google image
google image

Emotion Well Podcast

Life Happens. We’re Here to Help.

Subscribe to our Podcast on

Season Six

What Zac Knew

Zac Easter was an all-American kid; he loved football, he loved his family, and he had hopes and dreams for a future with his high school sweetheart. Zac also lived with mental illness that was the result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Zac knew something was wrong with his brain and wanted others to understand what he was going through so he kept journals of his experiences. Having played football since elementary school, Zac had endured multiple brain injuries, or what we commonly call concussions. Zac died in 2015 as a result of his mental health issues and to honor Zac's life and prevent future tragedies, his mother, Brenda Easter, founded CTE-Hope, a foundation that raises awareness and supports research and funding for CTE. Brenda shares her family's journey through Zac's mental health struggles and how even in his absence, his story lives on and makes a difference for future generations of kids who play sports.

CTE Hope

Love, Zac

GQ Video

From Reactive to Proactive: Supporting Children and Families

To recognize Child Abuse Prevention month we hear from Greg Bellville and Abby Patterson from Prevent Child Abuse Iowa. They share the importance of shifting the focus towards proactive and preventative measures to protect children, such as identifying and supporting families in need of assistance, instead of the reactive way the system is set up to report, observe, and remove children from their families. In addition, hear how Prevent Child Abuse Iowa supports families and how you can become a member of their Imperfect Parent Club!

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

Imperfect Parent Club

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Psychological Testing Explained

Psychological testing is a highly requested service but the number of providers available to perform testing falls short leaving a very long wait for families looking for answers, support, and resources. Hear from Amanda Khader, a licensed school psychologist, about what type of behavioral health diagnoses are most common, how they are screened and tested, and why having a diagnosis can be helpful and important for children and their families. In addition, learn about EFR's new psychological testing services available.

Explore EFR's Services

Confidence: An Inside Job

Barb Ranck joins us to discuss what imposter syndrome is and what it isn't. She shares scenarios from childhood that could predispose someone to imposter syndrome and provides different ways for us to think through our insecurities. Barb reminds us that when you give yourself grace, space, and time, anything is possible and you can lead an authentic life.

Learn more about EFR's Life Coaching benefit

Learn more about Barb here

Check out Brenè Brown's Call To Courage on Netflix

Understanding Emotional Abuse

Dr. Lauren Welter, PhD joins us for a candid conversation on emotional abuse. In this episode we uncover common characteristics of emotional abuse and discuss why it can be difficult for people in abusive relationships to see themselves caught in the cycle of abuse. Dr. Welter explains the challenges individuals face when trying to leave an abusive relationship and the importance of having a safety plan when preparing to leave.

National Hotline for Domestic Violence: 800-799-7233

Definitions of Types of Emotional Abuse 

Checklist to consider if you’re in an abusive relationship: 

Cycle of Abuse

Power & Control Wheel

Lundy Bancroft

The Mend Project/Resources for Victims and Therapists

Prairie Home Wellness and Counseling

The Healing Space

Humans thrive when they feel supported and connected. Mary Doherty, LMSW, and one of EFR's counselors, shares how group therapy and support groups can make a difference when someone needs support outside of, or in addition to, individual therapy. Mary shares information about the new services coming to The Healing Space, EFR's new center for support groups, therapy groups, and classes.

Click to check out our group and class offerings!

The Scoop on Successful Lifestyle Changes

Season six of Emotion Well kicks off with our very own wellness consultants, Johanna Dunlevy and Kylie Mitchell, sharing stories of setting New Year resolutions and helping guide others to do the same. Hear from them on the importance of habit stacking, the secrets to sustainable lifestyle changes, and how to consistently make the easy choice when it comes to healthy living.

Connect with EFR!

Season Five

Growing Through Grief

At some point we will lose people we know and love to death making grief an inevitable life experience. Buffy Peters, the Director of Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss, joins us to speak about the different ways grief presents itself, how people can embrace and grow with grief, and the abundance of resources available for those grieving.

Connect with Hamilton's Grief Academy

Learn More About November 6 Grief Symposium

Podcast Recommendations for Widows/Widowers

Book Recommendations about Grief

Check out Buffy's other podcast appearance on the Widowed Parent Podcast!

