The Slow Home Podcast With Brooke Mcalary


We live life in the fast lane. We race to keep up with The Joneses. We are over-worked, over-connected and over-stressed, and we compete on how busy and important and sleep-deprived we are. But we don't have to. There is an ever-growing group of people who are saying no to life lived at 110%. They are opting to slow down, simplify, say no and focus on the things that are truly important. Brooke McAlary, founder of, is one of them, and in this podcast she chats to others who have adopted a similar approach to life: simple living, slowing down, opting out, saying no. Learn what makes people change, how life is different, and what their advice is to anyone looking to get out of the fast lane.


  • Meditation, acceptance and relinquishing control with Kevin Janks - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    Meditation, acceptance and relinquishing control with Kevin Janks - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    21/05/2020 Duração: 40min

    We've all heard about the transformative power of meditation, but how can we access it when uncertainty, stress and living through a pandemic make it difficult to simply sit still and breathe?  In today's episode Brooke is joined by friend of the show and founder of Centred Meditation, Kevin Janks, to talk through the power of meditation in challenging times.  Meditation allows us to decompress from 'fight or flight' mode and as Kevin explains, the time investment doesn’t need to be excessive. (Research has found that meditating for as little as 12 minutes a day can have a substantial impact over the course of three weeks). It can also be used to shift our perception of control, which is often the overriding emotion during times of crisis, and by doing so, release us from the stress of trying to control and uncontrollable situation. Kevin also shares how meditation allows us to accept the current circumstances we find ourselves in (not in order to accept and give up, but in order to simply accept the way t

  • Looking towards a new normal - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    Looking towards a 'new normal' - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    14/05/2020 Duração: 41min

    As we begin to see some countries relax their pandemic restrictions and allow the general public back into society at varying levels, naturally our attention turns to what that new version of daily life might look like. In this host-only chat, Ben and Brooke discuss what they hope the 'new normal' might entail, whether we should simply be re-entering or re-booting society, and what each of us can do now in order to set that in motion.  Australia’s government is talking about a snap back to pre-virus ways of doing things. But doesn’t that just mean a return to old problems? What if we instead adopted the theme of rebooting back into society, rebooting the way we managed our finance, our view on the environment and even our values? Brooke and Ben dig in to what this means for them, why we need to reframe success and why we can take heart even amidst the pain and uncertainty.  Plus they pose some questions to you, the listener, that offer the chance to imagine your ideal post-Covid future and provide a place

  • Loneliness and learning to look forward with Sarah Wilson - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    Loneliness and learning to look forward with Sarah Wilson - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    07/05/2020 Duração: 43min

    Lots of airtime has been given to the stress that parents and carers of young families are currently under, juggling working from home or job loss with remote schooling and caring for kids too young to understand why everything is different. Amongst all of that there has been little time given to the question of how people in single-person households are faring, so in today's episode Brooke sits down with friend of the show Sarah Wilson to talk loneliness during lockdown. Sarah is a former journalist, TV presenter, activist and author of one of the best books about anxiety and depression published over the past few years, First We Make the Beast Beautiful. With her incredible depth of knowledge on living with anxiety, Sarah shares not only how she's finding lockdown, but also why she thinks anxiety has given her an advantage to coping with strange times.  Brooke and Sarah also discuss how COVID-19 will impact Australia in terms of social, economic and climate issues, and talk about the need for resilience a

  • Understanding your stress response and how to balance it out with Ellen Carr - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    Understanding your stress response and how to balance it out with Ellen Carr - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    01/05/2020 Duração: 37min

    Undoubtedly we are living in times of heightened stress. Uncertainty, fear, anxiety, living in close quarters, loneliness - they're all stressful experiences and in some way or another, we're all grappling with them as we live through the Covid-19 pandemic.  Today's guest, Ellen Carr, is a holistic coach and yoga teacher who believes that Ayurveda - the ancient sister science of yoga - offers us a way to learn how to identify our stress responses, and importantly, how we can begin to balance them out.  In today's episode Brooke and Ellen talk about Ayurveda, how it can help us live a more well-rounded life and why it's so important to identify your stress responses, particularly in a time of high stress. They also discuss: What is a 'dosha' type and why is it an important part of Ayurveda? How to discover your dosha What happens if you're split across two or even three dosha types  Some practical actions that will help calm your nervous system, no matter what your dosha  What are some of the more common str

  • How to make remote learning work for your family with Sarah Durack - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    How to make remote learning work for your family with Sarah Durack - Life in the Time of Covid-19

