Written by : Transcript – What’s New in Season 9 With Deborah K. Heisz 

Transcript – What’s New in Season 9 With Deborah K. Heisz

Follow along with the transcript below for episode: What’s New in Season 9 With Deborah K. Heisz



[00:00:02] PF: Thank you for joining us for episode 428 of Live Happy Now. It’s a new month. And for Live Happy Now, it’s the start of a brand new season. I’m your host, Paula Felps. This week, as we launch season nine, I’m talking with Live Happy CEO and Co-Founder, Deborah Heisz, about some of the great new things that you can expect. We’re rolling out some new ways to help you discover happiness, and we’re excited to share these with you. So let’s get to it.




[00:00:30] PF: Deb, always a pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today.


[00:00:35] DH: Well, I wasn’t going to miss it today. It’s the first episode of our ninth season, which either means that we’re really old or we’re having too much fun, one or the other.


[00:00:43] PF: I think it’s a little of both.


[00:00:44] DH: Yes.


[00:00:46] PF: Yes. I mean, it’s amazing when I sit down and say, “Oh, my gosh. Yes, we’re starting our ninth season.” Because when we started this, we didn’t know if anyone was going to tune in. Lucky for us, they did.


[00:00:55] DH: Yes. You know, podcasts were just getting started. I think we had the serial podcast, which really took off. It was like right after we started this one. So that was really interesting. We got into podcasting originally as a way to expand on the magazine and do some interviews because we always got to interview these great people. We’ve been getting to do those interviews on tape, so to speak. That really shows my age. We’ve been getting to do interviews live and then share those. That’s really why we started the podcast. Then, of course, the whole podcast thing took off. It’s still the most fun and my favorite thing that we do.


[00:01:27] PF: Yes. If we can just figure out how to combine true crime and happiness, we’re going to have the biggest hit podcast of all time, so.


[00:01:34] DH: Yes. Speaking of serial, true crime and happiness. Yes, it’s interesting. The true crime genre is certainly the one that I think most people think of when they think of podcasts. Or if they don’t, they at least are aware. Either that or business help podcasts, self-help personal podcasts. A lot of those are really successful. I guess we kind of fit into that. Happiness will certainly help business. We don’t fit into true crime, but I kind of look at it as us as the antithesis to true crime.


[00:02:01] PF: Yes. That’s true.


[00:02:02] DH: Yes. We talk a lot about paying attention to what you put in your head. You and I were talking before the podcast about how people who listen to true crime to decompress may not be processing their stress well.


[00:02:17] PF: Not judging. We’re not judging.


[00:02:18] DH: Not judging at all.


[00:02:19] PF: That was an actual study that was done.


[00:02:21] DH: Yes, true. But it is hard to be bombarded with everything we’ve got going on in the world. We’ve talked about this before, all the political stuff, all the war in Europe right now, and all the negativity. Then you add true crime on top of that. You add your news feed on top of that. It’s very easy to look at the world as a dangerous and unwelcoming and not fun place. We are the antithesis of that. Listen to Live Happy Now. Listen to it. Go online and look at our website, livehappy.com. Subscribe to our newsletter. Fill up your inbox with the opportunity at least to get something positive out of your day.


I love that because for me, sometimes just putting that in my head makes me think about the world a little differently. A lot of the stuff that we share that research is being done just changes your perspective and kind of puts you back on course because I’m still a little more than a glass half full. I’m kind of a glass overflowing person in regard. I think the world’s a wonderful place with tremendous opportunities and beautiful things and a lot of joy out there. I like to be exposed to that, and it’s so much fun to share with everybody else.


[00:03:26] PF: Yes. Filling your brain with good stuff since 2013.


[00:03:30] DH: New tagline.


[00:03:31] PF: Exactly. There we go. And which is crazy to think. Now, that means we’re going to – in October, we turn 10 years old. Like Live Happy has been around for 10 years and been active. I think that’s really exciting just to see that people have embraced it and are hanging with us.


[00:03:45] DH: As you know, we’ve had millions and millions and millions of downloads of the podcast. A hundred thousand of people hit our website. It is humbling to realize that something that we really started working on about 11 years ago has morphed into this positive force in the world, and it’s great. But 10 years, wow. My youngest child is 11. So it’s her entire life.


[00:04:11] PF: All she knows.


[00:04:12] DH: Yes, all she knows.


