Happy Memorial Day Everyone! Today I am so excited to be sharing my conversation with Schuyler DeBree, professional soccer player and co-host of The Mental Matchup podcast! Schuyler is from the town right next to mine, Fair Haven, NJ, and was a star athlete from the earliest age. She played on the Women's Soccer Team at Duke University and graduated as ACC Defensive Player of the Year, an All-American and an Academic All-American. She was drafted 11th overall to the Washington Spirit, and spent a month there before deciding to take an opportunity to play in the Czech Republic with AC Sparta. After returning to the United States, Schuyler's mental health took a turn for the worst. In this episode, Schuyler talks about her battle with severe depression and suicide ideation and how she ultimately turned her life around and became involved in mental health advocacy. Now she takes care of her mental health by surfing, skateboarding, playing pick-up soccer, meditating, doing yoga, and creating art. In Schuyler's words, "To anyone who is struggling to stay – my heart hurts for you, but I love you, and I promise it will get better. Hold tight and please let me know if I can help. I hope that my story is evidence that the darkest nights do eventually lead to a glorious sunrise." You can follow Schuyler's journey on Instagram @schuylerdebree and check out her website https://www.schuylerdebree.com/
This week I have the pleasure or sharing my conversation with Kat Zempolich, co-founder of Morgan's Message, a non-profit organization striving to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics. Much like Solace and the City, Morgan's Message aims to expand the dialogue on mental health by normalizing conversations, empowering those who suffer in silence, and supporting those who feel alone. In this episode, Kat talks about her personal journey battling depression as well as the incredibly moving story behind Morgan's Message. You can learn more about Kat and Morgan's Message by tuning into a podcast she hosts with Schuyler Debree, The Matchup. These two incredible women created the platform to share stories illustrating that no one is truly ever alone in their struggles is empowering. Kat hopes that The Mental Matchup will serve as a safe space for any human to share their stories, so we can continue to de-stigmatize, normalize and illuminate the truths surrounding mental health and wellness.
For the second week of Mental Health Awareness Month, I am SO excited to be sharing an incredibly memorable and personal conversation with Dr. Roy Richard Grinker. Dr. Grinker is an American author and Professor of Anthropology, International Affairs, and Human Sciences at the George Washington University. His first book on autism, Unstrange Minds, was in part an "attempt to make sense of an intensely personal issue: his own daughter's autism. Although we discuss so much in the 45 minutes of this episode, we spend the majority unpacking his most recent work, Nobody's Normal. In Nobody’s Normal, Dr. Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma―from the eighteenth century, through America’s major wars, and into today’s high-tech economy.
Nobody’s Normal argues that stigma is a social process that can be explained through cultural history, a process that began the moment we defined mental illness, that we learn from within our communities, and that we ultimately have the power to change. Though the legacies of shame and secrecy are still with us today, Dr. Grinker believes that we are at the cusp of ending the marginalization of the mentally ill.
At the end of the episode, I share a poem written by my autistic younger cousin when he was in eighth grade. His vulnerability and eloquence highlight his beautiful mind and soul, and I could not be more proud to call him my family. This episode is dedicated to my cousin and my family, and I truly hope that everyone can take a listen.
P.S. You can check out Dr. Grinker's TED Talk by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYVpTYKevxQ
For the first episode of Mental Health Awareness Month, I've decided to share an episode that is not only SO interesting but also sheds lights on a little known fact about myself -- I was once recruited into the NXIVM sex cult. For those who don't know, NXIVM was an American cult that engaged in sex trafficking, forced labor, and racketeering while claiming to be a "Self-Help Group." This week, I sat down with Ifellow podcast host, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and cult specialist, Rachel Bernstein. Together we explore the mentality and psychology of cult membership, and Rachel explains how and why people are drawn into cults, what keeps them there, and the aftermath that can occur if they leave. Rachel was recently featured in the STARZ Documentary Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult, and touches on her experience with that, too!
To hear more about this subject or get in touch with Rachel, visit http://www.rachelbernsteintherapy.com, send her an email at email@example.com and follow her podcast at @indoctrinationpodcast!
For the final episode of April’s series, I am honored to be sharing my conversation with Alison Fields. Alison is an activist, writer, crisis counselor, and content creator. In our conversation, she explains how being a survivor of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence launched her into a life of advocacy. In March of 2020, Alison was also one of the first people in New York City to report a hate crime against the AAPI community. We discuss the prejudice Alison experienced growing up due to her visible and invisible identities. I am SO sorry that this episode is delayed, but I promise you it is worth the wait. Alison is incredible, and you can keep up with her work by following her on Instagram @itsalison.af and read her blog for America Hates Us here! https://www.patreon.com/posts/49670220
Better late than never! I am honored to be sharing Part 3 of Survivor Stories, a special segment of Solace and the City that is working to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault through partnering with the Exhale to Inhale community. This week I virtually sat down with Maritza Puello, a wellbeing coach and certified yoga and meditation instructor. We discuss what consent means in yoga (and general fitness) classes and how the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped the term "personal space" upside down. Martiza provides advice on how to slowly return to the "new normal" and explains why we shouldn't feel pressured to rush to make up for lost time. Because, in her words, there is no such thing as lost time! To learn more about Maritza, you can check out her coaching practice at @cocodark.
If you or someone you love has experienced any sort of sexual violence, visit www.rainn.org for resources or call 1-800-656-4673 to talk to someone who can help. And of course, please follow @exhale2inhale on Instagram and check out their website at https://www.exhaletoinhale.org/ to see all of the incredible work that they are doing!
This week I had the honor to sit down and have a conversation with Julie Fernandez, a Movement & Trauma Recovery Specialist. Julie's practice centers on recognizing the strength within ourselves and shedding the judgements, guilt and shame that arise from unresolved traumas. Some of the conditions she works with include Complex, Developmental (Early Childhood) and Shock Traumas, Anxiety, Depression, Dissociative Disorders, as well as Eating Disorders. After experiencing the cycle of trauma, from early experiences of sexual abuse, to later unhealthy and abusive relationships, Julie decided that she had to do something to show other survivors that they were not alone in their pain. In this episode, Julie and I talk about the sexual trauma in her past that led her to this work and how yoga helped her reconnect with her body and mind. To learn more about Julie and her practice, you can visit https://www.mettahealingarts.com/ or follow @jules_metta on Instagram!
CW: In this episode, Julie and I discuss topics that can be sensitive and triggering for some, including sexual assault, eating disorders, and self-harm. If you or someone you love has experienced any sort of sexual violence, visit www.rainn.org for resources or call 1-800-656-4673 to talk to someone who can help.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so for the next four Mondays I will be sharing stories with survivors of abuse. This week, I had the incredible opportunity to record with Chelsea Quint, Trauma-Informed Business Coach and Co-Chair of Exhale to Inhale. In our conversation, she walks me through her life which was littered with various forms of sexual assault and explains how she ultimately was able to begin crawling out of a dark place. Because of the incredibly positive impact that yoga had on her life, Chelsea became a certified yoga instructor and now works closely with ETI to help others see the transformative power of yoga for the mind and body. To learn more about Chelsea and her practice, you can visit http://chelseaquint.com/ or follow her on Instagram at @chelsea.quint.
CW: In this episode, Chelsea and I discuss topics that can be sensitive and triggering for some, including sexual assault and suicide. If you or someone you love has experienced any sort of sexual violence, visit www.rainn.org for resources or call 1-800-656-4673 to talk to someone who can help.
