We chatted with Cass Dunn about being a published author:
Can you tell us about your latest books in the Crappy to Happy series?
My first book, “Crappy to Happy: Simple steps to live your best life” outlines 10 steps to live a happier and more fulfilling life. It’s based on the science of positive psychology and my experience as a psychologist, coach and mindfulness meditation teacher.
The second book is called “Crappy to Happy – Love What You Do” and is based much more specifically on how to create more satisfaction and meaning in your working life.
What motivated you to write these books?
As a psychologist, I’ve worked with a lot of people experiencing anxiety and depression and it occurred to me that many of the strategies I was teaching my clients to help them overcome those problems are actually useful tools we could all use just for coping with life. Even if someone isn’t depressed or anxious, many of us are stressed, worried, self-critical, bored, dissatisfied or lacking direction and purpose. I know this because I’m also trained as a coaching psychologist and was a life coach for many years!
Those people may never set foot in a psychologist’s office but I wanted to share what I know with a wider audience in the hope that it would help people overcome some of those challenges and give them an opportunity to really thrive.
Doing meaningful work is proven to be a key ingredient to happiness but many people report being dissatisfied with their jobs so I wanted to go deeper into what we know about being happier at work, which is why I wrote the second book.
What is one of the crappiest jobs you have ever done?
My first full-time job out of university was in child protection. There were parts of the job I found very rewarding but to be making decisions about the care and protection of children at age 22 was pretty stressful.
What did you edit out of this book?
I didn’t actually edit anything out but I did choose not to mention some of the more horrible bosses I’ve had.
What’s your superpower?
I like to think it’s that I put people at ease and help them feel less alone.
What would you like your obituary to say?
She made a difference.
Who or what inspires you?
Like many people, I’m a huge fan of Brené Brown’s work. I watched her TEDx Talk on vulnerability when it first came out back in 2010 and immediately went and bought her books and have read everything she has written since. What inspires me is not just her area of research, but how willing she is to talk about how she used to ‘engineer smallness’ out of fear of other people’s judgement and criticism. I think that is so relevant and relatable, especially to women and has helped me to dare a little more greatly in my own work.
Tell us about your podcast “Crappy to Happy”.
The Crappy to Happy podcast was started in 2017 by me and my good friend, Tiff Hall who is a very well known fitness trainer. Our aim was to address the really common challenges we saw in the women we worked with that made them feel crappy and give them solid strategies and tools to help overcome them. Tiff covered the physical health side of things and I covered all the psychology and mindset stuff.
After two seasons, Tiff left the show and so I’ve taken over as host and I speak with awesome and inspiring guests about their own journey from Crappy to Happy. I’ve had people like Turia Pitt, Kristina Karlsson, Taryn Brumfitt and loads of others. Listeners are loving the variety of guests and we’ve been getting up to a million downloads every month. I’m recording Season 4 right now and having the most amazing conversations with people. I can’t wait to share it.
How do you assist participants in Tiffiny Hall’s, TIFFXO.COM online health and fitness program?
I’m the psychologist on the program so I’m there to help with mood, motivation, mindset and mindfulness. When it comes to making behaviour change, it’s usually not more information we need but addressing the emotional and psychological side of things such as managing stress, knowing our triggers, dealing with slip-ups etc., so that’s where I come in. I do a regular Facebook Live called Mindful Monday, I write blogs and interact in the Facebook community.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love seeing light bulbs go off for people when I explain something and they have a moment of insight and you know it’s a turning point for them. When someone shares that they accepted a compliment without brushing it off or they stood up for themselves at work or took a leap out of their comfort zone and they attribute it to something I said that resonated with them, that makes my heart sing.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Right now I’m running the first round of my Crappy to Happy 10-week online course and getting fantastic feedback so I’m looking forward to offering that again, in addition to my Mindfulness for Busy People online course which has been running for a couple of years.
I’m hosting a weekend retreat in Byron Bay in September and launching a small group VIP coaching program in October. After a little holiday in December, I’m hoping I’ll have the space to get to work on the next book!
About Cass Dunn
Crappy to Happy: Love What You Do offers ten easily digestible chapters, each followed by three key takeaway steps, making it really easy to start implementing Cass’s practical advice. As a Master of Psychology and Science, Cass explains the science behind our emotions so that we can better understand how we can change them. Here Cass demonstrates how you can change your attitude towards your work, seek out opportunities that make you feel more in control of your career and look forward to the working day ahead. With chapters on finding work-life balance, learning to ask for more from your job and getting along with your colleagues, this book really couldn’t come at a better time.
The Crappy to Happy podcast, which Cass began with trainer Tiffany Hall in 2017, has had over 3 million downloads in Australia, averaging 200,000 downloads per month!