A Documentary About Grief

Connect with EFR

Rural Response – Helping Rural and Farming Communities Thrive

The demand for mental health services has never been greater but what does that mean for those living in rural and farming communities? Jason Haglund, a fifth generation farmer and expert in the field of mental health shares how accessibility, availability, and acceptability play a factor in addressing mental health and preventing suicide. Jason also shares how Mental Health First Aid can help move us towards greater acceptance and comfort when mental health concerns arise.

ISU Extension - Click for Stress on the Farm info

Bank of Iowa - Click to learn more about the survey on Iowa Farmers' mental health

Mental Health First Aid - Click to learn more

EFR Mental Health First Aid - Click to explore our offerings

Empowering Your Future

Kristin Clark empowers teenagers and young adults to focus on their interests instead of passions when planning for college and career paths. Kristin shares how using CliftonStrengths can help untangle college planning and how focusing on strengths can spark joy and fulfillment and lead to more long-term career satisfaction.

Click here to connect with Kristin!

Living Authentically: Mental Health and the LGBTQ+ Community

In this episode we speak with Licensed Mental Health Counselor Ashley Morgan about her experience being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Ashley informs us of the differences between gender identity and sexual orientation and discusses how mental health and substance use disorders affect the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, she shares great resources for individuals who are questioning or coming out, as well as resources for their friends and family members.

Click here to watch EFR's webinar with Ashley Morgan.

Click here to learn more about resources available through The Trevor Project

Click here to see the 2021 National Survey on Youth and LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Click here to explore resources for friends, family members, and allies.

Click here to review resources available through GLAAD.

Enneagram at Work

The Enneagram is a popular personality model, describing nine types and what motivates each type to respond in unique ways. How these types show up at their best and under stress is key to building empathy and successful collaboration in the workplace and beyond. Hear from Enneagram expert Barb Ranck what the different types mean and how you can work with your types shine spots and blind spots. 

Connect with Barb via her website!

Identify Your Enneagram Type here.

Season Four

Fatherhood: Presence Over Perfection

June marks Men's Health Month and Father's Day. To honor both occasions we invited former EFR colleague and founding co-creator of Emotion Well, Joseph Jackson, to share his experience as a new father. Joseph shares how being intentional about self-care has helped him adapt to his first year of fatherhood and how being present with family has helped establish a routine that benefits everyone's well-being.

Let’s Talk About It

Lyndsey Fennelly is a mother, wife, basketball skill trainer, former Iowa State University All American athlete, and mental health advocate. Lyndsey shares her first-hand account of living with a mental health diagnosis, the path she took to get the help she needed, and how opening up about her journey has been helpful to others and herself.

Connect with Lyndsey

Read More About Lyndsey

Mental Health Matters

Lars Peterson sits down with us to discuss mental health diagnoses, the prevalence of mental health across all age ranges, and why it matters that workplaces and leaders understand the basics of mental health. Lars shares ideas for grounding exercises, breathing exercises, and explains the Window of Tolerance. In addition, we share our benefit upgrades for EAP clients effective immediately!

Window of Tolerance

EFR Training Catalog

Awareness Now

We are joined by Jay Foote who shares how mindfulness and body awareness can make a difference in how someone feels, both physically and emotionally. Jay shares information about the Alexander Technique, a way to move more mindfully through life to improve balance, coordination, and support. We learn about Jay's experiences as a professional musician living with chronic pain and how by practicing the Alexander Technique, he was able to sustain and grow his career and hobby as a performer.

Learn More About Jay!

Connect with Jay on an Alexander Technique Session!

Check out EFR's April webinar with Jay.

Good, Better, Best: Eating Made Easy

In celebration of National Nutrition Month we sit down with Susie Roberts, RDN, LD and the recipient of the Iowa Academy's 2021 Emerging Dietetics Leader Award to debunk some common nutrition myths and misconceptions. We cover everything from intermittent fasting to how important breakfast really is to supporting gut health. In addition we discuss the importance of knowing where you get your nutrition information from.

Why Breakfast?




