Total Health: Julie Lowe of Socially Aligned On How We Can Optimize Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
23 min readJul 5, 2022


Call, text, Facebook chat, whatever you prefer, but the point is, don’t isolate yourself! Even introverts like myself are social beings. Humans need each other to survive and we’re wired for connection. Being an entrepreneur can be very isolating, but we don’t have to do things alone. There are countless Facebook groups full of supportive people going through similar struggles. I’ve always been amazed at how supportive and giving the entrepreneur community is. I’ve met some of my closest friends and biggest supporters in both paid and free online communities.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Lowe.

Julie Lowe is a certified Life & Success Coach and the founder of Socially Aligned — helping ambitious entrepreneurs reduce stress before they burn out or burn it all down.

After a life-long battle with anxiety came to a head in 2020, Julie created the ALIGNED coaching method to address the burnout and chronic stress that’s so prevalent amongst female entrepreneurs. Over the past decade, Julie has built a 7-figure consulting company by helping thousands of others grow their businesses. She has now dedicated her life to helping others have breakthroughs in their brains, bodies, and bank accounts using the science-backed practices that changed her life.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with anxiety. I vividly recall crying during timed multiplication tests in fourth grade. I would go into an absolute panic each week from the self-imposed pressure to get good grades. Drama with friends would keep me up at night in middle school, as I worried that someone might not like me. I’ve always cried easily and felt like there was something “wrong with me” for being so sensitive.

As an adult, the focus of my worries shifted, but the anxiety was still with me, a constant companion. Instead of worrying about multiplication and friendship drama, I’d worry about work projects and my kids. No matter how small the injury or illness my kids experienced, it would send me into a spiral, imagining worst-case scenarios. Starting my business and leaving my corporate career was a terrifying leap into the unknown that I’m still amazed I took almost ten years later.

In my forty-plus years, I’ve tried everything from medication to talk therapy to coaching, but nothing ever really resolved my anxiety. I worried that maybe I couldn’t be helped and this was just how life was for me.

Everything came to a head in the Fall of 2020. My anxiety was at an all-time high thanks to pandemic life — working twelve-hour days on my business with constant interruptions while my kids did virtual school from the next room. I was crying every day and having panic attacks on a regular basis. I was exhausted and didn’t feel like I was being a good mom.

I knew I needed help and tried meds for the first time, but didn’t want to stay on them long-term. I actually had a panic attack during a talk therapy session and things didn’t seem to be getting better. I knew there had to be a better way.

Desperate, I signed up for a coaching certification program hoping to find a way to heal myself. I dove into studying everything from NLP to Hypnotherapy to EFT. Things started getting better but my life really changed when I heard about nervous system regulation for the first time.

Everything finally made sense! It’s like the clouds parted and angels sang. I finally understood why therapy triggered a panic attack. Why I felt so tired all the time. Why I had brain fog. Why I had headaches and stomach problems. It all made sense. And I finally knew what to do about it! Hallelujah! Within a few months, I was off medication and feeling better than I had in years.

What it boils down to is the fact that anxiety begins as a nervous system response. It’s our body trying to keep us safe by sending us into fight or flight mode. The problem is our system can’t tell the difference between taxes and tigers and ends up sending us into fight or flight mode when it’s not the appropriate response.

Learning that stress isn’t necessarily the enemy — it’s my body trying to keep me safe — took away a lot of shame for me around my anxiety. Before, I thought I just needed to be ‘tougher’ and have a stronger mindset and didn’t know why I couldn’t just think my way out of my problems.

Learning how to calm my nervous system changed my life. Now things like therapy and mindset work had a fighting chance of actually helping me.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

After struggling for so long with anxiety and finally having this huge breakthrough, I knew that I wanted to help others find relief as well. My goal in business has always been to serve others and make their lives easier. For most of my career, I was doing that by helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. I loved the work because I was able to take complex, stress-inducing topics like Facebook advertising, simplify the process, and remove the struggle.

Now, I’m taking complex issues like what’s causing burnout, self-doubt, perfectionism, procrastination, and anxiety in so many entrepreneurs and helping them get to the root of the problem. When we take away some of the mystery behind what’s happening in our bodies and brains during times of great stress, it takes away a lot of the fear. I’m on a mission to get this knowledge into the hands of as many people as possible.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I have been fortunate to have so many amazing mentors and coaches over the years, from Marisa Murgatroyd to Jen Gottlieb and Chris Winfield to Melanie Ann Layer, Juliana Frisoli, and Lexi D’Angelo. They’ve all supported me in growing as a coach, business owner, and person.

