The JOY Factor: Mindfulness, Compassion, Positive Psychology, Healing, Yoga

The JOY factor ­is a podcast dedicated to helping YOU create a path to Joyful Living each and every day.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The JOY Factor: Mindfulness, Compassion, Positive Psychology, Healing, Yoga









All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 20, 2023

Hello, and welcome to episode 37 of  The JOY Factor Podcast! My guest today is Safriana Degroat and we're chatting about considerations around safely using medical cannabis, According to the National Conference of State Legislators,  “As of Feb. 3, 2022, 37 states, three territories and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of cannabis products.”  Despite the rapidly increasing availability of medical marijuana there are too few settings where patients can have open conversations with their healthcare providers  about their needs, concerns and experiences using cannabis. Too often people feel shame or judgement about their medical cannabis use and oftentimes doctors and therapists are ill-equiped or uninformed of how best to provide trauma informed care. Our conversation today will give you safety guidelines to consider and a way to explore best practices for use. 


Through her own personal healing journey, Safrianna embraced her passion for creating a world where all people can be “freely themselves”. She has a Masters in Community Mental Health and is a licensed professional therapist. In 2020, she founded her company, Luna Counseling & Creative Services, LLC, promoting wellness through therapy, education, and professional coaching. She recently launched Living LUNA with her wife, Ikenna. Living LUNA is a podcast and digital community that affirms the worth of all people, acknowledging the right for everyone to live life unashamed, full of love and authenticity. 

What does the phrase joy factor mean to you?

Safi’s joy factor = “making empowered choices again and again.”

What you do now influences your future enjoyment. 

A question she lives by:

Am I enjoying myself right now?

Remember, we have the power to take actions that do or don’t align with the ones that do.

What We’ll Learn

Safriana Degroat is not a medical doctor. Before trying any cannabis consult your doctor and DO NOT consume cannabis that has not been prescribed to you. Avoid purchasing cannabis off the street and keep all medical marijuana in a locked container out of reach of children or pets.

Medical Cannabis- how safe or dangerous is it?

Without proper medical guidance cannabis has a high potential to be abused or become addictive.

Safi shared her framework for safely exploring correct strains and doses once you have been approved for a medical marijuana card. Remember the acronym RIDER

Research- Do this for anything you ingest. What impact might it have on us if we have other medical issues or conditions? Ask your doctor. Research the strains ahead of time. Ask: What’s the turpine breakdown?

Intention- Understanding why you are trying to use cannabis in the first place. Get honest, be specific. What symptoms are you needing help treating? What other healing modalities are part of your plan? Remember, cannabis is not a stand alone treatment.

Documentation- Document your cannabis use if you want to fine tune what works best for your needs. Is it for pain, focus, writing? Safi uses different strains for specific reasons. Document how you were impacted when you use a specific strain. 

Experimentation- Find what works for us personally, and keep your dosing as small as possible. 

Repetition- Repeat the results, journal, look at dominant terpenes. 

Tips from Safi:

Be informed. Know the dosages and chemical compositions and don’t overdo it. 

Take as little as you can get away with and consult with your healthcare provider for ongoing guidance and support. 

Find other people you can trust to discuss, compare and learn for mutual benefit.  

For younger brains it’s not as good of a fit. If you are 24 or younger, this should not be a main part of your care plan.

How has medical marijuana affected her?

“It’s made me a more joyful person.” Cannabis and spiritual work have helped her healing from PTSD progress because she has found it easier to relax and integrate what she was learning and experiencing.  

“I dance more. I enjoy more. “

-Important Health Information-

From the website Cannabis Conversations 

What are the signs of cannabis use disorder?

Cannabis use disorder is the medical diagnosis for problematic cannabis use. Cannabis use is problematic when it begins to impact an individual’s life. Some common signs of cannabis use disorder include:

  • Using more cannabis than intended

  • Trying but failing to stop using cannabis when you want to

  • Spending a lot of time using cannabis

  • Craving cannabis

  • Using cannabis even when it causes problems at home, at school, or at work

  • Continuing to use cannabis despite social, relationship, or school-related problems

  • Giving up important activities with family or friends in favor of using cannabis

  • Using cannabis in high-risk situations, like while driving a car

  • Continuing to use cannabis despite physical or psychological problems

  • Needing to use more cannabis to get the same high

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping use of cannabis

If you keep cannabis and cannabis products at your home, they should be stored safely, locked up, and out of reach of children and pets. Accidentally consuming edibles is a risk for children and pets that can result in cannabis toxicity or the need for emergency medical attention. If there is an accidental exposure to cannabis or cannabis products of any kind — call Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222 or visit your Emergency Room if needed. 

Motivational Figure, Quote something guiding light- 

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

What matters most in life is our peace and us radiating that peace out to others. Make more energy for our peace and then make others feel that peace.

Resources Mentioned

Leafly- Research new strains. 

Greenhealth Docs- telehealth appointments with 

High Yoga- Strains to use for different yoga poses.

I know why the Caged Bird Sings

Other Useful Information For Safe Dosing, Warnings and Guidelines. 

Important Information and Warnings about Medical Cannabis

  • Before you start, talk with your doctor and therapist to create a medical marijuana care team.

  • Startlow, go slow, stay low: 

    • Start low- Studies show that beyond 20-40 mg/day for THC and 50-100 mg/day for CBD, there are no additional benefits from a higher dose for most patients. 

    • Go slow- increase your intake very slowly, and try to stay as low as possible with amount consumed.

    • Edibles can be dangerous because they are slower to digest. Use caution and wait at least 2 hours before taking another dose.  Always, err on the side of caution.

  • People at an  increased risk of harm if they use medical cannabis include those who are: 

    • Children, adolescents, young adults 18-25 

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding

    • At increased risk of addiction or dependence

    • Affected by serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia

    • Diagnosed with heart or liver disease

  • Do not operate heavy machinery or vehicles while using medical cannabis.

  • Keep all medical cannabis stored in a locked container safely out of reach of children and pets. 

  • Do not give away, trade or sell medical cannabis to others.

  • Follow all applicable laws for the state you are in or are a resident of.


Reach Safi

Safi’s main hub is Discord- instant messaging

Living Luna Discord Community- social hub, hangout and uplift each other-Authentic Connection

She has a podcast- Living Luna talking about authenticity, marginalization, inviting other voices 

Launched a Patreon- Glad to receive financial support for people who believe in our mission. free resources- cannabis journal

Rise Program- Resilience, Integration, Self Empowerment- 

Building Blocks, Quick, Easy, Low Cost, High Impact

Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. 

Your support truly matters. If you feel led to offer a donation to keep our podcast running you can contribute here. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast 

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!



Oct 25, 2022

Today’s Show

Hello, and welcome to season 8, episode 36 of  The JOY Factor Podcast! My guest today is Dr. Sue Williams

Dr.Williams grew up in Iowa and earned her BA in Psychology at University of Iowa. She is a 2001 graduate of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. She specializes in Working with autoimmune diseases, Chronic Fatigue, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, LYME, MS, Hepatitis, cancer, ED, Asthma/Allregies, COPD, Macular Degeneration, Candida, Heart Disease, Mold toxicity, weight management. fertility issues and women’s health. Dr. Sue Williams vast health and wellness consultations over the past 18 years contributes to her ability to support individuals with chronic and acute conditions, she will refer individuals out as necessary. Sue Williams embraces her mission of helping individuals stay healthy and balanced.

