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.


What is EMDR?

You know when you feel like you have done a lot of work on yourself; you’ve spent hours in therapy, read all the self-help books on the shelf and whatever else to care for yourself and still do not feel quite right? There can be more layers to discover and process through. These unhealed wounds or negative self-beliefs keep us stuck in old ways of living. EMDR is a helpful tool to work through some of those deeply rooted issues.


EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is a form of trauma therapy that allows for us to find freedom from old thinking patterns that are not particularly helpful to us. At one point, they may have served or protected us, but now, they are preventing us from succeeding in certain areas of life. Therapy and EMDR enable us to examine where we sabotage, disconnect from, and disable ourselves. It shows us where we hold ourselves back and promotes new pathways of thinking where we can be more mindful and present in the world.


EMDR is an eight-phase treatment.

Here’s what you can expect during EMDR therapy:


Phase 1: History and Treatment Planning

Your therapist will determine if you’re a good fit for EMDR, and help you identify which traumas you will focus on.


Phase 2: Preparation

Your therapist will ensure you’re able to handle emotional distress and may teach you a variety of mindfulness and stress management techniques that you can use during the session, but also going forward in your life.


Phases 3-6: Assessment, Desensitization, Installation, and Body Scan

This is when you process the target memory or trauma using bi-lateral stimulation including eye movements, taps and tones. Your therapist will talk you through visualizing the memory, feeling the negative and/or positive beliefs attached to it, as well as any emotions that arise or sensations present in your body.


Phase 7: Closure

Here comes your homework! Your therapist will ask you to keep a journal of any feelings related to the processed memory that come up after your session, and will encourage you to use the stress management skills you learned in phase two. It can be helpful to note which stress-management skills worked for you!


Phase 8: Reevaluation

Your next session with your therapist will begin with a discussion of your journal, and assessing the progress made so far.


If you are wondering where exactly to start, consider therapy as a great place to start. Therapy is the door to start recognizing ways in which you are impacted each day. From your thinking to your emotions and your actions, you can name changes that are needed to gain awareness and accommodate what you’ve learned. Then, if your therapist suggests EMDR, this would be a secondary gain to your mental wellness. It’s that longed for and awaited health you have wanted. You are worth investing in yourself.

Podcasts We Love

We don’t mean to brag, but here at The Happy Hour, we consider ourselves podcast connoisseurs. Sure — many of the hours we’ve spent listening to podcast episodes are a scary amount of Brené Brown, but can you blame us? We love that podcasts give us the ability to escape the busy world around us, while also allowing us to learn more about ourselves, our emotions, how to communicate with others, or any other niche subject that may pique our interest. 


We asked the team to share some of their favorite podcast episodes and what they love about them. Check them out and give one (or a few) a listen! 




Andrew Huberman by by Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

I am a certified Armchair Expert fanatic (better known as an ‘arm-chairee’). I love it for many reasons, but mostly because it celebrates the messiness of being human. Dax and Monica bring so much honesty, vulnerability, and humor all while really getting to the root of their guests. I always learn something. In this episode, you’ll learn all about neuroscience and how it is related to mental wellness. They also discuss hormones, which is a hot topic that I knew little about. I’d give it an A+ for informational and interesting.


Brené with Abby Wambach on the New Rules of Leadership by Brené Brown

This interview blew my socks off. There are so many amazing lessons for females at any age to learn from this podcast. The one thing that this podcast made me realize is that I have been really conditioned to be competitive with other females. This has led me on a mission to become more uplifting and be for each other. Abby also taught me to lean into the strength of my voice.




FUN: What the hell is it and why do we need it? by We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle

It is no secret to anyone who has spoken to me for 5 minutes — Glennon is my hero! But I also greatly admire her sister, Amanda, and her wife, Abby Wombach, who also appear on their podcast, We Can Do Hard Things. In this episode, Abby hijacks the topic and changes it to “fun” at the last minute to help Glennon and Amanda practice spontaneity. Spoiler alert: this is not their strong suit. Abby reminds us that it’s okay to forget productivity and embrace fun every now and then, and that rest is not the same thing as fun – we need both! They discuss their different approaches to, and opinions of what is fun. I used to get disappointed if I wasn’t immediately excelling at a hobby because at the heart of it, I was still seeking the same feeling of accomplishment and success that I get from work. Since listening to this podcast, I’ve adopted many of my own modes of fun — running, cooking, reading, playing Scrabble and inevitably losing to my partner – and they make me happy even when I’m not the best at them. Give this episode a listen and try to find your fun, it’s worth it!


