Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Heading: An End of the Year Recap

Dec 23, 2022

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I'm Kelley โ€” licensed therapist, burnout expert, and host of the Black Girl Burnout podcast. I encourage black women to opt out of struggle and opt into our legacy of joy and accomplishment. Join me!

Meet Kelley


This episode is a recap of the incredible year the podcast’s had. Whether it’s the fact that the podcast has global reach or that its surpassed 100k downloads, everyone at the Black Girl Burnout podcast are filled with gratitude. Kelley also recaps her favorite episodes this year as we gear up for season 2 on January 23rd. Feel free to keep the conversation going on OUR NEW SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE. Subscribe as always and leave a review!


โ€ŠWelcome to the Black Girl Burnout Podcast, Kelley here, and we made it. It’s the end of the year, and if you are like me, you might have mixed emotions about how this year has been. Uh, some of us may be wanting to savor every moment of this year because it was a wonderful one. Others of us may be like, get outta here.

I cannot wait for January. No matter where you are in this journey, this podcast is for you. As I am going to talk a little bit about where I’ve been, where this podcast is going, but importantly, as part of this week long this holiday season kind of packaging of episodes to help you cope.

As we head into the new year, I am going to review some of my favorite episodes. The goal here is no matter where you are, that these episodes will help you reflect and get ready for the new season.

As I’ve said, it has been a mixed year. I will be very transparent as I always have been, and tell you that this year is possibly the physically sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I spent six months of the first half of the year in some rough shape, to put it mildly. I was very ill and didn’t really climb out of my illness until later into the year.

And it was a time of reflection for me. I had some really low moments where I thought, uh, am I gonna be able to just go back to normal and living a life I was used to. , I have healed and recovered. I wanna be clear about that and I feel amazing as we close out this year. But it was a time of reflection for me to one practice a lot of what I’m preaching here in the Black Girl Burnout Podcast, being honest about, am I taking on too much?

Am I burning myself out? I also left my full-time job and now work a hundred percent for myself, which has been exciting. I now work with organizations and help them manage burnout and help them create more inclusive and safe environments for you all who work,  in corporations. And so that has been very exciting for me. But what I have never lost sight of is one of the biggest joys of my life, not just the year, is podcasting. It broke my heart to be away for so long from you all. I am so incredibly grateful for this community. I say it over and over again, but you just don’t know how grateful I am to each and every one of you who is listening right now. This podcast is like lightning in a bottle is the way I’ve described it to others. You all are the most amazing community I have ever witnessed.

The podcast is in so many ways, a baby. It’s exactly a year old. And as I was figuring it out, there were things that I wish I could’ve given you that I didn’t have. I didn’t have a social media presence. There wasn’t a website specifically for this podcast, all of which has been remedied, and I’m gonna get to that, but I wanna just talk about that despite all of that not being there you all still showed up.

This podcast has over a hundred thousand downloads, and I wanna talk about you, the listener. You are most likely a millennial woman, and you are a global community. This podcast is pulling in incredible, beautiful women from not just the United States, which is where I’m from, but from South Africa. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Kenya, the list goes on and on.

The amount of African countries that are listening to this podcast, my African sisters, I see you. I’m so excited that you are here, and I just wanna spread my arms out, and give everyone a global virtual hug. European Sisters, I see you. You are here. Welcome. And my American sisters hello. Hi. Welcome. We are a global community and this speaks to my dream when I created this podcast, which was it to be more than just. A podcast, but to be really a cultural movement of helping black women across the world opt out of struggle and opt into lives filled with joy and authenticity.

That was the goal of the podcast and it can only go up from here, and I’m gonna tell you how it’s gonna go up from here for. We have a social media presence. Black girl Burnout is on Instagram @blackgirlburnout. On Twitter, I’m setting up YouTube and TikTok as we speak. Black girl Burnout has a website, blackgirlburnout.com. All of this will be in the show notes for you. We’re getting there. We’re going to start finding ways to reach out to all of you, and creating this community has been my dream.

