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It’s healthy to talk: what it takes to make a better life – Maryam Meddin

About This Episode

Michael is joined by Maryam Meddin, founder of The Soke: a new mental health concept integrating mental healthcare, wellbeing, support and performance coaching. Launched last year at the height of the pandemic, Maryam has seen first-hand the impact of COVID disruption on workplace well-being: both the good and the bad. From the isolation of lockdown to the new-found flexibility of remote working, Maryam has helped to identify the challenges and opportunities that come from our new normal, while working to shift the narrative from “it’s OK to talk” to “it’s healthy to talk.” With the values of “responsibility, integrity and creativity” at the heart of her business, and an extraordinary story of personal challenge that came from fleeing war-torn Iran to come to the UK as a child, this is the story of a founder with a view on what it takes to make a better life: both for yourself and those around you.

Maryam Meddin, Founder & CEO, The Soke

Maryam Meddin is founder of The Soke

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Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I read it 15 years ago and it made me weep uncontrollably. I’ve since been too scared to read it again in case it fails to live up to the first time.

What are you watching at the moment?

I’ve just finished The Last Dance which is the Netflix documentary about Michael Jordan. The person I’m most fascinated by is Phil Jackson, the coach.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I’m generally only inspired by people I know, so I’m going to say the Chair of our company. She’s the leader I’d like to be one day: resilient, compassionate, level-headed, human.

In one sentence, describe your ‘new normal’.

I spent most of my adult life caring for my mother, one way or another, and she died three weeks ago, so my new normal is not having to worry about her anymore. It’s liberating, but also feels like something’s missing all the time.

What is your best tip for life?

My father always told me that I should try to learn a little about everything so that I could ask intelligent questions and hold up my end of the conversation whether I was sitting next to a king or a street sweeper at a dinner party. A rather broad spectrum – which I’ve never had occasion to test –  but it’s served me well.

A quote for life?

Try to learn a little about everything.

What five tracks would make up your lockdown soundtrack?

  • Monte Cara – Cesaria Evora
  • Vienna – Ben Platt
  • Make it rain – Ed Sheeran
  • Emoji of a wave – John Mayer
  • I’ll take care of you – Beth Hart

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