dating // relationships // connection

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Song Therapy is the video series I’m producing in partnership with hiitide.com where we playfully unpack the relationship dysfunction in popular songs 😏 

🎧 Episode 003: Ex-Factor 💔 features therapist Kine Corder.

View all episodes at: https://hiitide.com/song-therapy

🎧 Episode 1: Wrecking Ball 💣 by Miley Cyrus
🎧 Episode 2: Black Widow 🕷 by Iggy Azalea
🎧 Episode 3: Ex-Factor 💔 by Lauryn Hill

Watch Episode 003 HERE.

Follow @song.therapy on IG for updates

DM your song and guest suggestions to @song.therapy

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💥 The 3 Choreographies of Arguments 💥


According to the famed psychologist Esther Perel, within couples there are three primary choreographies of arguments: fight/fight, fight/flee, flee/flee. The choreography of the arguing is way more important than what sparked the argument in the first place. Change happens in a relationship when each person is willing to do something new, non-contingent on what the other does, because if you consistently start to do something different, at some point the other person has to adapt. It’s like tennis- if the ball goes to a different corner, your partner can’t stay standing on the other side. If they wish to stay in the game, at some point, they have to adjust.

Which choreography pattern can you most relate to?

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Josh Trent on Extreme Intimacy & Why Men Get Addicted to Porn

“Anybody can drop their clothes and get naked. But if you really want to be vulnerable, you have to be naked in your heart. Naked in your soul. That’s intimacy. The #1 reason men get addicted to porn is because they want the sexual reward without the vulnerability.” ~Josh Trent

Josh​ is the founder of Wellness Force and one of the leading voices on physical and emotional intelligence: https://wellnessforce.com/

Leah is the founder and leader of the Esther Perel Discussion Group on Facebook, a global community of over 10,000 members who regularly discuss relationships, desire, intimacy, and infidelity.

Josh (@trent_sd on IG) joined Leah (@msleahmarshall on IG) for a candid conversation on conscious relationships, intimacy, and what gets in the way of both. Click the image above or here to listen in!

If you liked this interview, check out our recent one with Mark Groves (@createthelove on Instagram) on Break-Ups, Boundaries, and Love Lessons at: https://youtu.be/aIs8z2Cg0jU

And this one with Connor Beaton (@connor.beaton + @mantalks on IG) on Porn, Shame, & Healing Our Dark Side at: https://youtu.be/loDwT2rIMM8

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SONG THERAPY Episode 002: Black Widow 🕷

Black Widow- Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

Presenting Episode 002 of SONG THERAPY, the video series produced in partnership with hiitide.com that playfully unpacks the relationship dysfunction in popular songs. Join Host Leah Marshall and her special guests as they rock out to and then break down the relationship red flags in the songs we all know and love.

It’s hard to think of a song that rivals Black Widow 🕷 when it comes to relationship dysfunction 🙄

🎶 “I’m gonna love you. Until you hate me.” 🎵

Listen to Leah and Hayden break down these lyrics and relationship dysfunction galore at the links below!

🔸Watch Episode 002 at: https://hiitide.com/song-therapy

🔸Follow @song.therapy on IG for updates

🔸DM your song and guest suggestions to @song.therapy

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Sex, Dating, & Relationships with Integrity feat. Bryan Reeves

Bryan Reeves (@bryanreevesinsight) is one of my favorite voices on relationships, sex, and conscious connection. His personal story and evolution has been profound. At age 26, he was a captain in the US Air Force but he was dead inside. He couldn’t laugh, he certainly couldn’t cry, he couldn’t feel life, and he wasn’t open to love. 20 years later with an immense amount of inner work under his belt, Bryan and I sat down to talk about navigating dating, relationships, and sex with self-awareness and integrity. 🎧❤️🎤


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SONG THERAPY Episode 001: Wrecking Ball 💣

