5×5: Staying Well Amidst the Chaos with Wellness Experts

If there is any one thing that has proven to be incredibly beneficial and important in the face of a global pandemic, it’s wellness. From mental wellbeing to physical fitness, this period of immense change, stress, and adjustment has been ideal for taking a step back from our busy lives, and figuring out how we feel, and how we can take control of our lives. Whether you have taken up running, lived for your lockdown morning yoga session, or scheduled a Zoom call with your therapist, it’s likely that you have developed your own methods of keeping well, and staying …

Book Culture Female Authors

If there is any one thing that has proven to be incredibly beneficial and important in the face of a global pandemic, it’s wellness. From mental wellbeing to physical fitness, this period of immense change, stress, and adjustment has been ideal for taking a step back from our busy lives, and figuring out how we feel, and how we can take control of our lives.

Whether you have taken up running, lived for your lockdown morning yoga session, or scheduled a Zoom call with your therapist, it’s likely that you have developed your own methods of keeping well, and staying centred and happy. We asked five wellness authors and experts about how they have changed their own routines, and what they suggest for wellness in the ‘New Normal’.



1. What aspect of wellness do you consider your area of expertise?  

Michelle DesPres: Intuition is the key to all wellness as insight is the healing component. While Intuitive Therapy is akin to talk therapy, it goes deeper into a person’s soul’s history, yielding instant physical, emotional, mental and spiritual results while eliminating the need for clients to toil trying to find their solutions. This is why clients tell me that 1 hour with me is like 10 years of therapy. Intuitive sessions generally offer breakthroughs in all aspects of one’s life from growing personally to reconciling relationships, finding purpose and even mending the world. 

Anna Penenberg: I work with the mind-body connection. My healing approach integrates neurobiology, psychotherapy, and wisdom traditions into personal pathways of re-patterning. Releasing the root causes of held emotions and early beliefs through the body and inner children, can bring healthy integration.

Brooke Lewis Bellas: I would consider my area of expertise in wellness as the area of LOVE, whether it be self-love as a board certified life coach or love as a dating and relationship expert… It’s all about love.

Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess: TIPS to help you embrace your HOT MESS, BE FEARLESS and OWN IT!  

So, in 2016, I chose to embrace my “crazy” and use my blessed and beautiful bedside table book to profess…”I am a HOT MESS!” Yup…I said it, rock it and OWN IT! Now, being an Actress, Life Coach and Dating Expert in the public eye, some may think I am really “crazy” sharing this with the world! There is something valuable in these pages for everyone. You will find advice and tips for Life, Love, Female Empowerment, LGBT Support, Self-esteem, Body Image, Bullying, Ageism, Dating and Online Dating. If one thing I coach helps you, this was worth all the frustration. If you only read one chapter that speaks to you, this was worth it. If you keep this book on your bedside table to turn to when you need a tip or reminder, this was worth it. If you learn to love your body, no matter what number is on the scale, this was worth it. If you learn to face your fears, this was worth it. If you feel compelled to get back out there and date after a breakup or divorce, this was worth it. If you choose to try online dating, this was worth it. If you learn to honor yourself and your choices, no matter what (flaws and all!), this was worth it. 

Ms. Vampy’s Teen Tawk: There’s A Lotta Power In Ya Choices:

The Ms. Vampy’s Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk series and the book are designed to inspire tween and teen girls, and address issues that girls face today, including body image, inner beauty, self-esteem, making powerful choices, dating and relationships, bullying, facing fears, following their dreams, and, most importantly, being themselves! 

Sherianna Boyle: I consider myself an expert in emotional processing. I find labeling an emotion is one thing, learning how to process an emotion is a whole different ball game.



Kay Hutchison: My expertise is knowing all the wellness options and helping pick the right one for a particular situation or problem. I have experience of a broad spectrum of different therapies from a time when I had a number of health concerns to deal with myself.  Eventually I recovered thanks to those therapies and therapists and, experiencing them all for myself, I know what is most likely to be beneficial for specific health complaints. 


