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Dennis Quaid recalls the spiritual experience that helped him overcome addiction

That's really what we're looking for, the joy of life, which is our gift, actually, the relationship with God that we all have.

dennis quaid, addiction

Quaid first broke into Hollywood for his role in "Breaking Away."

In an exclusive interview with People, actor Dennis Quaid shared how his faith led him towards the path of sobriety, and it’s a great example of the major role that spirituality—that is, the feeling of connection to something greater to yourself, not necessarily in the form of religion—plays in addiction recovery.

Quaid broke into Hollywood in 1979’s “Breaking Away,” and over the next 10 years would become a household name. But at the height of his success, a profound moment caused him to check into a rehab center.

“I remember going home and having kind of a white light experience that I saw myself either dead or in jail or losing everything I had, and I didn't want that,” he recalled to the outlet.

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While addiction is complex and multi-faceted, many former addicts note a sense of spiritual emptiness being a contributing factor, leading to feelings of isolation, a lack of purpose and depression, which individuals then attempt to use alcohol or drugs to fill the emotional void.

Quaid’s insights seem to reflect this concept.

“It's a struggle,” he told People. “We're all looking for the joy of life, and drugs and alcohol and whatever give that to you really quick…That's really what we're looking for, the joy of life, which is our gift, actually, the relationship with God that we all have. It's at the bottom of it, the joy of being alive.”

For Quaid, and for many others who have gone through recovery, sobriety meant “getting back to that.”

Going back to his Christian roots, Quaid began rereading not only the Bible but other religious texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Quran. Though he grew up as a Christian, the actor noted that only through his recovery process did he develop a “personal relationship” with his faith.

Most recovery programs do have a spiritual component involved, encouraging practices that connect individuals to a “Higher Power,” such as meditation, prayer or simply making gratitude lists.

The concept of spirituality might feel alienating to those battling addiction who equate it with religion and feel like they don’t fit into a religious framework—which could cause them to avoid seeking help at all.

However, the two are not the same. Psychiatrist Dr. Maya Spencer defines spirituality as “the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.”

Spirituality is a deeply personal process, which is partially why most recovery programs use the general term “Higher Power” so that anyone can assign their own meaning, be it God, the Universe, Oneness, etc. In this case, Quaid might have found peace through what he calls “God,” but others have found it in recovery using different names.

And truly, addiction recovery aside, it is awe-inspiring to think about how tapping into that mysterious, cosmic force can rewire even our most deeply ingrained beliefs in an instant. Only a month ago, on June 22, 2023, a white supremacist reported changing his entire worldview after taking part in an MDMA study and feeling a divine sense of “connection.”

All this to say—we might never be able to agree on what we’re a part of, exactly, but believing we are a part of something often helps us not take this miraculous existence for granted.

Watch Dennis Quaid's full cover interview with People below:

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

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Post your video entry by March 15 for a chance to do some good while exploring one of the world's most stunning ecosystems.

Las Torres Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

In the far southern reaches of South America, Patagonia beckons adventurers with its striking landscape. Rugged mountain peaks, deep valley vistas, pristine lakes, virgin forests, coastal cliffs and more combine to make this semi-arid land a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike.

If you've ever seen a photo like this…

hiking trail next to a lake in patagoniaHiking trail at Torres del Paine National Park in PatagoniaLas Torres Patagonia

…and thought, "I have to go see that turquoise water for myself," now's your chance. Las Torres Patagonia is offering an all-expense-paid trip (including airfare) for 10 lucky winners to travel to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and stay at the all-inclusive Las Torres Patagonia hotel for five days.

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Photo by Phuong Tran on Unsplash



Recently, blogger Jen Hatmaker had a funny conversation with a friend about parenting:

"My girlfriend told me the greatest story. Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: 'I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!'


Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are 'such children') and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid.


Want to be an adult? Fine."

Photo via iStock.

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