EP 47 – Brian Deagan: Neuroscience, Breathwork, and Sobriety

In this riveting episode, Gary Menkes invites profound recovery advocate, Brian Deagan, for an enlightening discussion on battling addiction. Brian, a survivor of alcoholism, delves into his personal journey to recovery, sharing his unique blend of science, spirituality, and breathwork. 

He discusses the transformative power of 12-step programs and narrative therapy, providing a deeper understanding of the neurological impact of addiction. 

Brian also reveals how innovative breathing techniques aid in healing and self-awareness, and the role of introspection in his recovery. His work, deeply rooted in neuroscience, focuses on disrupting old neural pathways to promote healing. 

Brian shares his wisdom on Instagram and is the creator of The Sunday Rewire program, a free series designed to help individuals improve their lives. He is currently penning a book on his experiences and insights into recovery. 

This episode is a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone seeking to understand addiction and the path to recovery.


The views and opinions expressed by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the stand or beliefs of the host or the podcast. We aim to provide a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, fostering open and respectful discussions. We encourage critical thinking and forming your own conclusions. Enjoy the show!

About Our Guest (Brian Deagan)

Brian Deagan is a profound recovery advocate, teacher, and mentor who has dedicated his life to helping others overcome addiction through a unique blend of science, spirituality, and breathwork. With personal experience battling alcoholism, Brian offers a deeply empathetic and enlightened approach to recovery. He utilizes the transformative power of 12-step programs, narrative therapy, and innovative breathing techniques to guide individuals on their journey to healing and self-awareness. Brian’s work is deeply rooted in neuroscience, focusing on disrupting old neural pathways and promoting healing.

In addition to his one-on-one mentorship, Brian shares his wisdom and insights on his Instagram account, where he regularly posts about his recovery journey and the 12-step program. He is also the creator of The Sunday Rewire program, a free seasonal series designed to help individuals improve their lives. Brian is currently working on a book detailing his personal experiences and insights into recovery. 

To follow Brian’s journey and gain access to his transformative insights, follow him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/briandeagan/ and visit his website at https://www.thesundayrewire.com/.

Show Notes

  • [02:06] Brian Deagan discusses the importance of acknowledging and addressing life-deteriorating habits, offering tools and processes informed by the 12 steps, neuroscience, and breath work to disrupt old neural pathways and promote healing, whether as a standalone method or a companion to other recovery programs. 
  • [04:12] Brian and Gary share their personal experiences with battling alcoholism, the transformative role of 12-step programs, and the importance of surrender and humility in their journey to recovery. 
  • [11:28] Brian discusses the therapeutic power of narrative in dealing with emotional pain, emphasizing how the process of retelling and revisiting painful experiences can help diminish their emotional and physiological impact, a concept he explores in steps four and five of his inventory process. 
  • [14:44] Brian shares his personal journey through sobriety, discussing the importance of the 4th and 5th steps in understanding behavior and emotions, and reflecting on his relapses due to life’s challenges.
  • [17:10] Brian discusses the importance of self-awareness and introspection, emphasizing how his lack of understanding and control over his emotions led to disruptions in his personal and professional life. 
  • [19:01] Brian discusses the blend of science and spirituality in narrative-based tools, emphasizing their practicality, and addresses the skepticism towards spiritual components by offering a scientific perspective. 
  • [20:38] Brian discusses his journey towards sobriety, the transformative power of breathwork and meditation, and how these practices helped him understand and implement the 12-step process.
  • [26:10] Brian discusses the benefits of resonance frequency breathing, a simple technique involving a 5.5 second inhale and exhale through the nose. 
  • [28:54] Brian discusses the benefits of cyclic hyperventilation with breath retention, a breathing technique that aids in meditation, and even simulates a psychedelic experience.
  • [31:10] Brian shares his journey of using social media platforms, particularly Instagram, to share nuggets of wisdom from his recovery journey and the 12-step program, aiming to make these concepts more accessible to a wider audience, while also discussing his ongoing process of writing a book about his experiences. 
  • [37:52] Brian discusses the impressive progress of participants in his 12-week program, revealing that 30 to 50% are achieving significant steps towards acceptance of their issues.
  • [39:23] Brian discusses the neurological impact of addiction, explaining how the brain’s interaction with high dopamine sources can raise an individual’s pleasure threshold and necessitate abstinence to reset it, using insights from Anna Lemke’s book “Dopamine Nation” to reinforce his points. 
  • [42:40] Brian discusses the free seasonal series offered by the Sunday Rewire program, which aims to help individuals improve their lives, and invites listeners to sign up via the website or through a direct message on his Instagram account.

For more incredible and inspiring stories of those who have overcome alcoholism and addiction, tune in to the next episodes of The Begin Again Podcast through:

About Gary Menkes

Gary Menkes was born and raised in Port Washington, NY and struggled with alcoholism since his early teens which took him to places he never wants to go again and which took a toll on his health, relationships and professional endeavors. However, Gary completely transformed his life when he was given the gift of sobriety on May 13, 2006. Determined to break free from the cycle of self-destruction, he embarked on a remarkable journey of recovery.

Today, Gary is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York, married to the love of his life and father of two amazing children of which he owes all to his sobriety. Gary is now launching his own podcast, The Begin Again Podcast.