Our world is seeming evermore fractured and scary, emotions are raw and real, knowing the “right” thing to say is unclear, and collectively it feels like we are walking on eggshells. Here at The Happy Hour, we have noted and sensed what our community is feeling: anger, fatigue, fear, injustice, and a general sense of “when is life going to feel normal again?”. We agree, times are stressful, and the world can seem like a knot too complex to untangle. 


Despite our best efforts to keep routine and normalcy in our daily lives, the influences we encounter on social media, in the news, through our social circles, or even the energies we absorb from others can significantly shape our experiences. And while engaging as an active citizen, exercising your rights, and vocalizing your opinions are significant, it’s helpful to grasp and attend to the mental and emotional impact that uncertainty and discord may have on us. Understanding the impact of these triggers can help you to take care of yourself in the moment and to find tools for tending to your overall mental wellness.


We think it’s important to acknowledge the collective weight our community is feeling and offer guidance on understanding, tending to, and navigating the intense emotions that may arise in challenging times. Here are some tips that can help when the world feels too much.


Allow yourself to disconnect

It’s important to be knowledgeable about world events and participate in causes that are important to you, but there are limits. Humans are not designed to absorb all the world’s sadness and despair. From an evolutionary perspective, humans used to only be aware of the issues in their closest geographical location. Now, we are pummeled with tragedy after tragedy due to our 24 hour news cycle, and that can be very damaging. Our advice is to limit news to a manageable amount a day (10 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever sits right with you that day), and practice a small act of resistance or engagement into an issue when you have the space to do so. Give yourself permission to disconnect some to preserve your mental health. Acknowledge this privilege, act and help where you can, and practice gratitude for the peace you can create. 


Practice “Fierce Compassion”

This is when anger is used to alleviate the suffering of oneself or others, or standing up for what is right. Compassion in this sense allows us to seek clarity about issues in our world, but keeps our perspective fair and balanced. Most people and situations don’t fit squarely into “good or bad,” because humans are complicated. Fierce compassion allows us to stand up to injustice without adding to the hatred of the world. (For more on this, see Dr. Kristin Neff, “The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook.”)


Use this as a reminder to check in with yourself and your people

Everyone struggles, and many people often feel alone in their suffering. After acknowledging your own emotional space and capacity, turn that care to others by offering a space for them to feel heard. 

We certainly don’t have all the answers, not even close. But the care you extend to yourself can ripple into healing for those in your immediate circle, your community, and beyond. In these moments, we must choose love over fear. 


Please note: We are not a crisis resource.

If you are feeling unsafe, please call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) and you will be routed to a trained crisis specialist in your area. 


Listed below are other resources for urgent matters:

  • Emergency – 911 If the person in crisis is already hurt, attempting to hurt themselves or others, and must be removed immediately.
  • Psychiatric Assessment Service – 615-327-7000 Dedicated psychiatric emergency room.
  • Mental Health Mobile Crisis Service – 615-726-0125 or 855-274-7471. If the person in question is suicidal. This service will pick them up immediately wherever you are in Greater Nashville.
  • Vanderbilt PCC On-Call Crisis Response Line – 615-322-2571
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Couples Therapy: Not Just for Rough Patches

Choosing to go through life with someone by your side is a wonderful thing, but that doesn’t mean relationships aren’t hard work. Couples therapy is a great way to strengthen or rebuild your connection, navigate tough times, and check-in to nip issues in the bud before they become a problem.  


Think of your relationship as a car and your therapist like a mechanic. You’re not going to wait until the wheels fall off before taking it to a mechanic, right? You’re going to go for regular oil changes and tune ups so that the car can keep running smoothly without you being blind-sided by problems. And if the wheels do come off? Well, then it’s definitely time for some overdue maintenance and repairs.


We spoke to The Happy Hour therapists Amy Jackson, LCSW-MPH, and Jeannette Diddens, LCSW, to get the inside scoop on couples therapy.