The title says it all. My conversation with Jarrett for this week's episode was absolutely incredible, and we touched on almost every topic imaginable in the worlds of sociology and mental health. Jarrett is a PhD. Candidate at York University in Toronto studying sociology. His research specifically focuses on the ways in which psychedelics can alleviate mental distress. (Yes, we are having another episode about research on psilocybin mushrooms!) However, before launching into this specific area of research, Jarrett focused more on the social determinants of health and wellness. After graduating from his Master's Program in San Diego, he even spent time working in a Trauma Reduction ward at a Juvenile Detention facility. I am so honored to have had the chance to speak with Jarrett about his incredible life, and I have no doubt that everyone who tunes in will feel 10x smarter after listening!
I am SO excited to share my conversation with Zach Westerbeck, a professional mental health speaker, College Success Coach, and author of the book “You’re Not Alone”. Much like myself, Zach has a mission to help educate college students and organizations around the world to understand the complexities of depression and anxiety in today’s modern society. Through his personal experiences and extensive research, he is able to relate and clearly articulate why now more than ever it is critical to understand how to manage your mental health. In this episode, Zach and I discuss how much the “early twenties” suck and our frustration with how the media falsely displays anxiety disorders. To learn more about Zach and his various ventures, visit https://zachwesterbeck.com/ and follow him on Instagram @zach_westerbeck!
This week I am incredibly honored to share my conversation with Joann Irizarry, co-founder of @asafeplaceinsideyourhead. A Safe Place Inside Your Head was founded by Joann and her son Tannerin 2018, who wanted to share messages with others who struggle with mental health issues on a daily basis. This idea was started in remembrance of a family member who's life was lost by suicide during a time where mental health was often misunderstood. Their mission is to help, grow and inspire others that it's OK to not be OK and by sharing an inside community of like minded people who want to be the best versions of themselves. The organization rises by lifting others up by sharing small content curators work and resources to help others. In this episode, Joann shares the story behind her non-profit and gives advice on how to help friends, family members, and loved ones who are struggling. It was an honor and a privilege to speak with Joann, and I encourage everyone to take a moment and donate to her incredible organization.
CW: In this episode, we talk a lot about suicide. If you are going through a crisis and need to talk to someone, please call 1-800-273-8255 or text “HOME” to 741741
I have SUCH a fun episode for you guys today! I virtually sat down with Emmalee Bierly and Jennifer Chaiken, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Founders of The Therapy Group, and Co-Hosts of the amazing podcast Shrink Chicks! Emmalee and Jen are on a mission to make therapy and therapeutic topics more relatable which they do both in their practice and through their podcast! In this episode, we talk about how and why they decided to start their practice, the evolution of modern psychotherapy, and much more! In the second half of the episode, Emmalee and Jen answer YOUR questions! These include: How can I tell if therapy is working? How do you decide what type of therapy is best for you? What are some effective tools for moving on without closure? and How can I ask my partner to be kinkier in bed? Stay tuned for the end to get the punchline of the title's joke and follow @shrinkchicks on Instagram!
If you liked The Social Dilemma on Netflix then you are going to LOVE this episode with Temo, a Psychologist and Post-Academic Psychoanalytic Candidate focused on Psychological Anthropology. Our conversation revolves around the modern state of culture using technology and the malignant effect of social media on our mental health. Despite his clientele varying in age, Temo found that so many of them showed signs of addiction to their devices. This prompted his interest in the concept of a Technocracy — when the technology is the central tool for of the government and society.
This week I sat down with Dr. Paul Seli to discuss the potential for psychedelics to help treat mental health problems, a really popular research topic at major universities. Paul is a professor of a cognitive psychology professor at Duke University and is on on The Board of Directors for Psychedelic Studies at the University of Toronto. Paul discusses his own experiences with psychedelics, specifically psilocybin mushrooms, and breaks down what the research says about their potential for mental health treatment, as well as implications for creativity and humility. Finally, Paul teaches me how to induce a lucid dream and explains how some of the most famous inventions in history were created through REM sleep!
To be clear, while Solace and the City is extremely about this research, we believe psychedelics are best used in a treatment setting and should be approached with extreme caution. Solace and the City does not advocate recreational use of psilocybin mushrooms or any other hallucinogenic substances. To learn more about Paul (and to see his incredible artwork!) check out paul.seli.art on Instagram!
This week I am so excited to share my conversation with Nancy Ruth Dean! Nancy has been in the relationship industry for 6 years, and got her start working as a professional matchmaker. It was there that she learned the personal stories of people trying to find love. What she learned was that most of the people she met hadn’t fully gotten over their ex. Meanwhile, she was going through her own breakup and trying to figure out what the secret sauce was to getting over it. Through the same guidance she gives her clients today, she ended up meeting her fiancé in that process and was called to start a coaching practice that would help her clients fully embrace this new chapter and embrace the opportunity of a lifetime to get to know themselves in the deepest way possible.
In this episode, Nancy and I discuss the ups and downs of navigating a breakup, specifically in the midst of a global pandemic that has caused so many to fear being alone. We flip the narrative and walk through all of the many reasons why this is the perfect time to work on your relationship with yourself! To learn more about Nancy, you can go to hellobreakup.com!
If there is one episode of Solace and the City that you should listen to, it's this one. I am both nervous and excited to be sharing my conversation with Hilary Weinstein, an incredible friend and psychotherapist who has helped me persevere through a very rough patch in my life. As a psychotherapist, Hilary works to meet the needs of those suffering from all sorts of mental health difficulties. Because of her own history battling anxiety, depression, and a terrible eating disorder, Hilary is able to offer a unique sense of relatability. In this episode, Hilary and I unpack our histories battling mental illnesses and debate whether the pursuit of a profession in psychotherapy is a “selfish” endeavor. To learn more about Hilary and her practice, follow @hlwtherapy on Instagram and go to www.hlwtherapy.com!
This week I am SO excited to be sharing such an uplifting conversation with Angela Amezcua. You may know Angela from ABC’s The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise, but she is a model and YouTuber as well! During this episode we discuss ways to advocate for female empowerment, keep a positive mindset, and maintain self confidence! Angela also shares the ways in which she has been able to give back to others during the pandemic, despite the chaos going on around us. Angela is such a beam of light, and I have no doubt that everyone who tunes in will feel more positive and more confident as a result. To keep up with Angela, you can find her on Instagram at @angkay7. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel at YouTube.com/AngelaAmezcua as well!
This week I am so excited to share my conversation with matchmaker, dating coach, and founder of We Met Through Thalia, Thalia Ouimet! Thalia is the founder of We Met Through Thalia, a matchmaking agency based out of New York City. With nearly 10 years of experience as a matchmaker and dating coach she has helped individuals recover from heartbreak, become an effective dater, find love, and navigate the inevitable challenges that come with relationships. Thalia broke into the industry by working for the largest matchmaking agency in the Southeast and decided to expand her expertise by bringing her talents to NYC to start her own agency. With success in New York City, London, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Miami, she has helped thousands find love and happiness.
In this episode, Thalia and I discuss when and how to disclose your mental health history with a potential partner. Thalia explains how she would advise her clients to share this information and the ways in which to set up this type if important conversation. We also share our thoughts on the phrase "Opposites Attract" and the destructive glorification of "oversharing" in The Bachelor Franchise. To learn more about Thalia and her services, you can visit www.wemetthroughthalia.com or follow her on Instagram at @ThaliaOuimet.
This week I virtually sat down with DJ, Fashion Industry Insider, and Founder of the clothing brand @ilikeyou, Isaac Hindin-Miller! I now am so excited to be sharing this incredible conversation, blessed not only with a New Zealand accent but also with vulnerability, authenticity and wisdom. Isaac moved to the United States in 2011 and quickly became involved in the New York City party scene. After a few years of what may have seemed like the coolest life from an outside perspective, Isaac came to realize that he needed to readdress his relationship with alcohol and drugs in order to take charge of his life. Today, Isaac is completely sober and, in this podcast episode, he works to dispel the stereotypes and clichés that the media continues to use when portraying alcoholism and drug addiction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of people to reevaluate their relationships - relationships with significant others, relationships with friends, relationships with food, and relationships with alcohol. In the loneliest days of quarantine, even I found myself reaching for a glass of red wine as if it were the only way to pass time in this new dystopian reality. In this episode, Isaac challenges us to take a step back and consider whether or not we are using alcohol as a solution to a larger problem. I have no doubt that you all will not only enjoy our conversation but also take away some important points for your own reflection.