Telling the Truth of Who We Are with Luvvie Ajayi Jones by We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle

We Can Do Hard Things at it again! Before this episode, I had never heard of Luvvie Ajayi Jones, but after listening I immediately followed her on social media and added all of her books to my “To Read” list – so you could say I’m a fan. Luvvie is an author, a speaker, and hosts a podcast of her own, Professional Troublemaker. Not only did Luvvie make me laugh out loud while listening to this episode, but she also taught me a lot about what my values are and how to go into hard conversations with loved ones with confidence and grace. Luvvie has a profound take on judging people, claiming that we’re judging people for the wrong things. Rather than judging people by what they look like, who they love, or what they believe, we should be judging each other on how to be better human beings. I love this take because it pushes me to not only better myself, but also challenge those around me to be better.




Brené with Dolly Parton on Songtelling, Empathy, and Shining Our Lights with Unlocking Us by Brené Brown

What’s not to love about this podcast?! It involves 3 of my favorite things: Vulnerability, Empathy, and Dolly Parton! The conversation between Brené and Dolly highlights the beauty and necessity of empathy and the importance of talking about the tough experiences humans go through. Dolly tackles a lot of tough topics in her music (suicide, teen pregnancy, misogyny, domestic violence), and the songs were available at a time when many people suffered in silence. Brené ties in her work on empathy, leadership,and vulnerability, and the result is worth a listen. Brené discusses the importance of acknowledging and not hiding from others’ pain, and Dolly emphasizes how turning towards others’ pain (whether it be through songwriting or donating), has been an important driver in her life. Their bravery and commitment to empathy is inspiring!


Anti-Fat Bias by Maintenance Phase

I love all of the episodes of Maintenance Phase because they are so thoroughly researched and thought-provoking, and this one about fat biases is particularly eye-opening. The hosts discuss how deeply embedded our fat phobias and bias are, and the work society needs to do to be inclusive to everyone’s bodies.  If you are interested in learning more about the diet industry and how nutrition myths came to be, I recommend listening to the whole series! 




5 Strong Ways to Finish Regular by Emily P. Freeman

Find Life After the Death of A Dream with Scott Erickson by Emily P. Freeman

Emily’s podcast is for those that struggle with decision making or just have decision fatigue, in general. The episodes are traditionally 15 minutes or less, and they just feel like a friend giving you a hug! It does have a spiritual component to it, but I feel like this podcast creates space for anyone to take a moment to themselves, process what they’re thinking about ATM, and helps you decide on your next right things with self-compassion and love. 5 Strong Ways to Finish Regular was just what I needed at the end of a long freaking year. And I feel like it applies to life in general! And I also loved Find Life After the Death of A Dream with Scott Erickson!




Alicia Keys and Brené Brown on More Myself by Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

It’s no secret that I love Brené’s work, and this episode of her podcast is no exception. It’s a deep dive into authenticity, full of powerful one-liners and provides what feels like non-stop inspiration. Alicia opens up about how the pressure put on her by the music industry forced her to start paying attention to her mental health. So many of us can relate to the feeling of putting our mental wellness on the back burner, or putting others’ needs before our own. Alicia encourages us to put ourselves first and ask ourselves, “What do you get out of this?” – without the guilt.




The Michelle Obama Podcast

In the past I’ve gravitated towards other forms of listening, learning and enlightening, but hearing how powerful and varied the content in podcasts is, I’m looking forward to introducing myself to the podcast revolution with Michelle Obama’s podcast. I really enjoy her story — growing up on the South Side of Chicago, the culture of family that migrated from the South, being a scholar, a counterpart of law and political policies, and her genuine connectedness.  I love hearing her opinions, experiences and why’s. I didn’t read the book, it wasn’t quite the experience I was looking for, this is it. I can’t wait!







Beat the Winter Blues

Like many of you, some of us at the Happy Hour have been on the struggle bus since the clocks fell back. So we decided to pool our team’s best tips for coping with the winter months and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).




I’ve been leaning into seasonal and circadian rhythms more in recent years. Instead of dreading or fighting the seasons or times of days I usually struggle with, I’ve chosen to lean into their unique energies and adopt an attitude of flow. For a recovering control freak, ‘flow’ is an ongoing challenge, but accepting that I can’t change the weather is probably a good place to start!  


Full disclosure, I LOVE winter, and the shorter days don’t bother me, but maybe that’s because I love the coziness of it all. (Summer and I, however, are still working on our relationship.) My best advice for those struggling with the colder, darker months would be to embrace the magic that is hygge


I know my enthusiasm for winter puts me in the minority, so don’t just take it from me. Here are some science-backed tips to beat those winter blues…



One of the biggest causes of seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues is the lack of natural light, especially first thing in the morning. Starting your day with light helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, assisting with the timing of various hormonal activities in the body. If you wake up before sunrise, or if it’s a particularly gloomy day, make sure you let as much light into your space as possible, move your desk closer to a window, or turn on the lights. 



