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60 Mindful Minutes

Feb 1, 2022

When Harvard-trained physician Dr. Annie Brewster was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, she realized firsthand that the medical system was failing her in one critical way: she didn’t feel seen or heard. Her doctors weren’t listening. This experience launched her onto a path to discover how exploring and sharing her healing journey, and becoming the author of her own story, taught her to integrate her traumatic health event into her new and evolving identity. Annie now uses applied storytelling techniques to help others strengthen connections and cultivate resilience to move forward amid uncertainty and fear.

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Guest Bio

Annie Brewster, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, a writer, and a storyteller. She is also a patient, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001. She started recording patient narratives in 2010 and, integrating her personal experiences with the research supporting the health benefits of narrative, founded Health Story Collaborative (HSC) in 2013. Brewster lives in Cambridge with her husband, four children, and two dogs. She prefers to be awake rather than asleep, and loves to hike, run in the woods, ski, and play ice hockey. You can learn more about Brewster and HSC at and @HealthStoryCo. Her new book, co-authored with journalist Rachel Zimmerman, is The Healing Power of Storytelling: Using Personal Narrative to Navigate Illness, Trauma, and Loss.


Host Bio

Kristen Manieri is the author of Better Daily Mindfulness Habits: Simples Changes with Lifelong Impact (July 2021: Rockridge Press). She’s certified both as a habits coach and mindfulness teacher. She specializes in: stress reduction, energy management, mindset, resilience, focus, habit formation, rest rituals, and prioritizing personal well-being. As the host of the weekly 60 Mindful Minutes podcast, an Apple top 100 social science podcast, Kristen has interviewed over 140 authors and thought-leaders about what it means to live a more conscious, connected, intentional AND joyful life. Learn more at


Mentioned in this Episode


Guest’s book: The Healing Power of Storytelling: Using Personal Narrative to Navigate Illness, Trauma, and Loss


Guest’s website:


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