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Zestful Aging

Author: Nicole Christina, LCSW

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What makes life worth living as we age? How can we age with purpose, vibrance and deep satisfaction? Nicole Christina, a psychotherapist for 30 years, interviews inspiring and influential guests from a wide variety of disciplines about how they are evolving as they age, and creating their best lives ever.
160 Episodes
Jo Blackwell is a writer, speaker and portrait photographer based in the UK. Having written her way out of depression during her own perimenopause years, she found that many of the women who come to her for portraits are 40 plus and often suffering from their own identity crises. Her photo project “Face it, Own it!” - the bare-faced truth about midlife women - is a celebration of the natural beauty of women 40 plus. Consequently, she set up “The Midlife Movement”, an online hub of inspiration and support, which offers courses and coaching via a friendly membership site, helping midlife women who feel lost to work out what’s next. Find out more: Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Five anchorwomen at NY1, one of the country’s most prominent local news channels, are suing their employer over age and gender discrimination, alleging a systematic effort by managers to force them off the air in favor of younger, less experienced hosts. Roma Torre has won dozens of journalism awards including 2 Emmys in her 35 year career covering every major news event in NYC. She currently hosts NY1’s Live noon hour and she is also an award winning theatre critic. Kristen Bush Shaughnessy has been an Anchor at NY1 since 1995 and winner of numerous awards. Kristen was the primary weekday morning fill-in anchor with approximately 45 slots per year. After the merger with Charter, her fill-in opportunities vanished. Find out more and support this landmark case: #unseenonTV, @unseenwomenonTV. Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Here’s another episode to celebrate Women’s History Month: Adrienne Martini is an award winning writer and college professor whose brand new book “Somebody’s Gotta Do It: Why Cursing at the News Won’t Save the Nation, but Your Name on a Local Ballot Can” is getting national attention. In fact, Hillary Clinton recently tweeted about it! The New York Times writes: “This is not your standard focus-group-approved politician fare; it’s an honest, in-the-moment, firsthand account of a disappointed mother’s foray into local politics.” Find out more about Adrienne, her work, her dogs and her knitting at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Melissa Katsitsionni Fox is a filmmaker from the Akwesasne Mohawk territories in Northern New York. Her latest project, “Without a Whisper” is about women’s roles, specifically the Haudenosaunee, and what that can teach us about the world. She explains how matrilineal cultures like hers have a very different view about women. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Sharon Nelson is one of the 21 leaders for the 21st Century and is well known in political circles for her work in coaching women how to run for public office. Sharon has been the President of the New York Chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus, an iconic Women’s Advocacy organization started by Gloria Steinem, Congresswomen Abzug, Chisholm and others. This year, Sharon is organizing the NYC Celebration of the 19th Amendment (the woman’s right to vote) with prominent women leaders in New York, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Former State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. The 19th Amendment is being celebrated in all 50 States. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Alex Rotas is an award-winning British photographer who specializes in photographing older sportsmen and women. Her work has been exhibited across Europe and in the US, and her photos have featured online and in print across the globe. Danielle Sellwood has 30 years experience in the sports industry as a designer and trend forecaster. In 2008 she co-founded, a trail-blazing sports website for women. More recently she has directed visual campaigns at Women's Sport Trust (WST), helping create lasting change in the representation of female athletes. Check out the trailer at, and Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Jaclyn Schildkraut is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Oswego. She’s an expert on mass and school shootings, homicide trends, the effects of media and crime theories. She is the co-author of "Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities" and "Columbine, 20 Years Later and Beyond: Lessons from Tragedy". Find out more at Jackie recommends "Armoured One" and their website devoted to school safety. More at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Chelsey Clammer is the author of the award-winning essay collection, "Circadian", which looks at the different ways that trauma cycles through our lives. Her first book, "BodyHome", was about the concept of finding "home" in our bodies. She's a freelance editor and also teaches creative writing classes online with "WOW! Women on Writing". Chelsey lives in Austin, Texas, and is working on a new collection of essays about empowering women in her life. She's also an avid knitter and actually knits while she writes and edits. Her next collection of essays, "Human Heartbeat Detected", will be published by Red Hen Press in 2022. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Suzka is a fine artist who lived in California until her mother needed caregiving in Chicago. From the start, Suzka experienced her mother’s dementia not as a loss, but as an opportunity to have a very different relationship and live in her mother’s memory-less world. She found the experience enlightening and profound. Her book, “Wonders in Dementialand” is being made into a movie. Suzka also has a podcast on YouTube called Dementialand. Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Anne Marie is a nurse practitioner and family therapist in Upstate, New York. She and her husband were passionate birders throughout their married life. After her husband died unexpectedly, she began having unexplainable and highly unusual experiences with Red-tailed Hawks, which led her to write the memoir “Dancing in Two Realms: A Love Story Beyond Death”. She follows the hawks daily at Oakwood Historical Cemetery and Syracuse University. She’s also written a children’s story about hawks, yet to be published. Find out more Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Verla Fortier is the former director of surgery in Toronto, Canada. At age 63 she was diagnosed with Lupus. After 40 years in traditional health care, Verla became fascinated by the research showing the benefits of being outside and near trees. She’s developed a system that incorporates going outside to increase health, prevent dementia, manage her chronic illnesses. