Clean Pain vs Dirty Pain

Stress-Less Physician

Jul 25 2022 • 21 mins

How we experience emotional pain in life is connected to the source or cause of the pain. This birthed the concept of clean pain vs dirty pain. But what exactly is clean pain? What is dirty pain? And do the differences between them hold a key to how we work through each type of pain?

In this episode, I want to share the powerful concept of clean pain vs dirty pain. I have personally experienced empowerment in how I handle emotional suffering by understanding and framing pain through this concept. The core difference lies in how concrete the source of the pain is. Is the pain something specific you can name that happened? Or is the pain in how you are thinking about what happened? Let’s examine this together.

“We think that sometimes by spending a lot of time worrying about something or thinking about something, we can somehow solve it. Or even prevent ourselves from feeling the discomfort or pain. But what it does is prolong it.” – Dr. Sara Dill

What You’ll Learn

  • What is clean pain?
  • What is dirty pain?
  • Defining pain
  • Responding to pain

Contact Info and Recommended Resources


Connect with Sara Dill, MD, The Doctor’s Coach