Win the Day

Hear from Prevention Team Lead Joe McQuerry about how organized sports prepare youth for the ups and downs of life. Joe shares his philosophy on winning, losing, and how showing up and getting to work are critical to successes on and off the field. 

Learn more about EFR's Prevention Team

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Finding YOUR Spark

Sarah Sparks shares her story on better understanding herself, how she identified her purpose in life, and how she guides others to finding their spark in business and personal relationships. Sarah is a highly sought out Spiritual Business Mentor who helps people identify purpose and the path to embracing life to its fullest. Sarah also shares her definition of spiritual wellness and how one can pursue a whole life embracing mind, body, and spirit.

Visit Sarah's website!

Check out Sarah's Podcast, Floating on a Cloud!

Read Sarah's book, Hateful to Grateful!

Check out the book, The Four Agreements

Questions? Email us!

Season Three

Increased Support Through Harm Reduction

Gabbie Ruggiero, Prevention Specialist and Grant Coordinator from EFR's Prevention Team sits down to talk about the current meth and opioid trends in the United States and explains why overdose deaths are continuing to increase. She introduces us to the concept of harm reduction strategies and how this approach to drug use is focused on reducing negative consequences and overdose deaths and how harm reduction is a form of social justice.

River to River Podcast

Harm Reduction Principles

Harm Reduction in Iowa

Information and Access to NARCAN

Reach out to EFR 24/7/365 at 800.327.4692.

Free, confidential support for Iowans without EFR’s EAP in crisis or in need of mental health and substance use resources: or call (855) 581-8111 or text (855) 895-8398.

Questions: email

Mapping Out Your Financial Future

Many people dream of the day they no longer need to work but often times those dreams are dashed with the reality that retirement might not look the way they expected from a financial perspective. Learn from Scott Nelson of Legacy Financial Group how to create a roadmap to a financially sustainable retirement. Scott shares tips for individuals who are just entering the workforce, those mid-career, and individuals on the cusp of retirement. As Scott shares, it is never too early or too late to think about the golden years!

Resources and Financial Calculators:

Questions: Email

Scott Nelson is an Investment Advisor Representative with Legacy Financial Group], a Registered Investment Adviser. Opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect those of Legacy Financial Group]. The topics discussed, and opinions given are not intended to address the specific needs of any listener. Legacy Financial Group does not offer legal or tax advice, listeners are encouraged to discuss their financial needs with the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance

Get Smart (With Your Feelings)

Dr. Warren Phillips, a clinical psychologist and expert on emotional intelligence, or EQ, helps us understand the importance of paying attention to our feelings and how we can use that information to help us navigate relationships at home and in the workplace. We also explore whether there are any downsides to EQ and if personality traits, like introversion or extroversion are related to someone's EQ.

Check out Warren's Business: Transformative Workplace Solutions:

Check out Warren's podcast: Take the Irk out of Work

Learn more about: Six Seconds

Check out EFR's training catalog to explore EQ workshops for your workplace!

Questions or comments? Email

What Andy Taught Us

September is Suicide Awareness Month and in this episode we hear from Destiny Welsh Teixeira who shares how her family found ways to cope after her brother took his own life. Destiny shares how her faith and family got her through a challenging season of life and how her family and the community continue to honor her brother Andy’s life. 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

National Suicide Hotline: 800.273.8255

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month:

Email Emotion Well:

Counseling Myths and Misconceptions

EFR’s Clinical Team Lead, Tina Leaf (MSW, LISW), explores common myths and misconceptions about counseling in our latest episode of Emotion Well! In addition, Tina shares how to identify a counselor who will be a good fit, how to know when a child is ready for counseling, and why many people are hesitant to take the first step of reaching out to a counselor.

Questions for Emotion Well? Email us at

Learn more about EFR's counseling services

Use your EAP benefit with EFR

Let’s Talk About Boundaries

To kick off season three we have Alysa Mozak sharing information about identifying and communicating healthy boundaries. Alysa is an educator and consultant with her own business called Blossoming Pathways, LLC. She provides customized policy audits using trauma informed care methods, and professional development trainings and workshops on empathy building skills, sexual health and healthy relationships skills, compassion fatigue, and bystander training. In this episode we explore boundaries across all types of relationships and also hear about the importance of boundary setting in the workplace.