Think back to those days in summer when you wanted to take a walk on your lunch break, but didn’t because it was just too hot and humid and you didn’t want to return to the office all sweaty. Now’s your chance! Wrap yourself in a cozy scarf, grab a warm cup of coffee and get your blood pumping and soak up as much daylight as possible.



It can be easy to adopt hibernation as your M.O. in winter, but staying active is a great way to keep those feel good hormones flowing. Feeling extra chilly? Hot yoga might become your new favorite winter hobby!



Shift your mindset on comfort food – it doesn’t have to be a big greasy pizza and a pint of rocky road. Broth-based soups, stews and tagines are nutrient dense, healthy and really comforting on a cold day. And just because it’s not hot outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t dehydrate – so don’t forget to drink lots of water. If you don’t enjoy cold drinks in winter, try room temperature water with some sugar-free electrolytes, hot water and lemon, or explore some new herbal teas.



Spending time with friends can lift your spirits. Plan dinners at each others’ homes, or look out for some fun workshops to inject a little variety into your social life. Shameless plug: The Happy Hour has some really great events planned for the winter months. Check them out here.




This is something I struggle with every year, so much so that when summer ends I begin to dread winter. With two kids under 5 in the house, finding indoor activities can be tough and I really try not to rely too much on the TV (but hey, I’m only human). However, all the moms with kids under two, I am here to tell you it gets better. This is the first year since having kids that I have gained some independence back because at 2 and 4 the kiddos can entertain each other more with a game, blocks, whatever. 


So, here’s what I like to do to lean into the dark winter days – cook something new and eat earlier so that I’m fed before the kids go to bed. Putting on a podcast, lighting a candle that I love, and cooking up a meal, (while keeping a distant eye on the kids in the adjoining room) gives me a nice chance to wind down earlier than normal. Once the kids are asleep, I’ll tune into a book or a TV show and go to bed early. Oooh how glorious it is to go to bed early. I’m still easing into the waking up earlier part, but I’m looking forward to shifting my wake up time a little earlier to give myself a little more me-time before the chaos breaks loose.


If you’re a mom, and you’re struggling to juggle the snow days, school closures, and the 5,000 other things on your plate, know you’re not alone. Give yourself grace to let some things slide. Experiencing life through the eyes of a mom can feel lonely and overwhelming, so we’ve created 2 new Moms Groups, starting January 27th, to give you some extra support and connection with fellow moms. These groups will be meeting in-person, but you also have the option to join virtually. Save your spot here.




I’ve also totally been embracing the hygge! I usually really struggle with daylight savings, but this year I’ve been throwing myself into the holiday festivities early and welcoming the cozy with open arms. It’s been super helpful for me to wake up earlier than normal and make a production out of my breakfast and morning coffee. I always make sure to have a candle lit and some twinkly lights on, and I’ve been indulging in fun things like hot chocolate, face masks, and a new pair of slippers. I think for the first time ever, I may be enjoying the days ending sooner and the relaxation beginning earlier! It doesn’t always have to be go, go, go, and I’m finding that I am kinder to myself when it’s more socially acceptable to stay in and enjoy a good holiday movie or book. 




Honestly, I wear black on the first day of fall because I am mourning the end of summer. Winter has many displeasures like dry heat, being way too cold outside and too warm inside, ice, and a general lack of things to do outside. Also, If you work late like me, by the time you get off at 7:30, it feels as though half of your work day has been in the dark. I am here to say that it is ok if you hate winter and you just survive it with dreams of warmer months. The things that get me through the winter are bonfires, facials (dry skin ughhhh), fun holiday drinks and food, and many, many get-togethers with friends. My biggest suggestion is to be more like a bird and fly south! Plan a trip somewhere warm mid-winter and plan to have your toes in the sand and a fruity bevvy in your hand! This little reset will give you the willpower to make it the rest of the way. For those of us who just gotta slog through it, celebrate on Dec. 21st (winter solstice) because it starts getting lighter from that point on!


Feel like the blues are venturing into SAD territory?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to show up during the colder months. If you need to talk, our licensed therapists and certified life coaches are here for you. Click here to learn more.