1. Who can benefit from couples therapy? Is it just for married or premarital couples?


AJ: It’s my opinion that EVERYONE could benefit from couples therapy! It’s so crucial to get a baseline of effective communication, understanding and friendship to promote a long-lasting relationship. Of course, those who are suffering relationship wounds (i.e. infidelity, substance use, and other trust issues) would benefit from a longer duration of sessions and intervention. 


There’s also no reason to wait until something goes wrong- even dating couples can see positive results from a neutral third party perspective on their most common relationship conflicts. In fact, it’s protective to have early intervention and practice in communication.


JD: I love it when I see a couple come in for premarital therapy. They learn some tools before big life events happen, so they can be prepared for what’s to come. 


2. What are some common issues or topics that you see in couples therapy?


AJ: Other than the common issues of trust violations (infidelity, dishonesty about substances or money), a loss of connection is a big issue I see. Friendship is central to the health of a relationship, and it’s also the easiest aspect to fall to the wayside with the busyness of life. One thing I love working with couples on is how to reconnect to your partner and rebuild that friendship- once fondness and admiration are re-established (Gottman’s theory), couples are better able to engage in productive conflict resolution. 


JD: I used to say I was going to write a book titled  “Sex and dirty dishes”, because for a while I saw a trend of couples arguing about those 2 topics. The frequency of intimacy and the distribution of household chores seem to come up often. What lies beneath that is loneliness in their marriage or feelings of not being valued. 


3. You both love the Gottman methods and theories – what’s so great about it?


AJ: I love anything research-based and practical, and Gottman’s theory delivers so many great exercises and tips. I also find it to be approachable for people who are new to therapy, which is a big plus for people who may feel hesitant with vulnerability. 


JD: It’s the best that we have as far as 50 plus years of data from couples counseling. You can’t argue with data. 


4. What can I expect in a couples therapy session?


AJ: I like to get a thorough history of the relationship and always want to incorporate what actually works in the partnership. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the stress and turmoil of the day-to-day that I find it helpful to investigate what connection is still there (whether it be past or present). After gaining a thorough knowledge of the couple, I like to give ample time to both parties to explore their biggest issues in their relationship, and ensure each partner feels heard. I am also a big proponent of homework for couples therapy. There’s only so much that can be accomplished in a 50 min therapy session; the couple is on the hook for the hard work of rebuilding their connection. 


JD: I am a strengths based therapist, so I start with identifying their partners strengths. I try to set a great foundation in the room so we can all come to an understanding of why it is, we care enough about each other to be in couples counseling.  


5. Can couples therapy help people who are in the process of divorce (or already divorced) co-parent more effectively?


AJ: 100%. The communication issues don’t go away once you divorce; in fact, unless some of the resentment and hurt is worked through, more suffering is inevitable. I can help couples come up with a plan that works for both of them while centering their children’s needs. Children are just innocent bystanders in a relationship dissolution, and it’s crucial that their lives are as undisturbed as possible with the foundation of a co-parenting plan. 


JD: Yes. Couples therapy can play a valuable role for individuals going through a divorce in several ways. They learn how to communicate better, they can gain co-parenting assistance and they can gain more understanding of themselves to take to their other relationships. Overall, I think it also provides closure for each person going forward.


If you’d like to learn more about couples therapy, give us a call at the studio, 615-953-3934, or book online.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Dolly Parton once said,

Love is sent from Heaven to worry the Hell out of you.

Dolly, using her usual wit, is correct; love makes life worth living, but also can create pain. While difficulty in our personal relationships is an unavoidable part of life, it is possible to develop an understanding of healthy relationship dynamics and enact positive change in your relationships. 

So, what makes a healthy relationship? How do we recognize and understand our unhelpful communication patterns? What steps can we take to ensure that the relationships we are in can be as good as possible?

Luckily for those of us who decided to pursue lifelong partnership, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have spent over 40 years studying couples and their dynamics. Through their incredible careers, they have developed Seven Principles that, when committed to and maintained, foster healthy and happy partnerships over the lifespan. 


