Podcasts & Canada

By Sarah Swain

Did you know that 55% of Canadians have never listened to a podcast before, and 24% aren’t even familiar with what a podcast even is? My freaking head is spinning, y’all. (See full 2018 Canadian Podcast Listener Report report here) So don’t worry, if you’re one of the people who have sent me a DM asking, “Sarah, I want to listen to your podcast, but I don’t know how…” you’re not alone! But, this also shoots a pain right into my heart, knowing how many people are’t tapping into this free resource to enhance their own lives and businesses. Yes, I said free. Sigh…

So, I’m going to give you all a crash course on what a podcast is and how to find them!

In a nutshell, a podcast is a broadcast of an audio file. Think of it this way, Youtube is for the eyes, podcasts are for the ears. These audio files are recorded by the hosts (like me!) and uploaded to various listening platforms so users can listen from anywhere, on any device. It’s estimated that there are over 630,000 different podcasts on air, so needless to say your options are endless. Topics range from life, business, comedy, news, true crime, story telling, poetry, health, tech, politics, and just about anything else you can think of that you may need help with or want more information on!

So where do you find them?! This depends on a few things.

  1. The platforms that the podcast host has uploaded to plays a role. Depending on the software the podcast host uses to upload their audio files, will dictate their options of where they can upload their audio files to. Most come with the ability to upload to ITunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, GooglePlay, IHeart Radio, Radio Public, Stitcher, etc…So if you have accounts with any of these platforms, you can search the name of the podcast you’re looking for to see if it is hosted there. If it isn’t, you can use podcast apps to pull them into your device from the worldwide interwebs, as outlined below.
  2. The type of device you own and apps you have installed also plays a role. As an example, Apple products use the default “Podcast app” and Android devices use the default GooglePlay Music (icons seen below). However, there are a plethora of podcasts apps you can download from your app store on your devices that can also play podcasts. Some of these include Podbean, Doggcatcher, Beyond Pod, Podcast Addict, Podcast Republic, etc. Just open up the App Store/GooglePlay on your mobile device or laptop, and search for “podcast apps” and you’ll see a whole bunch of options show up for you. Most are free, some are paid. In my opinion there’s no need to be paying for something that is actually free, so download a free app and see how you like it!

Googleplay music

Click below to listen to The Great Canadian Woman Podcast on some of the top platforms!

So if you are new to the scene, welcome! You world is about to change with the wealth of knowedlge and resources that is now at your fingertips.  And if you’re already in the know, thank you for supporting the podcast community! Every download, like, share comment, review and rating means the world to us! Thank you for helping us get our message out!

Sarah Swain

Host, The Great Canadian Woman Podcast

Entrepreneurship & Mental Health

By Sarah Swain

That face you make when someone tells you that you shouldn’t be stressed or depressed as an entrepreneur who gets to bring their vision to life.

FACT: entrepreneurs are more susceptible to depression, anxiety and substance abuse than traditional employees (source in bio for reference). .


Stress. Uncertainty. Social isolation. Personal and professional identity crossover. To name a FEW, of many…

Don’t let the world of Instagrammers living the dream on the beaches of Bali fool you into thinking something must be wrong with you and how you’re feeling behind the scenes of your business.

Gratitude isn’t lost on you for what you get to do with your life.

And it’s confusing as hell when you feel like you have it all, and feel like Hell all in one single moment.

There’s also nothing wrong with how you’re feeling. You’re not alone in your feelings.
Reach out.
Talk to me.

Chances are I’ve felt what you’re feeling, too…and, we’ve got this.

And to all the entrepreneurs out there who make it all seem so easy, glamorous, and filled with nothing other than joy, beaches and laptops 👉🏼 This falsehood is harming people. This shit is hard! And sometimes it flat out hurts.

I have a full transparency e-book on Entrepreneurship Year 1 releasing in a couple of weeks and in it, I bare all this stuff – the behind the scenes funk, for this exact reason. It’s hard, it hurts, ands it’s lonely…all simultaneously along side joy, bliss, passion and excitement – the stuff that makes it all worth it !!.

Three articles below to help illustrate the relationship between entrepreneurship & mental health.

Sarah Swain

Founder & Visionary at The Great Canadian Woman


Abandoned Adventures

By Vanessa Hozjan

These days, when life and work get too much we search for something to relax us; to make us forget about the chaos waiting for us when we return to work. Some women read, some go to the spa, or unwind with friends or family. I prefer to pack up my 4 pound Chihuahua, Jasper, some snacks and hit the road.

Since leaving Toronto and moving to Alberta in 2015, I have found a profound love for the dirt roads and stillness of the prairies. It gives me space to think and reflect on all aspects of life, or to just enjoy the quiet. These backroads have brought so many new opportunities and friends into my life and I love sharing the treasures I find through my photography.

