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DoD Podcasts, Free Apps on Sleep, Mindset, Fitness & Overall Wellness with Dr. Julie Kinn



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In this 10th episode, Gary Pinkerton hosts Dr. Julie Kinn, military psychologist and executive producer of Military Health Podcasts. Dr Kinn shares her thoughts on healthy ways to manage your life. They talk about the kind of sleep time we’re looking for, time and stress management tips for those trying to become entrepreneurs, and Julie’s tips on a resource for getting first responders and military members through long shifts that impact rhythm.

Announcer 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant, and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom.

Gary Pinkerton 0:39
Hello, and welcome to Episode 140 of the heroic investing show. This show is a podcast for first responders, veterans, members of the military, and anyone looking to improve their financial future and gain some freedom with their own time. We teach America’s heroes how to build passive income, build their startup business and safely grow wealth through real estate and other alternative investments. We help current and prior first responders put protections and systems in place to enable them to build a life where they can focus on their passion, maybe that’s a service or product, but whatever they are uniquely gifted to share with the world receive compensation from and prosper with all of those that they’ve shared their genius with, in my opinion, that’s the American dream. It’s a country built on the concepts of capitalism, were individuals living in a place of rule of law, where they can spend time effort exert their own resources, to be able to provide something that others benefit from that others find value in. And they’re compensated for it, whether that’s monetarily or just in somehow having their own life enriched as well. My name is Gary Pinkerton, and I co host this show with Jason Hartman. Hopefully you find this an inspiring and good use of your time and we’d love to hear from you with a review on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. And wherever you get your podcasts, you know, give us a rating. Let us know how we’re doing. You can also feel free anytime to send me an email at Gary at Gary Pinkerton Comm. So as you know, this is a 10th episode and today on 10th episodes, as we always do, Jason and I go off topic was something that’s not necessarily about business, real estate, personal finance, but something that’s going to help you enrich your life, and hopefully something that’s also tailored towards our audience. And this one certainly is. Today we have the distinct pleasure of talking with Dr. Julie Ken. And Julie is a psychologist at the defense health agency and a research psychologist at defense health agency and she actually runs three podcasts for the agency. They are titled next generation behavioral system, military meditation coach and a better night’s sleep. And I’m somewhat fascinated on the concepts of a better night’s sleep. So we go down that path pretty well. But along with podcast, something that I think everyone will find great value in are all of the free apps, the free applications that Julie talks about in our conversation on this podcast. And I think that, you know, some of those are related to better night’s sleep, but also behavioral health. And a little bit on the meditation coach and I talk a little bit about headspace in one. And you know, it’s an example that’s not a government one, but it’s one that I’ve used recently, I found a lot of value in. So Julie comments that their mission is to coach military, health care teams, veterans, service members and families about how to use innovative mobile health technology, in treatment, or on your own. And she said that she characterizes their podcasts, something that informs while also being practical and entertaining. So just a quick thing about each of the podcasts and then Julie kind of gets into this as well in our conversation and dives into some specific ones that she thinks May, you know immediately help the audience as well as again some applications. So military meditation coach features on meditation, mindfulness and relaxation exercises. And the goal there is to help listeners learn how to be mentally fit, build resiliency, resiliency, and manage stress through a wide variety of exercises led by clinicians at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. better night’s sleep, you can, I’m sure guess is helping to overcome sleep disorders, and some evidence based treatments, things to help combat nightmares, and the importance of adequate rest. And so we get we dig into that one quite a bit on this podcast. And then next generation behavioral health. It offers 10 Minute Tips from clinicians Using high tech in a clinical care environment, such as how to prescribe mobile apps to their patients, as well as how to tell which apps are safe, effective and evidence based. So this is the one next generation behavioral health, that’s going to give you the insight into the most up to date, the most beneficial are the ones the apps that are statistically that are scientifically proven to be of the most benefit and that individuals are responding to the most. So I think that podcast is probably the one that a lot of our younger veterans, a lot of our younger first responders will probably key in on the most, and it’s one that Julie spends a bit of the time during this podcast talking about. So I felt very blessed that our audience had an opportunity to talk with Julie, I think just, you know, hearing her on this podcast may cause you to head over and listen to a couple of her podcasts. I’ve done so. And I think they provide great value. And I’m going to continue doing so. And ironically, I’m bringing you this introduction from Julie’s hometown, she grew up here in the Midwest with me, she grew up in Indianapolis, so I happen to be in Indianapolis, visiting with one of the vendors that I work with. So I think it’s just fitting that we plug in Julie here and Episode 140. And she provides some what I believe to be really, really valuable information for you know, targeted to the listener base that all of the great listeners here, all of you that continue to follow heroic investing, from episode to episode coming up. We’ve got some great ones, some great original content with some veterans and just some amazing individuals that I think you’re all going to really, really appreciate. So I look forward to being able to share those with you here coming real soon. Stick with us. Dr. Ken’s podcast here is awesome. And I think you’re just gonna really appreciate the ones that are coming up behind it. Thanks so much. Enjoy this conversation with Dr. Julie can.