Here is a breakdown of the Seven Principles:


What in the world is a love map, you ask? It’s the familiarity and fondness you have and cultivate for your partner. The stronger and clearer our love maps, the more intimacy and care exists in the partnership.


Your partner needs to know you actually like him/her! This is not groundbreaking news, but something we all neglect from time-to-time.


This is based on the idea of staying connected, and positively so.  It’s all about making positive deposits in our “emotional bank accounts.” If you are feeling connected to your partner, you’re better able to handle conflicts as they occur. 


Do you always need to win in an argument? This may indicate that you’re not accepting influence from your partner- you just want to be right.  Unsurprisingly, this stubbornness is often met with harshness and withdrawal from the other partner, creating even more distance.


 This section focuses on understanding the types of conflicts. How can we solve the solvable conflicts and accept the unsolvable conflicts?


Every couple has that “hot issue,”- that fight that just keeps coming back up, over and over. Gridlocks happen when people’s life dreams (hopes, aspirations, wishes) for their life are not being addressed/respected by each other. This section will offer practical tips to work through that dreaded gridlock.


Maintenance is just as important as learning the new skill.  The Gottmans teach us about the importance of creating “rituals of connection” and how to continually apply the principles in your everyday life.


I’m so excited about this workshop because I truly believe in its worth. Good relationships aren’t just built without effort, and problems just don’t “go away.” Join me in at our next Seven Principles workshop to make a positive difference in your relationship!




Take a deep dive into building a stronger relationship with Amy Jackson, LCSW-MPH as she leads the groundbreaking workshop, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.


Cultivating Courage

As Joseph Campbell said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek”. When you read that, what does it mean to you? For me, it reminds me that sometimes in life we have to face the fear, go to that place we are unsure of, in order to live a more meaningful, fulfilling, and joyful life. To live the life we want.

Think about how fear is holding you back in your own life. Do you hesitate to take steps forward due to the unknown, or is it because of what other people might say or think, or is it simply the possibility of failure? Also, where is fear showing up in your life? Perhaps it’s getting back into the dating scene, taking that trip to Europe you always wanted to do, moving to a new city, applying for that promotion, trying that new hobby, having that hard conversation, establishing boundaries, or maybe it’s finally going to dinner by yourself. Regardless of where fear may be showing up, giving in to them will only keep things as they are and prevent you from going after goals and dreams that move you forward.

It can be hard to be brave, courageous, and take those risks, it’s flat out scary at times. And let’s face it, it’s called a comfort zone for a reason! The good news is by acknowledging your fears, identifying any limiting beliefs or thoughts holding you back, being vulnerable to letting go of what doesn’t work and be open to something new, you can push yourself outside your comfort zone and into the space where you have confidence, determination, and courage to live your life on your terms!

To help you get out of your comfort zone, here are five tips to begin your courage journey.


Understand Your Fears

Acknowledging your fear and doing the work to then move past it, takes courage. While it may be tempting to just ignore the fear and hope it goes away, it won’t. More often than not, ignoring the fear can make it bigger and seem more unmanageable as time goes on. Understanding your fear, accepting you are afraid (or maybe just uncomfortable) and then finding the root cause, is a big step towards courage. To better understand your fear, one technique to try is the “five whys”. It’s asking “why?” five times in a row to get to a root cause. 

For example, maybe you’ve moved to a new city and are hesitant to go to a meetup group. 

“I’m afraid to meet and talk to new people.”

Why? “I’ve always struggled meeting new people.”

Why? “It makes me uncomfortable to talk to people I don’t know.”

Why? “I always get nervous and self-conscious.”

Why? “I’m worried that they’re judging me.”

Why? “Because I don’t think I have anything worthwhile to share and connect with them on.”

While you might have thought that your fear was related to meeting new people, it’s more about not feeling worthy enough to connect with others. Understanding the fear and the reason behind it helps you look at the situation with a different perspective. Once you know what’s really going on you will have the ability to decide how to address it.


