Dear YuMMies,

Last year Nicole Phillips was generous enough to have me as a guest on her Kindness Podcast to spread the word about the YMM. (And if you haven’t already – there’s still time to sign up!)

Nicole was so taken with our movement that she has become a YuMMie herself which is a perfect fit since her mission is to spread kindness in all forms.

It’s my pleasure to introduce all of you to Nicole through this interview so you can learn more about her and the value of kindness to our wellbeing.

Hi Nicole! Thanks for talking with me. I’m curious, how did you come to make kindness your professional purpose?

I was in a pretty dark place emotionally in 2011 when I gave a young mom some money. It was a quick interaction and then it was over, but the feeling I got from that tiny exchange changed the course of my day. I knew if other people could experience that feeling, kindness would be contagious. I started writing a weekly newspaper column called, Kindness is Contagious! We asked readers to send in their stories. Within a year of intentionally looking for kindness, my mental and physical health improved dramatically and so did the atmosphere inside my home. It’s been 9 years and I’m still writing that column which now runs in newspapers in North Dakota and Minnesota.

From your experience, what is the power and benefit of kindness?

The power of kindness is that it gets our focus off of ourselves. When we step out of our comfort zones or reach out with kindness and compassion, we move our focus from our own concerns and problems and to what other people are going through and how we may be able to help. Science tells us four feel-good chemicals are released when we are the giver, receiver, or even the witness of an act of kindness. Having those “happy hormones” coursing through our bodies unlocks a cascade of positive social and emotional benefits.

Since you became a YuMMie, have you had any positive experiences giving or receiving a You Matter card?

Cheryl, I’m so glad you created the You Matter Marathon. I loved hearing about your heart behind it on Episode 80 of The Kindness Podcast. My entire team uses those cards throughout the year. We give them to people who have been kind to us and to those who look like they might need a little reminder they are important.

I’ve noticed one of the tellers at my bank’s drive-thru is consistently quiet (or perhaps she’s grumpy — but I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt!). I slipped a You Matter card in with my deposit and her smile was radiant. Those two little words can really change a person’s day. I’m grateful for your dedication to this project and looking forward to “lacing up my sneakers” in the You Matter Marathon again this year.

Tell us about your new book, The Negativity Remedy. It sounds like something we all could use right now!

This book is my baby! It everything I’ve learned over the past decade about creating a perspective that begins to naturally lean toward kindness, even when we’re dealing with difficult people or situations. 

Here’s the scoop from the back of the book:
We’re all pretty nice people, right? It’s just that occasionally we’re tempted to gossip or indulge in a little justified road rage . . . or snap at our spouse . . . maybe scream at our kids . . . I mean, if everyone else would get with the program, we wouldn’t be this way!

But maybe the trouble isn’t with all those other people who aggravate us. Maybe we’re the problem–specifically, the way we react to inconveniences, accidents, and just plain old everyday life with negative words, thoughts, and actions. Because the truth is, when we stop focusing on how we’re being affected and start responding in kind ways, that’s when something remarkable happens: we actually feel happier ourselves.

With humor, compassion, and encouragement, Nicole Phillips draws on scientific research and real-life examples to help us recognize unhelpful negative thought patterns, show kindness toward others even when we don’t feel like it, and discover how one little change actually changes everything.

Wow – I already ordered my copy and can’t wait to read it.
Thank you for being a champion of kindness and the You Matter Marathon, Nicole.


You Matter.


Cheryl Rice, Founder

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