Gary Pinkerton 6:59
So everybody, thank you and welcome back to another episode of The Roca investing show. And as I mentioned in the introduction, we have the distinct pleasure of having Dr. Julie, Ken with us and Julie and I share where we grew up at least I think that I didn’t ask Julie this quite yet. But I think she grew up in the Midwest with me, given that you have been to college a few times out there in the Midwest in the great city of Chicago and then in Bloomington, Indiana. Did you grow up in Indiana? Julie?

Julie Kinn 7:27
Yes, I’m a Hoosier. I grew up in Indianapolis.

Gary Pinkerton 7:30
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I’m visiting there in about a week. I go there frequently. I love the city of Indiana. I know. She’s me, and then we’ll head out to do a little family vacation in Illinois. So looking forward to that is a nice little summer treat. But Dr. Ken, thank you so much for joining us. And I thought maybe we would start off just by a little bit of an explanation about how and why the defense health agency is taking a lead role in both podcasts, I guess you do three you mentioned as well as mobile apps. Can you help us a little bit with that?

Julie Kinn 8:03
Sure thing. So I’m a military psychologist with the defense health agency. And what my group does is we look at technology, especially every time there’s a new technology. And our first question is how can we use this technology to improve health health for our servicemembers, our veterans and their families? So these days, of course, mobile phones are everywhere. I looking at several right now. I’m sure you probably are too. And in fact, I’m sure most of your listeners woke up this morning using mobile phone as their alarm clock. You know, it’s the first thing we interact with in the morning. And the last thing at night, if if you’re sleeping with it that way most of us do. So it’s such a great opportunity to be able to focus on health. For example, most people these days are tracking Well, maybe not most, many people these days are tracking their steps. They’re tracking calories are tracking weightlifting. And we want to make it easy to add tracking your moods to that list to add taking care of symptoms of nightmares, reducing nightmares, reducing stress, to make it just more of a normal thing. It’s just like you would work on a shoulder injury. We want folks to be able to use technology to focus on other injuries. And these apps really help break the stigma of seeking help. We also make podcasts too for these same reasons because first of all, podcasts are very expensive to make. And there’s so much great content that the God is coming up with. We have fantastic experts. So for example, with the better night’s sleep podcast, it’s just a better night’s sleep. We interview some of the nation’s leading experts in sleep and sleep disorders. So we have this great opportunity because we have all these experts who are really passionate about their work, where we can interview them about what is restless leg syndrome, what’s sleep apnea, how do I how does diagnosis happen? How can I help my kids with their insomnia? You know, really any question you’ve got they want to answer it. Really what we do is just try to make it easier to get involved with your own health. We have over a dozen mobile apps, they’re all free. You can use them anonymously. You know, they’re all very safe, of course, because they’re made by God standards. And what’s neat is that you don’t have to be a service member to use them. They’re publicly available on iTunes and Google Play, so anyone can get these apps and podcasts and you know, that they’re made by people you can trust? Well, that’s tremendous.

