Sandra Sharpe: Chronic Inflammation, Hormones, and Functional Medicine

Sandra Sharpe: I Thought I Lived a Healthy Life Until I Got Diagnosed with Cancer

#TrueStory: Why Young Women Need New Metrics for Success

Dina Ghandour: The World of Doulas, Births, and Babies

#TrueStory: My Infertility Journey from IUI to IVF to Diagnosis

Layla Kardan: Music, Success, and Finding Her Voice

Celebrating the inspirational stories of women living in the Middle East, The Goodness Podcast highlights tales of triumph over tragedy, stories of resilience, and ones of survival, all while imparting valuable advice and lived experience to its listeners.

(Ep. 47) Sandra Sharpe: Chronic Inflammation, Hormones, and Functional Medicine

Sandra Sharpe is a functional medicine health coach living in Dubai. She works with women who have hormonal imbalances, including PCOS, PMS, and thyroid problems, educating and empowering them to take control of their health.

Duration: 32 minutes

(Ep. 46) Sandra Sharpe: I Thought I Lived a Healthy Life Until I Got Diagnosed with Cancer

Sandra Sharpe is a functional medicine health coach and former fitness trainer living in Dubai. Earlier this year, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which forced her to take a closer look at her lifestyle and definition of health. This is her story of recovery and what she learned along the way.

“After my biopsy, my husband Rob said, 'Don't be silly. Of course you don't have cancer. You're healthy and fit and young.' But when the doctor called me, I just knew from the tone of his voice. I just broke down. I get emotional talking about it even now.”

Duration: 31 minutes

(Ep. 45) #TrueStory: Why Young Women Need New Metrics for Success

What should the professional worth of a modern woman really be measured by? With digital entrepreneurs and young leaders taking over with bold voices, it’s important to acknowledge that age no longer determines value.

This story was first published on Goodness' website on June 13, 2020.

Duration: 5 minutes

(Ep. 44) Dina Ghandour: The World of Doulas, Births, and Babies

Dina Ghandour is a Dubai-based yogi and certified Doula. Through her work, she provides educational, practical, and emotional support to parents by offering childbirth education, assisting at the birth through hands-on comfort measures, and sharing postnatal support with regards to such things as breastfeeding counseling, sleep advice, mother and baby care, and much more.

On this episode of the podcast, she's explaining exactly what a Doula is and does, busting some common birth myths, sharing tips for a supportive birth environment, and discussing the shame and judgement that many women experience during this time.

Duration: 51 minutes

(Ep. 43) #TrueStory: My Infertility Journey from IUI to IVF to Diagnosis

Fida Kiblawi opens up about her infertility journey, from IUI to IVF to accepting the diagnosis that she would never have children. This is her story.

This story was first published on on March 1, 2020.

Duration: 16 minutes

(Ep. 42) Layla Kardan: Music, Success, and Finding Her Voice

When The Goodness Podcast host Noor Tehini first met Layla Kardan, she was still working a corporate job and dipping her toes into the music industry. Today, she’s a recording artist with an international following. On this episode of the podcast, we caught up with Layla about her journey and we discussed everything from Cardi B’s WAP single to the crystals she uses to protect her energy.

“I want to live an authentic life, and I don’t want to have any regrets. People come to a late juncture in life and realize that they've wasted it chasing career opportunities that weren’t fulfilling their soul or things that were not for their pruning. I don't want that to be me.”

Duration: 44 minutes

(Ep. 41) #TrueStory: Why We Keep Our Mental Health Issues a Secret

Following the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain, Grace Gordon looks back on the life of the celebrity chef and his secret struggles with mental health issues, reflecting on her own battle with depression and anxiety. She shares the steps that helped her along the way, the lessons she learned, and her thoughts on why we tend to keep our mental health issues a secret.

This episode was first published on Goodness' website on June, 12 2018.

Duration: 14 minutes

(Ep. 40) Neha Duseja and Dani Hakim: Demystifying Meditation

In honor of Wold Mental Health Week, we've teamed up with Lululemon, Dani Hakim of Safe Space, and Lululemon Ambassador and yogi Neha Duseja to talk about mental health. Together, they're busting some of the most common myths around meditation and sharing the most transformative moments on their personal journeys.

