Life coach Iyanla Vanzant works with those whose lives are in chaos, encouraging them to do the work necessary for real change. Through emotional heart-to-heart conversations and a large dose of tough-love, Iyanla helps individuals confront unresolved issues that are causing upheaval in their lives. Coaching her guests, Iyanla gives them the tools to fix their own lives and help them break the negative patterns that are preventing true happiness.
Iyanla seeks to begin the healing process by helping two gay pastors fully accept themselves, encouraging them to come out to those they care most about and having them acknowledge the harm caused by their deceptive pasts.
After he reached out with a letter, Pastor Derek sits down with Iyanla. He confides that he has spent years hiding his identity as a gay man. His family has shown open hostility toward gay people and he lives in fear of what would happen if his true identify were revealed to his family and his parishioners. Iyanla works to help Derek understand that his pain will continue to devour him until he faces his greatest fears, and helps him prepare him for the huge step of coming out to his family and church.
In an emotional three-episode podcast series, Iyanla travels to Louisville, Kentucky, to help two pastors whose true identities as gay men have been shrouded in years of lies, secrets and deception. The time has come for both to be true to themselves, while taking the very difficult step of coming out to the people they care about most.
Iyanla travels to the Dallas area to support a couple in the midst of a serious marriage crisis. OJ and Janetria both admit that their frequent fights turn physical, but neither seems to think this is a real problem--until Iyanla arrives on their couch and asks them to reenact their latest fight. When their petty argument about the dish drain ends with OJ's hands around his wife's neck, Iyanla kicks him out of the house. In trying to understand why Janetria chooses to stay with a man who is prone to abusive conduct, Iyanla uncovers something in Janetria's past that may hold the answer. Later, Iyanla talks with OJ about his actions, bringing him face to face with his mother and sister, who confront him about his angry behavior. By the end of Day One, OJ and Janetria both can see they've been locked in an abusive relationship for years. But whether they choose to stay together or go their separate ways is ultimately up to them.
Iyanla goes to Minneapolis to help a woman who says she feels worthless in her life as a wife and mother. Married to her husband for three years, she feels he is detached and unsupportive. Her teenage daughter says that she wishes her mother would leave him. This mom is struggling to hang on to her marriage and deal with unhappy children. She says she has become so good at masking her life that it has become the norm for how she lives her life. She doesn't know if staying in this second marriage is best for her and her children. Can Iyanla give them the tools to fix their blended family?
Former reality stars Neffeteria "Neffe" Pugh and her husband, Shelby (aka "Soullow"), return to Iyanla in an attempt to heal their broken marriage for a second time. Iyanla first meets with Neffe to understand what has changed--or what hasn't changed--since last year's healing work. After listing excuses for why she didn't complete her homework, Neffe admits she has not taken advantage of the tools and resources that Iyanla offered her last year. Neffe chose not to attend the weekend retreat that Iyanla graciously invited her to, has not stopped drinking and has refused outside help at every opportunity. Neffe also tells Iyanla that since her last visit, she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a medical professional, but is in denial that this is a possible diagnosis. After pouring destructive behaviors into their relationship, the couple finally reaches the unfortunate breakthrough they were desperately seeking, and agree to end their marriage.
Iyanla travels to Nanuet, New York, to help rapper, actor and reality TV star Saigon and his on-again, off-again lover and mother to his son, Erica Jean. Many know the couple for their tumultuous relationship, displayed on the reality series "Love & Hip Hop: New York." Anger, fighting, resentment and a failure to communicate is threatening their ability to effectively co-parent their young child, Steven. In an emotionally charged episode and a series of heart-to-heart, individual and joint sessions with Saigon and Erica, Iyanla attempts to get to the root of their dysfunction and bring these two parents together for their son's sake, before it is too late.
Iyanla works with a couple from Knoxville, Tennessee, who say they are trapped in a sexless marriage. Tiffany and Nick have been married for five years, but they admit to rarely having sex, sometimes going a full year without being intimate. Tiffany feels that the problem rests with Nick's lack of initiative. Nick says Tiffany's nagging and controlling ways turn him off. But sex is not the real problem here--painful past hurts are tearing this couple apart. Iyanla steps in to address the root causes of the couple's lack of intimacy, before their marriage dissolves.
Iyanla travels to Los Angeles to work with Bonnie, a woman whose weight has spiraled to a staggering 600 pounds, confining her to her home and bed for years. Iyanla helps Bonnie examine the emotional road that led to her health crisis, beginning with the death of her mother, and her increasingly deteriorating relationship with her daughter and caretaker, Jamesha. Through one-on-one therapy sessions with Bonnie and revealing joint sessions with Jamesha, Iyanla works to repair the mother-daughter relationship and lead Bonnie to a healthier lifestyle and loving future with her daughter.
