Kara Loewentheil

Jun 10, 2024

Kara is wearing the Meadow Dress.

Feminist coach and author of Take Back Your Brain! Kara Loewentheil shows us around her Brooklyn townhouse and talks the importance of taking breaks, how to produce more confidence and joy, and her signature style.

You quit your job as a lawyer and became a life coach - what motivated you to make this change?

When it came to being a women’s rights lawyer and academic I felt like the work mattered to me, but not that I was contributing something truly unique. Once I learned the cognitive coaching tools I now teach, they blew my mind and changed my life. And I knew my perspective on feminist coaching was something that only I could contribute to the world.

What has been the proudest moment for you in your career?

Well, my first book Take Back Your Brain just became an instant national bestseller, so that was pretty cool! It’s hard to impress my grandmother, but getting on the New York Times Best Seller List did it. Honestly though, I’m proudest of having had the courage to quit my stable, socially-rewarded and prestigious job running a think tank to do something that sounded as bananas as becoming a life coach on the Internet! 

Tell us about your new book, Take Back Your Brain! What drove you to write this book?

The book really came out of my desire to help women all over the world take control of their thinking. Society teaches women to think about ourselves in ways that keep us playing small, criticizing ourselves, and holding ourselves back. I wanted to equip women with both a deeper understanding of why they think they way they do, and the concrete tools they need to change how they think to produce more confidence, ease, and joy.

How would you describe your personal style?

I am definitely one of those people who has a signature look and silhouette! I tend towards what I would call “sophisticated feminine” - it’s not quite as preppy as a classic look, but it’s not overly girly either. It’s almost always going to involve a v-neck, sleeves, and some combination of volume in one half of my body and fittedness in the other. But I think my style varies a lot by season. In fall and winter I tend to wear a lot of black, usually leggings with billowy tops. In the spring and summer, my closet is full of glorious floaty floral dresses with great waist definition - which is where a lot of my Tanya Taylor pieces come in! 

What motivates you when you need an extra push?

I think it’s so important to know your WHY. Why are you doing what you’re doing? First of all, I’m a big believer in taking breaks when you need them - so sometimes I need a cat nap, not a push. But when I do just need to dig deep and keep going, connecting to my mission reminds me why I’m doing all of this work and why it’s worth it. And that gets me moving again.

What is one tip you’d give women feeling anxious and dis-empowered in their workplace?

You have to learn how to take back control of your brain before you try to change anything else. If you just try to change your workplace, but leave your brain the same, you’ll be feeling anxious and disempowered again soon, just in a different office. You need to figure out what thoughts are making you anxious and work on changing those thoughts specifically to create more confidence and empowerment. Luckily I’ve just written a book, Take Back Your Brain, that teaches you how to do that! But you can also check out my free podcast, UnF*ck Your Brain, for more. 

Who are the women that inspire you?

I don’t really tend to think of specific people - I more think about all the women throughout history who were so marginalized and disempowered, who didn’t have financial freedom or the right to vote or even physical safety from normalized violence and abuse. What it took to survive, or even to thrive, as a woman for so much of human history … it just boggles the mind. I feel inspired to do my best work and give my all when I think about lucky I am to even be able to choose to do that. 

If you were a color, what color would you be and why?

Ooh, a blue-based hot pink or magenta, or a blue-based raspberry. The latter is the color of my custom wedding dress and it’s pretty close to the color I’d want to be. It’s bright and powerful, feminine without being too soft or girly, happy without being saccharine, and you can’t help but notice when it enters a room.