So much more to come. Season two is kicking off on January 23rd. Don’t worry, there’s gonna be information and podcast episodes to get you through between then, but I wanted you to know I am ready. I am present. I have an amazing rockstar team all helping me make this podcast happen.

And most importantly, I have every single one of you who. And I am so thankful for the thousands of you who do. We’re gonna be setting up a special email list for you all to join, which I’m super excited about, where there’s gonna be some delightful bonuses. If you join the email list, we are going to give you a free meditation and visualization once a month. I’m also going to give you something that I call, Hey girl chats, where me and different black women and friends and will give opportunities for even some of you. And I’d have a completely unfiltered, fun, unedited conversation, laid back, kind of just chatting with your girlfriends every month you’ll.

An episode of that, a bonus episode just for subscribing to the email list, and I will also last, but at least give you some of black girl burnout affirmations, about five to 10 of those once a month. All just for joining the email list. All free of charge, because I wanna make sure that you all get what you need.

Anytime you want it, it’s there for you and that you all know how important each individual one of you is to me. Now, let’s talk about some of my highlights for the year and give you a couple of podcasts that I think you should revisit while we’re waiting.

Like I said, the new season starts in January, but before then, I wanna make sure that you have something to go back and check in on.

Also, some episodes are gonna drop that are bonuses. That is a conversation between a friend and me talking about how the concept of opting out of struggle, is not a destination. It’s not something you just do once, but it’s a discipline and we’re gonna talk about how we do that in our personal professional lives.

You’re gonna love her. Her name is Dr. Jeanette Davis. She’s incredible. So before we do all of that, let’s get into some of the episodes that I loved making but also what I think will help you this holiday season to go back and listen to as you are trying to get through the end of this year, these are some of the episodes I think about. They also happen to be some of the most popular ones, but there’s a few that I loved that weren’t as popular that I want you to consider revisiting. So the first episode I want to talk about is, the episode entitled, opt Into Quitting With Ease.

This one was one of my favorites to make because this episode is all about letting go of what no longer serves you, but doing so in a space of grace and gentleness and not harshness. I really am a firm believer in cutting things off that don’t work putting things out of your life and helping those folks and things exit and not come back.

But it’s really important that when we quit things that we do so without a struggle mentality. There are times where I have quit things and in full transparency. That has not been graceful. That has not been classy. It has been like, let me tell you about yourself and let me read the list from A to Z, and it is something I’m still working on.

I’m always honest about that with you, all that this is a process for me too, but this episode and this way of life really opened me up.  honoring the feelings that I have that something’s not working or some person’s not working in my life, but letting them go in a way that makes me feel lighter, makes me feel at peace, versus feeling the need to meet ugly with, ugly to meet aggressive with, aggressive, to use language that isn’t in my character, and so this episode is all about strategies to release relationships, employment circumstances that don’t work with you, and circumstances that don’t work for you with a measure of class, right?

It’s nothing wrong with opting out, engaging with people who aren’t great for you, but it’s how we do that. It’s how we opt out of these circumstances, these places, these people that make all the difference. So check out that episode, quitting with Ease. The second episode I wanna recommend to you is one that I did earlier on this year that was called Opt into Softness.

There’s so much popularity around Soft Girl Living and the Soft Girl movement, and I am a huge fan of that movement. I have been trying my hardest to live a soft girl life more than ever. And so this episode was great because it allowed space for us to talk about. What softness is and how so much of what is forced upon black women is this harshness, harsh living and harsh circumstances, and having harsh interactions that people are not soft toward us.

Let me be very clear. The outside world is not always a place of gentleness, but this episode talks about how to realistically have soft interactions with people in a society that is not programmed to value you or to treat you as the valuable treasure you are. This episode meant a lot to me because it really made me think once again about the intentional changes and strategies I am putting into my life.

