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Simplify Your Day: The Art of Leaving Things Undone

Self and Relationship Expert Julie Hanks, LCSW, Owner and Director of Wasatch Family Therapy, shares tips for simplifying your day and mastering the art of leaving things undone.

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. -Lin Yutang

I’m the first to admit that that I have a lot on my plate and that I like to get things done. However, I recently wrote a blog called Confessions of a Multi-tasking Mama about all of the things I don’t do  the things I leave undone. I received many emails and blog comments from women expressing relief that they are not alone in leaving things undone, and sharing their own candid œconfessions of what they leave undone. I’ve posted some of their comments at the end of this article.



I have surveyed hundreds of women and found that the majority of women felt guilty for all that they’re not doing (for leaving things undone). There will always be things left “undone”.

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I need your help to name my podcast

May I have 30 seconds of your time? I’m launching a weekly women’s podcast within the next months and need help to name it. I’d love your input on title, and what you’d find valuable. Thanks in advance for your help!


Making Wedding Anniversaries Meaningful


Self and Relationship Expert Julie Hanks, LCSW, Owner and Director of Wasatch Family Therapy, shares tips for making wedding anniversaries meaningful.

More couples “tie the knot” during the summer months which means more couples are also celebrating wedding anniversaries at this time of year. Taking the time, effort, and forethought to create meaningful anniversary traditions helps to nurture your marriage and to keep the romance alive. Reflecting on the history of your early relationship, and recommitting to the promises you made on your wedding day increases the sense of emotional security and deepens the bonds of love. Here are a few tips to inspire you to make your wedding anniversary more meaningful.


Discuss your expectations with your spouse. Decide who’s planning the celebration, what the budget is, and other important details. Don’t expect your husband or wife to read your mind, or to know what you’d like to celebrate your special day. It’s your responsibility to talk about you wishes to your spouse if there’s any chance they’ll come true.

After discussing their expectations, Travis & Edie Morgan decided to celebrate their 13th Wedding Anniversary or “Family Birthday” by going to a cabin with their young children.


Anniversaries are the perfect time to plan a visit to the special places of your early courtship and marriage day. Walk through the park where he proposed, visit the site where you took your marriage vows, or recreate your honeymoon. Reenacting your first date or the night of your engagement can be a fun anniversary activity.

Will & Jennie Bush revisit the mountain where Will proposed as part of their 3rd wedding anniversary. They even found the door where they carved their names on their engagement day.


Consider sitting down together and look through your wedding photos, watch your wedding video, or read through your guestbook. Share with your spouse your favorite memories of your wedding day…or wedding night. Recalling the special wedding day moments with your spouse keeps those memories alive, and brings back loving feelings.

Looking at this photo of our wedding over 21 years ago brings back amazing memories and wonderful emotions.


You take off time for holidays like Christmas and July 4th so why not take a day off for the most personal holiday, your anniversary? Get a baby sitter, request the day off of work and spend the day with your sweetheart. Even if you’re just running errands, going to lunch, or taking a nap, spend the day together.

Daniel & Debra Breitenstein take time off from work to celebrate their first anniversary at the Anniversary Inn.


Whether it’s a formal renewing of vows in a ceremony surrounded by family, a verbal expression over a candlelit dinner, or a handwritten love letter expressing your on-going commitment to your spouse, do something that reminds your spouse that you are wholeheartedly committed to your marriage and that you treasure him in your life.

Kevin & Laura Brotherson, married 19 years, renew their commitment by taking a photo on each anniversaries and display them in their home as proof of their on-going commitment to each other. Kevin & Laura are founders of Strengthening Marriage, Inc.,

Self & Relationship Expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, founder and director of Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC specializes in women’s mental health therapy, marriage counseling and family therapy. Visit to learn more about counseling services, workshops, & classes. Visit for more inspiration on how to let your best self shine!



