32 episodes

More Beautiful is a podcast for women who are rewriting the midlife playbook, striving for a life that's more adventurous, more fulfilling...and more beautiful than ever before.


More Beautiful Podcast Maryann LoRusso

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 28 Ratings

More Beautiful is a podcast for women who are rewriting the midlife playbook, striving for a life that's more adventurous, more fulfilling...and more beautiful than ever before.


    32. Get Away With Your Girls

    32. Get Away With Your Girls

    If you’re anything like me, one of the things you missed during the past couple years was the ability to move around in the world with ease. Sometime toward the beginning of the pandemic, I bought myself a new suitcase and began fantasizing about the trips I would take, once we all felt more comfortable boarding trains, planes and automobiles.

    In early spring 2021, a situation with my extended family demanded that I fly cross-country to New York. Navigating interstate testing and quarantine requirements in the pre-vaccine era was stressful. But as restrictions loosened over the next year, I slowly got back out there for non-emergency excursions—a road trip with the family here, an overnight getaway with my husband there—and, like many of you, I’m looking forward to more travel in the months and years ahead.

    One type of vacation I’m excited to take is the girlfriends getaway. You know, the kind where you grab a few of your best pals, head to a fun locale and spend a couple days eating, drinking, sightseeing and laughing. That kind of trip is almost always a good idea, especially when it’s been so long since you’ve spent quality time with your most cherished friends.

    This week on the More Beautiful Podcast, I chat with Lisa Najarian, founder and CEO of My Girlfriendships, a business focused on women’s travel and friendship, about what makes girls trips so memorable. We share our own stories of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) excursions, muse about the best destinations for 2022 and beyond, and offer tips on packing, planning and making the most of this time with your gal pals. We also discuss how our definition of travel fun has changed since we’ve gotten older, and how we can coax ourselves back into the travel game after such a long hiatus.

    During the pandemic, many of us lost touch with the people we love and the activities we enjoy. But if there’s one thing this ordeal has taught us, it’s that our relationships—including our closest friendships—are vital to our happiness, and that we should go out of our way to spend time with those special people in our lives. To get revved up about your next girls trip, listen now to my fun conversation with Lisa.

    About this week’s podcast guest

    Lisa Najarian is the founder and CEO of My Girlfriendships. She was born in Sacramento, California, to a restless mother who moved her family 15 times before Lisa reached middle school. The perpetual “new girl” in the neighborhood, Lisa craved stability and lasting friendships, and it wasn’t until she was 14 that she lived in the same place long enough to build solid friendships. A first-generation college student, she earned her teaching credentials and a master’s degree in education. At 25, she met her husband, former NFL linebacker and CNBC personality Pete Najarian, who anchored her and brought her “to the next level of friendship, family and stability.” Lisa and Pete have been married for 25 years.

    In 2004, Lisa founded Loopie Doop, a company that created and sold patented kitchenware and gourmet food. While Lisa’s family and the company were growing, her life was shaken when she contracted Lyme disease. After a years-long struggle to regain her health, she started Twin Cities Lyme Foundation, where she currently serves as executive director.

    Lisa’s inspiration for My Girlfriendships emanated from a transformative weekend trip she took with her girlfriends. Through immersive travel experiences, a podcast, three blogs, and a collection of branded products, the company strives to connect a global community of girlfriends and help them strengthen their relationships with one another.

    Lisa, who splits her time between the woods of Minnesota and the sunny coast of Florida, has two adult children: a son, Kole, and a daughter, Lex, who works full time for My Girlfriendships.

    To get in touch with Lisa, visit the My Girlfriendships website, or head to her Instagram page.

    Thanks for listening

    • 49 min
    31. Older, Wiser and Juicier

    31. Older, Wiser and Juicier

    Is there a good reason women live past menopause? What purpose do we serve once we can no longer reproduce? For generations, social scientists focused on these questions when studying human evolution.

