Season 2 Episode 5

Gratitude in Action: From Morning TV to Motherhood

    Gratitude in Action: From Morning TV to Motherhood

    Season 2 Episode 5

    About The Episode

    In this heartfelt episode, hosts Connie Fontaine and Dr. Harry Cohen delve into the profound lessons learned from Joan Lunden and her daughter, Jamie Hess. Joan reflects on her journey as a national morning show anchor of Good Morning America for nearly 20 years, navigating parenting and demonstrating the power of embracing one's vulnerabilities while maintaining a positive, authentic presence. Jamie shares her past struggles with addiction, her path to recovery, and how gratitude reshaped her life as a wife, mother and entrepreneur, and led to her new podcast, Gratitudeology. Together, they emphasize the importance of being real, the power of showing vulnerability, and creating a nurturing, truthful environment for their children. The discussion also highlights the significance of resilience, lifelong learning, and the impact of kind, supportive familial relationships.

    Connect with Jamie Hess

    Connect with Joan Lunden

    "The most important things we say all day long are the things that we say to ourselves... It's a CHOICE to be happy."

    - Joan Lunden

    Season 2 Episode 5

    Episode highlights

    00:00 Welcoming Joan Lunden and Jamie Hess
    03:42 Joan and Jamie’s (Very Public) Journey
    11:34 Parenting Wisdom and Generational Insights
    19:36 The Importance of Role Models and Leadership
    26:02 Balancing Work and Family Life
    32:27 The Power of Gratitude
    34:26 Daily Practices for a Grateful Life
    42:47 Overcoming Addiction and the Recovery Journey
    50:19 Living with Purpose and Gratitude
    52:17 Reflecting on Life and Legacy

    Discover More

    About Joan Lunden & Jamie Hess

    Joan Lunden- Biography

    An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, television host, and sought-after speaker, Joan Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 40 years. For nearly two decades, Lunden greeted viewers each morning on Good Morning America making her the longest running female host EVER on early morning television! 

    Lunden currently hosts the PBS television series, Second Opinion with Joan Lunden and the Washington Post Podcast series, Caring for Tomorrow on healthcare’s future. Lunden is also the ambassador to the Poynter Institute’s MediaWise for Seniors which educates individuals over 50 on media literacy – separating fact from fiction online.  Lunden also recently served as a visiting professor at Lehigh University in their College of Health teaching Population Health and the Media.

    As an ardent health and senior advocate, Lunden has testified before the Congressional House Ways and Means Committee advocating for the Family and Medical Leave Act Lunden and the Food and Drug Administration advocating mandatory mammogram reporting.

    Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in June of 2014. An eternal optimist, she turned her diagnosis and subsequent cancer treatment into an opportunity to become an advocate to help others. Lunden shared her battle against breast cancer in her book Had I Known

    Lunden continues to interact with American’s daily on her social media platforms as well as her website, Lunden has served as national spokesperson for various organizations such as the American Heart Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, American Lung Association, American Red Cross, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Colon Cancer Alliance.  

    One of the most visible women in America, Lunden has graced the covers of more than 60 magazines and book covers, and was an early advocate of other working mothers. She herself is a mother of 7, including two sets of twins she had in her 50s.  Lunden’s newest book, Why Did I Come into This Room: A Candid Conversation About Aging quickly became a New York Times Best Seller.

     Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman.

    All Joan Lunden’s books can be found here.


    Jamie Hess – Biography

    Jamie Hess is a wellness entrepreneur, mindset optimization coach, media personality, and the host of The Gratitudeology™ Podcast (featured on the TODAY Show). She is also the creator of the popular Instagram account @NYCfitfam.

    Prior to becoming a highly sought after content creator, Jamie spent 17 years as a senior level PR & marketing expert on brands like McDonald’s, General Motors, LinkedIn, Barry’s Bootcamp, and W Hotels Worldwide. Today she integrates her expertise to teach people how to expertly leverage their own social media presence to secure high paying ambassador deals through her course, Brand Ninja.

    She is the face of zuda activewear on QVC, and contributes healthy living advice to hundreds of shows including TODAY, Good Morning America, The View, and beyond. She is also a TEDx and keynote speaker helping individuals and organizations focus on wellness, positive mindset shifts, and the future of work.

    Full transcript: Joan Lunden & Jamie Hess


    [00:00:01] Jamie Hess: We knew that mom prioritized us and work and both were valid and I never heard her say, I have to go to work. I always heard her say, I get to go to work. And that is how I always talk to my children now. Mommy and daddy work very hard. We’re both entrepreneurs, and we both work seven days a week. But we show up, we hold space, we spill love into them every single second. And we get to do it all. And that is the distinction. 


    [00:00:33] Harry Cohen: The woman you just heard is Jamie Hess, the daughter of legendary Good Morning America host Joan London. Connie, we just listened to this podcast and now we’re recording an intro to it. So I’m going to ask you, what did you love about this podcast? I’ll tell you

    [00:00:51] Connie Fontaine: I loved a lot of things, but to be honest, part of it is because I fangirl over Joan London. I mean, she was America’s mom for 17 years on Good Morning America. I personally always loved Joan Lunden. but there was so many other lessons we learned too, weren’t there?

    [00:01:05] Harry Cohen: I have several. One is that Joan Lunden was so vulnerable about her whole life career and success, and is still in the mode of learning and teaching and was a beautiful, is a beautiful exemplar of how do you be a real person with real imperfections? Her own, her own parenting, her own grandmothering, and still wonderful, wonderful woman.

    [00:01:36] And their relationship was delicious and nutritious to listen to. I just loved the way they were with each other. And I also loved Jamie’s articulation of how do you take a messy life and turn it into something magnificent? 

    [00:01:51] Connie Fontaine: Yeah. Jamie was a chip off the old block. I mean, she has taken her journey from addiction to recovery and turned it into something really positive. She’s living in gratitude. She’s teaching other people how to live in gratitude and she’s created, you know, an amazing podcast around that idea with Gratitudeology as well as these businesses.

    [00:02:08] She’s an entrepreneur. She’s a busy lady. She’s a QVC host for goodness sake.

    [00:02:12] Harry Cohen: I know. And Joan has written at least 10 books, but she’s going to write another book. She says it’s her memoir. And, can’t wait for that one. So let’s take a listen.

    [00:02:22] Welcoming Joan Lunden and Jamie Hess

    [00:02:22] Harry Cohen: Welcome, Joan Lunden and Jamie Hess. It is our absolute honor. To have you on this podcast. We are so thrilled that you’ve taken the time to do this. 

    [00:02:34] Connie Fontaine: an amazing mother daughter duo We’re grateful that you can be with us today.

    [00:02:38] Joan Lunden: Oh, it’s so exciting to be with you guys. I’ve been looking forward to it.

    [00:02:41] Jamie Hess: Yeah. Thanks for having us.

    [00:02:43] Connie Fontaine: Thanks for both being here.

    [00:02:44] Harry Cohen: We’ve been steeped in your work. And Ashley, our producer prepared these incredibly detailed notes and linksand it’s been really enriching to reread and listen.Jamie, I’ve listened to your Gratitudeology Podcast. I’ve watched so many things that both of you have done. And it’s really exciting that we’re in the same field of being good and doing good and helping others do more good. Connie and Ashley and I were talking this morning about, oh my God, there’s so many things that we would like to talk about.