This podcast was created in collaboration with Lululemon.

Duration: 51 minutes

(Ep. 39) Marianne Tafani: When Childbirth Doesn't Go According to Plan

Marianne Tafani is a Pilates instructor known in the UAE as the "core strength guru". Three years ago, she gave birth to her first son, Adam, but things did not go to plan. Marianne had decided on a natural birth, but an unfortunate series of events and neglect on behalf of her care providers resulted in a traumatic experience.

Warning: This episode may be triggering to you if you’ve had a negative childbirth experience, but you might also find her advice to be helpful.

Duration: 36 minutes

(Ep. 38) #TrueStory: I’ve Been Living in the Wild for Ten Years and This Is My Story

Miriam Lancewood and her husband Peter have survived for almost a decade in the wilderness of New Zealand. Here, she shares their journey, the moments they
live for and those that make them fear for their lives, and what they've learned along the way.

This article was written by Miriam Lancewood and published on Goodness' website on February 2, 2020.

Duration: 11 minutes

(Ep. 37) #TrueStory: If I’m so Amazing, Why Am I Still Single?

Relationship coach Nicola Beer reflects on her own experience and highlights the four issues she has most often encountered in people struggling to find love.

This article was originally published on Goodness' website on November 20, 2019.

Duration: 7 minutes

(Ep. 36) Dr. Sheetal Kini: The Marriage Advice We Never Got – Part 3

Dr. Sheetal Kini is a clinical psychologist at Dubai’s Lighthouse Center who specializes in relationship therapy. On this episode of the podcast, she discusses modern marriages, why they’re so challenging, and how to start thinking about and working on your relationship differently.

Topics covered include:
- What makes for the ideal secure relationship
- The different attachment styles and how they impact your relationship
- How to reconnect
- The importance of sex
- The challenge of monogamy
- Taking a break from your marriage
- New models of marriage

Duration: 28 minutes

(Ep. 35) Dr. Sheetal Kini: The Marriage Advice We Never Got – Part 2

Dr. Sheetal Kini is a clinical psychologist at Dubai’s Lighthouse Center who specializes in relationship therapy. On this episode of the podcast, she discusses modern marriages, why they’re so challenging, and how to start thinking about and working on your relationship differently.

Topics covered include:
- Solving gridlocked problems
- The link between personal problems and marital problems
- The issue with the soulmate narrative
- Dealing with each other’s scars
- How much compromise is too much compromise
- Understanding the duty mindset
- Why people stay together when things aren’t working

Duration: 31 minutes

(Ep. 34) Dr. Sheetal Kini: The Marriage Advice We Never Got – Part 1

Dr. Sheetal Kini is a clinical psychologist at Dubai’s Lighthouse Center who specializes in relationship therapy. On this episode of the podcast, she discusses modern marriages, why they’re so challenging, and how to start thinking about and working on your relationship differently.

Topics covered include:
- Defining modern marriage
- What is right to expect of a partner
- The importance of identifying your non-negotiables
- Why marriages succeed or fail
- The issue of gridlocked problems

Duration: 30 minutes

(Ep. 33) #TrueStory: Social-Distancing with Kids – The Good, the Bad, and the Horrible

A mother-of-two shares an honest account of what it's been like to socially distance with kids – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. ⁠
This article was written by Najla Moussa and published on Goodness' website on May 19, 2020.

Duration: 9 minutes

(Ep. 32) #TrueStory: What Do You Mean ‘You Can’t Find It’? One Woman’s Nightmare with the IUD

Discover one woman's birth control journey and her nightmare-ish experience with the Mirena IUD. ⁠ This article was written by Joanne S. and published on Goodness' website on January 31, 2019.

Duration: 12 minutes

(Ep. 31) Dalia Halabi: Why Are We So Damn Anxious? – Part 2

Dalia Halabi is a mental health counselor and holistic therapist with a background in psychology. She is also a certified life coach, NLP practitioner, hypnotherapist, Theta Healer, and Reiki Master, amongst other things. On this episode of the podcast, she's joining us to discuss our generation’s mental health, specifically as it relates to anxiety, and share practical, applicable advice for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks.