Gary Pinkerton 10:25
I had no idea there were that many resources out there from tha. So one question, I have one burning question I have to talk to an expert about with respect to a better night’s sleep is, is there an actual, you know, minimum amount of sleep that we should be shooting for? Or is that really specific to the individual? I mean, is it eight hours is six hours?

Julie Kinn 10:48
Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t know that data, right, offhand. I get to be the person who asks all the questions, and I, and I let the experts answer. I’m a specialist in some parts of psychology. But that one, I’m not sure. I do know that it does differ from individual to individual. And as, as we get older, we don’t need quite as much sleep. But that said, there’s going to be an upcoming episode releasing in September, about aging and sleep. And we’ll talk about how it differs for kids and adults and senior citizens. So maybe if I can just plug that tune into a better night’s sleep, and hopefully we can answer that question, then. Absolutely. Well,

Gary Pinkerton 11:29
I’m certainly headed there. I’ve become fascinated by the impact of that on on fitness on performance as an entrepreneur, I recently got, I think, I want to call it a sunrise clock. I think it’s what it’s called, where it causes the sun to rise in my room. And I actually haven’t used in the last few weeks in the summertime here, because the sun’s rising at the correct time for me at the moment. And so, so I don’t need it.

Julie Kinn 11:54
Now. That’s great. Our doc recommended those He said, If you can get one, put it right next to your head. And yeah, it really helps increase your melatonin at night and decrease it in the day.

Gary Pinkerton 12:04
Absolutely. It is much easier not to push the snooze button when the sun has already risen. That’s amazing. So but I also, you know, I had a friend asked recently, my best suggestion for fitness. And I said, you know, actually, it’s not about what you eat. For me. It’s not about what you eat. It’s about getting quality and adequate sleep, at least as a first step. Right? So I because I think you can work out and eat as best as possible. But if you’re not getting enough sleep, because you’re playing the role of the typical entrepreneur, you are never going to succeed, like you won’t be able to keep the diet on track without adequate sleep, and you certainly are not going to be performing optimally. That’s an awesome service.

Julie Kinn 12:44
Yeah, I completely agree with that. I think especially for your listeners, since many of them are entrepreneurs, there’s always going to be that voice in the back of your head that says, well, it’s too as you’re not sleeping may as well get up and work. Because the more you work, the more money you make, the more successful you are. And I think that voice is often mistaken. And as entrepreneurs, it’s really hard to set a schedule and stick to it. So that’s something that that to be really mindful and make it a priority of sleep. And especially like you said, with working out, if you’re sleep deprived, you’re going to be craving sugar, and you’re going to be tired, and your body’s not gonna want to live.

Gary Pinkerton 13:20
Right. You have multiple podcasts. What what are the we’ve talked about a good night’s sleep? And you mentioned the others? Can you get a little more detail of one of the others?

Julie Kinn 13:28
Sure, yeah. So we have a better night’s sleep. I’ll just politely sneak in the correct title there. No, yeah. So in addition to a better night’s sleep, we have one that’s kind of neat. It’s called military meditation coach. And what we did is we gathered together experts from mostly the Department of the Navy, but several others to throughout the Military Health System who all like to lead their own special kinds of meditation or relaxation or mindfulness exercises. And every week, we put out a different one. So our listeners can try three minute long meditations that can do 45 minute long ones. They can listen to ones developed for kids and family, ones that are very traditional ones that are modern with without music, male voices, female, it just really a huge sampler, to get folks started in meditation, and really give them a way to try a huge variety. And then if they find Oh, yeah, Episode 19. That’s the one that really did it for me and put me into that relaxed framework, or a frame of mind, then they can just listen to Episode 19 on repeat, or maybe they want to have something different every week and learn different ways to meditate. So the military meditation coach has been a really neat project, because the more episodes we put out, the more folks are coming out from the Military Health Systems saying Oh, hey, you know, I do this too. Can I send you a couple recordings and can I be on your show? So over the next few seasons, we’re going to have many, many more speakers with different kinds of bands. Whereas this first season we put out, we have 20 episodes out. Now, it’s about four or five speakers. So over time, we’re going to have many more. And with all of these shows, we’re always looking for audience feedback, because we, you know, you’re a podcaster, we want to keep refining it and making it even better and better course, the