I’m so excited to announce a new video series I’m producing in partnership with hiitide.com!! Presenting… 🎵💔 SONG THERAPY 🎶 the video series that playfully unpacks the relationship dysfunction in popular songs. Join us as we rock out to and then break down the relationship red flags in the songs we all know and love. Episode 001: Wrecking Ball 💣 features:

🔸 Levina Li and Caleb Spaulding, co-creators of A Sex Journal for Couples: https://asexjournal.com

🔸 Leah Marshall, Founder of the Esther Perel Discussion Group on Facebook and Song Therapy

Catch all episodes at: https://hiitide.com/song-therapy

Follow @song.therapy on IG for updates

DM your song and guest suggestions to @song.therapy

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Dr. Alexandra Solomon on Reclaiming Your Erotic Self

Dr. Alexandra Solomon (@dr.alexandra.solomon on IG) is one of the leading psychologists on relationships and intimacy, known for her groundbreaking undergraduate course, Marriage 101, and for her appearances on The Today Show, NPR, in Oprah Magazine, The Atlantic, Vogue, and on the TED stage. She’s also the author of Loving Bravely and the soon to be released, Taking Sexy Back. I sat down with Alexandra to chat about everything from dating and relationships, to marriage, sex, pleasure, and reconnecting with our erotic selves.  


Show Notes

  • (5:51) The #1 relationship skill to develop in yourself 
  • (10:39) Why it’s so critical to be able to hold on to contrary truths in your relationship at the same time
  • (12:45) The formula for repairing connection after you’re triggered in your relationship, including scripts you can use 
  • (17:14) How to guide a partner from defensiveness during conflict to holding space and healing 
  • (19:08) Understanding the relationship change loop
  •  (21:03) How to ask for what you need from your partner during repair following conflict  
  • (25:10) Alexandra’s perspective on the new role of marriage and her favorite resources for consciously defining a marriage 
  • (31:54) Alexandra’s advice to women who feel like they need to hide their erotic self because of how they’ll be perceived by others 
  • (36:00) Why you don’t need to wait for a relationship to cultivate your erotic self
  • (40:29) Alexandra’s inspiration for writing her new book, Taking Sexy Back
  • (48:53) Esther Perel on the erotic imagination
  • (52:05) Reclaiming our erotic self after trauma
  • (1:02:45) How to connect with Alexandra and join the Taking Sexy Back book tour


  • Les Greenberg & Emotion Focused Therapy 
  • Vicki Larson- The New I Do
  • Eli Finkle- The All-or-Nothing Marriage
  • John Gottman- Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work 
  • Sue Johnson- Love Sense
  • Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt- Making Marriage Simple
  • Terry Real- The New Rules of Marriage
  • Pam Costa- Reclaiming Female Sexual Desire TED Talk
  • Lori Brotto- Better Sex Through Mindfulness
  • Candice Kumai- Kintsugi Wellness  
  • Gotten Card Decks relationship app 

If you found value in this conversation, I’d love for you to share what stood out on social media (@msleahmarshall on Instagram), and for you to pass it along to a friend. More on Dr. Alexandra Solomon at: http://www.dralexandrasolomon.com/

If you liked this interview, you might also enjoy this recent one with Mark Groves (@createthelove on Instagram) on Break-Ups, Boundaries, and Love Lessons at: https://youtu.be/aIs8z2Cg0jU

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2019 Influencers, Lessons, & Purpose

Several years ago, I started a tradition. Every December, I’d think back on the teachers and mentors who most impacted me— the lessons they taught me and how they shaped me. Some are close friends, others are authors and public figures. Below is my 2019 list, with info to explore them if you’re curious to learn more.


