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How to live a healthy spiritual life

In partnership with Luke McLeod

Want improved wellbeing? Luke shares his top tips

A woman with curly hair and glasses kneeling on a yoga mat wearing green and white activewear
A woman with curly hair and glasses kneeling on a yoga mat wearing green and white activewear

What makes a happy life? It’s a question many of us find ourselves asking from time to time.

Certainly, we can get pleasure out of material objects – from houses and cars, to gadgets and clothes – and enjoy professional fulfilment from jobs. But for many people, incorporating spirituality into their lives gives them a higher sense of purpose and increased feelings of serenity.

What is a healthy spiritual life?

“People who have a strong sense of spirituality often feel genuinely content and at peace with their lives,” says Luke McLeod a meditation guide and founder of the Soul Alive app.

“It doesn’t mean they don’t have goals or aspirations,” he notes. “It just means they have a good appreciation for life itself and a perspective that ups and downs are part of the journey, and they don’t get too caught up in everything.”

Importantly, while spirituality may promote feelings of peace and improved wellbeing, it has also been recognised to make a positive impact on reducing antisocial behaviour, substance abuse and suicide rates.

What’s the difference between spirituality and religion?

Luke sees spirituality as more of an individual inner journey, and one to be taken with an open mind.

“Spirituality encourages a sense of freedom to be introspective and to explore all the different things that you want to. It lets you listen to that inner voice asking you – ‘Why am I here? What am I doing? What’s this all about?’”

Whereas religion has more principles, guidelines and frameworks to follow. But Luke notes that many people find having structure like this is helpful when trying to incorporate religious or spiritual aspects into their lives.

30-year old man wearing a maroon shirt staring out his apartment window

What’s a sign that I may benefit from a more spiritual life?

The people Luke works with often have a “feeling of uneasiness” in their lives that they can’t quite put their finger on. “There’s just an undercurrent of anxiety about their day-to-day,” he says. “They don’t know where it’s coming from – it’s just there and they want to fix it.”

They also might feel a bit lost, which can lead to feeling flat or lacking in motivation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge driver of stress by putting us into confronting and life-changing situations, Luke says.

“When we have those big changes in our environment… it puts us in a space of wanting to find some answers for how to feel better or help the way we’re feeling.”

Indeed, Australians experienced a renewed spiritual search during the pandemic, with research showing it prompted almost half of Australians (47%) to think more about the meaning of life or their own mortality.

Things you can do to encourage a healthy spiritual life

Meditation is Luke’s top pick as a way to become more spiritual. “It’s a great universal practice. Some people associate it with religion, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. It’s a simple exercise that anyone can do in their own time and in their own environment.”

His next tip? Get into nature. “Going for a swim in the ocean or going for a bush walk opens the sense of curiosity about what’s going on around us.” Being in nature can instantly prompt feelings of calm and sense of connection, he adds.

Meanwhile, expressing gratitude and journalling are other easy ways to connect with your inner, more spiritual self. “Do a bit of a self-audit of your own emotions about how you’re feeling,” Luke advises. “Ask yourself questions about what’s in your control, and what isn’t.”

Keep your spiritual journey on track

Luke recommends scheduling in time each day for your spiritual practice. He notes that one of the features of Soul Alive, is to send daily reminders to check in with your inner self.

“We’re exposed to stress every day, so we have to prioritise that time to restore the balance.”

The more you practice, the more you will pull your mind out of “thinking mode” so you can better connect with the here and now, he says. “Once the mind is calmer and quieter, you’ll notice that inner voice starts to bubble up.”

“It creates this sense of curiosity for you to explore a deeper purposeful life,” Luke says. “And that’s a huge benefit because that can lead to some really cool and interesting outcomes.”

Please note: The tips throughout this article serve as broad information and should not replace any advice you have been given by your medical practitioner. 

Luke McLeod wearing a beige sweater and white pants smiling at the camera

In partnership with

Luke McLeod

was first introduced to Aussies through his appearance on The Bachelorette, but these days it’s his spiritual work that he’s better known for. Luke, founder of the Soul Alive meditation app, began meditating in 2010 to help control his work stress and improve his focus – and says it has helped him navigate many personal challenges. Since studying meditation in India, Luke has been teaching this spiritual practice to corporate audiences and everyday Aussies alike. Luke’s go-to coffee order is a large oat cappuccino and his secret talent is plant whispering – it’s rumoured that any plant will prosper in his presence.