    [00:03:21] The challenge will be what should we talk about?

    [00:03:23] Connie Fontaine: we have listened to many of the Gratitudeology podcasts. 

    [00:03:27] as we were talking this morning, there’s some things that, we’ve been learning about, and then we’ve been learning about you learning through the different decades and eras of your life. So I think that’s the main topic today: What have we learned that we can teach each other and others and grow from it?

    [00:03:42] Joan and Jamie’s (Very Public) Journey

    [00:03:42] Harry Cohen: And in that spirit one of the quotes that you had referenced in your most recent book, Joan was, “you don’t inspire others by being perfect. You inspire them with how you deal with your imperfections.” That theme, both of you and we completely identify with. It is through our journeys together. We are in different decades of our lives.

    [00:04:07] We’ve got somebody in their forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies. And man, oh man, have we learned a bunch and continually learn through our mistakes. And I can’t believe I forgot that. And I can’t believe I stepped in it again. I’m excited about what we can share so that we can help more people.

    [00:04:28] Jamie Hess: So what are you learning of late: this morning, yesterday, today, it doesn’t matter. Both of you have so much to share. you want to start?

    [00:04:39] Joan Lunden: What, Age Before Beauty?

    [00:04:43] Connie Fontaine: Even around the quote, Joan, like what inspired you to feature that right up front? Because it

    [00:04:47] caught both of our attention when we saw it. 

    [00:04:49] Joan Lunden: I had a book agent years ago. I had done one book called Good Morning, I’m Joan Lunden, but I wrote it after I’d only been on Good Morning America in front of a national audience for, I don’t know, like five years or so. And then I wrote a book about going through this physical metamorphosis. Like I was approaching 40 years old. I had 3 babies. I affectionately called all of that extra weight that I hadn’t taken off yet my baby weight, but every woman understands that.

    [00:05:19] And I just thought, you know what, I’m 39. And as I turned 40, I remember there’s a magazine cover with the Charlie’s Angels, and it was “fit, fabulous and 40.” And I said, I want to be that. So I literally took on my fitness and my health, like in a major way. And I wrote my first real book that I wrote: Healthy Cooking with Joan London, and I was incredibly honest in it. Almost like raw, honest, which, when you’re talking about how unhappy you are with how you look and how you’re challenged every day to try to camouflage yourself. And it was such a huge success that I think in that I learned That the more honest you are, the more candid you are, the more you’ll get through to your audience and connect with them. I saw it all through my tenure at Good Morning America, I didn’t cover things up. I sat behind a very low coffee table. So you saw my pregnancies and there’s that fine line, I will say, to not oversharing, but being so open with people. I always used to say, and Jamie will remember this, how people reacted to me out in the street.

    [00:06:37] It wasn’t just a familiar, Oh, I’m familiar with her and saw her on the, it was almost a familial. I was a aunt, cousin, the girl down the street, like they would often, Jamie will tell you this, throw their arms around me. 

    [00:06:54] But I learned that early on and I’ve carried it through in all of my books and when it came time to write my last one. Why Did I Come Into This Room? I thought, okay, you’re going to talk about leaky bladders and hot flashes. You better be funny. You better bring a sense of humor. And I, while I had brought candidness to all my books, I don’t think I’d ever brought that sense of humor. I literally had to give myself permission just mentally and emotionally give myself permission to sit down at my laptop and say, come on, you could be funny. you got to use every mechanism here to engage, particularly women over 40, 50 years old and say, Hey, we’re all in this together.

    [00:07:37] It’s happening to all of us. So let’s just talk about it.

    [00:07:41] Connie Fontaine: Just say it out loud.

    [00:07:42] Joan Lunden: Say it out loud. And Jamie, I don’t even know what to say. She’s such a chip off the old block, as they say, such the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s like mind blowing. 

    [00:07:54] Connie Fontaine: Jamie you’re, you’re using that same idea. Obviously in Gratitudeology, you’re taking people’s pain. People are opening things up that are almost surprising. Sometimes when I listen, it’s just wow, taking pain and turning it into this progress in this achievement. It’s great.

    [00:08:10] Jamie Hess: Yeah. And it all started doing the exact same thing my mom was just saying that she does, which is making your mess your message. And I learned that I learned from watching her that the more vulnerable you are, I call her the OG mom, fluencer. Before that was a thing, and so now myself I worked in public relations for almost 20 years first, before I became an influencer and a media personality and all the things I do now, podcaster. But I’ve always really looked at her as the model of how to really just show people your life, warts and all, and have it, it makes sense.

    [00:08:45] It makes them feel like they know you. They love you even more. I think we all got really kind of lulled into that varnished reputation thing on Instagram. It’s like everything has to be perfect. You have to show this perfect front and I think we’re moving away from that. I think people are tired of it, but myself, how I show up on social media since the beginning and I think it’s why my account grew so quickly, is I was always super honest. I started as a fitness influencer, But I always said, Hey, I’m not a trainer. I’m not a registered dietitian. My husband and I are just two wellness geeks, but we don’t do it all right. You know, and I gain weight. I lose weight. people used to come with me to, soul cycle or Barry’s bootcamp. And they’d say, I don’t want to ride next to you. You’re a fitness influencer. I said, I never said I was good. I just said I liked it. You know what 

    [00:09:31] I mean? So I’ve always been very real and I think that’s made me relatable. And so in this podcast. I did the exact same thing. I took literally what was the darkest part of my entire life, which was my addiction in my teens and twenties, and turned that into the starting point for this entire project.

    [00:09:50] Connie Fontaine: Yeah. For our listeners, if you haven’t yet, the first Gratitudeology podcast is the two of you. So besides being mom and daughter, which was very cool for me because I also have a very successful, amazing daughter, and I listening to your back and forth and digging in deep on, to your point, the darkest stuff, not just the easy stuff was really relatable.

    [00:10:09] I see that in your social media accounts, people like you, Joan, and people may throw their arms around you, but they’re doing it in social media too. They love that you’re picking up your grandkids at the bus stop, 

    [00:10:19] Joan Lunden: know? 

    [00:10:19] Oh, Gosh, I looked at the one when I first met, I’d had a whole week cause I got a call from Jamie. My nanny just left and I have to go out of town next week with George. It’s a big business trip. And I said, I’ll be there. And so I went to Pennsylvania and the very first day, I took her younger, Asher, and her dog, Bodhi, and we went to meet Mason, the oldest son on the bus. That post reached 1. 9 million people. And I’m like, I don’t understand how that even happens. 

    [00:10:50] Harry Cohen: It happens because it’s real. One of the things that I love about what we’re doing. Together, all of us are doing this work of being good people and helping other people be good or be better is let’s keep telling more stories of, Oh, here’s how I did. I helped out my beautiful daughter with her kids, man.

    [00:11:12] Oh man, I want. I want to be a great grandfather one day. We’re trying to figure out, could I be a better mom? Could I be a better person? We’ll listen and watch them. They’re not perfect, but they show the beautiful qualities of love and generosity and authenticity and vulnerability, which makes them heliotropic.

