At just 31 years old, Jennifer answered the phone one day to unexpectedly receive the news that her husband was leaving her and moving out. She describes this experience as “life shattering” and is here today to tell her story in great detail and - much more importantly - how she bounced back to create a life of great purpose and meaning that she never would have imagined prior.

Highlights of this episode include:
-Why divorce is rated higher on the stress scale than death
-Her gnawing fear that her children would grow up with the “children of divorce” label
-Her mindset shift that helped the proverbial phoenix rise from the ashes
-How a single triathlon training class created a snowball effect of significant positive changes in her life
-And I can’t spoil the rest of the story from there!

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Today on the Undue Anxiety Podcast, I'm joined by my wife Julie to discuss what I've begun to call the "February Funk," a period in which a lot us tend to feel a little depressed, a little stuck, a little anxious.  Julie and I talk about how the "Funk" - and our country's current political climate - are bringing her down, and how she thinks we might fix it. 
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Charlene describes her youth as a period in which a great emphasis was placed on physical appearance and presentation.  This all changed, however, when a car accident sparked an unlikely journey inward that would become her life’s greatest gift. Today, she’s here to share the wisdom that has been the result of that journey, and how she uses it to build and maintain strong relationships with her three daughters.

Highlights of this episode include:

-The low-level hum of fear and anxiety that was present throughout her childhood
-The life changing car accident that would become her greatest gift
-Her coach-based approach to parenting; the opposite of helicopter parenting
-Why her goal as a parent is to help her children find their direction and purpose in life
-Tips for taming the voice inside your head

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When Nathan was just 7 years old, an unfortunate incident resulted with him accidentally killing his pet cat. Overcome with guilt and remorse, what followed for young Nathan was a life-long spiral of anxiety that eventually manifested into symptoms of OCD, depression, and more. Today we talk about Nathan’s life story thus far, which takes an incredibly inspirational arc, and all the tips and tools he’s used over the years to break himself free.

Highlights of this episode include:
- Homeschooling, and entering high school for the first time
- Accidentally killing his cat when he was 7
- Discovering music, comedy, and podcasts
- Career advice for those who may be dealing with anxiety or depression

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Today’s guest is Dylan, who is here to share his story about the roots his anxiety, which can be traced back to feeling responsible for his parents’ separation as well as his father’s anger issues. What Dylan experienced growing up led to his buying into the false “I’m not enough” or “I’m not good enough” myth that our fears will sometimes manifest for us. Dylan bravery takes through the highs and lows of his life journey thus far, including a revelation he wasn’t planning on sharing, as well as the philosophy that’s helping him shape a positive adult life.

Highlights of this episode include:
-Why he initially blamed himself for parents separation
-Why he still feels fear and anxiety telling this very story today
-How his father’s anger issues impacted his life and anxiety
-His worst depressive episode he went through in middle school
-His favorite quote that helps him & more!

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Today’s guest is Michelle Icard, author of “Middle School Makeover.” She also made headlines earlier this year when she left a note for three “mean girls” at Starbucks encouraging them to be more kind (http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/stevens/ct-note-to-girls-at-starbucks-balancing-0531-20160531-column.html) Michelle shares her story about how the anxiety she experienced in middle school inspired the work she does today, and we also take a deep dive into the often murky waters of the middle school years. I think her advice and perspective can help both kids and parents navigate this period a little easier.

In this episode, we talk about:
Why she loves working with middle-schoolers
Her anxiety issues during middle school, and how theater helped her
The perfect storm that is the middle school era
Why sneakers so so extremely popular among middle school boys
Why she loves social media, and how parents can help their kids have a better experience with it
The infamous Starbucks incident that landed her in the news earlier this year

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Back in October, Emily came on the podcast to talk about her brother Jack, who had tragically passed from brain cancer.  Today, we have her older sister, Leigh, joining us to share her perspective in dealing with Jack’s illness.  Leigh was away at college for a large portion of Jack’s battle, and was also dealing with her own personal health crisis, which created a lot of difficult emotions for her.  We also talk a lot about some of the inspirational writings Jack published on his blog (linked below) before he passed away, as well as some of the pieces he hadn’t published that Leigh later discovered.

Highlights of this episode include:
-How 30 Rock & The Beatles remind her of Jack
-Discovering some of Jack’s unpublished writings on his computer after his passing
-How she believes cancer affected his overall confidence, self worth, and dating life
-Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease during Jack’s cancer battle
-The element that made Jack’s wake so much different than most others

Also, here is a link to the blog Jack started that we talk about in the episode:  https://icouldbethewalrus.wordpress.com/

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Erica Lofton is the 15-YEAR-OLD founder and CEO of Girls in Action, a not-for-profit organization spreading powerful messages of anti violence and female empowerment. As a entrepreneur, speaker, host of workshops, and musician who still finds time to hit the mall with friends once in a while, Erica is truly one of the most inspirational teens I know. This is an important listen for those of us out there who may be disappointed with the current state of millennials and our youth in general, as Erica is accomplishing major things in this world.

ALSO - In the episode, we talk about a song Erica wrote about Trayvon Martin called “No Time Left,” which you can check out at this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNU64eg7Chg

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Are there crucial life lessons to be learned from having a serious illness?  Is it possible that cancer can actually make you a better, stronger person?  And do the thoughts that you think daily play a role in just how much we suffer through such a process?  These are just a few of the ideas we tackle with today’s guest, Jessica.  When diagnosed with breast cancer, Jessica decided to approach her illness from a mindset of healing as opposed to the all too common “fighting" one, using the mantra #BetterEveryDay to not only shift her focus away from fear, but inspire many, many others to do the same via hashtag in the process.

Highlights of this episode include:
What is #BetterEveryDay, and anyone can use this to improve their life significantly
Her cancer diagnosis, and the irony of the day she found out
Approaching illness from a place of healing, not fighting
How cancer has made her a stronger, better person in many ways
Attending Game 7 of the World Series

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Erin Taylor & Sue DeCaro are PCI certified parenting coaches as well accomplished speakers and authors (their respective resumes are not a short read!). Together, they formed Building Connected Communities, a network of therapists, life coaches, social workers, etc., working together toward the common goal of inspiring change in the world.  They’re here today to talk not only about their story and experiences, but what they feel are some of the biggest obstacles in raising children in our modern society.

Highlights of this episode include:
-How they both became parenting coaches, and the life experiences that influences their practices
-The importance for males to allow be in touch with their feminine side
-The biggest problems they see as parent coaches
-The most important part of being a parent that often gets overlooked
-How our children can also be our teachers
-The best way to teach children to calm their minds in only 2 minutes

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