Vibrant Happy Women

VibrantHappyWomen is a twice-weekly podcast created for women wanting to live authentic, heart-centered, balanced lives. If you're looking for inspiration, authenticity, and positive thinking with a splash of heart and soul, join Dr. Jen Riday as she chats with inspiring women from all walks of life, including moms, authors, self help experts & happiness gurus like Gretchen Rubin, Brené Brown and more. Topics include self love, confidence, boundaries, time management, decluttering, authentic parenting, marriage, finances, mental health, goal setting, and much more!! Each episode ends with our guest's list of favorite things and her personal thoughts on what it means to be a vibrant happy woman. Bonus: Jen's HAPPY BITS provide quick + easy tips on how you can feel happier each day.
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Now displaying: December, 2016
Dec 29, 2016

Learn why choosing happiness is a better idea than setting yet another New Year's resolution. And how to make 2017 your best year ever!

Dec 26, 2016

Kate Bee grew up in a home that relied on alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress and a means to celebrate everything. Eventually Kate realized she was drinking too much and finding it nearly impossible to stop, but she pressed on and is happily living an alcohol-free lifestyle today and sharing what she has learned with others. Kate shares several great tips that are helpful for overcoming any addiction, including food, such as pushing through fear and the importance of human connection.

Kate Bee is the founder of The Sober School, where she coaches women through early sobriety and helps them navigate alcohol-free living without feeling deprived or miserable. Kate's mission is to remove the stigma, misinformation and fear that surrounds addiction. Kate lives near Manchester in the UK and in her spare time she likes running, reading and drinking too much tea.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Kate:

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear."

"Feeling fear is good, and anything that is worth doing will bring out fear... Fear is a kind of indicator of what we need to do."

"Give it a hundred percent. Do not let that fear put you off or hold you back. "

"I felt so awful that I had wasted all this money going to this expensive boot camp, and to make things worst, for once, none of my friends were drinking because they were actually going dry in January. And so I had to pretend that I was doing it with them, and I think that was the first time I thought, 'Oh my God, something is really wrong here that I am lying to my closest friends!' So, I think that was a moment that I thought something really has to change."

"So, it was from writing the blog (read Kate's blog here) and building up some recovery and realizing that I was not the only one, that I started to think. There is really a lack of support in this area, and we need something to change."


"So, it took me a really long time to realize that actually there were other coping mechanisms out there. And for a little while, I think I transitioned from alcohol to food which you know, is not ideal, is not perfect. I ate way to much ice cream during my first year of sobriety. And now I think I have got it nailed down a bit bitter. I know that I have to exercise like at least every other day. Nothing beats running for being a stress buster and helping you cope with your emotions."

"You can talk to people and that really helps you deal with what is going on with your life. I used to never talk to people. I used to really keep everything inside. I was not very good at talking about how I was really feeling, so that was like a big learning curve for me."

"Realizing that something may not be right is really a big step forward. We live in this culture where drinking is so normalized that actually realizing that all is not okay, that is such a great step."

"If you think you have a problem with alcohol and you think it is holding you back in some way, it is great to take a break from it. Ideally a month, maybe 2 or even 3 months because someone who is a truly a take-it-or-leave-it drinker - who truly has a healthy relationship with alcohol - should be able to leave it for a period of time. And so I definitely recommend experimenting with having a break. It does not have to be forever. And I hate talking about the F word, because it freaks everybody out. Just a short term target is great."

"The key to sobriety is changing the way you feel about alcohol."


Some of Kate's Favorite Things:

Personal habit: Sleeping better.

Easy meal: "Moroccan dish. Chicken and some spices. And throw in some vegetables, courgettes, peppers, what ever you've got around. Put it into a slow cook and it comes out really nice."

Possession: "Caffetiere and dishwasher"

Kate's Favorite Books: I Thought It Was Just Me byBrené Brown. 

Best advice received: "Success happens when you keep taking action."

Kate's Happiness Formula:

"Living an alcohol-free lifestyle. Moving my body. Staying fit and well. Connecting with others. Having good friendships and relationships."

A Challenge from Kate:

"For anyone who feels they are drinking too much or that the alcohol is holding them back in some way, a great challenge would be to start keeping a drink diary. It is really good to get things down on paper or just make a few notes on your phone so you can see what is happening in black and white. You take things out of your head and put it somewhere where you can look at it more objectively. Keep a record of what you are drinking and write down why, what it is you are looking for and how are you feeling at that time."


Sober Journalist (Kate's Blog)

The Sober School (Kate's Program that will help you become alcohol free. The next program begins on January 2, 2017).

