Inspiring People

Alana Weinroth Proves That Selflessness & Taking Care of Yourself Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Alana Weinroth Development Officer at Covenant House

The first time I met Alana Weinroth in 2015, I was casually exploring Brooklyn with a group of guy friends. This was years before she had a podcast, before she became a certified yoga instructor, and before she left her corporate job in New York City and moved to Los Angeles to become the development officer at Covenant House® California, a homeless shelter for transitional youth ages 18 to 24.

The Petaluma, California, native, 32, has always been passionate about working with at-risk populations — especially after she participated in her first “sleep out” fundraiser in 2013, and many times after. Yes: she’s slept on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles in solidarity. “It just moved me in a way that felt really different from anything I had felt in a really long time,” she says.

It’s a token of who Weinroth is on a personal level. She’s not only going to talk about what can be done to improve a social issue, or merely fantasize about how to fix a problem — she’s the friend who’s going to actively get involved in the situation, take charge to make improvements, speak openly about solutions, and recruit an army of friends to make moves (oh, and uproot her life, too). Even in college, she was motivated to lend a helping hand.

“I created a social justice major because I wanted to study exactly what I wanted to do,” says the graduate of St. Mary’s College of California℠. “I graduated from school and there just weren't really any jobs available. And so when this opportunity came up to work for an investment software company, which would give me a salary and benefits, I took it, but I always stayed connected to that side. I wanted to work with at-risk populations, and particularly at-risk youth.” Even at her corporate gig (which led her to live in New York for five years), she was always running the company’s volunteer projects and community affairs initiatives.

While serving the greater good (a trait she’s no doubt adopted from her mother), Weinroth’s career change, day-to-day conversations with friends, and thoughts about self-care inspired her to start the Give A DamnTM podcast. Again, (not surprisingly) to help others. “I've always been able to be really vulnerable and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I think that's important to do right now,” she said. “I just started to hear more people silently suffering with everyday things. I decided that even if it helps one person or a handful of people, I thought, I don't care if people ridicule me.”

From topics about personal boundaries to talking trash, each under-20-minute episode offers a fusion of good energy — like that of Gabrielle Bernstein and Brene Brown — with practical tools for everyday life.

“I think every 30-something grew up in this time where [taking care of yourself], self-awareness, and emotional intelligence weren't really what were taught to kids, so we've learned that,” Weinroth said. “We're a generation that really has adopted that into our lives in a big way.”

Speaking of taking care of yourself, Weinroth does take the time to focus on her own needs as well. She notes that it’s imperative to fill up her own cup and not feel guilty about taking care of oneself in the process of helping others (more on that later). One way she does both of these things is by practicing yoga. “I've always had a very strict workout regimen, but yoga is so different,” she said. “Yoga became something more of a mental exercise for me. It brought me peace and grounding in my life.”

Read on for more about Weinroth’s feelings on caring for oneself (so she can attend to others), what she’s doing when she isn’t saving the world, and how she really feels about aesthetics treatments.