Welcome, Soul Minimalist!

This is a weekly newsletter for anyone who:

  • wants a simpler, more accessible way to practice your faith in your actual life

  • wants to explore unconventional spiritual practices to support soulful decision-making (without pressure, guilt, or eye rolls)

  • is a spiritual director or holds curiosity about the art and practice of spiritual direction

  • listens to me talk on The Next Right Thing podcast and wishes you could talk back

So what is a soul minimalist? 

In the same way a minimalist might ask What am I holding on to?, a soul minimalist asks What has a hold on me? 

Those things that clutter up the soul can be hard to know and name because they are (mostly) invisible. But if someone else knows and names their own soul clutter, it can be easier to see your own. 

Hi! I'll be that someone.

Here is a space that isn’t as public as the internet or as private as email. As an avid reader of newsletters on Substack, creating one for us was my next right thing.

I’m an author living in North Carolina where I’ve been since college when I graduated with a degree in Educational Interpreting for the Deaf. I’ve written several books, most recently The Next Right Thing (2019) and The Next Right Thing Guided Journal (2021). That book (and journal) started as a podcast by the same name in the summer of 2017 and now has over 23 million downloads. I continue to be fascinated by how the decision-making process forms us, starting in the soul.

Two other hats I wear besides author and podcast host are as teacher and spiritual director. Twice a year I spend a week at Friends University (where I received my masters in spiritual formation) to serve as a residency lecturer for their Masters in Christian Spiritual Formation and Leadership program. And every week here in North Carolina, I sit 1:1 as a spiritual director with beautiful humans, bearing witness to their life with God, in all of its sacred complication.

I’m also a mom with three teenagers and a glad partner to John, my husband of twenty-two years.

For many years I’ve been writing on the internet, starting back in the days before social media when we made up cute names for our blogs. When I think of myself back then, I don’t know whether to roll my eyes or bless my heart, but one thing I got right was a tagline: I create space for your soul to breathe.

Five books, one podcast, and seventeen years later, I still hope that one line describes my work best. 

Why subscribe?

This newsletter is a way to continue the conversation I start on the podcast. Your support makes it possible for me to continue to keep the podcast ad-free. Thank you and you’re welcome.

For $5/month you get access to weekly essays, comment conversation, a private instagram account, and a quarterly virtual gathering with me for live Q+As (Questions + Arrows, because answers are way too stressful). 

At this time my primary focus will be to provide content for paid subscribers, with occasional public posts for those who subscribe at the free level. If you have been receiving my free monthly letter 3 Questions + 3 Books, nothing will change there!

If you're in a season where money is a concern, please let us know. Email info@emilypfreeman.com and put “scholarship” in the subject line and we’ll sort things out. If you want to be here, we want you to be here.

And to anyone who would like to support the scholarship fund for those who are unable to afford it, you can subscribe as a founding member. 

If the list of things you know for sure is shrinking and the list of what you’re learning is growing, whether you consider yourself to be a person of faith, whether your beliefs are deeply rooted or recently uprooted, whether you closely identify with a particular Christian tradition or are just spiritually curious, these are the things I like to explore in the context of discernment and decision-making.

I look forward to sharing more about my own decision-making processes, telling the stories beneath the stories, and hosting conversations about the things that keep us stuck in our faith, work, and life.

I hope you’ll find welcome here,


Subscribe to The Soul Minimalist

Continuing the conversation about discerning our next right thing in faith, work, and life for those who want to move beyond the pro/con list.


Emily P. Freeman 

WSJ Bestselling Author | Spiritual Director | Soul Minimalist. I help people discern their next right thing.