everyone has a podcast these days. The space may be saturated, but when we find a pod that resonates, it means the world. One of the most popular healthy lifestyle podcasts out there right now is Almost 30.
The pod, media platform and online community are run by LA-based besties, Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik. The ladies came together in a moment of late-twenties existential crises and connected over the shared pressures of “having it all together” on the edge of thirty. The charismatic duo now interviews figures in the wellness space about holistic health and mind-body balance in a way that isn’t preachy or contrived — 100% relatable with a pinch of sass.
We love asking female entrepreneurs about the lessons they’ve learned on their personal and professional journeys. From confidence and spirituality to leadership and fear, here’s what the women behind Almost 30 shared with us…
The Chalkboard Mag: What inspired the Almost 30 podcast in the beginning?
Krista: We started the podcast from a really vulnerable place. We were both going through a transition in our life and decided to connect with experts to support us in that journey. It’s grown from there, and we’ve really held true to the basis of our friendship and the goal of providing an example to our community of what it’s like to be a friend, and what it’s like to be vulnerable, and what it’s like to be authentic.
We felt like we had been told that your 20s and your late 20s you should have it figured out. You should have a husband, you should have kids, you should figure out your job, you should know where you want to live — but we felt like our lives were really just beginning. We wanted to create a safe space for women to come together and really figure out life and this transition from your 20s to your 30s. When I left college, I really started exploring the process of self-discovery and of spirituality, and there are so many people that are in our position. We just wanted to tap into that experience and make people feel less alone.
TCM: What would you say has been the most memorable interview so far and why?
Lindsey: There’s so many. We focus on 360 health and wellness, so we’re not just talking about the green juices and the gut health and all that (although we do talk about that) but we’re really committed to going deeper. Our guests serve as expanders for our audience through really real conversations. One interview that sticks out for me is when we spoke to Alok, who is a gender nonconforming performance artist. They are really changing the conversation about gender nonconforming and creating awareness around it. We talked about the everyday violence that they endure and how the structure of our society is really not set up to protect them.
Krista: I really loved our conversation with Dan Savage of the Savage Love podcast. He’s a huge voice in the LGBTQ community and his perspective on monogamy and around how we view being faithful in relationships is eye-opening. He takes into consideration that humans are not meant to be monogamous creatures, but we choose to be so. The conversation really reframed some concepts and ideas that I’ve never challenged before. I also really love Rachel Cargle. She helped me understand more information about white privilege, what that term means, where it comes from, how racism exists in America in different ways that we maybe don’t even understand or see.
TCM: Tell us what have been the most important things you’ve learned about wellness…
Krista: What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. It’s important to do your own research and make sure that you’re staying true to your own personal wellness journey. We absorb so much information about wellness through our podcast, but all I can do is just try and focus on what makes me happy and what makes my body happy and how I can honor my body and my spirit at the same time without getting too lost in all of the trends.
Lindsey: I think of a really good practitioner of anything — whether it’s meditation or reiki, or even a nutritionist — really brings you back to yourself. They are not necessarily the guru and someone that you need to go to for the rest of your life for the answers.
TCM: Which wellness practices have you personally fallen in love with?
Krista: I’ve fallen in love with reiki and energy healing. We had Millana Snow on and she’s our energy healer. Working with her has really changed my life. What’s beautiful about reiki is that it creates this opportunity to receive healing from a universal source that everyone has access to.
Lindsey: I’m really feeling the movement part of my wellness practice. Some days I’ll want to explore more of a masculine movement (like taking a boxing class) and then the next day, I’ll really want to slip into something more feminine, so I take a dance class. I always thought fitness was about achieving a certain body type, but now it’s really more about connecting to my spirit as it relates to movement. I know that sounds kind of wacky, but my body is going to react to me responding to what my soul or spirit wants.
TCM: What are some key things you guys have learned about confidence?
Krista: Confidence goes in and out. People assume that I’m confident because I post on social media or because I have a podcast. I think that they assume that confidence is constant, that it’s something that you either have or you don’t. Having conversations with all these experts in every space, I’ve realized that it comes and it goes. We are all human beings who are going through things, who are meeting challenges every day, who are meeting triumphs every day. We need to recognize this mutual struggle to build our own confidence.
