Paying Off Debt & Your Mental Health w/ Melanie Lockert – EP 194

Money and mental health are certainly in the top tier category of ‘what not to talk about at a party’, however we believe debt payoff and our mental wellbeing go hand in hand and we need to find places of safety to talk about these topics! Melanie joins us to share her own journey with mental health during her debt payoff and how this has looked for her even beyond debt freedom.


  • The Frugal Friends Shop! To help you achieve your financial goals faster this year we’re giving our listeners $30, no minimum spend, to use in the Frugal Friends Shop. We have several challenge workbooks to help you with everything from budgeting and impulse spending to minimalism and habits. Head to to check them out and use the code NEWYEAR30 for $30 off at checkout.
  • Curiosity – it is said to have be the culprit of the cat’s demise, but we say it’s the birthplace of creativity and problem solving. Not sure what someone meant when they said you seem different, practice curiosity! Wondering where that random dirt road leads? Be curious (but in the daytime). Confused about your own money habits and patterns? Be curious! Curiosity: it may have killed the cat but try it anyway.

For more on this topic check out EP 169 Frugal Self-Care

Melanie Lockert is the founder and author of Dear Debt. Through her blog and book, she chronicled her journey out of $81,000 in student loan debt. She also co-founded Lola Retreat, a women + money event, and is the host of The Mental Health and Wealth Show podcast. Here’s what we got to ask her:


  • What were your mental health struggles as it pertain to your debt and when did you notice the correlation between the two? 
  • How did you start writing letters to your debt and what impact did it make on your payoff?
  • Being debt free now, how is your mental health? Are there still struggles, was getting rid of debt the magic bullet everyone said it’d be?
  • How has your mindset about money changed as a result of paying off debt? Has that improved mindset helped your mental health?

BILL OF THE WEEK –  Thank you Melanie for sharing your bill about health insurance and how you were able to ‘happily pay’ that bill. We celebrate with you that you can now afford this as a result of being debt free.

If you want to submit your bill of the week visit to leave us a bill

This bill is brought to us by, if you’re starting 2022 with more debt than you’d like to have, you’re not alone. But there is help out there. is one of the top resources we trust to help people get out of debt. From financial education, guides, and even options for nonprofit credit counselors, debt negotiation, to other relief programs. If you’re struggling with your debt payoff, visit to access their resources on paying off debt, improving your credit, and see if they have programs that can help you. When Life Happens – Visit to get the relief you need. Or call (844) 427-0411 to get a free consultation with a debt relief specialist.

Lightning Round 

A mental health struggle we’ve had around finances recently or in the past and how we overcame it (if it has been overcome).

Melanie- learning to charge more and ask for more. Accurately assessing worth/value of skillset. Guilt and negative self-talk related to feeling ‘greedy’. 

Jen-  finding self-worth in accomplishment. Fear of not accomplishing. Chose a temporary pay cut to engage in more of the things I enjoy.

Jill-  A version of hopelessness (downcast) about the pit I felt I was in with the combo of debt AND low income. Overcoming did have a lot to do with circumstances changing, but getting through it, maintaining hope and determination had a lot to do with my faith which is an anchor for me, support from my husband and close friends, and implementing my creativity and calling upon my skill set to find solutions

Get more from Melanie:


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Thanks for listening! See you next week!

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