To keep up with Isaac, you can follow him on Instagram at @IsaacLikes_ and see his cool merch at @ilikeyou! (P.S. Keep an eye out for an exciting collaboration coming soon!)
I am SO excited to be sharing this episode with Bachelor Legend and Podcast Extraordinaire, Olivia Caridi! Olivia first came into the public eye when she was a contestant on Season 20 of The Bachelor, during which she immediately caught the eye of Ben Higgins. However, her connection with Ben fizzled out when the producers saw her confidence as a trait that could be molded into a character flaw. After being portrayed as the season's villain, Olivia's mental health plummeted and she suffered with depression for several years. However, being the strong, confident person that she is, Olivia was able to garner the resilience to start her own podcast in which she gives reality stars the platform to share their own stories, without any meddling from producers. Olivia is such an inspiration for aspiring podcasters like me and young women everywhere, I have absolutely no doubt that everyone will LOVE this episode. Plus, if you stay tuned until the end, you will here Olivia and I discuss our predictions for Matt James' season! You can follow Olivia on Instagram @oliviacaridi and listen to her podcast Mouthing Off with Olivia wherever you stream your podcasts!
Happy New Year! I couldn't think of a better guest to begin 2021 with than Ibrahim Sharkas, graduate student in the realms of positive psychology. In this episode, Ibrahim shares his knowledge on the connection between philosophy, religion, and psychology and how we can use all three to become the best versions of ourselves. He is truly a beam of light, and I have no doubt that everyone who listens to this episode will find solace in his words! To learn more about Ibrahim, you can follow him on Instagram @ibrahimsharkas or visit his website www.ibrahimsharkas.com !
This week I have a very special episode featuring the one and only Carol Rosen, also known as my Grandma! Last Christmas I sat her down to learn about the stigmas around mental health back when she was growing up that vastly affected the ways in which her generation assessed and treated psychological disorders. This year, I wanted to learn more about my Grandma's personal story. Although we couldn't be together for Christmas, she told me the romantic story of how her parents met and love letters that her father sent my great-grandmother during their brief but beautiful marriage. My Grandma was and still is an absolute babe, so I had to learn her secrets of how she navigated the dating world, which ultimately led her to finding my Grandpa! Finally, she shares some advice on love and life which you won't want to miss. If you want any of my Grandma's wisdom, you can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
This week I had an absolutely incredible conversation with Jacqueline Trumbull, and former contestant on The Bachelor! Jacqueline is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology at Duke University and was able to share her insight into some very important mental health topics. Because her research focuses on Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Jacqueline is able to break down the nuances of these conditions and how exactly they manifest. She also explains the signs to look out for in someone who you think may have NPD. Jacqueline also has a mental health podcast called A Little Help For Our Friends, where she offers advice on how to speak to and care for loved ones with mental illness. As this is a topic that is quite close to my heart, we discuss the ways in which to support our friends while also maintaining our own boundaries. Finally, Jacqueline shares her experience on Ari's season of The Bachelor, specifically in regards to the psychological manipulation that can occur on reality TV.
Please note, this podcast episode and any and all content or services available on or through this episode are provided for general, noncommercial informational purposes only, and do not constitute the practice of medical or any other professional judgment, advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered or used as a substitute for the independent professional judgment, advice, diagnosis or treatment of a duly licensed and qualified healthcare provider. In case of a medical emergency, you should immediately call 911. The information provided here is not a reflection of Duke University.
This week I'm sharing my virtual conversation with Krystal Thompson, Los Angeles-based Human Design Reader and Board-Certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner. Her readings and services are a unique blend of conscious mindset work, subconscious reprogramming, energy healing, and inspired action coaching. By uncovering what’s kept them stuck and creating new neural networks for change, Krystal helps her clients and community tap into the clarity, confidence, and empowerment to build the life they want - not the one they think they have to settle for. In this episode, Krystal explains the benefits of hypnosis, specifically for healing past traumas and relieving anxiety. She debunks any myths and negative connotations of the practice while teaching me about a new type of therapy -- NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Everyone should tune in to learn more about Krystal and all of the incredible work she does! You can lean more about her work at www.hotelwilderness.com!
The title says it all -- this week I'm sharing my conversation with Danny Padilla from The Bachelor Presents Listen To Your Heart! A native of Los Angeles, Danny gained internet fame thanks to original songs and musical impersonations and then as on the Bachelor's new spinoff series this past year. In this episode we talk about Danny's journey to becoming a YouTube celebrity as well as his experience competing to find both love and stardom. Danny even shares some of his hilarious impressions which Jimmy Fallon may or may not have copied for The Tonight Show. I loved recording with Danny, and I'm sure everyone listening will want to him him their rose after tuning in! You can follow him @dannyjpadilla on Instagram and watch all of his videos on YouTube!
This week I have a pretty unconventional episode for you all. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I first wanted to talk about a few of the things that I am so grateful for, specifically the amazing friendships I have that keep my spirits bright. I then move into sharing a story that has been my lyrical bible for the past five years. Brian Finkelstein (@bsfinkestein) is a writer who has been nominated for two Emmys. He is also a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and is a host/storyteller for The Moth. In this episode, I am sharing his story "Perfect Moments", which you can also read in the Moth’s first book: 50 trues Stories. His words truly saved my life, and I promise they will have a long-lasting effect on everyone listening as well.
This week I brought back on my incredible friend Liz Gunner to discuss how to approach conversations about depression, whether it be a conversation we are having with ourselves or a friend. We first speak to our own experiences navigating mental health difficulties and, we share how and when we finally came to recognize the benefits that anti-anxiety medication had to offer. After addressing and falsifying the stigmas surrounding psychiatric meds, we move into a discussion on how to support friends, family members, and loved ones who are struggling. Having been on both sides, Liz and I share what has worked for us and what hasn't. Stay tuned for the end because we have a special appearance from Enna Selmanovic!
This week I sat down with the absolutely INCREDIBLE Olivia Lubarsky, a former D1 gymnast at Towson University and mental health advocate! During her four years at Towson University, Olivia did everything she could to bring awareness to the mental and emotional issues that face athletes. As a gymnast, she was constantly striving to achieve a form of perfection that was impossible to obtain by the very nature of the sport. After addressing her depression and performance anxiety, Olivia founded the “Own Your Roar” initiative, an awareness campaign that brings light to mental health issues that affect student-athletes. I am so honored to be sharing the amazing conversation I had with Olivia, and cannot express how much admiration and appreciation I have for this girl. She's an absolute rockstar who you should follow on Instagram at @olivialubarsky!
Some of you may remember an episode from last February in which I recorded with Brandon Berman, one of the co-hosts of the popular live dating show UpDating. Well if you liked that conversation you're in luck, because this week I was lucky enough to sit down with the other genius behind the New York phenomenon! In this week's episode, Harrison and I talk about the relationship between mental health and dating, both pre- and post-pandemic. I talk about my hatred for first dates and Harrison shares how working in the dating show still in many ways hasn't prepared him for doing so IRL. To learn more about UpDating and the exciting things coming soon for the show, visit https://www.updatingshow.com/. You can also slide into Harrison's DMs @htforman.