“We’ve become so habitually used to living outside ourselves. We’re always rushing around from one place to another and there’s always something to do and someone to meet and some place to be that we are no longer grounded with ourselves. We don’t know what it feels like to be in our bodies and we especially don’t know what it feels like to be attuned to the thoughts we are having.”

Duration: 22 minutes

(Ep. 30) Dalia Halabi: Why Are We So Damn Anxious? – Part 1

Dalia Halabi is a mental health counselor and holistic therapist with a background in psychology. She is also a certified life coach, NLP practitioner, hypnotherapist, Theta Healer, and Reiki Master, amongst other things. On this episode of the podcast, she's joining us to discuss our generation’s mental health, specifically as it relates to anxiety, and share practical, applicable advice for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks.

“Our brain has something like 60,000 thoughts a day, and I bet you most people aren't aware of even two percent of those thoughts. It's happening at both a conscious and subconscious level.”

Duration: 39 minutes

(Ep. 29) #TrueStory: Dear Husband, I Loved You First

As her attention shifts from her marriage to her children, one woman remembers that she loved her husband first. This article was written by Najla Moussa and published on Goodness' website on August 19, 2019.

Duration: 5 minutes

(Ep. 28) Dr. Nick Wakefield: Trauma, Guilt, and the Beirut Explosion

On August 4, 2020, the unthinkable happened. 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, stored in the port of Beirut, exploded, destroying a large part of the city, killing dozens, wounding hundreds, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The country is traumatized, with no one taking responsibility for this crime, no government support on the streets, and the people having to rely on themselves and each other. We're joined by Dr. Nick Wakefield, a clinical psychologist at Dubai’s Lighthouse Center who specializes in trauma and PTSD, to discuss the impact of the Beirut explosion on the Lebanese people, be they in Lebanon or around the world.

“The study of epigenetics has proven that trauma can stay in the DNA of a population. It's about the survival of a particular society. If one generation is facing hardship, it's a survival mechanism for those genes that relate to survival to be switched on in the next generation. [For instance] the next generation can have more genetic markers for paranoia and distrust.”

Duration: 30 minutes

(Ep. 27) #TrueStory: From One Mother to Another, You Are Worthy

This open letter, from one mother to another, tackles the feeling of mom guilt and serves as a reminder that we are worthy of caring for ourselves. This article was written by Lydia Medeiros and published on Goodness' website on October 1, 2019.

Duration: 7 minutes

(Ep. 26) Sundus Hamza: Abolishing Honor Killings in the Middle East

Sundus Hamza is a woman at the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence in the region. She is part of Abolish 153, an organization fighting against honor killings in Kuwait.

This podcast is sadly very timely, as we release it just one day after the brutal murder of Ahlam in Jordan, who was killed by her father in the middle of her neighborhood. We dedicate it to all the women who have lost their lives to honor killings, and have added some links to the show notes should you wish to educate yourself on the topic.

Duration: 43 minutes

(Ep. 25) Rama Darwish: Learning to Live With Grief

When Rama Darwish lost her mother, not long after having lost her father, she had to face unprocessed grief and the shock of losing the person she considered to be her best friend. It would take many, many dark years, attempts, and painful realizations to arrive where she is today, able to share her story and journey with us.

“Time does not heal any wound. If you don't do the work, nothing is going to be healed. It's you working on yourself that heals. It's you putting in the work. Grief is a life sentence, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence.”

Duration: 52 minutes

(Ep. 24) Reem Kanj: My Egg Freezing Journey

Dubai-based entrepreneur Reem Kanj embarked on a journey to freeze her eggs just a few weeks ago. On this episode of the podcast, she's opening up about what drove her to this empowering decision, what the process was like, the changes she experienced in her body, and her feelings through it all.

“I don’t want women to feel like this is my last resort, I must be so desperate. I must be so scared. It has nothing to do with that. This is in spite of all those things. It’s like getting health insurance.”

