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Graceologie Episode 156: Hannah Brencher

Hannah Brencher on the Graceologie with Gwen Smith podcast

Are you ready to show up, claim hope and take back your life? If so, be sure to listen to this Graceologie podcast episode with Hannah Brencher!


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My guest is Hannah Brencher. Hannah’s a writer, a TED talk speaker, and online educator with a heart for building leaders. She has a brand new book called FIGHTING FORWARD that just released & she and I have a great conversation about her story and the message of FIGHTING FORWARD in this episode.

At the darkest point of a severe season of depression, Hannah took a silver marker and labeled a composition book "Fight Song." She filled that little notebook up with hope-filled truths and affirmations, knowing that one day, she--and you--would need a reminder to stay in the fight. Now, she’s on a mission, and partnering with God daily, to be a light in the growing conversation about mental illness, and to remind people all across the world to show up, claim hope, and take back your life one small win at a time.


Several years ago, battling depression, Hannah decided to write love letters leaving them around New York City for strangers to find to encourage people. Hannah was so lonely so she wanted to relate to people who might be lonely too. 

She now has what are called Love Letter Bundles where handwritten letters are being sent to remind people they are not alone. 

Letter writing was amazing but it didn’t change the fact she was still battling depression and needed to ask for help. 

She gave her life to Jesus because she had nothing left. She asked herself what she could change and how to do things differently. Daily, Hannah still deals with depression but she now has her “battle plan”. 

Hannah feels God not fully taking away her depression is proof that it keeps her crawling back in her desperation of needing and partnering with God. 

Hannah wrote Fighting Forward so that you could open up any page and God could meet you right there with God packing you with tons of encouragement. 

We’ve made life a spectator sport, watching everyone else doing things as if that’s enough but it’s not. People are afraid to get started in something new. This book will help readers to feel they can show up to their life and do the things knowing God has partnered with them. 

Hannah has learned to change your perspective and understand the mindset that God is for us and wants us to move forward. 

What really changed for Hannah coming out of depression was building discipline in her life, better habits, setting up boundaries and structuring her days. 

“You have to be willing to find victory and joy in the small things.” Consistency and discipline will bring you freedom. 

Get honest with yourself and take inventory. There are 5 Things on Hannah’s list to follow:

    Eating foods that make you feel good.

    Getting a good sweat session in.

    Getting into the word of God.

    Staying surrounded by friends and not isolating 

    Taking care of yourself through vitamins and medications as needed

If anything, this year has taught us we are not meant for isolation. Be sure to do things like writing letters or hearing one anothers' voices right now instead of just texting and DM-ing. 

So important to be reminded that the most valuable thing you can do is be in community with God throughout the day so you can be open to his nudges so you can see what he is showing you. 

“I wanted to run to my list but instead I’m running to the Lord.” Gwen

Gain an appreciation for small habits.When the clock strikes midnight everything doesn’t just magically change. Discipline is like a muscle. You have to train it every single day. 

“Promise Me You’ll Fail” contract: 

Failure is going to happen. Failure isn’t anything to be afraid of. It just means something needs to be rerouted. It's a contract so you promise to fail because it’s okay and you’ll learn something from the experiences.