Best-Selling Author, Singer/Songwriter, Eating Disorder and Trauma Advocate
Jenni Schaefer is one of the foremost motivational speakers of her generation. She has carried her message of self-acceptance and triumph over adversity to the campuses of Harvard and Yale, to corporate leaders and mental health professionals, and to audiences ranging from teens to seniors, earning an international reputation for her ability to bring just…
Jenni Schaefer is one of the foremost motivational speakers of her generation. She has carried her message of self-acceptance and triumph over adversity to the campuses of Harvard and Yale, to corporate leaders and mental health professionals, and to audiences ranging from teens to seniors, earning an international reputation for her ability to bring just the right insights and approach to each.
Her own books, her contributions to anthologies like the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, appearances on Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Today and Entertainment Tonight, and print coverage from Cosmopolitan to The New York Times, have carried the message to millions more.
Jenni’s straightforward, accessible style as an author, speaker, consultant and coach has made her a role model, source of inspiration, and confidant to people worldwide looking to overcome adversity and flourish as human beings. Dr. Phil, citing her dedication to helping people live life to the fullest, has called her “an inspiration to all.”
“It is my passion and my calling,” says Jenni, “to share with people the tools and attitudes that can lead to the kind of life we all dream of–one of purpose and genuine happiness.” Her message is that much stronger for her ready acknowledgement that her own journey has always been a work in progress.
“I found happy and purposeful living the hard way—through experience and lots of falling down!” she says.
Jenni’s background enables her to bridge the personal and the clinical in dealing with a range of issues, including addiction and perfectionism, eating and body image, self-esteem and personal empowerment. She graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a degree in biochemistry and was headed to medical school when she decided instead to move to Nashville to pursue singing and songwriting, then dealt with the devastating consequences of an eating disorder that nearly derailed everything.
The chronicle of her journey back, Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too (McGraw-Hill), became a breakthrough best seller, establishing her as a leading light in the recovery movement. Its continued impact can be measured in the fact that it was recently re-released in a tenth-anniversary edition and audiobook, and that it has been released in China, Korea, and Japan, where she has carried her message and where her song, “Life Without Ed,” has been released in a Japanese-pop version.
Her next book, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life (McGraw-Hill), widened her message to one of self-actualization and personal fulfillment.
In her latest, she teamed with Harvard Medical School clinical psychologist Jennifer J. Thomas to address the millions of people who struggle with disordered eating while not meeting the diagnostic criteria for a full-blown eating disorder. With Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (Harvard Health Publications/Hazelden), the two bridge the gaps between cutting-edge research, clinical knowledge and personal experience to provide both insight and hope.
Jenni continues to expand her outreach with a blog on The Huffington Post and her own website. She and her work have appeared in Publisher’s Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Glamour, Shape, The Washington Times, Woman’s World, Seventeen and more.
She recently joined Eating Recovery Center as a National Recovery Advocate of the Family Institute. Jenni is Chair of the Ambassadors Council of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Advisor to NEDA’s Certified Speakers Program and recipient of their Westin Family Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Activism, as well as a member of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals and of the Academy of Eating Disorders.
Jenni has spoken in educational settings ranging from junior high schools to the Harvard Medical School Conference for College Administrators, in treatment settings for recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, trauma, and eating disorders, and at conferences dealing with a range of issues from Miami to Anchorage.
While the topics she speaks about vary—addiction and food disorders, relationships, depression, career –they are all ultimately about overcoming adversity and living life to the fullest. She discusses the power of self-acceptance in overcoming self-sabotage, a subject summed up beautifully in her song, “It’s Okay to be Happy”—as her continuing success as a singer and songwriter speaks volumes about her ability to bring her own dreams alive.
An avid biker and hiker, and a woman whose passion for life is contagious, Jenni lives in Austin, Texas. She is currently at work on a book about fighting through posttraumatic stress disorder.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Jenni Schaefer’s straightforward, realistic approach has made her a role model, source of inspiration, and confidant to people across the globe looking to overcome adversity and live more fully. Her bestselling books and her appearances on shows like Dr. Phil and Entertainment Tonight, in publications ranging from Cosmopolitan to The New York Times, and in anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul have brought a world of hope to men and women seeking real solutions. One of the foremost motivational speakers of her generation, Jenni has carried her message of self-acceptance and growth through struggle to the campuses of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, to corporate leaders and mental health professionals, and to audiences ranging from teens to seniors, earning an international reputation for her ability to bring just the right insights and approach to each.
Jenni brings to each appearance a wealth of knowledge, experience, and compassion as well as her trademark sense of humor and her musical background. An active Austin singer-songwriter, she invariably concludes her talks with at least one uplifting song.
Jenni Schaefer - Passing the Recovery Baton
Jenni Schaefer, Author, Life Without ED - Part 1
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