Duration: 40 minutes

(Ep. 23) Elissa Freiha: Being a Woman in a Man's World

Artist, activist, and entrepreneur Elissa Freiha is the founder of Womena, a platform that aims to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our region by empowering and educating women investors and entrepreneurs. On this episode of the podcast, we discuss self-love, self-doubt, authenticity, and what it means to stand for women empowerment in a man's world.

“Women make 27 percent less than men. That's the first layer. The next layer from that is that not only do women get paid less, but they are then pressured to buy clothes and spend money on aesthetics to look a certain way. So, women are pressured to spend more money even though they make less to be respected the same as a man. And then you get to the third layer, which is the realization that this perspective that women have on themselves is actually conditioning. When you start learning about the beauty industry and the fashion industry and the diet industry, and all of the complexes and mental health disorders that come from all of these things that have been fed to us, it drives you crazy.”

Photo: Courtesy of Keir Harris for Ounass.

Duration: 59 minutes

(Ep. 22) Najla Moussa: What the Pandemic Has Done to Our Romantic Relationships

How has being together 24/7 impacted our romantic relationships? Why are so many of us fighting all the time? How do we work our way out of this rut?
Najla Moussa is a longtime Goodness collaborator, as well as the creator of relationship blog Truly Madly Honestly. On this episode of the podcast, she's discussing the impact of the pandemic on relationships and sharing practical tips to fight better, reconnect, and survive this unprecedented time.

“Life-threatening situations tend to act as accelerators in relationships. When we are put in a situation where we are aware of our mortality, what ends up happening is that we start reassessing and reshuffling our priorities. As a result, a lot of people are now making big decisions about their relationships. Our problems don't go away because we are in a pandemic, and right now we're trying to figure out what we want out of our lives. We don't have the patience to lie to ourselves, to trivialize things that aren't trivial, so there's going to be a lot more honesty and a lot more action — both good and bad.”

Duration: 64 minutes

(Ep. 21) Lana Al Mulla: My Healing Journey and What I Learned Along the Way

Lana Al Mulla is a yogi, nutritional therapist, and entrepreneur. After suffering from depression, anxiety, and chronic illnesses for years, she embarked on a healing journey that forced her to tackle the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of her life. She has since dabbled in everything from herbology to Reiki healing, and she’s a wealth of knowledge on holistic living and healing yourself. We got to talking about her personal journey, her favorite rituals, and her upcoming spiritual course.

“I’m so passionate about grief work. It’s something that came much later in life for me and I’ve noticed how much it’s done for me and how positively it’s impacted my entire being in terms of self-worth, self-esteem, and healthy boundaries. If we’re still living from a place of our wounded child or the pain that we’re carrying, we’re going to be living life reacting to those wounds on a daily basis without even knowing it. And so we might find ourselves in patterns where we let people walk all over us or we fall into toxic relationships. Things play out that try to take us back to that wound again and again. We’re stuck in a cycle.”

Duration: 61 minutes

(Ep. 20) Dr. Saliha Afridi: Parenting During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How can parents manage their children's emotions? How can they communicate and work with their partner? And what steps can parents take to care for themselves during this time?
Dr. Saliha Afridi is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Lighthouse, a center for wellbeing based in Dubai. She’s also a mother, which makes her the perfect person to ask about parenting during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“When you are looking after people, you need to make sure that you are mentally, physically, and emotionally fit. By doing that, you are not acting selfishly; it's an act of service. A mother who is shouting and screaming is actually experienced as a relational trauma by children. A parent who looks after themselves is actually protecting their children from a mother or a father who is disengaged, disinterested, unhappy, or angry.”

Duration: 50 minutes

(Ep. 19) Priyanka Bhatia: Navigating IVF Emotionally, Mentally, and as a Couple

Priyanka Bhatia is a fertility coach and counsellor living in Dubai, who provides emotional and psychological support for couples trying to conceive. Priyanka has been on her own infertility journey of seven years, and she's sharing both her professional and personal advice for women and couples going through a similar journey.

