How to Build the Love Life You Have Always Wanted

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Our romantic relationships are simultaneously some of the most important, most misunderstood, most under-resourced relationships in our lives. So many of us have this misconception that our ‘love lives’ should just come naturally. That we shouldn’t have to work so hard. That they can unfold in a healthy way, even if they’re unexamined.

The 50% divorce rate in the US suggests otherwise.

Today, we’re digging into the topic of romantic relationships with a true expert. Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. He is on the faculty of NYU’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, author of “Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life” and founder of Dr. Jordan specializes in the treatment of unhealthy love lives and has been studying them for over 30 years.

This episode hits on some truly practical, ACTIONABLE steps you can start taking TODAY to make meaningful improvements in your love life. I hope you find so much value in this powerful conversation.

Additional Resources:

  2. 6 Principles of Meaningful Relationships
  3. How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationships

How to Create a Culture of Wellbeing Around Yourself

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There are few things more fundamentally important than our health and wellbeing. When we have it, we take it for granted. However, when we’re told there’s a problem or when we aren’t feeling well, it’s all we can think about.

Wellbeing has become even more of a focus since the pandemic because of the experiences we all had over the last 2 years. Mental health has suffered. We’ve neglected to take care of ourselves and chronic conditions are worsening. Yet, we see many people making professional decisions to help guard the lifestyle they had during the pandemic – particularly if it helped them make positive changes in their health and wellbeing.

It’s a lot to think about, so we brought in an expert.

Laura Putnam, MA, author of the award-winning Workplace Wellness That Works, is CEO and founder of Motion Infusion, a leading wellbeing provider. Her work has been covered by MSNBC, The New York Times, FOX News, ABC News, US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and NPR. She is a former urban public high school teacher, international community organizer, dancer, gymnast and now a movement-builder in the world of health and wellbeing. With a mission to get people and organizations “in motion,” Laura is a frequent keynote speaker and has worked with a range of organizations from Fortune 500s to government agencies to academic institutes and nonprofits.

I met Laura at a recent conference, and I knew I needed to get her on the show. I hope you find actionable value in this episode and begin to make healthy changes in your own life.

Additional Resources:

  1. Workplace Wellness that Works
  2. The Link Between Self Compassion and Self Care
  3. Develop Better Habits in 2022

The FUN Habit

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Did you know that research tells us that we all should strive to get TWO HOURS of enjoyable leisure activity EVERY SINGLE DAY?! When I heard that statistic, I was shocked!

We focus so intently on performance, optimization, and striving. We focus on how much we can get done and how to increase that amount. And we forget that life is meant to be fun as well.

This week we’re speaking with Dr. Mike Rucker. He is an organizational psychologist and charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association who has been academically published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management and Nutrition Research. His ideas about fun and health have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Vox, Thrive Global, mindbodygreen, and more. He currently serves as a senior leader at Active Wellness.

Additional Resources:

  1. Episode 0143: Dr. Steven Hayes
  2. The Happiness Trap
  3. Connect with Michael
  4. Pre-order The Fun Habit

Take a Self-Compassion Break

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There’s no denying it – the last handful of years have been very challenging. Aside from the personal adversity we’ve all felt in our individual lives, we’ve faced incredible collective adversity. The pandemic. Political divide. Crime and mass shootings. It has all been a lot to handle, and many of us have found ourselves searching for ways to move through it and cope.

Thankfully, the field of psychology has a very effective tool for times like these: self-compassion. By opening up to and being mindful of our own emotional experience, by realizing that we aren’t alone in the way we’re feeling, and by offering ourselves kindness rather than criticism, we can help support ourselves through truly challenging times.

The main audio of this episode is a replay of an impromptu self-compassion break I led the day after the mass shooting at the elementary school in Ulvalde, Texas. Quite a few people from around the world joined in community to learn how to apply this important tool during challenging times.

Not everyone who wanted to join was able to (it was a very last-minute session), so this week’s podcast episode is a replay of the audio of that session.

In addition, there is a very valuable section at the end of this podcast about what it means to support other people through challenging times. So many times we say, “I just don’t know what to say or do.” And so we do nothing. The final segment of this week’s podcast helps give you another perspective on those situations, and I give you some practical tips about how you can support others during painful or challenging times.

Additional Resources:

  1. Fierce Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff

Your Body is Your Brain

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One of the basic principles of cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) is that our mind and our behavior (and our emotions and life experience) are strongly linked. Our body and our behavior send strong messages that tell us how to appraise a situation and how we might want to respond. Yet, we spend so much energy attempting to ignore it. We focus instead on being “rational,” or “logical.” We believe emotions are “irrational” and shouldn’t be trusted.

Today, we’re debunking that.

Today we’re speaking with Dr. Amanda Blake. Dr. Blake is the author of the award-winning book Your Body Is Your Brain, and creator of the Body = Brain course on the neurobiology of experiential leadership learning.  In addition to teaching about the art and science of embodiment, she works with progressive leaders worldwide to help them become their best self, enjoy life more, and make a bigger contribution. Once an internationally competitive athlete, Mandy is skilled at cultivating high performance in herself and others. She is a Master Somatic Leadership Coach, holds a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, and is both a Fetzer Scholar and a Research Fellow at the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. 

The goal of today’s episode is to help you learn how to tap into another form of insight, the insight in your body, to help you make some of your most difficult important decisions.

Additional Resources:

  1. Stress to Serenity Centering Challenge
  2. Episode with my personal coach, Shannon Schottler
  3. Using Micro Behaviors to Combat Anxiety

The Self-Care Pyramid: The Components Most People Miss

Self-care is more than bubble baths and manicures, but unfortunately, most self-care content we see out there is missing important components. Arguably, they’re missing THE MOST IMPORTANT components.  