This week I brought on Mia Davis to talk about sex! Mia is the founder of Tabú Wellness, an expert-driven community for shame-free conversations about all things related to sex, relationships, and mental health. In fact, research actually shows that the more open you are to talking about sex, the more sexually satisfied you will be! Mia answers some of your questions from our Instagram polls to shed light on topics such as the ways depression, medication, and sexual trauma affect your libido. To learn more about Mia and Tabú, visit talktabu.com and follow @talk.tabu on Instagram!
This week I sit down with Matt Pavich, a comedian and low-key YouTube phenomenon, to talk about his experience with Bipolar Disorder. Like Caroline who spoke on a previous episode, Matt was not fully diagnosed with anything until his late teens. Since then, Matt has continued to ride the waves of mania and depression but has an incredible support system to help him manage both states. I am so grateful for Matt's willingness to speak so openly on the podcast, and I have no doubt that you all will learn from our conversation! If you want to check out Matt's world famous YouTube video, click here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JSDTucF_K4
This week I spoke with Victoria Garrick, who may just be one of the most iconic young mental health advocates in the country right now. After giving a TED Talk on the prevalence of mental health issues in College Athletics, Victoria continued using her platform to be a voice for those who are struggling. In this episode we talk about Victoria's own struggles with mental health which led her to speaking in front of thousands of people. Victoria also shares her battle with Binge Eating Disorder and the shame that came with sharing this side of her life. However, now Victoria relentlessly promotes intuitive eating and body positivity on all of her social media channels. I feel SO humbled to have had the opportunity to speak with Victoria, and I can't wait for you all to listen!
Welcome to the new spinoff series from Solace and the City and The Real Dietitians of New York City called Hot Girls Hot Takes! Each week, Liz Gunner and I will focus on a topic related to mental health and/or body image. After sharing our own thoughts on the episode theme, we will then call in some male experts (a.k.a. our guy friends and Hinge matches) to get an opinion from the opposite sex. During this week's episode, Liz and I explore the male tendencies to gravitate towards toxic relationships in which their female partner is possessive or controlling. You will hear thoughts from our friends (and Hinge matches) as well as some lightly-heated debates. In addition to talking about the psychology behind these types of relationships, Liz and I also discuss the importance of confidence and self-love, both of which are qualities that our male guests find to be extremely sexy!
**PSA: I recognize that the implications of these questions can come off as heteronormative of imply that men’s preferences in a woman are “black & white." I also realize that cis-men are not the ones who are in need of any additional platforms to express their opinions. Going forward, I plan on getting the opinions of those who are gender non-binary as well as friends who have a sexual orientations that differ from my own. Unfortunately, as a cis-woman, the only Hinge matches who i can call on-demand are heterosexual cis-men!!!
I recorded this episode with Vanessa Grimaldi -- a.k.a the WINNER of Season 16 of The Bachelor, a.k.a the most beautiful person to ever walk up the steps of the Bachelor mansion, a.k.a. my girl crush -- and I couldn't be MORE excited to share our conversation with you all! Vanessa explains how she got onto the Bachelor to begin with, despite having never owned a television set and not seeing a single episode prior to her own reality TV show experience. We then talk about her experience on the show, during which she stole the heart of Nick Viall and ultimately got the big proposal at the end! Despite her relationship not working out, Vanessa explains how grateful she is for the franchise, because it opened her eyes to, what else, but THERAPY and ultimately led her to some amazing friendships as well! Vanessa is just as beautiful inside as she is for the common eye, and she recently left her job to pursue her dream of starting non-profit for children with disabilities called No Better You. You can follow Vanessa on Instagram @vanessagrimaldi30 and donate to her NGO @nobetteryou!
For those who aren't aware, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I thus thought that for the first episode of October, it was appropriate to share my conversation with the amazing, beautiful, and courageous Megan Siniscalchi. Megan is the Chair of the Young Professional Board of Exhale to Inhale, a nonprofit that empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through trauma informed yoga. In this episode, she courageously shares her personal experience with domestic violence and shares ways to support survivors. Visit www.exhaletoinhale.org and @exhale2inhale on Instagram to get details on ETI’s upcoming virtual Gala, A Celebration of Courage, on October 20th and the Week of Courage (10/15-10/19) with many free events for the community in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can also reach out personally to Megan via her Instagram account @megsiniscalchi.
On this week's BONUS episode, I sat down with Governor Phil Murphy to discuss how he sees the government's responsibility to address the mental health challenges that face both my home state of New Jersey and the country as a whole. Governor Murphy touches on why he decided to sign a budget earlier this week that would restore a New Jersey school mental health program, and towards the end of the episode, he touches on how the pandemic has affected him both as a prominent political leader and as a person.
I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with Governor Murphy and share our conversation with you all. His leadership during these unprecedented times has made me proud to be from New Jersey, and his willingness to allocate 15 minutes for my podcast speaks volumes about how much he cares about mental health.
I couldn't think of a better first guest for the Solace and the City Season 2 premiere than the one and only Lucie Fink! Lucie and I missed each other by one year at Johns Hopkins, but she is well-known throughout the school for being one of the most successful alumni in recent years. Safe to say I was beyond exited and honored to record with her! In this episode, Lucie talks about her journey from an inspiring doctor to a YouTube sensation, and all of the things she did along the way to turn her dream into a reality. Instead of letting negative comments on her media channels bring her down, Lucie talks about he fascination with "troll psychology" which led her to a very interesting Zoom call. Lastly, Lucie shares her love story with her high school sweetheart, whom she just celebrated her one year anniversary with! You can follow Lucie on Instagram at @luciebfink or see all of her videos on YouTube!
This year, my 25th birthday fell on a Monday. Despite this being possibly the worst day of the week to ring in a quarter of a century, I felt that it was a sign to share a full-length solo episode to celebrate! And this isn't just any episode -- this is the 50th episode of Solace and the City!!! After spending the first portion of this episode opening up about the current state of my ownmental health, I then decided to take a look back on this year and share bits and portions of some of the most memorable moments of Solace and the City! You will hear from Matt James, Francis Ellis, Matt Chavez, Ramsey Shindell, Lindsey Metselaar, Noah Kahan, Chelsey Curtis, and Caroline Moley! These are just a small fraction of the hundreds of people who made this the most transformative year of my life!
I hope you enjoy the episode! For reference, I've listed the individual episodes below for reference!
@mattjames919 -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cookies-and-connecting-with-people-matt-james/id1485920139?i=1000455706507
@francisccellis -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mental-chillness-francis-ellis/id1485920139?i=1000456125983
@subwaytherapy -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/i-dont-understand-but-i-will-try-we-need-each-other/id1485920139?i=1000457967195
@gardeingirl -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/recovery-and-discovery-ramsey-shindell/id1485920139?i=1000462406440
@wemetatacme -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/we-met-at-therapy-lindsey-metselaar/id1485920139?i=1000465148030
@noahkahanmusic -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/wednesdays-are-the-worst-days-of-my-life-noah-kahan/id1485920139?i=1000466504738
@chelseyjadecurtis -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/we-accept-the-love-we-think-we-deserve-chelsey-curtis/id1485920139?i=1000474961823
@treaturselfcaroline -- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/just-another-manic-monday-caroline-moley/id1485920139?i=1000486259905
I have a very special episode to share this week. I had a virtual recording with Samantha Tirone, who is an amazing woman with a powerful story. Samantha was engaged to a wonderful man named Ryan, but two months before their wedding he passed away from an overdose. This life-shattering event caused Samantha to reevaluate what was truly important in her life and begin to be an advocate for those suffering from addiction. Despite how painful it is to share, Samantha tells her story as an effort to normalize these types of difficult conversations and reassure those suffering that they are not alone. You can follow Sam (and her dance troop) at @DECAdancecomp on Instagram. If you or a loved one is sufferring from addiction or substance abuse, you can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit https://www.samhsa.gov.