Challenge Negative Thoughts

Many times negative thoughts will hold you back from taking a positive step. One way to identify negative thoughts is testing to see if it is a limiting belief or not. You can use your hand to anchor the questions:

Thumb – Is this thought or belief always true?

Index finger – Is this thought or belief supporting me to reach my objectives?

Middle finger – Is this thought or belief helping me to solve conflicts and avoid mistakes?

Ring finger – Is this thought or belief helping me feel the way that I want to feel?

Little finger – Is this thought or belief protecting my health and life?

If the answer to at least 3 of those questions are no, then it is a limiting thought or belief. Now that you’ve acknowledged the negative thought as a limiting belief, ask yourself what would be a more supporting belief or thought? Imagine how you would feel and perhaps behave differently with the new thought. What could be possible?


Be Comfortable in the Uncomfortable

Daring decisions may cause potential discomfort, but discomfort shouldn’t be avoided. The more often you find yourself in situations that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable, the more courageous and brave you become. You’ll find yourself leaning into the excitement that comes with stepping outside your comfort zone because you know you will be ok. Think about the times when you did something that you deemed scary. What was the outcome? How did you feel once it was done? Leverage the times when you’ve gotten through uncomfortable situations before to give you the confidence you need to do it again and again.


Create a Game Plan

Going into fearful situations unprepared can leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. It’s unlikely to prepare for or think through every possible scenario, however you can make a plan to create small goals or action items towards what you set to achieve. Think about what you’d like to accomplish, the resources you need, and what success can look like to get you started. By creating a game plan, it will help you feel that you have a little bit of control over the situation which can help calm anxiety you have about going after your goals.


Find an Accountability Partner

As you step out of your comfort zone into bravery, it can be helpful to have someone to advise and encourage you throughout your journey. Having a mentor or a coach by your side will connect you to your strengths and will provide the resources and tools needed to inspire you to go after your dreams. 


Sources: How to be Brave and Coaching with and for Courage


Life coaching can help you meet your goals and navigate life transitions with less stress.

You can work with our certified life coaches in person at The Happy Hour studio, or virtually from anywhere in the world.

Making Room for More Joy

Many people that come to me for life coaching are feeling stagnant/stuck or overwhelmed, and they desire a large life change. The first thing that I like to do with anyone that is looking to make a major change is to analyze all aspects of their life and put a plan together making room for more joy. Implementing this plan with small steps may help to alleviate the need for a major life change and help the individual create better boundaries, balance and support in their current life situation. 


Making Room for More Joy

  • Analyze your current circumstances – there are some things that are going on in your life that are beyond your control. This may be a staff shortage at work, young children within your care, a parent with an illness, etc. 
  • Look at everything you have going on and eliminate those things that are unnecessary. For this I like to do the “What’s on your plate” exercise. 


What’s on Your Plate: Self Reflection

Step 1: On a piece of paper, draw a big circle that looks like a plate

Step 2: Write down all the things for which you’re responsible each day. 

  • Write the things that you currently prioritize inside of the plate. 
  • Write the things that don’t currently get prioritized in the space outside of the plate. 

Step 3: Circle the things/people you feel are taking up your time and energy. 

Step 4: Underline the things that nourish you. 


Take a look at what is circled and underlined. Do the two complement each other?


Complete a second round of this exercise, but this time…

Step 1: Circle the things that you want to dedicate your time and energy to.

Step 2: Add in things that can add into your day that can serve as a way to: 

  • Reset
  • Nourish yourself
  • Bring about happiness
  • Help to find peace


This exercise can help you identify areas in your life where you need more support and make a plan for implementing support. 


The Joy List

Make a “Joy List” and choose 3 things on this list to do regularly to nourish you and schedule them in your calendar. 



Life coaching can help you meet your goals and navigate life transitions with less stress.

You can work with our certified life coaches in person at The Happy Hour studio, or virtually from anywhere in the world.

Coaching Case Study: Feeling Confident in the Midst of Change

Client Profile: 

Clients that have visited me in a season of change are looking:

  • To feel more grounded and confident in their day to day life and upcoming decisions.
  • For strategies to take action towards what they are able to change.
  • To release tension around unchangeable circumstances. 


