Where there's a Will... there’s a way to embrace wellbeing, and singer, songwriter, actor, podcast host, and author Will Young seems to be on the right path, as he discusses self-mastery, the importance of intention, misconceptions about fame, and the love of a good dog
"That’s my dog snoring in the background, I’m so sorry!” Will Young explains, smiling from the other side of the screen. His handsome rescue, Domino, the source of the melodic snore, is oblivious to the conversation as Will continues, sharing the experiences that led him to write and release his most recent book, Be Yourself and Happier: The A-Z of Wellbeing.
Will has so much to offer when it comes to talking about mental health. Back in 2011, he had a breakdown, accompanied by crippling agoraphobia. This period of severe mental ill-health was also the beginning of his desire for deep personal exploration, and he went on to work with multiple therapists, trial different modalities, and proactively educate himself on the mind-body connection.
For the past eight years, Will notes, he’s been fully immersed in the world of wellbeing, and he’s eager to help others if he can, by sharing the insights he’s gained along the way.
“It’s enlightenment really,” he says, reflecting on his discoveries. “When I got into myself and broke into past traumas and behaviours, I hit a wall – a wall that I had, through survival, not wanted to climb over, or even break through. As I learnt more about my humanity, I just wanted to share it. I’m really fascinated, I love the subject of mental health and wellbeing, and it’s sort of become my passion.”
To keep the mental health conversation going and growing, Will now hosts ‘The Wellbeing Lab’ podcast, a weekly exploration of therapy and life’s challenges. He’s covered an array of topics including shopping addiction, body dysmorphic disorder, sex addiction, and loss of sex drive, and he’s spoken to experts about boundaries, somatic therapy, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), and dealing with rumination. Listeners write in and share their experiences, and, in turn, Will shares how certain topics resonate with him.
Putting his lived experiences front and centre of his work in wellbeing is crucial to Will. It helps him to develop an authentic connection with people who are looking for a more positive way forward, as he was. “All the stuff I do, comes from my own behaviour, so it’s from a place of absolutely no judgement,” he says. “Hopefully my book opens a door into a way of becoming what my old therapist, Louis Evans, used to call a ‘functional adult’ and gaining self-mastery, which is what we all want.”
Listening to Will talk about wellbeing and how we manage ourselves is really refreshing.
He’s taken years of therapy and study, and reframed it in a way that’s accessible. He advocates for a series of small personal behaviour tweaks and daily self-awareness practices that can make a huge difference in how we show up for ourselves and others.
Will believes that it’s imperative to start wi