Music & Mood: Musings from Songwriter & Therapist


At first look it may seem that songwriting and psychotherapy  have little in common. But the older I get, the more I see the connections between my two “careers”.  Songwriting is my personal expression of emotion and thoughts, and fulfills my desire to connect with others in a meaningful way. My hope is that my songs will help you feel more hope, faith, relief, joy in your life…Music can be a powerful tool to help achieve a desired emotional state.

My work as a psychotherapist helps others express and make sense of their emotions and relationships. People generally come to me for therapy because they don’t like how the feel in at least one aspect of their life and want to “feel better”.

Emotional expression and connection tie both of my careers together. They are also what tie my family life together. They tie my life together.


Music parallels all human emotions and can help us manage our feelings and change our emotions to a more desirable state. Your emotional response to a piece of music depends on your past musical experiences, the meaning of certain sounds on your culture. Today the soft hits of the 60s-90s are considered “easy listening music”, but at the time they were released they was considered edgy, even revolutionary.

Music is present in all cultures throughout time. It is used to bind groups of people together, such as signing hymns with a religious congregation or singing the National Anthem to promote patriotism. Through shared emotional experiences, music indelibly links your memories allowing you to emotionally revisit certain life events simply by listening to a few bars of the song that you associate with that time.

While there are many elements in music, rhythm is an important one that promotes movement or stillness in our bodies. On one end of the spectrum is Dance music, designed to elicit movement. In the middle of the rhythmical spectrum are ballads with slower rhythm that have a more neutral bodily movement response. One the other end of the spectrum is music without rhythm, collections of sounds that flow. Generally, music from the classical era, 1800’s, like Bach, and Mozart, is highly rhythmically organized and tends to promote brain activity, rather than physical activity, thus the term “the Mozart effect”.


Here are a few suggestions for using music to improve your mood based on my own musical experiences and genre preferences. I’d love to hear your playlist suggestions!

1-STRESSED– Songs to help you relax

Look for music that has minimal rhythm, soothing tones, sounds from nature, organic instrumentation.
Recommended Genres: New Age, Classical, Acoustic Singer/Songwriters, Smooth Jazz

iTunes Playlist:

Liquid Mind – VIII Breath in Me
Claude Debussy – Suite Bergamasque: Claire de Lune
Mindy Gledhill – If I Had No Songs
Beth Nielsen Chapman – I’ll Give My Heart
Chris Botti – When I Fall in Love

2-LAZY – Songs to help you get moving

Select music that has a steady, driving beat, high energy feel, hopeful lyrics.
Recommended Genres: Dance, Oldies, Pop, Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz

iTunes Playlist:

Beach Boys – Surfing USA
Kaskade – Face the Music (Kaskade Club Mix)
Glee Cast – Tell Me Something Good (Glee Cast Version)
Owl City – Fireflies
Destiny’s Child -Survivor

3- FRUSTRATED – Songs to help you find more joy/peace

Find songs with up-tempo rhythm, happy music, lyrics that give you a perspective shift, major chord structures.
Recommended Genres – Blues, Country, Folk, Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

iTunes Playlist

Sara Evans – Born To Fly
James Brown – I Got You I Feel Good
Tim McGraw – Watch the Wind Blow By
Nickel Creek – This Side
The Submarines – You, Me and the Bourgeoisie

4-DOWN– Songs that bring hope

Look for music with major chord structures, hopeful lyrics, authentic vocalists, and organic arrangements that life your spirit.
Recommended Genres – Indie pop, singer/songwriter, hopeful country, Gospel/Inspirational

iTunes playlist

Joy Williams – Sunny Day
Tyrone Wells – And the Birds Sing
Ryan Shupe – Dream Big
Jason Mraz – Life is Wonderful
Glee Cast – Don’t Stop Believing
Natalie Grant – Held

5-LONELY – Songs to help you feel more connected

Focus on hopeful lyrics, lyrics with relationship themes, and remind you of when you felt historically more connected in your relationships.
Recommended Genres – Country, Pop, Rock, Jazz

iTunes playlist

Mary Chapin Carpenter – I Have A Need For Solitude
Carrie Underwood – Temporary Home
John Mayer – Half of My Heart
Micheal Buble – Haven’t Met You Yet
Jordan Sparks – One Step At A Time
Miles Davis – You’re My Everything
The Remnant – Know This

Thank you to my dad Lex de Azevedo and my friend Krista Maurer for playlist suggestions!

