I understand that to be able to genuinely appreciate the joy of our highest highs, we must sometimes also experience the contrast in the sorrow of our lowest lows. When I feel down, discouraged, or uninspired, I give myself grace and focus on self-care. This too shall pass. It’s ok and natural to have these emotions so rather than beating myself up about it, I do something to change my perspective and focus on something better than the challenge at hand. I will come back to that obstacle with a renewed energy soon.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Brenda Ridgley.

Brenda Ridgley is a certified midlife women’s life coach, author, speaker, and girlfriend guru who loves helping women connect, find success, and discover joy through friendship. Her mission is to support women who have lost themselves in their roles as wife, mother and professional and help them connect to their passions, purpose, and people. Through her coaching, workshops, retreats, and podcast ~ Find Your Lady Tribe, Brenda helps women connect and communicate with respect, love, and trust.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Thank you Savio for inviting me to share on this important topic! I am a nature loving Colorado girl who grew up with traditional values and work ethic. I earned my MA while working in corporate America and have always focused on the people side of business and life. Since becoming an author in 2021 I enjoy coaching individuals and groups, as well as presenting transformational workshops on the power of connection and friendship.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Like many people, I have served a handful of organizations throughout my career in several industries. Over the years I worked in corporate America, then a decade in entrepreneurship and now as a focused author and solopreneur coaching women to ignite their life’s purpose. What I find interesting, and my takeaway from this journey is that it is never too late to switch things up and do something totally different. Just because you have experience and even higher education in a certain field does not mean you are stuck there. We spend a large amount of our time “working,” so it is important to do something that you enjoy. If you no longer find meaning in your occupation, it’s time to explore some options. Going after a new interest is exciting, keeps things fresh and might even help you live longer!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My husband Parker is an amazing father and supportive partner. He encourages me to go for it — whatever my heart desires — and he is always there to clear the way so I can focus. I feel like he thinks that I can do anything, and sometimes he makes me believe it!

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Empathy — My life experience and love of people reminds me to interact without judgement, criticism, and condemnation. Over the years I have become better at recognizing that ugly, self-deprecating voice in my head as the EGO (Edging GOD Out) who has something negative or critical to say about myself and others. Showing up for people and listening with compassion, kindness, and support has been the driving force of my coaching business’ success.

Perseverance — It is not easy to succeed as an author these days. Over the past decade the number of books being published every year has exploded yet the book marketplace has hardly grown so it has become over-saturated. The obstacle is daunting; however, I continue to champion my book Lady and the Tribe; How to Create Empowering Friendship Circles on a daily basis because I know that it is helping women providing a blueprint for friendship as an adult. Success is often the result of a series of failures. Never give up!

Consistency — Taking on a new project is usually exciting but continuing to do the “work” on a daily basis, long after the excitement has dissipated is not always easy. Each time I have started a new venture, I know to expect that times ahead may become monotonous. I remind myself “do today what others won’t so one day you can do what others can’t.” Also, I believe there is no wasted energy. I may not see the results of my actions today, but one day they will pay off.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I have always been keenly interested in health and fitness. My undergraduate degrees included corporate fitness because early on I wanted to help companies include wellness programs for their employees. Over the years however, I discovered that wellbeing involved much more than just intentional movement and a healthy diet. Healthy relationships, to include a few meaningful friendships, are paramount to our longevity and wholeness. In my research for Lady and the Tribe I found dozens of studies that found people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer. Conversely, a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

About seven years ago I found myself in what I now call the “Funk Years.” I had spent more than a decade giving 100% into my roles as wife, mother and professional… to the detriment of my own interests, activities, and friendships. At the time I did not understand what was wrong with me. I had a picture-perfect life, yet I felt uninspired, detached, and dissatisfied. After feeling this way for a few years, I began to do some research, and what I discovered was… I was lonely. Beyond my immediate family, no one really knew me anymore. My friendships had been diminished to Facebook posts, likes, and comments. I realized I needed more meaningful relationships with people who did not NEED something from me. I set out to re-learn who I was, how I fit in, where I belonged and who my people were — my Tribe. Over the course of the next few years, I intentionally made building friendship a priority in my life. You mentioned a recipe of sorts, the “elixir of life” so I would like to share my recipe for Tribe.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

If we start with the premise that we know we need to move our bodies, eat right, and get enough rest to be healthy; To live a long and “whole” life I suggest there are 5 friends that everyone needs to have in their corner:

  1. The Mentor — this is the person who is wiser, more experienced at life and always has great advice when it comes to making big decisions. She is usually older but still fun and will guide you lovingly through difficult times.
  2. The Connector — this friend is networked. She knows people and she helps you to get things done. She can link you up with everything from the best decorator to the latest technology that will help your life. People love her for her positivity and success.
  3. The Encourager — this is the friend who is your biggest fan. She likes all your social media posts; she cheers you on in every new endeavor. She believes in you; thinks you are awesome and sings your praises at every opportunity.
  4. The Confidant — This friend has totally got your back. You can cry on her shoulder, and she will always listen and comfort without judgement or offering unsolicited advice. She is pure love and empathy.
  5. The Authenticity Detector — this is the friend you go to for absolute, no-holds-barred, straight down the line truth about anything. It is the brutal honesty you need when you are all caught up in the emotions. She will not sugar coat, but you know she loves you and she is invaluable to your life.

One person may be able to fulfill more than one of these roles. I recommend that everyone should have 2–5 “besties” to live life with who know you and your hopes, dreams, and even fears.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

We all need to have three types of relationships in our lives:

  1. Intimate relationships — usually in reference to a spouse or significant other
  2. Relational relationships — a network of close friendships and relatives
  3. Collective relationships — groups or communities that one is affiliated

These relationships are fulfilling because they supply us with a feeling of connection and belonging. They help us learn about ourselves and others while satisfying our physical, mental, and emotional needs. We truly were built to belong so we cannot be complete without connection.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

There is no denying the power of nature and our God given gifts. However, our choices and lifestyle can certainly impact the quality of our life and the quantity of years we are able to live fully. The choices we make each day, week, and year create a compounding effect that either takes us in the direction of wellness or illness. The great news is that each moment we have another opportunity to change direction or course correct if necessary.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

I understand that to be able to genuinely appreciate the joy of our highest highs, we must sometimes also experience the contrast in the sorrow of our lowest lows. When I feel down, discouraged, or uninspired, I give myself grace and focus on self-care. This too shall pass. It’s ok and natural to have these emotions so rather than beating myself up about it, I do something to change my perspective and focus on something better than the challenge at hand. I will come back to that obstacle with a renewed energy soon.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

My favorite quote is from the Wizard of Oz: “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” ~Glinda the good witch

I believe we all underestimate ourselves to some degree. This quote serves as a lovely reminder, and the movie is a favorite, one of my favorite childhood memories.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to start a friendship circle movement: women coming together to create hundreds of thousands of Lady Tribes all around the globe.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

I would love to connect with readers on social media. I can be found on most @BrendaRidgley or @BrendaRidgleyConnections. For more in person and virtual connection opportunities visit my website at brendaridgley.com, Linktree, or podcast — Find Your Lady Tribe.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.