70 episodes

Filled with heartfelt stories designed to light you up, Happiness Through Hardship - The Podcast provides you with inspirational stories of hope intended to bring happiness to your day while guiding you through life’s hardships. Thought-leaders, authors, health and wellness experts will share their personal stories of finding happiness in their own personal hardship with each Wednesday release. Hosted by Caryn Sullivan, founder of Pretty Wellness, two-time breast cancer survivor thriving with stage IV disease and author of the book "Happiness through Hardship."

Subscribe Now to Discover Why You Don’t Need To Let Hardship Define You and Your Happiness.

Happiness through Hardship Caryn Sullivan

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 76 Ratings

Filled with heartfelt stories designed to light you up, Happiness Through Hardship - The Podcast provides you with inspirational stories of hope intended to bring happiness to your day while guiding you through life’s hardships. Thought-leaders, authors, health and wellness experts will share their personal stories of finding happiness in their own personal hardship with each Wednesday release. Hosted by Caryn Sullivan, founder of Pretty Wellness, two-time breast cancer survivor thriving with stage IV disease and author of the book "Happiness through Hardship."

Subscribe Now to Discover Why You Don’t Need To Let Hardship Define You and Your Happiness.

    65. Valerie Gordon: How to Squash Your Inner Narrator

    65. Valerie Gordon: How to Squash Your Inner Narrator

    Can you fire your inner critic? Author, professor, former TV producer and expert storyteller, Valerie Gordon, is back on the "Happiness through Hardship" - The Podcast to tell you how. After 20-years of producing award winning stories for ESPN and HBO, Valerie found communications agency, Commander-in-She, where she helps women advocate for their careers through the power of storytelling. On this week's episode Valerie talks to us about how our inner narrator impacts our lives, which can create or takeaway opportunities we want or deserve.

    I'm excited to have Valerie back on the podcast inspiring us how to take charge of our lives and recast our inner narrative. A year ago Valerie shared her wisdom in episode 28 about how to plan your next career chapter - whether you’re unemployed, uninspired or just plain curious. This episode was amazing - the topic, the tips, the expertise and it continues to do well to this day. So I knew Valerie coming back on the podcast, sharing more lessons and highlighting her new book, “Fire Your Narrator” would be valuable. This book is a must have for people who want to learn how to quiet their inner narrator and lower the volume on those unhelpful inner stories we have in our heads.

    SHOW NOTES
    5:02 - Learning how to keep it real
    7:14 - Valerie introduces the idea of an inner narrator
    8:59 - Breaking down where this inner narrator comes from
    14:24 - Valerie tells us some types of narrators
    21:19 - Valerie shares tips on how to deal with this inner narrator
    26:21 - Asking yourself important questions
    30:12 - Valerie shows us when to point out the positives and the negatives
    32:42 - Being present and rewriting that narrative
    38:36 - Caryn and Valerie play The Grateful Game

    Valerie's Company - Commander-in-She: https://commander-in-she.com/

    "Fire Your Narrator - A Storyteller's Guide to Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Life" by Valerie Gordon: https://amzn.to/3DyyG3c

    Episode 28 - with Valerie Gordon: Unemployed or Uninspired: https://soundcloud.com/user-182425052/28-valerie-gordon-unemployed-or-uninspired-how-to-plan-your-next-chapter?si=86a007f1545f44a09bc370ded5f8e973

    CONNECT with Valerie:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CommanderInShe
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommanderInShe
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/commanderinshe/
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeriejgordon/

    CONNECT WITH US
    www.PrettyWellness.com/podcast - for more information on the podcast episodes
    
www.PrettyWellness.com/cancer-resources - easily accessible cancer information

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness - for daily wellness tips
    www.CarynSullivan.com - for more information

    Our Social Media:

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness
    www.Facebook.com/PrettyWellness
    www.Twitter.com/PrettyWellness

    To Buy the Book:

    Happiness through Hardship - The Book:
    amzn.to/39PAjuT

    To Donate a Book to a Cancer Center:

    https://PrettyWellness.com/book

    To get a free copy of our smoothies and snacks ebook:
    https://PrettyWellness.com/Freebies

    • 46 min
    64. Roberta Lombardi: Helping Women with the Hardship of Cancer Costs

    64. Roberta Lombardi: Helping Women with the Hardship of Cancer Costs

    Have you heard of someone who goes through a life-changing experience and looks to change the world...not for themselves but for others? Roberta Lombardi is that wonder woman and on this episode of "Happiness through Hardship" - The Podcast she shares how to help women underserved and uninsured with the costly process of cancer treatment.

