Zo Flamenbaum

Zo Flamenbaum seemed to have everything – great friends, a good job, a lovely apartment in Tel Aviv – so when she found herself constantly struggling with dark moods and even breaking into tears in public, she knew her life needed a facelift.

The 30-year-old New Jersey native, who moved to Israel just under five years ago and was working in online marketing, started researching the idea of happiness online. And what she found astounded her.

“I discovered that there is a science behind happiness and there are practical, scientific things you can do to become happier and retrain your brain,” Flamenbaum says. She took an online course, aptly named “The Science of Happiness,” and spent hours reading up on research from The Greater Good Science Center in Berkeley, Calif., where scientists have spent over a decade exploring the biology and neurology of our emotions.

Pretty soon, she realized that a great deal of her unhappiness stemmed from waiting for someone or something to fix up her life, and that if she really wanted to kick her bad-mood habit, she’d have to do it herself.

Flamembaum has become so passionate about empowering herself and other women to embrace their own happiness that she’s opened her own mood-changing school – The School of Shine, a platform and practical guide to inspire women to find their own happiness and motivate from within. With meet-ups, lectures, fitness sessions and a lively blog, Flamembaum is now not only nurturing her own inner self, she’s preaching what she practices.

As women, we are so programmed to give and to nurture, but we’re not taught to really care or nurture for ourselves.