112: Free Will

Episode 112: Welcome back to Real Health Radio. This week it’s a solo episode and I’m talking about something that’s been on my mind for a long time: free will. Do we have as much free will as we think? Or does our environment, genetics, history, and health conditions impact our decisions more than we think? Or is the concept of free will a complete illusion all together? I dig into this and cover why I think it’s an important issue for how we think as individuals and how we should be functioning as a society.

free will



Here’s what I cover in this podcast episode:

0:40: Taking on new clients

4:45: Why I want to tackle the subject of free will

12:45: A thought experiment on free will

19:30: Another thought experiment on free will to try

24:15: An overview of experiments and studies conducted involving free will

32:45: Unexpected circumstances that can affect behavior and decision making

45:00: How our experiences growing up impact how we view the world

56:25: Disease and how it can affect biology + behavior

1:04:00: How emotions reinforce behavior change

1:07:15: What place does the legal system have in relation to free will?

1:10:00: Will society fall apart if free will doesn’t exist?

1:15:00: Why I think it’s better to view free will as an illusion

Links mentioned during the show:

Joe Rogan interview with Sam Harris

Free Will by Sam Harris

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky

Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology by Robert Sapolsky

Sam Harris interview with Robert Sapolsky

Joe Rogan interview with Robert Sapolsky

“Free Will Revisited” podcast by Sam Harris

“Reflections on Free Will” by Daniel Dennett

“The Marionette’s Lament” by Sam Harris

Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris: An Analysis of Free Will and Determinism

Very Bad Wizards interview with Sam Harris

There’s No Such Thing As Free Will by Stephen Cave

Free Will and Determinism by Saul McLeod

Vice interview with Robert Sapolsky

Free Will by Timothy O’Connor

Free Will by Kevin Timpe

Traumatic Brain Injury In Prisons And Jails

“Severe Trauma May Damage The Brain as Well as the Psyche” by Daniel Goleman

My podcast on the ACE Study

TED Talk: Are We In Control Of Our Own Decisions?

Utopia, now? A radical rethinking of work, wealth and freedom


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Chris Sandel is the founder of www.seven-health.com. He is a nutritionist, working with clients on a one-on-one basis, as well as creating online trainings and products about health and nutrition. He is the author of The Health Trap: Why "Healthy" Eating Isn't Always Healthy which is available on Amazon UK and Amazon USA.

Chris has three free emails series. One is on how to quit dieting. One is on simple tests you can do at home. And the other is his take on the world's healthiest foods.


  1. Lindsey Pittman says:

    Chris – as always, this podcast is so thoughtful, thought-provoking, well organized and clearly communicated. What an interesting (and scary) idea. Like you, I’m not sure that I’ll sleep better at night with glimpse of this topic floating around but I’m always thankful for insights that expand my seemingly so simple mind. Thank you for your work and for sharing your precious time with all of us!

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