Time to Downshift

Resting and resetting. Two simple words that contain a lot of power. However, if you’re like me, finding the space to allow yourself to decompress, relax, reset, and downshift doesn’t come easy. I’ve been asking myself why this is. I often question myself on permitting the downtime, because I have so many other things I “should” be doing. Getting more work done I couldn’t get to, reading the four books on my nightstand, visiting friends and checking out the latest new restaurant, I mean the list can go on and on. 


More often than not, I’m not permitting myself the opportunities to just be quiet and relax. The go, go, go our society prides itself on always wins, but then I wonder why I’m so tired, burnt out, overwhelmed, and scattered all the time. The question I pose to you, and myself is: “why?” What are the benefits of running full speed ahead at all times? What feelings come up when you’re debating to give yourself a break or do something? Why aren’t you permitting yourself this time to recuperate from your busy life? Take the opportunity to grab your journal and think through these questions. See what is coming up and what nuggets of information can help enlighten you on your ‘why.’ Allowing yourself rest and relaxation without guilt takes a little bit of practice. There is no shame if you are a little rusty at this. Furthermore, what downshifting  means for you may look different from another person.Here are some tips on how to begin your journey to mindful rest and relaxation.


Find what relaxation means to you

Remember that relaxation is not about the activity, but the outcome of that activity. Pay attention to your hobbies, physical activities, self-care practices, and how you feel after doing them. If you feel stable and easy, then it may be something to add to your list as a way to reset..

Be intentional

Ask yourself what you hope to get out of your relaxation time each time you do it. Ask yourself questions such as…Do I need to step back  from stressors at work or home? Do I need to feel refreshed and ready to be present in my life? Do I need to feel soothed and comforted? Once you determine what you need, you can choose the right activity and define the boundaries to put in place in order to make it happen.

Manage emotions and negative self-talk

If your mind isn’t on board with resting, it’s going to be more difficult to downshift. Find skills and tools that can help put you in a mindset to relax. Depending on the emotions – which can range from frustration, sadness, guilt, anxiety  – try leveraging tools such as journaling, self-compassion exercises, meditation, reframing, and/or grounding exercises to help you move through them and put you at ease for downshifting. 

Set clear expectations

We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform in every aspect of our lives, even when resting. Many times we have the notion that if we just relax, we will be magically restored from the stressors of life. Being realistic about resting is understanding that relaxation isn’t the absence of stress but creating moments when you are putting stressors on hold so you can take a break from what’s on your plate.

You deserve rest

Many of us use resting as a reward from accomplishing all our to-dos. Thinking that rest is something to be earned can end up making us feel we don’t deserve it if we don’t complete our tasks. Remember, our bodies and brains need downtime, and rest is a necessity. In fact, those who regularly take mindful rest breaks tend to also be higher achievers than those who allow themselves to burn out.


As we head into a season that supports going inward with its shorter light days and colder temperatures, challenge yourself and lean in to finding more moments during the week for resetting and relaxing.



If you’re interested in working with Erin you can book private or duo coaching sessions with her here.

Dating: Here is Your Course Correction

“Maybe I am just bad at dating” — Ever thought this about yourself? I think we all have at one time or another, but I am here to tell you: YOU ARE NOT BAD AT DATING. Ok, maybe if you have never, ever, once been interested in going on a date and you’ve self isolated in the swiss alps, dating might not be your thing, but then you are likely not reading this blog. So if you are still with me, then congrats! You have what it takes.


By viewing dating as something we pass or fail at, you aren’t opening yourself up to the reality of how complex and messy human relationships actually are. Are you still grading yourself on dating by how many dates you’ve gone on in the past few months, how attractive or successful the other person was, or by how many matches you have on your dating app? Most of our metrics for dating success exist outside of ourselves. How has that worked out for you?


What if you could course correct to finding genuine happiness in yourself, a confidence and sense of contentment that attracts the person that is ready and right for you? (Wouldn’t that be nice?) Well that starts with learning about yourself and loving who that person is. Do you know what your real values are? Do you understand your attachment style and how it shows up in dating and relationships? Can you recognize your blind spots and your patterns? All this matters, because if you don’t understand and know who you are, you are likely to use the other person to fill in the gaps, leading you to abandon yourself, get attached too quickly or find yourself in an unhealthy relationship because you ignored the red flags. Think about it, do you really want to become a Brad Pitt character and start morphing into all the people that you date?

Source: Bored Panda


(btw your hair looks great as it is, don’t change it)


A relationship shouldn’t be two ‘halves’ coming together to make a ‘whole’. It should be two “wholes” coming together to share happiness.