To say that I reject society’s lies and myths that tell me that I’m not deserving of tenderness and kindness and consideration, and instead of worrying about society, I’m gonna start being soft with myself. That’s priority number one. I’m gonna introduce gentleness and kindness and tenderness with the way I see and talk about myself, and then I’m also gonna take that out into the world and make sure that my interactions with others are soft so that I get that softness in return. If you’re looking to embrace soft girl living, this is the episode for you to check. The last episode I wanna recommend to you is an episode entitled Opt Into Forgiveness.

As this year closes, there are probably some great, beautiful moments that happened. I hope you have those. But there’s probably also some moments of pain, frustration, and disappointment. And this episode was all about how to forgive people and forgive circumstances, and even how to forgive ourselves if we’re disappointed in something we didn’t accomplish, in this episode, I redefine what forgiveness means for me, and I talk about my struggle with forgiveness. Ooh, am I prone to the petty? I’m a person who struggles with forgiveness. I feel like I’m a very generous person and it takes a lot to get me upset. I don’t tend to hold grudges often, but when I. When I do, there is almost no forgiveness possible. And that is something that I’ve been trying to transparently work on and part of what got me there was rethinking about what forgiveness is and what it does, that it is gifting back to the person who harmed you.

The injury that I’m not gonna carry your cruelty or your. Disrespect. I am going to forgive you as a means to return to sender, to mail it back to you, to tell you, this is for you to carry, not for me and rethinking about forgiveness this way. It changed my perspective and it allowed me not perfectly, but it allowed me to progress significantly in my journey to being more for.

Once I realize that it’s me who’s carrying the feelings and the burden, and I can actually return that to somebody, I really got in tune with forgiveness. So those are a few of the episodes that I think will help you as you head into the new year. Readjust and reflect on your year, but also get you primed for next year envisioning what you want your life to be like, who you get to be.

During this time it’s important that you spend time reflecting from a space of gratitude. No matter how bad our year has been, and I’m not here to tell you if you had the most terrible 2022, that you don’t have the right to be sad about that.

Please do, and please know that that feeling is honored, but there’s always something to be grateful for. And if you’ve had a good year, make sure that you are spending time having gratitude for all the things that have happened. Your healing practice today is just to reflect on the high points of your year.

Write them down, reflect on the important people in your life and say thank you to them. If they’ve done something to help you. And most importantly, remember that you are entitled to live a life full of joy. That your legacy is not one of struggle. It is one of joy and authenticity beauty and abundance.

That is your legacy. That is your birthright. All those things. Belong to you and anytime you need a little bit of joy, you can get it, anytime. You can dance to your favorite song. You can grab a drink of water. You can text a friend and tell them you care about them.

You can laugh at something. That joy is right out there waiting for you to grab it. You just have to look for it, and you just have to assertively and aggressively bring it into your life. And also to remember that you are part of this beautiful movement across the globe to opt out of struggle that you are rejecting those lies that society tells us, and that you are not alone.

Not only am I gonna be here giving you information three times a week, but you have a global community out here too, and so it’s, with that in mind that I close this episode and tell you as we gear up for season two, look for more bonus episodes, subscribe to this podcast and where you can please leave a review.

The reviews make my day and they bring me so much joy as do all of you. So until I see you take care of yourself and take care of each other.


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Are you a black woman who has been feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, and confined to the struggle? If so, the Black Girl Burnout podcast is here for you. Journey along with host Kelley Bonner as she interviews guests and shares personal anecdotes about productive ways to opt-out of struggle and opt into happiness,ย  while navigating the unique challenges and joys of being a black woman in today’s world. From work and relationships to self-care and mental health, this podcast is a safe space to explore and find support along the journey towards your goals. Join our community and start feeling more connected and less burnt out.

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Special thanks and appreciation to the team for all that you do! ๐Ÿงก

Producer  – Wendye Walter

Creative Director – William Cornell

Associate Producer – Amanda St. Maur

Cover Art – Reignland Creatives