I would say my two biggest supporters though are my husband, Eric, and my dear friend, Shay. It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child — I would argue that it takes a village to raise up an entrepreneur as well! My husband has been unceasingly supportive over the years. I’ve cried on his shoulder over disappointments, we’ve celebrated wins together, and he’s always been understanding when my work required long hours or travel.

And as supportive as Eric is, I have also found it invaluable to have a fellow entrepreneur friend that gets it. Being an entrepreneur can feel lonely and isolating at times and I believe we all need someone we can talk to that’s gone through similar struggles. We need someone to bounce ideas off of, vent to, and draw inspiration from. Shay is that person for me and I don’t think I could have made it through all the ups and downs without her support.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I actually started an e-commerce business right after the start of the pandemic. It was a passion project called Paperbacks & Pups and it was an attempt to combine two of my great loves — books and rescue dogs. I designed a line of t-shirts and coffee mugs to sell and curated reading lists on The goal was to donate a percentage of proceeds to animal rescue groups each month. The problem was that I never turned a profit…I ended up donating out of my own pocket each month until I eventually shut down the business within a year.

I would say the mistake was that I dove right in without a real business plan or the bandwidth to give the business the attention it needed to thrive. I learned that some passions don’t need to become businesses! I did have fun getting back to my designer roots while creating products and will never regret bringing awareness to local rescues.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I am an avid reader so it’s hard to pick just one, but I would have to say “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. and Amelia Nagoski, DMA. This was the first book (of many) that I read on the topic of stress and burnout after learning about nervous system regulation during my coaching certification. The Nagoski sisters do a brilliant job of explaining the science behind burnout in a fun and engaging way. The practices that they give in the book were among the first I tried out and many of them I still use today.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“No amount of regret changes the past. No amount of anxiety changes the future. Any amount of gratitude changes the present.” — Ann Voskamp

I love this quote because it really speaks to one of the lessons I share with my coaching clients, which is that our anxiety is not serving us. It’s easy to falsely believe that we are successful because we are anxious. That if we didn’t worry so much and obsess over every detail of our projects we wouldn’t be successful at all. This is false equivalence at its finest!

The truth is that we can never really control an outcome, all we can control is our effort — and that’s what we need to focus on. There is, however, a difference between being well-prepared and anxiously over-preparing. We must learn the difference between going the extra mile and letting our anxiety fuel our efforts in an attempt to avoid disappointment.

Using gratitude is a wonderful way to anchor into the present and focus on what is going well. A daily gratitude practice has also been shown to reduce stress and benefit not only our mental but physical health. I find time each day to express gratitude both for what I have and what I’m ‘thankful in advance for’ and want to bring into my life.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I just released a digital course for entrepreneurs, Laidback Launching, that shares simple, proven strategies to remove the stress from your next launch. When I asked entrepreneurs to name the most stressful activities in their businesses, launching came up time and time again. It’s no wonder — it can feel like everything is riding on a launch. It’s such a high-pressure situation that the stress can send us into fight or flight mode! I am so excited to present this course and help entrepreneurs de-stress during any high-pressure situation, like launching.

This Fall, I kick off my group program, ALIGNED Life Coaching, which I believe is the work of my life. It’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned as a 7-figure business owner, success coach, a highly sensitive person, and as someone that’s struggled their entire life with anxiety and chronic stress.

I’ve spent years studying everything from nervous system regulation to neuro-linguistic programming to emotional freedom techniques to business and marketing, and it’s all come together to create this coaching experience. These are the learnings that changed my life — that saved it in many ways. If I had known in my twenties what I know now in my forties, I would have saved myself so much stress and suffering. So many sleepless nights, and so many regrets over how I responded poorly when stretched beyond my limits. If I can save even just one person from burnout, I’ll be thrilled!

The world needs more happy, thriving, successful women. The positive trickle-down effect that a powerful woman can have — on her clients, her family, and her friends — is thrilling to consider and I am so excited for this program to start!

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives: Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Striving for optimal wellness in all areas of life is a big topic and can feel like a huge undertaking. I know for me personally, any time I’ve tried to get my life in order in all areas at once I can only maintain my new habits for so long and then I go back to my old ways. Willpower alone will only get us so far.

