The GOOD Fest - Recap & Reflections (spoiler alert - it was a life-changing experience!)
Happy Thursday fam! It feels like long-time, no talk -- this new posting schedule is taking some getting used to on my end too - I miss updating you guys more frequently, but I am also enjoying the time it's allowing me to pursue other (important) things! I know you guys understand <3.
With that said, I wanted to fill you all in on an INCREDIBLE wellness event I had the pleasure of attending a couple of weeks ago. It's taken me a little bit of time to process the incredible, and I would venture to say, life-changing experience that was The GOOD Fest. My bestie and co-podcaster (over @detoxandchillpodcast) Beck and I decided to attend The GOOD Fest a couple of months ago, but to be honest, I hadn't fullllllly considered what the day would be like/what to expect until a couple days before when we were finalizing our logistics -- you guys know how it is, life was just a little bit too crazy and then next thing you know, you're on your way!
Becky, Dan, and I set out on Friday afternoon and were soon Philly-bound! We made the usually-6 hour trip (which turned into 8 - ughhhh..shoutout to Dan for driving!) down to Philadelphia on Friday night, and we were so lucky to stay with my friend Jenn in Philadelphia for the next two nights. Beck and I were sooo grateful to her for giving us a place to stay, and making the weekend so much fun and so easy!
We spent Friday night catching up, having some girl-time and a little bit of wine, and eventually made it to bed around midnight so that we could be up and ready to go for the GoodFest on Saturday morning! So you might be wondering...what is The GOOD Fest? WELLL, to quote their website:
"We believe that living well doesn’t have to be about sacrifice and denial. Forget the labels, the workout routines that you dread, and “diet” food that tastes like cardboard. We’re here to teach you that achieving true wellness is about finding balance, becoming the best version of yourself, and learning to relax into shameless enjoyment. Through practice, discussion, workshops, and celebrations, we create unique and welcoming spaces that make a healthy lifestyle approachable, fun, and truly achievable. From the consistent support of our free online membership to the extravaganza of the festival, we provide a comfortable environment to unite, learn from each other, and thrive. We’ve created a space where a question about hormones is not awkward, but may be toasted with a glass of wine; where pizza can be as welcome as kale. For a night or a lifetime, wellness is not just livable, but deliciously real."
UMMMM, YES!! This is sooo up my alley and aligns with my general approach to wellness. Needless to say, I was SO excited when we woke up on Saturday morning. We went to PS & Co. in Rittenhouse square to start our day with coffee + energy bite, and then we ubered over to the the event space.
I have to take a second to talk about the event space - WOWWW! When we walked in, there were so many incredible vendors (juices, GT's kombucha, photo backdrops) - it was absolutely dreamy. We registered with some lovely volunteers and picked up our swag bag (which OMGGGG was amazing. So many yummy/delicious things in there!) and we had the pleasure of meeting Nina & Liz from the Finding Your Shine Podcast, and we also got to see Cameron, Nikki, and Anastasia and some other lovely ladies that we had only "met" via Instagram before. How amazing is it to make those in-person connections after following someone on social media for so long?
The awesome thing about The GOOD Fest was the fact that they had SO many amazing speakers, but you could ultimately pick your path based on what you were MOST interested in learning about. The GOOD Fest founders recognize that wellness is not a one size fits all approach, and finding what works for you is key in becoming the best version of yourself. Beck, Jenn, and I picked Track 3 -- which featured the Female Founders panel, Moon Signs with Ruby Warrington, and yoga with Blair Flynn! While both panels were incredible, Ruby's truly touched my heart. She spoke so genuinely about her fear of public speaking, and even let herself get completely emotional/teary on stage. She was raw, genuine, and I have so much respect for any woman who can share so openly with a room full of complete strangers.
After a delicious SweetGreen lunch and shopping/purusing around the marketplace (there were SO many amazing brands like DESSERT HUMMUS that I need to try ASAP), we jumped back into sessions with the full group of women who attended The GOOD Fest.
Shan Boodram, a sexologist, kicked off the afternoon session by talking about how to keep your vagina POPPIN'. This was hands-down one my absolute favorite sessions of the day - Shan was absolutely HYSTERICAL while also providing really important information that not everyone might know/feel comfortable talking about. I definitely listened up and took some notes.
Lisa Hayim spoke next about overcoming failure and rejection. This one was another raw and real talk and honestly, made me tear up. I'll never forget the moment when Lisa was getting emotional on-stage, and a kind attendee hopped right up on-stage to give her a tissue. To me, that was extremely brave and such a loving gesture. It's seriously so refreshing to hear our role models be REAL and share their struggles/fears/failures. I mean, how hard is it to acknowledge (even just internally) your failures in life? And imagine sharing with a room of 400 women? RESPECT!
Before we knew it, Kelsey Patel hopped back up on-stage to close the session. One of the most memorable moments of The GOOD Fest was Kelsey sharing one of her favorite motivating songs - Reaper by Sia. We (meaning ALL 400 women!) danced around the event space and sang along. Needless to say that I've been BLASTING this song and dancing around whenever I'm feeling unsure/stuck. After getting our dance on, Kelsey led us through a healing reiki session afterwards. YOU GUYS. I have never ever experienced anything like this before. I expected to feel more of a personal meditation, but I was literally brought to tears by the energy in the room. If you haven't ever experienced reiki, I highly encourage you to look into it more. It was incredible.
With that, we had a quick cocktail hour and then headed to dinner with some of Jenn's amazing friends at Charlie was a Sinner! HOLY DELICIOUS. We felt so lucky/grateful to be included in the dinner, and it was one to remember.
We went to bed (and actually passed out), packed up on Sunday morning, and grabbed a quick breakfast from PS & Co with Paige (another great friend from college) before hitting the road back to Boston. I had delicious avocado toast (I know, I know), and some awesome coffee.
Even though it was a long drive home back to Boston, I've been thinking a lot about the weekend for the past couple of weeks. I'm so glad that I went for it (even though it was a longgg trip) and opened myself up to the opportunity. I think that it's important to have these expanding experiences and push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. I'm so thankful for the experience, and know I'll be riding this high for AWHILE.
Hope you guys have an amazing day/evening/whatever time you're reading this <3.