    But why? That’s one of the questions journalist Vicki Larson addresses in her new book, Not Too Old For That: How Women Are Changing the Story of Aging. Why have women been scrutinized primarily within the context of their reproductive status, and has anything significantly changed over the years?

    On this week’s episode of the More Beautiful Podcast, Vicki and I talk about what it means, these days, to be a woman in midlife and beyond, and why we’re actually “juicier” and more relevant than researchers would have us believe.

    Among the topics we touch on:

    How the medical community historically framed menopause as a disease—and whether that’s changing

    Why we don’t talk about men’s dwindling testosterone the same way we’re hyper-focused on a woman’s fluctuating hormones

    How the “sweet old lady” and other benign stereotypes can hurt women as much as those more blatantly ageist labels

    How the pressure to “stay youthful” may be increasing, and why we need to stop comparing ourselves and judging other women

    Why misconceptions about female sexuality are rampant, and what the research really says about post-40 women and desire

    Hit the play button above to listen in on this great conversation!

    Vicki Larson is a longtime award-winning journalist at a San Francisco Bay Area newspaper, author of Not Too Old for That: How Women are Changing the Story of Aging (Rowman & Littlefield) and co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels, named a Best Book of 2014 by PopSugar. A resident of Marin County, California, her writing can be found in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Aeon, WHYY and AARP’s The Ethel among other places. She may be reached on her website.

    Thanks for listening to More Beautiful! Subscribe for free to get new episodes delivered straight to your inbox.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit morebeautiful.substack.com

    • 51 min
    30. Improvise Your Way to Success

    30. Improvise Your Way to Success

    You probably know that improvisation is a form of live theater in which the plot, characters and dialog in a scene are made up in the moment. But were you aware that improv can be useful in life outside the theater?

    On today’s episode of the More Beautiful Podcast, I chat with Shannon Hughes, CEO of Enlivened Studios, a consultant/facilitator who uses applied improv not only to help people become more confident, spontaneous, decisive and resilient, but also to strengthen their communication skills and deal with life’s big and small challenges.

    All humans are innate improvers, Shannon says. In this episode, she explains how you can be more sensitive to the verbal and nonverbal cues that are all around you, inviting you to participate fully in life; how to “hold your story more lightly” and go with the flow; how to find and embrace your “ensemble” (aka your community); and how to own the stage that we call life.

    According to Shannon, sometimes when you want to make a change or move toward a goal, you don’t need a complicated plan. You just need to do the next obvious thing. Right now, that means tuning in to our fun conversation (which includes a little improv practice).

    Listen to this episode by hitting the play button above.

    xo Maryann

    About this week’s podcast guest

    Shannon Hughes is the CEO of Enlivened Studios, a facilitation and consultancy practice where she uses improv-inspired techniques to bolster skills like listening, spontaneity and storytelling.

    Shannon specializes in igniting the innate genius of individuals and groups. Her teaching extends to:

    Transition Training for individuals

    Experiential Team Training rooted in applied improv, play and story-sharing

    Coaching for high performing leaders, facilitators and Change Makers in creative transition

    Interactive Keynote Speaking using a unique format, combining presentation with an on-your-feet guided group session

    You can connect with Shannon at shannon@enlivenedstudios.com, or visit her website to get her free download, “Tips ’n Tricks to Enliven Up Your Virtual Gatherings.”

    Additional show notes:

    In this episode we talked about:

    Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

    Free Guy, starting Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer (which I erroneously called Blue Shirt Guy on the show)

    This episode was edited by Ryan B. Jo.

    Subscribe to More Beautiful. It’s free!

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit morebeautiful.substack.com

    • 54 min
    29. Get Your Sexy Back After Divorce (and Other Midlife Upheavals)

    29. Get Your Sexy Back After Divorce (and Other Midlife Upheavals)

    Sometimes life brings you to a place where you feel detached from the person you once were, and it takes an unexpected, sometimes tumultuous turn of events to connect with her again.

