Podcast 8: Journeying Through The Midlife “Unraveling” with Guest Heidi Lepper Barrett

“What’s wrong with me? I have this great life, why can’t I just feel better? Why am I struggling? Seemingly, no one else is struggling … ” 

Ever find yourself muttering one of these questions?

The feelings of stagnation in the middle years is a common human experience – an unraveling, a collapse, being weighed down. How do we journey through these times in a spiritually and emotionally healthy manner?

The recent news announcing the suicide death of fashion designer Kate Spade shocked many. Information has since come out detailing how Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. Suicide rates have risen nearly 30% since 1999, making it a national crisis. It is now the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. We often assume people who commit suicide are mentally ill, but this isn’t always the case. There are many factors contributing to it that have nothing to do with mental illness including loss of a relationship, loneliness, chronic illness, financial loss, history of trauma or abuse, and the stigma associated with asking for help.

Joining Lisa on this episode of The Water Jar is social and personality psychologist, Heidi Lepper Barrett (see full bio below). They begin an honest conversation on this topic and discuss how Jesus is our bridge to hope, how we all need new scaffolding to shore up our faith through the renewal of our minds during these periods. Rachel Brown also stops by and shares another thoughtful and relatable Drop by Drop segment.


Tune in to The Water Jar by clicking the play arrow below. You can also subscribe to our iTunes channel and listen via the Apple Podcast app.

Prayer Prompt

Heidi shared the following prayer once given to her by a priest during the sacrament of reconciliation. It is a simple yet powerful prayer to invoke when plagued by negative emotions and evil spirits.

In the name of Jesus, I order out the spirit of <name the negative emotion that has you in its grip, e.g., perfectionism, shame, pride, etc.>. Holy Spirit, bring me <the fruit/gift that replaces that negative emotion>.


Thoughts on the show? Inspire us with your feedback by commenting below, over at Facebook, or via email at [email protected].

Heidi Lepper Barrett

Heidi Lepper Barrett is a native born Californian (Santa Barbara to be exact!) who made her way to Iowa after earning a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from the University of California in 1996. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa, Heidi began teaching at Drake University in 2000. That was also the year, at age 30, she was baptized Catholic alongside her first newly born son. Heidi is married to Joe and they have two sons.

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