Happy Labor Day from me and the one and only Mike Johnson!!! I have SUCH an exciting episode to share with you all. I (virtually) sat down with the fan favorite from Hannah Brown's season of the Bachelorette and had the most amazing conversation. We talked about his experience on the show and thereafter. After long talks with executives of the franchise, Mike was unfortunately not picked as the season's male lead. In this episode he opens up about how that decision made him feel as well as his thoughts on the show's overall lack of diversity. Finally, Mike tells me about his incredible new book coming out, Making The Love You Want. You can follow Mike on Instagram (if you don't already) at @mike_johnson and buy his book on October 2, 2020!
It's Virgo season so you know what that means! I finally was able to speak with an astrologer to learn more about my own chart and, let me tell you, it was worth the wait. I was lucky enough to speak with none other than Colin Bedell, the co-founder of Queer Cosmos who was featured in my favorite New Yorker article about, you guessed it, astrology! Colin and I talk about the fascinating statistics which show how interest in astrology escalates in times of uncertainty. He also helps me discover that my co-star has been lying to me, because I apparently do not know what year I was born in! Even if you are not as astrology-obsessed as I am, I know you will find this episode with Colin so interesting. You can also follow Colin on Instagram at @QueerCosmos for more information on the Zodiac signs!
This week I caught up with Catie Orlando, my friend from college who inspired me to open up about my own mental health issues by sharing her story of recovery. Like myself, Catie has a long history dealing with her mental health. In this episode we talk about the ways in which our anxiety helped manifest disordered eating, and Catie opens up about her time in rehab which has led her to sobriety. Catie is such an inspiration to anyone battling some type of addiction or another, and I feel honored to share her story on my platform. You can follow her on Instagram at @kto969.
Surprise! I decided to release a BONUS episode to give you guys a bit of insight into my life! I’m sure that over the past few months you’ve come to realize that I have a plethora of mental health issues to speak to. I thus wasn’t sure where to begin, and so I decided to use one of my favorite card games as prompts! If you so desire, take 24 minutes out of your day and listen to me answer some deep questions courtesy of @werenotrealylstrangers!! I hope you enjoy. :)
This week I was lucky enough to speak with one of my favorite podcast hosts and bloggers, Cameron Rogers! Cameron is the founder of the Freckled Foodie account on Instagram, where she works to promote a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. After working at an intense Investment Banking job for five years, Cameron decided to focus on her passion and make Freckled Foodie a full-time job. We talked about this professional transition as well the payoff of pursuing your dream! In addition to sharing a lifestyle of finance coupled with side hustles, Cameron also battled an unhealthy relationship with food. We talked about how she navigated this time in her life and ultimately used her story to ensure other young women that food is freedom. I absolutely loved talking to Cameron, and I encourage everyone to follow @freckledfoodie on Instagram and tune into the podcast Freckled Foodie and Friends!
I am humbled to be sharing my conversation with actress, model, and transgender activist, Angelica Torres. Angelica stars in Season Two of Pose (an absolutely amazing show), but I first heard her speak on a panel hosted by The Grapevine. I was so inspired by her kindness and eloquence that I took a chance and asked if she would speak on the Solace and the City. Safe to say I was through the moon when she agreed to share her story with my listeners! Angelica and I spoke about the abuse she experienced during her childhood and the moment she experienced gender euphoria. She then sheds light on how the misrepresentation of trans people in media has perpetrated a misogynistic and transphobic society. This is one of many reasons that there hasn't been a week in 2020 where a trans person has NOT been murdered. Angelica is so amazing, and I want to be sure to share numerous ways you can support her and causes she cares about.
Kanye West. Mariah Carey. Demi Lovato. Robin Williams. Russell Brand. Frank Sinatra. -- What do all of these incredibly talented celebrities have in common? They all have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. With the recent news of Kanye West's tweets, I wanted to sit down with my friend Caroline Moley to learn more about this extremely stigmatized mental illness that is so prevalent in our society and pop culture. Caroline goes into detail about what manic and depressive episodes look and feel like for her and sheds light on other nuances of the condition. We spend quite some time thinking about the extent to which our personalities are defined by our mental illnesses. Is being manic depressive in fact a double-edged sword? Finally, we discuss how humor can be used as a coping mechanism for internal battles.
My conversation with Caroline was truly enlightening, and I think everyone will take something from this episode. You can also follow Caroline on Instagram at @treaturselfcaroline, and check out her meme page at @triggerwarningqueenmemes!
BONUS EPISODE! Words cannot express how excited and humbled I feel to be sharing this episode with the amazing Solace and the City community. I had the opportunity to speak with my beautiful friend Brookie McIlvaine about the work she is doing for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Project 2025. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the suicide rate by 20% by the year 2025. We talk about some crazy stats that underlie the suicide epidemic pervading our country and then touch on the ways in which the AFSP plans on saving the most lives in the shortest amount of time. I’m also thrilled to be coupling this episode with the launch of a collaboration with Beach Beads by Em! All profits made from these bracelets will be going to Brookie’s fund for Project 2025!
This week I'm sharing my conversation with the Founder and CEO of Inception, a dynamic new approach to mind and body wellness. Inception is a mental health gym that's changing the ways we think about exercise and emphasizing the irrefutable connection between physical and mental well-being. During this episode, David talks to me about the story behind Inception and the various over avenues he explore before its launch. Some of the technologies they employ are:
Flotation Therapy, a zero-gravity experience that enables the mind and body to experience thorough rest and relaxation
NeurOptimal Brain Training an advanced neuro-feedback system that works with your brain in real time
Magnesphere™ System that achieves profound relaxation through extremely low-level electromagnetic fields (EMF).
Don't worry! David breaks down what each of these means. I really think you all will enjoy this episode as much as I did recording it! You can learn more about David by following him @mrdavidmccullar and check out the Inception website at: http://inceptionep.com/
I had such an incredible conversation with Natasha Tiwari that I am humbled to be sharing with you all! Natasha Tiwari is an award winning Psychologist, Entrepreneur, Mentor Investor. She is also a licensed yoga teacher and psychotherapist, and she combines her command of strategy with he knowledge of neuroscience, the unconscious mind and ancient wisdom both with private clients, and to propel her own entrepreneurial successes, and the successes of those who she counsels and mentors. She has been featured by BBC World, Glamour, GQ, Marie Claire, The Telegraph, The Guardian, London’s Evening Standard, Huffington Post, and others. I felt incredibly empowered after speaking with Natasha, and I think that every single listener will take something from this episode. You can learn more about Natasha by following her on Instagram @iamnatashat and by visiting her website natashatiwari.co.uk,
This week I am SO excited to share my conversation with Ben Greiner. Not only is he an amazing friend, but he also is the founder and CEO of an absolutely incredible organization, TalkAboutDepression.org! After receiving a troubling text from a friend, Ben realized that there aren't many online tools that support the friends and family of those in crisis. The TAD Project provides an online resource that uses the same approach 9-1-1 operators use when receiving a suicide-related call. Ben is truly a role model for anyone with loved ones who are struggling with depression. To learn more about his organization, you can go to https://talkaboutdepression.org/ and follow @thetadproject on Instagram.
This week I am SO excited to share my episode with Connor Saeli from Season 15 of The Bachelorette! I have always been fascinated by the psychological aspect behind reality TV, specifically The Bachelor franchise. It's thus safe to say that I was pretty pumped to speak with Connor! We talk about his journey on Hannah Brown's season as well as his brief time on the spinoff show, Bachelor in Paradise. We also discuss how the show is much like a psychological study done by Dr. Arthur Aron at SUNY Stony Brook, which I've linked below for my fellow sociology nerds. Finally, Connor explains ways he's managed to stay positive during difficult points of his life and offers advice to those who may be struggling. To keep up with Connor, you can follow him at @consaelaway and check out his new business @saelwellness!