[00:04:14] PF: That’s cool. We’re doing some new things. We were talking about this. So we have Live Happy Now podcast. That’s done obviously very well. Last year, I added On a Positive Note, which looks at music and how it affects our happiness. We look at it through the health and well-being, a lot of different aspects of music.


So now, this year, we’re going to add the Happiness Unleashed, the new pet podcast. Now, you know as well as I do that pets are such a huge thing not just for Live Happy but in the world. So let’s kind of talk about why we believe so much in pets and what they can do for us.


[00:04:48] DH: We’ve always been a family-oriented podcast or a family-oriented property. Not all of our content is suitable for children. That’s not what I mean. I mean that we’re always about building families, building relationships in the community. Pets are a part of our family. They’re a part of our lives. They are something that we integrate, that we care about. There’s so much research out there on how they improve your overall well-being, everything from lowering your blood pressure to being a companion in stressful times. They are part of our families, and we know that there’s a lot of people that can’t imagine not having their pets in their lives.


I think it’s a really good thing. It’s an important part of our lives, and I just don’t think there’s that much out there about it. I think people are really interested in it, so I’m super excited to be adding that, kind of our repertoire.


[00:05:37] PF: Yes. What’s great too is they don’t have to listen to me. It’s going to be Brittany Derrenbacher, who has been on here frequently. She’s been our pet expert. She is so well-versed. She is a therapist. She does deal with things like pet loss, grief, compassion, fatigue, things like that. She’s in the rescue space. So I think she’s going to bring some incredible insights into how pets help us heal and what good they can do for us. So I’m excited to see how that one unfolds.


[00:05:59] DH: I am too. It’s great to add another voice to Live Happy. Yes, she’s done a fantastic job on the podcast in the past. You and I have talked about how they’re some of the most downloaded and most listened-to podcasts we have.


[00:06:10] PF: They are. It’s like maybe we should pay attention to that.


[00:06:13] DH: I would call that a clue. I’m taking the clue, and we’re super excited to have Brittany on. She’s just got some fantastic insights. I just think this is something that people are going to be really interested in.


[00:06:24] PF: I do too. I’m excited to see that play out. Another thing that we just added, we did our first episode with Dawn McMullan as a Happy Activist. You originated the Happy Activist idea back with our Happy Acts. We would spotlight people on the website who were doing amazing things. Somehow, as the magazine went away, we kind of got away from that. With this Happy Activist segment, we’re bringing that back once a month to be able to spotlight someone who’s doing amazing things in their community. So tell us a little bit about what you perceive a Happy Activist to be.


[00:06:57] DH: When we started Live Happy in general, we really wanted to focus on the science and the fact that there are things you can do that you can actually do proactively to make your world a happier place for yourself, your family, your community, all of that.


But there are people out there in the world who are doing it as their way of life. There are people who are doing things that truly make a difference in the lives of others. They truly do things to improve the well-being of themselves, their community and families in a very public way and sometimes not so public. They aren’t as sung. It’s not that they’re unsung heroes. It’s more like I don’t think they even realize, as many of these people don’t even realize, the impact they’re having and to be able to celebrate that and to be able to share the stories of people who are truly, truly putting their heart into the well-being of others.


It brings me joy that we can tell those stories because I don’t think we see enough of those stories. There are so many people in the world that that’s their mission and their purpose, and they found it, and it’s just really important to share that. So a Happy Activist, to me, is someone who’s out there improving the well-being of their community as a personal mission.


[00:08:08] PF: What I love about it is it gives our listeners more participation in the content of the podcast. It’s our listeners who are going to be bringing their Happy Activist to us and recommending people. We’re going to be doing some things on social media, on the website, in the newsletter to promote that, so they know how to reach it. But they can just send us an email to editor@livehappy.com and tell us about their Happy Activists. We’ll look into them and see about getting them on a future episode.


[00:08:33] DH: Yes. We really want our listeners and our readers and the people passionate about happiness the way we are to share the people in their lives that are making a difference. We don’t know who they are, but we know they’re out there, and we know that you know who they are. A little bit of recognition goes a long way. But I think that we need to spotlight the people that are doing good in the world. The people who are not, have true crime podcasts about them. [inaudible 00:08:56].


[00:08:59] PF: Go back to the anti-true crime podcast. We’re the true good podcast. That’s what we are.


[00:09:05] DH: There you go.


