Episode 10. A Health & Patient Advocate – Finding Her Voice through Endometriosis

I’m excited to introduce you to Shantana Hazel on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast talking about her journey with endometriosis and how to be a patient advocate no matter your diagnosis. She’s the founder of Sister Girl Foundation, the author of  28 Ways on How to Advocate for Your Health Care and A New Me – Mind, Body, Soul, Health & Wellness Journal and has been recognized with numerous awards around the world for her dedication and commitment advocating for women’s healthcare. While she’s the life of the party, full of laughs and always willing to grab a karaoke mic, she has lived with life altering pain and deep anguish from endometriosis since she was a teenager. Sixteen surgeries and nearly three decades later she took the pain and turned it into purpose. Shantana is committed to ensuring that women with chronic illnesses including endometriosis and cancers aren’t suffering in silence and receive proper care.

Episode 9: Abby Lawson – A BRCA1 Previvor Organizing Life

This week’s guest on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast is Abby Lawson. She’s the founder of Just a Girl & Her Blog and an organization and design expert, who with her husband runs an entrepreneurial venture. She’s full of advice for anyone wanting to organize their home, design a new space and even help show others how blogging can be a family run business. While I found her and fell in love with her organization of Lego space, she’s known for offering courses and free printables on a variety of topics. Though we could talk for hours about creating a thriving home, on today’s episode Abby shares her story as a BRCA1 previvor. A Previvor is someone who has taken action to eliminate risks of disease, often having a predisposition to cancer. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or another predisposing factor. Abby tells us about the decisions she made knowing she was a carrier of BRCA1. BRCA1 is a genetic mutation and those who carry it have a much higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer compared with someone who doesn’t have the mutation.

Episode 8: Laura Saltman – Transformation through Tragedy

This week’s episode on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast highlights Laura Saltman, an author, intuitive guidance coach, meditation teacher and TV/Digital Host. Her journey from red carpet reporter to Hollywood Healer began after her life was turned upside down – she lost her brother to cancer, her father to suicide, suffered multiple miscarriages and more. Laura NEEDED tools to help her cope and live beyond the pain, sadness and depression. Laura looked for alternate therapies to heal and then she jumped in…She learned, experienced and became and expert, teacher and soldier in the spiritual game. She has learned how to transform lives through connection to metaphysical intelligence inspiring people to think, live and love better. She’s well-versed in meditation, chakra balancing and intuitive healing.

Episode 7: Talia Pollack – Party in My Plants and The Silent Struggle with Health Issues

This episode on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast gives us to a reason to celebrate with guest, Talia Pollock, a well-known author of “Party in Your Plants – 100+ Plant-Based Recipes and Problem Solving Strategies to Help You Eat Healthier Without Hating Your Life.” She’s also a certified plant-based chef, a writer, motivational speaker, TV personality and dynamic health and empowerment coach. She started her career as a comedian and now keeps us laughing and informed with her internationally celebrated Party in My Plants brand.

Though full of positive energy, on this episode Talia talks about how she spent years silently struggling with unknown health issues, which led to depression and low confidence. She TRULY took a journey figuring out how to navigate her own health without being a burden to herself or others. She shares her story and then how she went from health nut hermit to hosting a kombucha fest at a Steeler’s Tailgate. She speaks about being bold and having courage to make changes in our lives to better our health and our selves.

Episode 6: Samantha Harris – Cancer Conversations & Your Healthiest Healthy

This week’s guest on “Happiness through Hardship” – The Podcast has so many incredible achievements it’s hard to know where to start. Samantha Harris is a former co-host of Dancing with the Stars, a two-time Emmy nominated entertainment correspondent and anchor for Entertainment Tonight as well as a guest host on The View, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Good Morning America. She’s hosted red carpet shows and starred on Broadway (as Roxy Hart in Chicago) as well as served as an ambassador for both Susan G. Komen, The American Cancer Society and Feeding America. She’s always been a fitness fanatic but after her breast cancer diagnosis, she further educated herself on healthy lifestyle modalities. Now she’s a certified trainer, health coach and author of the award winning book, Your Healthiest Healthy – 8 Easy Ways to Take Control, Help Prevent Cancer, and Live a Longer, Cleaner, Happier Life. Samantha will WOW you with her enthusiasm for life and expertise in healthy living. She shares with us how her cancer journey helped her find mindfulness and dig deeper into her positivity. She talked about how connecting with family and friends far away as well as within the cancer community helped her get through the rough times. And she shares a whole slew of her favorite health tips…and trust me – there are many.

Be sure to listen to the end when we play the Grateful Game. See – Samantha and I grew up together… so we had a few laughs talking about our old stomping grounds including walking around the mall to see Nate Berkus as well as eating fro-yo at the gym.

Episode 5: COVID-19 & Autoimmune Disease – A Recovery Story

When we started the podcast production, taping many episodes, it was before COVID-19 became a global pandemic. Within weeks, even days, the world changed immensely and I wanted to connect with someone who understood the hardship dealing with the virus. Even now as many people are phasing back into socialization, this virus is still a threat and top of mind especially for those touched by a compromised immunity…like myself and today’s guest, Rachel Rosenthal, founder of the professional organizing agency, Rachel and Company. Rachel is an authority focused on home and office organization that’s simple and practical. She left a powerful desk job to follow her passion and now 2500 clients later, has made it into a booming business. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur recognized worldwide, she’s also a mom of identical tween daughters, living a life with Hashimoto’s disease and now a survivor of COVID-19. 

Rachel spoke with me just weeks into her recovery from COVID-19. She shares with us how she got through, demonstrates some exercises for COVID-19 chest congestion taught to her by CNN’s Chris Cuomo and how her passion for organizing helped her find a little peace during her journey. We also laugh about meal planning, lipstick and touch upon a few tips along the way.