“A lot of the burden falls on women because they are physically going through the process and, in our culture, they are always reminded of what they have and don't have. The first thing they are asked when they meet someone new is, 'Where are you from? Are you married? Do you have kids?' Whereas men are not necessarily asked those questions. Socially as well, as friends and families age together, there are baby showers to attend — so again there's a physical reminder of what you don't have, or what you're not a part of — and men don't really get asked to attend those events.”

Duration: 50 minutes

(Ep. 18) Anum Bashir: Finding Your Path and Voice in the Fashion Industry

Anum Bashir's experience in the fashion industry spans all the way from content creator to brand consultant to buyer and fashion director to creative director of Georgian brand N-Duo. Most recently, Anum has started representing Sonam Kapoor and managing her partnerships in the MENA region. On today’s episode, we’re discussing her journey, as well as how she found her way and voice in a notoriously difficult industry.

“Fashion is a very fabricated industry. A lot of it — probably nine tenths of it — is about appearance. So you either learn to play that game and sing along, or you don’t. But that being said, I refused to give in all the way because I knew that, if I did, it just wouldn’t be me anymore and that’s just not an injustice I could do myself.”

Duration: 71 minutes

(Ep. 17) Shayanne Salama: An Honest Account of Getting Divorced as a Young Mother

On this episode of the podcast, Shayanne Salama, mom to six-year-old Marwan and a holistic practitioner living in Dubai, shares an honest account of what it’s like to get divorced in your early thirties with a young child.

“In some ways, it was extremely, extremely challenging, from the initial communication of wanting to get separated to then trying to make it work but realizing that it won’t to then actually moving out and moving into a new apartment — and having to communicate that to a child. There’s also having to deal with the guilt of not wanting to hurt somebody that you care about but having to put yourself first (which is something I’ve struggled with in my life). Then there was the financial aspect of it that was challenging, the opinion of certain family members, and the aftermath of it all. These things were hard, but to be honest with you, I feel like I was very blessed. Every step of the way, there was always something or someone to pick me up and hold me up.”

Duration: 51 minutes

(Ep. 16) Dr. Maha Nasrallah-Babenko: Sexual Function and Dysfunction in the Middle East

Dr. Maha Nasrallah-Babenko, a therapist trained in sex and relationships, shares the most common issues she observed between couples while practicing in the Middle East.

“Because they've been told for so long that sex is dirty or it's shameful and it's not respectable for a woman to have sex, it's difficult for some women to have sex even after they are married, because of how their culture has portrayed it. [...] This manifests itself as shame, and shame looks different in different parts of the world. This is what I have realized so far from my experience working with different cultures, whether it's in Lebanon, Dubai, New York, or California. Shame is one of the deepest and most common factors involved in all sexual issues.”

Duration: 56 minutes

(Ep. 15) Petrina Barber: Making Peace with the Unthinkable

Nothing can prepare you for a cancer diagnosis, let alone a series of unfortunate events that include extreme complications from your cancer treatment, years of additional surgeries, and being away from your family. This is Petrina Barber's story of strength, resilience, and finding peace in the face of the unthinkable.

“I hope that you understand that truly life might not work out the way that you expect, but I am living a life that I am really proud of and I have built it myself. And I really believe that, if I can do that, then anyone can come back from anything. It doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. Of course it’s hard. Of course I cry. Of course sometimes I wish things were different. But these are things that you can’t control. Don’t fight against the tide, because the tide always wins. Instead, just go about building the best life for yourself possible.”

Duration: 48 minutes

(Ep. 14) Dr. Lanalle Dunn: Healing the Mind, Body, and Soul

Dr. Lanalle Dunn, a Naturopathic Doctor, Medical Director, Buddhist, and surfer (amongst many other things), is a wealth of knowledge on holistic health. On this episode of the podcast, she explains her approach to wellness.

“A holistic approach is looking at an individual as a human, not just a symptom pitcher. It's looking at an individual as someone who's got a spirit, a soul, an energetic body and is a physical human being, so in totally. I look at the human in context of a spirit and a soul and how those two integrate into your cells, into your organs, and into your physicality.”