[00:09:08] PF: Yes. What’s wonderful too is someone else hears that and discovers new ways to give back. So like with Dawn and the work that she’s doing in Congo to help women give them a future was just amazing. She just gave so many ideas for how you can get involved in ways that you can give back, stuff that I had not even thought about.


[00:09:28] DH: Well, and I think that’s important because I think so many people hear those stories, and they think, “Wow, that’s huge. I could never do that. That’s great. I’m really glad they’re doing it, but I could never do that.” That’s not what it is. There are little things you can do in little pockets of time. Don’t take dedication of going to the Congo to just –


[00:09:48] PF: We don’t all have to go to East Africa. Okay.


[00:09:49] DH: We don’t have to go to East Africa to make a difference in the world. That is one of the great things about her perspective is she knows that. But something the other Happy Activists are doing things that you can do in your backyard that don’t take heroic full-time effort to do. Share their stories. We want to hear about them. They make a difference.


[00:10:07] PF: Yes, they do. I’m excited to meet these people. One more thing I think that we should talk about today is a newsletter because we’ve had this for a while, and we’re doing a lot of great things with it. I think we know it’s there. Like I know it’s there. You know it’s there. We kind of take it for granted. It’s like that middle child. Like we just, “Yes, they’re doing good. We love them. It’s great.” But we don’t really talk about all the things that the newsletter has to offer, and I’m really excited about some of the ways that we’re pumping it up and making it even bigger and better, a weekly free in your inbox. Get that great news delivered.


[00:10:39] DH: Well, one of the ways of making it better you just hit on, weekly. In the past, we’ve done it monthly, which is great. We’ve got a couple hundred thousand subscribers. We want more. Really, it is that little burst of joy, happiness in your inbox once a week. It will give you information on the next podcast episode. It’ll have some of that news in the happiness space. Yes, there is news in the happiness space. There’s happiness. There’s other news in the happiness phase. It’ll give you a little taste of the type of content we have on the website without you having to go like intentionally seek that out, although we want you to go intentionally to seek that out.


When we talk about filling up your mind with positive stuff, fill up your inbox with positive stuff, and give yourself the best opportunity to brighten your day, and find out a little more about how you can make yourself and the community around you a happier place.


[00:11:27] PF: Yes. One thing we’ve added to the newsletter, and it’s my personal favorite passion project, and that’s, of course, music. We’ve had the Live Happy Now playlist for a long time. Sometimes, we’ll talk about – we’ll do special playlists for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s, things like that. Haven’t been talking about the playlist lately, so each issue of the newsletter is going to have a song that fits the theme of that newsletter. Then we’ll direct you back to the Live Happy Now playlist, so you can just put on some tunes, change your state, make your brain happy, and maybe do a little bit of dancing in the kitchen.


[00:11:58] DH: Well, we really are looking at things that are in our everyday lives that make us happier. You start talking about pets. You start talking about music. I mean, all these are things that most people listening to the podcast, the families. Most people understand that this is where the key to happiness is. I love the music piece because you’re music. I’m film. I’m passionate about movies. There’s not as many movies that make me happy as there are songs. But dancing in the kitchen is one of my favorite pastimes.


[00:12:29] PF: It’s a universal skill because you don’t have to be good at it.


[00:12:32] DH: So we just want to expose people to things that really enhance their lives. Music is absolutely one of them. I’m super excited we’re doing that.


[00:12:40] PF: Yes. So those are some of the new things that we have coming up for this season. Gosh, 10 years. So what are you excited to see? As this new season, this New Year unfolds for us, who are you most excited about or looking forward to?


[00:12:52] DH: Well, I’m going to divert the conversation a little bit here because one of the things I’m most excited to see is a picture of you with a chicken on your shoulder, getting ready for this particular issue we were talking about. Paula lives in a rural area.


[00:13:07] PF: Let’s tell. During the pandemic, I moved from a top floor apartment in downtown Nashville to six acres on a lake about an hour away from Nashville. To say it was a culture change is kind of an understatement.


[00:13:20] DH: I am certain it was a culture change. I think what you were telling me earlier was like you went from music to chickens.


[00:13:27] PF: Yes, pretty much. Concerts to chickens. There we go.


[00:13:31] DH: Tell us about your chicken project, just because I think that they gave us a nice chuckle earlier. But it’s also really interesting to me what you’re doing with chickens.