With that in mind, I’ll preface my advice by saying I find it’s helpful to slowly add good things to your days rather than focusing solely on stopping bad habits which can make us feel deprived and less motivated. The good will eventually outweigh the bad if we keep adding on the good stuff.

So, begin by picking just one thing from each category — mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Remember that it all adds up and progress is better than perfection. It’s better to add one small healthy habit each day and do it imperfectly than not at all.

As someone that’s struggled with anxiety and chronic stress my entire life, finding habits that reduce my stress levels is more motivating and easier for me than chasing a vague sense of optimal wellness. With that in mind, all of my tips today will be beneficial not only for optimal health in general but for stress reduction in particular.

My top three habits for mental wellness include:

  1. Focus on Your Effort Not the Outcome
  2. Challenge Your Own Thinking
  3. Practice Daily Gratitude

Chronically stressed high-achievers tend to obsess over hitting goals. We literally plan our months around goals and the outcomes we want to achieve!

The ironic thing is that outcomes are out of our control — we can never really guarantee an end result. We can’t make people buy our programs. We can’t make someone like us. We can’t control the unpredictable curve balls life throws at us.

The only thing we can control is our effort. In many ways that is freeing to realize! It allows us to stop obsessing over something we have no control over and shift our focus to something more productive — our actions. And when we take consistent, strategic action toward our goals, very often things turn out in our favor. Even if they don’t, we can go to bed at night knowing we did everything we could to reach our goals and if we don’t give up, eventually we’ll get there.

This leads me to the second tip — challenge your thinking. When things don’t seem to be going your way and you start to catastrophize, stop yourself and challenge your thinking. Are you focusing on an outcome you can’t control? Are things really that bad or are you being way too hard on yourself? Would you talk to a friend the way you’re talking to yourself?

Sometimes, rather than taking a moment to challenge our thoughts and then shift into problem-solving mode, we just let ourselves spiral over what-ifs. This is never helpful and where we can get derailed. This isn’t about using positive thinking to ignore your problems, but rather using critical thinking to focus on real problems and solutions instead of letting anxiety take the wheel.

And what if things really aren’t going as well as you want, despite your best efforts? That’s where gratitude comes in. No matter how bad a day might be, there’s always some good to be found in it.

Years ago, I started a family dinner routine to help make gratitude a daily practice. My kids call it “three great things” and we all have to name three good things that happened that day. I will admit there have been days that, when left to my own devices, I wouldn’t have found time for gratitude. Making gratitude a family affair keeps me accountable and makes me dig deep to find the good in even the toughest days. After all, my kids are listening and looking to my example. This is perhaps the best family routine we have and I highly recommend it!

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I love the guided meditations available on the Insight Timer app. For the past two months, I have been listening to one by Sommer Leigh that’s based on Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Tuning Into New Potentials Meditation. I listen to this meditation every night before bed. It helps me clear my mind of any lingering worries from the day and focus on what I want to create in my life instead.

I’ve also found that lying down to meditate can assist me in taking deeper breaths. When you’re chronically stressed, you tend to take very shallow breaths. When I first attempted to take a nice, deep breath and expand my abdomen while meditating, I actually found it really challenging to do sitting up! Lying down, this is less of a challenge for me.

The combination of deep breathing, visualization, and future gratitude helps me to drift off to sleep with a smile on my face each night.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

When it comes to physical wellness, my biggest motivation is wanting to have plenty of energy to accomplish my goals and live a full life. I don’t want to feel run down or struggle with aches and pains. Fortunately, I think that the steps we can take for optimal physical wellness are quite simple — if not always easy to stay on top of. We tend to want some sort of magic pill to keep our bodies in shape, but really, I think we just need to get back to basics — exercise, hydration, and not being tied to our desks all day.

  1. Find Ways to Make Exercise Fun
  2. Get Outside Every Day
  3. Stay Hydrated — It Reduces Stress!

We all know the health benefits of exercise, but many of us don’t like working up a sweat every day. The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to reap the rewards. Even just 10 minutes of exercise every day can boost your mood and reduce your stress and anxiety, so start small and work your way up if you need to!

Exercise is good for your brain and your body, but if you’re still struggling to find the motivation to get it done, I suggest finding ways to make exercise fun. Exercise doesn’t have to include HIIT workouts or running.

Hula hoop, have a dance break in between calls or join an exercise class in person or online. As an introvert, in-person classes were a stretch for me, but pre-COVID I joined a cardio drumming class at the YMCA and had a blast! The music kept things fun and the women I met were an unexpected bonus. If you can’t make it in person, even pre-recorded group workouts can be surprisingly motivating. My go-to is Les Mills On Demand.