    [00:11:32] This is what we love about you guys. 


    [00:11:34] Parenting Wisdom and Generational Insights

    [00:11:34] Harry Cohen: I wanted to ask you, Jamie what, does your mom do now that you’re raising kids that you absolutely love so that other mothers and grandmothers can go, Ooh, I got to do more of that.

    [00:11:45] And, or if you don’t mind, not so much, so that mothers and grandmothers can go, okay, I can hear that from jamie.

    [00:11:53] Jamie Hess: Yeah. 

    [00:11:54] Honestly to speak to the latter, we really don’t have that. There, my, because my mom is the polar opposite of that type of a oh, the grandma who’s like, Meddling or has a lot of opinions It’s don’t raise them that way. I’m going to teach. you. That’s just not my mom. My mom, since the get has been the most supportive, and I’m not just saying this cause she’s here. She is the most supportive, most loving. She is my best friend and my sister’s best friend. We’re all best friends. We call her when we have a good day, a bad day, she’s the first call, and it’s been like that forever. And she’s honestly, the archetype of what you would want. In fact, I’ve always said, it’s actually amazing. My sisters and I have gone and had our careers in different places. And, we’ve lived in Los Angeles and this place and that place. And my mom was even always the type that if one of us was off working in LA and it was Christmas or. whatever it was. And she was like, you know what, if it’s too expensive to come home on the plane right now for Thanksgiving and you could, have a great opportunity to make time and a half at your job or whatever, do what’s best for you. I’m not going to guilt you into, you have to be at this dinner table or you don’t love me.

    [00:13:04] Like she’s so supportive of us building our life. lives as adults, and I think it’s really what’s fostered us into being capable, confident, ambitious, hungry adults.

    [00:13:18] Harry Cohen: Love that. I want to know when I’m doing it, right?

    [00:13:20] I think I know what I’m doing it right. Keep doing it. And, or any corrections along the way, you said stuff that I don’t want to let slide, which is she doesn’t point and meddle and say, you shouldn’t and why don’t you and guilt you out? Those are not small things that a lot of people do. I’m glad she doesn’t, but Joan, that’s wisdom.

    [00:13:38] That’s seven kids and a whole lot of life. To have learned that. 

    [00:13:44] Connie Fontaine: Does that come easy to you, Joan, or are there times where you really find yourself

    [00:13:47] Joan Lunden: Oh, are you kidding? Parenting, let’s just call it what it is. It’s the hardest job in the world, period. And it comes with no instruction book. You have to just feel your way through it. And I’m a big quote person. I love quotes. I collect quotes. I have, a lot of my, in every one of my books, I just. I load them with quotes. And I, because I’m looking for quotes for my autobiography all the time, you’ll notice I, and I have sticky notes all over my desk as I get them and they’ll eventually make their way into the book. But this one I saved just to talk to my husband about: “don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.”

    [00:14:33] Jamie Hess: Mm. 

    [00:14:34] Joan Lunden: hello. 

    [00:14:35] And I think that’s one of the hardest things to do as a parent, because we all want to make our lives easy and as devoid as problem or heartache as we possibly can. But I think that in recent times it’s, it’s become the norm for parenting 

    [00:14:53]  I was a, professor at Lehigh for a couple of years, and I remember when we went into our kind of like training session at the beginning of the year and one of the pet peeves of all the professors was when a student got a bad grade and the parent called to complain. It’s like, Wait a minute. You send them away to college to learn to be on their own. And parents just are so defensive. They never want to own any bad thing that their kids do. We do them a disservice by doing that. And it’s very easy to talk about this in retrospect, at my age, but for anyone who’s listening, our kids need to start learning how to resolve conflict. You know my husband owns summer camps for kids up in the state of Maine. And the kids come for seven weeks. And I’ve had other people say, really? People send their kids away for seven weeks? I said, yeah, seven weeks of no phone, no social media, no technology. And they have to do what we used to do when we grew up.

    [00:15:55] The only thing we had to play with when we grew up, it was called outside.

    [00:15:59] Connie Fontaine: Outside with other kids. 

    [00:16:01] Joan Lunden: And we’d go outside and play and, I think most parents would say today that they would be really hard pressed and that’s putting it mildly hard pressed to try to take their kids away from electronics and social media for seven weeks. And it’s therapeutic for their minds 

    [00:16:20] to get disconnected from that. And they also learn because they don’t have mommy around, over protecting them to resolve conflicts and that they have to be cognizant of other people’s needs in this bunk of eight little boys. I’ve come to learn that there’s so much they learn aside from shooting a better basketball or something. Oh, wait, Wait, Harry. And this summer, Jamie’s son, Mason is going to be at camp.

    [00:16:50] Connie Fontaine: Yay. 

    [00:16:52] Jamie Hess: I am so excited and we’ve been getting everything ready for him. I just feel that it is the most character building experience to go have your first summer away like that. And just like my mom said, my biggest piece of excitement around it all is that he will be away from electronics.

    [00:17:08] I am of the full mind that electronics rot their

    [00:17:12] brains. it’s ironic because I’m a social media influencer for a living, but I think that we can use social media for good, not evil, and I do not think though that it is designed for the brain of an eight year old. So we’re very mindful about screen time.

    [00:17:24] I’m very lucky. My husband is 20 years older than me and we have the most beautiful, wonderful relationship. we went on our first date and got engaged 90 days later, and we’ve been together 13 years ever since, but one thing that’s really cool is he is just from a different generation when it comes to that stuff. And he does not suffer fools and he does not put up with it. And the kids are outside with them and they’re planting gardens and they’re helping him mow the lawn and they’re helping him cook and bake

    [00:17:51] Joan Lunden: It’s so great. 

    [00:17:53] Jamie Hess: the car. It’s so great.

    [00:17:55] These are the things they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

    [00:17:57] And I also think that the alternative sitting inside and the screen can literally do brain damage. I’m just grateful. I’m grateful because it’s also hard as a parent. I give parents a lot of credit. It’s easy to hand them the tablet and they’re quiet and you’re doing your things, but it’s hard to make the tough choice to get off your own butt and go take him outside and do something.

    [00:18:15] But it’s so important.

    [00:18:16] Joan Lunden: I must say I 

    [00:18:17] did the opposite. I did the opposite. I married a man 11 years younger than me

    [00:18:24] Jamie Hess: Yep.

    [00:18:25] Joan Lunden: and that’s working out pretty good. Statistically, we should die about the same time. 

    [00:18:30] But I don’t, it didn’t make any difference cause he wasn’t some young irresponsible guy. He runs summer camps for children. So I literally have my house run by a camp director.

    [00:18:41] Harry Cohen: and, but he’s also a really sweet heart of a human being. 

    [00:18:44] Joan Lunden: And a a hands-on dad. 

    [00:18:45] Harry Cohen: I mean, having met and a hands on dad, but also The secret to life is hang out with good people, choose good partners, whomever they are, choose good partners in your life, find good company, be good company.

    [00:18:58] Jeff is good company. I can say that because I’ve spent enough time with him to say this is a good man. So to your point, Jamie, finding a good man to partner with is really important. Joan finding a good partner. 

