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From Burnout to Breakthrough: Dr. Haley D. Quinn's Journey to Sustainable Success

I have to tell you about another amazing person with an amazing story. In episode #133 of the You're Blank, What Now? Podcast, I had the pleasure to interview the amazing Dr. Hayley Quinn.

Dr. Hayley D. Quinn is an anti-burnout business coach for service-based business owners, a supervisor for psychologists and allied health professionals, a trainer, and a clinical psychologist. Originally from the UK and now based in Australia, she hosts the “Welcome to Self® with Dr Hayley D Quinn" podcast.

Her journey from solo parent to thriving business owner is a testament to resilience and the power of sustainable self-care. Dr. Quinn's mission is to help others achieve their business goals without compromising their well-being.

A Life of Transformation

Hayley’s story is one of transformation and triumph. Growing up in the UK, she often felt out of place and disconnected from herself and the world around her. At 25, she made an impulsive decision to move to Australia, a choice that would become one of the best decisions of her life.

Early Struggles and Self-Discovery

Hayley describes her early years as challenging, marked by a lack of self-compassion and a critical self-view. Diagnosed later in life as autistic with ADHD, she reflects on how these neurodivergent traits influenced her experiences and relationships. Understanding these aspects of herself earlier could have made a significant difference, but her journey of self-discovery and acceptance came later, shaping her into the compassionate and insightful person she is today.

Overcoming Adversity

Hayley’s resilience is evident in her personal life as well. After leaving a domestic violence relationship when her son was just nine months old, she faced the daunting task of rebuilding her life as a single mother. Despite the fear and uncertainty, she persevered, finding support in friendships and a dedicated GP.

Educational Pursuits

Determined to create a better future for herself and her son, Hayley returned to education. She pursued a Bachelor of Psychology, followed by an honors degree and a clinical PhD. Balancing multiple part-time jobs and full-time studies, she demonstrated remarkable perseverance and dedication. In this part of our conversation, Dr. Haley shares her inspiring journey from dropping out of school to earning a PhD, emphasizing the importance of self-compassion, changing self-narratives, and establishing healthy boundaries.

Career and Passion

Through her experiences, Hayley has cultivated a passion for self-care, compassion, and sustainable work practices. She has redesigned her business structure to support her well-being and now helps others do the same. Her work focuses on helping people achieve their business goals without burning out, emphasizing that thriving personally leads to thriving professionally.

Discovering Self-Worth

Dr. Hayley opens up about the turning point in her educational journey. Initially labeled a school dropout, she was encouraged by lecturers to pursue postgraduate studies. This encouragement led her to a clinical PhD program, a rigorous combination of a two-year master's and a three-year research PhD. It wasn't until her fourth year that she truly realized her intellectual capabilities, acknowledging, "I'm not stupid. I actually have a high level of intelligence."

This realization was transformative, helping her shed the derogatory label of "school dropout." The journey was challenging, but it also forged beautiful friendships and allowed her precious time with her son.

Words of Wisdom

Reflecting on her journey, Hayley shares profound advice for her younger self and others facing similar challenges. She emphasizes the importance of self-compassion, understanding, and the courage to make difficult decisions. Her story is a powerful reminder that growth often comes from the most challenging experiences.

The Power of Words and Self-Compassion

Dr. Hayley emphasizes the impact of self-narratives on our feelings and decisions. She advocates for treating oneself with the same compassion one would extend to a best friend. "If your best friend was telling you your story, would you speak to them the way you speak to yourself?" she asks. The answer is invariably no, highlighting the need for self-compassion.

Changing the narrative we tell ourselves is crucial. Dr. Hayley underscores, "If you want something different than where you're at today, you've got to change the things that you're thinking and what you're saying to yourself."

Coping with Burnout and Chronic Illness

Balancing multiple roles—mother, student, and worker—took a toll on Dr. Hayley's health. Despite her efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, she eventually faced significant burnout and was diagnosed with chronic illness. This forced her to leave a beloved practice and set up a home-based practice with a minimal caseload. Transitioning to a plant-based diet and re-evaluating her self-care practices played a crucial role in her recovery.

Embracing Vulnerability and Support

Dr. Hayley speaks candidly about the struggle of moving from pseudo-independence to accepting help. Her lowest point in health coincided with a profound personal transformation during a compassion-focused therapy training. This experience allowed her to connect with her compassionate self, realizing her inherent worth and embracing a more compassionate relationship with herself.

This journey involved recognizing her internalized ableism and self-critical tendencies. She learned to accept that she is "worthwhile and lovable, no matter what I'm doing or what I'm not doing, or what I'm capable of." This shift in perspective was pivotal in her healing process.


Dr. Hayley's journey underscores the significance of self-compassion, the power of changing self-narratives, and the importance of establishing boundaries. Her story is a testament to resilience, personal growth, and the transformative power of compassion-focused therapy.

For more insights and to connect with Dr. Hayley, visit her website at and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn under Dr. Hayley D. Quinn. Additionally, check out her podcast, which delves into self-care, self-compassion, and sustainable ways of working, offering valuable lessons for everyone, not just business owners.

Don't forget to grab the free boundaries guide at to start implementing healthy boundaries in your life today. Remember, the journey to self-compassion and a more fulfilling life begins with small, intentional steps.

Thank you for participating on this journey of resilience and transformation. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast for more inspiring episodes.

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