My personal favorite form of exercise is taking the dog for a walk! Not only do you get exercise and time with your best furry friend, but you also get outside. Being in nature for twenty minutes a day can greatly reduce your cortisol and stress levels. If I’m really short on time, I will take two minutes to progressively tense up and release my muscles from my head down to my toes. Believe it or not, even that can get the job done for stress-relief purposes!

And then there’s hydration. We all know that our bodies depend on water to survive, yet 75% of Americans are walking around dehydrated. But what if I told you that when you’re even just a little dehydrated, the stress hormone cortisol increases, making you feel more stressed?

Drinking eight glasses of water a day isn’t going to make all of your problems go away, but why stack the deck against ourselves by not getting enough water? The key for me was to find a big water cup so I don’t have to get as many refills. I fill it up first thing, finish it by lunch and refill it when I eat. If I finish both cups I’ve met my minimum goal for the day. Easy peasy!

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

As you said, we all know what we should be doing, but very few of us do it. We have so many competing priorities and, unfortunately, our health often takes a backseat to business and family obligations. Unless we have some sort of health crisis, we can usually rationalize that it’s just not that important or urgent.

I believe the keys to success here are habit stacking and finding your “why”. Habit stacking is simply attaching a new habit to something you already do daily. For example, we eat dinner as a family every night, so adding ‘three great things’ to dinner made daily gratitude easy to remember. Part of my morning routine is filling up my water cup when I make coffee. I’m certainly not going to forget to make coffee, so if my water cup is by the coffee pot I never forget that either.

Over the years, I’ve been told to find my “why” many times when trying to improve my health. My answers varied from the somewhat vain (I want to look good in a swimsuit this summer) to what seemed like a deeper, more compelling reason (I want to be healthy for my family and keep up with the kids).

The problem was that I didn’t really care all that much about looking good in swimwear if I was being totally honest. Being healthy for my family, while noble, was just a little too vague to be motivating. I find it much more helpful to tie changes to super specific, motivating priorities.

For example, when I drink alcohol in the evening, my sleep suffers. Sleep is a top priority for me. I’d much rather wake up rested than have a glass of wine, so I rarely drink anymore. I could have read reams of information about why alcohol isn’t good for your health, and if I’m being honest it wouldn’t have made me give up that glass of wine. Learning that alcohol negatively impacts sleep — and then seeing it for myself by using a sleep tracker — made me change my habit immediately. I had found my motivating ‘why’.

If a reason seems like it ‘should be’ motivating but it’s not getting you to take action, dig deeper and get more specific.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Phone a Friend
  2. Tickle Your Funny Bone
  3. Regulate Your Nervous System

Call, text, Facebook chat, whatever you prefer, but the point is, don’t isolate yourself! Even introverts like myself are social beings. Humans need each other to survive and we’re wired for connection. Being an entrepreneur can be very isolating, but we don’t have to do things alone. There are countless Facebook groups full of supportive people going through similar struggles. I’ve always been amazed at how supportive and giving the entrepreneur community is. I’ve met some of my closest friends and biggest supporters in both paid and free online communities.

If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety, know you’re not alone. Especially right now, a lot of people are struggling. Stress is said to be at epidemic levels in 2022. Whether it’s a friend, coach, or therapist, reach out to someone if you’re struggling — and before you are! Your worries will never feel like a burden to those that love you — in fact, many people find purpose in helping others. In reaching out for support, you’re actually helping someone else fulfill their purpose. How beautiful is that?

When was the last time you laughed until you cried? It felt good, right? Laughter really can be the best medicine. Even the Mayo Clinic agrees there are clear health benefits, from stress reduction to pain relief to boosting your immune system. So, the next time you’re feeling down, call a friend that’s always good for a laugh, watch funny cat videos on YouTube, or find a comedy on Netflix. You’re sure to feel lighter after a good laugh and will be able to get back to business with more focus and energy.

And last but not least, my favorite topic — nervous system regulation! As I mentioned earlier, stress and anxiety live in the body first so we have to begin with a body-based approach to anxiety. Once we’re in a more regulated state then we can address the root cause and start to heal on a mental and emotional level. (This blew my mind when I first learned it!)

While there will always be stressful things that happen in our lives, we can learn how to bounce back faster and not let anxiety take us out of the game. It’s amazing to feel like I can cope with whatever comes my way now.

