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The Marilyn Monroe You May Not Know: Celebrity Legacies

I’m fortunate enough to be part of a television project docu-series called “Celebrity Legacies” on ReelzChannel, where I provided mental health and relationship commentary on the lives of deceased celebrities.

Celebrity Legacies on Reelz Channel

Julie Hanks on Celebrity Legacies

Beneath the Glamour

Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most iconic figure in Hollywood history. At the height of her fame, she oozed glamour, effortless charm, and sex appeal, and the audiences and critics couldn’t get enough. But beneath the exterior of the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” singing one-woman empire was a deeply troubled girl riddled with insecurity, family losses, and emotional pain.

A Troubled Childhood

Norma Jean Mortenson had an unstable early childhood. Born in a charity ward in Los Angeles, she moved in and out of foster homes for years, as her mother Gladys was emotionally and financially unstable to raise her. Though Gladys did temporarily regain custody of her daughter a few times, her mental state rendered her unable to permanently care for her, and Norma Jean eventually became a ward of the state. As Gladys was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Norma Jean lived the rest of her life in fear that she too would experience mental illness. Her tumultuous upbringing was not lost on her; of her experience, she wrote: “this sad bitter child who grew up too fast is hardly ever out of my heart.”

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5 Steps to a Powerful Apology: Studio 5

5 steps to powerful apology

Human beings are prone to mistakes, and we all have the experience of doing or saying something that has hurt another person (even someone we value and love). In order to repair those precious relationships, it is often necessary to apologize. But simply saying, “I’m sorry” is rarely enough. Here are 5 steps to giving a powerful, sincere apology:

1) Own Your Part

To truly mean that you are sorry, you need to own up to the specific thing you said or did that contributed to the other person’s pain. Take full responsibility for the part you played. Avoid general statements (“I’m sorry for whatever I did to hurt you“) or making reservations about the mistake you made. Have the courage to own up to your fault.

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How to Become Less Judgmental: Studio 5

4 Ways to Become Less Judgmental 4

 

We’ve all known someone who is judgmental. It’s an unfortunate character trait and is often easy to spot in other people, but can be a bit more difficult to see in ourselves.  But the truth is that we all could stand to be more kind and accepting of others. Here are 4 strategies to become less judgmental:

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How to Stop Comparing: Studio 5

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Comparing ourselves to other people; it’s something we all are guilty of (particularly women). Whether it has to do with looks, money, talents, relationships, or belongings, many women perceive themselves as less than someone else who seems to have a better life. In a society that so often ranks us, it’s no surprise that this is so common! But at what cost? Comparing ourselves to others can eat away at our happiness and lead to more anxiety and lower self-esteem, but thankfully it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 5 strategies to avoid the comparison trap:

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Do Your Kids Define You?: Studio 5

Being a good parent requires a tremendous amount of time, love, and energy, but what happens when a Do your kids define you?well-meaning mom or dad becomes too enmeshed in their children’s lives? Over-involvement can unknowingly do damage to kids, who then become responsible for their parents’ well-being and happiness. On the other hand, parents who can draw a separation between themselves and their children are emotionally healthier and are actually able to give more to their families.

Celebrity Legacies airs Tonight: Kurt Cobain 20 Years Later

In tonight’s premiere of Celebrity Legacies: Kurt Cobain on ReelzChannel, I provide commentary on mental health and family aspects of Cobain’s meteoric rise and tragic fall, and the possible impact of his fame and fortune on surviving family members.

It’s been twenty years since the tragic death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Cobain’s musical legacy defined a generation and a musical genre. Cobain’s fame and fortune did not bring peace or satisfaction to Cobain. His suicide note summarized his life well by quoting Neil Young’s lyric…“I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Cobain joined what has been coined “the 27 club”: a group of exceptionally brilliant and troubled musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse) who have died of drugs or other violent means at the tender age of only 27.

Julie Hanks on Celebrity Legacies

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How To Be More Assertive: Studio 5

How to be assertive

“Assertiveness” is a word that can have some negative connotations. Some might equate being assertive with being pushy, bossy, or controlling. But in reality, assertiveness is a communication skill that can help us express our feelings and needs and ultimately grow closer in our relationships. The truth is that assertiveness is extremely important in having the life we want. Here are some strategies to help you be more assertive:

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How to Harness the Power of Procrastination: Studio 5

Most all of us have procrastinated at one point or another. We delay doing things like taxes, cleaning, work projects, etc. While we tend to think of this as a bad habit, it’s possible to manage the tendency to put things off to actually benefit you. Here are 4 ways to harness the power of procrastination:

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Are You Self-Aware or Self-Absorbed?: Studio 5

Are you self-aware or self-absorbed?

We each have a long list of personal responsibilities: our finances, careers, bodies, families, etc. It’s critical to be aware of our lives and our needs. But when does self-awareness become self-obsession? Do we think about ourselves too much?  Here’s how to determine if you’re self-aware or self-absorbed:

Are you usually the center of attention? Do you monopolize conversations? Are all your social media updates about yourself? If so, you may be self-absorbed. Try instead to balance the attention you give to yourself and to others. Remember that everyone needs to be recognized, celebrated, and validated.

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