Nadalie Bardo 


And if you look at dating as a chore, or if every first date is the ‘first day of the rest of your lives’ then maybe you could evolve your outlook. Here is how you become rejection proof: change how you approach dating. Dating can be as simple as two strangers who are no longer trying to be strangers anymore. Personally, when I changed my outlook from ‘I need to find my soulmate’ to ‘I’d just like to meet some new people in town, hopefully make some new friends’ then things got SO MUCH EASIER. It was a successful transition for me, could it be for you?


Lastly, what avenues are you looking at? Are you only on the online dating scene? What are you interested in? Yes, that matters, because involving yourself in activities and events that you enjoy can have some major payoff. One, you are giving yourself the gift of something that brings you joy, two, it yields more chances for meeting someone with similar interests. It might sound scary to join an intramural sports team, or sign up for a class, or volunteer for an event, but you will never know if you don’t try. I dare even say that maybe taking a break entirely from dating may be the right course for you? 


I would like to help you more with this but honestly there is too much to cover in this one blog. But good news, we have 6 sessions dedicated to learning and talking about all this* with your dream team, Amy and I. Listen, I know that signing up for a dating course can seem embarrassing or intimidating, but think about it like this: what you learn in a course like this doesn’t have to just apply to dating. You can apply this information to improving all the relationships in your life. I know that dating can feel like swimming upstream, but I sincerely hope that after this course, it will feel like floating down a lazy river with an umbrella drink in your hand. 


*Course is completed – check out our events page to see what else is coming up.

How Energy Work Complements Mental Well-Being

I must admit, I am lifted up by the awareness and open communication around mental well-being that is happening in our world today.  I grew up in a time when talking to a therapist was very ‘hush-hush’ and not at all a topic of conversation that was openly discussed.  As someone who has worked with therapists on and off during my lifetime and loves to figure out my inner workings, this acceptance has been a complete game-changer.  


The fact of the matter is our mental health controls a lot of how we view the world.  And it controls how we move through it. It is a complex creature and not something we all together understand. Nevertheless, the simple presence of bringing more awareness to mental wellness bridges the gap between the stigma and the acceptance.  


I say all of this because I find it to be important to your overall health. The mental element is the key to unlocking some of your greatest desires. It also can be the key to unlocking some of your set-backs. What I have found to be true is that I am not my thoughts.  This took me a long time to understand and unload.  And I still get caught up in my thoughts daily.  Yet, I now have a better understanding that I CAN’T control my thoughts.  What I can do is recognize when I am thinking and I have the capacity to determine if the thought is in fact true for me or not.  This is my understanding and definition of mindfulness.


I had to set the stage so you can understand why I find mental well being so important and why it is at the forefront of the work I do.  Energy work, in simplest terms, is tuning into movement in the body.  Per my previous blog post, all forms of energy are associated with motion, and we are continuously moving.  Take your thoughts, which are also constantly moving. Now I know, there isn’t science to back the claim that thoughts are energy but, if you understand the basic definition of energy, then you can relate it to thinking. 


As you have read this blog, you might have found yourself thinking about what you are going to make for dinner tonight, or if you remembered to lock your front door, or when will she get to point.  If you can relate, then the mind was not still, it was moving from one thought to the next. 




How does energy work support mental well-being?  The simplest way is by helping you to relax. I work with the energy moving in your body to tune into your parasympathetic nervous system, which is rest and digest.  Once your nervous system starts to respond, the body and the mind follow suit. The more you tune in and practice relaxation, the more the body remembers and the mind calms. It’s almost like you are training your brain. The muscle memory (so to speak) will help you when stressful and anxiety provoking situations arise. It is simple and powerful.


This is why I love the work. It is so subtle and has the capacity to change your life. 






If you’re interested in working with Kim, you can book Energy Work sessions with her here.


What is Energy Work?

What is energy work? Okay, bear with me here as I am going to explain it to you.  And I know, I know…there is some stigma around it falling under the “woo-woo” category.  Believe me, I get it.  Yet there is some explanation behind it that can support how it works. 


So let’s start with the basics. What is energy? According to (the Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica), energy, in physics, is the capacity for doing work. All forms of energy are associated with motion. And once energy moves it will change from one form to another.  


Here’s an example: imagine an apple on a tree.  The apple falls from the tree onto the ground.  The energy from the apple falling from the tree to where it lands is energy moving. Each has an effect on one another. The energy changes from one form to another.  


Some well-known forms of transferring energy are solar energy, wind power, nuclear fusion, electromagnetism and energy conversion. Still with me?  


One more important thing to note: energy can neither be created nor destroyed but only change from one form to another. 


Okay, simple enough to understand. Yes? Very good.