  • Esther Perel– Author, speaker, and one of the wisest voices on relationships of our time
  • Mark Groves– Another favorite on relationships and human connection, and the host of the Making Your Heart Make Sense podcast
  • Dr. Shefali Tsabary– The most paradigm-shifting teacher I’ve trained with in the areas of consciousness and awakening, whom Oprah lauded as revolutionary
  • Austin Head– My trainer and chief motivation officer- both in the gym and in life
  • Connor Beaton– Host of the ManTalks podcast and one of my favorites on self-mastery, relationships, and masculinity
  • Kamala Harris– The presidential candidate whom I passionately supported and volunteered for this year- one of the most principled, smart, and inspiring politicians I’ve encountered
  • Scott Siegal– A friend and one of my greatest teachers this year
  • Sophia Bush– For her commitment to social justice, political activism, and killer interviews on her podcast, Work in Progress

“Rock bottom is the best place to meet yourself.”

Several years ago, I went through a really painful dating experience (understatement!) that sent me down a path of learning as much as I could about relationships & why people behave the way they do. This year, I was honored to be invited to share my journey on several podcasts, & also interview 2 relationship experts whom I deeply admire. Links below if you’re interested to have a listen. 🎧

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. ~Robert Byrne, Author
I believe that we often find our purpose through our pain. 2 years ago, I attended an event called The Summit of Greatness. It brings together the world’s leading authors, entrepreneurs, creatives, activists, artists, poets, and athletes to share their stories. In 2017, one of the speakers was Esther Perel, the famed relationship expert, 2x bestselling author, and 2x TED speaker. Anyone who’s listened to her “Where Should We Begin” podcast on Audible, read her books, or heard her speak gets it- how courageously she tackles life’s toughest topics like infidelity and the loss of desire in long-term relationships, her poetry with language, the masterful way she’s able to explain human behavior, and her playful sense of humor. She’s also the daughter of Holocaust survivors, the impact of which she speaks about often and a legacy that has touched both sides of my family. At the event, Esther had this incredible closing line: “In dating and relationships, we’re often picked for a role that we didn’t audition for.” I remember so wanting to discuss it more, but I didn’t have many friends who regularly talked openly about relationships. So I started a discussion group Facebook, with the goal of connecting with others who love her work and the topics she tackles: infidelity, modern dating, loss of desire in relationships, healing from trauma, masculinity, manhood, and of course, sex. Today we’re a global community of over 7,400 members, united by our fascination with human connection and the way we’re able to show up for each other as we navigate relationships. This year, hundreds of members bounced back from break-ups and infidelity, some got the courage and support to leave marriages that had run their course, and many entered into new, loving ones- often crediting the group as the reason why. Recently, my friend and trainer asked me what my purpose was. I realized it’s what I’m doing with this community: helping people to have deeper, richer, more authentic, and more meaningful relationships by helping them understand why we behave the way we do in connection

I’d love to hear from you: what’s your purpose or the legacy you want to leave? Share it as a comment on my 1/1/2020 IG post @msleahmarshall.

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Connor Beaton on Porn, Shame, & Healing Our Dark Side

Connor Beaton​ is the founder of ManTalks and one of my favorite voices on men’s work and self-mastery in the relationship space. Connor (@connor.beaton + @mantalks on Instagram) and I sat down together for a candid conversation on “the shadow,” the disowned parts of ourself that become the source of our pain, suffering, and addiction. We touched on how the shadow forms and develops, how it manifests differently in men and women, and how our relationship with our shadow impacts our intimacy, sex life, and so much more. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

If you found value in this conversation, I’d love for you to share what stood out on social media (@msleahmarshall on Instagram), and for you to pass it along to a friend. More on Connor Beaton at: https://connorbeaton.com.

If you liked this interview, you might also enjoy this recent one with Mark Groves (@createthelove on Instagram) on Break-Ups, Boundaries, and Love Lessons at: https://youtu.be/aIs8z2Cg0jU

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Mark Groves on Break-Ups, Boundaries & Love Lessons

Mark Groves (@createthelove on Instagram) is one of my favorite voices on relationships and human connection. Mark and I met up in Chicago as part of his 2019 Loving Bravely Book Club tour to chat about his defining moments, relationship endings, and sustaining desire and curiosity in long-term relationships.