My name is Chris Irwin. I’m a Navy SEAL veteran who struggled for over a decade with mental and chronic illness problems. Throughout that journey, I saw dozens of practitioners, tried all sorts of unorthodox therapies, ingested thousands of supplements, and read countless books. It was an experience that taught me one critical lesson—the extent to which recovering was within the power of my mind and learning to train it just like my body.

I founded RARE SENSE to share this approach with others, including veterans, first responders, frontline workers, and anyone who struggles with or wants to level up their mental health. If you feel broken, powerless, or alone, you’ve come to the right place. Treating invisible wounds, decoding mysterious conditions, and ultimately thriving are all possible with the proper mental training regimen. However, creating one tailored to your needs can be daunting. RARE SENSE will help you figure it out.

I publish content under one of the following four categories on no particular set schedule, and subscribers get all of it for FREE via email:

  • TRAINING. These are various techniques I’ve used to help overcome anxiety, depression, and PTSD, as well as feel and function better. They include meditation, breathwork, journaling, problem-solving, skills-based learning, and numerous other practices in different combinations. None of it is invasive and only takes a few minutes per session. I’m not trying to fill your time up with more tasks. Conversely, I hope to introduce you to various facets of mind fitness so you can give them a shot and adopt the ones you like into your bespoke regimen. Take the best and leave the rest.

  • ARTICLES. I write long-form articles that explore the theory behind these exercises or related best practices and topics. I do my best to explain why they can drastically improve your quality of life. When applicable, I’ll also include reflections from my related personal experiences. Most articles take five to ten minutes to read.

  • BOOKS. I recommend books that explore topics associated with mental health in even greater depth. Often, these expound on an article or a recent podcast episode. I’ve read these works personally and found them enlightening and valuable.

  • PODCAST EPISODES. Numerous people have in-depth knowledge about many of the topics I discuss. The RARE SENSE podcast allows me to showcase their expertise. Guests include former sufferers, practitioners, and others who are making a positive impact on mental health. You can find all episodes on any major streaming platform, including Apple and Spotify, in addition to Substack.

You can also interact with me (and each other) via Notes and Chat:

  • NOTES. Notes is like a social media platform internal to Substack without the ads, negativity, and acrimony found elsewhere. I use it for small odds and ends that don’t fit into one of the categories above. As a subscriber, you’ll automatically see my posts. Feel free to like, reply, or share them as you see fit. You can also post your own links, thoughts, quotes, photos, etc. I hope this becomes a space where every RARE SENSE reader can engage with me and one another.

  • CHAT. Chat is a conversation space like a group DM or live hangout. I don’t use it often but occasionally post short prompts, thoughts, and updates. You can join the discussion or start a thread. It’s also the best place to ask me a question directly.

Anything posted in Notes or Chat is only sent via the Substack app. It’s best to download and turn on push notifications for the whole experience. You’ll also be able to access the other RARE SENSE Substack content there.

Get more from Chris Irwin in the Substack app
Available for iOS and Android

You can also find RARE SENSE content in these other places:

  • YOUTUBE. My YouTube channel has guided meditation, breathwork videos, and video versions of podcast episodes.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter @thischrisirwin.

Lastly, if you’d like to work with me personally, I offer keynote speaking, as well as individual and group coaching. You can learn more and contact me via my personal site. I am incredibly passionate about pursuing mind fitness after seeing its positive effects on my life. I hope it will do the same for you.

Subscribe to RARE SENSE

The Uncommon Pursuit of Mind Fitness


Navy SEAL veteran teaching people how to train their mental health instead of just treating it.