Whether it is with her extensive knowledge of supplementation, ability to balance prescription medications with natural remedies, knowledge of ideal range values for blood chemistry, or her understanding of hormone interactions and genetic impacts on the body she always strives to treat the root of the problem without suppressing symptoms.

No matter what a patient is suffering from, she works with them to heal their entire life- from the foods they eat, to the activities they participate in, and the thoughts they think, to achieve whole-body restoration for each particular patient.

What does the phrase joy factor mean to you?

Today my joy factor is food. I love to eat and I love to cook as my love language. I put thought and care into the food we eat and for my family and am thankful for my ability to think about what we want to put into our bodies and feed our families. 

What We’ll Learn

Shop the parameters of the grocery store and eat as much organic food as possible. If you’re eating the skin of the food, try to buy organic. Sue recommends shopping at Aldi :). 

If you’re feeling achy or stiff…

What are you eating everyday?

  • Evaluate your nightshade veggie consumption (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, peppers)
  • Joint pain/stiffness, headaches, chronic neck, back and shoulder pain are all signs of inflammation. Finger and feet swelling.
  • Eat more apples- high in quercetin- anti-inflammatory.

Find the joy in getting started with a concrete goal and plan to eat more veggies! 

  • Tips to help empower you to add more vegetables to your diet
    • Remember they are high in fiber- the more we have the more toxins can be washed out of our body. 
    • Choose a vegetable you like.
    • Half your plate should be vegetables.
    • Try some new vegetables.
    • Very easy to roast your vegetables.
    • Cauliflower rice is a great addition to most diets- tasty and easy to season.
  • Ask- how do I make fresh foods and what is the easiest way to do it?
    • Saute
    • Pressure cooking/Instant Pot.
    • Add more beans to your diet!
    • Do it with love.

Emotional and Mental Tips

  • See food as healing for the body
  • What does my body need to feel strong and healthy?
  • Ask good questions: 
    • Why am I eating this?
    • Will these chips make me feel better after I eat them? 
    • What side effects from the food am I getting?
    • Is there a better choice for me?
    • If I don’t have a better choice can I have my quick fix choice (chips etc.) can I have only one serving?

Tips for Eating Mindfully

  • Pausing to ask: Where does your food come from?
  • Say a prayer of thanks for the food
  • Eat your food as slowly as possible
    • Enjoy the textures, smells, multiple flavors
    • Slow down and savor!

Resources Mentioned

30 Day Diabetes Miracle Cookbook

Foxpoint Spice-Great for vegetables

Justice Spice

Connect with Sue Williams:

Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!

Jul 27, 2022

Today’s Show

Hello, and welcome to episode 35 The JOY Factor. My guest today is trauma specialist and substance abuse counselor Stephanie Snyder. You can read more about Stephanie’s background here

Listen in as Stephanie shares her unique perspective on joy and healing as it relates to substance addiction and recovery.

What We’ll Learn

  • Healing is a mind, body and soul experience.
  • When someone starts the journey of healing and goes from surviving to thriving they are able to see joy and beauty in the little things and eventually the bigger things! 
  • A recovery saying Stephanie references: I can hear the birds sing again. You have recovered enough and have healed enough that you can hear things that are outside of yourself instead of only being able to focus on what’s going on inside of you. 
  • Questions to consider when considering getting help.
  • We need to speak out against mental health stigmas. Labels dehumanize people. 
  • Treatment success depends on having safe, non-judgmental space to address the fear and intimidation clients may feel.
  • Recovery and the development of self-worth develops in phases.
  • Families need to heal together. It’s not just one person, the whole family unit is impacted. 
  • Society has put so many expectations on parents. The first thing to help parents understand: This is not your fault. 
  • Our children learn how to cope with things not just through the family unit but from other things they’re surrounded by in society.
  • A few considerations regarding medicinal marijuana use.
  • Child’s brain is still developing until 21. Just like with alcohol and cigarettes, there’s a legal age and biological factors that need to be factored in. 
  • Very important to educate yourself before you engage in any kind of medicine based treatment.
  • You can’t advocate for yourself and learn how to take care of yourself if you don’t know what’s going into your body. 
  • Consult a professional and educate yourself. 
  • Medical grade and CBD products are very different from street marijuana. 
  • The amount of fentanyl on the streets is scary. Very easily absorbed through the skin. 
  • If someone is considering medical marijuana I advocate for them to do it the safe, legal way and not just buy it off the street. 

Favorite quote:

“My goal is to do better than I did yesterday.”


Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration

Know the risks of marijuana

National Institute on Drug Abuse 

Trauma Informed Substance Abuse Treatment


Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!


Jan 4, 2022

Hello and welcome to episode 34 of The JOY Factor Podcast. Today's show is sponsored by Prose.

Thanks to my personalized Prose routine, I can honestly say I’ve never been more in love with my hair!

Today we've got a special conversation with our guest Cheryl Rice Cheryl Rice works with women eager to be leaders in their own lives. Since 1990 she has been working with clients to improve individual, team and executive performance. In her powerful seminars, Cheryl inspires women to use their voice and vision for maximum impact. Her clients include: Pfizer, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Penn Medicine, Campbells Soup, and the Wharton School.

Cheryl is also the author of the inspiring memoir, Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness. Additionally, her essays on life, love and loss have appeared in local and national publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, Cure Today, and Maria Shriver’s
Blog, Architects of Change.

In 2016, Cheryl founded the You Matter Marathon – No Running Required - a global initiative that creates positive connections between individuals and within communities.
With a BA in Psychology from Monmouth University, an MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a MS in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, Cheryl brings significant academic training to compliment
her practical work experience. Additionally, Cheryl has completed her professional coach certification, obtained
a certificate in applied positive psychology and taught classes in organization change at local universities.

Cheryl's Contact Information:


Additional Resources 

Sign up for You Matter Marathon

Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!

Dec 14, 2021

Today’s Show

Welcome to episode 33 of the JOY Factor Podcast.

Today’s Guest is Jeff Harry 

Jeff Harry shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves, to feel their happiest and most fulfilled — all by playing. Jeff has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff to infuse more play into the day-to-day.
While we spend most of our time pretending to be important, serious grownups, it's when we let go of that facade and just play, that the real magic happens. Fully embracing your own nerdy genius — whatever that is — gives you the power to make a difference and change lives.  Jeff believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and, in turn, help to create a better world.
Thank you to Prose Hair for sponsoring this episode. I love their products because they make my hair look, feel and smell great!
TWITTER: @prosehair
FACEBOOK: @prosehair
HASHTAG: #prosehair, #prosepraise

What We’ll Learn

  • It's ok to play.
  • It's a skill we all have but need to remember.
  • You deserve to have some play in your day.
  • A playful attitude is contagious.
  • Just for today...remember to play!

Reach out to Jeff

Instagram: @jeffharryplays
Twitter: @jeffharryplays

Your Joy Factor

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. Did you learn anything that can help you with your own joy factor? If so, pass it on to your friends and family and give us a positive review at  The JOY Factor Podcast.

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!


Nov 18, 2021

Welcome to Episode #32 of The JOY Factor. Today we're talking about art therapy with our guest Meg Mcmurdy.

Art therapy is a powerful healing modality for all ages and interests. Listen is as Meg shares her own journey and busts a few myths about what art therapy is and isn't. 

