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Zestful Aging

Self Development

Nicole Christina, a psychotherapist of 30 years, interviews a wide variety of influential guests about how they are creating their legacies--a crucial element in healthy aging. Contributing to the greater good is a central theme of the Program.

Nicole Christina, a psychotherapist of 30 years, interviews a wide variety of influential guests about how they are creating their legacies--a crucial element in healthy aging. Contributing to the greater good is a central theme of the Program.


United States


Nicole Christina, a psychotherapist of 30 years, interviews a wide variety of influential guests about how they are creating their legacies--a crucial element in healthy aging. Contributing to the greater good is a central theme of the Program.






Tracey Gendron -- Rethinking Our “Harmless” Jokes About Getting Older

Have you ever made a little joke about being old? Something seemingly harmless: Something like “I’m too old to wear that”, “I’m over the hill?” One of my tennis buddies says “I’m too old to get that shot.” Our guest today is a gerontology researcher who investigates the real cost (emotional, physical, societal) of our widespread, unchecked discrimination of being old–of course the irony is that the discrimination is about us, or our future selves. Where does this ageism come from? Who...


Katie Phillips -- What is Self-Love, Really?

By now we’ve all heard the term “self-love”. But what is it really? Is it treating yourself to a mani-peni? Buying an expensive handbag? It turns out that true self love is more akin to self compassion, which has been proven to help heal depression, anxiety and trauma. As a psychotherapist, I have found that cultivating self love is a truly powerful way to create inner peace and freedom. Katie Phillips is the founder of The School of Self Love. She is a Women’s Empowerment Master Coach, Love...


Laura Reeder -- An Artist-Activist Using Walking to Connect with Her Environment

Dr. Laura Reeder is an artist, a teacher, and a human who encourages young people and adults to use creativity as a form of activism to make meaningful change in the world. Her recent installation at the Everson Museum of Art titled "Now More Than Ever" re-shaped a gallery with thousands of cell phone photos taken from her walks through everyday life. Her miles-long "Cultivators", labyrinths that she creates by walking in snow, sand, and leaves invite us to pay closer attention to the...


Michelle Olson -- Why Nature is So Good For Us, Especially As We Age

Michelle Olson is the founder of Evergreen Minds, which is on a mission to help create a culture that connects people with natural spaces and de-medicalize and de-stigmatize the accepted status-quo in healthcare for people living with dementia. Find out more here: EvergreenMinds.org.


Sarah Witkowski -- The Surprising Role of Fitness on Menopause and Hot Flashes

Dr. Witkowski is the Chair of the Exercise & Sport Studies Department at Smith College. She researches the role of physical fitness of menopause symptoms, with a particular interest in cardiovascular health and risk at midlife. She is currently recruiting subjects for her studies. Contact her here: https://www.facebook.com/VascularFunctionResearchLaboratory


Pam Victor -- Better Health Through Improvisation

Improvisation is having a moment. People are finding it has tons of benefits for social and mental health. They are stepping out of their comfort zone, which is a key element to aging zestfully. Pam Victor is a professional improviser and the founder of Head of Happiness, of Happier Valley Comedy. Pam is the co-author of "Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book" and was awarded the New England Public Radio Arts & Humanities Award. She also is a TEDx speaker “Meet Your Inner...


Carl Honore -- How to Make the Most of Our Longer Lives

Carl Honore is a Canadian journalist who is a best selling author and two time TED speaker. He’s known as “the godfather of the slow movement”. His latest book, “Bolder–Making the Most of Our Longer Lives”–challenges ageism by dismantling the myths surrounding growing older. He argues that aging can be a bonus rather than a burden. Find out more about Carl’s work: CarlHonore.info. Check out https://copenotes.com/zestful for an innovative app that supports mental health. Find out more about...


Third Act -- People Over 60 Working for Climate and Racial Justice

Many of us are aware that the over 60 demographic is the fastest growing demographic here in the US and all over the world. We have tremendous power and influence. ThirdAct.org organizes people over the age of 60 to work on climate and racial justice. Akaya Windwood and Bill McKibben talk about their work mustering political and economic power to move Washington and Wall Street in the name of a fairer, more sustainable society and planet. Find out more: ThirdAct.org. Check out...


Dr. Susan Sands -- How Can I Make Peace With My Aging Body?

Aging has its joys and challenges. One of the big challenges is the changes in our bodies–particularly if you are a woman. Most of us mourn the loss of our younger bodies. But are there ways we can think about our aging bodies differently? Meet Dr. Susan Sands, a clinical psychologist known for her trailblazing work in female development. Her new book “The Inside Story” is a radical new look at aging as a woman. Find out more here: https://www.sandsinsidestory.com/ Check out...