This week I am so excited to share my conversation with the iconic Ali Kriegsman, Co-Founder and COO of Bulletin! For those who don't know, Bulletin is a curated wholesale marketplace filled with the most coveted brands. Since launching in 2015, Bulletin has helped hundreds of female- and minority-led brands access physical retail space for the very first time, unlocking one of the most powerful commerce channels at their disposal. Ali talks about the obstacles that she and Alana Branston faced when they started their company and offers tips to inspiring entrepreneurs on how to stay sane while building a business. As you will notice in the episode, Ali is also incredibly well-spoken, which lends itself well to the fact that she is also a writer! Her book, How to Build a God Damn Empire, comes out in April of 2021. To learn more about Ali and Bulletin, you can follow @alikriegs and go to Bulletin.co.
This week I sat down with Dr. Daryl Appleton, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Fortune 500 Executive Coach! I have been wanting to bring on a professional therapist as a guest for so long, and I truly feel that I hit the jackpot when I got connected with Dr. Appleton. We talked about how her interest in crime shows spiked her interest in mental health and eventually led her to starting a private practice where she offers counseling to a variety of clients, from twenty-somethings to CEOs! Dr. Appleton also gives a strong case for why everyone should go to therapy, something I have been advocating for SO long!
If this conversation spikes your interest in getting started seeing a counselor, you can get 10% off your first month of BetterHelp by going to trybetterhelp.com/zoe. Can't wait to hear all of your thoughts!
I have been thinking a lot about how to use my platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement without taking up media real estate that could be put towards more effective educational resources. I think that I speak for many of my fellow white allies in that I really want to be having conversations to get a better understanding of the black perspective, but I also acknowledge that this relearning process is a privilege. I thus feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to catch up with my friend Jordan Bonner to have a conversation about race reconciliation. I hope you all take something away from this episode, and I really would love to hear any thoughts or feedback. Lastly, I encourage my white friends to continue amplifying black voices in any way that you can. Much love, Zoe :)
This week I am SO excited to share an episode with the youngest guest yet! Caroline Bourke is an incredibly gifted actor, singer, and impressionist. All of this talent has launched her into Tik Tok stardom, reigniting her passion for comedy and capturing the attention of The Today Show! Caroline and I discuss the effect of social media on mental health and how, ironically, Tik Tok seems to have defied the false reality portrayed on other platforms. Caroline also talks about how she deals with negative comments on her videos and the difficulty of not taking these words to heart. Finally, Caroline shares some of her incredible celebrity impersonations of iconic figures like Kristin Wigg, Elle Woods, Carole Baskin, and more! You can tune into Caroline's Tik Tok journey by following @carrottlime and catch her on Instagram @carolinebourke!
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Today I am SO excited to share my conversation with Lindsey Boylan, a Democrat running against Jerrold Nadler for Congress in NY's 10th District. Lindsey served as Deputy Secretary of Economic Development, appointed by Governor Cuomo. In that role, she oversaw The Office of Storm Recovery where she led disaster relief efforts for NewYork in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. She was also responsible for the housing portfolio where she secured hundreds of millions of dollars for public housing. Lindsey has a series of plans to help New York, and the nation, through this public health crisis and deal with the aftermath. She also is a HUGE mental health advocate! In this episode, Lindsey shares why mental health is such a large part of her platform and why it is so personal to her. Ultimately, mental health has no party and it doesn't discriminate on race, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, etc. For this reason, I think that anyone will benefit from listening to my conversation with Lindsey. If you want to learn more about her campaign, you can visit https://lindseyboylan.com/
This week I have another bonus episode to share with Sam Eisenstadt, a former D1 Football player, the Defensive Coordinator for the Örebro Black Knights, and my friend from growing up! Sam talks about his struggle with anxiety and how this affected him as a young high school football star. In college, Sam made the difficult decision to leave the team his Junior year, and he opens up about the identity crisis he went through at the time. Like me, Sam is a huge fan of yoga and even got his certification to teach the practice! He explains the various ways he incorporates mindfulness into his daily life and the importance of meditation. You can learn more about Sam by checking out his Live and Learn series @livelearnseries and by following his personal Instagram @sameisenstadt.
This week I spoke with Chelsey Curtis, the co-host of What We Said podcast and certified health coach! Despite living on the other side of the country, Chelsey was sweet enough to record with me and talk about her journey to finding unconditional self love. We explore one of my favorite topics, the need to love yourself before getting into a relationship, and share our stories about toxic situationships. I truly believe Chesey and I are kindred spirits and hope that our conversation empowers everyone who listens! CW: For the first half of the episode, we talk about some disordered eating behaviors that may be triggering to those who are fighting a battle with an ED. If you or someone you love is suffering, I encourage you to call 1-800-931-2237 or visit www.https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
Happy (belated) Mother's Day! I have such a special episode to share with you all in honor of this holiday. This week I spoke with Kate and Claudia who are the hosts of Stage 4 Clinger, a podcast about a "comedian and her Christian mother navigating their way through a Stage 4 Breast Cancer diagnosis with a healthy dose of humor." We explore the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the importance of accepting one another despite differences in opinions or preconceived expectations of family roles. Kate and Claudia are so incredibly kind and absolutely hilarious (I was laughing for the entirety of the recording!) I hope this podcast inspires you all to reach out to the motherly figures in your life and celebrate them, not just on Mother's Day but everyday! You can follow Kate and Claudia's podcast @stage4clingers and tune into their weekly episodes! Side note, this episode is dedicated to my Mom, Grandma, and all the incredible women in my life who always put others before themselves and are the lights in my life. I will never stop trying to make you proud!
I’m so excited to be sharing my first bonus episode of the month with Dylan Haines!! Dylan lives and breathes Texas, so in the first part of the episode we talked a lot about what it was like for him growing up in Austin and making his way to the UT football team. When I try to get Dylan to open up about his mental heath, we begin to butt heads a bit, as he doesnt immediately see the power of vulnerability. However, this conversation taught me a lot and reaffirmed my belief that mental health still has a stigma and needs to be normalized! You can follow Dylan on Instagram, and definitely check him out on Tik Tok to see his side hustle!
This week I sat down with Damia December, a Master Reiki Practitioner, Registered Behavior Therapist, and Founder of healme.nyc! We talk about Reiki as a healing practice and how one becomes an expert in this Japanese holistic technique. Damia also talks about the struggles she went through in her life that lead her to find Reiki and how this practice has helped her heal from childhood trauma. I learned so much from speaking with Damia, as she once again reminded me about the importance of gratitude, self-love, and kindness. She is truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and I cannot thank her enough for sharing her story. You can sign up for a Reiki session with Dammia by going to http://healme.nyc/ and follow her at @healmenyc on Instagram!
This week I'm sharing my conversation with Celeste O'Connor, a Hopkins friend and incredibly talented young actor! With the release of her first major film Selah and the Spades on our minds, we take a trip back to high school and talk about the obstacles we faced as young women to define and qccept our identities. Celeste opens up about the pressure she felt to fit in at her homogenous, all-girls preparatory school. After being discovered as an actor, she began to meet other strong women of color who became friends, mentors, and inspirational figures in her life. Celeste then explains how she uses her platform to spread awareness about the causes she cares about and show young women that what's different makes you beautiful. I had such an amazing time speaking with Celeste and cannot recommend Selah and the Spades enough! You can watch it now on Amazon Prime to see for yourself.
