Show cover of Hey Ryan Podcast

Hey Ryan Podcast

Hey Ryan Podcast is a lifestyle UK based self-help show for men, who want to gain insights, grow and break free from anxiety. The show releases each episode on Thursdays at 7 pm GMT. Hosted by Ryan Allen, who is a Wellness Advocate and Creative Director of The Brand Thinker boutique agency.


The Solo Chat: How I bounced back from anxiety during Christmas Ep12
On this episode of the Hey Ryan podcast, Ryan is opening up about how he has been coping during difficult times such as the holidays and the pandemic in general. He also shares the approach he used to bounce back from depression and reach new heights of success. It’s been over six months since this podcast was started, and as much as Ryan felt called to do it, this venture has not always been easy. There have been moments where this podcast actually brought about feelings of anxiety and fear, but he pursued it anyway.Ryan finds it helpful to journal all of his thoughts and feelings, which has significantly helped him reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. He recently felt compelled to write a blog that tackles men's issues, including the topic of masculinity and the ideas that can keep men feeling bound in society. It’s important to talk about these issues and bring them into awareness so you can face your fears head-on.It's been a difficult start to the year, and Ryan isn’t alone in feeling this way. From what’s been going on in the UK politically, to reflecting on his desire to be in a relationship, he is feeling a little bit of increased stress right now. That said, there is also a lot coming up this year to look forward to, including a new segment on this podcast.It’s so refreshing to be part of a podcast that brings important topics like men’s health, mental health, and anxiety to the forefront. Encouraging one another to share helps to keep the dialogue open. It’s a new year and a new start, and opportunities may be just around the corner for you.  Ryan’s Website: Ryan Podcast Website:’s Instagram: Post:
21:30 2/24/22
How to be Curious and Live Life Openly Ep 11 with Sean James, NFL Sports Star
Today we’re talking with Sean James, a former NFL pro athlete turned businessman. Sean is a philanthropist and advocates to stop bullying in football, and he founded Be in The Know About Bullying, an organization dedicated to education and mentorship. Sean will talk about dealing with anxiety and how he coped with the pressures of being a professional athlete.Sean grew up in the midwest and was lucky enough to be a talented athlete, which gained him a scholarship to play football in college. Following that, he was invited to an NFL camp, and there his career began. Since retiring from football, Sean has moved to New York where he is letting his creative side flourish through hard work. He has worked in fashion, mental health, and finance.Being good at something while young made him likeable and helped him to escape racism and bigotry. Looking back, Sean would tell his younger self to ask for help. He credits his success to his willingness to look stupid and take risks. Look for who you want to be and ask for their roadmap; look at how they became who they are.For Sean, anxiety was a constant presence in his life. Being African American in a small town piled on extra pressure. Having a strong support system of curious and creative people is what helps to keep Sean grounded and curious. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something among your peers and don’t fear vulnerability. Open yourself up to learning and curiosity.An excellent way to decompress is to pause. Take the time to stand back from everything and reflect on what truly matters to you.  Instagram:
83:48 12/9/21
How Men Break Free From Anxiety with Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz Ep 10
Ryan is talking with Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz, who’s known as The Man Whisperer, in today’s episode. He’s also a self-development consultant and mental health advocate. Kenny founded MenSpeak Men’s Group, which provides men with the opportunity to talk about their lives in a safe and confidential space.When Kenny came back from travelling over 20 years ago, he found that he was missing his friends. Not only that, but he still missed them while he was with them because often they were distracted by substances and their own struggles. This was the initial inspiration for the work Kenny does today. In the past when Kenny had a feeling, he would create a story around that feeling. That story would blame someone or something, and he would lash out on others or himself. He reflected on this and realized he wasn’t the only one. Men everywhere struggle to process and express their feelings in a productive way.Today’s world is increasingly open to exploring mental health issues, and this is an important move forward. Kenny believes the traumas, the things we are embarrassed about or deny, is the place we have to meet ourselves. When you feel those feelings, you can unlearn what’s no longer true and uncover the tools of your purpose. Once the child in you is safe, the man in you can move confidently throughout the world. Stay present, acknowledge your feelings, and let go of who you no longer need to be. Every breakthrough is on the other side of a breakdown, and you don’t have to go through it alone.  Kenny’s Website: Speak Men’s Group:  
55:46 11/25/21
How BBD Perfect Storm London Ad Agency Tackle Masculine Stereotypes with Fernando and Seb Ep 9