Meg McMurdy (she/her)

"As a trauma informed therapist, I have witnessed the power of art therapy to assist my clients in deepening their path to healing. Combined with cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness approaches, creative expression through art can support the whole person and be truly transformative. Making art isn’t required or expected but I offer it and will customize an approach best suited to your needs. Our work together will be guided by choice and you will have my undivided attention and support. I love working with adolescents and adults along with neurodiverse individuals and am skilled at treating anxiety, depression and ADHD symptoms. Being a life-long learner is something that I hold dearly and strive to make that passion come through in my work as a therapist. I believe that we can all heal, learn and grow best when we have time, support and tools to find relief from painful symptoms and stress patterns. It is a true honor to align with my client’s needs and help them imagine a better future. I am a graduate of The George Washington University where I received my Master’s in Art Therapy. I am an LGPC (Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor) and LGPAT (Licensed Graduate Professional Art Therapist)."

Meg’s Contact Information:

Additional Resources 

  • If you need help, please text SHARE to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line. You can also call The Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to free and confidential support and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
  • Check out the Quarantine Family Toolkit by Kristin Ramsey, ATR-BC, LPC, which offers suggestions and resources on how to talk with children about COVID-19, a sample daily schedule for working/learning at home, online apps, podcasts and other resources for daily activities, mindfulness activities and short guided muscle relaxation script, as well as many art activities instructions and examples.
  •  Resources for addressing COVID-19 — The National Council for Behavioral Health offers resources to help manage coronavirus-related anxiety and to communicate with your kids about this crisis among other topics. Behavioral health care workers will also find resources including telehealth best-practices and implications for certain vulnerable client groups.
  • Affirmations for Coping during Coronavirus Times — AATA Blog, March 30, 2020

Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!

May 3, 2021

Today’s Show

Hello, and welcome to The JOY Factor. It’s good to be back here and I’m thrilled to have Sue Nesler joining me. She is a blended family maven and owner and CEO of Yoga East Healing Arts Studio and Counseling. So take a break and settle in to nourish your spirit and find a little joy.

About Sue

I am Sue Nesler MS, MA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, NCC. A Blended family maven who exercises, gardens, and enjoys learning and cooking. I am the owner and CEO of Yoga East Healing Arts Studio which houses a yoga and meditation practice studio offering classes and yoga therapy, retail lounge, Registered yoga school at the 200 and 300 hour levels, an accredited meditation teacher training, and is the YTT educational hub in the Teri-State area in Cape Girardeau, MO. Also, a newly launched branch of the business-Healing Arts Counseling. A person-centered, holistic, and existential counseling service helping people find wellness and joy.

What We’ll Learn

  • How awareness can transform our experience.
  • What can shift when we take the time to take care our ourselves.
  • How support from others can lay the groundwork for mind, body and spiritual healing.

Connect with Sue Nesler:

Sue’s Website



Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!

Brought to You by: 

Mar 12, 2021

Today’s Show

Welcome to episode 30 of the JOY Factor Podcast.

Today’s Guest is Bethany Perry, CAN, AAEC, IAHC, E-RYT

Bethany is an emerging thought leader on combining the power of neuroscience and intuition. She transforms the lives of women and men who are challenged with emotional and physical traumas.  Dedicating over 30 years of her life’s work to helping people heal and grow by creating a non-judgmental space where each individual can discover freedom from the past to live the life they desire. 

What We’ll Learn

  • Brainspotting can help everyone find more freedom.
  • Freedom means less space for  judgment and more for love
  • Where we look affects how we feel.
  • When we’re looking for something we tend to find it so why not make it joy?
  • Focused reflection and practice leads to transformation and joy.

Resources Mentioned

Visit for

two Guided Meditations on moving from fear to love. 

Reach out to Bethany:

Amen Clinic

Your Joy Factor

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. Did you learn anything that can help you with your own joy factor? If so, pass it on to your friends and family and give us a positive review at  The JOY Factor Podcast.

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!


Aug 17, 2020

Welcome to Episode 29 of The JOY Factor.

Our guest today is Jana Glass:

Jana started her career working with children and families struggling with mental health issues. She has experience in a variety of settings including in-home therapy, outpatient therapy, day treatment, and residential care. She founded Supportive Solutions twelve years ago to support people managing depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma and abuse, infertility, and grief.

Although she works with a wide spectrum of clients, her special interests include Healing Trauma, Substance Abuse, and Maternal Mental Health. Prioritizing this population including infertility, miscarriage, difficult births, pre and post-partum depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Jana is acutely aware of the challenges that can accompany individuals and couples on their journey to become parent(s). She struggled with infertility for over three years that included painful experiences of multiple miscarriages, surgeries and invasive reproductive assistance interventions, hospital bedrest, a difficult birth, NICU stay, as well as post-partum mood challenges. Jana was able to find healing through family and community support along with Brainspotting therapy. From these obstacles and challenges, Jana gained a unique ability to understand and empathize with clients still building their desired family. She works with families of all compositions including blended families, LGBTQ Families, and Individuals building their own family. Jana is passionate about helping to foster hope when faced with situations that appear hopeless.

Highlights and Glimmers from Today's Show


When trauma overloads our system, brainspotting helps our head and heart realign so that we are better able to make sense of what happened,  move on, and feel better. This healing approach expands our capacity to reflect on the experience and see it as just part of our story that we overcame instead of something that feels like it’s still happening in the present. We will always remember what happened but it won’t hurt anymore. 

As Jana would say,

“It takes its rightful place on the timeline of your life.”

“Creating the space for it to be different allows people to have more possibilities which breeds more hope. Having possibilities is enormous for people. “

There are many paths to healing and Brainspotting is an amazing one to include. The brain is powerful and knows how to heal.

There are many lessons to be learned along the way. 

Here are a few:

Learn how to give and receive support.

Really listen and try to understand. So many things can’t be fixed but showing you are present and attuned is more important than finding the right words.

Do what you can to stay curious. Try not to make too many assumptions about a situation. It’s ok to have ideas but try not to hold on too tightly and be open to where the day takes you.

Generate hope by making whatever safe connections you have available to you.

Work to build empathy. Be an ally by deeply listening or know your limits.

Expectations of the way things are supposed to be steals joy. Try to be more reasonable with how much you can do in a day and what you expect of others. 

Relationships are more important than anything else. So many different things that come up that don’t go the way we’d hope but we can navigate those times with more skills when we stay connected and nurture our relationships. 

Keep that love connection and relationship in the front-that’s how we tap back into the joy. 

There is a point to turn things around.  Focus on the rebound. We can fall down but we get back up. 

Be in the moment 

The small things are the big things. Every moment isn’t perfect but the times you can find a reason to smile or be silly are  beautiful. Right here right now. 

If you try one thing that didn’t work out for you keep trying. Go with the flow but stay on the path.

Jana’s Contact Information:

Resources Mentioned 

Postpartum Support International

Certification in Perinatal Mental Health

Look for folks who have specialized specific training in the area of perinatal mental health. 

Learn more about Brainspotting Recognize when you could use a little outside support. Never been a time where it’s more accessible to find help online. Including brainspotting.

Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!

Mar 26, 2020

Hello and welcome to episode #28 of the JOY Factor Podcast. I’m glad you’re tuning in and thankful that so far, so good. My family is healthy and safe. I hope the same is true for you. The month of March seems like a blur and as we face this collective trauma of both the facts we have about COVID 19 and the uncertainty surrounding it, It’s normal to feel a mix of emotions right now. You might be angry one minute and exhausted the next. It may be tempting to deny what is happening or to compulsively check the news. All of the psychological reactions we are experiencing can be viewed through this lens of collective trauma. I’d like to also remind you that we have a beautiful invitation unfolding. There’s an opportunity to rise up together and operate out of a place of trust, faith, hope and JOY!

