Skip to main content
Empowered RX: Trauma-Informed Women's Health, Fitness and Nutrition

Empowered RX: Trauma-Informed Women's Health, Fitness and Nutrition

By Leah Cottle
Welcome to the Empowered RX Podcast! My name is Leah and I'm here to help you turn your struggles into strength. For the past 12 years my life mission has been to help women learn, overcome and grow through fitness and health! We are a trauma-informed mentorship and inclusive community striving to create a safe place for women to heal. Empowered is all about exploring the intersection of education, fitness, nutrition, mind/body & community as it pertains to the female perspective. Feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or to work with me!
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

014: Haley Morrone on "Finding balance, the present moment and owning a CrossFit Affiliate" after surviving childhood trauma

Empowered RX: Trauma-Informed Women's Health, Fitness and Nutrition

014: Haley Morrone on "Finding balance, the present moment and owning a CrossFit Affiliate" after surviving childhood trauma

Empowered RX: Trauma-Informed Women's Health, Fitness and Nutrition

022: Growing up in Diet Culture Land - Discovering your OWN Diet Culture Origin Story
In this episode the staff of Empowered RX gather for a round-table discussion about their lived experiences growing up immersed in diet culture. The sad part of it all is that the universal thread woven among all of our stories is one of self-deprecation, confusion and body shame. As a society we NEED to do better.  Episode 22, Hosted by Jordan Connolly- focuses on diet culture experiences, family dynamics, athlete experiences and more. While all of our staff happened to have been athletes at one time or another, we recognize that diet culture is just as impactful for men & women with all sorts of backgrounds.... athletic or not.  Download our free body image workbook to get a better understanding of your own Diet Culture Origin Story!  FREE BODY IMAGE WORKBOOK
July 18, 2021
021: Carleen Mathews, 3x CrossFit Games Athlete on overcoming addiction & an Eating Disorder and stepping into her strength with CrossFit
Join Carleen Mathews, 3x CrossFit Games Athlete, for an amazing story of pain, resilience and overcoming. Carleen dives deep into what is was like to overcome her struggles with Eating Disorders & Addiction. The tells us all about finding CrossFit and the experience of becoming a Games Athlete just a few years after entering recovery. This amazing transformation story shows us that anything is possible. Carleen is incredibly centered, strong and truly inspirational. She also tells us about her recovery program "Recovery RX" at her gym CrossFit St. Helens, in Oregon where the entry fee is being 48 hours or more into recovery. Carleen Mathews continues to help others by leading as an example and by offering a safe haven for others to find healing in CrossFit.  Find us on Instagram @EmpoweredRX Join the Facebook Community: @EmpoweredRXCommunity
June 30, 2021
020: Mackenzie on High School Diet Culture & Having an Eating Disorder during Quarantine
Join Mackenzie and I as we dive deep into her experiences with having an eating disorder and going through the recovery process while in high school. We talk diet culture, social cliques and messed up "norms". For anyone in recovery this is inspirational! RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE! Mackenzie is proof and her optimism is so hopeful.
June 22, 2021
019: Diet Culture and the Female Athlete Experience! + Meet the Empowered staff!
Join us for our next episode of Empowered RX. Today we kick off a new season and celebrate the growth of Empowered! We have all hands on deck for this episode and it's the first one to have our 4 staff members together for the conversation.  Here we introduce ourselves, tell our stories and experiences with diet culture and discuss just how toxic growing up as a teen playing sports can be.  Head on over to our website or instagram for more info! Instagram: @empoweredrx Website: Staff: Jordan Connolly, Tina Glennie, Brianna Tse and Leah Hantman
June 16, 2021
018: Trauma, Overexercising, Eating Disorders & Health
Today we focus on the intersection of trauma, overexercising, eating disorders and health. Many people don't realize it but trauma and eating disorders are often inextricably linked. In this episode we discuss the ways they impact our health and some of the long term issues that come about when we don't seek treatment and find deep health. Please leave us a review!  Find us on Instagram @empoweredrx 
May 20, 2021
017: Motivation & Goal Setting