    22/04/2020 Duração: 35min

    Remote learning is one of the biggest changes many of us are facing as lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders continue, and Brooke and Ben know they're not alone in finding the transition challenging. Today’s guest Sarah is a high-school science teacher from Sydney who has some incredibly helpful, practical tips on how we can make this learning-from-home experience a little less stressful for everyone. The tips and suggestions Sarah offers apply to kids of all ages, but Brooke also knows there are a lot of parents of older high school students listening who have specific concerns about their kids' schooling, so she and Sarah delve in to that at the beginning of the episode.  Sarah also offers some advice on how to best advocate for your kids if they are struggling under the current learning conditions, as well as how to make some of the learning (which for many students is almost 100% digital and online at the moment) more analogue. Lastly, Sarah and Brooke talk about the ways in which local communities ca

  • Permaculture in a crisis with Robyn Rosenfeldt: Life in the time of Covid-19

    Permaculture in a crisis with Robyn Rosenfeldt: Life in the time of Covid-19

    20/04/2020 Duração: 48min

    This week, Brooke is joined by return guest and permaculture expert, Robyn Rosenfeldt, for a fantastic conversation centred on the vital role of community in times of crisis.  Robyn talks about the devastation of the summer bushfires and how that crisis highlighted the issue of food security in her community, before sharing the similar impact the Covid-19 crisis is now having on local supermarket shelves.  In times of crisis there is a tendency to turn our attention to community, and Robyn and Brooke talk about the importance of being community-minded as an antidote to the challenges that face us now and that may await us in the future. Robyn shares the three pillars of permaculture - earth care, people care and a fair share - and speaks about what they look like in daily life, and how we can all harness them to create stronger communities. Brooke and Robyn also speak about the tricky business of living a values-aligned life while also raising independent-minded children, how to pick your battles and why c

  • Working from home tips with Louise Miller: Life in the Time of Covid-19

    Working from home tips with Louise Miller: Life in the Time of Covid-19

    15/04/2020 Duração: 54min

    Season 6 coming in hot!  After some feedback and lots of questions about slow living in the time of Covid-19, Brooke and Ben decided to bring forward the new season. There are so many ways  slow living might be able to help as we all adjust to the weirdness of isolation, but even more importantly as we all start to think about what we'd like our 'new normal' to look like on the other side of it. So that's what Season 6 is going to focus on, and it will be full of practical advice, realistic suggestions and hopefully helpful strategies to navigate the world during a pandemic.  In today’s episode Brooke speaks with Louise Miller, a productivity coach who doesn't believe in productivity for productivity's sake. They discuss the ins and outs of working from home, with lots of tools and strategies for those of you who are very new to the remote working scene.   Louise shares her insights on:  The importance of grace and compassion right now as everyone navigates this new reality Why creating 'Ta Da' lists inste

  • Managing screentime, finding balance and future plans - A Coronavirus Hostful

    Managing screentime, finding balance and future plans - A Coronavirus Hostful

    08/04/2020 Duração: 01h02min

    And just like that, the end of Season 5 is upon us.  In today's hostful episode, Brooke and Ben spend some time answering the most common pandemic-related questions as asked by you, as well as tackling some lighter topics to try and provide some much-needed balance to not only this episode but also their own mindset.  It's undoubtedly been an incredibly difficult few weeks for everyone, with many more challenges and dark days ahead. Today Brooke and Ben offer some insights in to how they're trying to use the tools in their slow living toolbox to navigate some of these hard days, as well as offering some suggestions for how you might want to adapt some of them in to your own life.  They also answer the following questions:  How are you managing remote schooling while also trying to work from home?  Do you think slow living is helping during lockdown? And if so do you think it will have a positive effect in the future?  What did you learn about schooling and spending a lot of time together while travelling?

  • Life in the time of coronavirus

    Life in the time of coronavirus

    01/04/2020 Duração: 52min

    Season 5 has thus far been a pandemic-free zone (mostly because all episodes previous to this one were recorded before the world turned topsy-turvy) but that changes today.  After having a couple of weeks to process some of the changes in their own lives and the world at large, Brooke and Ben chat about where they're at right now and the huge shift in pace that's happened. Ben shares the impact the crisis has had on his business and Brooke talks a little about trying to work around home-school responsibilities, heightened anxiety and a new normal.  Slow living has given Brooke and Ben a lot of tools over the years, many of which have been helpful in the first weeks of the pandemic and lockdown, and in the first half of this episode they share what they are and how they're helping. They also discuss: The impact the crisis has had on Ben's business Working from home while also trying to keep on top of home-schooling responsibilities  What's helping them the most right now Why limiting inputs of news and socia

  • Self-care: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    Self-care: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    25/03/2020 Duração: 56min