There’s a great meme with questions to ask yourself each day floating around the internet and when I saw it I thought- this is perfect for me to share with you all here. Not sure who made the original post but many thanks for everyone who is spreading such good reflections. As we run down this list I’m sending you a dose of compassion. This is hard. We are struggling. Some moments are easier than others. Daily life goes on but we all face significant challenges in the coming days. Take what you can use from our conversation but please go gently with yourself and those around you.

So, get comfortable and let me share a few daily questions to ask yourself while you are washing your hands, coughing into your elbow, avoiding your face, keeping a safe distance from others and….best of all! Staying home when you can. You know the drill right? LOL

  1. What am I grateful for today?

The brain responds favorably to gratitude. What are you grateful for right now? What’s the smallest thing you can stop and give thanks for? Can you help other people cultivate some gratitude?

  1. Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?

Find someone to check on. If you don’t have family or friends you feel close to, now is the perfect opportunity to reach out. Is there a neighbor you sometimes see but never speak to? What about the staff at your local grocery store? Let them know you are thinking about them. Figure out a way to reach out. Another thing- maybe you’re the one who could use a hand. What do you need to loosen the grip around in order to ask for help? I highly encourage you to dig deep and put your needs on the table. What comes around goes around my friends. We’re in this together so let’s act like it.

  1. What expectations of normal am I letting go of today?

Those of us working from home and trying to do some sort of homeschooling have quickly discovered the need for a new playbook. What was normal last week is now yesterday’s news. What are your expectations for yourself? Your partner? Your kids? Anyone in your life? What are you capable of? What are your limitations? Take a deep breath. Sigh it out. You are not alone. All of humanity is

  1. How am I getting outside today?

It’s spring here in Maryland and I am on the hunt for new buds and blooming forsythia. I hope wherever you are It’s possible to breathe in some fresh air and experience the grounding safety of the outside world. What’s your plan for today?

  1. How am I moving my body today?

Take walk, jiggle and shake your body, move any limb you can. Stretch, lift weights, jog. Figure it out and plan ahead. Ditch the uncomfortable gear and prepare by having good walking shoes nearby. Check out our resources page for more details on free ways to get movinig.

  1. What beauty am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in?

When we bring creativity on to the scene we open up a world of possibility. What can you build, grow, paint, bake, draw, shape, move design? The list goes on and on. Look around your home and consider what’s there to help activate your creativity and then set up (or dust off your workspace and give it a go!

  1. When I safely arrive at the other side of this pandemic how would I like to be able to reflect on my own personal growth and healing? What tools and resources would you like to be able to recognize gaining for strengthening? I think it’s a powerful thing to reflect on how adversity can help us reach toward potential we weren’t aware of having. What would it be like to look back and recognize how this experience helped you grow?

I would love to hear your reflections on these questions! Find the thejoyfactorpodcast on Facebook and subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast platform. Your joy factor is right here with you. It’s ok to smile, it’s ok to laugh, to dance, to rest. Take good care of yourself. Compassion means noticing that you are struggling, remembering that it is human to struggle and responding with kindness and care. Take a breath in, on the exhale, let go of whatever might be needing to be released. Repeat and take care.

Jan 20, 2020

Today's sponsor is Feals

Today’s Show

When we empower girls and women, we empower families and communities to thrive. Join us as we learn more about just how powerful intentional nature-based rites of passage can be for girls living in today’s world and the caregivers who raise them. Whether you have a daughter or not, today’s guest will inspire you to connect with nature and perhaps create a spark of joy as a result. 

Lorene Wapotich is the Founder of Celebrating Her Rite and Feet on the Earth Programs. She has dedicated her life to connecting people with nature, self, community, and the magic of life through deep nature-connection mentoring and community-based rites of passage. Lorene is a dynamic teacher, passionate speaker, and national lecturer and workshop leader on girls coming of age ceremonies and rites of passage. She has over 25 years experience as an outdoor educator, wilderness guide, and herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradition. Lorene holds a Bachelors Degree in Wilderness Leadership and Natural History Education from Prescott College, and a Masters in Education from Lesley University with a focus on girls’ development, nature-based mentoring, and rites of passage.

What We’ll Learn

  • Where the phrase “rites of passage” comes from and what it means.
  • How we can empower girls and women to boost confidence, courage and grit by challenging them to overcome limitations and celebrate their accomplishments.
  • How the elements (earth, air, water, fire) of the natural world can guide the process of personal growth and exploration.
  • How to discover or reclaim your passion. 
  • What are the many benefits of spending time in nature?

Resources Mentioned

Today’s show sponsor: Feals premium CBD

Connect with Lorene Wapotich:

Lorene's Author Facebook Page

Celebrating her Rite Facebook

Feet on the Earth- Facebook Page


Feet on the Earth Website


Thank you for Listening

It is a true honor to bring this podcast to you and I am so grateful that you took the time to listen. If you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends and family. The JOY Factor Podcast

Do you have a second to complete this brief listener survey? It helps our show track who is listening so we can create topics of interest to you!

Brought to You by: Feels 

Something for Everyone

Dec 2, 2019

Hello and welcome to episode #26. My guest today  is Shari Scher, an inspiring woman who, while working in the public school system of Frederick County Maryland, saw that children of incarcerated parents and their families, needed help. Her efforts led to the formation Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership or COIPP. This non-profit is dedicated to giving children affected by incarceration a voice in the community, in the schools and in their families. 

Today’s show is brought to you by StoryWorth, a brilliant online service that helps your loved ones tell the story of their lives through thought-provoking questions about their memories and personal thoughts. Sign up today by going to You’ll get $20 off your first purchase! 

They say that one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to let them truly know you. In order to do this we have to give ourselves time to reflect, heal, give thanks and make meaning of our lives. 

 I don’t know about you but I can barely find time to make a healthy dinner let alone carve out quiet time to reflect on my life and legacy. That’s where Storyworth comes in. Each week, for a year, they send you a question about your life and at the end of the year you receive a beautiful hardbound book filled with your answers. 

My first question was “What were your favorite childhood toys”. I hadn’t thought about my giant brown suitcase full of Barbies in years so It was fun to go down memory lane and write about one of my childhood joys.   Answering the questions is as simple as hitting the reply button and I can’t wait to pass along a beautiful book to each of my children. Oh, and did I mention you can include photos in your book? Storyworth is genius and I think it should be at the top of everyone’s gift-giving list!

 Preserve and pass on memories with StoryWorth, the most meaningful gift for your family. I hope you love Storyworth as much as I do! Sign up today by going to You’ll get $20 off your first purchase! 

When a child has a voice that is heard and validated they are more likely to be protected from adverse childhood experiences like the fear that accompanies having a parent arrested.  Protective factors such as safe, stable and nurturing relationships can make all the difference when it comes to children becoming resilient and healthy adults. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to support and nurture every parent’s ability to grow, learn and develop positive parenting skills. Another aspect of COIPP that truly tends to the needs of these children is the social connections aspect of the programming. Having the opportunity to make friends and experience social and cultural events strengthens social and emotional health. When we are emotionally strong, feel supported by our community and have people who care, we can tap into our joy factor! All children deserve to be worry free and consistently offered opportunities to experience joy in their everyday lives. I hope this episode has inspired you and that you find a little joy in your day! Thanks for listening and take care!