    [00:19:12] Joan Lunden: Yeah, boy, I really did. I found such an upstanding guy. So upstanding, I remember when I was first dating him and my hairdresser, he’d come into the show a couple of days and my hairdresser one day, who was quite a little party individual at the time said, your husband’s so straight and conservative and upstanding.

    [00:19:31] I feel dirty just being around him.

    [00:19:36] Jamie Hess: 

    [00:19:36] The Importance of Role Models and Leadership

    [00:19:36] Jamie Hess: I’ll just say that, Jeff coming into our house and our life when I was a teenager, restored my faith in men. I was in that very cynical time of my teenage years where boys, boyfriends aren’t particularly faithful and you start getting a lot of ideas about guys that maybe aren’t so great that they’re, maybe they’re all bums, you get cheated on a couple of times. You’re 15, 16 years old. And you’re like, this is for the birds and having Jeff in my sisters and my life over the years has been such a formative, wonderful, loving piece of the puzzle that we just feel as lucky as she does, that he’s in all of our lives.

    [00:20:12] Harry Cohen: I love that you said that. To me, the insight is again, I like to learn from watching people exemplars, I can be that. I want to be a better human by watching others who are good humans. And when you said that about Jeff, which is don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t make assumptions about all people because of one, no good Nick.

    [00:20:33] And conversely, if you can find an exemplar, if she or he can do and be that you and I can do and be that. If she can do it, I can do it. If he can do it, I can do it. 

    [00:20:42] Connie Fontaine: Yeah, Jeff’s Jeff’s the behind the scenes guy compared to the both of you. Is there anything else specific other than his parenting and just his overall goodness? Can you think of a any specific life lesson he brought to you or to the 

    [00:20:53] Joan Lunden: family? 

    [00:20:53] First of all, I thank his mother all the time for raising such an amazing young man. And and he was raised in a family that honored honorableness and honored, perseverance in their studies and in sports. They were all like award winning athletes. They all played college sports, all four of them. And and I watched Jeff and, he always says Like “it’s so amazing what you do. I could never do that.” And I said, I for a second, couldn’t do what you do because I sometimes will go in and sit in his office and I’ll watch him with five, nine year olds in front of him who just teeped something or did something. And, he’ll. I just marvel at how he deals with them and and he’ll say, what do you think your punishment should be? And they’ll say, I think we should pick up sticks and I think we should pick up trash. And he doesn’t deliver the,

    [00:21:49] like he brings them in. He like the learning moments.

    [00:21:52] And then I listened to him talk to parents. Oh, my God, like call after call, I watch him sometimes when he gets in his golf cart and he drives around to the different fields where things are happening because there’s 360 boys, but they’re divided into three camps, much younger, middle and older. 

    [00:22:10] I’ll see him go out to a field where, he’ll say well, I saw that that counselor wasn’t really doing what he should be doing, but I don’t go tell him you’re doing it wrong. I jump out of the cart and I get into the game and I show him how to do stuff and let him learn by example, and I get the boys excited and I get the thing going again. He understands leadership starts from the top and it filters down and, really good leaders know how to set the example. And Everyone knows that he expects honorableness and he expects all of his senior people all those teachers and counselors who come back summer after summer, And they then filter it down to the next level. 

    [00:22:55] down to the new young college kids who Are just coming into the situation for the first time and who I likesee them in that training week thinking next week you’re going to have five eight year olds hanging off of you and by the end of the summer. You’re going to leave here and you are going to be such a better father and you’re going

    [00:23:15] have more patience. You’re going to have more understanding. You’re, it’s just, they make their they grow into these wonderful young men right in front of my eyes. These, 19, 20, 21 year old men.

    [00:23:28] Harry Cohen: it’s 

    [00:23:28] Connie Fontaine: Mason’s going to be hanging off

    [00:23:30] Harry Cohen: Oh my God. Mason. How old is Mason?

    [00:23:33] Jamie Hess: He’s eight years old.

    [00:23:35] Harry Cohen: Perfect. 

    [00:23:36] Jamie Hess: Perfect. Yeah, he’s so excited.

    [00:23:38] Joan Lunden: and her sister, Lindsay, next one down, has a little girl and little boy. The little girl goes to Jeff’s girls camp, Tripp Lake, and the little boy, Leo, goes to Takajo. So the little cousins are going to be running around as well.

    [00:23:53] Harry Cohen: but think of the power of role models and that, that ecosystem of honorableness. Talk about honorableness.

    [00:24:02] Connie Fontaine: Yeah, he shows them respect in every, you know, he, he shines the light on people so that they’re better people. It seems like a real exemplar. he doesn’t just own camps. He teaches leaders. He grows leaders. That’s really, that’s a big accomplishment in life. 

    [00:24:17] Again, I’m thrilled to have met him and we know him and now I can understand why he’s so powerful, but what we want is for anyone listening to this to go. I can be like Jeff. He’s not a unicorn. He’s a very wonderful human being. Great. So let’s aspire to that.

    [00:24:35] Jamie, are you going to say something? 

    [00:24:38] Jamie Hess: Well, you know, I was going to say what’s neat about, so as we’ve discussed earlier, my husband’s a little bit older, but I think it was cool is that in this stage of his life. Cause we have little kids. God bless my husband. He has grown kids too. They’re in their thirties and twenties, but he’s gotten to do it all over again. And I think what’s cool, if you are somebody who maybe you didn’t live up to that standard, you would have liked to have set for yourself. You can just wake up tomorrow and do it then. Because my husband says every day, I’m getting this time around to be the father that maybe I wasn’t fully prepared to be when I had my first round of kids in my 20s.

    [00:25:12] He’s a great dad. He’s a great dad to them, but he was a kid, he

    [00:25:16] was a kid. And this time around, because everyone’s oh, I can’t believe how hands on he is. He’s so great. Usually when, a slightly older, Dad has the kids with the younger wife. He’s great, I’ll have them, but you got to take care of them. And my husband’s like, no, it’s not going down like that. we’re 50, 50 on this. 

    [00:25:30] And he’s enjoying getting to be the best version of himself at this age. 

    [00:25:35] And it’s really cool to see.

    [00:25:38] Connie Fontaine: I can. And Joan, I see that with, I don’t know about you, but for me as a brand new grandmother, I find myself in that same opportunity to be in a much more relaxed state, taking more time listening, always engaged when I’m present versus the busy working mom who I thought I did a really good job, but it was still different.

    [00:25:56] It felt like always a race and now it doesn’t feel like a race. It feels like I just get to soak up the joy.

    [00:26:02] Balancing Work and Family Life

    [00:26:02] Joan Lunden: Well, I can obviously speak to raising three girls when I was in the middle of what was one hell of a race doing a national early morning program and like always eight other things at the same time. I will never forget. it was you, Jamie. We were at the ice skating rink and you were down ice skating with everyone. And I was up, it was after school and I was in these metal stands.

    [00:26:27] And when you run up those metal stands, it like just echoes in the whole place. And there were like just hundreds of kids running up and down the stands. The music was blaring. And all of a sudden Jamie came and tapped me on the shoulders and mommy, I really want you to watch this. I had fallen asleep in the middle of that unbelievably loud, chaotic world, and I felt so guilty and so bad, but that is, that like exemplifies the level of exhaustion that I

    [00:27:00] had back then that you just put one foot in the front of the other and do it. But I don’t think I screwed up any of them.

