Robyn Moreno Got Burnt Out Working in Media, So She Turned to Storytelling and Curanderismo

Gabrielle Gerard
Photo Illustration: Michelle Alfonso
Gabrielle Gerard
Photo Illustration: Michelle Alfonso

Robyn Moreno is that Latina you want to be friends with. She is a mom, wife, proud Tex-Mexican, storyteller, curanderismo practitioner, and champion of women and Latines everywhere. Need I say more? But aside from the many labels associated with this fierce Latina, the real beauty is in how Moreno has taken charge of her life, creating a path all her own.

"I'm a storyteller at heart and have enjoyed a 20-plus-year career in media working across platforms," Moreno tells POPSUGAR. "I started as a fact checker in magazines and worked my way up to editor in chief."

Throughout her career, Moreno helped launch magazines and digital lifestyle sites. She had a successful career as an Emmy-nominated TV host and producer, contributing to shows like the "Today" show. She also wrote, contributed to, and edited four books, including her most recent one, "Get Rooted: Reclaim Your Soul, Serenity, and Sisterhood Through the Healing Medicine of the Grandmothers," which was released on June 6.

The title of her book is serendipitous. It's essentially the medicine she needed after a successful yet extremely demanding career in media.

"Several years ago now, I experienced severe burnout, and what I would call a 'crisis of Spirit."

"Several years ago now, I experienced severe burnout, and what I would call a 'crisis of Spirit,'" she recalls. "I was working full-time in NYC, commuting four hours a day while trying to raise two small kids. I was completely overwhelmed: overworking, overdrinking, and people close to me were also struggling. It was a personal low point."

Gabrielle Gerard

As is often true with spiritual awakenings, Moreno had to experience her low point in order to be lifted to her most high self and embrace what she was truly meant to do and be in this life.

"I felt lost and confused, and in that time of deep distress, I believe I sent out an SOS to the universe. Curanderismo, the ancestral medicina of my grandmothers, answered and came back into my life to help lead me back home," Moreno says.

The healing journey began on the path of curanderismo, a holistic system of Latin American folk medicine, which includes traditional beliefs, rituals, and practices that address the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of the people who use it. Moreno initially walked this path alone, with the help of her ancestors, and kept what she was learning to herself. She felt the need to protect these sacred practices because she was scared and didn't want to be influenced by other people's opinions, something that occurred often in her past. She also didn't know where the path would lead her, so she gifted herself with the time, space, and privacy she needed to explore these newfound experiences without societal expectations blurring the path.

"Initially, many family and friends didn't understand what curanderismo was and were confused about what I was doing," she recalls. "I think they thought I was just having a midlife crisis. But as I became more rooted into my practice and my Ser (self-knowing), I began to root into myself and began to share my experiences."

Her years in the media were essential to her journey. They prepared her with the confidence and knowledge to launch successful, public-facing projects that were more fulfilling than ever before. These were projects that were backed by her ancestors, who helped to guide her every step of the way and quiet the voice of self-doubt that was still trying hard to be heard.

"I wasn't sure this was the right path for me; I wanted to give up many times. It was too hard. I was well into my 40s and found myself a beginner again."

"I had a lot of doubts. I think anyone does, honestly, when they walk a new path," she says. "I wasn't sure this was the right path for me; I wanted to give up many times. It was too hard. I was well into my 40s and found myself a beginner again."

In order to respect the ancient wisdom traditions she was learning, Moreno needed to humble herself and lean into the teachings of her ancestors with vulnerability and an open heart, understanding that these lessons cannot be absorbed in a day or over a weekend. This was a lifestyle shift that would change her human experience forever.

"My great-grandmother was a practicing curandera, so I have grown up with curanderismo," Moreno says. "My mother believed in the power of curanderismo, and she and my stepdad would recommend egg limpias and other things when I was troubled or ailing."

It wasn't until Moreno was older and already established in her media career that she began understanding the complexity, efficacy, and sacredness of these spiritual traditions that were so deeply embedded in the fabric of her family's ways.

"My ancestors, and so many, sacrificed, and hid and adapted and fought to keep these practices and teachings alive," Moreno says. "I bow in deep honor and respect for all those who came before."

Aside from her new book, Moreno currently hosts a popular podcast called "Get Rooted With Robyn Moreno," which is available on Spotify, Apple, and everywhere podcasts are played. Through this platform, she interviews notable guests about their own spiritual journeys. She also writes a weekly newsletter where she shares insights and practices people can incorporate into their lives to improve spiritual wellness.

While she opens up the pathways to access the knowledge and lessons of her ancestors through her creative projects, Moreno knows the journey has and always will begin with her healing and balance first.

"Being spiritual means to be with Spirit. To be quiet so I can hear and feel the voices of my ancestors who are always guiding me," she says, adding the advice she would give to her 20-year-old self.

"I am so proud of you. Keep that fire. Keep going! You have no idea all that is in store for you! You will fall, but you will always get up," she advises her younger self. "The world can hurt, but you'll find its beauty is bigger than its heartbreak. Life will surprise you; YOU will surprise you; keep going!"