Look for the helpers.
And the rebels.
And the protesters.
And the advocates and the allies.
Look for the teachers.
Look for those willing to share the learning they’ve lived.
Brené Brown: Explore the work of Brené Brown for more research around vulnerability, boundaries and courage. Both Oprah and Maya Angelou vouched for her work, so do yourself (and the whole wide world) a favour and check her out.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D: Jungian analyst, author and poet Clarissa Pinkola Estés is a remarkable woman (who somehow has only like, two photos on the Internet). Her thought-provoking analysis of over twenty fairy-tales and myths from all around the world isn’t exactly an easy read, but my God(desses) it’s worth it in the end. Imagine your Grandma, except she tells stories about sex and murder. So good.
Emily Nagoski: Sex educator and author Emily Nagoski’s novel “Come As You Are” is wonderfully inclusive. She takes a very vulnerable topic and makes it personal, accessible and even fun. She’s great and I want to be her friend.
Gavin de Becker: I have lost count of the amount of times I have gifted Gavin de Becker’s novel “The Gift of Fear” to the women in my life. His work outlines the important distinctions between worry and legitimate fear, and is necessary reading in a world that somehow still feels like Westeros even in the 21st century.
Harriet Lerner, Ph.D: Clinical psychologist Harriet Learner is just the best. Her novels should be handed out to humans the way “The Complete Book of Phonics” are supplied to kids in grade-school. Do they still do that…? Either way, do everyone in your life a favour and read “Why Won’t You Apologize?”
Ijeoma Oluo: Speaker and author of “So You Want to Talk About Race” (plus a whole bunch of illuminating and heartfelt articles accessible online). She’s one of my favourites. Her perspective (just like her make-up) is always on-point.
Malcolm Gladwell: Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker Malcolm Gladwell has a wonderful way of taking very, very big topics and breaking them down into more approachable bits and pieces. Plus, he’s funny.
Mark Manson: Blogger and author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” He’s smart and blunt and very tongue-in-cheek. If you like a no-nonsense approach to self-help, he’s your guy.
Maya Angelou: “Words are things, I'm convinced.” If anyone ever mastered the magic of words, it was Maya Angelou. Read everything she ever wrote.
Pema Chödrön: If you prefer a more spiritual approach to self-help, I’d suggest American Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chödrön. Even if some of her work feels beyond your reach (it definitely feels beyond mine at times), do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of “When Things Fall Apart.” It’s reassurance in the form of a book.
2 Dope Queens- Jessica Williams & Phoebe Robinson: A podcast hosted by two black BFFs between April 2016 and November 2018. Poignant, funny and introspective, it’s a must-listen.
Armchair Expert- Dax Shepard: A podcast that celebrates the messiness of being human.
Good Ancestor- Layla F Saad: A podcast that explores the ways in which we can determine our legacies through the lives that we lead.
Hidden Brain- Shankar Vedantam: Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
Invisibilia- Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin: Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science in order to explore the unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. You might have noticed a theme, and yes, just like McDreamy, I’m very interested in the inner workings of the human brain.
Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations: As if I wouldn’t put Oprah on this list.
Room to Grow- Emily Gough: A podcast that explores where there’s room to grow. Featuring a wide array of interesting guests that discuss the relationship we have with ourselves, with others, and even with food. Emily is a Holistic Nutritionist and I especially appreciate the way she dismantles the BS that the “wellness” industry perpetuates.
TED Talks: A podcast based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage. I like to listen while I do my hair.
Terrible, thanks for asking- Nora McInerny: This is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness. Thank-you, Nora!
This Jungian Life- Joseph R. Lee, Lisa Marchiano & Deborah C. Stewart: A podcast that allows you to eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts as they engage in discourse around topics like cultural currents, family dynamics and human behavior. They also analyze dreams, and I’d like them to interpret the dream I had where I was making out with the hot Dad from “This Is Us.” I’m pretty convinced it was a premonition.
Ashlee Bennett: The Body Image Therapist. She practices from a health-at-every-size weight inclusive paradigm, and provides a ton of excellent tools and resources via social media.
