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You can do hard things, Adrienne Herbert

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Adrienne Herbert was a professional dancer with much to look forward to — a new husband and a new baby — when her husband’s sudden illness turned their lives upside down. Adrienne took up running as a way to get out of the door and get her energy back. She now runs road races and […]

Depression doesn’t define me, Oliver Chittenden

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Two years after Head Talks’ launch, we turn to founder Oliver Chittenden to hear his own story of his mental health struggles. Now meditation is key, especially the discipline of making it a part of a daily routine, adding that 10 day silent retreats have been a game-changer. Oliver is also a fan of cold-water […]

Life after, life with, Alice Liveing

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Alice Liveing is a personal trainer, author and wellbeing influencer. She experienced depression and anxiety after several years of suppressing memories of an abusive relationship, and went through panic attacks and night terrors. Now, Alice says, she knows that she can get back up and come through those feelings. Alice tells us that it took […]

Busy Doing Nothing?, Claudia Hammond

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Claudia Hammond’s new book, The Art of Rest, looks at how we can learn to rest better and use rest to recharge ourselves more effectively. As an author, broadcaster and psychology lecturer, Claudia is undoubtedly a busy person. She’s learnt that taking breaks to do something you enjoy, such as gardening in her case, can […]

How it is and how it goes, Karl Lokko

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Karl Lokko grew up on a south London estate where gang violence was all around him. He saw friends killed and became involved in crime himself, until he managed to turn his life around. Now he’s a mentor, campaigner and poet. Karl says he knew little about mental health when he was younger and that […]

Learning to trust my brain again, Scarlett Curtis

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Scarlett Curtis is a writer, podcaster and activist. Her new book, It’s not OK to feel blue (and other lies), is a collection of writings on mental health from high-profile figures. Scarlett tells us about how she gets through some of her own dark times — they’re less frequent now, fortunately, but still affect her […]

Paws for thought, Professor Jo Williams (and Boomer)

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An estimated 10% of youngsters in the UK have had an official diagnosis of a mental health condition. “The complexities of modern life add further cognitive strain and we are seeing a rise in these diagnoses,” says Professor Jo Williams from the University of Edinburgh. She has been researching the impact of pets on the […]

Finding the rational space, Jess Phillips MP

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The Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, says that she often wakes up anxious about the day ahead. Some of her anxieties are all too real as she is often the target of vicious online abuse and has experienced the effects of terrorist attacks. But as Jess says, having gone through eating disorders and […]

Letting the fizz out, Lou Lebentz

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Lou Lebentz is a therapist and trauma specialist. She came to her work through her own experiences of trauma, addiction and eventually psychosis. Lou says that years of trauma are like a shaken-up bottle of fizzy drink — at some point it will explode. She sees her role as helping clients to open the bottle […]

Quieting the active mind, Owen O’Kane

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Owen O’Kane is a psychotherapist with a medical background. He’s the author of Ten to Zen, a guide to meditation and mindfulness that he says anyone can use to calm their mind. Owen grew up amid the Troubles in Northern Ireland and has seen how anxiety affects a place and its people. He has also […]

Doctor, heal thyself, Dr Reena Kotecha

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While Dr Reena Kotecha was working in the health service, she began to realise she was burnt out. She learned that she had to look after herself in order to help her patients. When Dr Reena took time out with anxiety and depression, she studied meditation, mindfulness and the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda. Now she […]

Falling down the rabbit hole, Claire Eastham

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Claire Eastham is a mental health blogger who writes about her experiences of social anxiety and panic disorder. Although she had experienced social anxiety as a child, it wasn’t until Claire had a breakdown at 24 that she was diagnosed. Since then, she has tried many methods to deal with her conditions including medication, therapies and exercise. Dogs and humour help too!