 What can the average person do to help children of incarcerated parents:

  1. Be non-judgmental. Parents love their children. 
  2. Greet children with interest and joy. Kids have better radar have better radar than many grown-ups. It takes little time to look in a child’s eyes and say, How are you?
  3. Help the caregiver of that child. 
  4. Respect the community from which they come and recognize that trauma impacts everyone. 

Resources mentioned on the show:

Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership COIPP

Girl Scouts Behind Bars

The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Child Welfare 

COIPP Community Partners

Curious Iguana

Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts



The Rabbit Listened by

The Dot

Sep 30, 2019

Welcome to Episode #25 of the JOY Factor podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by Care/Of. Everyone has a different path to personal health, and we're here to help you find yours. We believe in the power of technology, science, and human empathy to make the journey simpler. Let us help take care of you.

Whether you’re looking for glowing skin, more energy, better sleep or something to support your health and fitness routine- Care/Of helps you build and stick with a plan that’s right for you.

"For 25% off your first Care/of order, go to and enter JOYFACTOR."

Creating a Self-Care Map

When you hear the phrase “self-care”, what’s your first thought? what comes up for you? Just for a minute, notice your comfort level when the thought of taking care of yourself comes up. How do you define being good to yourself? What does it mean to you and when was the last time you thought about it? One thing is for certain, we can’t expand our capacity for a joyful life without having a lifestyle that is rooted in self-care.

So get comfortable and give yourself the time to listen to the show. We’re going to discuss a framework for starting a sustainable self-care practice and we’ll also be discussing 8 aspects of mind/body/spirit wellbeing. This will be more than enough information to help you create a personal map.

 Also, just a reminder that only you know what’s best for you. No one can define what that looks like but I’m hoping you will explore what you need and imagine how you might begin to implement some simple shifts in your day to day routine. So grab some paper and something to write with and we’ll take it away!

To start, let’s frame Sustainable Self-Care with 3 guiding principles.

Start Small, Stay Steady and Keep it sane.

I’m going to invite you to Just let these words sink in. Let any competing thoughts pass by and, just allow yourself to consider how you might bring these concepts alive in your life.

Start Small.

Tiny steps are better than no steps at all. There's no need for grand plans just small, consistent actions. With the right preparation, these little shifts can be woven into your daily life with just a few moments of effort on your part. What would it be like to take the smallest step possible? Small self-care steps can start anywhere or anytime. A few examples might include pausing to look at the moon, singing your favorite song out loud or breathing a little more deeply. Consider reaching out to friends you’ve lost touch with. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Look around and see what else might be possible for you. Start small.

Be Steady

Having the kind of steady aim you need to move in your intended direction requires organization and commitment. The best organizational tool I have is a calendar. I still forget things but You know what is on there? Self-Care time. Non-negotiable. Not always perfect but consistent. We’re talking about a few minutes a day. So, put your name on the calendar and a reminder on your phone. Tell a friend you can trust what you’re up to. Better yet, share this episode with someone who would make a great accountability partner. Be open to whatever might represent a gentle nudge toward keeping your date with yourself a and strengthening a growing sense of commitment toward practices you can easily maintain. No self-care map is complete without time.


Finally, the 3rd guiding principal...Make it Sane.

Making it sane means there’s a built-in, natural blend of effort and ease from the start. Let’s unpack these two concepts of effort and ease.

Make effort means Thinking through your plan and being realistic about your goals. It also means considering what you’re willing to release from your life in order to make room for new habits. A final aspect of effort is being aware of how you support your efforts and how you sabotage yourself. 

The other aspect of making it sane is ease. You don't have to do everything all at once. Ease is all about releasing, letting go and exploring your capacity to be flexible and open.  

I think another aspect of Ease is also taking the time to enjoy the process by adding some special touches to your practice. Music, creating a nice space for self-care, having a sense of humor and anything else that allows you to show kindness to yourself are all important aspects of ease. So, when you think of effort and ease bookending the principal of making it sane, what does that look like to you?

A word from our sponsor: CARE/OF vitamins

Fall is a great time to set new goals, get back into a healthy routine, and reprioritize yourself. Care Of’s online quiz lets you know exactly what you need. I have been using Care/Of vitamins for a few months now. My 13-year-old took the quiz the other day and loved getting her own personalized quiz results. Taking care of your health should be easy and convenient-it’s great to have my vitamins shipped to my door in individualized packets. Care/of cares about the environment with their new, compostable packs that meet the same quality and safety standards, and they have a ton of information on how to compost them on their website. If you could use support building and sticking with a plan that’s right for you had on over to and enter JOYFACTOR. For 25% off your first order."

Now that we’ve discussed these 3 guiding principals of sustainable self-care: Start Small, Stay steady and Keep it sane. Let’s talk about the different aspects of wellbeing. Pay attention to what comes up for you as each of these are described. Notice what’s already going well for you and be curious about whether you want to include any of these on your own self-care map.

Take a look at the Sustainable Self Care Wellness Inventory identify goals for your self-care map and let me know how it's going. 

1.Stress Resilience/Happiness Practices- This is all about having the tools to protect yourself from stress, creating a gratitude practice, valuing regularly celebrating good times and having a support system during bad times.

  • I respond to changes in my life with a positive attitude. 
  • I believe that I deserve to enjoy my life and feel happy. 
  • I have at least 5 people who support me when I’m having a hard time and help me celebrate when life is good.
  • When I face a life challenge, I feel confident that I handle the accompanying stress in a healthy way. 
  • I’m clear on my boundaries and say “no” when I need to. 
  • I set realistic goals for myself. 
  • I have a gratitude practice and regularly stop to give thanks for my life.
  • I keep a journal and use it to reflect on my life and put my thoughts on paper.


  • I get at least 30 minutes of exercise four times each week.
  • My dietary choices are healthy and good for me and I avoid eating after 8:00 p.m.
  • I consume at least 8 glasses of water daily.
  • I consume fewer than 5 alcoholic drinks per week.
  • I have a doctor or health care provider I trust and feel comfortable with.      
  • I take time to schedule a yearly physical and dental exam. 
  • I tend to my body through massage, reflexology, and/or yoga, other__________
  • I make a point of having a good belly laugh every day.



  • I have a clear sense of meaning and purpose in my life.
  • I am pleased with what I give back to the world.
  • I practice forgiveness toward myself and others.
  • I am part of a community that gives me meaning and purpose.
  • I have at least one creative pursuit I engage in regularly-drawing, painting, sculpting, music, poetry etc. 
  • I regularly seek out inspiration through literature, art or music.
  • I feel connected to something larger than myself. 
  • I have a spiritual practice that includes meditation, dream work, journaling, prayer, etc.


  • I work no more than 8 hours per day and do not take work home with me.
  • I have the training, background and tools to do my job well.
  • I feel good about my ability to communicate with others.
  • I stand up for what I believe in.
  • I set realistic goals for my life and consistently work toward reaching them.
  • I’m able to let go of mistakes I’ve made and know how to move on.
  • I spend my time and energy on things that really matter to me. 
  • I have mentors who offer me insight and guidance for my life and goals.


  • I feel good about the way I budget, spend and track my money.
  • I have good habits when it comes to managing my time and responsibilities.
  • My desk and workspace are organized and I can easily find what I need. 
  • I have little in my life that needs cleaning up or fixing.
  • I regularly set limits/boundaries and can say no when necessary.
  • I make time for self- reflection.
  • I feel good about the amount of free time I spend in front of a screen.
  • I have clarity around my vision, goals and daily tasks.
  • I am aware of how much I earn and where my money goes.


