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Recovery Podcast ‘Back From Broken’ Returns For Powerful Third Season

Denver, March 1, 2022 - “Back From Broken,” the podcast about recovery from Colorado Public Radio, returns for its third season starting on Friday. Led by CPR News Host Vic Vela, “Back From Broken” features stories of people overcoming the greatest challenges of their lives. 

“I know what it’s like to suffer. But we can recover, every one of us,” says Vela, who is in recovery from crack cocaine addiction and has been sober for more than seven years. “This show exists because I wanted to give people who are struggling some hope. Every one of us knows someone who Is suffering from addiction or mental health issues – perhaps it’s you. Through these conversations, we shine a light on the things that cause us pain and provide a recovery roadmap for folks who could use it.”

In the first two seasons of “Back From Broken,” Vela interviewed well-known guests including Hunter Biden, 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 hear more stories about recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The podcast will also delve into new territory, sharing the story of an actress who battled an eating disorder, a man experiencing homelessness after playing in the Super Bowl three times, and a former pimp who now advocates for prison reform. 

“The greatest compliment is when a listener tells us that, after hearing someone’s recovery story on our show, they feel seen,” Vela says. “This season features folks from all walks of life: White, Black, Indigenous people, members of the LGBTQ community, all sharing their own lived experiences of pain and suffering and their brave journeys toward healing.”

Vela is a Colorado native and a four-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.

“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. 

The third season of “Back From Broken” launches March 4 with eight new episodes released weekly. Catch up on previous episodes and find the new ones on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, Spotify and cpr.org


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.