I have SUCH an exciting episode for you guys! This week I spoke with Chris Roth, Brendan Rogers, and Ken Wright, the team behind the AWESOME direct-to-consumer CBD brand Highline Wellness! In the episode, Chris discusses how he decided to leave the corporate world and pursue his dream of starting his own company. As the CFO, Brendan explains why he had no hesitations believing in Chris's vision of the company and quickly joined the team as CFO. Ken may have been a little hesitant to make the switch to a startup at first, but he talks about how he's never looked back. At a time where demand has been higher than ever, the Highline team also explains how they are rising to the occasion and adding new elements to their product suite such as CBD Hand Sanitizer, which is sold at cost! had already been using their CBD Gummies to help maintain a sleep schedule during this crazy pandemic, so having the opportunity to talk to the people who created this miracle product was a dream! You can learn more about Highline Wellness by going to their website https://highlinewellness.com/ and using my code ZOE20 to get 20% off your order at checkout!
This week, I'm sharing a conversation I had a few weeks ago with my incredibly talented friend, Jesse Shuman! As a fellow Johns Hopkins alum, Jesse reflects on his own undergraduate experience and shares what it was like being an English major at a school known for medicine. In New York, Jesse works as an Editorial Assistant for Penguin Random House and reads hundreds of submissions a week! On this episode, he talks about the incredible power that literature has to hone in on human nature and teach us things about ourselves and our world. Specifically, fiction allows us to suspend our belief as we read something we know is false but still leave with tangible truths. I had an absolute BLAST talking with Jesse, and I really think you all will enjoy this episode as much as I do! If you so desire, you can follow Jesse's aesthetically pleasing Instagram page @jesseshu!
This week I'm sharing an episode that's very close to my heart. I spoke with Dr. Doreen Marshall, who is the Vice President of Programs for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She has also been engaged in local and national suicide prevention and postvention work for more than 15 years, which began after she herself lost someone close to suicide. In this episode, Dr. Marshall explains the different ways to protect your mental health during the pandemic, when everything seems out of our control. She then talks about some of the incredible research and work that's being done at the AFSP. You can follow Dr. Marshall on Twitter at @DoreenSMarshall.
This episode is dedicated to Alex, who showed me how fun and rewarding it is to turn your passion into a project. If you're feeling generous, please consider donating to his memorial fund: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.PersonalCampaign&participantID=1522510#donate.
If you or someone you love is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 741741.
By far and away the biggest highlight of my week was recording with comedian, Bravo TV star, and podcast legend, Hannah Berner (@beingbernz)! For those of you who don't know (but you seriously should), Hannah is a multi-talented idol of mine. When she's not living it up in the Hamptons to record Bravo's popular show Summer House, she is running a podcast called Berning in Hell where she talks to celebrities about how they cope with their demons. (Guys -- she got Drake Bell to open up about his insecurities!) I feel so lucky to have had her as a guest and discuss our common goal: reducing the stigma surrounding mental health by talking about it! I really think you guys will all enjoy this episode as much as I did, and please check out Hannah's podcast which comes out every Wednesday!
Three weeks before social distancing, I sat down with Liz Gunner and Laura Farrell, who are hosts of a new podcast called The Real Dietitians of New York City! (They also happen to be Enna Selmanovic's super awesome roommates!) Liz and Laura break down differences between dietitians and nutritionists, the myths of fad diets, and the psychology behind eating disorders. They also explain how they hope to create a podcast to act as a resource for people who can't afford to hire a dietitian to work with! Liz and Laura not only are incredible hosts but also are now amazing friends of mine! You can follow them individually at @holiztichealth and @nutritionwithlaura and listen to their podcast called The Real Dietitians of New York City! (P.S. I'm a guest!)
This week, I took a 45 minute break from social distancing to sit down with my incredibly smart, kind, and beautiful friend Rienna Russo! In addition to sharing my Johns Hopkins social experience, Rienna studied Public Health and Cognitive Science and got her Masters Degree in Infectious Diseases. It's safe to say that now is a very crazy time for her! I wanted to bring Rienna onto the podcast to explain what exactly is going on in the world and how it is affecting our mental health. With the help of Rienna, I used this episode as a way to separate fact from fiction, provide some advice, and hopefully qualm some fears. This is a terrifying and unprecedented time for our society, and I can barely wrap my head around my own current situation. That being said, I created this podcast to shed light on a shared loneliness. I thus wanted this episode to shed light on the fear we are all feeling, and I hope it brings some sort of comfort knowing we are together in our uncertainty.
This week on the most dramatic episode ever of Solace and the City, I sat down with Lacey Mark @laceymmark from Bachelor Nation! As a longtime fan of the Bachelor franchise, I was so excited to get the inside scoop of what it's like being in the world of Chris Harrison. Lacey goes through her whole experience, which started out as a joke application with her friends and turned into a tumultuous relationship with a Canadian while living in Mexico. We also talked about the slow degeneration of the Bachelor and why the show is currently setting a bad example for young women today. I am so ecstatic to be sharing this episode with you all on the same day as the Bachelor finale, and I hope you all enjoy! Stay tuned for the end of the episode if you want to hear me talk about my own life and some exciting things happening with Solace and the City!!
This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brandon Berman, the host of the popular New York City dating show UpDating! He explains what UpDating is, the qualities he looks for in guests, and some crazy first date stories that were witnessed by live audiences! As Brandon is also a stand-up comedian, we also explore the relationship between mental health and comedy and talk about why using any platform to talk about therapy is beneficial. Finally, Brandon gives advice for men on how to open up and what questions to ask on a first date! I had so much fun with Brandon and am excited to see an @updatingshow soon! If you are single and believe you would be the perfect charismatic guest, send me a DM and I'll pass along your info!
This week I sat down with the incredibly talented singer and songwriter, Noah Kahan! Not only does Noah have the voice of an absolute angel (queue Hurt Somebody on Spotify) but he also had myself and @ali.puccio in hysteric bits of laughter for the entire hour of recording. Noah walked through his rise to stardom, from emo talent shows as an eight year old to LA record deals with Drake's agent at age seventeen. Despite this launch into fame, Noah is still the most humble person who also fights battles with his mental health. However, Noah is able to share his struggles through his music, connecting with listeners all across the globe. Recording this episode with Noah will absolutely go down as one of the best days of my life. Make sure to listen to its entirety, because there is an EXCLUSIVE SURPRISE at the end!
I was nerding out this week when I sat down with Dr. Jennifer Blaze to discuss the biological reasons behind our battles with mental health! Dr. Blaze is currently a Postdoctorate Fellow at Mount Sinai studying epigenitcs and teaching a seminar on this neuroscience field at Columbia University. If you don't know what epigenetics is, don't worry. Dr. Blaze explains breaks down all of the scientific terminology and explains how her studies have shown the true power of nurture over nature. She even discusses scientifically proven ways to counteract negative experiences! I am so excited to share this episode with everyone and am so grateful for Dr. Blaze and all of the work she has done in the mental health field!
**The content and opinions expressed by Dr. Blaze are her own and not reflective of Mount Sinai or the University of Delaware.
I cannot believe this is real life right now, because I was lucky enough to have Lindsey Metselaar as my guest on Solace and the City this week! Not only is she a millennial dating expert, but Lindsey is also the host of the first podcast that got me hooked, We Met At Acme. I was able to ask her all of the burning questions I had about the creation of her podcast, her support for mental health, and, of course, any advice she has on dating. I even got to hear Lindsey's thoughts on the polls she posts on her Instagram stories as we answered them in real time. Finally, you get to hear me talk about how much cooler and wiser my sister Eleni is than I am! For this reason and many more, I would advise everyone to listen to not only this episode but also every single episode of We Met At Acme. You can also follow Lindsey and her podcast at @lindsmetz and @wemetatacme on Instagram or go to wemetatacme.com/tour to see the dates of her upcoming live shows!!
This week I was able to sit down with film writer and director Jonah Feingold! A lover of "Harry Met Sally" types of movies, Jonah creates romantic comedies that depict the millennial dating culture. In addition to learning more about the inspiration behind some of Jonah's films, we talk about the effect that modern romance has on mental health and why the person who cares the least in a relationship has the most control. Finally, Jonah shares a not-so-fun fact (but crazy story) about himself and gives his opinion on Instagram crying selfies. Despite being one of the LEAST self-critical people I have had on the podcast, Jonah really helped shed light on what it's like being an eternal optimist and how we can all start loving ourselves more!
