Muscle & Heart Retreat – 7 Days – The Big Island of Hawaii

MUSCLE & HEART is a writing, yoga, and fitness retreat.

It’s a chance to spend some quality time with a writing project that feels important to you — like a book, blog, speech, screenplay, e-course, or website — in a beautiful, uplifting setting.

You’ll stay in a historic mansion in Hilo, a charming seaside town on the Big Island of Hawaii. All activities and meals are included.

Delicious food. Yoga in the sunshine. Black sand beaches. Soaking in mineral pools. Inspiring writing classes. Hiking. Waterfalls. Lots of free time to think, write, and exhale. You’ll leave feeling strong, recharged, and inspired.


– April 2-9, 2018

– July 15-22, 2018

– January 7-14, 2019 [sold out]


Attending this retreat is $3,800 – $4,950, depending on which bedroom you choose. (You can divide your payment into a series of monthly installments, if you like. To reserve a room, head over here.)

Your payment includes everything listed below:

— 7 nights accommodation. Private bedroom in a spacious house on the Wailuku River.

— 7 morning workouts. Wake up with energizing yoga/fitness classes in the sunshine, outside on the lanai.

— 7 evening meditation/stretching sessions. Wind down with restorative yoga just before bedtime, surrounded by flickering candlelight.

— Breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Healthy, nutritious, tasty food. Vegetarian and gluten-free options: always available.

— Writing classes. Inspiring writing classes every day, followed by 4 hours of independent time to work on your project.

— Island adventures. Beach trip. Farmer’s Market. Hula lesson with a legendary teacher. Soaking in hot mineral pools. Hiking to Akaka Falls.

— A full-body massage. 60-minute massage with a phenomenal local healer.

— Airport pick-up, drop-off, and transportation around the island. No need to rent a car. Just get yourself to Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the Big Island of Hawaii. We’ll pick you up and whisk you everywhere you need to be.

— Thoughtful details. Coconut bath salts to soak your muscles after a long day. Fresh flowers by your bed. Postcards and stamps to mail a note back home. Lots of love.

— 6 weeks of writing coaching, feedback, and encouragement after the retreat ends. Keep the creativity and momentum alive… even after you leave the island.


Alexandra Franzen is an author, entrepreneur, and writing coach/consultant.

Alexandra’s writing has been featured on websites like Time, Forbes, HuffPo, Newsweek, and Lifehacker, as well as in song lyrics, and stenciled onto fine art paintings. She’s been mentioned in places like The New York Times Small Business Blog, BuzzFeed, and Inc.

She has led writing workshops and retreats in 18 cities around the world. One of her events was named one of the “50 Best Conferences to Attend This Year” by The Muse.

Her latest book is You’re Going to Survive, a collection of true stories about dealing with discouraging experiences at work — and staying optimistic, no matter what. You can learn more about Alex here, and you’ll find her books over here.


To reserve your bedroom, please fill out this quick form. You’ll get a response in 1-2 days. If you have any questions, please send a note to: Thank you!


You’ve registered for the retreat, but now you can’t make it? Oh no!

– If you’re canceling because you’re dealing with a serious illness/medical crisis, we can give you a refund, switch you into another retreat (if there’s space), or figure out some other arrangement that works for you.

– If you’re canceling for any other reason (“I changed my mind,” “I forgot to book my flight,” “I feel too nervous to show up,” “I didn’t coordinate childcare,” “My lawn needs to be watered,”)… you will not receive a refund. This is a firm policy. Thank you for understanding.