  • I feel that I am well attuned to the emotions and needs of my loved ones.
  • I have a network of friends on whom I can — and do — depend.
  • I am able to speak openly about my feelings when angry or worried.
  • I give and receive affection regularly.
  • The people closest to me feel seen, heard and valued by me.
  • I share responsibility for household tasks in a manner that supports the relationship.
  • I am open to change and question my beliefs, values, and principles.
  • In my main relationship, each of us assumes goodwill about the other.


  • I attend to my core values on a regular basis.
  • Notice inner experience (e.g. listen to and recognize thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes and feelings)
  • I have a level of acceptance of my imperfections (self-compassion) and have the strength to let go of my fear and uncertainty.
  • I practice muscle relaxation, yoga, stretching, meditation or slow breathing. 
  • I am able to speak kindly and offer praise to myself appropriately.
  • I am able to deal with fear, guilt, and insecurity in a constructive way.
  • I have a positive image of my body.
  • I feel satisfied with where I am in my life. 


  • Joy and gratitude come easily to me, and I do things that bring me joy.
  • I enjoy getting out of bed most days, and look forward to the day.
  • I express my unique talents, strengths, passions, and dreams on a daily basis.
  • I feel good about the amount of fun I have in my life.
  • I am able to have fun and enjoy myself without drugs or alcohol.
  • When I wake up in the morning I feel rested and ready for the day.
  • I know how to wind down at the end of the day and look forward to relaxing.
  • I eagerly anticipate or think about future adventures I am planning.

So there you have it! You may have other aspects of self-care you’d like to include but hopefully, this information gets you inspired to sit down and reflect on what a sustainable self-care map looks like for you.

We’ll be talking more about self-care in the coming months because it really does form the foundation for more joy. Please drop by the JOY Factor Facebook Group to share your thoughts on today’s episode and tell us about your own self-care plans! Check out our show notes for more information on today’s show and please support the show by sharing it with a friend and leaving an honest rating and review on Facebook.  Thanks for listening and have a great day!

"For 25% off your first Care/of order, go to and enter JOYFACTOR." This episode is brought to you by Care/Of. 






Jun 18, 2019

We want to learn who our listeners are! Please take a moment and fill out this quick survey:

Hello and welcome to the JOY Factor Podcast episode number #24. My guest is Shane Birkel. Shane is a marriage and family therapist with a private practice just outside of Boston.He works primarily with couples and is a certified Relational Life Therapist
with Terry Real as his mentor.

Couples Therapist Couch  
Shane hosts a weekly podcast called the Couples Therapist Couch 
the practice of Couples Therapy.
Practice website:
Podcast website:

Many of the couples I see are seeking deeper intimacy and improved communication. Nothing can steal joy like an unfulfilling relationship but in order to feel satisfied and connected with our partner, we have to be connected to ourselves and have a sense of wholeness. Society’s definition of manhood forces men to make unconscious choices that often leave them disconnected from their capacity to be whole.  The good news is that things can get better when men are given the opportunity to consciously learn the skills needed to engage and learn what true intimacy is. There are many ways to start but today we’re talking about strategies for helping men build healthier self-esteem and stronger relationships.

Topics Discussed:

1. What is toxic masculinity and why does it matter?

2. What is healthy masculinity?

3. Why is healthy self-esteem so important?

4. The power of the feedback wheel.

5. The power in vulnerability and connection.

Shane's motto for life: "There’s never any excuse for harshness."

Resources Mentioned:

Gillette Razor Commercial

Terry Real 


Feb 25, 2019

This episode is brought to you by Care/Of. Take advantage of this month's special New Year offer! For 50 percent off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to and enter "joyfactor50".

Hello and welcome to episode #23 of the Joy Factor Podcast.

Today’s guest is one of my favorite yoga teachers, Lori Love.

Lori loves to incorporate pranayama (breath work), play and alignment into all of her classes.   A prana flow instructor for more 15 years, she is trained in the Shiva Rea lineage and earned her 500-hour yoga certification as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist through the New Mexico School of Yoga.

Lori also holds certifications in yin and restorative yoga.  Additionally, she is a Power Pilates 600-hour apparatus-trained instructor.  Lori has a personal training designation, too, and has been known to swing a kettlebell (not in yoga classes!).

Lori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and has worked in management, sales, and marketing.  She holds a life coaching certification from Soul Salt Academy. When Lori isn’t teaching, she’s happiest spending time with her three children and looking for the best hiking trails in the area.

Join us as she shares from her wealth of knowledge on all things yoga. Lori quietly shows up and sets the tone for others to put down their mat and develop a relationship with yoga and all that it can offer. Her style of teaching and the warmth, energy, patience, and generosity she brings to her classes make for a truly joyful experience. I found that talking with her was equally joyful and hope you enjoy the show!

Things we’re talking about:

  • Lori’s journey to becoming a yoga teacher
  • What brought her to the mat?
  • Joy role models
  • How yoga helps us strengthen our capacity to trust and make conscious choices?
  • How having a yoga practice enhances our ability to bring more joy into our lives.
  • The importance of showing up
  • Breath practices
  • Ayurvedic practices


Lori's Facebook Page 

Maria Garre 

A short guide to a happy life- Anna Quinlan

Cher slapping Nicholas Cage
The right Questions- Debbie Ford

Ayurvedic Practices

Using a Neti Pots

Nasya oil- oil for the nostril





Feb 11, 2019

Hello and welcome to the Joy Factor podcast. Today’s episode is brought to you by Lola. For 40% of all subscriptions, visit and enter promo code “Joy” when you subscribe!

Our show is all about helping people connect to their natural ability to bring joy alive in their lives. We all have the capacity for joy and as we’ve discussed before it doesn’t have to come on the heels of an event or an experience. It’s something we can bring alive with our intention, action and through consistent practice.

Sometimes though, life throws us curve balls and we end up stuck in ways that make it feel impossible to find relief from emotional or physical pain, let alone access joy. If you can relate to this, you’re not alone and I’m glad you’re tuning in today. One message I’d like to send is that no one has to suffer alone. Everyone deserves to have a support system. Just for a moment imagine that you’re seated at the head of a long table. The table represents your life and each chair represents someone who has earned the right to have a seat at your table. Who do you currently have and who do you need? No one can create the team for you but there is support in helping you fill your table with the people and resources that will strengthen your ability to enjoy your life.

Today we’re talking to somatic experiencing practitioner and yoga therapist, Alicia Barmon. She’s someone I’m proud to have at my table both as a friend and colleague. Did I mention my belief that everybody needs a therapist at their table? Well, get comfortable and enjoy my interview with Alicia. Her wisdom is sure to resonate with many and hopefully, you feel as hopeful and inspired by her words as I did. Enjoy the show.

Resources Mentioned on Today's Show

What Somatic Experiencing (SE) is and what to expect for this style of therapy. 

Founder of SE Peter Levine

Work of Buddhist teacher, author, nun and mother Pema Chodron 

Audio recording Martin Prechtel. Grief and praise. Understanding that stuck energy creates problems. 

Ph.D, psychologist, author, and teacher of meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening, Tara Brach 

 Sol Yoga

If you haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts on the show, there are many ways to rate and review:

If you haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts on the show, there are many ways to rate and review:

Would you mind taking a moment to complete a fast survey so we can better understand who our listeners are?


Jan 12, 2019

Hello and welcome to the Joy Factor Podcast! We’re 130,000+ downloads strong which is super exciting! Your ratings and reviews help the message of the show continue to be spread to those who need it the most so thank you!