    That happened to Laura Friedman Williams in 2018, when she found out her husband of 22 years had been having an affair and considering leaving her. The 47-year-old mother of three was devastated. For more than two decades she had been a devoted wife and parent, but her picture-perfect world was now crumbling. She no longer recognized herself or the life she and her husband had built together.

    Months after the separation, Laura found herself doing something she never would have imagined: embarking on a journey of self discovery and healing—fueled by the sexual curiosity she’d never had a chance to explore in her youth. With a renewed erotic appetite and a desire to find herself again, she slept with 10 men in eight months and wrote about the encounters in her memoir, Available: A Very Honest Account of Life After Divorce.

    In this candid episode, Laura opens up about:

    How she overcame mom guilt, gave herself permission to tend to her own needs as a woman, and reawakened parts of herself that had become dormant

    Why she felt desperate when she first started dating in midlife, and how she got over it

    What she felt she had to prove—both to herself and her children—in the aftermath of the separation

    Why she doesn’t want to be in another long-term monogamous relationship (at least not right now)

    Why she says the events of the past four years have made her a more open-minded, less judgmental human being

    Laura’s story proves that sometimes, just when you think your story’s over, it’s actually just beginning…and that the beauty of midlife is getting to choose your own path forward even after you’ve been shattered.

    Listen to my conversation with Laura by clicking the play button above.

    xo Maryann

    About this week’s podcast guest…

    Laura Friedman Williams is a native New Yorker and author of the recently published book Available: A Very Honest Account of Life After Divorce, which has been a #1 bestseller on Amazon. This is her first book, and it has been featured in The Financial Times, Cosmopolitan UK, Vogue UK, and The Daily Mail. Laura lives in downtown Manhattan with her three children.

    You can find Laura on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Medium.

    In this episode, we talk about another book that inspired Laura (and apparently, a few of my other podcast guests!):

    When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön.

    Thanks for reading More Beautiful! Subscribe now to get new episodes and the monthly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit morebeautiful.substack.com

    • 54 min
    28. Reverse Your Biological Age

    28. Reverse Your Biological Age

    We are only as energetic and joyful as what our bodies absorb and process. That’s the philosophy of Claire and James Davis, aka the Midlife Mentors. This married duo, who are based in London and Ibiza, are midlife health and happiness experts who help their clients over 40 boost their energy, longevity and quality of life. They also happen to be two of the most inspiring—dare I say, adorable—people I’ve ever met, and their positive energy is contagious.

    Claire and James say that one’s biological age is not the same as their chronological age, a notion that’s backed by science. Thanks to what we now understand about nutrition, fitness and psychology, we are all capable of living healthy, vital and vibrant lives well into old age.

    During our energizing chat, we discuss:

    The mind/body connection and how our emotions affect our health

    How to avoid the vicious cycle of hormone imbalance/weight gain/dieting/cravings/stress eating that’s so common in midlife

    The foods we should eat to stay healthy and vibrant—and why Claire calls sugar “the devil”

    How males over 40 experience a menopause (technically called andropause) with hormonal symptoms that are similar to women’s

    How we can talk to our life partners about what our bodies are going through, in order to improve our relationships

    The best way to exercise to stay biologically young

    James and Claire have a philosophy that’s similar to More Beautiful’s: that midlife is a time when we gain so much, even though our culture keeps telling us what we’re losing. Listen to this powerful episode now by hitting the play button above.

    Meet this week’s More Beautiful Podcast guests…

    Claire and James Davis are the husband and wife team behind multi-award-winning coaching and fitness company The Midlife Mentors. Passionate about helping busy midlifers regain control of their bodies, minds and lives, Claire and James are the creators of the Midlife Method, a program that leverages their training in hormones, psychology, nutrition, personal training, stress management and coaching to ensure clients get lasting results.