    Roberta is incredible. After her own cancer diagnosis in 2016, this eye-opening experience wasn’t about making her life better, it was about truly helping others who didn’t have access to the resources she did. And then she did something about it. As the Founder and President of Infinite Strength, Roberta helps struggling women figure out finances and resources during cancer treatment. Through this non-profit, she offers them hope and motivation to keep fighting even though the obstacles go way beyond treatment. On this episode she talks about how important it is to help, shares stories about making a difference and lists a few ways to assist those women in need dealing with cancer.

    SHOW NOTES
    3:57 - Roberta is diagnosed
    5:05 - Roberta realizes her bad day is never as bad as others
    7:25 - A lightbulb went off and Roberta knew she had to help
    8:22 - Roberta questions why she is still struggling despite finishing treatment
    10:41 - Establishing the mission of Infinite Strength
    12:23 - Roberta helps Sharon with her holiday wishes
    19:18 - The emotional impact this had on Roberta, her own family and Sharon’s family
    20:33 - Roberta knows that she can do more
    29:05 - Knowing the importance of having a strong community
    30:20 - How you can help out and make a difference, even in small ways
    33:59. - The little gestures that make a big impact
    36:42 - Caryn and Roberta play The Grateful Game

    STORIES OF INFINITE STRENGTH
    IN HER WORDS Stories: https://www.infinitestrength.org/in-her-words

    WAYS YOU CAN HELP
    Buy and donate Wildfire Breast Cancer Magazine to your local hospital so that there's relevant and hopeful reading in the hospital waiting rooms: https://www.wildfirecommunity.org/

    Buy and donate "Happiness through Hardship" - A Cancer Guide and Journal for Patients and Caregivers to a local hospital: https://checkout.square.site/merchant/YRNBJNKRHK5Z5/checkout/32L5HPFZVIE7YJZJM3KCV57B

    Reach out to a local non-profit and see if you can volunteer your time, donate items or money: https://prettywellness.com/volunteering/

    HELP FUND PROGRAMS for:
    +Less Fortunate Women Dealing with Cancer - Donate to Infinite Strength: By donating to Infinite Strength you will be giving a single mom the opportunity to pay her mortgage or rent while taking time off from work during treatment. You will insure her children can sleep in their bed at night: https://www.infinitestrength.org/donate

    +Help Fund Research Labs for Underfunded Stage IV Breast Cancer - Donate to The Cancer Couch Foundation: The Cancer Couch Foundation is a privately funded, non-profit organization that has helped put over 4-million dollars into metastatic breast cancer (MBC) research to date since 2016! 100% of donations and event proceeds are matched and go to fund MBC research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center! https://www.thecancercouch.com/donations.html

    CONNECT with Roberta and Infinite Strength
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/strengthforhealing/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strengthforhealing/

    CONNECT with us:
    www.PrettyWellness.com/podcast - for more information on the podcast episodes
    
www.PrettyWellness.com/cancer-resources - easily accessible cancer information

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness - for daily wellness tips
    www.CarynSullivan.com - for more information on media, speaking engagements and book partnerships

    Our Social Media:

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness
    www.Facebook.com/PrettyWellness
    www.Twitter.com/PrettyWellness

    To Buy the Book:

    Happiness through Hardship - The Book:
    amzn.to/39PAjuT

    • 42 min
    63. Dontaira Terrell: Navigating Grief and Finding Light After a Tragic Accident

    63. Dontaira Terrell: Navigating Grief and Finding Light After a Tragic Accident

    Wise beyond her years, today's guest talks grief and life lessons learned from her mother on "Happiness through Hardship" - The Podcast. Dontaira Terrell, managing editor for 21Ninety, has a talent for seeking out, reporting and showcasing lifestyle content. One of her first big breaks was a feature about her mother in Ebony. On this episode she shares that heartwarming and heart-wrenching story about a tragic car accident that showcases love between a family and lessons learned through hardship.