If you haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts on the show, there are many ways to rate and review:

Would you mind taking a moment to complete a fast survey so we can better understand who our listeners are?

Today is episode 21 and I’m talking with Dr. Allison Bomba, a Maryland based psychologist who specializes in helping children navigate the grief process. Dr. Bomba brings hope and healing to children and families as they navigate the painful and confusing process of healing from a loss. Despite the seriousness of her work she’s still able to connect with her own joy factor and offers keen insight on how to help children recover after the death of a loved one.

Today we're exploring:

The most important lessons children teach us about grieving?

Worden’s 4 tasks of mourning

  • Accepting the reality of death.
  • Working through the pain of grief. 
  • Adjusting to a world in which the deceased person no longer lives.
  • Finding a way to maintain a connection with a deceased person.

Steps to support a grieving child:

Signs that a child needed counseling or some other intervention to handle the grief?

Dr. Bomba’s sources of personal inspiration 

If Dr. Bomba’s words resonated with you, know that you’re not alone. There is help out there. If you or someone you love is struggling with grief please reach out for support. You don’t have to do it alone. Taking it one step at a time you will be able to help yourself and your loved ones work through the pain, find ways to keep memories alive and begin healing together. 

Thanks for joining us today and take good care.


Sesame Street in Communities/Grief

National Alliance for Grieving Children

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital 



Oct 28, 2018


The practice of yoga can change your life. Today's guess offers up a beautiful perspective on how each of us can connect with a practice is uniquely our own. She also invites us to remember that we're the ones we've been waiting for. Be your own guru :).

Amy Day is a longtime yogi, writer, herbalist, mama & lover of all things creative.  

She believes in crafting practices & communities which supports us inside this Life right now.  In creating rituals and relationships that liberate, activate & sustain us. 

She works with groups and individuals that are hungry for transformation. The type that shows up not just on the cellular or soul level - but that ripples into the world beyond.  

Through her work as a teacher, podcaster, healer, storyteller, et. al. she hopes to inspire us all to use the mighty tools we all possess - to craft the type of world we wish to inhabit.  

One faltering & bless-ed step at a time.

What We’ll Learn

  • Why is community building so important?
  • The deep understanding that we hold the medicine for our own healing.
  • How can we begin to answer to call to bring what can heal to those who need it the most?
  • What it takes to be a force for good.
  • What does resilience have to do with joy?
  • How can we begin our own resilience practice?
  • Why is “calling it” in so important?
  • How to make your yoga practice yours.


We'd like to learn more about who is listening- please fill out a 1 minute survey right here:

Apr 17, 2018

Today’s show is brought to you by Yoga Intentions, a Boulder-based studio aiming to provide high quality, affordable yoga, that encourages individual growth and a sense of community and friendship.

The show today contains subjects for mature audiences and may not be appropriate for young listeners. My guest is Angela Rae Clark, She’s a survivor of sexual abuse and exploitation by her grandfather. Angela is on a mission to help break the cycle of silence and reach beyond the pain felt by abuse survivors. She is a life coach specializing in helping clients reclaim their voice and rebuild confidence during recovery. Angela is a true inspiration for anyone who is on the journey of recovery. If you liked the show please let us know! You can leave a review on iTunes or stop by our facebook page The Joy Factor Podcast The best way to spread the joy though, is to tell your friends and family about us

I’d also like to thank our sponsor for today’s show, Yoga Intentions. If you’re in the Boulder area do yourself a favor and visit Yoga Intentions for a fresh yoga experience that’s not only affordable but also makes the best aspects of a yoga community accessible to all. Whether you’d like to Create a yoga practice or deepen your journey, Yoga Intentions offers a kind, compassionate and inspiring space to support you. Check out for more information.

More from Angela:

“Our past does not define our future - we have choices, healing is possible. My emphasis is on practical tools and education in regard to our thoughts and feelings. Healing happens through one-on-one connection, community, and hope. I'm a Life Coach specializing in reclaiming your voice and rebuilding confidence during recovery with a focus on self-care practices, boundaries, and defining what's next in business and relationships. I'm a member of the National Survivor Network for Human Trafficking and I'm a volunteer with, a non-profit that teaches emotional and energy medicine techniques. 

I enjoy Dances of Universal Peace, hiking, and adventures in the wild. I love my life - I want other survivors to know they can thrive too. “





Feb 23, 2018

Welcome to the show. Today we’re talking therapy! Specifically how to be a smart consumer when it comes to finding a therapist who is a good fit and understanding a few tips on how to do therapy. You’ve recognized a need to get some help and are ready to take the first step. Now what? Here are ten strategies to get the most out of the therapy hour.

  1. Be Choosy. It’s ok to screen potential therapists. Credentials are important because they give you a clue about what approach the therapist was trained in. Ultimately though,  the most important consideration is how you feel with the therapist. Do they seem interested and capable? Do you sense that they enjoy their work? Do you trust them to guide you toward your goals?
  2. Once you decide on a therapist give it 3 sessions before you decide whether to commit to the process. Therapists are only human and the process does take a little time. It’s not unusual to feel uncomfortable, or uncertain whether therapy is helping. Commit to at least 3 sessions to give yourself the chance to understand how the process works and decide if a particular therapist is a good fit to help you.
  3. Take care of payment and ask about scheduling or billing questions at the top of the hour. Getting the logistics out the way gives you plenty of space to use your time efficiently.
  4. Bring a notebook. Jot down takeaways during the session as well as reflections/observations during your week. Important insights might seem obvious when they’re occurring but might be lost if they’re not written down.
  5. Set the intention of making therapy a top priority and make a commitment to yourself to stick with it. Keep working outside the therapy time. Dedicate time and space to practice the skills you’re learning and complete assignments you’re given.
  6. View therapy as a co-created alliance. You will set the agenda and your therapist will offer guidance support and strategies to help you reach your goals. If you’re not sure what goals don’t be afraid to speak up. A competent therapist will speak up and guide the process but if that doesn’t happen let your voice be heard.
  7. Be honest. Say what’s on your mind during therapy. This might be the only interaction you have all week that allows you to fully speak your mind without fear of being judged. Good therapy means working toward authenticity and understanding that the process is messy at times.
  8. Know that you will bring your habits into therapy. Issues going on in your life will often show up during the therapy hour. A skilled therapist will kindly but firmly shine the light on this and help you develop new ways of operating.
  9. Be aware who you share your story with. If you’re confiding in friends or family about your therapy experience, protect yourself from unsolicited opinions and advice. Helpful support attempts can sometimes sabotage your therapy. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out for support as long as it’s from those who will genuinely offer it.
  10. Keep your sense of humor. Laughter and light-heartedness are the hallmarks of resilience. Yes, the issues you are struggling with are serious but activating the power of the human spirit can offer a soothing balm during painful times.

 Resources for Finding a Therapist: 


Jan 1, 2018

Hello and welcome to episode #17 of the JOY Factor Podcast. It’s good to be here with you today and I think you’re going to enjoy this episode. I recently enjoyed a reiki session with Judy and her energy truly is special. Enjoy the show!

Judy Buchanan is an entrepreneur, Certified Medical Reiki Master, public speaker, retired U.S. Army solider, wife and mother of two. Her passion is to empower women to safely release trauma, anxiety, grief and pain so they can feel better and thrive. Judy provides Reiki treatments, Reiki classes, supports holistic workshops and retreats as well as provides lectures to educate her community.