Key Elements of Success:


Understanding what you can control and what you can’t is a key element in making tactical steps forward and releasing ‘busy-ness’ of the mind. Creating a picture of what can and can not be addressed opens up the path to forward movement. 

The way forward can sometimes look like a very tall mountain to summit. I help clients look at the next closest step, creating a tangible and measurable goal for this week, and then the next. 


Progress, not perfection

Trying to predict or know every possible step tends to be the biggest barrier to starting the process. I help my clients dig into expectations. Expectations can be helpful in some ways (i.e. motivating, creates drive) but they also can quickly develop into perfectionism tendencies. Perfectionism shows up in many sneaky ways: comparison, lack of inspiration, or rigidity. I help my clients learn how to give themselves a break and lean into the process of progress.


Breakdown ‘What if?”

Fears hidden within ‘what ifs’ were causing my clients to feel ungrounded and unsure of themselves. This is because ‘what if’ is in the future, taking clients out of the present. I have worked with my clients to find practices that help connect in the present when they are feeling this uneasiness of ‘what ifs’.

I have also helped my clients to see that the “what ifs’ are valid ways that their consciousness was trying to protect them from the unknown. But, we were able to logically think through what they would do if the “what if” happened. 10/10 times, the client was able to see that the anticipation of change was worse than the actuality of going through it. We were able to uncover strengths that had helped them in the past get through seasons of change as well as think of new and better adapted strategies for the future. 



  • One of my clients was able to create a financial plan that set them up for success regardless of outside circumstances (changing economic conditions, increases in prices, changes in career)
  • Another of my clients was able to see with some clarity the beginning of the path that was starting to form in her career change. 
  • One of my clients was able to see that instead of needing to move to a new city or state, that she could try to reinvest time into herself, ultimately finding a path to contentment with herself versus needing big change to feel engaged in life. 




Life coaching can help you meet your goals and navigate life transitions with less stress.

You can work with our certified life coaches in person at The Happy Hour studio, or virtually from anywhere in the world.

Coaching Case Study: Navigating a Career Change

Client Profile:

In my experience, the clients that have made the greatest strides towards their goals come to me when they were:

  • Ready for a change. These clients were tired of trying to meet the expectations of everyone else and were finally ready to start listening to themselves. 
  • Ready to put in the hard work. I didn’t find or earn anyone their new job. All of the clients that have had success put in a lot of work and dedication.
  • Ready to take on responsibility for their past choices and future action. One of the best ways to avoid making the same mistakes is to take an honest inventory of what is working and what isn’t. 


Key Elements of Success:

Serenity in the midst of uncertainty

This is a key first step. It allowed for the client to take a beat, reflect, and actually understand what is and isn’t working for them. All of my clients have felt initial pressure to doom scroll job sites because it helps them feel like they are doing something. This is useful energy, but I helped clients learn how to direct this energy into efficient and positive momentum in the most aligned direction.  

When we have taken a step back, the clients that I have worked with are able to see the big picture. This is important because by doing this, my client’s have felt less immediate pressure to just pick the next thing that comes along, and they have become more decisive and confident in their next steps forward. Essentially they are being more present in their life. 


Manifesting their job

By talking through what clients want out of their next position, we were able to unlock a new perspective on the situation. See, the clients were then able to look at the job search in a totally different way, taking the blinders off and capturing the opportunity that was right there. Once they could see themselves in the role they were able to achieve it.

This strategy encourages networking and community and opens possibilities.

Most of these clients were only able to see themselves in one career because that was all they had known. By using transferable skills the client was able to see themselves as capable in many different career environments. 


Understanding their values

Through coaching, clients were able to understand that values have more to do with happiness and satisfaction at work than they imagined. Clients were able to discern where to categorize their values, finding fulfillment in many areas of their life. 

The clients have found a deeper connection to self, trust in themselves, and confidence in their decision. This brought about patience and not settling, ultimately, feeling comfortable in the unknown. 