    In another 'pre-pandemic’ yet very timely episode, Brooke and Ben dig deep in to ’self-care’ and all it represents, as well as how they apply it in their own lives.  Slow living and self-care have kind of become synonymous in the mainstream, featuring a lot on Instagram and in books and blogs and magazines. There is undoubtedly a lot of crossover between the two, but there is also a lot of consumerism and privilege tied up in the modern-day vision of self care. In this episode Brooke shares her thoughts on that, and then she and Ben dig deep in to what they think self-care is, and why it's so important.  They explore: The origins of self-care as a movement and how society defines self-care now What it means to advocate for yourself How they each manage self-care now Where the words ‘want’ versus ‘need’ fit into self-care How important exercise is within their own self-care The enemies of self-care What self-care looks like for them in a practical sense The second half of the episode features Season 4 frien

  • Technology: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    Technology: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    18/03/2020 Duração: 47min

    Is slow living anti-tech? In today's episode Brooke and Ben dig deep in to their relationship with technology, which was one of the most requested topics for this season of the podcast. Tech strategies and boundaries are something Brooke and Ben have spoken about before but as their work has shifted and their kids have grown, their approach has changed over the past couple of years. In this show they talk about:  The elephant in the room  – is slow living anti-tech? How they make technology work in a way that feels slow What they mean when they talk about tech The mindset they adopt when managing their relationship to connect-tech Other tools they use to develop and maintain tech boundaries  Other ways they manage tech use with the kids and themselves when not working How important it is to be a role model when it comes tech (and how challenging that can be) Whether they feel good about their relationship to tech or if there are things they're still working on  Brooke then has a wo

  • Community: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    Community: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    11/03/2020 Duração: 48min

    In this week's episode Ben and Brooke get talking about community. The sense of place or home or belonging that strikes us when we truly feel seen.  In part this episode was prompted by their own experience of searching for and finding community, and in part due to the many questions they've received about how and why they settled in their new community after travelling for 18 months. Brooke and Ben discuss how, as they travelled, they almost subconsciously formulated a list of traits they were looking for in a community - access to nature, finding like-minded people, sustainability - and how they went about finding a place in Australia that had most of those things.  They also discuss: How they've previously struggled with the idea of community, and what it actually means to them now How their idea of community has changed over time Whether slow living has anything to do with community and if it's possible to create a slow living community How they were forced to rethink old beliefs, patterns and

  • Reducing Waste: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    Reducing Waste: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    04/03/2020 Duração: 45min

    In what feels like a very natural progression from last week’s episode on Stuff, this week Ben and Brooke talk about their efforts to reduce waste in their home. From food, to clothes, to cleaning Ben and Brooke talk about where they started out on their waste reduction journey and where they find themselves now. This week they talk through:  Where the shift from simple living and decluttering to reducing waste and being more sustainable came from How they first started to reduce waste Whether they believe they do ‘enough’ Where they've found new opportunities to reduce waste and what those opportunities look like How they capture their plastic waste Other than food, what other kinds of waste they've been trying to reduce, and how they're going about it  Brooke then speaks with Georgi from Season 4, who shares the practical and inspiring things she's done since they last spoke. Not only has Georgi engaged with the communities she's part of, but has also begun a conversation with

  • Stuff: A Slow-Living Deep Dive

    Stuff: A Slow-Living Deep Dive

    26/02/2020 Duração: 56min

    Since returning to Australia and moving in to a new home, Brooke and Ben have found that there's a lot of curiosity about their stuff. Have they bought a whole heap of it? Are they still living out of suitcases? Are they still minimalists?  So in this episode they decide to dive deep in to their current relationship with stuff and how they view the accumulation or letting go of it through a slow living lens. They also answer some common questions about the things they own: How has their relationship with stuff changed? What stuff have they rediscovered since settling back in to a normal life? What sort of stuff have they bought and how do they approach buying now Have they continued to declutter, and if so, how do they do it now?  Running through the entire deep dive is a more general discussion of how Brooke and Ben have moved away from a 'traditional minimalist' mindset to a more 'lower waste living' philosophy, as well as some thoughts on why they don’t really associate with a minimalist

  • Rhythms: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    Rhythms: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

    19/02/2020 Duração: 55min

    Welcome back to another season of the Slow Home podcast!  Season 5 of the poggie has a new format, with each episode comprising of two parts. In the first part Ben and Brooke will be diving deep into an area of slow living that listeners want to know more about (think topics like self-care, waste reduction, tech and their relationship to stuff). The second part of the episode will be a dedicated follow-up with guests from Season 4 to see how they have been tracking and whether they have implemented any changes.  Today's episode kicks off with a conversation on rhythms (as opposed to routines) where Brooke and Ben discuss: What exactly are rhythms? How rhythms are applied to different parts of their life What rhythms have looked like for them since settling into their new town What they have discovered about rhythms and how they best work for them If there is room for flexibility and fluidity within rhythms How to set up and maintain rhythms Brooke then catches up with Season 4 guest, Kate, who you