    I first met Dontaira while we worked together at Disney and ESPN Media Networks and knew then - what the world sees now - that she’s a superstar professionally and personally. Her love for documenting the world around her has landed her some huge interviews with big names such as Michael B. Jordan, Tyra Banks, and Russell Westbrook. She has been featured in the New York Times and Forbes, as well as had bylines in countless national mediums including BET, MTV, VH1, and more. Her mother was her biggest fan and often mentor, providing love and feedback even from the depths of her hospital bed.

    Today's episode is deeply sad, but also full of love and light. Dontaira shares her mother's devastating accident and the aftermath that changed her family's life. Please check out this episode and others as well as rate, review and subscribe...your efforts truly help this podcast inspire more people and share the message that we can all find a little joy during whatever hard journey we are going through in life.

    SHOW NOTES
    5:09 - Admiring Dontaira’s mother's empathy for others
    8:06 - The accident
    11:16 - Dontaira realizes the extremity of what had happened
    12:17 - Dontaira becomes her mother’s caretaker
    12:52 - Dontaira’s father fights for his wife
    15:45 - Trauma
    16:51 - Special moments Dontaira shared with her mom in the hospital
    21:27 - One of Dontaira’s proudest moments in her journalism career
    22:55 - The range of emotions Dontaira felt after her mom’s passing
    24:48 - Being physically present, but having her mind elsewhere
    26:27 - Dontaira opens up and keeps her mom’s legacy alive
    37:43 - The ways Dontaira continues to remember her mom in everyday life
    45:19 - Dontaira appreciating the support system around her
    46:47 - Caryn and Dontaira play The Grateful Game

    Ebony Feature on Dontaira's mother, Ellen Terrell - https://www.ebony.com/life/what-nearly-losing-my-mom-taught-me-about-life-033/

    21Ninety - https://21ninety.com/author/Dontaira%20Terrell

    CONNECT with Dontaira
    Website - https://dontairaterrell.contently.com/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dontairaterrell/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dontaira
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/dontairaterrell

    CONNECT with us:
    www.PrettyWellness.com/podcast - for more information on the podcast episodes
    
www.PrettyWellness.com/cancer-resources - easily accessible cancer information

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness - for daily wellness tips
    www.CarynSullivan.com - for more information on media, speaking engagements and book partnerships

    Our Social Media:

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness
    www.Facebook.com/PrettyWellness
    www.Twitter.com/PrettyWellness

    To Buy the Book:

    Happiness through Hardship - The Book:
    amzn.to/39PAjuT

    • 55 min
    62. Jane Fine: Abstract Artist Discovers Family Secret

    62. Jane Fine: Abstract Artist Discovers Family Secret

    Have you ever considered looking into your ancestry wondering if you would stumble upon something interesting? This episode is about discovering family secrets, one that pushes you to re-examine your existence and experiences. I'm honored that this week's guest on "Happiness through Hardship" - The Podcast, Jane Fine, bravely shares hers and to a degree mine, because we're related. 

    My bright and bigger than life, (though shorter than most,) Aunt Jane is a highly acclaimed, award-winning painter and teacher. A wildly smart and passionate conversationalist, her abstract art focuses on social and political themes, which has been exhibited nationally and internationally for over 20-years. Today's episode showcases her backstory, one she didn't know and only discovered recently by taking a genealogy test. Jane re-tells the story, which led her down a path of reexamination of past experiences, relationships with family, as well as her own identity.

