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Ep 18: Beyond the Bottle: Nick Elston on Mental Health
Episode 1816th May 2024 • The Big Drink Rethink • Anna Donaghey
00:00:00 00:52:27

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Welcome to another episode of The Big Drink Rethink, where your host, Anna Donaghey, is thrilled to bring you an enlightening conversation with mental health advocate Nick Elston. 

An inspirational speaker on mental health, Nick shares his own lived experience of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalised anxiety disorder. He believes that our adversities can either define us negatively or forge something beautiful and powerful. Giving up alcohol six years ago proved to be a release, as he discovered that he had been using it as a crutch. In this conversation, Nick and Anna discuss the power of vulnerability, the importance of self-reflection, and finding joy and peace of mind without relying on external substances. They explore the impact of social media on comparison and the need to run our own race. They also touch on breaking the stigma around alcohol and mental health through open conversations and lived experiences.

Whether you're reassessing your own drinking habits or seeking encouragement on an alcohol-free path, this episode promises to offer valuable perspectives on the impact of alcohol on our mental wellbeing.

Here are the Highlights:

06:00 Losing hope can lead to positive change.

07:33 Chaos brings opportunities. Attitude is everything.

12:25 Obsessive tendencies became crutch.

13:37 Struggled with heavy drinking, guilt, anxiety, and secrecy.

26:06 Sharing lived experiences, signposting to solutions, and showing vulnerability.

28:25 Seeking therapy helped me navigate challenges effectively.

36:14 Embracing emotions is a lovely, therapeutic thing.

41:26 Managing emotions without external means

45:09 Social media distorts reality and fuels comparison.

49:30 Cultural shift toward open conversations in organisations.

About the host Anna:

Anna is a certified Alcohol Mindset Coach, trained by Annie Grace of This Naked Mind. Drawing on her own journey out of alcohol addiction, she now helps others explore and control their drinking. With a career spanning 25 years as a Strategist in the Advertising industry, she combines her own lived experiences, with great insight into what makes us tick and what influences us to behave the way we do.

Connect with Anna:




About Nick Elston:

Nick Elston is one of the highest-profile and leading Inspirational Speakers on the Lived Experience of Mental Health.

Described as a ‘BIG man, BIG heart, BIG story & BRUTAL honesty!’, ‘Utterly inspirational, absolutely engaging!’ and ’10/10 –a Speaking Masterclass!’ – Nick shares his experiences of Mental Illness, Mental Ill-Health & Breakdown worldwide –through his powerful, inspiring, engaging & emotional insights.

Nick is regularly featured in the global media, the BBC, industry shows and publications – his talks are delivered to stages, events, boardrooms, businesses, factories, government organisations, schools, universities, prisons & establishments worldwide.

Connect with Nick:




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