How to Turn Stress Into Strength with Dr. Samantha Boardman

Think back to the most stressful time in your life. What were your coping strategies? What good habits were the first to go as you struggled to stay afloat? Did your evening reading take a backseat to Below Deck reruns? Maybe you shut yourself off from your friends instead of seeking their support.

It all sounds familiar, right? (And maybe, just maybe, those examples are from my own personal life.) In times of stress, our reactions are probably to crawl inward, to take the easiest way out, and to avoid anything that feels like extra work. But what if that’s the exact opposite of what we should be doing?

dr. samantha boardman everyday vitality
Photo: Keith Majors

That’s what Dr. Samantha Boardman and I talked about in today’s podcast episode. In her new book, Everyday Vitality: How to Turn Stress Into Strength, Dr. Boardman shares science-backed strategies for building resilience and vitality—that sense of aliveness and energy that makes you feel like a human being. According to Dr. Boardman, that vitality comes from connection with others, engaging in challenging experiences, and finding a sense of purpose in something beyond yourself. With actionable advice rooted in positive psychology, this book is chock-full of ways to add a little energy to your life, especially in times of major stress.

All that is a very wordy way to say this: this book sums up the things we’ve been talking about at aSweatLife for a very, very long time (especially the chapters on human connection).

In this podcast episode, you’ll hear Dr. Boardman talk about how getting fired by a patient changed her career trajectory, why looking at her phone less was a major past goal of hers, and her current process goal of doing 20 minutes of yoga, three times a week.


If you love this episode as much as we do, subscribe to the #WeGotGoals podcast wherever you like to listen to podcasts, including on Apple and Spotify (and leave us a rating while you’re at it, please).


About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.