Questions for Emotion Well? Email us at

Blossoming Pathyways:

Book Recommendation: Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawab:

Healthy Relationships Initiative

The Relationship Foundation

Season Two

Parenting with Perspective

Steve Arneson joins us for a candid conversation about parenting, coaching, counseling, mentoring, and being a girl dad. In addition to being a dad (and grandpa!), Steve has worn the hat of teacher, school counselor, and coach and provides great insights into best ways to communicate with children and adolescents. Steve also shares how EFR's Student Assistance Program (SAP) can be a way to keep communication open between parents and children.

EFR's Student Assistance Program –

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Radical Hospitality: One Burrito at a Time

Joe Laslo is a man on a mission. Since 2015, Joe has been serving radical hospitality one burrito at a time to the homeless and food insufficient in Des Moines, Iowa through the non-profit, Urban Bicycle Food Ministry (UBFM). Learn how a bike accident in 2014 turned into one of Joe's greatest endeavors and how it has changed the lives of those who he has met along the way. In addition, find out how you can get involved with UBFM and learn more about EFR's annual fundraiser, Ride Don't Hide!

Urban Bicycle Food Ministries –

Urban Bicycle Food Ministries Facebook -

Ride Don't Hide -

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Find Your Roots: Exploring Environmental Wellness

Being aware and noticing what is going on in the natural world is one way to enhance overall well-being. Leslie Berckes shares her passion for being a voice for the voiceless through her work with Trees Forever and helps us explore the many ways someone can interact with the natural world to boost physical and emotional well-being. 

Trees Forever Growing Futures Program –

Trees Forever Treekeeper Program -

How Environmentalism Intersects with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion -

Study on Widening Disconnect with Nature -

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Working Moms: A Candid Conversation

Stephanie Majeran is the owner of Well Run Results and shares her path to finding purpose through taking the leap into entrepreneurship while navigating the early years of motherhood and then homeschooling during a pandemic. Learn what advice Stephanie gives others interested in pursuing career goals  and how important her self-care routine has been to finding balance across all dimensions of well-being.

Well Run Results–

EFR Culture Audit

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Fall in Love with Financial Freedom

Have you ever thought about your relationship style when it comes to money? Is money causing stress in your personal relationships? Hear from Scott Nelson of Legacy Financial Group the small and big steps you can take to have a healthier relationship with your banking and retirement accounts.

Webinar – My Financial Life: Money Matters:

Questions about workplace financial wellness

Resources and Financial Calculators:

National Endowment for Financial Education NEFE

Scott Nelson is an Investment Advisor Representative with Legacy Financial Group, a Registered Investment Adviser.  Opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect those of Legacy Financial Group.  The topics discussed, and opinions given are not intended to address the specific needs of any listener. Legacy Financial Group does not offer legal or tax advice, listeners are encouraged to discuss their financial needs with the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Making It Work: Self-Care in the Workplace

On average, you will spend 1/3 of your life working so establishing healthy work routines and incorporating self-care in the workplace is essential for health and happiness. Learn what individuals, leaders, and employers can do to make self-care and wellness a priority and work for everyone.

EFR Wellness Benefits:

Marquee Health

Stats on Worksite Wellness

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Normalizing a Healthy Lifestyle

Emotion Well Episode 4 -
Normalizing a Healthy Lifestyle

It is easy to fall into and normalize a lifestyle that overlooks healthy habits and often difficult to get on the path to a healthier way of living. In this episode, Kevin Peterson shares his steps to setting up a successful routine that incorporates healthy living into your existing lifestyle and circumstances. Learn the steps you can take to get on make 2021 the best year yet!

Peterson Holistic Services

Grace Fitness

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Healthy Holidays

The holidays are around the corner and no holiday is complete without the tradition of feasting on your favorite treats and sweets! Hear from Registered Dietitian Susie Roberts on how to enjoy your favorite foods without ruining the best of your health goals and intentions. Susie is the owner of DASH Coaching and Consulting Solutions and can be reached at Make sure to check into Susie’s favorite resources: MyPlateEatRight, and the CDC Nutrition Website!

