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Ep 10: How Play can help You Switch on your Creativity with Holly Matthews
Episode 1026th July 2023 • The Creative Switch • Nikki Vallance
00:00:00 00:50:48

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We are round rounding off the season with a double Doubting Doris story and a cracking conversation with founder of the Happy Me Project, Holly Matthews. As an actor, author, entrepreneur and mum, she discusses creativity with Nikki and how it plays an important part in everything she does, from helping her clients, to bringing joy and fun into her daily routines.

Holly Bio

Former TV actress (Waterloo Road, Casualty & Byker grove) and singer (Sony Music) a widowed Mum of 2, Self-Development Coach & founder of The Happy Me Project. The Happy Me project is an online and in person, straight talking self-development membership, podcast and award-winning, best-selling book (Bloomsbury Publishing).

Holly’s Ted Talk has been watched by half a million people and she has appeared on Lorraine, BBC, ITV, Talk Radio, Channel 5 News and featured in The Daily Mail, Mirror, The Sun, Closer, Hello, Psychologies Magazine, Spirit & Destiny and Prima Magazine.

The Happy Me Project boasts two sell out workshop tours across the UK and more recently two sell out RESTIVAL events (a positive mindset festival event with guest speakers, activities and the punchy Happy Me Vibe running throughout). The Happy Me Project has a focus on simplifying self-development and takes the ‘fancy’ out of positive thinking.

Holly is a popular guest expert on podcasts, radio and TV, with her being the 'go to' in self-development on BBC radio, where producers call her the ‘motivator in chief’.

Holly is neurodivergent and has diagnosed ADHD which informs much of her work. She is nominated for a Diversity Award for her work and the accessibility she aims to create for people across all brain types.

Holly has amassed over 50,000 followers across her social media platforms and her award winning YouTube Channel ‘Happy Me TV’ also offers regular advice on navigating life and all it’s challenges. Holly used this space to vlog about the death of her husband to brain cancer, which generated huge press interest in her story and allowed her to turn her pain into something positive.


● [01:08] – The Edge – up to date creative news and views

● [04:39] – Holly gives an overview of her TV, Writing and businesses.

● [09:05] – What is Creativity to Holly?

● [14:30] – Nikki asks Holly how creativity and happiness are connected

● [15:06] – Tips and tricks from Holly on using play to get unstuck and access creativity

● [22:57] – Holly reflects on how her family supported her to be herself, be confident and explore her acting passion

● [33:04] – Nikki shares a fun and creative way to look at age.

● [38:59] – Why Holly’s husband knew she wasn’t destined to be Queen of the Pompoms

● [42:17] – Holly explains why we are like gnarly old trees.

● [48:10] – Who is your Doubting Doris? Author, Coach and Ghostwriter, Nicole Johnston met double Doubting Dorises en route from her politics career.

Four Creative Nuggets

  • ‘All of us, whether we see ourselves as creative or not, we are creative by default.’

  • Research shows that play and creativity help with happiness, wellbeing, resilience, problem solving.

  • ‘Let the Pompoms be the pompoms.’ Not everything has to have an end goal to be valuable to you.

  • If you’re stuck, wherever you are, there’s always a way through.




The Edge

The Intersection Of AI And Human Creativity: Can Machines Really Be Creative?

The Difference Between Human Creativity and Generative AI Creativity

EMERGENCY EPISODE: Ex-Google Officer Finally Speaks Out On The Dangers Of AI! - Mo Gawdat | E252 - YouTube

Ex-Google Officer Says AI Is a Bigger Emergency Than Climate Change



It’s a wrap. Season two will be out in the autumn in the meantime follow Nikki’s creative adventures through her blog or newsletter.

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