Johann Hari – Lost Connections

Johann Hari is an award winning journalist, author, and TED Speaker who has written extensively on social, political and cultural issues.

His New York Times bestselling book Chasing The Scream challenges addiction and examines the war on drugs, and

his latest book Lost Connections, has been described as a ‘game changer’ for its groundbreaking thoughts on depression, anxiety and antidepressants.

It has been endorsed by Elton John, Hillary Clinton, Russell Brand and Arianna Huffington.

00:00 Trailer.
03:34 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
05:30 Brian’s introduction.
06:03 Personal questioning motivated research for Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections.
16:26 Why Johann travels in search of answers rather than undertake scientific research in a laboratory.
21:12 The core of addiction is not wanting to be present in your life because your life is too painful a place to be.
29:58 “It was the heroin that kept me from killing myself.”
41:40 How can the medical health establishment be persuaded to change treatment practices.
44:07 The role of the internet, social media and mobile devises in contributing to social isolation.
1:00:48 Our battle with extrinsic values versus intrinsic values.
1:17:08 Social conditioning can move us in the wrong direction.
1:26:19 A democratic workplace is just one social change that would decrease levels of depression.
1:28:46 The depressed and addicted need opportunity to talk about what they may be suppressing.
1:42:33 We call four walls home, but it is connection to the community around that it makes it feel home.
1:54:34 What Johann does when he becomes aware of negative thoughts coming into his mind.
2:00:25 What it is like to be in the public eye.
2:01:36 The amazing group of people who have endorsed his book.
2:11:37 Johann’s next projects.
2:13:05 The challenging art of journalistic interviewing.
2:17:39 Johann is such an evangelist for America.
2:22:32 What is Johann’s super power?
2:25:46 Daily habit that has changed his game.
2:29:18 What scares Johann.
2:31:33 Best and worst days of his life.
2:34:03 What keeps him awake at night.
2:35:10 Longer term worries.
2:38:14 Phone call to the 20-year old Johann Hari.
2:39:25 Success secrets.
2:39:54 Why he is fundamentally optimistic about a lot of the things he writes about in Lost Connections.
2:44:54 Brian’s summing up.

Johann Hari links:
Lost Connections website
Johann Hari on Instagram
Johann Hari TED talk
Johann Hari on Wikipedia

Johann Hari Books:
Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – And the Unexpected Solutions
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
God Save the Queen?

Topics discussed:
Drug policy of Portugal
Orange is the New Black
Breaking Bad
Gardening is Beneficial for Health
World Health Organisation – social determinants of mental health
re-Start Life
The Wire
Baltimore Bicycle Shop
Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
This Changes Everything
Recovering Justice

People mentioned in this episode:
Billie Holiday
Harry J Anslinger
Professor Bruce K Alexander
Noam Chomsky
Professor Tim Kasser
Professor Carl Hart
Marianne Faithfull
Al Capone
Sean Penn
Professor John T Cacioppo
Sir Sam Everington
Jeremy Hunt
Marc Maron
Susan Pinker
Melania Trump
Nathan Dungan
Margaret Thatcher
Dr Evelyn Forget
Derek Summerfield
Professor Sir Michael Marmot
Dr Gabor Mate
Professor James Pennebaker
Aleksandar Hemon
Dr Brett Ford
Capt. Leigh Maddox (Ret)
Zadie Smith
Hilary Clinton
Elton John
Russell Brand
Tucker Carlson
Naomi Klein
Donald Trump
Deepak Chopra
Nigel Farage
Joe Roth
Irvine Welsh
Douglas Hurd
E M Forster
Bud Osborn
James Ball
George Monbiot
Bill McKibben
Andrew Sullivan

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GrimmJúlio César Mjessicataylor1821gaylemortongrant984karen_fischman809 Recent comment authors
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This was good. I didn’t agree with everything, but a very insightful man. I don’t think this video will get the attention as people will see the length and say over 2 HOURS!

Júlio César M

He is amazing, nice, smart and communicative.


I am so grateful for everything that you are doing! It will truly help so many people me included! Please don’t forget to consider people with chronic pain also. They may have gotten the chronic pain from long-term depression or an accident, but really that goes into your point of there is more than one thing that causes depression environment being one of them. Keep up the great work!


Absolutely brilliant! and I’d have to say, Johann’s super power is definitely to talk at light speed without losing his train of thought xD
thanks for this interview!

Julian Fulde

Seems to be an important interview to watch for most People on the world now days. Well at least I got a lot from from it.


Really enjoyed this interview… Thank you Brian and team.

Tristian Bougeard

Can’t believe there’s no comments! This for me is one of the best London Real episodes I’ve ever seen. Full of wisdom, thank you 🙂


I also consider myself an addict, for 10 years I had a daily crystal meth addiction, the last hit I took was on January 14, 2018. I really relate to this interview, thanks for this.


I suffered from depression for 12 of my 21 almost 22 years of life and the only way I was freed was when I was prayed over by a deliverance pastor. And from there a spirit of love overcame me and I’ve been clinging to it and reading my Bible. I’ve been transformed. But I know that spiritual posession is only one way we can be depressed. I completely agree with Johann, there are so many factors to being depressed: diet, lifestyle factors (excersise, reading/thinking habits, addiction, etc.) lack of community or social support, emotional intelligence, etc. My favourite book… Read more »

Fascinating subject and concept. Completely contrarian to the mainstream views. Almost 3 hours it is very deep, great intro with clips from the main body.

Colleen M Casey

Did I hear correctly…”…more autonomy for ‘elite’ people like us, with much more creative freedom…”?


Tons of interesting insights. Worth watching for sure. I wonder if he realizes how a couple of his assumptions are based purely on his personal political biases? Biases which get one accepted in their own social circle. Ironic?