Kay Hutchison is a content creator with extensive experience in radio, television and publishing. After gaining her BMus and MA in music at Glasgow University, she joined Decca Records in London and then BBC Radio as a Producer. Kay moved across to television with Channel 4 and went on to lead the launch teams for Disney TV and Channel Five. In the build-up to the 2012 London Olympics, she successfully led the legacy partnership that delivered a long-term future for the multi-million-pound Olympics Broadcast Centre. Kay founded her own company, Belle Media and launched Belle Kids in 2015, producing multi-platform, conservation-focused content for children. She is the author of My Life In Thirty Seven Therapies: From Yoga To Hypnosis and Why Voodoo is Never the Answer.


image via bythebook


2. When did your wellness journey begin? Has it always been a part of your life?

Michelle DesPres: My wellness journey began in my early 30’s when I was in the midst of a life crisis. However, I would later learn that my journey really started when I was only 4 years old. Intuition taught me that my early childhood experiences were designed to send me in the direction toward awakening my higher self. As a result, I also learned how to heal my inner-child which has been a large part of my wellness journey.

Anna Penenberg: Yes, it has always been a part of my life. I grew up dancing and I have always eaten whole foods and exercised.

Brooke Lewis Bellas: I truly feel that my wellness journey began long before my awareness of it. I have always been an incredibly sensitive and empathic person, and I started consciously studying wellness, spirituality, intuition, and metaphysics in college, but I don’t think I knew, then, how profound it would become in my adult life and career. I think from my own challenges since childhood, with divorce, chronic health issues, like allergies, asthma and fibromyalgia, I was sort of forced to tap into my intuition, feelings and body. I feel I have gained a keen sense of empathy, intuition, wellness, awareness, and spirit that has followed me throughout all of my various careers as an actress, producer, life coach, dating expert, author, and philanthropist.


Brooke Lewis Bellas is an award-winning Board Certified Life Coach and Dating and Relationship Coach and Expert, as well as a renowned actress and author. From The Ms. Vampy’s Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk to Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess,  which hit #1 New Release in both Etiquette and Guides & Advice on Amazon. This book was also the Winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards 2016 Self-help Motivational Book, London Book Festival Awards 2016 How-to Book, and Independent Press Awards 2017 How-to Book. Following the success of her book, Brooke partnered with Metal Babe Mayhem to brand and launch their ‘Rock Your Hot Mess’, ‘Ms. Vampy’ and ‘Scream Queen Brooke Lewis’ clothing lines. She was also branded with the hypoallergenic Makeup and Skincare Company TASH Cosmetics to launch their ‘Profess Your Hot Mess’ and ‘Ms. Vampy Girl’ makeup lines. Brooke is also a committed philanthropist.


image via twitter


Sherianna Boyle: Yes, I have always been interested in self improvement, exercise, the mind and body since I was a teenager. I would say it began around age 15.

Kay Hutchison: Wellness was not part of my life until I became ill and had to do something to change.  My wellness journey began when I had a mid-life crisis and many things that I had come to take for granted, suddenly fell apart in one way or another.  These included my stable home with my husband of 20 years, my close family, my job in tv and my physical health. Through this experience, I realised that wellness needed to become front and centre from then on.  It’s often difficult for women to focus on self-care and yet it’s the most important part of living a happy and balanced life.  Rushing around, looking after everyone else is what we usually learn, and do rather well. That’s a lovely aspect to our make-up, but as life speeds up and becomes more complicated, we need to ensure that those vital energies that keep us going are regularly replenished.


3. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, how did you transfer your routine from the gym/outdoors to your home? 

Michelle DesPres: With the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve transferred a large part of my gym routine to gardening and house maintenance. Although, I’m lucky to live in Colorado where there is a lot of open space and so my sweetie and I have also been trekking (with masks) the local trails in our area where we are least likely to come in contact with others.

