#68: Thriving After 40 with Barbara Brooks

Jan 09, 2024
Barbara Brooks smiling on the left, Michelle Fox standing on the right

In this episode…


Today I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with my friend Barbara Brooks, the visionary founder and CEO of SecondActWomen! Our conversation touched on the profound impact that community has on women navigating the waters of their 40s and beyond. I hope our discussion inspires and encourages you to connect with women who are on a similar journey.


The Genesis of SecondActWomen


Barbara Brooks is a beacon of hope and a leading voice for women who are often overlooked by society. With a rich background in marketing and PR, Barbara took a leap of faith and responded to a gap she identified in the corporate world – the lack of opportunities and representation for women over 40. This led to the birth of SecondActWomen, a social enterprise dedicated to supporting and empowering this demographic.

The challenges in organizing events for SecondActWomen were many, including the initial struggle to sell tickets. However, Barbara's resilience and commitment to her cause turned these hurdles into stepping stones, eventually building a thriving community where women over 40 could find solace, understanding, and encouragement.


Building a Supportive Community


One of the key themes of our conversation was the importance of creating a space where women could gather without fear of judgment. Barbara emphasized that SecondActWomen is more than just an organization; it's a sanctuary where women can share their experiences and support each other through personal and professional transitions.

As we discussed her trademark events and initiatives, such as Biz+LifeCon and Cocktails and Conversations, it became clear that these were not just events but lifelines for many women. As I reflect on the upcoming retreat I’m hosting in Costa Rica, it’s the perfect example of an immersive experience designed to nourish the mind, body, and spirit, showcasing the holistic approach SecondActWomen takes in supporting its members as well!


The Impact of Community on Personal Growth


Throughout our discussion, the impact of community on personal growth was a recurring topic. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to express my gratitude to Barbara for her role as a community builder and innovator. We also highlighted how the connections made within these communities have led to networking opportunities, support during significant life transitions, and a deeper understanding of healthy aging.

Barbara highlighted the importance of inclusive spaces where women can engage in meaningful conversations and personal development. There is such an immense need for women to gather, share, and lean on each other, especially during life transitions like menopause while also sharing her personal experiences with mental health challenges and how the community provided a lifeline during those difficult times.

She encourages women to seek out and join communities that align with their interests and needs, whether through online platforms or support groups for specific challenges like caregiving.



 Highlights of this episode:

  • Michelle tells a personal story that gives insight into her reasoning for the upcoming Costa Rica retreat to be focused on a community of women aged 40+. 
  • Michelle and Barbara celebrate a few success stories from SecondActWomen, highlighting women who have found support, collaboration, and inspiration within the community.
  • Barbara discusses nourishing oneself and engaging in activities for joy and fulfillment.
  • Barbara shares her vision for future events and programming with Michelle. 


           ✨ Click here to watch this episode on YouTube. ✨


Rate, Review, and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

“I have nothing but praise and gratitude to Michelle and her programs. Michelle specializes in nutrition and is realistic in her approach.” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show!  It helps us build healthier communities — one person at a time.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, make sure and follow Nourish with Michelle Fox. I’ll bring a fresh podcast episode your way, every Tuesday, and I do not want you to miss out!


Links mentioned in this episode:


Connect with Michelle:

Prefer to read along?  Click here to download the transcript.


All my love,



Stay inspired!  Let's keep the conversation going!  



Your turn!

Leave a comment and add your voice to this conversation.

Your email will be added to our community, but will be kept with the highest confidentiality. I respect you and your inbox!

Do you want to learn more with Michelle?

Join one of our upcoming events.

Take me to an event!

Join my community!

Click here for some love in your inbox.

Yes please!
Follow me on Instagram