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Do you ever feel like you have to be perfect? The perfect mother, daughter, employee, partner, etc?

It’s a familiar struggle that I have grappled with in my own life, and as a therapist, I’ve witnessed this innate desire to be perfect from thousands of women.

That’s how I first came across Elise Loehnen‘s bestselling book, On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to Be Good.  It is such an intriguing read and I am thrilled to have her on the Cracking Open podcast today.

Elise is not only a New York Times bestselling author, but also the host of the podcast Pulling the Thread, where she interviews cultural luminaries about life’s big questions.

In our conversation, we talk through some of our own big questions like how she got the idea for her book after speaking with the celebrity therapist Lori Gottlieb on the Goop podcast. Ms. Gottlieb told her – pay attention to envy, it can show you what you want. Gottlieb’s insight into using envy as a revealing emotion inspired Elise to explore the other six “deadly sins” —lust, anger, greed, gluttony, sloth, and pride—and their impact on women’s lives. Not only did this exploration deeply influence millions of women’s lives but her own as well.

“I’m the primary breadwinner. I’ve killed myself to succeed in life and be a good mother, partner, citizen, employee, and boss. And, you know, I was breathless, exhausted, and recognized that I was running a race with no finish line, that I was competing against a standard that I had not created and that would never give me any rewards that would mean anything to me.” ~ Elise Loehnen

Boy oh boy, can I relate! Maybe you can too?

Join us as we delve into a wide range of topics, such as the Enneagram personality type system, Elise’s affinity with spiritual figures such as Mary Magdalene (and how I feel that Elise is our modern-day Joan of Arc!).

Elise was previously the chief content officer of the famous lifestyle brand goop. While there, she co-hosted The goop Podcast and The goop Lab on Netflix, and led the brand’s content strategy and programming, including launching a magazine with Condé Nast and a book imprint. Before goop, she held roles as the editorial projects director of Conde Nast Traveler and editor at large and deputy editor of Lucky Magazine, where she also served as the on-air spokesperson, appearing regularly on shows like Today, E!, Good Morning America, and The Early Show.

Elise is highly accomplished in her career and a staunch advocate for women’s self-acceptance. She emphasizes that it’s not about striving for perfection but rather about becoming aware of how cultural programming and ancient ideas of morality, such as the seven deadly sins, continue to control and distort women’s lives today. Elise believes that trusting in our natural instincts can lead us back to a more balanced, peaceful, and spiritually fulfilling way of living.

My conversation with Elise was a breath of fresh air. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



Learn more about Elise Loehnen here
Join Elise’s Substack here
Purchase On Our Best Behavior here
Listen to Pulling the Thread podcast here
Follow Elise on Instagram


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