Chantel Chapman: Founder of What The Finances , Chantel educates people about money- something we for some godforsaken reason never learned about in school. Somehow, she makes it fun and accessible and never gets mad, even when I need her to explain things to me twice. Or seven times. A woman empowering womxn to be confident in their financial independence? Yes, please.
Dr Joshua Wolrich (MBBS MRCS): A doctor working to dispel the myths that masquerade as wellness trends. The work he has done- and is doing- to fight weight stigma in the medical community is admirable and important.
I Weigh: Jameela Jamil is a breath of fresh air with a great head of hair, and she’s using her platform to amplify voices that are leading the rebellion against body shaming.
Lauren Sundstrom: Trans Activist and excellent person. You know that gif of the shocked cat? The white cat who appears to be in awe? Google “shocked cat gif.” Anyway, that’s how I feel about my friend Lauren.
Layla F Saad: Writer, speaker, racial justice advocate and so much more, Layla F Saad is outstanding. If you haven’t already, download her Me And White Supremacy Workbook and encourage your loved ones to do the same.
Marie Forleo: Life coach, speaker, author, educator, future-BFF- I f*cking love Marie Forleo. Her hair is so big even DESPITE the fact she shares all of her secrets.
Nytgender: My favourite way to keep up with the world and the women shaping it.
Rachel Cargle: Activist, writer, and lecturer, Rachel Cargle does not fuck around. Her work explores the intersection of race and womanhood in a way that is immensely powerful, tender and impactful.
Tanks Good News: Because it’s so, so needed.
7 Cups: An online platform where you can share your thoughts and seek support- for free!- with an anonymous person who is trained to not give you advice, but rather to listen in a way that is validating and non-judgmental.
Andréa Ranae, Coach & Facilitator: Coach, Facilitator and writer, Andréa Ranae leads and facilitates a program for coaches, healers and leaders who are attempting to cultivate more justice and liberation in the world through their work. She’s available for workshops, so get in touch and bring her expertise into your business!
Anita Cheung: Anita Cheung is a creative and an entrepreneur and an absolute delight to work with. She has good ideas and she gets shit done (like this website, for instance)! She’s the founder of In Bed With Betty http://inbedwithbetty.com (meditate in bed!) and a co-founder of WOC Talks https://woctalks.org, a safe space for womxn of colour to find resources, support, mentorship and community.
The Bad Academy: I LOVE The Bad Academy. Want to learn how to repair your car, skateboard, figure out your finances or learn any other basic skill women don’t tend to be taught? This is the place. If you’re not based in Vancouver, follow them on social media. They’re the best.
Cicely Blain, Consultant & Facilitator: Cicely Blain Consulting is a diversity and inclusion consulting firm, committed to making organizations more inclusive, more diverse and more equal. She’s also the co-founder of Black Lives Matter in Vancouver!
Department of Justice- Who can help?: We talk about hard things here, and if you need support that extends beyond what this space can provide, I highly encourage you to explore what else is available. Our justice system is far from perfect, but this particular resource contains a list of Canadian Provincial/Territorial resources, as well as public legal education translated into numerous languages. Here are similar resources for the USA https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/get-help/state-resources and UK https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/. No matter where you are, please remember, you are not alone.
Grace Club YVR: Grace Club! Their mission is to empower those in our communities to make positive and much needed change in the landscape of our civic, social, and economic advancement. They work to support all womxnkind, and sometimes have Doritos at their events.
Good Therapy: Find a good therapist in your area! It’s important to retrace your steps before moving forward. My therapist has helped me to explore what we call my “map”, revisiting all the things that have brought me to where I am. I’m a huge advocate of therapy, and hope you find your perfect match.
Kith + Common: Kith + Common specializes in business development and strategies, and focuses on diversity and inclusion planning and integration. They offer consulting, customized content, training creation and group workshops.
Rachel Ricketts, Coach, Educator and Co-Founder of WOC Talks: Activist, speaker and writer, Rachel Ricketts is a powerful teacher, offering practical solutions for all hue-mans to dismantle racist heteropatriarchy. If you haven’t participated in her Spiritual Activism series, I highly, highly recommend it.