#47 - Choosing Meaning & Joy in Grief ft. Anna Kate Blackford

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Welcome back to another AMAZING interview this time featuring Anna-Kate Blackford. She’s gotta a hell of story. In the span of a year and a half, she was fired from her dream job working for a production company, there was a traumatic family tragedy, a devastating illness, substance abuse, and so much more. This is one of those stories where you might catch yourself wondering, how do you emerge from that in joy? And she doesn’t sugarcoat some of the emotions of it. In this episode, we run the gamut of subjects, from realizing a firing may have been the best thing to happen in her career, to the importance of stopping, slowing down and simplifying when getting back on track in life and the importance of CHOOSING to find the meaning, the joy and the happiness in grief. This is a long one, but it’s worth it, friends! For show notes, head to coachellyn.com/podcast and be sure to head to coachellyn.com/transform for a FREE coaching session. Follow us on IG @thegrowthtribepodcast or @coachellyn!


  • How sometimes the person who’s least likely to tell their story are perhaps the people who need to tell it the most

  • The blessing of being fired and how it can maybe wise you up to the changes you need to make in your life

  • How sometimes you’ve gotta release the plan if it’s not working

  • How to decide if you’re in the right place and if you need a new path

    • “If your boss isn’t happy and you’re clawing your way up the ladder to be them, I think you should find a different ladder…”

  • The importance sometimes of allowing yourself to just soak in life and figure out what you do and do not want

  • Following your passion when finding your next step and your new ladder

  • Sometimes it takes a low point to give you the wake up call you need

  • “I missed my mom and dad for this”, but we need to talk more about how it’s okay for adults to miss their parents

  • Connection through tragedy and learning to lean on and support people through that

  • Overcoming the pressure to grieve in a particular way

  • Overcoming grief through distraction - work, substance abuse, etc. - and how to overcome that

  • Wanting to grieve in a certain way and not feeling like you’re failing if you don’t grieve in the way you want

  • How to give artists and creatives better mental health

  • Self-reflection to know what is and is not working in getting back into your life after grief

  • The importance of slowing down, stop trying to control and let go to grieve your way

  • Finding ONE THING to focus and channel your energy into when looking for a new start in your life

Resources in this episode:

“The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” - Marie Kondo - book and Netflix show

“The Art of Asking” - Amanda Palmer - audiobook

“Lost” - Amanda Palmer - song

”The The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir Paperback” - Elna Baker - book

The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast

Follow Anna Kate Blackford - Twitter, Instagram, website and listen to her podcast

Ellyn SchinkeComment