    During this episode, Jane not only shares the background, she also talks about how she has continually navigated. While her art and creative avenue has been a tremendous help with coping, we barely touched upon her elaborate career. Recognized globally, Jane is famous in the art world, having been reviewed frequently in The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine and Art in America among other periodicals. She's also the recipient of several prestigious grants including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, she has been awarded world-renown fellowships and has been resident at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The Millay Colony, The Cité Internationale des Artes in Paris, The Golden Foundation and The Hermitage Artists Retreat. She is currently represented by Pierogi Gallery in New York City and collaborates with her husband, my uncle, artist James Esber, under the pseudonym "J. Fiber."

    SHOW NOTES
    5:03 - Jane backstory before the backstory
    6:03 - Jane’s sister, Paula, has doubts about who her father is
    9:07 - Jane’s son, Abe, is interested in taking a DNA test
    10:49 - Jane's moment of realization about her biological father
    11:33 - Jane’s initial denial
    14:05 - The realization
    15:19 - The phone call that felt like a movie
    17:14 - Jane’s son gives her helpful advice
    19:11 - Jane now asks herself “Who am I?” and “Who is my biological father?”
    19:42 - Jane's range of emotions after accepting the discovery
    20:46 - How Jane researches who her father could be
    28:39 - Jane's self-reflection
    31:55 - Jane makes new family connections and finds new similarities
    35:28 - How Jane finds peace and how others can, too
    40:21 - The peace her son gives her
    44:32 - Caryn and Jane play The Grateful Game

    CONNECT with Jane:
    Jane Fine website: https://www.janefine.net/about
    Jane Fine Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janemfine/ and https://www.instagram.com/grand.flag/
    Jane Fine - represented by Pierogi: https://www.pierogi2000.com/artists/jane-fine/
    Collaborative work with husband, Artist James Esber: https://www.pierogi2000.com/artists/j-fiber/
    James Esber: https://www.jamesesber.com/

    CONNECT with us:
    www.PrettyWellness.com/podcast - for more information on the podcast episodes
    
www.PrettyWellness.com/cancer-resources - easily accessible cancer information

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness - for daily wellness tips
    www.CarynSullivan.com - for more information on media, speaking engagements and book partnerships

    Our Social Media:

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness
    www.Facebook.com/PrettyWellness
    www.Twitter.com/PrettyWellness

    To Buy the Book:

    Happiness through Hardship - The Book:
    amzn.to/39PAjuT

    • 58 min
    61. Nikki Gallias: The Superpower of Gratitude, Giving and Mindful Living

    61. Nikki Gallias: The Superpower of Gratitude, Giving and Mindful Living

    Whatever life throws at her, today's guest on "Happiness through Hardship" - The Podcast, embraces love, light and lots of avocados. I'm honored to introduce you to Nikki Gallias, a mom, wife, former school teacher and inspirational entrepreneur. She's a bright spirit who was raised across the world with a challenging childhood. Yet even at a young age Nikki understood the importance of gratitude. High times or low times, she’s been able to find joy and appreciation in life that has kept her going personally and professionally. Her story is at times heavy, yet radiates gratitude, which is her superpower.

    Nikki's grateful spirit leads her life, which is full of giving. She’s the first to drop off a healthy meal or even a bottle of essential oils to someone needing a smile. Active in the community, Nikki shares her big heart and connection to resources as she brings people together to help those needing shelter, food and care. She also provides guidance, education and motivation to her Every Mindful Meal clients encouraging them to lead healthier and happier lives. She's full of positivity and love for the world around her…and today she’s going to share with us her story. How through her roller coaster journey in life, Nikki found a way to navigate.

    SHOW NOTES
    4:45 - Nikki shares her childhood story
    7:10 - Nikki’s moment of immense gratitude and when she knew she could one day help others
    8:00 - Nikki's family re-builds their life
    16:38 - The moment Nikki knew she needed to look beyond herself and find who needed her help
    19:29 - Nikki and Dave’s house fire and the realization that Nikki already had everything she needed
    20:45 - The power of kindness and selflessness- the fireman
    22:30 - How Nikki's passion for clean eating began and how her first client helped turn her passion into a business
    27:15 - Nikki's mother's positive influence and how Nikki’s mindful living began during the hardest part of her life
    28:35 - Finding clarity during hardship through gratitude
    29:15 - The beautiful moment - the power in truly forgiving
    32:45 - Nikki reminds us that we are the drivers of our own lives
    35:43 - People will connect with you when you open your heart and ask for help
    39:20 - Community doesn't have to be huge- it's just about the love and support
    41:09 - Nikki's advice for people when they feel they don't have the resources to make their dreams come true
    42:59 - There is always light in the dark
    47:25 - Caryn and Nikki play The Grateful Game