Today on the podcast, we’re diving into something we call The Self-Care Pyramid. Specifically, it’s the 3 key levels of self-care that you really need to have in order to support yourself as the asset that you are. Sadly, most self-care content only addresses one of these levels, and it’s typically the least important one.  

During this episode, we dive into: 

  • The 3 key levels of self-care and the distinct role each plays in supporting you at your best 
  • The role that life design plays in creating your unique self-care routine.  
  • The impact of basic necessities like sleep…and what happens when we don’t meet our basic needs (here is a link to the book Why We Sleep
  • Tips for creating a self-care routine. (Here is a link to The Self Journal, April’s go-to self-care tool) 
  • If you’re serious about creating a self-care routine that works for you, check out our popular mini-course Self-care [by Design].

If there’s one thing we want you to take away it is this: You are such an asset to the people around you, and as an asset, you need to be protected. Self-care is one of the protective mechanisms you need to have around you to make sure you can show up and perform at the level you want to. Take care of yourself. 


During this episode, we announced the beta release of our signature psych strength building program, Ascend. We couldn’t be more excited to send this baby out into the world! 

As a beta program, we’re releasing it at the lowest price it will ever be. If you’ve ever considered doing something for yourself. To build your own psychological strength and resilience. To dive deep into understanding yourself. To design your life around YOU. This program is for you. 

Learn more at 

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Cultivating Wellbeing Professionally and Personally

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If the last 2 years have taught us one thing it is this: people’s lives don’t exist in silos. The experiences, stresses, and challenges people face in their personal lives bleed over into their professional lives, and vice versa. It has never been more apparent that we need to support people in a more holistic, human way than right now.

As we look to the future and anticipate yet another stage of change, I wanted to have a conversation about how we support our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of our teams and colleagues at work. To do this, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend, Ryan Wolf, Wellbeing Lead for Gallup.

During our conversation, Ryan and I dive into what wellbeing truly means. We talk about how it has changed in the last decade or so, and anticipate even more change in the coming few years. We talk about how critical it is for companies and employers to support their teams on a more holistic, human level, and we talk about how to go about it.

Finally, you won’t want to miss our conversation about our predictions for the return-to-office transition.

Additional Resources:

  1. Listen to a recent episode about how to design your WFH life:
  2. Want to help your team navigate change? Here’s en episode designed to hlep you do just that:
  3. Check out an article Ryan recommended about the 7 different types of rest:
  4. Learn more about Gallup:
  5. Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn:

Achieving Peak Performance (without Burnout)

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What does it mean for you to “perform well” or “win” today? Have you ever stopped to consider that? One more question, as a high-achieving person or a top-performing person, have you ever stopped to consider times when it might be ok for you to show up intentionally looking to achieve at a B+ level?

These questions sound like heresy when we put them in the context of our traditional, high-pressure professional world. However, as we’ve learned from the pandemic and from some very high-profile athletes more recently, no one, even high achievers, is infallible.

Achieving peak performance is difficult enough to achieve once, but maintaining that level often leads to burnout.

If you are a human being with a body and a mind, you have limits. You have needs. And, you simply can not perform at 150% all the time. And today, we’re speaking with an expert who will help us sort through all of that.

Today’s guest is Lauren Ammon. She is a certified coach who works with athletes of all levels. She helps people acknowledge and recognize their own humanity. She helps people create as much psychological and emotional support for themselves as they do for their physical wellbeing.

This episode is for you if you’re the type of person who holds yourself to standards that are nearly unachievable. I know you’ll get some valuable insight and action out of this powerful conversation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Listen to my conversation with Gail Golden about Curating Your Life and Managing Your Energy:
  2. Check out our blog post “Creating the Conditions to Thrive:”
  3. Connect with Lauren and grab a copy of her free resource:
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Using Micro-Behaviors to Reduce Anxiety

One of the most common things we get asked is how to reduce anxiety. Talk about the ultimate question! Anxiety is SO incredibly common, yet the tools to reduce it can feel so elusive. In today’s episode, we’re leaning on cognitive-behavioral theory to help us use micro-behaviors to reduce anxiety (or induce any emotional state you’re after).

During this episode, I give a quick overview of what cognitive-behavioral theory is and the interrelationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I walk you through a great analogy developed by my incredible co-founder, Dr. Ashley Smith, to help you understand the true impact of this interrelationship in how you experience life. And finally, we turn to a practical way you can use small behavioral changes in your own life to influence your emotions in the direction you want them to go.

You’re not going to want to miss this one!

Additional Resources:

  1. Get the free guided experience I spoke about from Episode 338:
  2. Get 15 practical ways to boost happiness:
  3. Get another analogy to illustrate the powerful relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors:
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Uniting our World with Love

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The current state of the world has many of us feeling afraid, uncertain, and even disconnected. Given everything that is happening right now, it’s natural to have the impulse to pull away. To disengage. To disconnect.

However, the field of positive psychology shows us that it’s our interconnection to other people that drives much of our happiness and wellbeing. Beyond that, it’s our interconnection with other people that has the power to heal the divisive wounds at the heart of so much of the turmoil we see in the world today.

Today we’re speaking about interconnection with this week’s guest, Juan Lee. Juan is an author and teacher on the powerful principle of love. For over 30 years, he has studied organized religion to find the elements that unite humanity and share the message with those who need it. Based outside of Washington DC, Juan is a decorated US Air Force veteran and author of Love Made Simple.

Tune in today to be reminded of the importance of your role in humanity. My hope is that you leave this episode feeling optimistic and reengaged.

Additional Resources:

  1. Listen to a recent episode about uncovering what you truly desire in life:
  2. Check out our blog post “Social Connection: A Key to Happiness:”
  3. Connect with Juan and grab a copy of his book: