode 91

Connection and Belonging with Sebastian Junger and Steve Ilardi

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In this very special episode, Brandon Burns welcomes back Dr. Stephen Ilardi, author of The Depression Cure and clinical researcher, to help welcome an exceptional guest, Sebastian Junger, investigative journalist as well as critically acclaimed author for works such as; Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, War, and Freedom among others. These three have riveting conversations about problematic factors in society causing social disconnect and alienation, societal observations of patterns with clinical depression, Sebastian’s incredible near-death experience, and the knowledge that came from such a traumatic experience, along with so much more! This episode holds a plethora of profoundly impactful information and enlightening conversation that will leave viewers with a deeper appreciation for connection, belonging, and life. To learn more bout Sebastian Junger, check out sebastianjunger.com for his collection of books and documentaries.

Talking Points

  1. The psychological motivation behind “Tribe.”
  2. Societal observations of clinical depression
  3. Adaptive behavior in human evolution
  4. The human need to feel important
  5. Connection vs. belonging
  6. Finding your community or tribe
  7. Experiencing the present moment
  8. Sebastian’s near-death experience and The Hero’s Journey
  9. The notion of “absolute freedom.”


“All you know for sure that you will have is right now. The past is already lost to you, and you have absolutely no guarantee that you have a future. But you do have it now. So, maybe don’t scroll through your social media all damn day. Maybe sit there and look around and be amazed at the world.”
– Sebastian Junger

Episode Transcripts