Today we’re talking with Fernando Desouches and Seb Hill from BBD Perfect Storm, a brand and culture transformation agency. Fernando is Managing Director of the New Macho division, while Seb is the Executive Creative Director of BBD Perfect Storm as a whole.Seb began working at a network agency and worked alongside BBD  Perfect Storm, CEO Jason Foo. Both were tired of the way network agencies operated, with people siloed and with no real purpose. As an independent agency, the idea was to create accountancy in advertising. This led to one of BBD’s first campaigns taking down Sepp Blatter.  Purpose is at the heart of everything they do.Fernando comes from a marketing background and found that he often worked with brands that predominantly marketed to men. Fernando thought there was a better way to market to men; to create a sustainable gender balance through the eyes of men. Fernando saw the way men were conditioned from a young age to behave certain ways in order to have value and how it became completely subconscious. It was all about ticking expected boxes.BBD’s proposed clause 14 tackles the portrayal of men being emotionally distant, cold, and dominant over women. Through surveys and research, it has been found that millennial men in the UK have the second worst mental health in the world and that much of the pressure comes from other men. New Macho aims for the integration of the traditional and new age man. When it comes to their clients, BBD focuses on the emotional space and creating new aspirations for men. It’s about modernising the emotional space. There has been resistance, but it is necessary to create conversations in order to begin the cultural transformation. BBD Perfect Storm: 
32:28 10/28/21
How to Face Anxiety in The Modern World with Ally Salama Ep 8
Today we’re talking with Ally Salama who has launched EMPWR magazine, the first mental health magazine in the Middle East, which has garnered recognition from the WHO. He is also part of Empathy Always Wins, leadership and mental health podcast. Now, he is building his next start-up, The Arabic and English Digital Support Network.Growing up as an athlete, Ally never expected to be involved in mental health advocacy like he is now. Through his own experience, Ally realized he couldn’t connect with others through his upbringing in his peer group. When he finally did something about it, he found he wasn’t the only one experiencing this in the Arab culture. The culture in Cairo is tough; the emphasis was always on sports and achieving in Ally’s world, while emotions and feelings were cast to the side.Now in the Middle East, Ally is an ambassador for mental health. EMPWR is designed to build psycho-education around cultural relevance. Attending the Arab Harvard Conference about reimagining identity was when Ally realized this was what he was meant for.Ally was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in his second year of studying in Toronto. Men often don’t talk about their mental health, but Ally urges them to seek help. There is strength in vulnerability and being who you are. Through Empathy Always Wins, Ally is spreading the message of empathy and vulnerability.Currently, Ally is building The EMPWR Hub, a way for Arabic/English youth to put their feelings out there and get support. Remember to be easy on yourself – be present, not perfect. Reach out for support to those that you trust and ask for help on your journey.  Instagram:
30:44 10/15/21
How to Embrace Equality and Ditch Toxic Ideals with Fiona Freund Ep 7
In our episode today, Ryan is talking with photographer Fiona Freund. She is looking forward to her upcoming exhibition called Corporate Queer, which celebrates diversity in the workplace and takes art into the world of work. She’s also the founder of Motherworks and a seasoned photographer, with a career spanning over 20 years.Fiona starts by sharing how she got into photography, as well as the other careers she tried along the way. Both of her parents are photographers so, to some degree, she feels this work is in her blood. Fiona also talks about a holiday she took this summer to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall. As a mother of boys, Fiona is aware of how any sign of weakness can be dangerous in school. She always encourages her boys to acknowledge and share how they feel. She emphasizes that reaching out for advice is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. She believes this is something that, as a society, we need to instil in young people more.Ryan and Fiona dive into talking about the exhibitions that Fiona has been involved in, as well as the upcoming Corporate Queer. She discusses how Motherworks were inspired by her own experience as a mother as well as all the other mothers out there, and celebrates the duality of the life of working mums. Fiona explains the inspiration for Corporate Queer and the stories that have played into the creation of it. When it comes to social change, Fiona recommends making it fun. If you want to be effective, you need to draw people in. Photos help people relax, connect, and learn, which allows you to convey important messages more effectively.Fiona’s Website: www.fionafreund.comInstagram:
37:57 9/23/21
The Solo Chat: How to Open Up and Heal with Ryan Allen Ep 6
