Beat Addiction with Mindfulness Practices with Dr. Judson Brewer

Show NotesToday's GuestTimeline
In this podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Judson Brewer, the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness. During our conversation, we discussed the science behind mindfulness and the ways ancient Buddhist psychology is being proven true through modern science. Listen in to learn the scientific reasons mindfulness can help you beat addiction and cravings.

About Judson Brewer

A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for addictions, including both in-person and app-based treatments. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI, and is currently translating these findings into clinical use.

He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, spoken at international conferences, presented to the US President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, been featured at TEDx, Time magazine (top 100 new health discoveries of 2013), Forbes, Businessweek, NPR and the BBC among others.

0:35 Introducing Dr. Judson Brewer

2:46 Dr. Brewer's early years

  • An independent, driven attitude

9:08 Taking a path of mindfulness

  • Food, athletics and focus

14:48 Strengths in college

  • A transformative trip
  • Leadership and an interest in science

23:00 Beginning meditation

  • Progressing in meditation during medical school

25:12 A career shift

  • Starting clinical trials
  • Working with substance abuse disorders
  • Discoveries in mindfulness and neuroimaging

29:12 Finding commonalities

  • Buddhist concepts and modern psychology

31:53 Neurobiological effects of meditation

  • The default mode network
  • Brain activity in real time

36:55 The Seven Factors of Awakening

  • Conditions that lead to concentration

39:03 Apps based on research

  • Apps to beat addiction
  • Apps to improve diet

43:44 Effects of apps

  • Effects of mindfulness on relationships
  • Changes in brain function

47:27 Neurofeedback research

49:45 Increased connectivity of default mode network

51:57 Growing and getting help with addiction

  • Mindfulness training
  • “The Craving Mind”

55:52 Dr. Brewer's marriage

Eat Right Now App

Do you eat when you feel stressed, anxious or down? Dr. Brewer developed Eat Right Now, an app that delivers mindfulness training right at your fingertips to help you change your relationship to eating. Learn the mindfulness skills you need at home, at your own pace. This evidence-based digital therapeutic delivers 30+ short video lessons that help you identify habitual and emotional eating patterns and directly work with them so that you can rewire your brain as you build your mindfulness skills one moment at a time. The program also includes an online community for peer and expert support, and a live weekly web-based group that are both moderated by Dr. Brewer.

Learn More


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Ongoing Contentment through Mindfulness Practices with Mark Robert Waldman
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