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Dec 22, 2016

Learn an easy tip to help you make 2017 WAY more successful. And you can do it any time you want... while driving, while walking... and more!

Dec 19, 2016

Shawna Percy shares 2 stories of pain and grief that initially led her to be silent and holding the pain inside of her. But listen to hear how talking about the pain of an abusive situation, as well as sharing the grief of her husband's suicide, helped her to reclaim her voice and her power.

Shawna Percy is a published author, speaker, and advocate. When Shawna was 32 her first husband died by suicide. Overnight Shawna became an only-parent, and was left to find her way through a traumatic grief journey. Today Shawna is known as the Good Grief Guru. She has remarried, now has two children, became a certified suicide intervention trainer, and is thrilled to take the TEDxUW stage on November 26th. Her motto: Talking today changes tomorrow."

Nuggets of Wisdom from Shawna:

"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. - Maya Angelou"

"As I am open with my story and I talk to other people, what gets reciprocated is that other people can relate and they open up and start sharing their stories."

"Unfortunately, some life lessons take some time to surface. But one of things that helped me was someone once told me a Cherokee parable, which is the story of two wolves: There this story of two wolves, and one is full of everything bad...greed, hate, anger, resentment, all of these terrible things. And then there is this other wolf, who is full of love, hope, kindness, everything good... And these two wolves, go to battle. And the question this person asked me as they were telling me this story was 'which one do you think wins?' And part of me was tempted to say, 'Well, I kinda feel like the bad wolf is gonna win because there's things sometimes feel like they're stronger.' And she said, 'The answer is whichever one you feed.'"

sleep made easy with susie parker

"...believe that most people generally have good intentions. And if I pour love out into the world and stay open and vulnerable with people, I have known some of the greatest supports of my life to come out of that. And so really, when tragedy hit my life later on, and my first husband died, I am not sure that I would have had of incredible support that I did have, if I had not really fostered the side that are in the good wolf. If I had not fostered love and kindness and vulnerability and staying open to other people."

"One of the reasons why I talk so openly about suicide and my grief journey and all of that today is that it was by breaking that silence that I became more united with this person and we were able to then go through this journey together instead of on our own."

"I learned in that moment that someone else's reaction about something that I have shared is not really a reflection on me, it is a reflection on where they are at at that time."

"I have seen that lives have been saved by me talking openly and directly about suicide."

"Our loss in our life can be transformed into learning, and there can be gain from our pain."

Some of Shawna's Favorite Things:

Personal habit: "I would say being persistent and telling anyone and everyone about these tools and openly talking about suicide."

Easy meal: "Stir Fry. Lots of veggies, fried up in soy sauce over jasmine rice. "

Possession: Vitamix

Shawna's Favorite Books: Traveling MerciesPlan B, and Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott

Best advice received: "'Have the courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.' After my first husband died, it would have been so tempting to close up and not let anyone in, but this advice really encouraged me to remain open and to remain vulnerable and I have found that so much love and support has come to me through that."

Shawna's Happiness Formula:

"The Breath of Life. The Height of Life. And the Length of life: The inward reach, the outward reach and the upward reach."

A Challenge from Shawna:

Go to the website. And look for a training in your area. Go sign up for a safe talk or an assist.


Good Grief Guru



Traveling MerciesPlan B, and  Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott

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Dec 15, 2016

Sometimes we just need to forgive and let go...

Dec 12, 2016

Laura Thompson Brady was happy to be a stay-at-home mom for her 2 kids, but after a time she realized she felt a deep level of sadness and a dimming of her inner light. Laura began to ask, “What am I meant to be doing?” Laura spent lots of time simply LISTENING to her intuition and thoughts and realized she had been neglecting an important part of herself: a desire to nurture other women and to improve the world, which began the Mamas on a Mission movement.

Laura Thompson Brady, Ph.D. & founder of The Nourished Home, leads the Mama on a Mission Movement, where she helps visionary women step “outside of the box” and lead the way to greater harmony, freedom, healing, and joy for their themselves, their families, the communities they serve, and the larger world we call home. Laura lives with her husband and two girls in Maine. You can learn more about Laura’s work at

Nuggets of Wisdom from Laura:

"Resolve to be always beginning." - Rainer Maria Rilke

"No matter how much we think we know, that there is always something more to learn, there is something more to grow into."

"If I want that for you (Flannery), and if I want you to find the way to that, the best way I can do that is by living that and figuring that out and modeling that for you, and so that hit me really hard."