How do you use music to improve your mood? Please share your iPod playlists for certain emotions.

Comment below…(email is required but will remain private)

The Grapevine LIVE Interview

Latter-day Woman interviews LDS women from all over the world in their Grapevine LIVE series. I had a delightful chat with their host Sheri Joi on Thursday evening (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find my interview).

Listen to my interview online HERE

Read the summer issue of Latter-day Woman Magazine HERE

That’s what I like about me!

Wasatch Woman Magazine July 2010

Here’s today’s relationship column in the July 2010 issue of Wasatch Woman Magazine, now available as an insert in the Deseret News & Salt Lake Tribune! I’m thrilled about the opportunity to inspire even more women with my column. Here’s today’s article. Enjoy.

Watch my TV segment on this topic HERE

Read “Favorite Phrases For Relationship Confrontations” WW article  HERE.

Learn more about my therapy clinic HERE

Video Games and Your Relationship

Me? Quoted on a gaming website? I guess it makes sense given it’s an article about relationships and gaming. Video games aren’t just for kids anymore! Time spent using technology, including video game obsession, is a common issue in serious relationships. Here’s what I have to say on what’s really going on for the woman and how to avoid letting video games sabotage your relationship!

Read the article online here…

Why She Hates It, Why You Do It & How To Make It A Non-issue

Have video games impacted your serious relationship?

How have you successfully managed game time vs. face to face time?

Feel free to post comments below (email address will be kept private)

Women, Money, & Relationships: KSL TV News


Amanda Dixon interviewed me for a story about KSL’s campaign to help women become more financially empowered.  You can apply for a “financial makeover” at for the next 2 days! Here’s today’s news segment…

Video Courtesy of

Read the web article online HERE

Feel free to post your comments one women, money, & relationships below.

(your email address will be kept private)

Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child: Studio 5

Raising An Emotionally Healthy Child on KSL TV’s Studio 5

Self and Relationship Expert Julie Hanks, LCSW, Owner and Director of Wasatch Family Therapy, shares how you can become your child’s “emotion coach” and help her develop emotional health. Watch the segment online!

As a parent, I find it’s often easier to focus on my children’s physical and external needs (food, shelter, clothing, grooming, education, relationships) than on their emotional needs. As a therapist I understand the crucial role that emotions play in our lives, but when I was a new mom and my own children expressed intense emotions, it was challenging to help them work through it. I tried hard not to shame or to dismiss their emotions, but I also didn’t want their intense emotion to rule my life…or theirs. When I came across the work of Dr. John Gottman and his book Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child several years ago I remember thinking, “This fits with what I intuitively knew about parenting and it describes the parent I want to be!” It provided a framework to help me more effectively help my children understand and express emotions in healthy and productive ways.


Why Emotional Intelligence Matters

According to Dr. John Gottman’s research emotionally healthy, emotionally intelligent children are better able to regulate their emotions, calm their heart rate faster after being emotionally upset, had fewer infections, are better at focusing attention, have healthier peer relationships, and perform better academically. The best way to help you children achieve emotional health is to adopt an “emotion coaching” parenting style.

Dr. Gottman’s 5 Steps to Emotion Coaching:

1. Be aware of your child’s emotions

2. View emotional expression as opportunity for teaching and intimacy

3. Listen, empathize, and validate your child’s feelings

4. Label emotions in words your child understands

5. Help your child come up with solution or way to manage emotions

Recommended Parenting Books:

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman, PhD & Joan Declaire

Parenting From The Inside Out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell

Self & Relationship Expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, founder and director of Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC specializes in women’s mental health therapy, marriage counseling and family therapy. Visit to learn more about counseling services, workshops, & classes. Visit HERE for more relationship advice.

Join the discussion by posting comments below (your email will be kept private). I’d love to know your favorite parenting books. What do you do to raise emotionally healthy kids?