All The FREE Resources I Have Found to Start Bossing My Life
HEY! I am a HUGE supporter of people being able to level up their lives for free. So I want to share all of the resources I've found that cost nothing - or next to nothing - that packed MAJOR Change & Value into my life.
BUT be warned - you need to give something really uncomfortable. It's the biggest (but also most pathetic) complaint people make when the words "I can't..." roll off their lips.
Yup. You have to spend time. Reading, listening, writing, searching. This is your cost. Deal with it. Make it. Find it. Dig for it. Carve it. Stop making excuses.
When I first started my REAL journey to recovery from my childhood damage...my life was still pretty well in shambles. Money was tight, I was a single mom, I had disowned a lot of family members due to them being toxic. I noticed that Therapy provided a lot of 'insight' but didn't help with actual change & moving ---> Forward. Plus, my health care coverage for it only covered about $400 at 80% of each session. That's about 5 sessions worth (aka not anywhere close to enough.)
I got so fed up with feeling broken, stupid, like a failure, like I "just couldn't figure it out!" Life - I couldn't manage it. I was always STRUGGLING. I was depressed, with a maxed out credit card, a single parent of a 2 year old with no support or community. I felt totally F*#@&% - and not in the 'fun, lingerie, exotic European, 365 days, 50 Shades of Grey' kind of way. More like the "please just let the dirt pile up and I'll make my grave right here with this 1.5L bottle of $14.99 red blend" sort of way.
But I went through that super cool movie moment of being filled with passion to survive & wanting my kid to have the most incredible life possible. So I got my shit together...and started HUNTING.
Listed below are the books, podcasts, websites, resources, articles, etc that ACTUALLY helped me. I culled through A LOT of garbage. I don't want that for you. SO lets get started.
Hoopla - this is your library App for your phone & it works on desktop. www.hoopladigital.com
So first of all: Use your F*cking Local Library. I can't stress this enough. Seriously.
If you have a library card - you have access to audio books from your library. The book I found that changed my life, through this app was You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I listened to it 2 times in a row & bossed 3 life goals in 30 days...that I had been avoiding for 15 years. Then I bought a hard copy of the book from amazon & highlighted & underlined half of the fuckin' thing. I've recommended it to like 30 people.
2 others I would recommend are The Year of Less by Cait Flanders & Happier Now by Nataly Kogan.
**A Special Note about the material you search, read & listen to: Right before I listened to You Are A Badass, I was really caught up in material about 'what was wrong with me.' This sh*t develops a huge level of 'understanding' but it lacks the offer of Tools to CHANGE. Books like: Surviving a Borderline Parent, Will I Ever Be good Enough?, Mean Mothers..... these books can drag you into a whole & keep you there. I had to stop. I made a point of only absorbing what I call 'Growth Style Knowledge." Insight is great - but you can get caught in a loop of victimhood when you surround yourself with your 'diagnosis.'
Audible - This is both a phone app & website. This is a 'paid subscription' service...BUT - it offers a 30 day free trial. Which I fully admit to creating fake email addresses & signing up for that 30 day free trial multiple times. Don't work hard, work smart. The book from here that was a game changer, right after You Are A Badass was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F- by Mark Manson. Again - my review of this is that the first 8 chapters are extremely helpful. The last chapter really lost me. And Again - I listened to this book multiple times in a row, then bought it and highlighted the sh*t out of it. www.audible.ca
Spotify - Everyone knows spotify. It's $9.99 per month & it's value goes way beyond that. If you drink Starbucks lattes 2 times a month, get drive-thru coffee 5 times a month, drink a bottle of wine once a month or even buy a pack of smokes - replace one of those things & you can afford spotify. If you REALLY can't - the only thing in your way is being annoyed by adds interrupting sometimes. Suck it up. If you want to learn & grow for free, sometimes you just have to deal with things like that. You can download it on your phone & take it everywhere. Download episodes ahead of time while you're in wifi - then listen on the go.
My Top Podcasts that leveled up my life:
Unf*ck Your Brain by Kara Loewentheil - Start all the way at the beginning. Her Sh*t will change your F*cking life.... She does half hour shows on how to Change. How. You. Think.
Nike Trained by Nike - This 'is' athlete directed, but they interview professionals that cover sleep, nutrition, meditation, and performance. That last one is really important - because it applies to LIFE, not just being an athlete. The interview with Angela Duckworth about her research for her book Grit has been extremely valuable. Another book you can find on Hoopla or Audible or from your local Library. https://open.spotify.com/show/4S5PahOirvvAuGBswLfNzh?si=bNfLbF3QTuioc9y9ezk7ag
A little more in depth:
The Tim Ferris Show - he labels his episodes by the name of who he's interviewed & the stand out lessons from the interview. More on Tim Ferriss below...
If you want to get really hardcore:
Real AF with Andy Frisella - This guy is intense - but I love it. I'm, personally, a little off the deep end with how motivated, productive & intense I like to get - so I like to wake up to someone like Andy kind of yelly talking to me about getting my shit together. But his lessons & advise are direct, clear & articulate. If you get bored with the soft voice, 'you can do it' pep talk stuff - Andy might be more your style.
PDFdrive.com is a website where you can basically steal entire books off the internet. You can download a PDF version of almost any book you can think of, in full, for free. No adds, no viruses (yet) and if you have good wifi, it takes seconds. I put all of mine on a flash drive so they don't take up space on my computer. There have been a number of books my library district doesn't carry - and this was my way around it. I personally have a hard time reading from a screen. I read better & faster with the physical text in my hand. I am also obsessed with OWNing books. But when I'm very dedicated to the content & can't afford it, borrow it or trade for it - it works.