Ryan is opening up about his life as a podcaster, entrepreneur, and wellness advocate for men in this episode. He’s interviewed a lot of people, yet it can be a bit intimidating to have an open conversation with the listeners. After being encouraged by a friend to share more about his own journey and what brought him here, he’s ready to reveal more about himself.Ryan starts by sharing more about his history, including where he grew up and went to school. Ryan grew up in a single-parent home, but it was a loving environment. He went to a good school, though he struggled with bullying sometimes.  He also reveals one thing a lot of people don’t know about him: he’s a designer and an artist. Despite all he had going for him, Ryan still struggled with deep insecurity. He shares how this manifested itself in his day-to-day life. He also discusses how this influenced his relationship with his mother, and why they are estranged now.Eventually, Ryan moved to London, and he admits he had no idea what he was getting into. He walks us through his transition between careers, from working in the media industry to becoming a teacher for over a decade. One day he realized that although he loved teaching, he didn’t feel fulfilled. This started his journey to figuring out what he really wanted to do. Ryan used to be a people-pleaser, but now he has a healthier way of managing his relationships with other people. He’s focusing on his passion for being a wellness advocate for men. He feels suited to give advice to men dealing with anxiety and depression because he’s been through it. His advice? Don’t give up on trying to be free. Don’t walk with your struggles - find someone to talk to and start dealing with it.   Ryan’s Website: Ryan Podcast Website:’s Instagram:
25:12 9/1/21
Men, Toxic Masculinity and Society with Sal Kassam Ep 5
Today we’re talking with Sal Kassam, founder of Red Pill Fit, as part of our new series The Life Gauntlet. Sal is a strength coach based in London and a former paratrooper who has combined his skills and city living with a passion for fitness. We will be discussing toxic masculinity and dealing with representation.For Sal, there’s no such thing as toxic masculinity. Ryan goes on to bring up the role of the press in the view of the masculine. The pressure to always be strong and dominant is perhaps causing a schism among young men and creating the idea of toxic masculinity. Sal believes that the press and media are trying to change the meaning of masculinity. People know what masculinity is when they see it, and the new prevalence of distorting masculinity to come across as more feminine isn’t fooling people.A realistic picture of masculinity doesn’t mean trying to reach for the unobtainable pinnacle of masculinity, it’s more about being on a journey of self-improvement and striving for more. It doesn’t have to be the billionaire lifestyle or the rat race.When it comes to the media and the responsibility it has in representation, Sal believes it is important to have someone to look up to. The image we see is a standard, but we don’t necessarily have to reach it. Know that it isn’t reality, and we can’t all be perfectly airbrushed all the time. Remember that masculinity isn’t all about aesthetics. It’s about reaching out and lifting up other men, it’s about mindset and intention. You can be a masculine man and reach out for help; you don’t have to change your entire identity. It’s about being true to yourself and owning your identity. Red Pill Fitness: 
31:15 8/25/21
How to get a better Work-Life Balance with Hannah Young Ep 4
We’re continuing with guest Hannah Young in our series Reach for Wellness in this episode. Hannah created Hexis 21, which provides high-quality training for young people and professionals. The tools provided are designed to develop the core competencies of critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Today, we’re talking about whether or not it’s possible to find our compass in life.Hannah is intrigued by the idea of balance and reaching a state of equilibrium. Hannah discusses how balance is a strong theme in Japanese culture and philosophy, and also so relatable because it’s something we’ve all struggled with at one point or another in our lives. Hannah shares techniques she’s learned through Japanese philosophy to help reach balance. Feeling off-balance can lead to despair, but finding balance in both your passion and what the world needs can help with this. You can’t feel bad when you’re helping other people. When your passions and purposes are aligned, you feel more at peace in your life. Ryan and Hannah discuss other philosophies and belief systems that relate to balance. For men who are feeling off-balance from the weight of anxiety and responsibility, communication can go a long way. Hannah emphasizes the importance of expressing these feelings to someone you trust. Dropping expectations and living in the moment can help you avoid perceived failure. Every experience you have is important, no matter the outcome. When you’re learning, you’re living. Embrace your ups, downs, successes, and failures and you can find a sense of contentment there. There are many methods you can use to help find balance in your life including perspective and mindset as well as your behaviour and who you surround yourself with. Hexis 21:’s Instagram:
43:16 8/20/21
How to use language around Mental Health with Hannah Young EP 3
