Julie Holland: 'How You Can Feel Good, With or Without Drugs'

The psychiatrist and Good Chemistry author has written the definitive account of "the science of connection from soul to psychedelics."


My guest today is Julie Holland, a psychiatrist whose newest book is Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection from Soul to Psychedelics.

It's a fantastic read that is steeped in the latest research about what she calls the loneliness epidemic and the psychopharmacology that is helping us find our way forward. When I asked her to summarize what her book is about, she told me, "Good Chemistry is about all the good stuff, how you can feel good, with or without drugs." That last point is particularly important, I think: Drugs are tools that can help us become all that we can be (to paraphrase the United States Army's advertising slogan in the 1980s), but they are neither necessary nor sufficient by themselves.

At 56, Holland is armed with degrees from Philadelphia's University of Pennsylvania and Temple University and decades of clinical and research experience. She's a legend and pioneer in the psychedelic space, where she has long worked with groups such as MAPs (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) and edited volumes such as Ecstasy: The Complete Guide and The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. She's one of the people who is building out what I think of as a post-prohibition drug culture by asking what our world might look like when we are finally free from government restrictions on all the tools available to us to actualize fully as individuals and as a society.

Holland is also the author of the bestsellers Moody Bitches and Weekends at Bellevue, parent to two kids, a musician, and a headliner at The Psychedelic Assembly, a fantastic event this September 10 and 11 in New York City at which I'll also be appearing.

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