Gary Pinkerton 15:18
worst thing is that, you know, we have this feeling sensation, or actually, it’s true that we’re wasting people’s time and they stopped paying attention, right. And, you know, not only is it somewhat inexpensive to create podcasts other than our time, I’ve found that there’s also a low barrier, a high barrier, excuse me to hold on to listeners, because there’s so many different options out there. And our time is our most number one valuable resource as free content on the internet has taught all of us that if you don’t have great content, you won’t retain listener. So that sounds awesome to me. And having just gone through an app called headspace, I’m ready for the next step. And I can’t wait to jump into that one too. So you’ve hit a homerun on two podcasts so far for me. And I’m not kidding when I say that there really are jackhammers going on outside my window right now. And I’ve been interjecting here on mute in between them, but they’re about to start up again. So Julie, you’re doing an awesome job. Please go into the next one. And I’m gonna have to kind of add most of my comments in at the beginning in the introduction. Thanks, Julie. Okay,

Julie Kinn 16:21
sir thing it got. The third podcast that we’ve got is called next generation behavioral health. And this is one we developed for providers and clinicians and folks who are involved in helping others with their health care. And what it does is take some step by step through how to use apps how to use technology in practice. So many of us received our training before mobile apps, or even mobile phone for around. So we didn’t get trained on you know, what are the ethics of using an app with a patient? What is HIPAA? Tell us? How do I watch out for my social media safety? What are the new apps I need to know about? And what are the new technologies I should be aware of? So this podcast is 10 Minute Tips. It never goes over 10 minutes. And it’s just about quick tips for providers to use technology to help service members, veterans and their families. Wow, nice.

Gary Pinkerton 17:15
So I’m sure you meet directly with patients during your normal day job. Is that true? Julie?

Julie Kinn 17:21
Not so much anymore. I used to get to do that. Okay.

Gary Pinkerton 17:25
Okay. What tips would you have for people who are trying to juggle maybe a second job, or they are trying to go to school at night? Or, or they’re someone who’s, you know, a veteran or first responder, trying to become an entrepreneur or something like that, you know, so basically just time management or stress level management, certainly listened to the podcast, both of them to be able to keep your head in the right perspective, I guess. But what what else would you suggest for that group?

