Back from Broken Press Kit

What does it take to recover from the biggest challenge of your life, and how can others learn from your adversity?

This is a podcast about recovery.

Everyone knows someone who struggles with addiction or mental health issues or a physical ailment that has dramatically changed their life. This show is a place to regularly showcase courage and what it takes to come back.

In one way or another, we all suffer — some more so than others. When people suffer, it affects us all personally, economically and emotionally.

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 in all who hear them.


Vic Vela, a Colorado native, has been a professional journalist for nearly 20 years, after graduating from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2000. 

Vic started his career as a sports anchor for an NBC affiliate in Texas. He also worked for newspapers, including a stint as an investigative crime reporter. He covered government and politics in Colorado, and was a five-year member of the Colorado Capitol Press Corps.

Nowadays, Vic is a news host for Colorado Public Radio. He's also an affiliate journalism professor at his alma mater.

Vic is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award-winning broadcaster, and he has won dozens of other journalism awards in the Rocky Mountain region.

For 15 years, Vic suffered from a crippling addiction to powder and crack cocaine. He’s been in recovery since 2015. You can hear Vic’s story in episode four of the first season of Back from Broken.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR
Hart Van Denburg/CPR

Where to listen

Listen on Google Play Music


Four seasons of Back from Broken are out now.

Where to find us


Listener feedback

"Thank you for Back from Broken. It's healing and I believe it's saving lives."

"Podcasts like this help break the stigma and potentially open people’s minds and inspire them."

"I'm not sure why your confession made my perspective shift, I've never even met you, but it did. ... I suddenly got it. This is a disease. And it can happen to anyone."

"I was blown away by your openness and your ability to express it in the manner you do. I don't ever write in to any media source... but your story compelled me to write to you."


  • First Place, Interview Podcast (for "Hunter Biden"), Public Media Journalists Association 2022
  • First Place, Best Podcast, Extra Large Newsroom Category, The Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies, 2021
  • Two-time Nominee, Best Interview Podcast, The Ambies (Awards for Excellence in Audio from The Podcast Academy), 2021 & 2022
  • Silver, Best Personal Lives Podcast (for "The Long Lonely Lake"), New York Festivals Radio Awards 2021
  • Finalist, Best Personal Lives Podcast (for "Vic's Story"), New York Festivals Radio Awards 2021
  • Bronze, Health/Medical Documentary (for "The Long Lonely Lake"), New York Festivals Radio Awards 2021
  • The Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting from the National Press Foundation, 2021 - The Mattingly Award recognizes exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments for the illness. CPR reporter Dan Boyce won the award in recognition of his audio documentary “The Long Lonely Lake,” published as a bonus episode of “Back from Broken.” “The Long Lonely Lake” details Boyce’s own mental breakdown and his journey back to health. 

Back from Broken in the news

Coronavirus And Addiction: 24 Hours Is A Long Time To 'Be In Your Head' (WBUR)

'Back from Broken': CPR host's honest account of addiction and recovery (9News)

New podcast focuses on stories of recovery, with a host who’s been there (Current)

No longer 'Broken,' a member of the press corps shares stories of recovery (Colorado Politics)

On the Mend (Treatment Magazine)

Navigating Addiction (And Recovery) During The Pandemic (Connecticut Public Radio)

The Long Lonely Lake (Transom)