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Maternal Mental Health – One Mother’s Journey

Haley Pederson Hundley shares her journey into motherhood and through postpartum OCD in this episode centered on self-care and self-awareness for new moms. Learn what resources Haley used to guide her through the ups and downs of becoming a mom and how those resources helped her gain a different perspective on the must-have tools and conversations one needs as they journey into motherhood.

Resources: International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation

American Psychological Association:

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Support for your Student A(SAP)!

Learn from Steve Arneson, a retired school teacher and school counselor some of the best ways to support your student,  how to stay connected to the resources available to students and parents, and how to keep open communication channels about the emotions your student is experiencing. 

Join the conversation and share your ideas about this topic by emailing us at!

Season One

Season One Recap

Season one is a wrap! 2020 has been a trying year to say the least but Emotion Well is here to continue inspiring and sharing stories and ideas about how to take care of your emotional wellness. Check out our season one recap and stay tuned for season two this fall! In our upcoming season we are covering youtha and adolescent emotional health, postpartum emotional needs, nutrition, and how to normalize a healthy lifestyle (to name just a few!). 

If you have any ideas you’d like to share for season two, please email us at!

Secrets to Sustainable Success

Kevin Peterson is the owner of Peterson Holistic Services, located in Urbandale, Iowa, and the founder of Permanent Weight Loss Solutions. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to making lifestyle related changes, and he so generously shared his secrets to sustainable success with Emotion Well!

Kevin has combined his philosophy and experience in weight loss with his education in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, certification as a Personal Trainer, and diploma in Nutrition Therapy to create a Virtual Training Program that taps into the intelligence of your body and supports its natural ability to heal. Because, in the end, that is what weight loss is, a healing process.

Email us with your questions:
Learn more about EFR
Learn more about Peterson Holistic Services

Making Connections with Cancer

Louise Crall is the Human Resources and Community Engagement Director at Employee and Family Resources. Louise is a two-time cancer survivor and shares how her treatment and recovery benefitted from making new connections in her community with others going through similar experiences. In addition, Louise shares how she remains involved in Above and Beyond Cancer, years after her diagnosis and treatment.

Email us with your questions:
Learn more about EFR
Learn more about Above and Beyond Cancer
Learn more about Camino de Santiago pilgrimage

Podcasts Sources:
WebMD Magazine

Fact Check on the Opioid Epidemic

Hannah McMunn is a Prevention Specialist with Employee and Family Resources. A large part of her role on the Prevention Team is to provide resources and programming around the opioid epidemic in Jasper County, Iowa. Oftentimes people view legal drugs as much safer and less harmful than illegal drugs but in recent years, the opioid epidemic has proven that prescription pain medication can have just as many health consequences and can be just as dangerous and deadly.

Email us with your questions:
Learn more about EFR

Podcasts Sources:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Partnership for Drug Free America PSA from 1987
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Retire with Purpose

Tom Farley is living a life of purpose in retirement and shares his professional knowledge and personal experiences about retiring with purpose and passion. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day for the next two decades, learning about retirement beyond financial security is critical for optimal well-being during your golden years.

Email us with your questions:
Learn more about EFR

Understanding Food and Mood

Susie Roberts, the Nutrition Services Director for Community Health Partners, a community-based organization focused on achieving outstanding results for patients, clients, families, and communities shares how food and mood are connected! Did you know you make over 200 food choices each day? While many people associate making food choices with their physical health and appearance, food choices affect emotional well-being, too. In this episode, Susie answers the many questions floating around regarding those choices, diet fads, and explains the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating.

Email us with your questions:
Learn more about EFR

google image
google image


Student Assistance Program (SAP) & Outpatient Counseling

Maddox*, an elementary-aged student, struggled with anger outbursts, physical aggression, and difficulties with problem-solving. After spending years off-and-on in therapy seeking treatment with various providers only to remark that “none seemed to want to listen,” Maddox’s parents sought SAP services through their district. 

Today, Maddox is completing his SAP sessions and moving towards outpatient counseling. He has reduced his anger outbursts and has learned skills to help him successfully navigate challenging days.

Skip to content