[00:13:38] PF: First of all, I have to tell you, we were going to get 15 little baby chicks. Then my partner was in charge of buying them. They’re very cute on the website, and so somehow we ended up with an order of 25. Shortly after that order had been placed, a friend came and had three grown chickens that needed re-homed. So we took those in. Now, we have like – basically, with the little chicks getting here, we’ve raised them. They’re like 12 weeks or whatever. So we now have a chicken farm.


But, yes, one of the things behind us, one of the driving ideas behind it is our ability to give back and that with chickens comes eggs. There are many people who are not able to access the food that they need. Being able to have that many eggs produced gives us the opportunity to help people who maybe wouldn’t have access to that. We also have a very huge garden, and that’s what we – our intention behind it is to be able to help other people who aren’t having the food that they need, the nutrition.


There’s no reason in the world in America today that people are going to bed hungry at night. Food scarcity is a huge concern of mine. So that’s what we want to be able to do is help eliminate that in our own area. If it’s only with three families, if it’s only with three people, then that makes a difference to those three people. That’s kind of where it all started.


[00:14:53] DH: Well, now, you have shared what a Happy Activist is. Paula, my favorite things about doing this podcast is the team we have working on. We were on earlier with Laura and Casey and where we’re going. It is a joy in my life to see the people who are at Live Happy. They’re genuinely Happy Activists in their own life. I’m really glad you shared that because I think that’s something that people need to realize. I mean, you have a job. You work. You do everything else. But you’ve also – something you’re very passionate about. You’re taking time out of your day and your life and your lives to really support that, in addition to your dogs and cat and rabbit and –


[00:15:33] PF: The whole freaking zoo that I got out here.


[00:15:36] DH: I’m so glad I asked you about that. I wanted to share it. But what I’m excited about for the podcast this year really is the expansion and the integration. By the expansion, I mean, I love that we’re adding pets. I love that we’re going back to put more of the happy playlist in. But I like the integration. The newsletter is kind of going to tie it all together and just continue to expand the number of people we’re reaching, continuing to share that.


One of the things I’m most proud of Live Happy is that everything that we do is free to you in terms of content. It’s just a joy to be able to give back to the world in that way. So I’m super excited about that. I know we’ve got some podcasts coming out about what happened at IPPA, the International Positive Psychology Association event. I know we’ve got more podcasts about pets and people and Happy Activists and the science behind happiness. I just hope everybody turns in and fills their mind with good stuff 20 minutes a week. Let’s make a difference in the world. I hope they become Happy Activists like you.


00:16:36] PF: Oh. Well, thank you. To be honest, Live Happy has changed me by making me so aware how I can help, how I can be of service. It’s literally impossible to interview someone every week, a different person every week who is putting good into the world, who is telling us how to be better humans, how to be happier humans. You have to change your life. There’s no way that you can just say, “Okay, on to the next thing.” You can’t do it. It affects you. It has made a profound difference in my life and, therefore, is making the difference for other people because it’s changing the way that I walk in this world.


[00:17:10] DH: I think if you listen to it, it’s the same way. If you listen to it every week, it’s just that reminder that you don’t have to accept things the way they are. You can make a difference. You can make a change. Change starts with you. You can be happier. We always say happiness is a choice, and we don’t really mean that entirely. I mean, obviously, there are things in the world that impede that for people that are very real. But you can choose to do things to make yourselves incrementally happier. You can choose to do things that give back to the world incrementally. It’s a privilege to be sharing that information.


[00:17:43] PF: Deb, I cannot think of a better way to end this that you’ve summed it up beautifully. This is a pleasure. It’s an honor to get to do this. I love sitting down and talking about what we’re going to do because it gets me so excited for this coming season. Thank you and for the opportunity to do this. Thank you for creating this for us all to be able to come play in the happiness space.


[00:18:02] DH: Thank you for everything that you do to keep me on track. I appreciate it. Have a great season.




[00:18:12] PF: That was Live Happy CEO and Co-Founder, Deborah Heisz, talking about what you can expect from season nine. If you’d like to sign up for our newsletter, tell us about a Happy Activist, or follow us on social media, just visit us at livehappy.com and click on the podcast tab. You’ll find that information on the landing page for this episode. That is all we have time for today. We’ll meet you back here again next week for an all-new episode. Until then, this is Paula Felps, reminding you to make every day a happy one.



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