Dr. Mike Dow, Psy.D, Ph.D. is a highly sought-after psychotherapist, neurotherapist, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Brain Fog Fix, Healing the Broken Brain, and Diet Rehab. Throughout his career, he has hosted several hit television series, served as a go-to expert in relationships, brain health, addiction and mental illness. Dr. Mike holds a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in marriage and family therapy, a Doctorate (Psy.D.) in psychology, and a second Doctorate (Ph.D.) in clinical sexology, and has a post-doctoral training in psychopharmacology. He is registered with the California Board of Psychology and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. His latest book, Heal Your Drained Brain (Hay House, February 6, 2018) offers a 2-week plan designed to help naturally boost brain health.
What do I do best?
I understand people. If someone is unkind, I know there is insecurity lurking underneath. If someone is self-medicating, I try to put judgment aside so I can see the pain that is the reason they need to feel numb. I think this skill helps me connect to the patients I treat, and it even helps me in other areas of my career. When I've treated Bravo Housewives or Bachelors from ABC on TV, I am working with a producer who has been called "difficult", or witness diva behavior from someone on set, I always try to first do one thing: understand who they are and why they're REALLY doing what they're doing. I hope this quality helps me to help others. When someone is able to see you for who you truly are, it presents an incredible opportunity for change.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Perseverance. There were so many times I could have given up, but I had a dream. To me, my dream felt like a calling...so I just couldn't give up on it. Case in point: I was really proud of my first book. Hopes were high, and my book deal closed after a 3-day bidding war. The book came out. I was proud of it, but its sales numbers were dismal. The whole publishing industry turned its back on me. Despite my disappointment, I knew I would have to persevere to succeed. I thought carefully about my career. With humility, I went back to the one publisher my instincts had told me to go with the first time. Unfortunately, I let money get in the way of my instincts. They took a chance on my second book. The advance was about a tenth of what I got for my first book. That book was a huge hit and became a New York Times bestseller.
Ups and downs are part of life. I think my success isn't really about me only having highs. My success is thanks to my perseverance...and what I did with the lows.
What are my aspirations?
My business goal is to find my next great show that truly helps others. I loved cohosting TLC's Freaky Eaters, because I really felt we were helping the food addicts on the show every day. I love doing shows like these, because it helps me to connect with the people. I love writing books, but I spend a year by myself in front of a computer. Using this incredible medium of television can be so powerful - in its reach to touch and inspire. And, it allows me to do things I couldn't do in my private practice. One woman from Freaky Eaters was afraid of the water. We spent the afternoon at the beach, and we rolled up our pants and stepped into the ocean. It was a real, raw, organic "wow" moment, and I love seeing that kind of change. When I do write books, I use a little trick: I picture the person I'm writing it for. That helps.
Personally, I'm at that point in my life where spending time with the people I love is priceless. Last year, my boyfriend and I bought a vacation home in Palm Springs. It's the best purchase we've ever made, because it provides us the opportunity to spend real, quality time with people we love. He's an ER doctor who works night shifts, and I fly to New York from LA for talk shows every other week. The takeaway is our schedules can be a little insane. When we are in town, he's recovering from working all night and I'm jet lagged. Last month, we had our two best female friends from high school there with us. Next weekend, we're taking our moms. Balancing my life with quality time is vital as my career gets busier and busier.
My Biggest Success?
I remember the moment I found out I had hit the New York Times bestseller list. I was on a plane from LA to NY to do a talk show. I was sitting in an aisle seat in the back of a crowded plane, and I got an email from my literary agent. I couldn't believe it. As a writer with a huge fail under my belt, that moment felt like redemption. I wanted to scream or jump around, but in that crowded plane (sitting next to the bathroom), I smiled with a sense of quiet gratitude...or as much quiet as I could get in between listening to the loud flushes of the lavatory. (-;
My Most Challenging Moment?
My brother David's massive stroke. He was 10; I was 15. He barely survived, and doctors told us we would need to put a nursing home for the rest of his life. Today, he lives a happy and independent life. The seeds of compassion were planted in me as I saw things in pediatric intensive care units that will never leave me. I also saw the way the brain could heal itself - if given the right tools. Last year, we cowrote a book together called Healing the Broken Brain. David cofounded a nonprofit to help other stroke survivors. He still can't use his right arm, but his life is a reminder of what is possible with the power of belief. I thank God we didn't listen to the medical advice we were given. Belief shapes our thoughts and actions everyday.
The best things in life are free.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Business: Elon Musk. I love people who do things that combine good business with practices that are good for the planet - and do so by turning something like the car industry on its head entirely. (I'm on the waiting list for the new, affordable Tesla 3.)
Personally, I like LeBron James. Charitable. Doesn't take him too seriously. How is such a good athlete also such a great actor? His scenes in Trainwreck were incredible.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Anywhere that requires a 10+ hour flight to get there. I love this country, but there's something so freeing about being in a different culture in a different time zone. As someone who's constantly connected to talk show producers and book editors who need things on deadline, I love the freedom of being out of the country.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My current app obsession is Aaptiv. It helps me to do workouts in hotel gyms or at weird times when my favorite ClassPass classes aren't available. Working out helps me clear my head.
In the kitchen, I'm still obsessed with my spiralizer. I love a good zucchini noodle pasta, free-range turkey, baby broccoli, and a high quality olive oil. Also, I'm obsessed with my Dash egg cooker. I make these high protein egg bites. I throw out half the yolks from free-range eggs, use Vegenaise instead of crap mayo, add a tablespoon of good olive oil, lots of turmeric and black pepper (it's great for your brain). They're super easy when there's not a lot of time for breakfast.
My Current Passions?
I love hacking health and finding information that other people need. I'm always excited about new foods and supplements or a study about a new workout regimen. It makes writing really fun and easy, because I'm already looking at this stuff all the time anyways.