The conversation surrounding mental health has continued to grow in recent years, and Poppy Jamie has been there championing it since 2015.
Now the master of all things mindfulness, Poppy is the founder of new go-to wellness app Happy Not Perfect. She was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017, runs fashion brand Pop & Suki with her best friend, and is the host of the Not Perfect Podcast, so we can’t wait for her to share her wisdom with us. Over to you, Poppy…
The start of my journey
One life lesson for you is ‘be nice to everyone you sit next to on the train’. It was a chance conversation with a woman next to me in 2015 that, eventually, led to where I am today. Through this woman, I met my agent and ended up, one year later, living in LA working for MTV and developing a pilot for them.
From there, another chance conversation led me to my partnership with Snapchat. Snapchat’s discover page was still new and they were testing the boundaries of what it could do, which is how I ended up hosting the first Snapchat talk show ‘Pillow Talk with Poppy’. This is how I got my first glimpse into the minds and feelings of young people and could build a community with them.
The beauty of Snapchat was the fleeting nature of it, so there wasn’t the same need to uphold a pretence. My platform became a cathartic release for the struggles of young people, just like when you bare your soul to the taxi driver, knowing you’ll never see him again.
Mental health was already close to my heart before this. My dad struggled with intense anxiety and my mum is a psychotherapist, so my upbringing had always been strongly associated with mental health. When people messaged me saying they felt anxious or stressed, I found myself thinking ‘me too!’ and suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore. It seems ludicrous to say now, but it just shows how quickly the conversation about mental health changed in the last five years.
Creating An App
Happy Not Perfect was made to be an app that you felt better after using. This plays into the wider effects of apps on mental health and, again, this conversation wasn’t the same five years ago as it is now. We were becoming aware of the impacts of apps like Instagram, the compulsion to compare yourself to others, and the failure you felt when you didn’t appear to match up. I wanted to change the perspective; shift the discussion from ‘what don’t I have?’ to ‘what DO I have?’.
Initially, I didn’t know what HNP would be, I just knew how I wanted it to make you feel afterwards. It ended up as a happiness workout of seven exercises based on key pillars of positive psychology. Positive psychology, unlike traditional psychology, focuses on what is right with us and what our brains can do.
I asked experts around me countless questions about what they would say to people experiencing different emotions. A lot of the advice was the same because it isn’t about what is being felt; it’s about the process to move on from it.
How To Start Your Journey
I’m a big believer in ‘alternative’ therapies, although I think ancient therapies is a more accurate name. Everything in the world is energy and when you’re sad or can’t get out of bed, it’s because you’re missing energy. Therapies like Reiki and theta give us a top-up of this natural energy that so many of us desperately need.
If you’ve not yet started your journey into therapy, I’m so jealous of you getting to fall down that rabbit hole to discover something amazing. To begin with, ignore anyone with one size fits all advice – it’s rubbish. Different things work for different people and we won’t know before trying it. Be prepared for the trial and error. Finding a therapist is like finding a boyfriend – you have to date around.
When entering a treatment, be open-minded; if you’re convinced it won’t work, then it won’t. A good place to start is with acupuncture or massages. These are tactile treatments that are easier to grasp than energy treatments.
Remember, just like normal fitness in a gym, mental health is a fitness, and if you want to change, you have to do the work. In between sessions, you need to do the mental workouts, otherwise, you’re just paying for an expensive venting session and it’s a waste of time.
My three tips for getting into these ancient therapies are:
- Research the therapies you’re trying so you can stay safe.
- Remember, you’re vulnerable and searching for something.
- Don’t expect instant results – the subtle changes are what help
With COVID-19, we’re all going back to basics and tapping into our own energy sources. I think we should embrace this but be careful not to get addicted. Let the treatments you experience settle in and have time to work, instead of trying to see every energy healer at once.
If you want to keep up with my work, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter, and follow Happy Not Perfect on Instagram and Twitter for daily mental health inspo. I’m currently writing a book about my mental health journey, so keep an eye out for that next year.
- Clo & Flo in Borough, London
- Facials at FACEGYM in Chelsea, London
- Tinted at Benefit Cosmetics Boutique & BrowBar in Soho, London
- Extensions by Kitty at LIMBIC Beauty in Clapham, London
Treatments I Love:
- Astrology readings
- Bikini waxes
- Life coaches
- Infrared light therapy
- Shellac nails
- Hypnotherapy (BRWT)
Poppy’s episode of #TheBeautystackPodcast was just one of many. All the amazing episodes so far, including this one, aren’t going anywhere. Binge all the existing episodes and deep dive into the lives of some inspiring women, hosted by our founder Sharmadean Reid, by checking The Beautystack Podcast out on your favourite streaming service such as Spotify or over on YouTube.