Join Leah Cottle and Tina Glennie on today's episode of Empowered RX where they dive deep into Goal setting and motivation after trauma! The big take home message? Own your story, own your life! Once you own your story you take your power back! In this episode the girls discuss: The different phases of goal setting What goal setting can be like before and after trauma Actionable steps to approach goal setting from a trauma-informed perspective
May 14, 2021
016: Chelsea Horton on Relationship Anxiety/OCD and healing with Movement
Join us with Chelsea Horton, Founder and CEO of Healing Embodied, as we dive deep into the world of Relationship Anxiety & OCD. Are you filled with doubt, anxiety and fear about your relationships? Does it cause disturbances in your every day life and keep you from being present? YOU AREN'T ALONE! When many people think of OCD they think of cleanliness, repetition and odd habits. Most people don't realize we can have OCD about relationships and that this pain and experience can be debilitating.  In this episode we discuss: What relationship OCD looks like Chelsea's own struggles with relationship OCD Why this sort of struggle may manifest Actionable tips and steps you can take to jumpstart your healing. YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS! Fore more information head to or find her on Instagram @healing.embodied
May 7, 2021
015: Jen Kiaba- Artist, Educator and Cult Survivor
Jen Kiaba is an international award winning artist using self portraits to examine coercive control. She dives deep into her experiences with religious trauma after being raised into the Unification Church. This church was referred to by popular media as  "The Moonies". After escaping a forced arranged marriage, she found her way out of the cult in her early twenties. Head to her instagram or website listed below to view her AMAZING and profound art.  Her art work is hauntingly beautiful and speaks to her experiences and trauma during her time in this cult. She uses photography and art to explore the loss of identity that occurs in religious cultic experiences. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has won many awards.  Here we discuss the intersection of trauma, health, healing and art and urge listeners to move their bodies and express through art the emotions and experiences we find too hard to discuss with words. You won't want to miss this story of strength, courage and healing!  You can find Jen on Instagram at @Jenkiaba Head to her website for more information
May 2, 2021
014: Haley Morrone on "Finding balance, the present moment and owning a CrossFit Affiliate" after surviving childhood trauma
Enter Haley Morrone. She is one badass woman who has completely transformed her life, her health and her trauma. This has been one of my favorite episodes to date because of how down to earth and kind Haley is!  She gives amazing advice that you can adopt RIGHT NOW! Like: - Focus on the present moment - Small actionable daily steps - Shedding trauma and building confidence - How to never live a life without French Fries! Haley shares her story from experiencing childhood sexual abuse, drug, alcohol and food addiction while living with suicidal thoughts. Haley has lived a tough life filled with struggles but everything changed when she found CrossFit. Years later she is happier and healthier than ever. Haley owns CrossFit Converse with her husband and has beautiful children. She also owns a Nutrition Business where she helps other women love their bodies and develop a better relationship with food. While she is down 100 pounds, this total transformation has been much more about connecting with her sense of self and shedding the weight of trauma that held her down for so long. Find her on Instagram at: Haley_Racine Look up her CF Affiliate: Converse Community Fitness
April 23, 2021
013: Jenn Green on being a CrossFit Affiliate Owner & Having High Functioning Anxiety
Please Welcome Jenn Green onto Empowered RX podcast for this awesome episode. Jenn dives deep into her experiences on the CrossFit HQ board, Owning her affiliate box CrossFit Greer AND on having high functioning anxiety!  To visit Jenn Green's CrossFit Affiliate head on over to 
April 14, 2021
012: Jennifer Storm: Blackout Girl
