My name is: Katie Nehra.
I’m known for being: An actor, writer and designer.
I'm talking about: Been better…hbU?
You can find it on: Apple and Spotify since January 2021.
What inspired me to launch it was: I felt something like BBHBU was missing from the podcast space. Most of the mental health podcasts I would listen to were more clinical or, on the flip side, someone would be talking about having a bad day and the advice was rather mundane like: “Have a latte!” I don’t find stuff like that very helpful.
I wanted to create a space where people shared their own experiences and struggles with mental health in a relatable way, with a fresh perspective. I’ve suffered from depression my whole life. But things really hit a low point in these past few years, when, at times, I really couldn’t see a way out of it.
It can be incredibly disheartening at times when you’re going about things like you’re “supposed to” and still not seeing results—such as going to therapy, getting rest, exercising, changing medications and you still feeling shitty.
Depression—and most mental illnesses—can feel incredibly isolating because there’s a lot of shame surrounding them. People can’t see the issue like a broken leg or spot it on an x-ray. Many don’t think it’s “real.” They might even look at your life and think you don’t have the right to feel this way or wonder, “What’s wrong with you?”
I want to help break the stigma surrounding it!
I have found sometimes the best form of therapy is talking about what’s going on with you, and I hope through the podcast people see that many people are struggling. Especially this year—with Covid, the political climate and the racial injustice that we witnessed over the summer. It seems likely that many people who have never tried therapy before may have started it in 2020.
How it works is: I am very adamant that each guest we have on has had a personal struggle with mental health or is an expert in an arena that relates to it.
So, between me and my producers, we have reached out within our network and beyond and asked people to be on it.
What makes it special is: I would hope I make it special—lol! I think honestly what makes it special is it’s very candid and raw. I have a lifetime of experience on this topic, so that probably helps. Listeners know this woman knows what she’s talking about! Because I’m the host, there’s a lot of humor, which I think is important. People think of “mental health” as this scary topic to shy away from and I get that, completely. But one way to get people to really listen is through humor. I also write every show. It’s not someone else or a production company handing me a script.
One thing you can’t miss is: The five questions are very unique. I ask every guest the same five questions at the end of each episode. Every guest has a difference response, which is fun!
I love what we’re building on social. I created a character that has a non-smile, non-frown named Folskie with my graphic artist. They/them is the mascot of Been better…hbU? That spirit you see through our thread of posts and quotes. Everything is done with a sense of humor. Because sometimes laughter is the best medicine.
My favorite secret detail is: Probably that I have to have some sort of physical activity before taping a show. I find body movement gets me out of my head and then I can focus and see things more clearly. And that Arthur, my dog, has to be in the office for the taping. He loves to chime in when things get heated, which can be challenging for our editor!
For me, addressing “mental strength” in this difficult time is important because: It’s important because your mind can be your worst enemy, and I hope the podcast helps people build up their arsenal to help!
One tool that has really helped me personally in this time is: Creating this podcast has really helped me, tremendously. It’s incredibly rewarding when people message me to tell me they have had their own struggles and thank me for creating this. Or, for example, a friend of mine whose husband suffers from depression said she never really understood his side of it until listening to my episode where I talk about my childhood. That brought tears to my eyes. Because that’s exactly what I want. Even people who have a direct relationship to someone who is suffering may not understand why!