Michelle DesPres is a certified clairvoyant medium trained under the Berkeley Psychic Institute program for inner development. She is the author of the books The Clairvoyant Path, and most recently, INTUITIVELY YOU, Evolve Your Life and Mend the Word, helping others discover personal and collective fulfillment. She also published the Intuitive Ethical Standards, establishing guidelines for alternative therapists.


image via DesPres


Anna Penenberg: I have a regular practice of yoga and meditation that I do with my daughter on zoom every morning. I sometimes take yoga or dance classes on zoom. I also have a Pilates reformer on an outside deck, that I work out on a couple of times a week. And I live near hiking trails and take walks often.

Brooke Lewis Bellas: Working as an actress in the public eye and being naturally on the more thick and voluptuous side, I have always been compelled to work out and work hard to at least maintain my weight. One of the greatest purchases I ever made years ago (and, I am now on my fourth one!) was purchasing a treadmill to keep in my home and, let me tell you ladies, it has been a blessing in every way prior to, and during, COVID-19. I am so grateful that I have continuously kept my treadmill up to date, because for any career women out there, women in business or women in film, it is an absolute for me and I don’t know what I would do without a treadmill in my home all these years. Even if it means between meetings, running over and doing a 30-minute run on the treadmill, I can just figure out a way to work out and I have been so grateful to have it during COVID-19. Oh, by the way, did I mention I have ordered more pizza during COVID-19 than I have in 10 years? 



Sherianna Boyle: Fortunately, I was already in the process of getting ready to bring my Cleanse Yoga® practices to an online platform. The virus just gave me and my business partner for Cleanselife.com a kick in the butt. The platform offers a variety of on demand practices Cleanse Yoga® (each of which include our signature emotional cleanse).

Kay Hutchison: I think the transition was less stressful because I had learned about staying calm through meditation, a 10-day silent retreat and regular yoga. I missed meeting friends, but because we all knew it was about staying safe and well, at first we just got on with it in our homes on our own. But soon the gym instructors discovered zoom and the schedule began to fill up with virtual sessions. When we eventually get back to socialising, I believe we will equally appreciate group sessions and solo practice.  Covid-19 has allowed us to experience the value of peace and slowing everything down, including exercise.


4. How are you keeping busy in lockdown? 

Michelle DesPres: Interestingly, the minute we went on lockdown, I doubled my efforts to get my online school launched, something I’d been working on prior to. I also quickly organized all my clients and students into an online platform, knowing they would need my support and the support of one another to get through this time. I am now expanding my online reach in an effort to be there for more people as a calming resource during these chaotic times.

Anna Penenberg:  I am busy with phone or zoom sessions with clients and writing blogs, articles and media for my new memoir. I have two daughters and we are very close. One lives with me and the other visits with social distancing hikes and dinner.

Brooke Lewis Bellas: Honestly, I have been as busy as ever, just more virtually than ever before! I am a firm believer in keeping energy moving, whenever possible, even during crisis and challenging times. I am currently in post-production on film and TV projects with various teams for Red Rooms, Stripped, and The Second Age of Aquarius. As we know, a lot has been halted with COVID-19, but we have been forging ahead! I have been watching and voting on a lot of content as a Judge for The New York Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NY NATAS) and for the horrific Shriekfest Film Festival. I have been doing a lot of COVID-19 charity fundraisers and working behind the scenes to raise money for The Actors Fund and Frontline Responders Fund during this pandemic crisis. Lastly, I also just shot a super fun video for Breaking The Chains Foundation (BTCF) where I am a celebrity ambassador to raise awareness for eating disorders, body shaming, body image issues and healing them through the arts. Founder, Debra Hopkins, and I produced a video series, MATURE WOMEN EMBRACE YOUR BODIES & BE FABULOUS, we are passionate about and cannot wait to share with women and your readers!