Julie Kinn 17:57
Yeah, you know, I think paying attention to your stress level in prioritizing it as this is something that you need to be able to manage, just like you’re managing your finances, in your managing your health. Because if you’re able to keep your stress in check, and you know how to react to stressful events, then it’s just going to help you stay in this business that much longer, right? It’s hard, we know that there’s going to be stressful events, especially like you said, specifically for entrepreneurs, that it’s not necessarily an easy road, but it sure is a fun one. And so I recommend finding one or two good solid resources that you look into when you’re not in distress. In other words, when you’re in a good mood is when you want to start thinking about this stuff. So that when you’re in a bad mood, or in a really tough spot, you’ve already got a resource available to you. So the my favorite mobile app that we’ve made that I recommend to everyone I know it’s called Virtual hope box. And this app, it’s again, free, it’s available worldwide to anyone, anyone can use it, you don’t need to sign in with your name. It’s anonymous, and no data is collected. But what virtual hope box does is it helps you collect all the things in your life media wise, that are going to help elevate your mood that are going to make you feel better. So at the touch of a button, this app opens and you see your favorite images, your family or your friends or your dog. Whatever images you pick your favorite songs that are always uplifting to you your favorite links to youtube so you can watch pandas playing. It has games in it to help distract you if you just need to kind of reset mentally breathing exercises, physical exercises, other coping skills to help you in a stressful moment. And this is an app that we developed to help folks if they might be in a crisis if they might be experiencing severe stress or if they’re in the middle of a depressive episode. But what we found is that in addition to helping their folks are using this app just to help on long plane rides, for example, other just normal stressful events that we all go through. It’s helpful when people are trying to get to sleep we’ve heard plenty of individuals using this for instance, Omnia, because it helps you turn off some of those voices in your mind. And we’re even hearing teenagers and high school students, it’s pretty popular with them too, because it’s so game like and colorful. In fact, all the mobile apps we make, even though they’re on serious topics, none of them look like therapy homework, they’re all really easy to use colorful. At first glance, if someone’s just glancing at your phone, for example, our app, that one I was just talking about was a virtual hope box. But an app dream easy. It’s just the word dream and the letters easy. It’s actually an app for nightmare reduction, and which we know nightmares are very common for folks with post traumatic stress. But also, individuals who have a very stressful job can often have nightmares. Dream easy, the icon is just a really cute owl. If you first look at the app, it doesn’t look like oh, yeah, this is for my nightmares, and my behavioral health. But clicking into dream easy, helps walk you through one of the best treatments for nightmare reduction. It’s called imagery rehearsal therapy. It’s what we use in the military. And it’s what civilians are starting to use more and more. It’s one of those quick treatments that within a few weeks, patients start to see reduction in their nightmares. And this app walks you through it, and then helps you work with a provider to decrease nightmares. So that’s really our method with these apps. We make them so that folks can kind of dip their toe in the water have behavioral health, right? or general health, not all of them are psychological. But sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. And these apps help break down that stigma. So you know, those are just two of them that I really like to recommend dream easy for individuals with nightmares, but especially virtual hope box, because everyone has a tough time. And it’s an app that you set up when you’re in a good place. You know, when you’re feeling good about life, or at least not very depressed, pick your favorite songs, take your favorite images, and then you’ve got it ready. It’s basically like a weapon in your pocket to help you combat any of those depressing moods that might happen later.

Gary Pinkerton 21:53
Nice. So the virtual hope box, is that kind of a menu Do you go through a kind of a menu driven thing to choose items to put on there?

Julie Kinn 22:01
Yeah, it is it there’s four or five different sections that relax me takes you through different relaxing exercises remind me to do reminders of of what’s good in life. And that’s where you pick some of the positive media etc. and distract me is usually people’s favorites because as Sudoku and Mahjong and although might not sound very necessary, I’ll tell you on those long flights, that’s been really helpful. Oh, I

Gary Pinkerton 22:24
do Sudoku a lot on longer flights. I love that. And you’re right, it is very distracting, and get your mind kind of relaxed. How about, you know, we have a lot of first responders and then my time in the military, and I think it’s common for a lot of servicemembers that you know, will be standing watching the middle of the night and the next time we’re standing watching the middle of the day, right. And there’s first responders, police officers, firefighters, that will do a full 24 hour shift. So we’re messing with a circadian rhythm a lot. And I found that that was very stressful, just you know, trying to be in a good place mentally, if you don’t know what time of the day it is, especially on a submarine. We don’t even can see the sunlight. But I don’t think it’s much better. Even if you do know what you know, you can see it’s light or dark out any applications or podcasts or discussions that you can think of that would help manage that. And if you have to keep messing with a circadian rhythm, how do you minimize its impact?