Iyanla travels to the suburbs of Detroit to help a husband and wife who are in the midst of a breakdown. Felisha tells Iyanla that her husband's online affair has made her angry and she feels she may never be able to forgive him. Felisha's anger has also been used to cover up her well-kept secret --- her own affair from years past that could ultimately destroy their marriage. While talking with husband Don, he reveals to Iyanla that his wife accused him of deliberately causing a car accident while they were arguing, leaving her severely injured and him guilt-ridden. Iyanla realizes that both Felisha and Don have been living in their marriage with their backs to each other. She works to help them acknowledge each other's pain and to start the couple on the path of forgiveness that is essential to the survival of their relationship.
Iyanla travels to Newark, New Jersey, to help two sons who are trying to heal from a lifetime of abandonment by their father. Son Isaam tells Iyanla that he has spent decades living in pain because of his distant relationship with his father. He and his brother Chon recall how their father was in and out of their lives, sometimes disappearing for years at a time. Despite trying to mend the relationship, Issam and Chon say their father has continued to disappoint them and to lie to them. Just when they had given up for good, however, they received a phone call from a brother they never knew they had. Now, their father, John, is ready to face the sons he abandoned and finally introduce them to the brother he kept a secret for years. Iyanla's challenge is to help all four men on to the path of forgiveness, before their relationship is destroyed forever.
Iyanla hits the road to help a family in crisis in Stockbridge, Georgia. Popular radio personality "Sasha the Diva" is caught in the middle of a tumultuous relationship between her 42-year-old husband of two years, Kevin, and her 17-year-old son, Dominique. Since remarrying, Sasha's husband's harsh parenting style and her son's rebellious behavior have left the family in ruins. As the damage piles up, Iyanla intervenes to open the lines of communication among all three family members, before it is too late.
Iyanla travels to Easton, Pennsylvania, to work with Jennifer and David. Despite being married for two decades and having two sons, David admits to lying to Jennifer, cheating on her multiple times and leading a double life. Iyanla works with Jennifer and David individually and then brings them together. After David admits to a pornography addiction and cheating within the first 30 days of his marriage, Iyanla realizes that the marriage may be beyond repair.
At 21 years old, Tab Virgil, Jr., a.k.a "Turk," had it all. He was a famous rapper with the up-and-coming group Hot Boys, alongside megastar Lil Wayne. His albums were going platinum, money was abundant and he had fallen in love with his new girlfriend, Erica McClain. But only two months after meeting Erica, Turk's life fell apart when he was involved in a shootout with police in his home, leaving two officers wounded. Turk ended up spending eight years, eight months and 16 days in a federal prison for the crime. Erica remained loyal, putting her life on hold as she patiently awaited his release. In fact, Erica was so committed to standing by his side that she visited Turk every week throughout his sentence. Today, four years after Turk's release, he and Erica are now married with twins. Turk, however, still suffers from severe paranoia, stemming from his run in with police, and a fear that his former acquaintances are determined to get revenge.
Iyanla heads to New York to sit down with Evelyn Lozada, star of “Basketball Wives,” for an update after the headline-making news of the alleged domestic violence incident between her and husband, Chad Ochocinco Johnson, that resulted in Evelyn filing for divorce. Evelyn reveals to Iyanla what happened and whether or not it was the first time. Iyanla gets real with Evelyn about where she is and the truths that she needs to tell--to herself.
Weeks before the headline-making news of the alleged domestic violence incident between NFL star Chad Ochocinco Johnson and his wife, Basketball Wives reality TV star Evelyn Lozada, Iyanla Vanzant heads to Miami to support this couple. When Iyanla arrives, she finds out that Chad is a no-show. Evelyn and Iyanla explore the reasons for why her temper goes from zero to 10 in a matter of moments and what is really behind all her bad behavior. Iyanla also advises Evelyn about her marriage to Chad and pulls back the layers of who Evelyn is without him and of the reality show. Iyanla also meets Evelyn’s step daughters and mother.
Iyanla travels to Saugerties, New York, where a man's marriage and relationship with his children are hanging by a thread. Husband and father Robert became sober four years ago after a lifetime of excessive drinking. Unfortunately, his history of anger and lashing out toward his family continues, causing more distance, resentfulness and pain. Iyanla works with Robert and his wife, Donna, to remember the friendship they once shared. In an emotional moment, the family comes to grips with the damage caused by Robert’s and Donna's inability to protect daughters Lauren and Frankie during the most vulnerable moments of their lives.