80% of my clients have successfully transitioned through a career shift, finding more fulfillment, better boundaries, or the inspiration that they needed to start a personal project or side hustle. 




Life coaching can help you meet your goals and navigate life transitions with less stress.

You can work with our certified life coaches in person at The Happy Hour studio, or virtually from anywhere in the world.


From People Pleasing to Living Your Truth

As humans, it is natural for us to want to be liked. In early civilization, our ancestors had to fit into the “in group” to be safe and healthy. Historically, labels were an effective way to identify others as a friend vs. threat. Fast forward to modern times, and though we no longer rely on this approach for safety, many of us innately tend towards people pleasing behavior that may not be in line with our wants, needs, and truth. 


Why does this matter? Because when you move through life making decisions based on others’ thoughts and needs you may find yourself stuck, on autopilot, and not really knowing what makes you tick. If you feel this way, don’t fear. You are actually at an exciting point to explore and define who you are at your most authentic core. When you do this, you can begin making choices that align with what lights you up inside and ultimately live a more fulfilled life. How great does that sound?


Here’s how to start moving from people pleasing to living your truth: 


STEP 1: Find small moments throughout the day to mentally drop into the present

It’s nearly impossible to tune into your own wants and needs when your mind is focused on the future or dwelling on the past. It will probably feel a little forced at first, but over time, it will become second nature.  Remember, just like when you go to the gym, working on your mental game takes practice


Some exercises to help you drop in:

  • Tune into your five senses. Name 5 things you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2  things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste. 
  • Before you start your day, ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now” and “what do I need today?” Keep it simple, don’t overthink this. 
  • As you move throughout your day, notice things that you like in that moment.  This could be the color of something in nature as you’re on a walk,  or a song you hear while driving to work. The practice here is in slowing your mind down enough to notice what you like and how it feels to like something. 


STEP 2: Investigate Yourself

Let’s go a bit deeper and start asking the big, deep questions. Here’s the trick – do not overthink the answers to these questions. Practice answering them with what feels like truth, even if you don’t really know. Put your best foot first, and ask these questions time and time again. Your answers may change everyday, and that’s great…you’re evolving!


Ask yourself and journal any of the following:

  • What feels/felt good to me today?
  • What do I enjoy? (Pro tip: think back to when you were a kid)
  • Who am I?
  • What does freedom mean to me today?
  • What am I most proud of today?


After doing this consistently, are you starting to put together any themes or patterns? What are you curious about now? How will you follow that curiosity?


STEP 3: Amp up the feeling, turn down the thinking

We tend to overuse our thinking experience and underuse our feeling experience, but we can’t get to know ourselves unless we are aware of both our thoughts and feelings. When faced with a decision, we can use mindfulness to help us make the decision that is most aligned with what the present moment calls for. Remember, mindfulness means being in the present moment with kindness, wisdom and compassion. Here are some exercises to get you started:


  • Think about a small decision you need to make this week. Close your eyes and visualize yourself stepping up to this decision. Consider your first option, think about it, visualize it. Notice- are you feeling the decision anywhere in your body? (i.e. tension in shoulders, tightness in hips). What is your heart saying about this decision? What is your mind saying about this decision? Next, do the same thing for the second option. Now that you’ve considered your thinking and your feeling, which option will you choose? Practice this time and again. Start with small decisions and build up to bigger ones!


STEP 4: Practice and take the next best steps

When you start to consciously take account of what you’re feeling, what you want, what brings you joy, and actually pause to feel the joy, you will begin to make decisions that lead you towards joy instead of going on autopilot towards something you feel you “should” do because of external factors. 

Start small, practice, and take the next best step! 




Life Coaching Was The Lifeline I Didn’t Know I Needed

I’ve always been a strong believer in asking for help when life gets overwhelming. I’d sought out therapy when life threw me curveballs in the past, and it had really helped me process grief and the residual fear from a traumatic experience. But what happens when life isn’t overwhelming? What do you do when life is decidedly underwhelming?


