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Michelle Reeves @thejoychaser says ‘Ive had two starts in my life’

27 Jul Michelle Reeves @thejoychaser says ‘Ive had two starts in my life’

Michelle Reeves is an award-winning blogger, MIND charity ambassador for West Essex,

entrepreneur and Mum of two under eight. She was the winner of the 2016 Inspire award at this

year’s Brit Mums Brilliance in Blogging Awards and is passionate about helping busy mamas and

bloggers to become their most positive and productive selves.


Q.As a mother of two, how do you juggle general life at home with blogging?

MR: As any working, busy mama will tell you, it’s a challenge! But I enjoy my work and family life and

make time for both. I’m naturally an organised person, which definitely helps, but essentially it’s

about having a clear delineation between my work-time and family-time, staying focused and

having clear priorities for the different parts of my day. If I have to get up at 5.30 to work before my

kids are up and about, I will.


Q. Do you view blogging as a hobby or it can be a profession?

MR: I absolutely believe that blogging can be whatever you want it to be. When I started blogging it was

a creative and therapeutic outlet for me as part of my recovery from Post Natal Depression, but

over time I realised that I could help others by sharing the lessons I’ve learned moving away from

the habit of negativity at my blog; and that has naturally grown into my second



Q. You suffered from depression, tell us more about this?

MR: I often say that I’ve had two starts in my life. The first is the obvious one; I was born, I grew up…

but then I had another start that led me to where I am today.

In 2009 I hit rock bottom. After a successful career in the City, I was struggling to get through each

day. I was an expat in China, with a premature baby daughter who struggled to feed or sleep, and I

didn’t really care what happened to me. On the day I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression

my new start began. And step by step, day by day, I found myself again.

I started blogging around this time and having a creative outlet was definitely an essential part of

my therapy. But while I became a positive person on the outside – full of energy and busyness –

on the inside my glass was still almost permanently half empty.

I knew I was a strong, confident, capable woman but two traits – negativity and perfectionism –

clouded my everyday. They skewed my priorities, affected my most important relationships,

stopped me reaching my potential and distracted me from the moments of joy in my life.

I strongly believe that negativity can become a habit – it was for me. Through therapy, time and

support, I recovered from postnatal depression but even so negativity was my first reaction to a

situation, with negative words often tumbling out of my mouth before my brain had time to engage

and stop them. That negativity had just built up over time and become my default, my habit.

So if I wanted POSITIVITY and JOY to be part of my every day, it followed that THEY needed to

become habits too. To break the habit of negativity I realised I needed to create a NEW NORMAL –

a new routine that would intentionally create the space in my day to help me practice these positive

habits – my 8 happiness habits – every single day.

And I feel passionately that everyone should try to do the same. As busy mamas, wives, sisters,

daughters, colleagues so much of our daily routines revolve around everyone BUT ourselves. I

was in that exact, same place. Wanting to take a time-out (without feeling guilty about it) to

discover my more positive, happier and successful self.

So I created a ‘time out’. A routine that gives me time back for ME. That boosts my positivity and

self-esteem every day. That helps me reach what I call my ‘I’m-a-mama-but-still-me’ goals. That

sets me on the right course, with purpose, every morning and puts me to bed with gratitude.

And it worked. People started noticing the new, more positive me and I knew that I had to share it

with others so that they could benefit from it too. So I decided to take my blogging a step further

and created the Happiness Habits Routine TM eCourse to help busy mamas like me to create their

own simple daily routine using the 8 happiness habits.

It’s been an amazing journey.

Michelle Reeves, The Joy Chaser, WINNER of the INSPIRE award BiBs 2016

Q. You also support Mind, how did this come about and what do you make of the work Mind


MR: Yes, I’m so proud to be an ambassador for the MIND mental health charity in West Essex. I’ve

written openly about my post-natal depression and I’m passionate about helping MIND to reduce

the stigma associated with mental health issues by helping them to raise awareness both through

my social media presence and sharing my story. We don’t talk enough about these issues – at

least 1 in 10 women suffer from Post Natal Depression for example, and 2.7 million men in

England currently have a mental health problem like depression, anxiety or stress. MIND in West

Essex has so many resources available from private counselling to free self-help resources on

their website at


Q. Tell us more about the training and learning opportunities you are offering?

MR: At the moment I’m working with an amazing group of women in the Summer programme of

Happiness Habits Routine TM eCourse where they’re creating personal routines that will boost

their positivity and help them reach their I’m-a-mama-but-still-me goals every single day. The

Autumn course waitlist is open now at

I’m also running a FREE 5-day email challenge for busy mamas called “How to Overcome Feeling

Overwhelmed” because that horrible feeling of being completely swamped and not knowing where

to start is something I’ve definitely suffered from in the past! It’s completely free to join and all the

details are at

Finally, I’m working with local small businesses to help them harness the power of live

broadcasting on Facebook and Periscope. I’ve used Facebook Live to x10 my reach on Facebook

and it’s an amazing way to promote your message or business and grow your reach. Anyone who’s

interested can email me at to find out more.


Q. What can we expect to see from you in the future?

MR: Winning the Inspire Award at this year’s Brilliance in Blogging Awards, organised by Brit Mums, has

given me an amazing platform to build on. I have some exciting plans for new eCourses to launch

later this year and in 2017 and in the meantime I’ll be kicking off the Autumn programme of the

Happiness Habits Routine TM eCourse and helping more busy mamas like me to create a

positivity-boosting space in the day that’s just for them.