Another form of physics is quantum physics, which is the physics to explain how everything works. Breaking that down a little more, explains how atoms work. Atoms are the basic building block of all matter.  And matter is everything.  You, me, your phone, the chair you are sitting on, your lunch, etc. Quantum physics shows how one atom can affect another atom.


We are made of matter, right.  And our bodies are constantly changing and moving, even without us doing anything (think of your heart), right.  So then energy work supports the movement of matter in your body. 


How does this relate to energy therapy?  The energy in our body might not be functioning properly due to various factors, which can stem from the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.  When I work with you, I work with the energy in your body that is out of balance to help restore it, or at least give it a boost so the body can move more efficiently.  And this can show up in a variety of ways depending on what you and your body may need.  


See…not so woo-woo after all!


Let me give you a basic idea of how an energy session works.  You and I will have a brief discussion so I can get an understanding of how you are feeling in your body.  We will then set an intention for our time together. You will then move to my massage table, fully clothed, and I will use my hands to administer techniques to help restore the flow of energy in the body through light touch or touch over the body.  It is different from massage because I am not manipulating any tissue. Your job is to relax. Most people will go to a meditative state similar to right before you fall asleep or fall asleep, which is welcomed. I then bring you back, we briefly chat to see if anything has shifted (it usually does), and then I send you on your way.  Easy Peasey. 


The beautiful part of this work is that energy is smart and it goes where it is most needed. Starting in October I will be at The Happy Hour on Wednesdays and Saturdays and would love to show you how energy work can be a support for you. 





Book an Energy Work session with Kim


A Journey to Finding Purpose through the Lens of Blue Zones

Have you ever been at a crossroads with life? Stuck knowing your current situation  is no longer working for you, but having no idea where to go or what to do next? If so, you’re like me, or at least me about six years ago. Driving home from work, sitting at a stoplight, it hit me… I’m not happy. My career felt at a standstill, my love life non-existent, and the things that usually brought me fulfillment were just not that interesting anymore. That moment of realizing what wasn’t working felt like a relief and at the same time terrifying, because now it meant I should do something about it. I allowed myself some time to process and ran away… or just took a solo vacation to the mountains where I was able to be in nature, exploring new terrains, and doing the uncomfortable thing at times, being with me and my thoughts.


During my solo vacation, I allowed myself to think about what I wanted and what I could control in the moment. With this new insight, I sought out volunteer opportunities that connected me with what I enjoyed and felt was meaningful. I gave myself permission to apply to a new job. My new job was at Blue Zones Project, a well-being improvement initiative around transforming environments to make healthier choices easier. Blue Zones Project is based on the studies of  National Geographic explorer, Dan Buettener, who found where people lived the longest and the healthiest. He found that these five longevity hot spots (Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California) had nine common lifestyle habits. These lifestyle traits (called the Blue Zones Power 9) consisted of: Moving Naturally, Purpose, Downshift, 80% Rule, Plant Slant, Wine at 5, Right Tribe, Loved Ones First, and Belong.


As you can imagine, being engrossed in this work is going to rub off on you. All of the Blue Zones Power 9 resonated with me in some capacity and made sense. Of course moving naturally and eating wisely would improve someone’s health and longevity, but it was the other Power 9 that got me thinking. How were these other traits showing up in my life? Is there an opportunity to improve these and bring more fulfillment to my life?


I started exploring my relationships and how I connected with my family and friends. I’ve always had strong relationships, not being the perfect daughter, sister, friend, or colleague at times, but doing my best to show up and be present with those I cared most about. I had curated a strong network of people over the years that encouraged, supported, challenged me and had nicely weeded out those who were toxic and not adding value to my life. Take a look at your connections and do an evaluation of those you spend time with. Ask yourself who isn’t on this list that should be? Are they adding value or draining me? What are meaningful ways I can foster those relationships that mean something to me?


Next I looked at how I downshifted. We live in a world that is full of distractions, being pulled in multiple directions, one-upping each other with how busy we are. Sometimes it’s exhausting just thinking about how exhausting all of it really is. But is that how life should be? Being acknowledged for how well you deal with stress or manage the chaos that is life? Over the years, I’ve done work to figure out ways to take a step back and be present. It’s ranged from finding peace and healing being in nature, practicing yoga on a regular basis, quieting my mind with meditation, affirmations, the occasional happy hour, and naps, definitely naps! This doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed at times, it just means I’ve found the right tools and resources to cope when life gets hard. Also, the recharge I get when I give myself permission to take a step back, downshift, and relax has been so much more rewarding than getting a gold medal in the stressful life race. If you’re finding yourself unable to give yourself at least five minutes a day to rest and reset then it’s time for you to uncover what downshifting means to you. Pay attention to the moments and circumstances when you feel calm, relaxed, and content. What are you doing? If these moments aren’t as frequent for you to recognize, then try visualizing which activities or techniques would support you in taking those quiet moments and being present in life. Challenge yourself to do these at least once a day until the day when you don’t do them isn’t even an option.