Iyanla works with former "Real Housewife of Atlanta" Sheree Whitfield on her co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband, former NFL star Bob Whitfield. First, Iyanla and Bob head to the Georgia Dome to discuss Bob and Sheree's volatile relationship history. Then, in a tense and emotional conversation, Iyanla sits down with Sheree at "Chateau Sheree" to find out what's really going on behind the reality star's tough exterior. Later, Iyanla meets with the couple to talk about the role of co-parenting in spite of their contentious divorce. Secrets are exposed, truths are uncovered and emotions run high as Sheree and Bob reveal how they really feel about each other.
Iyanla stops in Shreveport, Louisiana, to help a couple in turmoil. A married pastor says that he has had affairs with women in his church and has fathered a child with one of his mistresses. His wife says she is emotionally exhausted, contemplating divorce and needs to make a decision about their future. She says that her husband has cheated on her throughout their 10-year marriage and that his infidelity has even played out publicly in the local media. She says she still loves her husband and wants to find a way for them to heal, but both are at a loss as to where they start. Can Iyanla help this couple heal?
Mickey Wright Jr., better known as Memphitz, found himself at the pinnacle of the music industry at exactly the right time: he worked as a rising executive under L.A. Reid and founded his own record label under Jive Records. He also helped establish some of today's most influential artists, including Nicki Minaj and T-Pain. After being falsely accused of domestic violence by former girlfriend, K. Michelle, Mickey was ostracized by his record label and the music industry. Eventually, his accuser recanted, but it was far too late to undo the damage done to his reputation, career and marriage. Having lost everything and without the required love and support, Mickey began to self-medicate using a cocktail of drugs. With her only son's life spiraling out of control, Mickey's mother, Francis, wrote in to Iyanla in hopes of getting clarity around Mickey's struggles and help to get his life back on track.
Iyanla travels to San Antonio, Texas, to help two sisters, Barbara and Geneva, who are in total breakdown—one was raised uptown by loving, affluent parents; the other was raised downtown in the housing projects. Fifty-eight-year-old businesswoman Barbara wants to rebuild the relationship with the sister she says was sleeping with her boyfriend for years, eventually having a second child with him. For Barbara, her sister's actions were unforgivable, but Iyanla understands there are always two sides to every story. Meeting on neutral ground at a rental home outside San Antonio, Iyanla brings the two sisters together with the hope of helping each sister see the other from a new and different perspective. Later, Iyanla sits down with Geneva's daughter Antoinette (whose father was Barbara's boyfriend) and discovers that Antoinette is repeating her mother’s negative cycle, including getting pregnant at a young age.
Iyanla travels to Chicago to work with two co-dependent sisters, Charese and Andrea. Charese increasingly finds herself torn between dedicating the time needed to be a mom and future wife to her fiancé, and caring for her irresponsible sister, Andrea. In a private sit-down, Iyanla discusses with Charese the situation with her sister. Charese reveals that she has felt responsible for Andrea since they were young, because they were neglected by their addict mother. Iyanla also works with Andrea and helps her to finally admit that she has a drinking problem. Andrea says it is hard for her to admit her issues with addiction, because she does not want to repeat the past mistakes of her mother. In an emotional episode, Iyanla must not only address the wounds of the sisters' past, but also persuade Andrea to take full responsibility for her future and to get help for her problems with alcohol, freeing her sister Charese to live her own life.
Arica Adams, better known as "Hazel-E," is a reality television star formerly featured on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. As her fame began to rise with the show's ratings, her haters grew louder, putting her insecurities to the test. Eventually, Hazel-E publicly imploded on social media with a series of unhinged, racist rants that led to her dismissal from the series. Following her departure, Hazel-E pursued a music career that featured sexually explicit lyrics and provocative music videos, once again attracting fame for all the wrong reasons. Today, Arica is hoping to unmask her own vicious cycle of negative behavior and find better ways to express herself in an effort to mature the dysfunctional little girl that still lives within her.
Iyanla travels to Birmingham, Alabama, to work with daughters Kim and Annette, whose relationship with their mother, Charlene, is at a breaking point. As little girls, the sisters felt their mother traded being a good parent for relationships with men who were often controlling and even abusive to them. Years later, unresolved issues from their painful past threaten to destroy Kim and Annette's relationship with their mother, who is broke, alone and dependent on their support. In an emotional process, Iyanla works to reopen the lines of communication between the three women and helps hold Charlene accountable for her parenting missteps, before it's too late.
Iyanla travels to Birmingham, Alabama to work with daughters Kim and Annette whose relationship with their mother Charlene is at a breaking point. As little girls, the sisters felt their mother traded being a good parent for relationships with men who were often controlling and even abusive to them. Years later, unresolved issues from their painful past threaten to destroy Kim and Annette's relationship with their mother, who is broke and alone and dependent on their support. In an emotional process, Iyanla works to reopen the lines of communication between the three women and helps hold Charlene accountable for her parenting missteps, before it's too late.