Kristi Hugstad (The Grief Girl)

For all of Kristi Hugstad’s adult life, she had one clear goal: to provide the highest opportunity for fitness and health to everyone who walks into her studio or gym—a feat she accomplished daily for years until an unimaginable day in October 2012 when in one tragic moment everything changed.

In the wake of epic grief, Kristi’s life has found a new trajectory. She discovered a deep desire to inspire and help those in need, not just physically but emotionally, psychologically, and even spiritually. Her mission now is to reach out to those wrestling with grief and offer the opportunity to find a safe place to confront their pain and fears, to address them, change them, and ultimately move through them to a new perspective and new life.

A lifelong athlete and fitness professional, Kristi opened the first spinning studio in Orange County, California, in 1995, and has been at the forefront of nearly every major fitness evolution in Southern California ever since. She is without match the quintessential fitness and health trendsetter in O.C.

A native of Minnesota, Kristi holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, trained in all forms of loss including loss of career, relationships, death, but with special emphasis on issues related to suicide. In 2014, Kristi began facilitating grief recovery workshops for groups and individual therapy. She has quickly become an in-demand public speaker about suicide prevention and grief for schools and civic groups throughout Southern California.

Kristi’s writing has appeared in a number of newspapers and media outlets including The Huffington Post. In April 2019, she was featured on an episode of the CBS show, “The Doctors.” She has a robust social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where she has more than 50,000 followers.

Her book, Beneath the Surface, offers teens practical information on identifying and coping with mental illness, as well as resources for getting help. You can pre-order Beneath the Surface on Amazon to arm your child with the mental health information she needs to navigate—and enjoy—the difficult teen years.

Latest from Kristi Hugstad (The Grief Girl)

April 4, 2020

Lockdown blues? Here’s how to fight depression while you’re hunkering down.

February 12, 2020

3 Ways to Grieve your Heroes—even the Ones you’ve Never Met.

January 16, 2020

Real life isn’t a movie. But for many, this movie is real life.

August 7, 2019

School’s In, Pressure’s On. Here’s How to Cope With It.

July 17, 2019

If you care about your Child’s Mental Health, read this before Back-to-School.

June 10, 2019

What I Learned about Mental Health after my Husband Committed Suicide.

May 22, 2019

What I know now about Mental Health could have Saved my Husband.