    [00:27:06] They’ve grown up to be amazing people, amazing mommies, amazing business people. Then I did it all over again, because with Jeff and I was at 50. And at 50, we had, two sets of twins. They’re 20 months apart. They’re now just 19 years old and the other two are turning 21 in a week.

    [00:27:29] And the second time around people like just thought I was nuts. Like you’re going to have little kids at this age. I said, first of all, after how I had the first three, you think this would daunt me 

    [00:27:41] at all? And second of 

    [00:27:43] Connie Fontaine: Yeah. 

    [00:27:44] Joan Lunden: I’m enjoying life a lot more and I’m capable financially and everything to do this. This is a piece of cake.

    [00:27:50] Well, Maybe not a piece of cake. Two sets of twins. We had a long we did a bathroom off the family room with this long bathtub. We’d put the four of them in there and they’d all be sitting in there splashing. And I would lay out on the, on the carpet in the family room, four towels, four desitins, four diapers, and four jammies.

    [00:28:10] And we’d take them out. It was like a production line.

    [00:28:15] Connie Fontaine: I, I just remember, you know, I get one set of twins and I just, remember that

    [00:28:20] Harry Cohen: And I’m thinking what an attitude.

    [00:28:22] What an attitude of gratitude and blessings, not hassles. It’s not about stress. It’s about bring on the tushies, bring on the Desitin and bring on the let’s make it fun. 

    [00:28:34] Connie Fontaine: Well, And, show up every morning with a smile at seven o’clock when you probably weren’t always feeling like smiling. And I think that’s a huge gift to the world because you did give that energy when you came on because I was a fan, so I know and yet I know that takes work and sometimes even walking into an office, you think you’ve got the right to exhibit what you’re feeling, but you didn’t have that right.

    [00:28:55] Joan Lunden: And that’s, I think that’s a really important thing to talk about. I knew that when I walked out of my dressing room every morning at a quarter to seven, I, the last thing I would do is I would look into the mirror. And so I smile. That’s like the last thing you put on that you’re wearing. And it makes such a huge difference. And and I knew that the first thing the viewer would really be affected by would be my exuberance for the day. It would be my attitude even before whatever the news was that I was going to deliver to them. And I really embraced that. and look, I went through sleep deprivation through having three babies, through bringing them to work, changing a diaper before I ran downstairs to get on the air. And I went through a very tough divorce that, you know because I was in the public eye, it was made very much into the public and therefore it was acrimonious and much harder than it needed to be. And through all that, I knew that once again, I needed to start that program that day with a smile and an exuberance for the day. And that’s what everybody should think about. The way you walk into a room, the, it’s an inside job, it’s that, what did they say? The most important things we say all day long are the things that we say to ourselves. And it’s 

    [00:30:18] true. And you have to tell yourself before you walk into any room, whether it’s getting up in front of the PTA, whether it’s going into an office meeting, you know what? Whether it’s walking in from work into your house at the end of the 

    [00:30:32] Connie Fontaine: hmm. Right. 

    [00:30:33] Joan Lunden: how you walk in, your demeanor and your attitude is going to literally affect everybody in that room that you’re walking into. And it is something that we can all work on. It is a choice to be happy. 

    [00:30:51] Connie Fontaine: Jamie, I see you 

    [00:30:52] Harry Cohen: you

    [00:30:52] yeah, Jamie chime in on this. Cause I’d love your opinion. Cause I’ve seen you do this on your Gratitudeology podcast. And I know that you’ve got this lesson / message from mommy. 

    [00:31:07] Jamie Hess: I did. And to take us back a beat, when she was saying like, I tried to be at everything. I had all this guilt. What I remember at growing up was her being at every ice skating thing, every horse show, every school concert within reason. And when she couldn’t be there, it was because we knew that mom prioritized us and us and work and both were valid and both filled her cup and I never heard her say, I have to go to work. I always heard her say, I get to go to work. And that is how I always talk to my children. Now, mommy and daddy work very hard. We’re both entrepreneurs and we both work seven days a week, but we show up, we hold space. We spill love into them every single second and we get to do it all. And the, that is the distinction because what we were just talking about when my mom was just talking about putting that smile on her face and choosing how she was going to walk into a room on any given day. And look, I live in Pennsylvania now, but I spent 20 years in New York at the height of New York City hustle culture. It was like, you got an award for sending the latest email, just being there the 

    [00:32:15] most and just pushing yourself the hardest. And that has not completely drained from me. I will admit, however, I can be in such a hyper state and I have 12, 000 meetings And I’m super stressed.

    [00:32:27] The Power of Gratitude

    [00:32:27] Jamie Hess: And I’m just like, everything’s happening to me. Not for me. Then all of a sudden I remember that all of these things are blessings. If my biggest problem is that I have too much work, too many jobs, when so many are unemployed. If my biggest problem is I have too many beautiful kids I have two sons,

    [00:32:48] too many beautiful children to care for when so many women don’t. If my biggest problem is, I have to remember to do six errands around the house when so many people don’t have a house, then that is not a problem. And all of a sudden. Nothing in my external, actual circumstances has changed, but everything inside changes. And I go from feeling overwhelmed to grateful and my entire ethos changes. And that is the power of gratitude,

    [00:33:13] Harry Cohen: I know that’s what, that’s what we believe. That’s what we try and live by. That’s what we are trying to teach. That’s what hopefully people will be listening to this and we’ll listen to gratitude ology. They go from stressed to blessed, just the way you articulated. And it’s not just how you show up at work.

    [00:33:31] It’s how you, I love that. It’s how you show up. When you walk in the door, when you walk into any, when you walk into any party, anyhow, I got to go to this networking event. What are you talking about? 

    [00:33:41] I went to a networking event last night. We’ll get your attitude right, Harry. And I did. And it was great.

    [00:33:47] Your point about it’s a choice. And Jamie, the point you made about, okay, so you notice it and then in a split second, you don’t need 12 hours and 12 years of therapy. You can go. No, look what I’ve got. That’s what I love about this insight and this work. And if people are listening to this, go, you mean you can do it in a split second?

    [00:34:08] Yeah, you have a choice as to Takes practice. but in the split second of the practice, but the practice never ends. I’m not, I’m still prepped. I did it last. I did do it last night. 

    [00:34:19] Connie Fontaine: You did. 

    [00:34:19] Jamie Hess: a big part of it. Because It last night, you’ll have a little easier time doing it today because this is what I talk about. 

    [00:34:26] Daily Practices for a Grateful Life

    [00:34:26] Jamie Hess: Somehow we all understand that in order to get good arms, you got to go to the gym and work your biceps, right? You got to do an exercise to build that muscle,

    [00:34:35] right? 

    [00:34:36] Harry Cohen: once.

    [00:34:37] Jamie Hess: Just once. Now you got to do the exercise consistently 

    [00:34:40] to build and maintain that muscle. Somehow we don’t get it when the muscles up here. And the deal is this, Neurons that fire together, wire together. So this

    [00:34:49] is neuroscience. If you want to develop neuropathways that are intuitively, inherently more grateful, you have to practice gratitude.

