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Award-Winning Recovery Podcast ‘Back from Broken’ Returns for Fourth Season

Singer Carnie Wilson, Super Bowl champion Aaron Taylor, Host Vic Vela and others share intimate, personal stories of overcoming adversity

Denver, June 27, 2023 - “Back from Broken,” the podcast about recovery from Colorado Public Radio, returns for its fourth season starting July 7. Hosted by CPR News’ Vic Vela, “Back From Broken” features stories of people overcoming the greatest challenges of their lives. 

"Singers whose songs you’ve sung in the shower, athletes whose jerseys you once wore at baseball games — you’ll hear their incredible stories and more in this new season of Back from Broken,” Vela said. “It’s a gift to be able to talk to these folks about how they got back up after being knocked down, and it’s an even greater gift to be able to share these stories with people who need that message of hope."

In the first three seasons of “Back from Broken,” Vela interviewed well-known guests including Hunter Biden, Jim Belushi, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, Chamique Holdsclaw of the WNBA and Jeremiah Fraites and Wes Schultz of the band The Lumineers. He also shared stories from everyday people who have made incredible comebacks from issues including addiction, injury, conversion therapy, gambling and more.

This season, listeners will continue to hear powerful, inspirational stories. The season opens with Carnie Wilson of the band Wilson Phillips, who shares how her community helped her rise above addiction, and closes with an episode focusing on Vela himself, as he shares an audio diary of his recent struggles with an illness. In between, listeners will hear from athletes, a professional violinist, the mother of a pop star and songwriter in her own right, and others who prove that positive change is possible.

"I’m immensely proud of this show and the storytellers who bare their souls in these profoundly powerful episodes,” Vela said. “Through stories featuring folks from all walks of life, different professions, different cultural backgrounds, listeners who are struggling with things like addiction or mental health issues can learn that they’re not alone; that they don’t have to suffer alone. Time and again, people have told me that ‘Back from Broken’ has helped them take that first step in their recovery journey."

“Back from Broken” is a two-time nominee for Best Interview Podcast from The Podcast Academy’s Ambies. The show won first place in the interview podcast category from the Public Media Journalists Association for its 2021 episode with Hunter Biden, as well as first-place awards from The Society of Professional Journalists “Top of the Rockies” and the Colorado Broadcasters Association.

The fourth season of “Back From Broken” launches July 7 with eight new episodes released weekly. Catch up on previous episodes and find the new ones on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and cpr.org

Photos and graphics related to the show can be found here. Media inquiries: Clara Shelton, [email protected]


About Back from Broken

“Back From Broken,” from Colorado Public Radio’s Audio Innovations Studio and CPR News, is a show about recovery, a place to regularly showcase courage and what it takes to come back. Everyone knows someone who is struggling with addiction or mental health issues or a physical ailment that has dramatically changed their life. But along with suffering comes redemption and triumph. The stories in “Back From Broken,” though they confront raw and difficult topics, build empathy and inspire hope. 

About Vic Vela

Vic Vela is a Colorado native and a five-time Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. He’s been recognized for his work in advocating for mental health and addiction awareness and often tells his recovery story at health and wellness conferences and treatment centers across the country. Vic was named the 2020 Colorado Media Person of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America and was the 2019 recipient of the Resilience Award from Mental Health Colorado.

For 15 years, Vela suffered from a crippling addiction to powder and crack cocaine. He’s been in recovery since 2015. After testing positive for HIV in 2006, Vela rigorously followed antiretroviral therapy until the virus became undetectable. He frequently appears on national and local news programs to talk about “Back From Broken” and current events around addiction and recovery, including the ongoing illicit fentanyl crisis.

About Colorado Public Radio

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization delivering meaningful news, music, and cultural experiences to everyone in Colorado using the power of the human voice in all its forms. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations. For more information, visit www.cpr.org.

  • CPR News delivers in-depth, insightful and impartial news and information from around the world, across the nation and throughout Colorado, examining its relevance to our state and connecting it to our community.
  • CPR Classical takes listeners on an in-depth exploration of thoughtfully curated music – with an emphasis on Colorado’s classical community – providing context to a broad range of meaningful and compelling works from past to present.
  • Indie 102.3 takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.
  • Denverite is an online news source dedicated to Denver's curious and concerned.
  • KRCC is a public radio station in Colorado Springs, Colorado, serving Southern Colorado. KRCC is operated by Colorado Public Radio in partnership with Colorado College.