Julie Kinn 23:18
Yes, coming this August on my Season Two of the a better night’s sleep podcast, one of our episodes is specifically on travel issues. And that one goes into not just travel but also for folks who who do work on shift schedules. We had a listener question about that. So maybe I’m thinking of two different episodes. But certainly in August and September, we’re gonna have episodes on those topics traveling and when you’re crossing time zones, and also the swing shift. Oh, yeah, a listener wrote in saying I’m about to start a new duty. And in my new work duty, I’m going to be what you describe basically like a firefighter kind of shift. How do I prepare for this and in recover, and I remember our experts saying, you know, one of the big things people don’t think about ahead of time is how it affects your diet, and just eating healthy, and that we see a lot of weight gain during that time as well. If that’s the thing about sleep, like you were saying before, it just relates to so many other issues. It really is a central thing that we don’t really pay a lot of attention to, especially since so many of our friends and family don’t get good sleep, you just start to think of it like credit card debt. Yeah, it’s not great. But we all have it and oh, well, what are you going to do? But prioritizing it can help with all facets of our life.

Gary Pinkerton 24:33
Yeah, no doubt, I’ve saw that impact the mood of so many people in my ships, myself included, you know, where, and not only was it where you’re working in the middle of night and still had duties during the day, but it was more of this rotating shift work thing that happens very frequently in the Navy, at least, just by the size of the ship, you don’t have room to carry the Manning that would support 24 hours. So it’s uneven that you’re the swing shift person or the midnight shift person, but you’re rotating. So typically, we have three six hour shifts. And so you would do an evening one, and then you would do a day one and then you would do a midnight one, and then you know, you keep rotating backwards. So your wake up every day is just a different time in the day. Very odd and and challenging for moods, just, you know, kind of across the board. So focusing on circadian rhythm and focusing on getting adequate sleep even if it’s not unbroken, right, you know, as you said, it leads to better mood and better eating habits, which leads to fitness. I mean, it’s all so interconnected. It’s amazing,

Julie Kinn 25:29
you know, when other app that folks might be interested in that, since we’re talking so much about sleep is called CB t AI coach. And it’s pretty nerdy here. It stands for cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. And it’s made by the VA with help from me and some of my colleagues. And what it does is it takes you through a huge variety of exercises and knowledge to help with insomnia and getting a better night’s sleep and building that awareness. cbti is a specific treatment that many psychologists and sleep doctors are trained in. And the VA pretty soon I’ll be putting out an app called insomnia coach that doesn’t stick so purely to this one treatment. It’s really more just a collection of good solid sleep, and sleep improvement techniques. So I would keep your eye on insomnia coach, not sure when this episode is going to deploy. That’s amazing.

Gary Pinkerton 26:25
What have we not talked about, Julie that we should have provided for the listeners today?

Julie Kinn 26:30
Well, our website, it thank you for asking that our website is health.mil. That’s just health dot m i l. in there, you can find so many different resources about the things we’ve talked about. But but so much more. The defense health agency really makes a ton of great things. So we’ve got all the apps and podcasts there just search apps or podcasts. But of course, you can go to the same place you found this podcast, any podcasts to listen to and search for a better night’s sleep, or military meditation coach. And all the apps are available right on iTunes or Google Play. You can just search breathe to relax virtual hope box dream easy. And then once you find one of those apps, you can see all the ones we’ve got out there. They’re all free, easy to use. And you can trust them because they’re made by your department of defense. So they’re made in the United States and made with some of the best experts we could find.

Gary Pinkerton 27:24
That’s awesome. Well, I’ve got virtual hope box. So I’m looking forward to it. That one’s

Julie Kinn 27:29
Oh perfect. Great.

Gary Pinkerton 27:30
Well, thank you so much for giving us a few minutes of your time. I think the audience is going to certainly be interested in this refreshing, a little bit different look. There’s nothing more we’ve talked about on my podcast, though, that I think will help the entrepreneur succeed better than this episode. So thank you so much for providing it the content.

Julie Kinn 27:49
Oh, thank you. It’s a real pleasure and you take care.

Gary Pinkerton 27:51
Thanks. Bye bye.

Jason Hartman 27:55
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