If I could tell the whole world one thing, it would be to learn how to regulate your nervous system. It literally changed my life.

Here are four ‘unusual’ ways to regulate your nervous system and improve vagal tone (a key indicator in how resilient you are to stress) :

  1. Blow on your thumbs
  2. Hum, sing, or gargle
  3. Look at fractals (you can find videos on YouTube)
  4. Pat or rub down your body

These are all super simple to do and are scientifically proven to help reduce anxiety. And since they’re a little ‘weird’ they’re easy to remember in the moment when you’re feeling anxious.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

I love this question because smiling is a lot like laughing and it really can boost your mood — even if you have to fake it! There’s plenty of science to support this, showing that our endorphin and serotonin levels increase when we smile, even if the smile isn’t genuine at first.

I definitely don’t recommend that we use false positivity as a way to avoid our feelings. It’s essential that we do the deeper work that’s needed to find true happiness…AND, I think it is great to have some tricks up our sleeves when we’re having a bad moment and could use a boost to make it through.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Turn Your Worries Over to the Universe
  2. Open Yourself Up to Guidance
  3. Use Your Ancestors for Inspiration

While I am a big advocate for creative problem solving and critical thinking, there also comes a time when we need to turn our worries over to the Universe. A time when no amount of work or worry will move the needle and it’s time to let go and trust. Regardless of our spiritual beliefs, I believe we can take comfort in the idea that the Universe is working in our favor, helping to make our desires manifest.

Before I meet with clients, part of my pre-call ritual is to get quiet, ground myself, and ask for divine guidance. To remove all ego and agenda, to put aside any personal worries, and to let divine guidance flow through me. To become a conduit for the perfect questions and answers that my clients need and for them to come through me. This is such a grounding, calming practice for me and allows me to show up fully for my clients every time.

I’ve found looking to my ancestors for inspiration and courage can be incredibly supportive as well. During the pandemic, I began researching my family line on Ancestry. I knew very little of our family history before I began and was amazed by what I was able to find! The stories of some of the brave women in my family stood out in particular and have really stayed with me. If ever I need to draw on some extra strength to get through a tough time, I remind myself that I come from a long line of strong men and women. It helps me stand up a little taller and find the fire within me.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

As you can probably tell, I love to geek out on the science of things and I am fascinated by the research that’s been done around the effects of nature on our brains and bodies. I mentioned nature for stress reduction earlier, but maybe even more fascinating is a study that revealed that when participants viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up on an fMRI.

If there were a way to measure increased spiritual connection, I would say that an increase in empathy and love would be a perfect barometer! Empathy allows us to connect to one another on a deep level and also allows us to appreciate how interconnected we all are. The beauty of the natural world is such a great reminder of this connection, so it’s little wonder that nature can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I strongly believe that the world would be a happier place if everyone were equipped with techniques to regulate their nervous systems and better handle the stresses of day-to-day life.

The focus of my coaching and programs is empowering female entrepreneurs because I believe that smart, passionate women can change the world.

However, if I could start a large-scale movement, it would be bringing these strategies to teachers and school-age children. Teachers are up against so many challenges and stress is at an all-time high for kids as well.

The same skills that can help a child manage test anxiety and peer pressure can carry over into adulthood to help with work stress and relationships. I believe that these strategies can not only improve quality of life but save lives.

So many of the strategies that I teach adults are easy for kids to understand and use as well. I’ve been doing EFT tapping with my son since he was eight, for example, and it works wonders for test anxiety and for relaxing before bed when his ADHD can make winding down a struggle.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would love to meet with Carson Daly! When Carson publicly shared about his struggles with anxiety, so much of his story reminded me of my own. From being a worrywart kid to having panic attacks as an adult, his story was very relatable. I even have a sneaking suspicion he is a highly sensitive person (HSP) like me!

I believe that every time someone is brave enough to share their story as Carson did, it helps us all to feel less alone in our struggles. I love the work he is doing on The Today Show with the Mind Matters project and would love to discuss ways to get practical strategies for reducing stress and anxiety into the hands of more people. I know that Carson is a parent and has interviewed teens about these issues, so maybe he could even help with my dream of getting these strategies into schools and into the hands of teachers and children!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Thanks for asking! You can find me online at Socially Aligned, on Instagram @CoachJulieLowe and on Facebook.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

Thank you so much, it’s been fun!



Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine

Good stories should feel beautiful to the mind, heart, and eyes