hey, beautiful

I think you’re pretty fucking brilliant too. Pour yourself a little something and let’s get to know each other.

HI! I’m Jen

I help people tell their hard to tell stories

I like to talk about the places that hurt. I also LOVE to laugh. I believe we can hold space for both the pain and the beautiful (and oftentimes hilarious) messiness.

I don’t shy away from the hard and uncomfortable. In fact, I run towards it.

I LOVE people who have had the emotional shit kicked out of them and come back swinging each and every time. Those are my people. You’re here so my guess is you’re my people too.

I believe our very gifts lie in the pain and hurt and suffering we’ve experienced. My strength comes from surviving an emotionally abusive childhood. My gifts come from (painfully) exploring the subsequent trauma many years later.

I want this for each of us.

 I know that within each of us we have stories that are hard to tell and places that hurt.

  • Stories that give us nightmares.
  • Stories of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, bullying, etc).
  • Stories of not so great things we’ve done to others.
  • Stories that have molded and shaped us into the good and let’s be honest – sometimes not so good people we are.

And I know the power these stories hold over us and the impact on our day-to-day lives.

I also know we can take the power away from these stories and start healing the parts that hurt.

How do I know this?

Because I just described me and I know I’m not alone.

And I know just how lonely and isolating it can be when we keep those stories buried deep inside.

I reached a point in my life where I couldn’t do it anymore. Not only my marriage, but my very survival depended on telling my story and learning how to self-mother (treat myself in a way I would want my own children mothered).

(NOTE: I am an incredibly imperfect mother to myself and my children.)


A HUGE chunk of my life, I literally was a miserable cow. I’m being serious here. Life was good on the outside and people liked me but inside I felt not dead but not alive…indifferent? Yeah – indifferent. And it sucked.

I was exhausted from the emotional energy it took to show up each day with a smile on my face pretending like everything was ok and I was the cool, confident, funny Jen everyone had grown accustomed to.

I had everyone fooled, oftentimes including myself. I’d learned as a child to hide my pain, put on my warrior’s mask so I could protect my mom, brother and myself, and use humor to deflect…

There’s loads more to my story which you can read here but one day something happened and it changed me forever.

No longer could I hide my pain. It was time to look in the mirror and deal with the emotional and very human messiness inside.

so i told someone what was causing the pain and it felt…a bit less painful. so i told someone else and…

Once I started telling my story, the shame started melting away and it became easier to tell

  • And once the shame melted away, other stories unburied and unraveled themselves inside so I told those stories.
  • And I began to heal.
  • And I began to like myself.
  • And my many masks and facades started to fall away.
  • And I started letting people in.
  • And I found my sisters.
  • And my marriage became whole again.
  • And I was the mother I wanted to be (usually because imperfect human being here).
  • And life became rich and full of wonder and curiosity.
  • And unicorns and rainbows…(ok – now I’m just messing with you lol).
  • And others around me said, “Me too!” and started telling their story and they started to heal…

And they told me this was my calling – to help others unravel their own stories, learn how to self-mother, remove the shame, and start to heal.

these days

I help others share their story so they can start to heal the places that hurt.

professional bio

Jen Vertanen is a coach, mentor, speaker, and writer encouraging people to share the hard to tell stories and start to heal the places that hurt.

Jen knows the power of telling your story (hers stems from an emotionally abusive childhood) so often that the shame starts to fade away.

Jen is also the creator and host of the podcast Going There with Jen Vertanen where she shares intimate conversations with people working to heal the places that hurt. She reminds people that we are never alone even though it oftentimes feels like it.

Known for her candor, willingness to go there (especially when it’s uncomfortable), humor, and openness, Jen is often thanked for asking the hard to answer questions and exploring the dark bits – even when (especially when?) it’s awkward.

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