    [00:34:57] So there’s one of two ways to wake up in the morning. You wake up full of anxiety. You’re already like, I want to get back in bed. My boss sucks. My kids are difficult. Or you wake up wired to say. Wow. The sky is blue. The grass is green and I have two lungs to breathe with. I’m doing pretty great. That is literally a training the same way you trained in the gym. You train your brain to do that, but it doesn’t happen naturally. So a lot of the times you say, Oh, I know I should be more grateful. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It’s really just about an exercise.

    [00:35:29] Harry Cohen: we’re, you’re preaching to the choir

    [00:35:31] Joan Lunden: Oh, absolutely. 

    [00:35:33] I learned something. There is a book by an author you would like is Brian Luke Seward. He wrote a book called You Can’t Stop the Waves, But You Can Learn to Surf. You might have read. And I loved that book, and I used to talk about it in a lot of my speeches when I was on the road with Tony Robbins.

    [00:35:49] now he is a grown up, Hippie in Colorado, teaching at University of Colorado and never has had a TV. So he didn’t really know who I was, but he kept hearing that I was talking about his book. So he got in touch with me and he said, I’ve never really watched you on TV.

    [00:36:08] I don’t own a TV. I’m a hippie that grew up and I now teach, a bunch of other hippie kids. And he said, but I’m really happy that my book affected you in such a positive way. I’m about to write another book. Would you do the forward? So the book is called Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards. And it’s a, and I loved what that book was about because When you eat a bunch of sugar, you go on the spiral up whoa. When something hits you and you Learn tosee it and feel it and you can feel yourself like you get really mad and you go out and you get in your car.

    [00:36:49] I’m going to go. If all of a sudden, you realize that you’re at that point, that’s when you have the choice not to go in the spiral downward. And if you can learn to do that, if you can learn to pinpoint those moments where the adrenaline is going through your body and that you’re just so upset, if you can learn to Be on the lookout for those.

    [00:37:13] And literally in that instant, you can make the choice saying that’s not good for my body. Physically. It’s not good for my brain. It’s going to make me have a headache. It’s going to make me have tense muscles in my back and I’m not going there.

    [00:37:29] Harry Cohen: And what you’re saying is we can allow our crappy moods, our salty behavior, in that split second, to be our teacher, to be a reminder. Oh, Oh, I was about to get all funky and pissy. Oh wait. Oh wait. Oh wait. I can remember that. 

    [00:37:47] Connie Fontaine: Jamie, do you have any tools you use with your kids to learn the same lesson about gratitude and waking up and leaving for school in the right frame of mind?

    [00:37:56] Jamie Hess: yeah, we have a family practice. So we do, we have a little room in our house that we call our meditation room and if we get busy in the morning, the kids will say, mom, dad, like we got to do meditation in the meditation room. So we do with our kids two minute meditation.

    [00:38:11] And we just use It’s not music. It’s actually frequency, but it’s resonant with the earth. So it’s a, you can use music, whatever we use a frequency. And and then we do three affirmations and three grateful. So they say three things. I am happy. I am brave. I am patient. And then they say three things they’re grateful for. And you got to keep it simple too. You can’t make it too long for children or for grownups, to be perfectly frank.

    [00:38:35] But honestly, the simplest things to do are also the simplest to skip. And a lot of people know they should be making a gratitude list in the morning, or maybe they should be doing a two minute meditation with their kids, but it’s just so easy just to skip by it, but the difference it will make is immeasurable, I promise you.

    [00:38:52] So it’s the consistency that really is the key. And what’s so cool is that I have people reach out to me all the time on NYC fit fam and say: I don’t know how you get your kids to do that or to sit still for meditation or to eat vegan and all the things we do. And I say how I get them to do it, that’s what’s for dinner or that’s what we’re doing.

    [00:39:11] What do you mean? Like they’re five and eight, and they’ve also, they all, they’re also young enough that they still think we’re cool. Come back to me in five years, let’s be real. But for now I can instill some good life lessons and 

    [00:39:21] Connie Fontaine: Yep. 

    [00:39:22] Harry Cohen: It’s really awesome. And to your point, five and eight are not 15 and 18, nor is it 32 or 42. So as we keep getting older and keep learning, I’m just as interested in what are you doing now for each other? At this age, both of you are at an age where okay, we’ve done so much good. We’ve learned so much.

    [00:39:47] We’ve overcome so much. From breast cancer to addiction and eating disorders. Really amazing. Okay. So we’re now on this journey, rock and roll. What are you learning of late and or sharing and or doing that for those that are in that space, whether it’s cancer or addiction, anything that we can help others with here’s what I learned the hard way.

    [00:40:14] Setting Boundaries as a Parent

    [00:40:14] Joan Lunden: I can tell you that when it comes to the addiction, We’re not here as parents to be our kid’s best friend and it’s really hard, sometimes it’s so much easier to say yes than it is to say no. And especially when you have both parents working, everyone’s exhausted. Everyone doesn’t have enough time to really do everything. And kids are great at wearing you down and they keep asking you. that old phrase everybody else does it. By the way, everybody else’s kids don’t actually do it. 

    [00:40:50] Maybe all the other kids that their parents are like lax with them do it.

    [00:40:55] And you have to ask questions and. And you have to be a snoop. Now, I will tell you that I would go into my girl’s rooms, and they’ll tell you, when they were young, and I would snoop around, because that’s our job as a parent, that there’s a certain sense of, giving them a little responsibility and a little respect of their, but as a teen, when they’re teenagers, I would go into the room and I’d find their stash.

    [00:41:21] I always found their stash, But when they ask you to do things, you really have to ask questions these days. You really have to know what’s in that, what are they vaping? And if they’re going to be vaping, like in college, I remember I said to my daughter, cause I have four in college right now. And I said. If you do it, A, don’t ever do it during the day, I don’t ever want to think that you’re going off to class. 

    [00:41:46] Don’t ever drive when you do anything that’s going to change your mind. And then just remember, I want you to research it a little and find out exactly what that’s doing to your lungs you’re going to pay the consequences. And I got to tell you, Two daughters who were doing some vaping, they both stopped. And it wasn’t because I yelled at them. It’s because I urged them to research it, to understand fully what they were doing to their bodies that was going to be possibly incredibly consequential to their health later on into their longevity.

    [00:42:27] Connie Fontaine: The two of you did a really brave, vulnerable thing coming out with your story or and I think, if people, I think I saw it on the Today Show, I saw a clip of that and then I obviously listened to the first podcast that you did, Jamie with gratitude ology. It was a big one. Was there something that just, that made you both sit down and decide now’s the time or did it just naturally evolve? 

    [00:42:47] Overcoming Addiction and the Recovery Journey

    [00:42:47] Jamie Hess: I had never, I’ve been sober many years and so I’ve shared my, I’ve made my mess, my message for a while now. I’m very comfortable doing that. However in deciding to do this podcast, that was the genesis of the podcast was, I believe so fundamentally in this idea of gratitude and that Learning it in recovery, like really letting it permeate my being.