P.S. Keep your eyes out for Jonah's upcoming feature film @datingthemovie !
This week I sat down with comedian and fellow podcaster Dylan Palladino! Although Dylan was a bit short on time, we were able to touch on a variety of topics including the struggle of being tall and good-looking, the anxiety that comes with being hyper-aware, and the keys to having a successful meditation practice. (I'm still working on incorporating his suggestions for my own daily practice.) Towards the end of the episode, Dylan gives advice on how to start an honest conversation about mental health and why making yourself vulnerable makes you a stronger person. I really loved speaking to Dylan and am so grateful for his recommendations on podcast equipment! You can find Dylan on Instagram at @dylanjpalladino and listen to his podcast "We're All Psychos" on any podcast platform!
I feel incredibly honored this week to be sharing my conversation with Brandon Doman, the man behind The Strangers Project. For those who aren’t familiar with his work, Brandon has been giving people the opportunity to share their story anonymously for the past eleven years and has received more than 50,000 hand-written answers. Whether about love or loss, joy or fear, what they all have in common is an honest voice of the human experience. I personally have been following The Strangers Project since 2011 and have modeled this podcast around his work, so having the opportunity to speak to Brandon and share his own story is an absolute dream come true. I promise that you all will gain something magical by listening to this episode and by following @strangersproj on Instagram, as it gives us all the chance to explore the lives of the people we share space with every day and see how wonderfully human we all are.
This week I had the great pleasure of sitting down and catching up with my friend Ramsey from high school! We first talked about the ways in which going to a boarding school impacted our teen years and gave some funny anecdotes from our individual experiences in high school. Ramsey then opened up about her year at a treatment center in Colorado and the lessons she took away from this mentally and physically-challenging experience. We then moved into talking about the ways social media and fake Instagram account specifically can be used as modes to express one's struggles and help others who may relate to the content that is posted. Finally, Ramsey explains what the hell TikTok is and her journey to gaining over 40,000 followers! I truly loved catching up with Ramsey and am so grateful for the love and support she has given me in the past. This is one of many reasons I am excited (and a bit nervous) to share our conversation with you all.
You can follow Ramsey on Instagram @gardeingirl or TikTok @lexaprolesbian
CW: Mid-way through the episode we talk about some disordered eating behaviors that may be triggering to those who are suffering. If you or someone you love is suffering, I encourage you to call 1-800-931-2237 or visit www.https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
This week I had the privilege of talking to the co-founder of Evryman, Dan Doty! We discussed the unique life events that led Dan to starting a men's emotional leadership group, including being a wilderness guide and a teacher in the Bronx. From North Dakota to New York, from Colorado to California, Dan had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of men and boys. He made sure to emphasize that one can be emotional while still being masculine. I feel beyond lucky to have spoken with such a kind human being and am honored to share our conversation with you all!
New episode out now! I sat down with an incredible artist, comedian, and friend Gregory Uzelac to talk about his exhibit "Alone 2gether" and so much more! First we discuss his experience growing up as the son of immigrants in New York City and navigating the cutthroat academic and social scene. We then delve into his journey to becoming an artist and the themes that he consistently incorporates into his work, including meme culture, DIY pornography, dating apps and the online intersection of sex, love, and commerce that has caused the tangible world to deteriorate under the perpetually unsatisfied desire for agency and community. Finally, we touch on the lasting effect of terrible NYC roommate situations and the paradox of loneliness in a city of 8.6 million people. This interview will truly open your eyes to so many different perspectives and thoughts, I truly think everyone will find something to take away from my conversation with Gregory.
P.S. Stay tuned for a BONUS segment at the end where we talk about the similarities between Love Island and Birthright, and Gregory explains to me what a "VSCO girl" is!
On this very special holiday episode, I sit down with my incredible Grandma and talk about her experience dealing with loss and loneliness. She shares her life experiences and love story with my late Grandpa as well as the crazy adventures they shared. We also discuss the stigma that surrounded therapy while she was a young adult and how people her age still find it difficult to open up about their struggles. I am so happy to have had the chance to speak with my Grandma about a topic that I am so passionate about and share her kindness with everyone. P.S. Listen to the full episode to hear my crazy Grandma talk about her penis gourds!
This week I sat down with dancer (and long-time friend) Haley Grove to discuss her experience performing and teaching ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop in New York City. We talk about the high expectations that are set for dancers and the mental health consequences of being a part of such a cut throat industry. Haley is truly beautiful both inside and out, and her kindness and authenticity can be easily discerned through our conversation! A quick fun fact and spoiler alert is that you can see Haley in the new Little Women movie premiering Christmas Day!
This week I sat down with athlete and mental health activist Enna Selmanovic! We talked about her life as a collegiate swimmer and how a severe injury changed the trajectory of her life forever. After feeling like her identity was lost, Enna struggled with her mental health for some time but then came to realize that she was not alone in her battle. She went on to co-found the Powerful Minds Initiative, represent the NCAA for two years as a student-athlete, and push through legislation requiring mental health resources to be offered to athletes in all Division 1 schools! Enna is one of the kindest souls I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with, and I truly think her words will resonate with everyone!
This week I spoke with my favorite Y7 Yoga instructor Jo Murdock! We talked about her time as a dancer, which was one of many experiences that led her to become a certified yoga teacher. In addition to sharing her opinions on the difficulties of telling New Yorkers to relax and stand still, Jo shares some advice on how to take your practice outside of the classroom. If you've had a stressful week or need tips on how to unwind after Thanksgiving craziness, this is the perfect episode to listen to!
In this week’s episode, I sat down with Matt Chavez aka the Subway Therapist to discuss his immersive and interactive project that truly embodies the spirit of giving back to New York City. His project @subwaytherapy asks people to anonymously share how they feel in an effort to help them all to smile, laugh, and feel less stressed. For some it’s an opportunity to connect and have a conversation, and for others it’s a way to listen and emphasize. Subway Therapy is a true expression of how New Yorkers can connect with one another despite our differences. I promise you will take something special from this episode that will bring you solace during this holiday season.
This week I had the honor and pleasure of sitting down with the founder of the JSwipe dating app, David Yarus! We discuss how he was able to build a community through his Jewish faith and then segway into the ways that dating apps have disrupted the ways in which we connect. Keep your ears open at the 20-minute mark for the perfect text to send someone after a bad date to avoid being a ghoster!
On this surprise BONUS episode, I sit down with comedian and podcaster Remy Kassimir. We talk about her experience being a woman in comedy, why Love Island is so addicting, and her journey to find the female orgasm! You can catch Remy on the Netflix show “Explained” and by listening to her own podcast “How Cum.”
This week I talked to Victoria Brown (@imvictoriabrown) about her experience as a SoulCycle instructor and the community that has formed as an outcome. Victoria emphasizes the importance of building relationships, as these will help us all get through difficult times. She truly is one of the most beautiful souls I have had the pleasure of talking to!
This week I talk with comedian Francis Ellis about the unsettlingly strong connection between comedy and mental illness. We discuss Francis’s own experience navigating his mental health as well as the meaningful impact that his Barstool articles have made with real people! TW: Suicide
In this week’s episode, I talk to @mattjames919 about his journey from playing football in North Carolina to running his own charity in New York City. We talk about college and cookies, love languages and loneliness. Tune in and you too will see why I think Matt is one of the most genuinely selfless people I have ever met!
Hello friends! Yes - I am seriously starting a podcast, and I am pumped about it! This episode is short but allows me the opportunity to tell you all what this podcast will entail and get you to listen! Get excited for what’s to come!