Susan Tweit -- If There Was a “Queen of Earth Day” She Would Be It

Susan Tweit is an award winning writer and botanist on a mission “to restore our home planet and help us be our best and kindest selves.” She volunteers at Yellowstone National Park removing invasive plant species by hand so the native plants can thrive and feed the animals that call the Park home. Her award winning books are personal and tender stories about her own challenges, including the loss of her beloved husband ten years ago to brain cancer and her own chronic disease. Find out more...


Linda Lowen -- Getting Older Has Been Magical!

At 61, writer and editor Linda Lowen has fulfilled a lifelong dream–-- she's written her first book, a travel guidebook promoting her hometown of Syracuse, NY. Even though she's been published in the New York Times and earned national recognition as a former TV and radio producer -- hosting award-winning programs on PBS and NPR stations --she says that since she's turned 50, life has become downright magical. With every year, it's only gotten better. Find out more about Linda:...


Denise Medved -- Brain Health is More Than Doing Crossword Puzzles

Many of us know how painful it can be to watch a once vibrant person lose function in their mind and body. Denise Medved knows this story all too well. She lost her mother to Alzheimer’s Disease. On top of the grief she suffered, she was left wondering what the future had in store for her as she aged. Through extensive research, Denise discovered that the number one concern of people of all ages is losing cognitive function and mobility as we age. She spent years researching the relationship...


Anna Balthaser -- The Surprising Health Benefits of The “Buy Nothing Project”

We all know that being part of a community is good for our health. We deeply crave a sense of belonging, especially these days. After all, we’re mammals, and we’re designed to be with others. But what if your community also helped cut down on waste and challenged the values of our consumer culture? That would be an amazing community! Welcome to the Buy Nothing Project. The Buy Nothing Project was founded in 2013 with the mission to build community by connecting people through hyperlocal...


Isabel Tom -- “The Value of Wrinkles”

Having grown up in a multigenerational home, aging expert Isabel Tom wants us to consider how our attitudes toward aging affect our elders. She’s passionate about helping us develop better relationships with elders, both for their sake and ours. She believes it’s a great loss for both young and old to experience life separately. A writer, speaker and educator, Isabel Tom wants to teach us the value of elders and elder care. Find out more about her at IsabelTom.com. Check out...


David Ekerdt -- "Downsizing: Confronting our Possessions in Later Life"

Unless you are a devout minimalist you have a lot of stuff. We’re surprised how much stuff we have. Where does it all come from? But have we thought about our relationship to our things? How does it change over our life span? Why is it more complicated than just figuring out something in our closet “sparks joy”? Professor David Ekerdt has researched questions like these over his academic career. His acclaimed book, “Downsizing: Confronting Our Possessions in Later Life”, is not a how-to, but...


Dierdre Wolownick -- The Oldest Woman to Climb El Capitan

The mother of extreme climber Alex Honnold, star of the Oscar winning documentary “Free Solo”, decided to take up extreme sports in her sixties. At age 66, Deirdre Wolownick set a record of her own on El Capitan – becoming the oldest woman ever to climb that sheer rock face. A multi talented woman in her own right, she proves that determination and grit can bring you to places that you’ve never imagined and even help heal a life that was full of emotional challenges. Find out more at...


Dr. Mary Flett -- Mastering Solo Aging

Have you ever wondered who will take care of you as you age? It’s not always pleasant to think about, but the reality is that we may outlive our partners and family members. The truth is that many of us will be solo agers. So what are the choices we need to start thinking about right now to prepare for that time? Dr. Mary L. Flett is the Executive Director of the Center for Aging & Values and founder of Five Pillars of Aging Seminars. Now retired as a treating psychologist, she has turned to...


Carrie Luteran -- Why You Need a Bucket Binder

Carrie Luteran is a professional organizer. She talks to us about the importance of having a place for all of your important papers and instructions for when you “kick the bucket”. It’s an easy task to put off. Who wants to be reminded of their own mortality? But it’s the loving thing to do for the person who is going to be in charge of dealing with your stuff when you are no longer here. It may seem daunting at first, but doing it brings a feeling of tremendous relief. Find out more about...


Dr. Jane Adams -- Expert on Family Estrangement (You are not alone)

Jane Adams, Ph.D., is a social psychologist who is an expert on family estrangement. Her book “When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us” gets to the heart of the dilemma of having an adult child who has significant problems in life. Her work has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, the Oprah Winfrey Show and PBS. FInd out about Jane at JaneAdams.com. Check out https://copenotes.com/zestful for an innovative app that supports mental health. Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at...


Sian-Pierre Regis -- “Duty Free”: A Son and His Mom Take on Ageism in This Important Documentary

“Duty Free” is a documentary about a son who witnesses his mom get pushed out of her job due only to her age. As a filmmaker, he uses the opportunity to document not only her struggle, but the bucket list adventure he takes her on to reclaim her life. As she struggles to find work, he documents some of the painful realities from her past and the economic insecurity soon to shape not only her future, but that of an entire generation. Find out more about Sian-Pierre Regis and his award winning...