    [00:43:09] That’s where I got that kind of feeling of gratitude, because I believe that people who have seen the darkness see the light that much brighter. And so it was around that time that I got really grateful just waking up every day, like I’m just happy to be here because it didn’t have to go down like that. My mom and I had never really closed the loop on her being a part of the end of my addiction. I just went on with the rest of my life, but I decided to do this podcast. And the way the podcast is produced, it’s not just a chat show. It’s almost done like an audio book or it’s immersive audio theater.

    [00:43:42] And there’s narration. Yeah, like well, like invest, thank you, like investigative journalism type storytelling where you’re like, oh, this is compelling. And the reason I did it that way is because I love the datelines of the world and investigative journalism. But I, especially as a mom, don’t really want to be listening to true crime all the time.

    [00:44:01] So I was grappling with what do I do for the first episode though? I’m the narrator in all the other episodes. but But for the first episode, it’s my story. So I can’t be the narrator and the subject. And I was talking to my girlfriend who has a number one podcast on I heart. I respect her. And I said, what should I do about this problem? She said dumb, what’s wrong with you call your mom.

    [00:44:21] She’s she was there, and I was like, Oh, that’s a good idea. And I called my mom on a Friday. And she was in the studio with me on a Monday morning. That’s how quickly she shows up for us and says, yes. And I was so appreciative of that.

    [00:44:34] Connie Fontaine: It was a beautiful way to start.

    [00:44:35] Joan Lunden: And I can just tell you that, boy, I’ll never forget that cold winter night when I had tried and tried and tried to reach Jamie, couldn’t reach her. I got in my car and drove from the suburbs into New York City, snowing like crazy. really freezing cold and she had moved from one apartment to a walk up, which I never was really comfortable with. But now here I am sitting standing out on the street. It’s freezing and I’m ringing the bell. She’s not answering. But I suspect that she’s there and a guy comes and opens the door that lives in the building. So I go in with him and now I walk up a flight of stairs and now I’m pounding on her door. And finally she opened the door and I had already at that point called one of our family doctors and asked for the number of a really good interventionist and I had set it up and he had come into his office that night. And I just, and Jamie was like, were you in like pajamas or sweatpants?

    [00:45:41] Jamie Hess: sleeping. Yeah.

    [00:45:42] I was sleeping. I’d been awake for, several days and I was sleeping. I was not in a good

    [00:45:46] Joan Lunden: And so I just said, put, some boots on and put a coat on it. And I took her like that and just dragged her out of that apartment and took her over to this interventionist. And we sat down and he said, I’ve looked around at different places, I think where you should go as the Karen Institute in Pennsylvania and the next morning, that’s where she was. And she was there for how long, Jamie?

    [00:46:09] Jamie Hess: Four months.

    [00:46:10] Connie Fontaine: Wow.

    [00:46:10] Jamie Hess: went for 30 days and then they suggested I stay in extended care. But the good thing is, I say this a lot. I’ve, I had the gift of desperation. I was so ready. I was so grateful that she showed up and I was willing to do anything. And to be honest, all my yets had come true. They say in recovery, when I first went into recovery circles, I wasn’t unemployed and unemployable yet. I hadn’t lost my family and relationships yet. And at that point, at the very end, my yets had come true. And thank God, cause I was out of answers.

    [00:46:42] Harry Cohen: So I have a friend who has a grown son who’s in rehab and just relapsed. And another friend who’s a therapist said to me, which I passed on that the relapse is good in that if he didn’t die, it increases his chances of it being successful.

    [00:47:02] And I know that your journey to recovery was not linear. So if you could speak to it isn’t just, okay, went to recovery and it was all good from then on. This will take some time.

    [00:47:12] Jamie Hess: Absolutely. So when I first went into rooms of recovery in 2004 and when she came and knocked down my door, it was 2008, so that was time 

    [00:47:22] Joan Lunden: period

    [00:47:22] I talked to her, I talked to her about it many times, but she’s such a good talker that she talked me out of it each time.

    [00:47:30] Harry Cohen: I know right.

    [00:47:32] Jamie Hess: Yeah. I was protecting my addiction, which is what we do when we’re sick, and I was in and out and struggling and I had to discover that my bottom had a trap door in order to be fully ready. And so that might be where your friend’s son is.

    [00:47:47] Harry Cohen: All I want is for them to know there’s hope you’re out and clean and sober and a mother who never gave up and an ecosystem of a village that never gave up and there isn’t one simple linear way for any person to recover from anything. So

    [00:48:07] Jamie Hess: Addiction is so difficult because what people don’t realize is we’re not bad people trying to get good. We’re sick people trying to get well. And it’s a really tough disease. The good news about it is it’s also one of the only diseases where you come out on the other side better than you went in if you follow recovery practices and protocols because it gives you a blueprint for living.

    [00:48:30] I was just teaching my course a couple hours ago and I had somebody asking me a question on there. She was like, cause I’m a coach and she was like, can I ask you a question? Cause sometimes I reference, a 12 step stuff in there. And she said, Can anyone go, to that?

    [00:48:44] Because it sounds so helpful. And she’s I don’t think I’m an alcoholic. I said it really is designed for people who are exploring, giving up drinking because they have a problem. But I don’t disagree. I’ve thought that a million times. I’m lucky that

    [00:48:57] that I’m an alcoholic and an addict. I trade it for anything because now it delivers a daily blueprint for living that’s very useful in the rest of my life.

    [00:49:07] Connie Fontaine: You’ve taken all that pain and

    [00:49:08] even as a family and you’ve turned it into purpose. Both of you. Not just your experiences as a younger, successful anchor, Joan, but also the trials and tribulations of what you went through and how you had to work and you’ve created this purpose through all of these books and platforms.

    [00:49:24] And now, Jamie, you’re doing it in such a big way. you know, you’re helping people and I hope that, that gratitude, grateful for not just what you’ve been through and what you’ve turned your own life into, but all the things you’re doing for others.

    [00:49:37] Harry Cohen: and I love that, the blueprint that you speak about is available for people to follow. It’s a lifetime of what we’re talking about is trying to find a way to walk this life in a manner that is really healthy.

    [00:49:56] Not just what’s the word? Not just abstinent, not just not using, but really healthy with all of the pieces to our lives, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, socially, in every way. So I love that you guys are modeling that, doing that. And maybe we can help some other people do that too.

    [00:50:19] Yeah. 

    [00:50:19] Living with Purpose and Gratitude

    [00:50:19] Jamie Hess: The cool thing about my, what I get to do on my podcast is, when I talk about gratitude, I was worried that people were gonna say “well yeah, it’s easy to be grateful, you know, look, 

    [00:50:28] you have a nice life. You have a hopeful husband.

    [00:50:31] You have this, that, and the other. I get all of that. Now, because I did the work and that’s my whole point. And so what I’m able to illustrate on the podcast, yesterday I was in the studio doing an interview with a suicide attempt survivor.