    CONNECT with Nikki
    Every Mindful Meal: https://www.everymindfulmeal.com/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikki_gallias/

    CONNECT with us:
    www.PrettyWellness.com/podcast - for more information on the podcast episodes
    
www.PrettyWellness.com/cancer-resources - easily accessible cancer information

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness - for daily wellness tips
    www.CarynSullivan.com - for more information on media, speaking engagements and book partnerships

    Our Social Media:

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness
    www.Facebook.com/PrettyWellness
    www.Twitter.com/PrettyWellness

    To Buy the Book:

    Happiness through Hardship - The Book:
    amzn.to/39PAjuT

    • 54 min
    60. Renee Nicholson: Ballerina Learns to Dance Again with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    60. Renee Nicholson: Ballerina Learns to Dance Again with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you had to teach yourself to walk again...or even a lifelong skill that you loved? This week's guest on "Happiness through Hardship" - The Podcast has done both while navigating chronic illness. Renee Nicholson is a dancer, author and teacher whose life has changed from rheumatoid arthritis. It took getting knee-replacement surgery in her thirties for her to own her unique experience. The humility of this allowed her to reteach herself ballet in a different way. On this episode Renee shares her experiences with professional dance and living with chronic disease.

    SHOW NOTES
    3:15 - Renee’s story and background in ballet
    5:17 - Renee's Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis and when she noticed something was off with her body
    7:14 - Renee’s first writing class and how this sparked a lifelong passion for it
    8:49 - Career shifts and the beauty in them
    11:30 - Rheumatoid Arthritis aka RA and what it is
    14:35 - What an Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up feels like
    17:27 - Renee's decision to follow her calling to write and make the most of each day
    19:29 - Renee’s knee replacement and the power of doctors instilling hope in their patients
    23:22 - The importance of connecting with what you love during times of hardship
    25:16 - How personalized care and connection with your medical team can make a difference
    26:10 - When Renee began writing about dance and how this led to her teaching dance
    28:16 - Moving to NYC to study with American Ballet Theater
    29:40 - How journaling about her experience served as inspiration for her book, "Fierce and Delicate: Essays on Dance and Illness"
    35:28 - How one passion can lead us to the next
    38:20 - The healing power of writing and how Renee earned a degree in Narrative Medicine
    43:20 - How stories are what give people hope
    44:31- Caryn and Renee play The Grateful Game

    "Fierce and Delicate: Essays on Dance and Illness" by Renee Nicholson: https://amzn.to/3l773qp

    CONNECT with Renee
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/summerbooks1
    Website: http://www.reneenicholson.com/

    CONNECT with us:
    www.PrettyWellness.com/podcast - for more information on the podcast episodes
    
www.PrettyWellness.com/cancer-resources - easily accessible cancer information

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness - for daily wellness tips
    www.CarynSullivan.com - for more information on media, speaking engagements and book partnerships

    Our Social Media:

    www.Instagram.com/prettywellness
    www.Facebook.com/PrettyWellness
    www.Twitter.com/PrettyWellness

    To Buy the Book:

    Happiness through Hardship - The Book:
    amzn.to/39PAjuT

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
76 Ratings

76 Ratings

RobertaCLombardi ,

INSPIRATIONAL!

Caryn’s kindness and genuine enthusiasm come through in each and every episode. She truly wants to help all of us live our lives with more positivity! The fact that she does all this while living with Stage IV cancer is nothing short of incredible!

JAW😀 ,

LOVE THESE PODCASTS!

Every conversation and guest speaker on Caryn’s podcasts is heartfelt and touching. No matter the topic I can always relate in some way. Keep them coming!

Olivia Opalinski ,

So inspirational!

I love the talks Caryn has with all of her guests :)

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