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Jay Shifman is an open book. A vulnerable storyteller and stigma-destroying speaker, podcaster, and event host, Jay’s story of struggle is familiar to the millions of people the world over who also struggle with issues of mental health, substance misuse, and addiction. Now in long-term recovery, it is Jay’s mission to encourage difficult conversations and honest education concerning these and similar struggles.
Jay founded his company, Choose Your Struggle, in 2015 with two distinct goals; ending stigma and ensuring that those who struggle receive the help they deserve. A fervent believer in radical honesty and the simple fact that neither struggle nor recovery should be treated as a one-size fits all experience, Jay uses his voice, and his platforms to educate, entertain, and empower.
Looking to make these conversations even more accessible, Jay launched the Choose Your Struggle podcast in early 2020. In a short amount of time, Choose Your Struggle is already in the top .2% of worldwide listenership and has cracked numerous top lists and venerable rankings. The show combines vulnerable storytelling and expert education around the topics of mental health, substance misuse & recovery, and drug use & policy. Past guests have included former congressmember Katie Hill, celebrated authors John Hudak and Gregg Clunis, and advocates Tessa Xuan, Elizabeth Mckissick, and Michelle Kuei.
An accomplished orator in his own right, Jay has numerous speaking and storytelling events to his name. He prides himself on his practiced approach of drawing in the listener while discussing hard topics in a way that puts a human face on struggles that we often discuss in a dehumanizing way. Not content with only one platform, in 2021 Jay began producing two narrative event series, Rock Bottom Storytellers and A Day in the Life, which give voice to shared experiences, normalize discussing periods of struggle, and seek to build community around our shared cultural love of a good story! Both events are currently virtual with the hope that in a post-covid world they can be produced for a stage near you!
Holding a BA in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University and with over a decade of lived and professional experience in the field, Jay has put in numerous hours of independent learning acquiring certifications in mental health, substance misuse and addiction, and drug policy. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Lauren, and their dog, Nell.
For more information, visit: www.jayshifman.com or find him on your favorite social media platform.
• Addiction, substance misuse, drug use, drug policy
• Rehab, withdrawal and recovery
• Mental health, self-care, wellness, mindfulness
• Public speaking, storytelling, writing
• Podcasting, (Choose Your Struggle)
• Storytelling (A Day in the Life, Rock Bottom Storytellers)
• Using Psilocybin
1. Explain the term substance misuse and the overlap/difference from addiction and why it's a better term than substance or drug abuse.
2. Describe to us how you manage to be in recovery without being sober.
3. What is it like going through detox?
4. What’s it like living with depression, anxiety and OCD?
5. What are some examples of your favorite habits or practices for mental health care? How can we implement these in our everyday lives?
6. How do you track your mood and why is it important to do so?
7. What does Choose Your Struggle mean to you?
8. What are some substance misuse red flags people should be aware of for themselves or a loved one?
9. What are some of your favorite ways to spread love in the world?
10. What attracted you to storytelling and public speaking? How do you prepare for a speech?
11. How can we improve mental health in the workplace? What are some strategies leaders can implement to help their staff?
Jay is an accomplished speaker and storyteller with more than 75 podcast, radio, and web show credits to his name including The Courage to Change Podcast, the Ask Sharifah Morning Show, Crooked Illness and the Get Happy Hour.
My over 12,000 combined social media followers.
My podcast, Choose Your Struggle