    [00:50:46] He tried to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Last week I was in the studio interviewing Amanda Clutes who lost her husband during COVID. I was interviewing another woman that day who lost a baby at eight months old. So what I hear a lot as pushback to living with an attitude of gratitude is, yeah, but if you knew my life, if you knew what I was up against and, my response is. That’s exactly when you need the practice most of all, because we can get through anything. And the people that I’ve interviewed, that is what I am here to prove is that the evidence is on the other side. And in fact, if you get through it with gratitude and grace, you will actually be better off, the same way I feel that I’m better off having been an addict and now being in recovery, people come to the other side of hard challenges and they end up better, more grateful, just seeing the world in a different way.

    [00:51:38] Harry Cohen: It’s so true. It’s so true. 

    [00:51:40] No matter what my circumstances, no matter what the tragedy that befalls me. 

    [00:51:45] Connie Fontaine: Yeah. Yeah 

    [00:51:46] Harry Cohen: You know, 

    [00:51:46] Connie Fontaine: not the toxic positivity thing. It’s the being grateful. All the little nuggets you’ve brought forward for everybody. So you’re going to be, we’re going to be changing lives.

    [00:51:54] We’re going to be helping people with this message as you’re trying to do and all the platforms both of you are involved in. 

    [00:51:59] Harry Cohen: Changing lives, but also I like my own life to be changed. 

    [00:52:03] And I got to tell you, knowing you two,Understanding both the work that you have done are doing and gonna do, 

    [00:52:09] You know what I mean? it’s beautiful.

    [00:52:10] So I want to take a page from your book and be more heliotropic, as we say.

    [00:52:17] Reflecting on Life and Legacy

    [00:52:17] Joan Lunden: I will tell you that I’m writing my autobiography and it’s been, it’s a big task to take on to recount your entire life. But it’s been a very, very interesting experience and, just going back and reliving it and I just find that by writing about it, it’s made me even more grateful.

    [00:52:42] for the life that I’ve been able to have. And then also it makes you stop and reflect and say, am I everything that I could be? And I don’t mean that, that I have one more show to host in me. I mean, as a person. have I like really reached that goal or couldn’t I make myself better? And, I remember in the last book I wrote, which is why did I come into this room? The last chapter, which if I remember correctly was, I want to be cremated as my last chance for a smoking hot body. And in that chapter I had people write their own eulogy. And design their own funeral and say, okay, so there you are.

    [00:53:26] You’re in the coffin and here come everybody from the office. Are they saying, gee, I wish you would have spent more time at the office. Like here come the family members. What are they saying about you? What do you hope that they would be saying about you as an individual? And whatever that is that you hope that they would be eulogizing about you, that becomes your bar. That becomes your goalposts that you need to get to. And it’s just a, to me, it’s just a great way to kind of redesign your timeline and say, this is what I want to work on to be the best kind of person I can be so that people remember me that way.

    [00:54:10] Harry Cohen: And I just want to apologize. That’s my dog barking in the background. So that’s Yolo. You only live once is her name. Her name is designed to remind me of what you just said and your thought about our eulogy is the whole point of what it means to be the sun and not the salt. That’s exactly how all of us want to live our life in that way.

    [00:54:37] How do you want to be perceived? How do you want to make people feel? What do you want to do in this life? So that people say that’s the clearest blueprint 

    [00:54:48] Connie Fontaine: Let us ask then what are those, a couple of those things for each of you that you hope people will say about you?

    [00:54:54] Joan Lunden: What, do I go first because I’m closer to the end?

    [00:54:57] Connie Fontaine: I, I think as you brought up this great 

    [00:54:59] Joan Lunden: I want, I want, people to say that I was kind and compassionate and caring about others and a good wife and mother and daughter to my mom. And I want them to, I think, remember me as a trailblazer who, dared to, cross into territory that others thought maybe I shouldn’t cross into, like all the men in broadcasting. And that I dared to ask a television network to let me bring my baby to work because I wanted to breastfeed and I knew I should go to work. And back in those days, it’s very different from now. There weren’t a million kinds of breast pumps. Like you needed the baby with you. 

    [00:55:43] And I figured what the heck, let me just ask.

    [00:55:47] And so they said, yes. And sometimes you just have to dare to, you have to know what your priorities are. And a lot of people don’t stop and say, what are my priorities? It’s a really good place to start. And then like for anybody out there, especially women who are in the workplace. If you get pregnant and you like walk in and you say to your boss, Hey, I’m having a baby. You know what they’re thinking? Oh God. So how am I going to replace this person? Who’s going to do this work? Women should realize that it’s not the boss’s problem. It’s yours to figure out how you don’t make it your boss’s problem. Go, but be honest. I was honest with Good Morning America. I said, I’m going to give you 150%. In return, I have little kids and I’m going to be at their recitals. I’m going to be at their parent teacher conferences. And as long as we can find the middle on this and find the compromise and live together you have to understand your ratings are going up because I’m like a working mom and people out there in middle America relate to it. And by the way, these little kids come with it. As long as you let me be the mom I want to be, I will give you my heart and soul, you know, and work harder for you. And it forged a really good working arrangement.

    [00:57:07] Connie Fontaine: Set a good example.

    [00:57:08] It did. 

    [00:57:09] Harry Cohen: Jamie, 

    [00:57:10] Connie Fontaine: you, Jamie?

    [00:57:11] Jamie Hess: mean, that was so beautifully said. What else is there left to say?

    [00:57:15] you, know, look, 

    [00:57:17] yes, 

    [00:57:17] Connie Fontaine: to say about you

    [00:57:18] Joan Lunden: Come on, 

    [00:57:19] you’re helping people. 

    [00:57:20] So much. 

    [00:57:21] Jamie Hess: And what I’ve always just said, I want to take up my space on this earth with, kind, happy, sparkly energy and just sprinkle fairy dust where I go. I’m proud of being a mom.

    [00:57:31] I love being a boy mom. So I want to be remembered as being a warm, kind mom, but also a fun mom. And I’m really working on that. I think as a working mother, finding that balance is really hard. You know, Because we work so much, especially these days with being connected to the internet 24 seven, you have to be even that much more intentional. you have to be to make sure that you’re balancing and what my mom just said at the end, there’s that poem about, the dash, right? So on your tombstone, there’s when you were born, when you die, and what are you going to do with the dash? And there’s a book by Bonnie Rare, Rare, Rare is her name? The Five Regrets of the Dying. She was a hospice nurse.

    [00:58:14] And so many people on their deathbed, they say, I wish I had done what I wanted to do and not what was expected of me. Most people said, I wish I worked less. That’s a big one. we’re all a work in progress. I just want to help people feel a little less anxious in this world and help them show up a little happier, a little more confident and help myself along the way, because I believe very deeply that we only keep what we have by giving it away.

    [00:58:42] And so I, it’s all cyclical and that’s what I’m working on every day.

    [00:58:46] Connie Fontaine: Love that.

    [00:58:47] Harry Cohen: me too. I got nothing more to ask you guys. I’m just honored and thrilled that you agreed to do this and thank you so much for doing what you’re doing, being who you are. And as you said, Jamie, giving it away, being generous. One of the qualities. Of being the son of being heliotropic is being generous and thank you for your generosity of soul and spirit and we’re going to help a ton of people and you’ve already helped us.

    [00:59:18] Thank you guys.

    [00:59:19] Connie Fontaine: Yes, we’re grateful. Thank you.

    [00:59:20] Jamie Hess: Thank you.

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