  • Season 5 Sneak Peek

    Season 5 Sneak Peek

    12/02/2020 Duração: 23min

    Brooke and Ben are busily preparing for the Season 5 launch of the podcast (next Thursday!) and sat down earlier this week to record a quick catch-up episode, to share where they're at after a strange and awful summer. They chat about the bushfires, the amazing efforts of the Slow Home community in helping support a local wildlife rescue organisation and how they're moving forward. They also share a little more of what you can expect from Season 5, including weekly deep-dive conversations on topics like daily rhythms, stuff, waste reduction, community, technology, exercise and running a household, as well as catch-up conversations with guests from last season.  Season 5 will be with you in no time, but until then, enjoy!  Looking for more Slow? Find show notes, resources and links at Follow us on Instagram @slowhomepod Sign up for our love letters Or leave a rating or review in iTunes Support the show.

  • Katie Patrick on how to save the world - Summer Series

    Katie Patrick on how to save the world - Summer Series

    29/01/2020 Duração: 54min

    Welcome to the fifth and final episode of our Summer Series (Winter Warmies!) Throughout all of January, we’ll be sharing some of your favourite episodes from 2019, to keep you company on the beach (or slopes!) Often on the podcast we dance around the topic of technology - usually viewing it as something that gets in the way of our efforts to slow down and live a more mindful, sustainable life. But what if we embraced technology and viewed it as the greatest opportunity we have to change (or maybe even save) the world? In this week’s episode Brooke chats with Katie Patrick, an environmental engineer and designer who applies data-driven, gamification, and behaviour-change techniques to solve the world’s environmental problems. Katie brings with her a completely new perspective on what it’s going to take to change the world, and it’s a refreshing, hope-filled, imagination-fuelled joy to listen to. Brooke and Katie talk about the important relationship between slowing down, getting

  • Kali Gray on body positivity, mindful eating and living counter-culturally - Summer Series

    Kali Gray on body positivity, mindful eating and living counter-culturally - Summer Series

    22/01/2020 Duração: 52min

    Welcome to the third episode of our Summer Series (Winter Warmies!) Throughout all of January, we’ll be sharing some of your favourite episodes from 2019, to keep you company on the beach (or slopes!) In this episode Brooke asks her guest, Kali Gray, if there's a link between the rise in consumerism, the endless advertising messages that assault us thousands of times a day and the increase in body image issues. Kali is a body confidence expert and a “non diet” dietician and in today’s episode she and Brooke discuss the the relationship between food security and body image issues, while also looking at the crossover between slow living and the work of reframing our perspective on food, self-care, self-worth and the food we eat. Kali also turns the interview tables around on Brooke at one point, sparking a conversation on how big changes such as these take time, and no matter how well-versed we are in consumerism, health, wellness, body image and food, there’s always going to be pa

  • Meg Berryman on moving beyond wellness - Summer Series

    Meg Berryman on moving beyond wellness - Summer Series

    15/01/2020 Duração: 44min

    Welcome to the third episode of our Summer Series (Winter Warmies!) Throughout all of January, we’ll be sharing some of your favourite episodes from 2019, to keep you company on the beach (or the slopes!) Platonic sparks fly in today’s episode, when Brooke sits down with Meg Berryman of Beyond Being Well. Meg is a women’s coach, mum, yoga teacher, empowerment educator and fabulous no-BS human. We couldn’t wait to have her on the show to talk about her work and especially the link between making changes for ourselves and making changes for the collective, which is something Brooke has felt herself being pulled toward more and more. Meg talks about the journey from wellness to wholeness to igniting social change – a shift from self to collective focus. She touches on the importance of discovering what wellness is to us as individuals, connecting to the body, why we need compassion in the face of patriarchy and capitalism and so much more. This conversation was truly effortless but

  • How to go zero waste (slowly) with Erin Rhoads - Summer Series

    How to go zero waste (slowly) with Erin Rhoads - Summer Series

    08/01/2020 Duração: 48min

    Welcome to the second episode of our Summer Series, where throughout all of January, we’ll be sharing some of your favourite episodes from 2019, to keep you company on the beach (or slopes!) As we head not only in to a new year but also a new decade many of us are looking to make positive changes to the way we live by reducing plastic and reducing waste. Today's episode not only gives you some practical advice on how to do that, but also  offers some gentle encouragement to make changes even when they're difficult or slow in coming. Brooke is joined by Erin Rhoads, creator of The Rogue Ginger blog and author of two excellent low-waste living books, and in this conversation she provides incredibly accessible and practical tips on living a zero-waste life. Erin also answers a few common questions about living plastic-free, specifically: How can we avoid plastic wrapping when buying cheese? Is there an alternative for lunch wraps that doesn't require us to cook our own? How can we open up the

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