In Her Voice

7: Athlete mental health with The Sports Counselor, Leah Howard

The most important conversation surrounding athletes’ health is the one that isn’t had enough: the conversation on mental health.

In episode 7 of the herBody Podcast, Micaela, joined by her Soul Shot’s Kyla Lane, hosts Leah Howard AKA The Sports Counselor to have the important conversation and discuss all things athlete mental health.


Leah Howard is a trailblazer in the counseling profession who is changing the way athletes and others prioritize their mental health.

She works to create an environment of clarity and stability for people looking to experience a transformative process by way of therapy. She is a Board Certified Associate Professional Counselor based in the Atlanta area. 

She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Spelman College, followed by a Master of Education Degree from Georgia State University. She holds a certificate in Sports Counseling and Student Athlete Mental Wellness from California University of Pennsylvania. In addition to completing a clinical internship at Grady Memorial Hospital, she was recognized as Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services chief practicum student.

Leah is the former captain of her college tennis team and was also the Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative for her sport. Leah was interviewed and featured in the New York Times regarding her experience about her unexpected retirement from college athletics. She is a wellness contributor for Thrive Global and GladiatHers, an organization that promotes the professional achievement of women in sports. She was selected in the inaugural class of the Kevin Love Fund’s Mental Health Heroes. Leah is on the advisory board of The Hidden Opponent, an organization dedicated to student-athlete mental health. She has also been seen on Good Morning America and featured in VoyageATL as one of Atlanta’s most inspiring stories. 

Leah provides current, research-supported psychotherapy tailored most specifically to athlete concerns including but not limited to life transitions, anxiety and stress, grief and loss, social support, and relationship/family issues. Leah’s goal for her clients is that they prioritize their mental well-being and be open-minded to the therapeutic process.


Here’s what you’ll learn in episode 7 of the herBody Podcast:

  • How Leah’s love for sports and tennis began
  • How Leah found her career path helping athletes through the devastation of her college tennis career involuntarily ending
  • Advice for athletes transitioning from life as an athlete to life after sports
  • The importance of athletes taking care of their mental health at any level
  • The difference between mental health and mental illness
  • How those who support athletes (parents, coaches, health professionals, etc.) can navigate supporting athletes’ mental health
  • How coaches and personal trainers can being a mental health focus to their work with athletes
  • Why it’s important to go to therapy even before there’s an issue
  • Strategies athletes can use for their mental health and performance as they return to sports after Covid
  • How to use boundaries to protect your mental health

Mental health truly controls all that we do. If you’re not mentally in a good place then your performance will be off, your mood will be off. It’s so important to take care of your mental health because if you don’t, the response to not taking care of your mental health can be very, very hard to recover from.

– Leah Howard