The last Power 9, for me, has been the most important on my journey because it’s led me to be writing to you today: purpose. How many times have you asked yourself, “What am I here to be or do”? Purpose seems like such a big word and defining it seemed so overwhelming, yet important. I had an inflection point, sitting on my couch one evening watching a Hallmark movie about a therapist and her love life (I’ll hold off on the love life blog for another day!). Weirdly enough, I had an epiphany watching the therapist work with clients, why couldn’t I do that? I’d always been the person who people came to to talk things out with, ask for advice, or troubleshoot issues and opportunities. Was this thing that always came naturally to me, that I enjoyed and felt passionately about, the answer to my purpose question? It was.


After research and reflection, therapy wasn’t my answer but coaching was. I came to understand my gift of connecting with people gave me the opportunity to help them be successful on their life journey, in whatever capacity it may be. Connecting with my purpose has become the motivating force behind what I do and has helped me tap into a source of energy and potential I didn’t know I had. If you struggle to answer the question, “why do I wake up in the morning?,” I encourage you to begin the process of discovering your purpose. Unlocking your purpose may not happen watching a Hallmark movie, or overnight. It may take weeks, months or even years of self-discovery, and that’s okay.


Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company, has spent decades creating tools and resources to support individuals discover their purpose. For everyone on their purpose path, he encourages you to begin spending time to understand yourself by asking questions such as what are my gifts, what are my passions and what are my values. I encourage you to take the time to reflect and journal on these because you never know where your answers may lead you!


This was my journey to finding purpose, but we all have our own and there are many paths to take to lead us to the answers we are searching for. Most important thing to remember is there is no right or wrong path, just movement forward!


If you’re interested in working with Erin you can book private or duo coaching sessions with her here.

Books We Love

It’s no secret that at The Happy Hour, we love books. Books can offer enlightenment, challenge and escape– often all at the same time. The quiet time alone with a book allows us to dive deeper in our understanding of self and our understanding of the world around us.


We asked our team to share their favorite books, and their recommendations run from fiction, to non-fiction, to memoir, to poetry. Enjoy!




The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo (4.10/5 stars on

Reading the daily excerpts from this book has become a staple in my spiritual practice. Nepo’s beautifully written accounts of his journey to spiritual awakening through a traumatic childhood, relationships, a divorce, and even cancer help to shift perspective on what truly matters. It has become my favorite way to start the day, as it’s always a reminder to believe that you are on the path that’s meant for you, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. His words are a gift in helping you come back to yourself, leaning into who you are at your core. 


I like to pick a random page, trusting that the message for that day is what I’m meant to hear on a given day. Nepo ends each excerpt with a meditation or grounding exercise, which are just the icing on the cake. It’s also the perfect thought starter for a great journal sesh. Not to mention it is an amazing way to squeeze in self care for people who want to read one page a day!


Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved my Life by Christie Tate (3.79/5 stars on

This is a non-fiction that is filled with so much drama and emotional ups and downs, and quirky laugh-out-loud moments that it reads like fiction. Group follows the mental health and personal growth journey of author Christie Tate, particularly her years she spends finding the support of an unconventional therapist and a circle of strangers who become her lifelines. It is a wild ride of relationships, imposter syndrome and self-discovery wrapped up in one, that contains a lot of gems you might find in a self-help book. 


I released a secret, not caring who in my family might abandon me, because I finally understood that keeping the secret was an act of abandoning myself.




Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (3.98/5 stars on

Chuck Palahniuk’s writing is an acquired taste and definitely not for the faint of heart (he’s the guy who wrote Fight Club). That being said, I find his books are far less about the shocking, often violent and/or risqué events that take place, and more about the character progression and how those characters make you feel. The shock value and dark humor cuts through the noise like a gut-punch– making you question your beliefs, as well as societal and cultural norms. Without giving too much away, Invisible Monsters is about a newly disfigured beauty queen and how she learns from a transgender friend to reinvent herself. The book follows a disorienting, non-linear storyline exploring the underbelly of society’s obsession with beauty, how trauma can shape our identities or make us run from them, and the power of embracing your shadows and mistakes on your way to authenticity. I can’t say this is necessarily the most enjoyable book I’ve ever read, that title goes to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (if you haven’t read Crawdads yet, RUN to your nearest bookstore! 4.46/5 stars on, but Invisible Monsters is by far the most impactful book I’ve ever read.