"I was neglecting these parts of myself and that I really needed to lovingly tend to them and listen to them and open myself up to the possibility to what it would look like to be in the space of really loving the opportunities that I have through motherhood and being with my family as well as having the opportunity and the openness to really look at what are the other ways I am called as a human being to make impact and to show up in this world while I am here. That was the turning point that I wanted to share."

"The listening and contemplation and a little bit of research, I decided that I wanted to merge my academic background with really supporting people in a very empowering and positive way."

"Another piece that was so radically important that in terms of the inner work that was required for me, it was around really acknowledging with love all of the fears that I had about stepping into my work."

"I’ve always felt called in some capacity to do healing work with people."

"I allowed myself to really have the space to deeply listen."

Some of Laura's Favorite Things:

Personal habit: "Walking meditations that I do out in the woods. Simply being in the natural environment reminds us to calm the nervous system, to ground into ourselves and to get quiet."

Easy meal: Crockpot Chicken Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

Possession: Chef's Knife

Laura's Favorite Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Best advice received: "In any moment when you are not sure of what to do, or you are afraid or you do not know how to move forward with somebody, just ask yourself what would love do?"

Laura's Happiness Formula:

"I am happiest when I get outside everyday, when I have quiet space to listen to my intuition and to make space to do something playful or joyful or relaxing with people that I love, something that has no purpose other than to just be playful, just be joyful or just relax and be, and connect, or just be creative for the sake of creativity."

A Challenge from Laura:

"Let go of holiday overwhelm, to let go of all of the things that you think you should be doing to create a perfect holiday for your family or your loved ones and to all the kinds of things that we are talking about in this podcast. To really listen, how do I most want to feel during this holiday season? What do I most want to experience and share with people that I love? What is that I most value? that I do not want miss out on during this time of sacred celebration?"

Resources (get a copy of Laura's ebook!)

Crockpot Chicken Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

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Dec 8, 2016

Do you ever think about all the lights around you? Light through a window, streaming from a bulb, twinkling from a star? I challenge you in this HappyBit to think about LIGHT - physical and otherwise.

Dec 5, 2016

Jane Stoller hit a low point in life after a move and changing jobs and relationships. She asked herself, "What is making me so unhappy?" and quickly realized the lack of organization was really putting a damper on her happiness. Learn how Jane survived that low point by getting organized. Jane is originally from Canada and now resides in Zurich, Switzerland and she's constantly finding new ways to get and stay organized. Jane is the author of Organizing for Your Lifestyle, which provides  inspiration to make organization fit YOUR needs.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Jane:

"And for every  minutes spent organizing, an hour is earned."

"For me, I naturally start it with reorganizing my closet and whenever I am in kind of a low point, that is what I do, I organize my own and then sometimes I have lots of friends that love it when I come to do theirs. So that gives me kind of a feeling that I have accomplished something. "

"When I am organized, I am my happiest."


"If you have a perfect organizing system, sustaining that is the most important part, otherwise there is no point even getting organized. So that is where I say, 'Make it your lifestyle but do not think about it all the time. Make it a routine... Make it fit for your lifestyle'"

"My day starts the night before. Planning my outfit for the next day and my meals. So I make sure that when I wake up in the morning, whether I am working out first thing in the morning or whether I am going to the office or on the weekend, I have my outfit planned, so there is no last minute stress of looking for what to wear or what not. So, I think that really helps you start off on a right foot. And if you start off on that right foot, the rest of the day, I find usually smooth flows pretty smoothly."

Some of Jane's Favorite Things:

Personal habit: Organizing Calendar. Planning.

Easy meal: "Swiss meal. Rösti. Like hashbrowns. Lots of carbs. It is really similar to hashbrowns but they make it into a pie form. I learned it from my mom and it is my favorite side dish to make."

Possession: "My juice maker."

Jane's Favorite Book: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Best advice received: "Do not sweat the small stuff."

Jane's Happiness Formula:

"Being with my family. Being healthy and exercising. And of course, being organized."

A Challenge from Jane:

"Write down three organizing goals. I think that will really help everybody start their organizing challenge. It could be small goals like organize everyday or perhaps larger ones like a creative organizing system. Whatever it is, write down three small organizing goals. "


Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Rösti - here is the recipe

Jane's Book PR Contact is Kelsey McBride

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Dec 1, 2016

How do you want to FEEL? And how can you find more free time for doing the things that generate the feeling you want?

Join me for a free Master Class: "How to Create More Time for the Things You Love (Without Neglecting Your Family or Feeling Guilty) and learn how to create 10+ hours of free time each week.

Sign up at