Join us in this Episode of Empowered where we interview Jennifer Storm... a force to be reckoned with! Survivor. Author. Victim’s Rights Expert. Consultant. Fitness Lover. Jennifer Storm has over twenty years of experience in non-profit management and government work combined with a powerful personal story of survival from victimization and addiction. Today with over twenty-three years of active recovery she has spent her life advocating for victims of crime having worked many high-profile cases including helping victims/survivors of, Jerry Sandusky, Bill Cosby, Catholic Clergy victims and thousands of other cases in her twenty-year long career as a victim advocate. In this Episode Jennifer shares her personal experiences with addiction, trauma, eating disorders, her writing, her career and gives us listeners actionable steps to get help on our road to recovery! To learn more about her head here: Jennifer is the author of six critically acclaimed books on addiction, recovery and victimization. Awakening Blackout Girl: A Survivors Guide for Healing from Addiction and Sexual Trauma, Blackout Girl: Tracing my Scars from Addiction and Sexual Assault, Second Edition, Echoes of Penn State: Facing Sexual Trauma, Picking Up the Pieces Without Picking Up: A Guidebook Through Victimization for People in Recovery, Leave the Light On: A Memoir of Recovery and Self-Discovery  and Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America. 
April 10, 2021
011: Amy Mandelbaum, 5x Games Athlete and CrossFit Affiliate Owner on Women's Empowerment, Trauma & CrossFit
Amy Mandelbaum, 5x Games Athlete, talks training, coaching, trauma & women's empowerment. She shares her journey from a young woman lost in the world to becoming a 5x Games Athlete and Affiliate owner at CrossFit Westport where she is on a mission to help all women who walk through her doors to become empowered and find their voice.  Amy joins me to share her story of how she has been able to overcome multiple traumatic experiences that kept her from living her most authentic life. Once she shifted her mindset and her lifestyle, she never looked back and continued on to find self-love and a passion to help other women find theirs. She talks about the ups and downs of training for the Games and  we discuss some practical tools Coaches can use with their clients to forge impactful relationships that empower and create long lasting change! 
March 31, 2021
010: The 5 Reasons Why You Aren't Reaching Your Goals
Join us on the Empowered RX Podcast as we breakdown the Empowered RX 5 Goal Setting Factors. It's not 3 months after January 1st. Are you still working towards those resolutions? For most of us, the answer is no... Listen to this quick podcast to find out why new years resolutions don't stick and how you can reframe your approach to goal setting to work towards your goals in the next 3 months.  1. Alignment 2. Transference 3. Enjoyment 4. Friction 5. Education
March 26, 2021
009: "CrossFit Saved my Life"- Geralyn Shirley on Body Image, CrossFit and ICU Nursing
Join us on our Empowered RX Podcast for an episode with Geralyn Shirley! Geralyn is a mother, an ICU Nurse, a CrossFitter, Nutrition Coach and a trauma survivor!  She attends CrossFit Eureka in St. Louis and is passionate about all things health and wellness. From early childhood, Geralyn has struggled with body image, stress and other adverse experiences. She is one strong woman and continues to grow despite it all. CrossFit helped her to reclaim her energy and spirit. She went from being obsessed with the number on the scale to caring about the weight she could lift on the barbell. This meant learning to fuel and respect her body. While the journey isn't always easy, she reminds us that it most definitely it always worth it!  For more head to our website at or find us on instagram @empoweredrx
March 17, 2021
008: "Just Keep Moving" - Nicole Smith Levay
Join us on our Empowered RX Podcast for an episode with Nicole Smith Levay. Nicole Smith Levay is a former professional dancer turned Energy Coach who integrates somatic therapy, meditation, and breathwork into healing sessions and classes for women who struggle with anxiety and depression. She holds a MA Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, and is a well known workshop facilitator at healing centres like Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Using body centered techniques, she takes a forward thinking approach to mental health and trauma informed care. Since 2013, she has helped hundreds of people move past their energetic blocks in order to step into their power, own their unique voice, and be a supportive part of the collective awakening. Her work through Power Within Healing creates a safe integrative space for those overcoming adversity, and embraces the philosophy that pain is a teacher, and awareness through movement is the medicine. In this episode Nicole discusses the why's and how's behind her business the Power Within Healing, and gives listeners actionable steps to start their healing journey RIGHT NOW! To see all her offerings head to her main site: ***GIFT FOR OUR LISTENERS: GET A GUIDED MEDITATION ALBUM FREE WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR A ONE WEEK TRIAL OF THE POWER WITHIN HEALING ONLINE MEMBERSHIP, purchase at and use COUPON CODE: EmpoweredRX***