    Hailing from London and Ibiza, Spain, where they host wellness retreats, Claire and James are both certified life coaches, NLP practitioners, and menopause practitioners. James, who has an MBA and a degree in applied psychology, is also a personal trainer, as well as a specialist in sports nutrition, hormone and gut health, and hypnotism. In addition to her aforementioned credentials, Claire is a personal trainer, nutritional adviser and stress management consultant.

    Claire and James are also public speakers, co-authors of a bestselling book, and hosts of The Midlife Mentors Podcast. They may be reached via their website, or on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

    Subscribe to More Beautiful and get new episodes and the monthly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit morebeautiful.substack.com

    • 38 min
    27. The Youth-Boosting Benefits of Uncertainty

    27. The Youth-Boosting Benefits of Uncertainty

    Our generation is doing midlife differently than our parents and grandparents did. We want to live interesting, productive and robust lives for as long as possible. We’re thinking about our story in chapters, not just in terms of pre- and post-retirement (if we’re thinking about retirement at all). We’re rejecting ageist stereotypes and labels. And, with so much technology at our fingertips, we’re devouring information that can help us prolong our health and longevity. Most important, many of us are open to and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

    In this episode of the More Beautiful Podcast, I chat with Karyn Flynn, former CEO of the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the creator of Holos, a newsletter for women adventuring through midlife, about what aging well means to us. Among the topics we tackle:

    How facing uncertainty—even when it’s terrifying—can help us reconnect with our innermost desires and lead to new adventures

    How we were taught to “do it all,” but now realize it was an impossible standard—and what we’d advise younger women to do instead

    What it means to live in alignment, and why learning to say “no” more frequently is part of that growth

    Why no one talked to most of us about perimenopause and menopause, and how our generation is finally destigmatizing both

    What friendship and community mean to us right now, and what we’re looking forward to in our next chapter

    I just know you will appreciate this uplifting episode and Karyn’s thoughtful insights into life, love and career after 40. Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

    About this week’s podcast guest…

    Karyn Flynn is the founder of Holos, a weekly newsletter of health and wellness, longevity and purposeful living information and tips for women journeying through midlife. Karyn served as CEO of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) in Sausalito, California, for eight-and-a-half years and was a trustee of BADM for more than five years, serving as the chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Development Committee. Her previous experience includes investment management as a vice president in Goldman Sachs’s Private Wealth Management Group.

    Karyn currently mentors veterans though American Corporate Partners and has served on additional boards of community organizations including the Financial Women’s Association, Heyday Books, the Mountain Play Association, and Marin Advocates for Children. She has been recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times.

    Karyn may be reached via LinkedIn and Instagram, and on the Holos website.

    Thanks for reading and listening to More Beautiful! Subscribe now to get new episodes and the monthly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit morebeautiful.substack.com

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

phsapril ,

I’m hooked!

So wonderful to listen in on a conversation that I want to have with other gals my age. Amazing topics. Great attitudes and relevant conversations that we all should be having. This is like free self help/therapy while driving to pick up the kids. So much better than the news these days. Thank you for getting this out there. I’m hooked!

L. Koles ,

❤️ this podcast!

Maryann isn’t afraid to go - THERE. How is it that she knows what’s spinning in my head during this phase of my life? She brings her authenticity, insight and intellect to each discussion. I look forward to my weekly More Beautiful time!

gia Duke ,

Don’t wait or hesitate : Push Play!

Want to go into your midlife years with more joy self awareness and you appreciate real talk then you’re going to love The More Beautiful podcast! Host Maryann her awesome guests dive into all the topics women over 40ish are curious about but may be too shy or afraid to talk about. Big Bonus : You’ll totally dig her interview style and genuine heart. Don’t wait or hesitate : Push Play! Enjoy!

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Apple TV+ / Pineapple Street Studios
Pushkin Industries
Shan Boodram
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

You Might Also Like

Dan Pashman and Stitcher
The New York Times
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
This American Life
Elizabeth Gilbert and Maximum Fun