Duration: 56 minutes

(Ep. 13) Reem and Natalya Kanj: An Honest Conversation About Instagram

On this week's episode of the podcast, Noor Tehini is joined by Reem and Natalya Kanj, the Dubai-based sisters behind talent-management company Ego & East, for an honest discussion about Instagram and social media influencers.

“When Instagram was acquired by Facebook and the algorithm was changed, I felt very out of control and that almost snapped me back to reality and reminded me that this isn’t my platform. It’s my page, but it’s not my platform. There’s a company that has access to all these images and controls who sees them and when they see them. A lot of people don’t remember that an Instagram account isn’t your brand. It’s a reflection of your brand, but it isn’t yours to keep, so don’t fall too in love with the followers and the likes and the impressions.”

Duration: 49 minutes

(Ep. 12) Helen Williams: Managing Fear and Anxiety Amidst Covid-19

Helen Williams, a counselor, psychotherapist, and mindfulness teacher with decades of experience, joins us to talk about how to manage fear and anxiety through mindfulness amidst the current coronavirus pandemic.

“Many people are very deeply unhappy with themselves and have used working or other people or other habits as a way of avoiding their own inner life. They have spent their whole life avoiding themselves. Today, when you’ve taken away work from most people, the ability to be busy, to go out constantly, and to have our lives so full, we’re left – if we’re alone -– with ourselves, or with a partner we may not be happy with, or with children we may not actually spend very much time with. I imagine that a vast amount of people here are going to be in the beginning stages of grieving, whether they realize it or not.”

Duration: 47 minutes

(Ep. 11) Dr. Aarti Javeri Mehta: What You Need to Know About COVID-19

This episode of the podcast was very much an unplanned one. Our first season was only supposed to be 10 episodes long, but given the situation we find ourselves in, we figured this was a conversation that needed to be had.

“Surgical masks are actually not effective at preventing the infection from entering your body. Everyone is wearing masks around us, but that’s not what’s going to help stop coronavirus. Masks are only effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning. We see a lot of people wearing masks and touching their face, taking off a mask and putting it back on, or disposing of it incorrectly. You are contaminating yourself and everyone around you. That’s completely futile.”

Duration: 48 minutes

(Ep. 10) Harriett Stewart, Aisha Almohtadi, and Marina Anic: Women on the Rise

The Goodness Podcast host, Noor Tehini, is joined by three women on the rise to celebrate International Women's Day. Harriett Stewart is a director of sales and marketing at one of the leading event and entertainment technology companies in the GCC by day and an entrepreneur by night, Aisha Almohtadi is the co-founder of Mad Juice, one of the coolest creative agencies in town, and Marina Anic is Brand Marketing Manager at PUMA and part of the High Beams Run Crew & Sound System in Dubai.

This episode is sponsored by PUMA.

Duration: 67 minutes

(Ep. 9) Dr. Carine El Khazen: How I Help Women Overcome Eating Disorders

Dr. Carine El Khazen, a psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and the Vice President of MEEDA, joins us on the podcast this week to discuss the rise of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction in the Middle East and what we can do about it.

“Our culture is very much prone to nurturing body dissatisfaction and eating disorders because there is a huge pressure on the Middle Eastern woman to be very beautiful, very thin, and very perfect in all areas of her life. Preliminary studies suggest that our rates of eating disorders in this part of the world are double what they are in the West. So if the prevalence of Anorexia Nervosa is 1% in the UK, in the UAE we think it’s 1.8%.”

Duration: 42 minutes

(Ep. 8) Maryam Ghouth: How I Tell Stories About the Human Experience

Maryam Ghouth is a Saudi storyteller and shadow worker living in Dubai. On this episode of the podcast, she shares how the human experience informs her art and how she works to help people get to know the darker sides of their identity.

“Due to societal and familial pressure, we learned somewhere along the way that certain qualities were wrong or punishable, and so we suppressed them and chose not to identify with them. That’s problematic because these repressed qualities don’t just disappear; they stay there and drive our behaviors behind the scenes and in unruly ways.”

Duration: 46 minutes

(Ep. 7) Georgie Bradley: How My Dubai Job Drove Me to Burnout

Georgie Bradley, a journalist living in Dubai, opens up about how her job in the local media industry drove her to burnout and led to the resurgence of an eating disorder she had been battling for years.

