Trigger warning: This episode discusses content some listeners may find upsetting.

Journalist Davis Janowski grew up in the Panhandle of Florida, where he grew accustomed to sunny weather and developed a deep passion for the great outdoors. But when he moved to Syracuse, N.Y., at age 25 for grad school, the cold weather and lack of sunlight and exercise began to impact his mental health. The stress of a full workload at school, as well as a part-time job further exacerbated the problem.

The pressure became so much for him to handle that one day he decided he was going to take his life. Luckily, a friend called him right at that moment; Davis told him what he’d done, and emergency crews came to help.

That was the first step in Davis’s journey of being diagnosed with major recurring depression and getting help and the right treatments for this mental illness.

In this episode, Diana Britton, managing editor of, is joined by Davis Janowski, senior technology editor of, who opens up for the first time publicly about his years-long battle with depression, and how his love for kayaking and being out on the open water has helped bring him out of it.


Davis Janowski, left, with his father


Davis hiking in his 20s.

Davis discusses: 

  • When he learned he had depression and how he reacted
  • His attempt at suicide
  • How he came back from a dark place
  • When his depression came back years later
  • What he learned about treating his depression and anxiety during his hospital stay at Tisch
  • How therapy has helped with his depression
  • How kayaking, paddle boarding and being outdoors has helped improve his quality of life, as well as his depression symptoms

Davis enjoys kayaking during all kinds of weather.


Davis (far right) moderating a panel at this year’s WealthStack conference.


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