Welcome to the fourth instalment in our exciting six part Almond Breeze Summer Loving Series. This series is designed to help inspire you to be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself so we’re catching up with six inspirational gals who are all doing exactly that. We kicked off this series with New Zealand’s very own celebrity nail stylist Leah Light sharing her self love journey. Then yoga guru Jane Lowe shared her thoughts on why she believes yoga is the secret to health and happiness. Last week stunning social media sensation Simone Anderson talked about life after losing almost 100kg in weight.

Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to life coach and life stylish Samantha Hannah. Sam is the founder of the Samantha Hannah Wellbeing Academy which is a unique programme that helps teens, their carers and women in general cultivate meaningful, rich, successful lives.

After many years working in television, writing for magazines and working as a personal stylist Sam combined all of her skills and incorporated yoga, mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to create her highly successful one-on-one teaching and group workshops. If anyone knows about happiness it’s Sam which is why I was thrilled to pick her brains on how we can all live our best lives. 


Above: Life coach, life stylist and all round beautiful person Samantha Hannah.


Who needs to see a life coach? Anyone who feels they are stuck in life.

What’s the difference between a life coach and a life-stylist?  A life-stylist is a person who offers creative services to enrich people’s lives. A life coach helps a person achieve their goals in life. I do a combination of both, whilst focusing on the overall wellbeing of my clients.

What’s the best thing about being a life coach? It’s an honour to be allowed into someone’s inner world. To help them discover their purpose, live in value and become more mindful. I feel very grateful for the work I do. I believe it’s what I came here to do.

How did you get into life coaching? I think I may have been born one. When I studied to become a certified Life Coach, I was blown away by how much I was already doing it without even realizing. Since I was little I’ve been able to tap into people’s energy and really see a person, which may sound esoteric to many, but modern science is proving it to be a real thing. Plus I’ve always been a nurturer. I love helping people, so it felt natural to do something in this area. It works beautifully with Yoga too!

Where does mindfulness fit into everything and can you explain what it actually is? There are many definitions of mindfulness. Essentially, mindfulness is living in the moment. In yoga terms we’d say its consciousness.  Becoming conscious or aware of all your actions, behaviours, your thoughts and emotions, the external world and so on. Mindfulness is a way of living that helps you to live a purposeful, rich and meaningful life.

What’s the secret to happiness? (I know this is a loaded question but would love to hear your thoughts!) Oh no, you’re gonna get me up on my soap box now! Haha. Happiness is an emotion just like anger, sadness and excitement. I think happiness is something we think we ‘should’ be feeling all the time and if we’re not there must be something wrong with us or something to fix, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Humans are supposed to feel the full range of our emotions, one of which is happiness. We can always choose happiness, but it’s not always appropriate to. Plus some people have a higher ‘happiness base’ than others. I see people trying to find happiness and hold on to it all day because it feels good and we’ve been taught to believe that we should be happy all the time. But it’s not possible. All emotions are needed for different situations. Plus, think about how many emotions you’ve felt today so far. I bet it’s more than just happiness. So to answer your question I believe the secret to happiness is to stop trying to look for it outside of us. We need to look inward and ask ourselves questions like: “What do I value the most in the world?” and “What do I want to stand for?”. Live by those things everyday and accept that even though life will throw a curve ball or two, we always have a choice to live in value. That’s living mindfully, that’s joyful living to me.

What are some of your personal, must-read development books? Where do I start? I’m a bookworm and often have 2-3 on the go at once. It’s like each room in our house has a different book energy or something! Haha. This is a really hard question, but off the top of my head I’d say Essentialism by Greg McKeown, Playing Big by Tara Mohr, The leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma, Start With Why by Simon Sinek, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself by Dr Joe Dispenza.

Above: Yoga is an important part of Sam’s life and her teaching.


How does yoga fit into your lifestyle? Yoga is everything to me. It’s such a sacred practice I was reluctant to become a Yoga teacher. But I’m so pleased I did it. I practice yoga every day. This includes a 20-minute morning meditation and journaling, 30-60 minute asana flow, eating a nourishing breakfast and setting an intention for how I’d like my day to flow. Yoga is not just the asana – the physical exercise. Yoga is experienced on and off our mat, which is why you’ll often hear a teacher say something like: “See if you can take this feeling/your intention into your day?”. It’s not easy, that’s why it’s called yoga practice.

How does fashion and personal styling fit into your business philosophy and lifestyle? I love the creativity of fashion and believe wholeheartedly in the importance of self-expression. One of the best ways to self-express everyday is by consciously choosing the clothes you want to represent you. My favourite style quote is by Lauren Hutton who said, ‘Fashion is what you are offered four times a year, style is what you choose’. I’ve always taught my styling clients how to dress consciously, which is why I needed to know what they value in life, what their lifestyle looks like, what their style personality is. I’ve always maintained, in styling and in life coaching or teaching yoga that I am here to give a voice to your inner being. I’ll never tell you what to do, that’s for you to decide. I’ll unpack your story with you and together we make a plan of action.

Any exciting new plans for 2018? SO many exciting plans! We’re launching our Purpose-FULL work placement program into New Zealand high schools. It’s a program worth 20 NZCEA level 3 & 4 credits and gives learners entry-level experience into the health and wellbeing industry, plus the learner gets to cultivate and action their own wellbeing plan. We also have three big corporate contracts to run health and wellbeing programs in the work place, with potential growth into Australia. And personally, I have a goal to go to India and do some more yoga and meditation training with a Guru. Watch this space!


Matcha Lattes are a part of Sam’s daily morning ritual and if you haven’t tried one before then now’s the time. I make mine with Almond Breeze Almond Milk and they are seriously delicious. And in case you didn’t know, Almond Breeze Almond Milk is owned by Blue Diamond Growers – the almond experts in California and is a dairy alternative made from almonds and it’s also my go-to for all of my cooking, on my breakfast, in smoothies and it even makes a delicious latte – winning! Almond Breeze contains no eggs, lactose, casein, peanuts or gluten – making it a perfect dairy-free alternative. So it’s safe to say the guys are Almond Breeze know a thing or two about health which is why I’m sure you’ll enjoy Sam’s favourite hot drink as much as I do.


1 tsp Matcha powder

1/4 cup boiling water

Almond Breeze Almond Milk


Add a teaspoon of Matcha powder into a mug and adds ¼ cup boiling water. Whisk together for a minute or two. While whisking adds almond milk to a milk frother. Then add the almond milk to the Matcha and voila – a delicious, green tea latte!