The Profile: The startups profiting off your sanity & the most dangerous bars in America

Good morning! Hope you guys are having a good Sunday.

After that jaw-dropping Aaron Hernandez series last week and the Darius Miles deep dive this week (see below), I thought about how more high-profile athletes are speaking out publicly about mental health. And not just mental health in general — they’re sharing their own experiences battling depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

Athletes may be at increased risk of mental illness because injuries, competitive failure and overtraining can lead to psychological distress. But of course, that’s a subset of an alarming number of Americans (~43 million) who deal with it every single day.

Despite the number of awful listicles titled “5 Ways to Overcome Depression” written by questionable experts that litter the Internet, it’s still a phenomenon that remains largely private. And this is exactly why I think long-form profiles can be so powerful — they delve deep into a person’s psyche and make you realize we’re not so different after all.

Whether you’re you dealing with your own demons or you’re Michael Phelps (“I didn’t want to be alive”); Aaron Hernandez (“Having everything in the world, I still was miserable”); or even Elon Musk (“Going to bed alone kills me”), we’re all human & we can learn something from one another.

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Here’s what we have this week:

The athlete trapped in his own mind [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
The grandfather of the NBA
The most likable person on the Internet
The most dangerous bars in America
The startups profiting off your sanity


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PEOPLE TO KNOW.

The athlete trapped in his own mind: At first, I really couldn’t get into this profile because I thought it was just a walk down memory lane with former NBA player Darius Miles. But then I realized it’s not about that at all — it’s about the relentless struggle of someone trapped in his own head, quietly drowning in the depths of depression. As someone on Twitter noted, “It’s crazy how many guys like Miles fade away without anyone really noticing.”

“I know dudes like me aren’t supposed to talk about depression, but I’ll talk about it. If a real motherfucker like me can struggle with it, then anybody can struggle with it.”

The most likable person on the Internet: Chrissy Teigen is a model, a TV personality, a mom, and an author of a best-selling cookbook. But her greatest contribution to the planet is her presence on social media. Teigen expertly navigates the dumpster fire that is the Internet through witty tweets like, “I always have a note in my pocket that says ‘John [Legend] did it’ in case I’m murdered because I don’t want him to remarry.” This one is a must-read — come for the life lessons, stay for the sea bass jokes.

“My favorite part about my anniversary dinner was the girl who came to our table who John used to bone and also the sea bass.”

The grandfather of the NBA: Former NBA Commissioner David Stern considered himself “the bodyguard” of the league. He was there through it all — Magic Johnson announcing he was HIV positive, Latrell Sprewell choking P.J. Carlesimo, and referee Tim Donaghy betting on games. So how did “the Commish” end up investing in gambling, wearables, & streaming apps? It’s all part of his second act. In this revealing profile, we learn why the man who cleaned up the dirty business of the NBA is now turning his attention to the world of venture capital.

David only had one gear in this 30 years as commissioner and it was to go full speed, and I think that's the way he still operates.”

COMPANIES TO WATCH.

The most dangerous bars in America: I really love sports that combine alcohol with sharp weapons. Looks like the rest of America does too because ax-throwing is sweeping the nation. For the unfamiliar, yes, there are bars that serve beer, allow kids, and let you hurl axes at the wall. What was once a hipster fad found in Brooklyn, ax-throwing has quickly evolved into an organized sport with real rules and real competitors. Ah, I love 2018.

“It’s a nice break from my workweek. I come here and throw the metal thing at the wood thing.”

The startups profiting off your sanity: Mindfulness and meditation have become big business for tech-savvy entrepreneurs. But can you really unplug and reset while tied to an app on your phone? Companies like Headspace and Insight Timer say yes. But longtime practitioners, philosophers, and scientists aren’t so sure.

“It’s a very fragile idea, that you can give away meditation to everyone on earth while building a sustainable, profitable company.”