Hi I’m Jo Kathleen Marie, Positive Psychology Coach, Artist, Music Teacher, and Director of Programs at Create Your Life Academy.

I specialise in coaching individuals and groups for positive change using a strengths-based approach, primarily focusing on enhancing wellbeing, building resilience, and providing strategies for life optimisation.

I am a creative at heart, with a music Industry background, and continue to look at novel ways to integrate mindset coaching into music lessons and workshops, to enhance engagement, well-being and core confidence.

You can get in touch with me by visiting my website or Instagram profile.


via her website and/or social networks



I was completely captivated when I first heard Stardust by Asgeir playing on Triple J.

The allure of clear pink skies, dreamy sunsets and a summer wardrobe set the scene. I was in the car and had just arrived at my destination to begin teaching music for the evening. Luckily, I had a few minutes up my sleeve.

“Who is this!?” I exclaimed in awe. There was nobody there to respond to my question except the radio. I listened attentively as this song delivered an experience that transcended my current reality.

It’s hard to forget that initial impact of a good song. Just like the first time you move out of home or graduate, it becomes a part of your story. In this scenario – The song was responding to an experience I had been harbouring. A question perhaps all of us can relate to: “How do you heal your heart with no closure?”

It had been a number of years since I had been in a relationship. I made a promise to myself I would remain “self-partnered” while I hit some key life milestones and educated myself on the fundamentals of healthy relationships. I had a smooth run until this moment. I didn’t expect to meet this person when I did or to find myself navigating my own love story on the opposite side of the world.

I felt like the protagonist in this song where I needed to let go of someone I loved to honour their journey and mine, despite my feelings. Yet, part of me held onto hope. I had been living with the artistry of alternative happy endings my mind would play through. The lyrical brilliance of Egilsson felt raw, honest and strong, expressing the words I had watered down in my own experience – while still aligning with my growth mindset.

My favourite lines from the song ARE: “I’m a watercolour, washing off into the deepest sea. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in light.”

The song finished without a follow up from the presenter so I reached for a pen in my Herschel backpack and wrote the main chorus hook on my hand. I grabbed my guitar from the backseat and ran into the Music Academy, notifying other staff members and students I was on a mission to find this song! Within minutes, I was playing Stardust on my laptop in my teaching room. Of course, in true musician style, jamming it out on my Fender Telecaster at the same time.

It had been awhile since a song had me this excited.

The harmonious relationship within the art of this production is everything I could have hoped for, from the ontological aspects of skilled songwriting, and expressive components of melody and rhythm within each layer of instrumentation. I could feel each verse and chorus, opening a new door of narrative within the story. It evoked fond memories of listening to Bon Iver profusely, with a great appreciation for the art of record production. It even took me back to my Jazz Contemporary roots with those tasty guitar lines.

There’s something sweet within the message of this song that creatively captures the pain of heartache in a positive and colourful light. It makes you wanna dance around your house in your PJ’s wearing your favourite hat. Yes, I totally did that.

For me – Stardust reflects my vibrant and playful spirit, met with virtues of wisdom and transcendence to rise up and learn from the pain – and choose to remain in a state of expansive love.

I will say – my heart began healing on this day as I gave myself permission to feel the full extent of my feelings and take a leap forward.

Whether you prefer the full production or something stripped back, this song is all killer no filler in my books.

Happy listening! X