The Dark Place: Honest Conversations About Mental Health | Depression | Anxiety

A shame-free space where people talk about their struggles, difficult past memories, and what it's like to live with mental illness. Common topics include depression, anxiety, abuse, and trauma. No matter the story, it will be met with compassion. Season 2 is now airing. Engage with the show and host Joel Kutz online at
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The Dark Place: Honest Conversations About Mental Health | Depression | Anxiety



All Episodes
Now displaying: 2015
Nov 11, 2015

Serena talks about years of tending to a close family member's suicidal feelings, plus producing TV discussion panels about mental health.


Oct 22, 2015

Hannah Mansfield is Joel's guest. She's a teacher and recent college grad, trying to figure out the best way to manage a recent bipolar diagnosis. At the time of this conversation, she just had to go on medical leave from her job.

Hannah writes a blog about her mental illness. You can follow it at

Oct 8, 2015

October 8, 2015: Joel talks with Amanda Rosenberg. She's a comedy writer, and she reminds us how healing it is to laugh. (Yay suicide humor!) She also talks about feeling numb, being falsely diagnosed, wanting friends to just listen, and drawing pictures of the staff while in Stanford psychiatric hospital.

We mention a few articles Amanda wrote for Medium. Here's one of them:

It's also Mental Health Awareness Week. Though shouldn't that be every week?


Sep 22, 2015

Michele Rosenthal was just 13 when she suffered from a rare allergic reaction that left her a full-body burn victim. For over two decades she suffered from PTSD symptoms before finally self-diagnosing her condition and getting help. She talks to me about the lows—self-blame, anorexia, recurring nightmares—then the high of recovery.

Michele is the founder of Her new book is titled Heal Your PTSD: Dynamic Strategies That Work.

Sep 9, 2015

Joel chats with 31-year-old Cara Santa Maria, host of the podcast "Talk Nerdy." In this episode, hear how Cara has fought through depression to build a career as a host and correspondent for networks including Al Jazeera America, Pivot, The Weather Channel, and Nat Geo. She helps us understand the chemical side of mental illness, then helps us understand how it's changed her own life.



Twitter: @CaraSantaMaria

Aug 25, 2015

Joel chats about addiction with 21-year-old Rebecca Schulte, who's been sober since she was 19. Rebecca talks about discovering club drugs in Paris, her sober living center in L.A., and the mental illness that underlies her drug use. Some people think she's too young to stay sober. Rebecca talks about why she plans to prove them wrong.

Aug 10, 2015

At just 20 years old, Jessie is a badass filmmaker turning her Crohn’s disease diagnosis into a platform for compassion. For this hour she lets herself be vulnerable. Topics include being chronically ill, feeling isolated, dealing with the emotions around sex, and medication that makes you forget an entire month of your life.


Jessie's short film:

Kickstarter for Jessie's documentary:

Jul 27, 2015

Emily is a motivational speaker. Today, she takes a break from baring her deepest insecurities and fears in front of large crowds to bare her deepest insecurities and fears to us on the podcast. Yet she's not afraid—she's empowered. She talks about growing up and never fitting in, discovering a worldwide community of mental illness survivors, and learning to comfort her inner child. You can't see it, but she's wearing a lot of lime green.


More about Emily:


Jul 14, 2015

Joel talks with Lucy, who's 28 years old. Lucy talks about her flight anxiety, about how her dad would use drugs in front of her when she was 12, and then about her dad's death when she was in college. At some points, Joel feels like he's going to cry. Lucy does cry. Then they talk about how much they both love to cry. Lucy is a role model.

Jul 6, 2015

The 23-year-old talks about the panic attack that prompted him to lose 150 pounds, being by someone's side during their final moments, and the reason we go through life distracting ourselves.

Jun 17, 2015

A compilation of four previously-aired conversations, covering bullying, self-harm, death, and emerging from the dark place.

Jun 8, 2015

In an episode very relatable to those even without mental illness, the 24-year-old radio host and comedian shares his struggles with everyday life. These include self-doubt, trying to relax, and losing himself in a relationship, plus the anxiety-inducing path of seeking success in entertainment.


Listen to Joel guest on The Cameron Louis Show:

Follow Cameron: @TheOnlyCamshaft

Jun 1, 2015

Joel and Julia share personal stories submitted by listeners. To share your dark place, visit and click "Tell Your Story."

May 26, 2015

The 27-year-old talks about identifying as transgender and genderqueer, the bullying and abuse they experienced growing up, feeling suicidal in foster care, and forgiving their father before his death.

May 18, 2015

The 31-year-old tells her first-hand account of her brother's suicide 11 years ago, the unrelenting flashbacks she experienced, feeling suicidal herself, good and bad therapy, and how her current career helps to manage those feelings.

May 16, 2015

Do you ever feel alone and wish you had someone who could provide a safe space and a listening ear? Chris Angel Murphy from Teen Line discusses the resource that allows teens to connect with trained peer listeners and get the help they need.

May 4, 2015

The 23-year-old talks about the back-to-back shocking deaths of two important people in her life, the depression that followed, and the impact the loss has had on her feelings about love, hope, and the future.

Apr 15, 2015

The 38-year-old discusses her lifelong emotional relationship with food, how she's been shaped by having an alcoholic father, and how she has redirected her depression and anxiety to help others. Guest co-host: Julia

Apr 7, 2015

The 21-year-old student talks about using success as a mask for her depression, admitting herself into psychiatric hold, and her recent experience of emerging from the darkness of suicidal thoughts.

Mar 23, 2015

The 24-year-old talks about the dangers of his own perfectionism, the pattern of negative thinking that led to his suicide attempt, and how he now works to reduce the stigma around mental health through his organization Free Minds United.

Mar 16, 2015

The 22-year-old comedian talks about struggling with body image as an in-shape male, feeling like he can't connect to others, reconciling a lack of meaning in the universe, and challenging audiences by talking about his depression.

Mar 9, 2015

The 23-year-old talks about her always-present underlying fear of her parents' death, going on anti-depressants when she wasn't depressed, and “that time in my formative years when a guy brought a gun to my Sunday school class.”

Feb 23, 2015

The 25-year-old talks about living with an addictive pattern of self-harm, realizing what happened to her as a child was sexual abuse, and getting to the point of being able to seek therapy. Plus, an email from listener "Boone."

Feb 16, 2015

The 23-year-old aspiring writer talks about finding out her mom had cancer on September 11, 2001, what it’s like to explain anxiety to classmates in high school, and going from not being able to sleep over at friends houses to moving across the country.

Feb 9, 2015
The 19-year-old comedian and USC screenwriting student talks about being bullied and socially isolated, how his past has influenced his anxiety and depression, and why everyone battling mental illness should seek treatment. Plus, why comedy is so important to him as self-expression.
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