Every morning, Atlanta listeners – and listeners in cities across the Southeast – can hear Kristin Klingshirn on "The Bert Show," bantering with the boys, Bert Weiss and Jeff Dauler, and recapping the latest pop culture news. Longtime listeners know that underneath this UK grad's fun-loving exterior, she's an insightful woman who brings a great deal of compassion and perspective to her time on the air. "Once radio gets in your blood, it's there to stay," she says. "I truly feel this is what I'm supposed to be doing, and I am beyond grateful that I actually get to live out this dream." She recently sat down with Best Self Atlanta to reflect on her 12 years in radio, her favorite sweets and sweat sessions in Atlanta, and the lessons she's learned along the way.
You mentioned your anxiety on the air a few weeks ago.
How did you recognize it, and how do you control it?
Of all things, it was a Buzzfeed list called "24 Things Only Anxious People Understand." Some examples from the list are "Your anxiety causes actual physical discomfort and pain" and "You are never really 'in the moment.'" I was able to check off practically everything on the list. At that moment, I was ready to finally do something about it. That's when I went back to therapy, changed my diet and became diligent about working out on a regular basis. There's still more I'd like to do. This is a process that takes time, and you can't fix anxiety overnight.
What aid have you found to be the most effective?
Hands down, therapy has helped me the most. Dr. Susan Rudnicki has opened my eyes in ways I didn't know were possible.
What advice do you have for other women dealing with anxiety?
I want to abolish the stigma of mental illness, whether it's depression or anxiety or any other disorder. So I encourage all women to seek advice and help. It doesn't mean you're weak if you ask for help. If anything, it means quite the opposite since you are tackling your struggles head on.
What are your favorite workouts?
I'm in love with hot yoga. I make sure to go to Red Hot Yoga at least once a week. For 60 minutes, I'm so focused on the poses that I literally think of nothing else. It's blissful. I also work with a personal trainer at Roc House Fitness, Takeela, and I adore her. Her upbeat, positive attitude is exactly what I need.
What are your favorite ways to indulge your sweet tooth?
Now we're talking! I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Butter pecan ice cream. My mom's Three Day Coconut Cake is to die for. I could go on
What are your favorite traits of your co-hosts, Bert and Jeff?
I affectionately call them the older brothers I never wanted because I do see them as family. I appreciate Jeff's wit and comedic timing, and Bert is one of the most loyal people you will ever meet. I value their friendship and feel truly honored that I get to work alongside them every morning as they are both so freaking talented. I hope they don't read this because their heads will be too big to fit through the studio door.
Tell us about this year's Bert's Big Adventure trip.
It's always the highlight of my year! Bert's Big Adventure takes chronic and terminally ill kids to Disney World, and the entire family gets to come. You pick up a different vibe from each trip, and this year it was independence and determination from the kids and their families. I remember Lali in her wheelchair cruising through the Magic Kingdom, determined to ride Peter Pan. She refused to sit in her dad's lap – she was going to experience the ride like every other kid at Disney. I always say "The Bert Show" pays the bills, but Bert's Big Adventure pays the soul.
What lessons have you learned from "The Bert Show" over the years?
The most important lesson I've learned is not to be so quick to judge. You will never fully understand what a person is going through or what they've experienced in life that makes them say or do a certain thing. We can be so quick to judge one another, so try to show compassion and kindness even when most don't think it's warranted.
What have you learned about yourself over the course of your career?
I'm a much stronger woman than I ever gave myself credit for.