Mental & Emotional Health

As many of you have heard me discuss, longevity is a balance of lifespan (living longer) and healthspan (living better). I want to take a moment to focus specifically on one of the key elements of living better: emotional health.

While this is a bit of a nebulous concept, to me it encompasses happiness, emotional resilience and distress tolerance, mindfulness, stillness, and fulfillment, among others. It touches on our sense of individual purpose, as well as our ability to engage in meaningful and supportive relationships with those we love.

Below is a collection of past articles and podcasts discussing the topic of mental and emotional health. My hope is this past content can serve as helpful resources to dive deeper into this topic.

Feeling entitled

When I think about healthspan—the how “well” you live part of longevity—I think of three components: cognitive, physical, and emotional. It’s this last one that is disproportionately getting my attention.

You can win

I think this shows the power that both actions and words can have on us, and also how shame can travel with us for years and color our actions until we resolve it.

#51 – Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D.: The pervasive effect of stress – is it killing you?

“The [stress response] system has been serving vertebrates, doing a lot of help for them for an awful long time, and it’s only been a very recent modification to instead secrete [cortisol] in response to thinking about taxes.” —Robert Sapolsky

David Brooks and the quest for a moral life

“Our individualistic culture inflames the ego and numbs the spirit. Failure teaches us who we are.”


Emotional trauma can have a big impact on our lives, and it’s often insidious, showing no overt signs of pathology. Yet, overcoming it might be one of the most powerful things we can do to improve the quality of our lives.

#48 – Matthew Walker, Ph.D., on sleep – Part II of III: Heart disease, cancer, sexual function, and the causes of sleep disruption (and tips to correct it)

“If there is one central, common pathway through which we can understand almost all aspects of the deleterious impact of insufficient sleep, it is…an excessive leaning on the fight or flight branch of the nervous system.” — Matthew Walker

How to fight suicide

The deeper I get into exploring longevity, the more I feel compelled to understand death from reasons not related to the chronic diseases of aging.


For someone—me—who has a tumultuous relationship with his inbox, recommending a daily email should give you some idea of how highly I regard these.

Does Dad’s stress get passed along to his children?

This article shares some compelling evidence, in mice at least, showing how information about the paternal environment reaches the womb.

I’m suffering from the thought of suffering

So much to explore with this one. Mental health may be the hardest chapter for me to write in my book, and also the most important.

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