The prairie backroads are known for their fair share of abandoned homes, and Jasper and I enjoy finding these gems and documenting them before they are destroyed. Alberta and Saskatchewan are my favourite provinces to explore, mainly because the houses are relatively untouched and have been standing vacant for decades.

Newfoundland was also a favourite of mine when I visited in spring of 2018!

After growing up in Toronto, the flat prairie landscape was a little bit of a culture shock the first few trips I made, but it is now something I crave when life gets too much. To be able to turn on a playlist and drive with no clear destination in mind is the absolute best feeling. For many people, being the sole person for miles can be a little daunting, but it is where I truly do my best brainstorming.

The history of these houses is what captivates my imagination. Who lived there? Why did they leave? How long has it been vacant? I often save the location and try to do a little research, but the older the house, the harder it is to come up with answers.

Now if you’re reading this, you may be thinking; isn’t it scary going into abandoned homes? And quite frankly, yes it is! Over the years I have learned many lessons and only proceed if safe to do so. If a house has been empty for 50 years, you can imagine the wildlife that has come to settle in the upstairs rooms or in the basement. I personally do not want to come face to face with ANYTHING, so I have many preventative measures that I use to rid the house of anyone I don’t want to meet upon entry. Once I check the land for covered or uncovered wells or large holes, I make my way to the front or side door where I bang on the side of the house as hard as I can.

I wait for all friends inside to vacate and then try to find a decent sized rock to throw through an open window on the second floor (I do not break windows or doors to gain entry). Once cleared, I step inside and examine the structure, if a floor is soft or open that is unfortunately where my tour ends. When travelling alone, I trust my gut and if it doesn’t feel right, I’m out of there!!

If I’m able to walk around and explore a little bit, I do so safely. There are many interesting things I have found while exploring; in some houses I have visited it’s as if the family just up and left, leaving behind everything. Kitchen cabinets still have canned goods, pianos sit weathered and peeling, and a house in Saskatchewan even had a fridge and stove left, in decent condition.

If I explore the house, I am usually in and out within five minutes. I don’t like to leave Jasper in the car too long and I’m usually too creeped out to make myself at home. I explore, get the shots I want and leave the place as undisturbed as possible. If anyone had ever owned a Chihuahua, you know that they are extremely loyal creatures, and like to stick close to their “person”. Jasper is no exception. He is my co-pilot on all adventures and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He has an elevated car seat so that he can stand on his hind legs and watch the traffic go by as we cruise down the main highway looking for a random road to turn down.

In his short 2 years of life, he has accompanied me to Toronto four times; he has been to Saskatchewan, British Columbia, New York State, and his favourite to date; Niagara falls!

Due to his small stature, he often becomes the center of attention when we go places. People cannot believe how cute he is, and I agree! I may be biased but I have never met a dog with so much sass and personality. We have many more trips planned, and I cannot wait to see where 2019 takes us!

**Disclaimer: Do not trespass on private property, or enter any abandoned structure without permission or without using due care and proper safety precautions.

Vanessa Hozjan

Photogapher, Photography by Vanessa





Dear Body…

By Jana Roller

body love, body confidence, self love, canadian blog, lifestyle blog, canadian women, canadian podcast

Dear body,

I want you to know how much I love you. Like really love you. The stand outside your window with a boom box type of love.

I am in love with you.

The first time I realized it was when I fell broken into pieces on the floor and wrapped my arms around you. The anger, shame and hate for myself started to fade away as I ran my hands down my arms, legs and stomach. For the first I saw you have always been the strong one.

You were there for me. Always you were there for me and I blamed you. I hated you because you didn’t fit my standards. I hated you for your uniqueness. I didn’t understand your beauty then. I was ignorant. I took my anger out on you. I beat you down with diet after diet, and binge after binge. I tried to mold you into something your not. I blamed you for not changing. In my eyes it was your fault that I was the way I was. I didn’t have to change, you had to.

What I realize now is you were keeping me safe. All those years you stayed with me. No matter how hard I was on you, you still loved me, cradled me, protected me and kept me together.

Now I see you. I see us. I see how strong you are. I see your resilience and I respect your boundaries. I understand finally that you were loving me all this time while I threw my garbage at you.

You were just waiting for me to see that we are one and to welcome me home to you. This is where I am now.


We belong together. God granted you to me as a gift and I will treasure you forever. I see your beauty. Your flaws aren’t flaws. They markers of universal perfection. Like words in a book, they tell a story. Every scar, dimple, wrinkle and tiger stripe. Brush strokes on a canvas.

I am so sorry for all that I put you through and I promise this day forward I will do better. For us.

We will be strong. We will be brave. We will be daring. We will be empowered. We will be fearless and fierce.

You and I, we will be great. From this day on I will love you hard AF, I will give you what you need. This time it’s my turn to care for you.

My perfect body… I got you.

Jana Roller

Transformation Specialist