Aussie TV Presenter Liv Phyland has a genuine passion for promoting and fostering positive health and wellness in teen girls. Before getting her first job in TV 11 years ago, Liv completed an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology and then became a Qualified Health Coach after studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. During her years on ABC3 and The Loop, Liv was inundated with messages concerning well-being. Issues including; eating disorders, mental illness, stress, study, work-life balance and more. It was then Liv and her BFF Teigan Nash, set out on a mission to help equip females with the tools and confidence they need to navigate these, at times, extremely challenging but formative years. With that… Girls Who Glow was born!
Liv has also just launched ‘Liv Your Life’. A 1:1 Life Coaching program designed to help women live with intention and reach their highest potential. It gives women a chance to level up in all areas of their lives; relationships, purpose, career, sleep, diet and more.
And because that isn’t enough… we’re told that there is one more thing that she has been tirelessly working on behind the scenes for the past year. A product to help women feel motivated inspired and supported from morning to night. She’s hoping to launch it early next year!
When Liv’s off duty you’ll find her driving off into the sunset in a van, busting a move at a local dance class, or surfing the waves at popular Bondi Beach – she’s a total vibe! Liv has a zest for life that is hard to ignore, and we’re so glad we caught her for a chat for this month’s Stella Women Series.
Tell us more about Girls Who Glow and where did your inspiration come from to start the workshops?
I’ve always had a deep love for health and well-being, which is why I originally went to Uni to study Psych and Occupational Therapy and then got my Health Coaching certificate a few years later. But it was during my time at ABC3 that I was, as mentioned above, inundated with messages from this newfound teen audience that came with working on a kids network. These messages and cries for help broke my heart. It killed me that teens were feeling more lost and alone than ever before. That they had to grow up quicker, be cooler, fit a certain mould, have so much external noise and pressure, and be subject to easy, gutless keyboard warriors, aka the 21st Century online trolls. I wanted these beautiful girls to be going back to basics… living a life of balance, purpose, fun, authenticity, playfulness and heart. I would write back with some words of advice, love and support… and of course, would encourage them to seek professional help.
But it was one morning at 6 am in St Kilda… I was sitting on my bedroom floor in tears as I wrote back to a young girl. Her long message moved me to my absolute core. As I typed back through the tears, I also felt a real sense of purpose in this role, almost like a big sister. It was straight after this when going for a quick walk before work that I was wracking my brain as to how can I do this on a bigger scale?… how can I combine my studies, passion and general approach to living a vibrant life, to empower females to love ‘their’ life a little more? It was at that moment I decided I wanted to do full-day workshops for teen girls, covering all the different dimensions of health and happiness. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more lit up or sure of something, than when I had that little ‘light bulb moment. I knew this was something that was now part of my trajectory.
But things didn’t start taking shape until over 6 months later when I moved to Sydney for work, met my incredible friend Teigsy who also worked in kids TV (Saturday Disney), that I found myself a like-minded friend and business partner. Within minutes of meeting Teigs and hearing that she too had been dealing with these messages, had been studying nutrition and also had a burning desire to connect and give back… I knew she was the perfect person to make this dream come to life with. And at that moment, the wheels were finally in motion.
What topics do your workshops cover and why did you choose those topics for the teens attending?
I truly believe health and happiness are so multi-dimensional. This is why we really try to cover as many facets as possible throughout the day. We explore Nutrition, Exercise, Positive Body Image, Social Media, Bullying, Healthy Relationships, Mental Health, Gratitude and Goal Setting. We educate and discuss these topics, but we also have very practical and interactive exercises such as cooking demonstrations, panel interviews, role-playing, dancing, breakout group work.. to ensure that the girls are bonding, sharing and enjoying themselves in the process. My favourite part about how we’ve designed these workshops is that everyone takes at least one thing special from the day. Someone might be deeply moved to tears by the mental health discussion and group work, another girl might have had the time of her life dancing in the exercise component, another might have learnt to eat for her body and mind rather than for weight loss during Nutrition, while someone else might walk away equipped with the tools and confidence to cut the cord on a toxic friendship that no longer serves them. But we feel all walk away with a little more spring in their step and glow in their life.
You’ve collaborated with some other amazing women for Girls Who Glow, how did you find each other and what was it like setting up the workshops together?
An integral part of these workshops is our Guest Speakers. Actors, Presenters, Olympians, Paralympians, Influencers, Surfers and Motivational Speakers all come together to share their stories and impart their wisdom and lessons. Having these influential figures is incredibly powerful, as these girls often idolise them or have believed, up until this day, that their life is perfect and bulletproof. When these speakers show such vulnerability and raw emotion while sharing their story behind the cameras or facade of social media… We watch the girls take so much comfort in knowing that even the people they deem to be the most ‘successful’, ‘happy’ or ‘perfect’, experience heartache, adversity and mental health challenges like they do.
