Gaining Mental Sovereignty, the Importance of Choosing Your Struggle + How Psychedelics Can Help with Mental Health Issues (with Aubrey Marcus)

The human mind and body have incredible potential. However, they come with no “user manual”, which means we often miss out on all they have to offer, and how learning to use the brain and body well can transform the way we live our lives.

In this podcast (episode #231) and blog, I speak with wellness expert, bestselling author, top podcast host and entrepreneur Aubrey Marcus about optimizing your mental and physical health, the mental health benefits of safely microdosing, how to make any job work for you, how the brightest minds overcome failure and obstacles, fitness hacks, and more!

As Aubrey describes in his bestselling book, Own Your Day, Own Your Life, some of the best health “drugs” are free!These include:

1. Sleep. When it comes to sleep, it is important to monitor how many sleep cycles you get in a week, not necessarily how much you sleep each night, which can be tracked using a biofeedback device.

We should aim to get around 40 hours of good quality sleep cycles a week, but we shouldn’t panic about not sleeping, which will only make things worse. Remember, you can also catch up on your sleep during the day! A 30 to 90 minute nap also counts as a sleep cycle, and can really help improve sleeping patterns. 

For more on sleep, listen to my recent podcast (episode #97) and check out my blog.

2. Deep breathing, which can work wonders for our mental and physical health. In fact, research has shown that just 6 deep belly breathes can lower our blood pressure!

For more on deep breathing and how it can improve our mental and physical health, listen to my recent podcast(episode #216) and check out my blog.

3. Light. Good light is so important for our mental and physical health, especially first thing in the morning, as it grounds our circadian rhythm and helps us make the most of our days and nights. This, in turn, regulates many biological functions, including energy and hormone production.

Too much artificial light, on the other hand, can have harmful effects on our health, as I spoke about on my podcast (episode #114) and blog, which is why we need to monitor our exposure to it, especially before bed.

4. Exercise.

5. Sex. It is not just about pleasure! Sex has many health benefits, including a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and better sleep.

6. Hydration. This includes getting enough electrolytes!

7. Relationships. People will take you at your own estimation of yourself. It doesn’t matter how talented, educated or good looking you are, if you are insecure, your partner, friends or family will catch onto your insecurities. Work on appreciating yourself, and people will appreciate you.

We also optimize our mental and physical health when we learn to deal with failure and overcome challenges. As Aubrey points out, we need to reframe our obstacles and see them as our friend. Resistance is assistance! Challenges train our mind and character and help us develop mental toughness and resilience. 

We should be grateful for our obstacles in foresight AND in hindsight. We can do this by training ourselves to think about how we overcame challenges in the past and how they helped us learn and grow as a person. Then, when faced with a challenge in the present, we can recall these experiences and get excited; we see the obstacle as another opportunity to build your strength and character!

Indeed, as Aubrey points out, the most successful people are willing to fail, put themselves out there and be vulnerable. Things don’t always work out, but that doesn’t stop them from trying! They see failure as opportunities to learn, grow and adapt. They don’t see criticism or failure as the end of the world.

When it comes to our happiness and overall wellbeing, we also need to understand the importance of gratitude. Having a strong gratitude practice is integral to a happy and successful life and is a common character trait amongst the world’s brightest minds. 

That is not to say that we don’t all need a bit of help now and then, or that life is always easy and happy. Some struggles and traumas take years to process and overcome, and many of us battle with the effects of trauma every day. But, thankfully, there is hope, especially in the field of psychedelics and their potential to help with mental health issues. As Aubrey notes, the current research on psychedelics and mental health is very exciting; it is a revolution in the way we process trauma and can change society in incredible ways. These natural substances have great potential for mental health issues and long-term, sustainable healing!

For more on optimizing your mental and physical health, listen to my podcast (episode #231) with Aubrey and check out his website. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing! And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!) 

This podcast was sponsored by:
Public Goods (My favorite online store, which has everything you need, from cleaning products to food!): Receive $15 off your first Public Goods order with NO MINIMUM purchase. Just go to or use code DRLEAF at checkout.


Solitaire Grand Harvest (A great way to unwind, keep your mind busy and spend quality time with your loved ones): Download Solitaire Grand Harvest for free today in the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon!

For more self-care tips to improve your mental health, pre-order my new book 101 Ways to be Less Stressed, which is now on sale at 20% off!  

You can also check out my app SWITCH, which is a great tool for helping you learn how to manage your mind and go beyond mindfulness by dealing with the roots of your choices and overcoming thought patterns and behaviors that are affecting your health through the mental process of reconceptualization. 

To learn more about optimizing your mental and physical health, register for my Virtual Mental Health Summit this December 3-6! For more see CME and CEU credits are available for PAs, NPs, RNs, MDs, DOs, and other medical professionals, and certificates of attendance will be given for physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers! 

Podcast Highlights

2:40 Why obstacles & challenges are good for our mental health

8:35 How the brightest minds deal with failure & overcome obstacles

14:28 The mental health benefits of microdosing

22:35 How to live your best life & optimize the functionality of the mind and body 

34:31 How to make your job work for you while at home or at the office 

42:40 How to improve your relationships 

46:03 The pros & cons of the wellness industry

This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact


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