“It’s become an industry standard to have one person fulfill the job of ten people. And if you’re already not loving what you’re doing, which was the case for me, it can be incredible hard. When your life becomes desk to bed to desk to bed, you’re so clouded, you’re so outside of your body that you’re on autopilot and that only lasts you for a period of time. Mentally speaking, it drained me. And then it became a physical problem. My bones started aching and I really had to negotiate getting out of bed. And that’s not okay, especially when it’s a huge part of your life.”

Duration: 45 minutes

(Ep. 6) Caroline Labouchere: How I Took Control of My Life at 53

When Caroline Labouchere's husband lost his job in Dubai, she found herself sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a friend's house, unable to afford her antidepressants and pushing all of her friends away. This is the story of how she finally took control of her life and turned it around at the age of 53.

“I had never taken the reigns in the whole of my life. I had never wanted to. As a teenager, I just wanted to get married and have children. I never had a career and never wanted to. I just expected to be looked after, so when that all came crashing down, the thought of becoming an independent person was really random, scary, and impossible.”

Duration: 32 minutes

(Ep. 5) Nicola Beer: How I Help Couples Stay Together

On this episode of The Goodness Podcast, Dubai-based relationship counselor and coach Nicola Beer talks about the most common marital issues she’s seeing in the region, plus how she helps couples stay together through infidelity, communication issues, and more.

"Infidelity is one of the main reasons couples come to me. Affairs are quite common, whether it’s an emotional affair, a cyber affair, or a physical affair. And it’s not just the affair; it’s dealing with the aftermath, because it can really knock the intimacy, the communication, the self-esteem of someone. It’s something that doesn’t go away just by saying sorry. It stays in the relationship longer. "

Duration: 40 minutes

(Ep. 4) Sarah Malki: How I Recovered from Postpartum Anxiety and Depression

One year after the birth of her daughter, Sarah Malki opens up about her struggles with postpartum anxiety and depression, as well as what helped her get through it.

“ I’d literally be wanting to punch the wall. I’d punch the bed and the pillows and be screaming and crying and throwing things and sobbing for hours on end. [...] It got to a point where I considered buying a plane ticket and just leaving, and leaving my husband and daughter. You can’t meditate that away.”

Duration: 58 minutes

(Ep. 3) Najla Moussa: How I Built a Stronger Marriage

Najla Moussa is a longtime Goodness collaborator and colleague, as well as the creator of relationship blog Truly Madly Honestly. On this episode of the podcast, she's sharing the tips she's learned along the way, from both experience and her work with the Gottman Institute, to build a stronger marriage.

"This idea of living happily ever after and all the social media quotes are so detrimental to a relationship, because they put so much pressure on the relationship. A person can't make you happy, and their job isn't to make you happy. Their job is to add to your happiness. You will have conflict. You will question the relationship. So this idea that the goal of your relationship is happiness is so incorrect. The end goal is never happiness."

Duration: 53 minutes

(Ep. 2) Florence Gillet: How I Ate so "Clean" That I Couldn’t Have Children

Florence Gillet, an Eating Psychology Coach living in Dubai, opens up to Goodness about her struggles with orthorexia, hypothalamic amenorrhea, and her road to recovery.

"Diet culture puts thinness on a pedestal. It tells you that thinness is everything you need to get to, that it's going to bring you success, moral value, and virtue, that it's going to open all the doors for you and make you healthy and happy. But the reality is that it's not true."

Duration: 59 minutes

(Ep. 1 ) Caroline Leon: How I Recovered from a Fall That Broke Half My Body

Caroline Leon was a young newlywed living in Dubai when she fell from the top of a climbing wall, unharnessed. This is her story of mental and physical recovery.

"I was told by the hospital that I would never walk again. I couldn't see any light. I threw myself into learning and listening to anything that I could, and when I had a little bit of hope I just fed that. I didn't allow myself to think anything that wasn't going to get me to the place I wanted to be. And the place I wanted to be was better than I was before."

Duration: 50 minutes