Trigger warning: This book contains descriptions of violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, strong languauge.


If you’re not a fan of dark, shocking stories with a lot of plot twists, this book probably isn’t for you. Instead, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite (paraphrased) quotes from the book:


Don’t you see? Because we’re so trained to do life the right way. To not make mistakes. I figure the bigger the mistake looks, the better the chance I’ll have to break out and live a real life. Like Christopher Columbus sailing toward disaster at the edge of the world. Like Fleming and his bread mold. Our real discoveries come from chaos. From going to a place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.




Inward by Yung Pueblo (4.30/5 Stars on

When my mind is feeling crowded, I turn to this book for both simplicity and beauty. It seems that no matter what page I open up to, the words are right for me at the moment. I have dog-eared this book from start to finish, with poetry that flourishes my understanding of self-love, forgiveness, freedom, and healing the world. I would highly recommend this book as a tool to recalibrate your daily compass. Here is one of my favorites:


i held my fear by the hand, honored its existence, and thanked it for teaching me that happiness exists beyond the boundaries it creates


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (4.03/5 Stars on

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” From the jump, this book draws you in, you simply have to know more. It follows the path of two magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been bound since childhood to compete against each other in a life or death deul, but fall in love despite all circumstances. The switch-back narrative between these two characters gains momentum as the two become more intertwined. Erin Morgenstern’s writing allows for your imagination to drive the experience. Her prose writing builds a world as the story progresses, allowing for the magic of the circus to happen within your mind. Bonus: I think they are trying to make it into a movie!!


The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (4.48/5 Stars on

This has been one of the most impactful books on my understanding and view of the history of the LGBTQ+ community. Never can I remember a read where I was so immersed in the story, invested in the characters, and so deeply challenged with the range of emotions. John Boyne crafted a masterful journey, following the main character, Cyril Avery and the development of Ireland, from 1940 to present day. Within the span of a novel, you travel through a lifetime with Cyril as he comes to know himself, his country, home, and the family he creates. What I love about this book is that it ecompasses the true human experience, and the resiliency of the human spirit. This is my favorite book of all time.


Trigger warning: This book contains descriptions of violence against the LGBTQ+ community, sexual content, and language.  




Untamed by Glennon Doyle (4.04/5 stars on

I read this book almost exactly a year ago, and I still always tell people that it changed my life. It is a memoir of Glennon’s life, and although I didn’t know much about Glennon at the time, she has since become my own personal hero. Glennon recounts her story of infidelity, opens up about her coming out journey, and encourages women to release themselves from the shackles of a patriarchal society and what seems like neverending expectations. She taught me that my voice as a woman matters and that I can push gender norms with something as simple as my style or as complex as my own coming out story. My favorite quote from her book is:


This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.


After reading Untamed,  I realized that I am in charge of the person I want to become, and no one’s opinion of me has more weight than my own.




Body Kindness by Rebecca Stritchfield, RDN (3.91 out of 5 stars on

This is by far one of my favorite books in helping you break away from diet culture and all the things you think you “should” do for health and finally discover what you actually want to do for your health and wellbeing. This book helps you expand beyond the normal narrative of health being a certain size or “look” and shows us that health starts with showing kindness and love to ourselves. We can’t shame our way into changing. Instead we can show ourselves some kindness and continually ask: “Is this helping to create a better, happier, and healthier life for myself?” and begin to take one step at a time. 


Beach Read by Emily Henry (4.05 out of 5 stars on

This is the perfect summer/vacation read. It’s lighthearted, made me laugh out loud in public multiple times, and all around a breath of fresh air. This book is about two polar opposite, broke writers (January, a bestselling romance author and Augustus, an acclaimed author of literary fiction) becoming neighbors for the summer as they both work through writer’s block. As they spend weeks bantering back and forth they decide to strike a deal that will force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing a happy, loving, romance novel and January will write the next Great American novel. This book involves adventure and the relentless pursuit to *not* fall in love. Highly recommend it!




Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (3.92/5 stars on

I read this book a few years ago, but whenever I think of my favorite reading experiences, it’s always at the top of my list. Something about the descriptions of the tropical countryside and the exploration of different kinds of love through so many stages of life is so hopeful and also bittersweet. The novel is set around the turn of the 20th century somewhere in South America and follows the lovers Florentino and Fermina through their lives and many loves. 


If you’re looking for a beautifully worded escape that will definitely make you tear up by the end, this is a great book for you!