For the past decade, Poppy Jamie has pioneered the mental health conversation through her entrepreneurship, podcast, writing and public speaking. Her accolades are endless; from being the youngest board member on the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital advisory board to delivering the first mental health talk series at Cambridge University and being recognised on Forbes 30 under 30 list, Poppy has broken boundaries. Her book Happy Not Perfect and Unwind with Poppy Jamie podcast highlights Poppy’s mission is to see that conversation around mental health and emotions are democratised.
We spoke with Poppy in between her corporate talks on mental health, rest, recovery, the mind and body connection, and sleep her to gain her expertise and insights on how to take care of ourselves.
I think the switch came when I was hosting my talk show on Snapchat and I started receiving thousands of messages from people all around the world, expressing how anxious and stressed they felt. I realised that so many people were experiencing the same struggles, and yet they had nowhere to go or no one to speak with. I was also feeling so stressed at the time and so I related deeply too. After a few months of considering what I could do to help, I woke up with the idea for Happy Not Perfect – an app that could turn therapy into a game. As soon as I started working on Happy Not Perfect, I realised I needed to place all my attention on building this mental wellness tech platform. I stopped my TV presenting commitments to focus on HNP and began interviewing mental health professionals around the world.
I love the beauty clinic Montrose London as they have the best facial treatments. It’s a real treat to have one and I always fall fast asleep during the treatment.
Gosh, so difficult to pick one. Deepak Chopra was amazing, Gerry Hussy’s The Soul Coach was very inspiring but author Will Storr’s conversation was most memorable. I interviewed him about his brilliant book The Status Game and I had no idea the extent to which our sense of personal status affected our wellbeing. Will unpacked how and why our status influences our mood, health and relationships and how in recent years, it’s been under attack. With social media like it is, it’s really hard to understand who you are in relation to others. 100 years ago, it was easy to claim the title of “best cook,” or “the funny guy of the group” – our communities were small and so it was easier to have an identity that helped you feel a sense of belonging. But with thousands of people in our networks, we are often left wondering “Who am I?” “Why do I matter?” “Am I important?” If this conversation resonates, definitely check out the interview with Will who explains this is much greater depth.
Sleep. If you’re living in the fast lane, chances are you deprioritise sleep to choose ‘the late night’ email, work meeting or early morning workout. Sometimes, we are all overstretched but without adequate sleep, our productivity, mental health, focus and relationships will all suffer. The glymphatic drainage system is activated while we sleep and this is when our brains get cleaned. It’s almost like a brain washing machine, cleaning old connections and building new ones.
Express Gratitude. We all know it’s good for us, but we forget to express it. I write 10 things I’m grateful for everyday as a way to train my brain to think with a glass half full. Even if I’m just expressing gratitude for a sunny morning or moving my legs, it diverts my attention away from all the things I don’t have, to focus on the things I do!
Get outside. Our circadian rhythm has to be reset every time we land in a new time zone. The best way to do this is for your eyes to get sunlight. As soon as I land, I try to go walking and gaze at the sky. The light will help reset your internal clock and help you wake up, or wind down. Another hack would be to head to Hyde Park and take your shoes off. Grounding your body to earth’s energy has been found to have a positive impact in adjusting biological rhythms to the location you are in.
Synchronicity by Deike Begg. I’ve read it about 4 times already but whenever I’m in a weird patch in life, I open the book again. It’s full of wisdom, Jungian psychology and a gentle reminder that our lives are beautifully in sync.
What is meant for you, will not pass you by.
It’s so easy to get lost in thinking we have missed the boat, disappointed when opportunities don’t come to fruition or we don’t get what we want. But I truly believe, if we put the effort in, we can make anything happen that’s meant for us. When we become more able to allow things to pass, knowing the right things won’t, it helps us stay focused on the path towards our goals without getting lost in the “shoulda,” “woulda,” “coulda”.
I am working on the next release of my book, The Happiness Flex and the new series of my podcast, Unwind with Poppy. We have some fabulous guests on so I am really, really excited about it going live!