Judy Buchanan has attained the level of Karuna Reiki Master through the International Center for Reiki Training (IRCT) and the Okuden level of Jikiden Reiki®. Certification in Medical Reiki through Raven Keyes Medical Reiki International. Certification in Sacred Childbirth with Reiki through Rev. Cori Nielsen. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW), and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Judy spent 20+ years in the U.S. Army as Medical Service Corps Officer. Her military journey came with many adventures, friendship, and accomplishment as well as many struggles and obstacles. Judy can relate to the stressors working parents, service members, and dual military couples experience while raising a family. Like many other service members, she has been on both sides of deployment: the soldier who deployed and the family member at home taking care of the children while their spouse is away.

For many years, Judy experienced many significant health challenges and pain due to her response to high levels of stress. Her desire to heal was the catalyst to explore many complementary medicine techniques. She made great improvements from several different types of holistic therapies but Reiki was different. After having her first Reiki treatment, she knew immediately she needed to learn Reiki and share this amazing therapy with others. When we restore peace and harmony to our body, mind, spirit, or to a situation, we open the pathway so healing can occur. She has been a student of holistic therapies for more than a decade and believes education is a fundamental means of empowering others.

Judy educates our community by providing lectures on Reiki and its benefits as well as encouraging others to explore many complementary therapies to heal. She supports the Frederick County Library System Adult Education Program, Maryland State Wellness at Work Program/ Frederick Chamber of Commerce 5 Pillar of Health Lecture Series, Frederick Community Hospital Employee Health and Wellness Program, Fort Detrick United States Army Medical Materiel Development Agency’s Stress-Free Zone, and Frederick Community College Employee Wellness Fair.

Judy’s passion is realized through the development of her practice where she provides Reiki treatments and training classes to clients, and through community contribution by providing Reiki treatments to cancer patients and staff at the Frederick Memorial Hospital Cancer Center.  She also volunteers with Veterans Team Recovery Immersion Process (VETRIIP) a non-profit organization located in Texas and Operation Second Chance located in Maryland providing women veterans with Reiki treatments and stress reduction techniques to provide comfort, as well as pain and stress relief.  

Contact Information: facebook: @judybuchananenergy

Judy's Joy Tips!

How to define my joy factor?  Gratitude is the key to happiness


Don’t worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi

Online Resources to create Joy: Kari Samuels Intuitive Counselor and Happiness Coach

James Corden’s Karpool Karaoke – Cracks me up  

Music – i.e. my JOY JAM:

Feeling Good – Michael Buble

Brave – Sara Bareilles

Unconditionally- Katy Perry

We are family – Sister Sledge

You are not alone – Marie Miller

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Good to be Alive – Any Grammer

Rise – Katy Perry

Favorite book:  The Travelers Gift - Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by – Andy Andrews

 The lesson pertaining to happiness in The Travelers Gift:

Today I will choose to be happy – Anne Frank

           Our very lives are fashioned by choice. First, we make choices. Then our choices make us.


Mar 16, 2017

Hello and welcome to episode #16 of the JOY Factor Podcast. It’s good to be here with you today and I think you’re going to enjoy this episode- especially if you’re a guy looking for a solid relationship or even just a good date.

My guest is Jeffrey Platts-he’s a men's coach and authentic communication expert who is passionate about helping men create amazing relationships with women. With over 20 years of personal study and transformational training, he has led nearly 200 workshops and retreats on personal growth, dating, and communication. Jeffrey's work and writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, ABC News, Authentic Man Program and the Good Men Project. He brings a rich toolbox of insights and experiences to his facilitation, integrating his adventures as DJ, amateur stand-up comedian, salsa dancer, yoga teacher and world traveler. Find out more at  

More from Jeffrey:

"Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world." - Eckhart Tolle

Nov 21, 2016

Welcome to episode 15 of the JOY Factor. Today we're talking about the benefits of taking a break from technology and setting the stage to help you take your own detox. If your internet habits leave you feeling a little edgy, frustrated or down, take heart. You don't have to give up your phone but you can greatly benefit from reigning it in and being more intentional with your use. 

This is a call to give yourself the space to reflect on how you're spending the time and seize the opportunity to make changes where you need to. 

Enjoy the show and let me know what you think!

Sep 29, 2016

Today I'm interviewing an amazing leader at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa. Kathleen Davis leads the Domestic Violence Resource Center team and is talking today about her work and breaking down myths about survivors of domestic violence. There's still time to donate and/or register for the Sena Hanson Memorial 5k being held on October 1 in Decorah Iowa. 100 % of the proceeds will go to Helping Services of Northeast Iowa. Money raised will provide needed assistance to domestic violence survivors and their children. Here's the link if you'd like to donate If you need help our support please know that there are folks waiting to help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Thanks to everyone who is listening, peace and love to all who are suffering and power to those who can take a stand to help someone. 

About Kathleen

Kathleen Davis is the Director of the Domestic Abuse Resource Center which is a program of Helping Services for Northeast Iowa based in Decorah, Iowa.  Kathleen began working at Helping Services in 1999 after graduating from Upper Iowa University where she graduated with a bachelor's of science degree in Public Administration.   While attending college full time, she also worked in the counseling department and realized that helping people was her passion.  Kathleen and her husband reside in West Union where they have raised two amazing sons and are fortunate to have two adorable grandchildren that live close by.   Kathleen proudly serves on the leadership team at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and as a board member for the Building Direction for Families (BDF). 

Sep 26, 2016

During the month of September The JOY Factor is taking a stand against domestic violence. Support Helping Services for NE Iowa Domestic Abuse Resource Center to honor my niece Sena’s memory and raise awareness of intimate partner violence

Register for the 2nd Annual Sena Hanson Memorial Walk/Run/Bike 5k on 10/1/16 or make a donation (every dollar counts)

Thank you for your support!

Today’s guest is Dr. Jennifer Sippel. She is the Clinical Director for Cultural Transformation VA North Texas Health Care System and a Certified Compassion Teacher who received her training Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Jen spells out simple but effective ways to begin an informal compassion practice and outlines some of the science behind the power of compassion. 

Compassion Resources

Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education


Krstin Neff


Brene’ Brown


Paul Gilbert-compassion focused therapy


Brian Cox


Neil Degrasse Tyson


Shout Outs!!

First Unitarian Church of Dallas

Luther College


About Dr. Sippel

Dr. Jennifer Sippel is the Clinical Director for Cultural Transformation at VA North Texas Health Care System.  She Chairs the Patient Centered Care Committee and serves on the Organizational Health Council.  She is currently in the process of creating and will chair the Complimentary and Integrative Health (CIH) Steering Committee.  Dr. Sippel created a new hiring process and is leading activation for a new five-provider primary care VA clinic in Plano, Texas, which will include five health coaches funded by Dr. Sippel’s Whole Health Partnership grant awarded by the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.  The Plano VA Primary Care Clinic will serve 6,000 Veterans house many innovation projects in support of the Plano Whole Health Pathway design and implementation.  Dr. Sippel’s program evaluation and research areas of interest include complementary and integrative health (CIH), spinal cord injury home care, health care employee resilience, experiential learning models, Whole Health implementation and outcomes, VA hiring practices, and values-based organizational change.  In 2014, Dr. Sippel trained at Stanford School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and received her certification as a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) teacher.  She has developed many unique Veteran and employee training programs, including Autonomy Support Training (AST).  Dr. Sippel is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Texas and provides executive/leadership coaching services to VA leaders and private clients. Contact her


 “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

1 2 Next »