We have been so lucky that a lot of these speakers are close friends of ours who just happen to have incredible stories, so much wisdom, and a deep desire to help the younger generation. We now have quite a core group of speakers who come to most of the workshops and know the play of the day like the back of their hands. They not only do their talk, but they also pack goodie bags the night before, help with the set up the morning of the event, prep food while Teigsy and I are talking, sit with groups of girls to eat lunch and have a chat, do the exercise with them, facilitate group work, stay for half an hour of photos and goodbyes with the girls and then help with pack down. To say we are beyond blessed for their kindness, generosity and support, would be a massive understatement.
You’ve recently started your own business Liv’s Life (cool name btw) as a life coach, what led you on this path?
Thank you, the name in itself was even a flook. I just wrote it randomly as a sign-off, then realised 10 mins later… that is my future business. What led me to this path?… I think it was a natural progression of everything from the last 12 years, to be honest. It feels like I am combining my Psych studies, Health Coaching, 5 years of running Girls Who Glow, a lot of passion to help others, a natural love of life and getting the most out of it, and just a whole lot of life experiences and lessons along the way.
I suppose that is why it ‘feels’ so right to be now doing what I’m doing… but there was an exact moment, just like the Girls Who Glow epiphany, that I knew I would start coaching.
I have been working on a well-being product for the last year and about 5 months ago I started doing intensive market research for it. These interviews were meant to go for 15-30 minutes… but the next thing I knew we were an hour and a half in, I’d learnt so much about this person and had naturally/ accidentally fallen into coaching them. It wasn’t until a friend a few weeks later pointed out just how lit up I was from connecting with these women, how invested in their life I was, and how much I wanted to help in any way I could. He suggested that I should do this as legitimate coaching. At first, I thought it was a crazy idea… but after sitting with it, I realised it was actually the most natural and organic next chapter in my life.
Why would someone need a life coach? And what do you generally help your clients with?
The reason I like ‘life’ coaching is similar to why Girls Who Glow exists in the form it does. Exploring, getting uncomfortable with, working through, expanding, growing and improving in ‘all’ pillars of your life. We can’t have a super clean diet and expect to be healthy or happy when we are miserable in our relationship, or in a job that doesn’t align with our purpose, or are living off 4 hrs of sleep a night.
Being a human is bloody hard sometimes. We have so many external stressors, expectations, and pressures…. then yay, chuck some raging hormones and internal negative dialogues along the way, and we wonder why we sometimes feel burnt out, overwhelmed or unhappy. But being a human can also be the most liberating, exhilarating, effortless and rewarding experience. I want to help women find that natural ebb and flow in life… to sit with the negative emotions, have the strength and confidence to find their way out, and the zest to acknowledge, celebrate and enjoy all the wonderful moments, feelings and things that come with this messy, beautiful thing called ‘life’.
What is a motto that you live by?
Find the magic in every day. No matter how big or small, find something or a moment that brings you joy. This collection of small things will consequently improve your energy, emotions, thoughts, mindset, decisions, actions… the outcome of your life.
What are three habits you’ve found that will change your life?
*Breaking the habit of not opening up Social media first thing in the morning. I now wait a couple of hrs after waking and have noticed a huge difference in my energy, productivity, clarity and mood
* Stretching! This would have to be the most underrated self-care tool out there, in my opinion anyway. When I have forced myself to make it a 5-10 min sequence as soon as I get out of bed or before I go to sleep, after a while it becomes the most luxurious ritual. Something that releases so much tension, and brings calmness, femininity, creativity and relaxation into my life…. and it’s free!
*Gratitude. Look, I have always been the biggest advocate of this. The fact that it’s really just a fluffy word to describe the rewiring or our brain to have more positive neural pathways so that we respond more optimistically to situations, blows my mind. That we are training our malleable brain to be a force that works with us, rather than against us. But it wasn’t until the start of this year that I actually started walking my talk. I forced myself to write a gratitude list every morning as soon as my eyes opened. At first, I felt like a broken record and my list writing was quite monotonous… and then after just 5 days, it started to expand. I would start writing about things, feelings, thoughts, experiences and moments that I was grateful for in the last 24 hrs, rather than just the stock standard big things in life. The ripple effect that I have seen in the rest of my life, in particular my thought processing, my awareness of all the ‘good’ surrounding me, and the way I respond to negative or stressful circumstances, has been huge over the last 6 months.
Can you tell us a little more about this product you’ve been working on? Or is it top secret?
Ooo yes! Well, kinda. I’m not wanting to announce what it is yet just because I know it’s quite a way off still and I don’t want to be teasing it for an eternity. But basically, it was born out of Covid lockdown last year when I was struggling to have the motivation to do the things we ‘know’ will make us feel better. Why do we do that? Why when feeling our worst do, we almost self-sabotage and do things like scroll, instead of exercising, or stretching, writing a gratitude list etc. After searching for something to help motivate and keep me accountable and realising there wasn’t anything I was specifically looking for, I thought, “stuff it, I’ll just create it myself!”. Do I have any idea what I’m doing? Not really. Is it a super long process? My god yes. Am I beyond excited for it to exist in the world? Absa-bloody-lutely!
Want to know more about Liv and what she’s up to? Follow her here on Instagram
Subscribe to our mailing list and get the freshest stories from Stella