Lindsey: I have a habit of comparison and I think that’s a natural tendency for a lot of people, to compare your life to other people’s, to where you are in your life, to how you look. Comparison is the enemy of confidence. Endless Instagram scrolling doesn’t help, so in moments I find myself spiraling I simply ask myself “is this reality? Is this thought that you are having right now true? Is it a fact?” And then we can go from there because often times it’s not.
TCM: What have you learned about confronting and managing anxiety?
Krista: My ability to manage and deal with my anxiety has been directly correlated with my ability to be present and be in the present moment. Baths are really nice, physical way to tap back into the moment, but ultimately anxiety is a mental game. As you work on being more present and being more mindful and being more thoughtful and slowing things down it becomes easier to move forward from anxious moments.
Lindsey: It’s important to talk about it. Express what you’re going through to someone you trust; they might relate, they might be going through something similar or have gone through something similar — you’re never alone. I also love listening to interviews of people that have experienced anxiety. Tapping into community and sharing gets me out of my head.
TCM: What have you learned about running a business + being a leader?
Krista: Embracing vulnerability is key. In learning to be a good leader for our team, I’ve found that I have to be very vulnerable with them and I have to be really honest with them. It feels like something is missing if someone isn’t being completely vulnerable or authentic during a conversation. We run Almost 30 in the way that we present ourselves to the world. It’s not just us being authentic and vulnerable on the podcast and then turning around in our business and being a different type of way. We have to live it. We have to live everything that we’re doing in public and in private in the business, too.
Lindsey: I completely agree. I think there is a really powerful strength to being able to be yourself in real time with people who work with you and are wanting to be led by you. Vulnerability is number one. We do it so naturally on the podcast, but then with our team, it’s not as easy as it looks. I’ve been watching the Brene Brown special on Netflix (like 85 times in a row). She discusses that being a leader can be hard because you want to be strong, you want to have it all together, and you don’t want your team to see any holes in your process or what you stand for, but some of our most meaningful moments, both on the podcast and in private with our team, have been the “I don’t know” moments. Dismissing fear and really committing to the bigger vision and values we’re chasing makes it easier to show up in an authentic way.
TCM: You’ve mentioned that one of the missions of your podcast is to help people feel less alone. What have you learned about loneliness and the realities of it?
Krista: We had a few addiction-related podcasts recently. One person was talking about shame and how shame was such a feeder into their addiction and their drug problem. Shame loves when you’re alone; that’s how shame gains power. It’s important to honor being alone when it’s the right time, when you need to recharge or your soul wants to have time with you. But then there are times when being alone feeds a toxic cycle and it’s important to learn the difference.
Lindsey: I really do love to be alone and I often times feel the loneliness creep in when I kind of lose sight of the value of it. Now in my life, if I am alone, it’s super intentional. I really value it very much because we’re not alone very often. We’re on tour, we’re constantly meeting people (which is hugely rewarding) but I do carve out time to be on my own because that’s where I get my energy, my inspiration; that’s where I can reset, where I can put things into perspective.
TCM: How are you each different now from when you started the podcast? What’s been the main evolution you’ve observed in yourself?
Lindsey: Not everything has to be super polished. I think a lot of us are recovering people-pleasers. I was a people-pleaser most of my life. Being a business owner, being responsible with Krista for this brand, for this community, I now see the value in not necessarily having everything be perfect. If we waited for things to be perfect along the way, along this process, we would not be where we are. Trusting intuitive hints and following them and not waiting for things to be shiny or for the approval of others has been a huge learning point for me. It’s been really freeing.
TCM: What is a piece of advice you would give your early-20s self?
Krista: I would tell my younger self to stop drinking. I don’t drink anymore and it has been a really beautiful, spiritual experience for me. It has provided me such a great connection to my body, such a great connection to my spirit, to my soul, and my ability really to prioritize how I want to show up in the world and what success means to me. I’m able to get up in the morning for work, to workout. Life completely changed when I stuck to not drinking, so I would say stop drinking. It’s okay, you don’t need to drink.
Lindsey: I would say to listen to your intuitive hints, to that gut feeling, or that little voice that lives in me. That voice was trying to say a lot of things back then, but I was kind of living a bit more recklessly and depending on other people for my happiness and satisfaction and self-worth. I would have feelings about people and situations and opportunities and I either would or wouldn’t go for it because of what other people thought or what have you. I’d encourage my younger self to start trusting my feelings more often. I think it’s like working a muscle, and if we can start listening as early as possible, it just becomes second nature.