In this episode, we’re joined by Hannah Young for our series Reach for Wellness. Hannah created Hexis 21, which provides high-quality training for young people and professionals. The tools provided are designed to develop the core competencies of critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration. We’ll be discussing the language we use around mental health. Are mental health and mental wellbeing the same, or different?Hannah starts off by sharing how she became interested in the way we think about who we are, and how we think about ourselves (also known as metacognition). Being curious about ourselves and the world around us helps us develop in a meaningful way. Hannah also tells us her educational background as well as her affiliations with other organizations. Ryan and Hannah talk about what it means to find your place in the world. Hannah gives advice for young people who feel stuck right now, which is especially relevant for those who feel like they need to know exactly where they are supposed to be in the world.Opening up to someone is a huge step to take at any age, but it can be especially tough for young people. Hannah emphasizes approaching them with non-judgement and safety. If you use language that reflects that, you’re more likely to show that you provide a welcoming environment for those young people during their difficulties. Hannah and Ryan address the question of the day regarding the difference between mental health and mental wellbeing. Language changes over time, as does meaning. The connotations that are attached can change depending on your unique perspective and even your age. It’s important to not only talk about it but be aware of the language you yourself use around it. Hexis 21:’s Instagram:
48:02 8/5/21
How to Hit Life's Curveballs & Stay in The Game with Colby Sharma EP 2
Colby Sharma is here to discuss his new novel The Curveball, a story about changing fears into fuel and defeat into victory. Colby lets us in on his writing process and what it means to let go of what is holding you back.Writing The Curveball was a challenging experience as Colby had to dive back into his past, but he was tremendously inspired to do it. Discovering he had a learning disability as a teenager was daunting, but enrolling in a dedicated school brought Colby a sense of community and strength. Sometimes, to learn something, you have to lose something. Letting go of ego can help you to grow.Writing the book brought about feelings of imposter syndrome for Colby. Why should anyone listen to what a first-year law student has to say? Remember that we all have a story to tell and we can all use that story to uplift others. The main character of The Curveball is Bryce, a man dealing with escapism and Vice to numb his pain. He is struggling with AUD and mental health issues and has to re-learn pivotal lessons from those around him to get better. In 2020, so many people were dealing with escapism – Bryce is a character to inspire striving forward through adversity.Colby explains what he learned in his law degree and why he moved away from it. Culture in the workplace is a huge factor, and it didn’t fit with his values. When it comes to motivation, Colby takes advantage of rituals to inspire movement such as journaling, meditation and running. All these things can be rituals that bring joy and purpose to life.The world is full of curveballs, but with gratitude and perseverance, we can all learn to move through our internal adversity and come out stronger. Colby on Instagram: Colby on Facebook: Colby’s Website:
27:44 7/29/21
How to Change Mindset to Mind Fit with Strength Coach Sal Kassam EP 1
In this first episode, we’re joined by Sal Kassam to talk about men, mental health, and fitness. Sal is a strength coach and Founder of Red Pill Fit. He walks us through his post-university journey from joining the military to how he ended up where he is now.Sal discusses how people tend to perceive fitness while digging into the myths and truths of living a healthy lifestyle. Improving strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health is the goal for his clients, regardless of where they’re starting from. While most people concentrate all their efforts in one area, it’s best to find synergy with all the aspects of fitness. Resistance is a part of life, and overcoming that resistance is how you improve your fitness. All you need to do is make incremental improvements. Not only will this help you build confidence, but it also helps you build strength in a sustainable way. This newfound confidence then influences every other part of your life and will inspire you to stick with it.  Sal also touches on nutrition – specifically, consuming the basics to fulfil your needs. Sal encourages people to not buy into the sexy advertising around nutrition. Focus on the “boring” basics like lean protein, fruit, vegetables, oily fish, and grains. The best food you can eat is the food that’s close to how you would find it in its natural state. Most people don’t need to eat less food, but rather just make better food choices.  With regard to mindset and mental health, Sal believes education is key and explains that knowing when to ask for help isn’t clear to most men. Sal shares his unique idea of having your relationships structured as a business and other tips on supporting men’s mental health.  Red Pill Fitness: ​​’s Instagram: ​​ 
50:32 7/22/21
Welcome to Hey Ryan Podcast Trailer with Ryan Allen
Welcome to our official Hey Ryan Podcast Trailer.  Ryan Allen is a Wellness Advocate, Creative Director of The Brand Thinker Boutique design agency and host of the Hey Ryan Podcast. The Hey Ryan Podcast is a lifestyle self-help show for people, especially men, who want to break free from anxiety. The show shares interviews that look at Men, Anxiety and The Conversation with an international guest list of industry professionals from NFL Pro Athletes to psychologists and authors. We are upbeat and down-to-earth with topical subjects that we hope - get's YOU thinking and seeing life differently, so you can live simply and freely with purpose and be in the driving seat of your life, rather than life driving you.
01:09 7/11/21