A friend introduced me to The Happy Hour, and after speaking to them, they confirmed my suspicion that I wasn’t in need of therapy, but instead encouraged me to give life coaching a try. As a high achieving, driven, and organized person, I’d never thought life coaching could make a big difference to my life. Turns out I was wrong because life coaching was the lifeline I didn’t know I needed.


After grad school things didn’t turn out quite as planned… which seems to be par for the course for many millennials. I found myself overworked, uninspired and burnt out. So instead of diving back into the corporate world, I decided to do some freelance work while I figured out what was next for me. Freelance turned into starting my own business, and working reasonable hours with clients I felt passionate about. This shift left me more fulfilled in some ways but wasn’t without its tradeoffs. The corporate world can provide financial security, community, and a clear career trajectory. Entrepreneurship can lack all of those.


All that said, I was doing okay, my life just didn’t look how I’d planned. In many ways I felt like a failure, even though rationally I knew that wasn’t true. While I couldn’t put my finger on any one thing that was majorly wrong, nothing felt majorly right either. If you were to ask me how things were going, the most honest answer would have been “meh”.


3 ways life coaching was a game changer:



After my first session with my coach, I was in tears. WTF? That was not how I saw that going. She didn’t just listen to me, she heard me. This became apparent when she nudged me out of my comfort zone by challenging some of the stories I was telling her… and myself. I realized some of the things I was fixating on actually weren’t that big a deal, but that there were underlying limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that I wasn’t consciously aware of. 



After we spent some time diving into those limiting behaviors – why they were there, how much they were rooted in reality, and what we could do to move past them – she helped me map out an action plan. As a goal-oriented person this was right up my alley. She made sure my goals were incremental, attainable, and would serve me in the long run, rather than just being a temporary band-aid. 


We also allowed for flexibility in this plan. Sometimes the journey isn’t linear, no matter how much I want it to be. She coached me through learning to bend and pivot. I learned to accept that maybe the initial destination I defined was actually just a lesson on the way to something much bigger and much more aligned with who I am.



I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I don’t pre-book a gym class, or workout with a personal trainer, I’m much more likely to hit snooze when my alarm goes off at 5am than I am to get up and work out alone. I need that accountability. For some reason needing that same accountability when working on my life in general, my happiness, my fulfillment made me feel like a failure. (Remember those limiting beliefs I mentioned before? This was one of them.) 


I now know the only way I can fail myself is to be too proud to ask for someone to hold me accountable for taking action. It keeps me on track to my goals, and in the grand scheme of things, serves as a reminder to put myself first. When I put myself first, I’m a better business owner, and a better friend.


Did life coaching solve all my problems? Nope. It was never supposed to. What it did do was give me perspective, helped me define a new direction, and provided me with the skills I needed to take things in my stride without being so hard on myself.

It also made me realize some of the things I thought were problems, weren’t problems at all. Coaching helped me to establish clear boundaries (in life and work), and to rebuild the confidence that I’d lost- which has made me happier and more fun to be around. As a whole, I now feel like I’m in a place of flow. And when I next feel stuck, I know my life coach will be there to help me navigate my way back to peace again.


This guest blog was written by one of The Happy Hour’s coaching clients who has requested to remain anonymous.

Curious about what life coaching could do for you?

Give the studio a call at 615-953-3934 to learn more, or read about our certified life coaches here.

Ready to transform your life?


Three Unconventional Dating Tips

If you find yourself on a carousel of stagnant nights out, repeated conversations,  and uninspired dating, you aren’t alone. Dating in itself requires trust, stepping out of your routine, and opening up to a stranger. These factors alone can cause many of us to remain within self imposed, invisible boundaries that: 

  1. We don’t recognize as being present
  2. Cause our dating life to feel like Groundhog Day


If you would like to reignite your dating life, think about trying these three unconventional dating tips:


1. Date outside of your type

This might be one of the reasons that you feel like you are having the same conversations, dates, and results over and over again. When only dating within “your type” you aren’t giving yourself the benefit of being surprised. Dating within your type is a safe option– you know what you are going to get and you can, with some level of accuracy, predict how the date is going to go. If you are someone who likes control, this can seem very appealing. But, I’d argue that you might not know yourself as well as you think you do. You may find something that attracts you, a certain hair color or job or interest, and, without meaning to, you find yourself drawn to it again and again. But if your type is too specific, you may just be setting yourself up for making the same relationship mistakes again and again. 