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Dr. Fossel is the world’s foremost expert on telomeres, aging, and age-related disease. He gave the very first talk at the National Institutes of Health on reversal of human aging, published the first articles on the potential of telomeres as a clinical intervention two decades ago, and is the author of the only medical textbook in this field He is now president Telocyte, a biotech firm taking telomere therapy to FDA human trials to cure Alzheimer’s. He’s proud that he babysat, wrestled and communicated with Koko--the world famous gorilla. Learn more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Ellen Goodman has spent most of her life chronicling social change and its impact on American life. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, she was one of the first women to open up the op-ed pages to women’s voices and became, according to Media Watch, the most widely syndicated progressive columnist in the country. Ellen’s current focus is The Conversation Project, a public health campaign and a movement that works to change the way people talk about, and prepare for their end-of-life care. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Jo Moseley is the first woman to paddleboard from end to end of her native England, on the 200 year old canals. She paddles for many reasons--exercise, to pick up litter, and to raise money for charities, especially cancer. Paddleboarding came at a perfect time in her life; she was exhausted from being a single mother, caretaking her ailing mom, and suffering from physical and mental symptoms associated with perimenopause. She hit bottom when she found herself crying in the supermarket cookie aisle. A friend’s gift of an old rowing machine changed her life by allowing her to physically exhaust herself so she could sleep. The rest is history, and a movie is currently in the works. Find out more about Jo at: Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Dr. Roger Landry is an aging specialist and author of the award winning book "Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging". He’s the President of Masterpiece Living, a group of specialists in aging who partner with communities to assist them in building environments that empower older adults to maximize their unique potential. Landry’s medical experience includes being involved in a number of significant world events including: the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, the Beirut bombing of the Marine Barracks, and the first seven Shuttle launches and the first manned balloon crossing of the Pacific. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Peggy Orenstein is a New York Times best-selling author, and has been featured on "Nightline", "CBS This Morning", "The Today Show", NPR’s "Fresh Air" and "Morning Edition". For her new book “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent and Navigating the New Masculinity”, Orenstein interviewed boys from ages 16-22 about their views on sex. The interviews were in depth and went on for over two years. The book has already received acclaim for its importance and relevance, especially with the advent of the #metoo movement. She discovers that boys are mostly being educated about sex by readily available porn, which is more hardcore than ever. She urges parents to speak with their sons about sex, consent and relationships even though it is intensely awkward. The book is fascinating and highly relevant. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Christina Adams is an award-winning writer and the author of the memoir “CAMEL CRAZY: A Quest for Miracles in the Mysterious World of Camels”. Her work has been featured on "National Public Radio", the "Washington Post", the "Los Angeles Times", and many more. Her book is centered around her desperation to help her autistic son. When she came upon an obscure scientific article that described how camel milk could help some of the symptoms of autism, she never looked back. With the fervor of a mom desperate to help her child, she winds up traveling the world learning about the benefits of camels, and ultimately becoming an expert herself. She has been a major force in the popularity of camel milk, which is now available in the United States. Her book “Camel Crazy” is part adventure, part love story and ultimately shows us how life can take some pretty mysterious turns. Find out more about Christina at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Samantha Brown, host of PBS’s two-time Emmy winning (Outstanding Host and Outstanding Travel/Adventure Program) series, “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love,” returns with her third season. This season, Samantha will take viewers to thirteen destinations, both in the U.S. and abroad, uncovering a deeper connection to travel by highlighting the people who are changing, challenging and strengthening the places they call home. The highest-rated show ever broadcast on PBS, Season 3 of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love” is sponsored by AmaWaterways, AAA and Rocky Mountaineer. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
What did you cook with your mom? Aimee Lee Ball is an award winning writing, and the co-founder of “Eat, Darling, Eat”, a storytelling website about mother/daughter relationships, centered around something that is fundamental and fun, evocative and provocative, shared across all cultures and generations: food. She is also co-author of four books and a journalist for many national publications, including "The New York Times", "New York Magazine", "Harper’s Bazaar", and "O the Oprah Magazine", writing about health, business, politics, food, travel, and the arts. Find out more at or Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham is a business woman and athlete who has been battling Alopecia, an immune disorder that results in hair loss, for 20 years. Her story about her life as a bald woman is captured in her new book, “Under the Rose-Colored Hat”. Tracy is also passionate about women’s rights, and is involved in 261 Fearless, which is a foundation begun by Kathrine Switzer, to empower girls and women through running. Find out more at, and Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
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