Susan Woods, wellness coach. Photo by Martin Boling


Although she has always had a desire to help people, Susan Woods says experiencing her own health crisis took her work as a health and wellness coach to a new level.

An Indiana University graduate, Woods, 56, worked in environmental management before earning a second master’s degree in applied health science in 2009. She added additional training in lifestyle coaching and wellness coaching and worked for the Monroe County YMCA and IU until June 2018, when she opened The Wellness Circle. About that same time, she began experiencing headaches.

“The pain was unbearable,” Woods says. “The doctor decided it was migraines, but the medication just made everything worse.” A neurologist ordered an MRI, and on March 25, 2019, Woods had a craniotomy to remove two benign tumors from her brain.

“It was a huge trauma to my body,” Woods says. “I thought I was dealing with migraines and, 10 days after the MRI, my head was being cut open.”

Woods says her health crisis only increased her recognition that everyone faces challenges. It also increased her passion for helping people realize they are capable of creating change in their lives. Stress reduction, sleep improvement, nutrition, weight loss, and budgeting are just some of
the topics related to health and wellness that might be addressed through coaching.

“The role of a wellness coach is to listen, ask questions, and reflect,” Woods explains. “I don’t give advice, analyze problems, or prescribe solutions. The relationship with the client is collaborative in nature, more of a partnership. We develop an action plan and they decide where they want to go and how they want to get there.”

Coaching is available by the hour or in packages, for individuals, businesses, or in group sessions. “I love group coaching,” Woods says. “In a group, everyone helps coach a little bit. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t all working on the same problems—the methods we use to reach our goals are similar.”

While it shouldn’t take a health crisis for people to care about wellness, Woods says it often does. “Unfortunately, I think people take their health for granted, and it should be a priority, every day,” she says.

The Wellness Circle is located in Fountain Square Mall, Suite 012. For more information, visit