Examples: That “mysterious” type you like may actually be emotionally unavailable or avoidant (an insecure attachment style). Maybe you love someone who has a high-powered job but then you constantly get annoyed at the amount of hours they work or that they prioritize work over you.


Over and over again I hear couples that have gone the distance say, “I never expected I would end up with __________”. So go ahead and swipe right, say yes to someone you might typically not, challenge yourself to step outside of your type… you might be pleasantly surprised.


2. If it’s not a 10 feeling, that’s OK!

But Claire, I want to feel on fire after my first date! I want to be swept off my feet and crazy about someone. Don’t you believe in ‘love at first sight?’ 


While love at first sight sounds fun, starting out at a 10 doesn’t really give you anywhere to go but down. Also, a 10 feeling seems like an awful lot of pressure for both you and the stranger you just met. Yes, I said that, STRANGER. 10’s in my experience are a red flag. Remember: you just met this person. Here is a quote from Esther Parel that I love:


What determines the success or disappointment of a first date has less to do with an immediate spark and more to do with creating the right conditions for turning that spark into a lingering flame that leaves us burning to experience more. We seek to maximize the efficiency of our dates, to get through them so we can skip right to the cost-benefit analysis. But our hyperfocus on being productive can cause us to miss the rich tapestry of what makes a person unique, compelling, or even a surprisingly good match. Just because someone doesn’t check all of our boxes, doesn’t mean they don’t have something to offer that we’ve never thought of before.


3. Go on dates

Duh Claire, I know. But listen– you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Read that again. The only way to get better at dating is to go on dates. This complements tip #1. If you are saying yes to more people, more opportunities, more dates, then you are more likely to find someone who you would want to get serious with. Here is the key though, learn to set boundaries around your expectations. This is the key to unbothered dating. Unbothered dating is when you don’t take it personally if the person doesn’t call you back or if the flame fizzles out. Refer back to tip #2. Remember: if a person ghosts you, it says more about their ability to be honest, open, and communicate than it does about you. In the end you will go on the date with “the person”, and that person will be the last one you ever date. But you will miss that person if you don’t get out there.


How do you start? I would suggest looking up events in your city. Find what interests you and put it in your calendar. Make a plan to go. If you are bringing along a friend, let them know that you are interested in meeting someone. Having a wingman always makes new situations easier. If you are talking to someone online through a dating app, use one of these events to meet up with them. That way if they are a dud, at least you were doing something that interested you. This can also give you a good idea as to whether you have complimentary interests, or how the person acts when they aren’t as interested in something. This can give you a great idea if they could be a supportive partner. 


Bonus dating tip:

Try your best to look at dating as an opportunity to have fun, meet new people, try new places in your city, and have new experiences. Even a bad date makes for one heck of a story. Personally, I have met some of my closest friends through someone I dated. The relationship never took off with him, but the connections that I made from the experience have far outlasted him. Having the outlook that this is a fun and exciting time to take chances, learn, and grow will serve you much better than taking on the pressure to find ‘the one’ each time you go on a date. 



Learn How to Rock Relationships

Starts June 1st


In this 6-part workshop series led by Claire Price, CHC, you will gain the tools you need to look for someone with compatible values, without abandoning yourself in the process. We will encourage you to create a fulfilling life on your own before inviting someone else in, and empower you to know your worth when you do.

Amy Jackson, LCSW-MPH will help you identify your specific attachment style and what that means for getting back into the dating pool. Finally you will learn resiliency and how to be ‘unbothered’, which will prove to be one of your greatest strengths!