“Alex has a magical way of creating a space so full of creativity, kindness, support and inspiration. I adored each moment and left feeling soooooo expanded — my heart wide open and ready to unleash the best I have to offer. I cannot wait to come back!”
–Alexa Fischer, Founder of

“This week with Alex — and an amazing group of people — has been more than a ‘writing retreat’. To me, it was a little bubble outside of the hustle and bustle that helped me concentrate on what is truly essential and important to me. Alex’s calm and loving energy is like a balm on the heart. And meeting the other retreat participants has been such an inspiration. We all felt taken care of, with delicious food, yoga everyday, adventures, and plenty of time to write. This retreat provides time to take care of yourself — and your writing project. Come along, you won’t regret it! (Thank you Alex for a lovely experience!)”
–Lyvia Cairo, writer, motivational speaker,

“So I’d been wanting to write a bonk for yonks and had a shedload of ideas swimming about my head but doing stuff all about it.

Until I saw Alex’s offer for Muscle & Heart retreat in Hawaii and then couldn’t sign up quick enough as I knew this would be the catalyst for finally extracting those swimming book thoughts and committing to paper.

The surprise came was the actual retreat itself — the serene setting, the awesome people, the amazing yoga with Molly, the delicious food and the goddess of kindness Alex herself that all helped birth my tiny book. I got so much more than the book being written — although that would have been MORE than enough — I got to hang out with the BEST people, have deep, funny and fulfilling conversations, sat by waterfalls, learnt to hula, and hit the major reset button on my life.

Alex runs the best retreat — full of lovely surprises, gives so much thoughtful feedback and support and runs a daily class on writing. She lovingly encourages you to express yourself and all the excuses you had for not writing or why your idea is rubbish just dissolves.

This retreat was the one of the best investments I’ve ever made in myself and my creative practise. I’d go again in a heartbeat!”
–Fiona Jefferies, Owner of Diva Works, marketing/design agency based in Australia

“Starting the year with this retreat felt spacious and inspiring. Not only have I got a headstart on a very dear project, but thanks to Alexandra and the extraordinary people she attracts, I also came back with my entire year mapped out, exciting, ambitious goals to look forward to, and an unshakeable confidence in my work and myself.”
–Laure Jouteau, Founder of

“In addition to being to being a writer who loves the world with her words, and a writing coach who inspires with every thought, exercise, and encouraging word, Alexandra Franzen is an Experience Designer of the highest caliber! I had to ask her to pinch me multiple times so I knew I wasn’t dreaming! I felt luxuriously cared for, in body, mind and spirit. I met the smartest and sweetest folks writing and yoga-ing and eating like Queens right along side me. Not only did I get into a groove on my oracle deck writing project, but I am bringing my renewed sense of beauty and ease and exquisite self-care that Muscle & Heart gave me a template for, back home with me. Thank You, Alex!”
–Kellita Maloof, Award-winning dancer and performer, Founder of Showgirl Awakening,

“This trip has been such an incredible reminder of what’s possible in life, on a daily basis. Waking to the sounds of nature, moving our bodies in ways that feel good and make us strong (even while recovering from injuries!), delicious meals and conversations, daily adventures, AND time blocked out to do the work we’re meant to be doing in the world. I had so much fun AND I got lots of work done!”
–Laura Sprinkle, Branding, web design, and product launch specialist,

“When I signed up for Muscle & Heart, I had doubts I could be genuinely sparked out of my stubborn perfectionism. I had doubts the time and investment would really bring lasting effects for how I see myself as a writer and what I could get done. I have no more doubts. I don’t expect it to ever be effortless, but this retreat really created a monumental shift in how I’m envisioning myself — a shift that will take me anywhere I want to go. I couldn’t have predicted a greater outcome. You do really good stuff, Alex. You’ve got a fan for life.”
–Katie Gertsch, Reservations and Marketing Manager at Purcell Heli-Skiing,

“I have come back from the retreat with this re-connection to my personal writing voice that I had almost been afraid to hope I could find again. It feels so damn good to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and express myself for both my business and for myself. And thank you, Alex, for offering to continue to work with us for a few more weeks afterwards. It helps me to stay on track knowing that you will be there to give me some constructive feedback and cheering me on. So very happy!”
–Valerie Tookes, Holistic Health Coach,

All photos by: Danielle Cohen.