Sherianna Boyle: Oh, boy well I just started the Emotional Detox Radio Show on Healthylife.net which has kept me super busy. I also finished another book and like I mentioned earlier, we launch cleanselife.com which has multiple offerings including Corporate Wellness.  


Sherianna Boyle, MED, CAGS, is an adjunct psychology professor, author of eight books, and founder of Emotional Detox Coaching, C.L.E.A.N.S.E. Method, and C.L.E.A.N.S.E. Yoga. Her work has been featured in more than eighty articles in publications such as Yoga JournalPsychology TodayOrganic AuthorityPrevention, and First for Women. Sherianna provides Emotional Detox workshops through renowned centers such as Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and 1440 Multiversity. Find her Emotional Detox podcast, workshops, and services at SheriannaBoyle.com.

image via Sherianna Boyle


Kay Hutchison: I’m busy with writing and running my children’s book publishing business.  I also produce a podcast about Books & Stories, and am busy planning a new children’s book series. When I’m not working, I enjoy walking in the picturesque countryside of Kent – lots of trees, wildlife, birds and sheep. I’m about to start a cleanse which I’ll need time to do properly – preparing and eating vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in lots of simple dishes.


5. What do you think is the best way to incorporate healthy (mind/body) practices into your everyday? 

Michelle DesPres: Intuitively checking in with my energy and my motives throughout my day is how I maintain a healthy mind/body. For instance, I know that if I’m not speaking my truth, I will get a cold. So, if I’m intuitively witnessing my energy field and I see a block in my throat, it’s a sign that I need to communicate something or I’ll get sick. These intuitive check-ins show me the state of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies allowing me to find a well-rounded sense of health.



Anna Penenberg: It is best to make a schedule of mind/body practices for a general routine. This brings structure and creates a foundation of self-care that can support you over time.  You can then depend on showing up for yourself and feel the benefits of regular physical, emotional and mental practices that allow you to be your best. Eating well, sleeping well and exercising/sweating are our best tools for wellness.


Anna Penenberg works with individuals and families affected by trauma. A healer by nature and training, her approach integrates neurobiology, psychotherapy, and wisdom traditions into personal pathways of re-patterning. Anna holds a BA in Psychology and MA in Dance Therapy from UCLA, with certifications in Marriage & Family Therapy, Body-Mind Centering®, Infant Developmental Movement, and Kundalini Yoga & Meditation. She is the mother of two adult daughters and lives in Topanga, California. Dancing in the Narrows is her first book.


image via goodreads


Brooke Lewis Bellas: Balance, Baby! I think balance is so important, and I will be the first to admit that I am a hypocrite when it comes to balance and I need to balance more in my own everyday life. I want to work a little less and have a little more fun! I strongly believe in moderation and I think in order to have the healthiest mind and body each one of us can have, we have to put equal work into our mental health, physical health and spiritual health. And, you know what ladies…It is okay to cheat on our diets once in a while… it’s okay to miss a workout every now and then… it’s okay to take a day off of work and play hooky and find your truth that feeds your soul! Find balance, whatever that means to you, because segueing right back to my book Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess, we are all “perfectly imperfect” just the way we are!

Sherianna Boyle: Find something you really enjoy and commit to it. Make sure the thing you do brings you joy. In other words, don’t just think about results that will only get you so far in the mind/body journey. You want to look forward to your routine. 

Kay Hutchison: Give yourself time at the start of each day to think about what’s important.  Underlying everything, should be your health and wellbeing. It’s not about rushing around doing as much as possible, it’s about taking the time to do what needs to be done and balancing periods of rest and quiet reflection with bursts of activity. Making sure you have the right kinds of food in the house and that you make enough time to enjoy it will help your digestion work well.  And making time to prepare for sleep will help you to put life into some perspective, no matter how strange our days might seem right now.


Be kind to yourself. That way leads to good health.


featured image via Bookstr