Facebook & Instagram
Just admit it - you waste WAY more time on here than you need to. We all do. The change that needs to happen is making Facebook & Instagram work FOR you. When you follow bullshit content (like your dramatic friends who post cats in sweaters videos & complain about shitty relationships they wont leave) your feed gets full of garbage. If you start following & liking content directed at growth & mindset change - you will get more in your feed with that stuff in it. It's an algorithm. Will more adds pop up with that stuff? Yes - but so will 'free seminars' & tutorials.
2 key cautions:
1) When you take a free seminar of any sort - they will try to sell you something at the end. Take your seminar, take your notes - then say "Thank You" and move on. Don't be annoyed that there is always a 'buy in' pitch.' Use common sense, take what you need, appreciate it, and move on.
2) Don't get sucked into absorbing learning content & then doing nothing with it. People can get 'addicted' to the Free Seminar world. You get caught in another hamster wheel of 'knowing' how to level up your life - but not actually taking action. Because yet again - you're sitting in front of your screen watching another seminar that's teaching you the same tools that you learned from the last 4 seminars. Or tools that don't apply to your life & your specific goals.
So who do I follow?
MindValley & Vishen Lakhinani (& anyone connected to his brand whose content applies to the areas of my life that I'm trying to improve)
One of his books: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind (borrowed it from the library) was very well written & had great advice Its tools where almost the same as the ones I was already following & wrote about in my own book. By the time I read it, my understanding of how to change your mind & life was beyond his introduction to them. But I stand by his content & writing. It would be helpful for anyone looking to begin their journey.
Their online content: This group is constantly advertising free mind mastery courses. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. They usually offer time slots (aka Tuesday with a 10am, 11am, or noon online sign up & a Wednesday 6pm, 7pm or 9pm sign up.) I just pick what works for me, set an alarm, make a note in my calendar & have a note pad ready. I take the time, take the notes, then don't buy anything after. Most of the time, the concepts really help me organize or solve something I've been struggling with.
Follow them on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram & they have a spotify podcast
Tim Ferriss started changing my life almost 10 years ago with his book The 4-Hour Body. His first and most famous work was The 4-Hour Work Week. I didn't read that one until maybe 5 years after 4HB. And my life got even easier. It's not about his content - its about how he teaches you TO LEARN. Tim's greatest feat is creating & using TOOLS to find, absorb & use information. How I learned to change my body, from his book 4HB, are the same tools I used to learn resiliency (spiritual, mental & emotional growth.) It's the entire framework for the book I wrote on how to recovery from childhood damage.
If you are able to see his 'framework' for learning to boss your body, your work hours or learning to cook - you can apply it to anything: parenting, housework, relationships, all of it.
You don't have to BE SMART. But you need to devote time to GETTING SMARTER.
This is how you level up. It costs you nothing but time - which you EARN BACK from no longer crying & complaining about how sh*tty your life is.
They have over 3,600 free talks on almost every topic you can think of - from people all over the world - who are changing the world. It's all right at your finger tips to explore.
Other notable works that were game changers for me:
You can look up related free content to these titles on Youtube & even Psychologytoday.com . Always look at 3-4 sources or opinions or teachings on a topic. Don't take ONE view as truth. Many of these books have reviews or talks by the author about the topics within.
Book: Learned Optimism - Martin E. P. Seligman
My brother gifted me this book in early university. It started my growth out of victimhood.
Book: Breaking the Habit of Being Your Yourself - Joe Dispensa
I can't remember where I came across this book, possibly my father. It goes into quantum physics, but it's not too complicated to get through. I don't use the meditation practices in the second half of the book (yet?) The first section was enough to change my life on a huge level.
Book: Lost Connections - Johann Hari
This guy does an amazing talk on the truth about the cure for addiction for TED talks.
His book covers the history & lies behind depression & antidepressants as medication.
Even better - he shares his ideas of the 9 true cures for depression. It's incredible.
Speaker: Tony Robins
Youtube his early seminars. They open your eyes a lot to how our brain works, what drives us & concepts to change. I appreciated his book Awaken The Giant Within
Speaker: Gabor Mate
Interviews with Gabor Mate on Youtube are exceptional. His focus is addiction recovery as well as childhood development & the effects of emotional trauma on the body. Author of The Body Keeps the Score (this is on my shelf & is an upcoming read for me.)
Book: Untamed by Glennon Doyle
A friend read this, said it made her think of me & loaned it to me. It blew my mind. It was incredible...
Book: The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen
This book was gifted to me by a mentor (one of the top 5 financial advisors in Canada). I took it on a camping trip and crushed it in 4 days. Again - many tools I already had, BUT they explained some of them in a new way or angle & it helped me level up again.
-Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman (a fun & really helpful read)
-The Whole-Brain Child & Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Seigal (very dense reads, but incredible knowledge & insight.)
If you made it this far - congrats! You just learned a TON of stuff FOR FREE. Just by reading this blog - you leveled up your life, learned tools & filled your brain with a bunch of really useful things. It cost you nothing but time.
Now go put it to work. Start small. Pick 1 or 2. Learn to crawl before you sprint.
"I teach love & I teach grit. You've got both. Let's unleash them."
Pretty Aggressive Recovery Coach
Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Coach
Certified Transformation Specialist
"Attitude - The Difference Between Ordeal & Adventure."
Author of Beyond Damage; Aggressive Recovery from the Toxic Mother Daughter Bond
Host of the Matriarch Motivation Podcast (available on Spotify & Google)
Co-Host of the #EnglightenedBitches Podcast (available on Spotify & Google)