March 14, 2021
007: Got Stress? Empowered RX has solutions!
Empowered RX unpacks stress and the potential negative health impacts of trauma and prolonged stress on the body. We take a look at MACRO STRESS which comes in the form of trauma and major life events. We look at MICRO STRESS which people tend to overlook and assume is normal. Continuous micro stress can have a cumulative effect on ALL systems in the body.  Exhausted? Burnt out? Tense? Not reaching your goals or seeing progress?  Learn more about the impacts of stress in this episode so you can better manage your happiness, health, time & money  Instagram: @empoweredrx 
March 5, 2021
006: "Scars to my beautiful"- Jean Hanks on Surviving Cancer with CrossFit & Community
Join Empowered RX with special guest Jean Hanks from Westborough, MA. Jean is a CrossFitter at Prototype Training Systems. She has gone almost every day  for the past 8 years and believes that she was able to fight cancer because of her inner strength, the community and her fitness. She paints a vivid picture of what having Cancer felt like in mind & body and gives us practical tips on how to use movement and community to heal in any life situation.  Jean has been an active participant in Empowered RX for the past 8 months and says that it helped her befriend the mirror and that she now sees her scars, wrinkles and aging signs as beautiful and part of her story.  Give this a listen and make sure to show Jean some love in the comments! 
February 26, 2021
005: "Fitness Saved my Life"- Tina Glennie on Thriving After Trauma
Join Empowered RX with special guest, Tina Glennie. She is a personal trainer out of Virginia and loves all things health and fitness. A few years back, Tina survived a traumatic accident in which she was run over and dragged 50 feet by a metro bus.  Tina's enthusiasm, optimism and ability to laugh is contagious. Join us while we hear about her struggles and the ways in which she turned them into strengths! 
February 19, 2021
004: Overcoming Trauma with Movement!
At Empowered RX we believe in the transformative power of weightlifting and movement in the healing of trauma. Human beings have an amazing capacity to overcome adversity. Sometimes memories, tension and emotional pain get "stuck" in the body. When talk therapy and conversation complicates or can't alleviate discomfort, we believe that movement can be prescribed to help work through hardship and to help re-create embodiment. This short introduction to this idea will launch us into a mini-wellness series that focuses on : - Sleep - Weightlifting - Mindset - Social Connection - Nutrition - HIIT - Cardio as interventions to alleviating stress and the feeling of being "stuck". 
February 17, 2021
003: Trauma Informed Kickboxing & The Fight Back Project
Join Empoweredrx with special guest, Georgia Verry- founder of The Fight Back Project. Georgia is a Trauma-informed Kickboxing Coach and Exercise Scientist out of Australia. She uses the healing and transformative power of martial arts to help women reconnect with their bodies and discover a sense of control.  In this episode you will hear- ---Georgia's amazing background as an Exercise Scientist studying chronic pain and the brain! --- Georgia's own struggles with body dysmorphia in a male dominated sport. --- A story of overcoming, hard work and healing. --- The transformative powers of movement, martial arts and breathing. To learn more about Georgia you can find her on instagram @fightbackproject or at Drop us a comment below to tell us what you learned or to show some love for all of the amazing work Georgia has done and the journey she has taken to get where she is today! 
February 10, 2021
002: 'Tis the Season to Ditch the Diet
'Tis the season to ditch the diet and FIND JOY! In this episode I dive deep about diet culture around the holidays to dispel the myths and tricks the Diet Industry pulls around this time of year. Special guest Sam Russo, Registered Dietician and CrossFit coach, and I have a conversation about strategies for navigating the holiday season and diet pressures! 
November 20, 2020
001: Empowered: Diet Culture and Motivation
Inside this episode we dive deep into the harmful effects of diet culture, weight stigma, body image and how our motivation can become intricately attached to these concepts! Reach out with comments and questions below! OR E-mail! 
August 6, 2020
001: Empowered Intro
Tune in to hear what Prototype Empowered is all about and a little bit more about the founder and coach, Leah Cottle! 
July 31, 2020