Joe Rogan believes in the soul now—do you think he's onto something or just sentimental?

Joe Rogan has always been open about his issues with organized religion throughout his days as a stand-up comic and podcaster. The host of the JRE (Joe Rogan Experience) once revealed that his parents split up when he was younger and growing up with his step-father, who was a part of the counter-culture movement at the time, led to an absence of religion in their household. In episode no. 147 of the JRE MMA show, he had revealed, “My stepdad had long hair. We lived around all these just like counterculture people… So there was no religion.”

However, in a recent episode of the JRE, the UFC color commentator revealed that he was forced to reconsider his views with the tragic passing of his grandfather. Talking to Sebastian Junger, veteran journalist, author, and filmmaker, Rogan confessed that the loss of his grandfather was a catalyst behind the change in his opinions on spirituality and what it means to have a ‘soul’.

Joe Rogan shares how grandfather’s death led him to re-examine his belief system 


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In a deeply personal account on the JRE episode no. 2172, Joe Rogan shared a profound experience that caused a shift in his beliefs. The podcast host began his story by sharing, “I think the brain is capable of opening up a door and I think that door opens when you die and I don’t where… a door is a bad word, it’s not the right word but it’s all I have. It’s an opening, it’s a gateway, there’s something going on inside of us. We are interconnected in ways that are far greater than our understanding of human social interactions. There’s something going on with us and we experience that with love.”

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Rogan then went on to state that this connection is felt through the relationships in our personal lives with the people we love and care for as he further shared, “I think the soul is real and I really didn’t have that thought. Really. I was pretty atheist, I grew up, I went to Catholic school when I was very young, uh, for first grade and had a really bad experience there and it’s just, like religion’s bullsh*t.”

However, his perspective began to change after the heartbreaking loss of his grandfather with whom he was very close. Rogan shared that he moved in with his grandparents when he shifted to New York to pursue stand-up comedy at 23. This period was a mix of ambition and harsh realities as Rogan witnessed his grandparents’ declining health.

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But his grandmother suffered an aneurysm at this time and lived for another twelve years, bedridden and in constant pain. The podcast host then got emotional as he recounted the sounds of her suffering and the emotional toll it took on his grandfather, who cared for her during those difficult years.

The turning point for Rogan’s beliefs came at his grandfather’s funeral and seeing the body of the man he loved dearly in the casket brought a sudden clarity for him. He confessed, “He wasn’t there anymore and I remember, this feeling of like understanding came across me like, oh, like the thing is inside of you, whatever that is is real. It’s not as simple as you’re alive, right? And at that moment of seeing my grandfather in his casket, I started considering a soul. I started thinking like oh, this isn’t bullsh*t…”


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This story by Joe Rogan illustrates how personal loss and love can lead to a deeper understanding of life and considering possibilities that someone might have been opposed to before. But while Rogan may not personally follow any religion, he has also shared his belief that it may be beneficial for certain people.

JRE host believes religion is the key to success for Dagestani fighters  

During his conversation with Mike Baker on the JRE episode 1923, Joe Rogan claimed that their religion is the reason why Dagestani fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev have been so dominant in the UFC.


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Rogan stated, “Like the guys that are from Khabib Nurmagomedov’s camp are some of the most dominant fighters. They wear their hair all exactly the same way. They practice. All they care about is family, religion, training. They don’t chase girls, they don’t drink. They are just training constantly like insanely dedicated to their craft. And they are the most dominant.”

Despite his own reservations about religion, Rogan appreciated that for some, it provides a powerful framework for discipline and success and further in the conversation he also stated that the benefits of having structure and rituals that bond people together, “…can’t be denied”. What are your thoughts on Joe Rogan’s epiphany about souls? Let us know in the comments below!