Emotional Fitness + Living Happier with Nataly Kogan

“There is no glory in struggle,” says Nataly Kogan, Founder and CEO of Happier. Everyone faces challenges in life and has to overcome different types of adversity, but how we choose to do that can have a great impact on the outcome. This week, Kogan shares strategies for building mental and emotional fitness, and finding ways to thrive and grow, instead of just surviving.

When she was 13, Kogan and her family moved to the United States from Russia as refugees. She came from a tradition where struggling was considered good, and where suffering was accepted as a necessary component of finding success. By the time she was 35, she was in the midst of burnout and needed to rethink her approach to life and work. She made the choice to focus on emotional fitness and wellbeing and has learned to reframe struggles as challenges. Now, she shares those skills with others hoping to be effective leaders and find happiness and contentment in their own lives.

Key Moments You Don’t Want to Miss:

  1. Breaking from Tradition How Nataly Kogan learned the difference between challenge and struggle and let go of the idea that to be successful, one has to suffer
  2. A Fit Mind Why Kogan says it’s important to practice skills that build mental and emotional fitness, just as you would for physical fitness
  3. Changing the Narrative What it took for her to break through the story she’d always told herself about her life and circumstances and why it was important to do so
  4. Finding the Bigger Why How a sense of purpose allows us to grow and lead fulfilling lives

What You’ll Learn:

  • Frame challenges as an opportunity for growth
  • Try to see with clarity, rather than judgment
  • Practice gratitude
  • Give yourself time for self-care
  • Focus on the bigger why and a sense of purpose


“Challenge is real. Struggle is optional.” -Nataly Kogan

“We all have our backgrounds. We all have our DNA and life circumstances. We all have a lot that has happened to us, but at every moment, we can make a choice. We have agency.” -Nataly Kogan

“As human beings, we share our emotions and our energy with other people. Whether you think you are or not, you are. So, if you do not take care of your own emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing, what are you bringing to others? How are you showing up?” -Nataly Kogan


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Episode 290