165 episodes

Petra Velzeboer was raised in a religious cult with no education that erased her identity and future. Through depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence and suicidal thoughts she reached her rock bottom by age 25. Today her goal is to help others who are near their rock bottom to learn the fast track for improving their lives! Join Petra as she interviews people from all walks of life about their journey to discovering that their superpowers are nurtured in their pain and their success is crafted through their story.

Adversity to Advantage Petra Velzeboer

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 19 Ratings

Petra Velzeboer was raised in a religious cult with no education that erased her identity and future. Through depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence and suicidal thoughts she reached her rock bottom by age 25. Today her goal is to help others who are near their rock bottom to learn the fast track for improving their lives! Join Petra as she interviews people from all walks of life about their journey to discovering that their superpowers are nurtured in their pain and their success is crafted through their story.

    156. Buy In From The Top with Geoff McDonald

    156. Buy In From The Top with Geoff McDonald

    “What really saved my life during that time was my ability to talk”

    I am SUPER excited to have gotten the chance to interview the Legendary, Mental Health Power House that is Geoff McDonald!

    Best known as a global advocate, campaigner and consultant who is passionate about addressing the stigma of mental ill health in workplaces, and about helping organisations embed purpose as a key driver of business performance. His sense of purpose to his work was catalysed by his diagnosis in 2008 of Anxiety fuelled depression.

    Geoff shares his experience of mental ill health, his journey to recovery as well as what goes into a sustainable health and wellbeing initiative within the workplace.

    We go deep on topics such as;


    Diagnosis of anxiety fuelled depression

    Learning to talk

    Taking responsibility for our wellbeing

    Health & Wellbeing plans in the workplace

    The stigma & shame associated with depression

    Taking accountability in order to get better

    The blessing of love during recovery

    Reintegrating at work

    Transition from employment into purpose

    Tools that contribute to maintaining recovery


    Connect with Geoff and learn more about his work at  geoffmcdonald.co.uk , linkedIn &Twitter.  Hear more about our mental health work at Petra Velzeboer Ltd. 

    • 33 min
    155. Tactics for Creating a Happier Workforce with Samantha Clarke

    155. Tactics for Creating a Happier Workforce with Samantha Clarke

    ‘It’s not going back to business as normal, we’re in a very new era now and If you’re not stretching yourself to meet that you will get left behind’

    Samantha Clarke is an amazing friend of mine,  Happiness Consultant, TedX speaker and Author of Love it or Leave it . She advices global companies on Happiness at Work and supports people’s conscious decisions to either Love it or Leave it!

    She is full of innovative advice for employers and employees on finding happiness in our work as well as providing practical tips on how we can all adjust to the change born from the pandemic!

    We get practical on topics such as:


    Finding the opportunity in change and disruption

    Creating safe spaces for employees to be vulnerable

    Steps to becoming a change maker

    Challenging your belief system and evaluating your achievements

    Physical & Mental Health signs that it is time for change

    Widening our networks and making new contacts

    Balancing head and heart decisions

    Managing loneliness during the pandemic

    Championing your people to deliver their best

    Creating that work / life definition

    Preventing tech fatigue and creating wiser practices


    Find out more by connecting with Samantha on Linkedin and you can see her full personal story in Episode 11 titled:  How Badly do you Want it .

    Find out more by connecting with Samantha on Linkedin and hear more about our mental health work at Petra Velzeboer Ltd. 

    You can catch a previous interview with Samantha How Badly do you Want it

    Further Resources mentioned in this episode::

    Micro Mentor

    Life Coach Directory

    Love it or Leave it 

    • 49 min
    154. Coming out and the new normal with Matthew Clements

    154. Coming out and the new normal with Matthew Clements

    “When I came out…..I had completely unconditional support and love and I realised that’s sadly not the case for everyone”



    I feel very privileged to interview Matthew Clements. Matthew is the Senior diversity and inclusion advisor at Herbert Smith Freehills and i have had the pleasure of working with him through the partnership between Medigold  and PVL where i have been supporting the Mental Health strategy and training of HSF.

    We discuss Mental health and his Matthew goes deep on his own experience of mental health and coming out to his family and friends.

    We cover other topics such as:


    Challenges of mental health in the workplace

    HSF Thrive Strategy

    The evolution of how businesses understand mental health

    Promoting an inclusive culture

    Mental health champions

    Adapting to needs during the pandemic

    The build up to coming out to family and friends

    No longer being able to hide / the loss of control

    The benefits of coming out

    Looking back on yourself with kindness

    The ripple effects of shared stories & experiences

    Creating impact through authenticity

    Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace

    The mental health silver lining in the pandemic

    The need for organisations to step up mental health strategy

    Agile & remote working

    Non-negotiables around self-care



    Connect with Matthew on Linkedin and hear more about our mental health work at Petra Velzeboer Ltd. 

    • 38 min
    153. Fill Your Cup with Hannah Meredith

    153. Fill Your Cup with Hannah Meredith

    “You really can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to make sure you are ok first”

    Ranked as one of the top 10 companies to work for by The Sunday Times and recently shortlisted for the REBA wellbeing awards,  Hannah Meredith leads the way on Health and Wellbeing for MVF Global

    We discuss the current and long-lasting impact  of the pandemic on employees and their mental health and Hannah lends practical advice on how employers can implement mental health strategies.

    Hannah also opens up about her personal  struggles with anxiety how she’s learned to manage these effectively.

    We cover topics such as:


    The impact of providing constant support on People Teams

    The longterm effects of covid-19 on mental health

    Home working and creating boundaries to thrive

    Company initiatives during lockdown to support mental health

    Understanding the needs of your workforce

    Cultivating an open culture

    The daily struggle anxiety struggle

    Practicing Self-awareness and coping strategies

    The importance of connection

    The Pandemic and relationships

    Aiming for prevention

    The opportunities arising from Covid


    Connect with Hannah on Linkedin and hear more about our mental health work at Petra Velzeboer Ltd. 

    • 40 min
    152. Pandemic Baby: Thoughts on leading by example with Selena Alcover

    152. Pandemic Baby: Thoughts on leading by example with Selena Alcover

    ‘We have to adapt with the changing times and we have to adapt to what are employees are needing’

    So excited to speak with Selena Alcover who is an Employee Experience Manager at National Grid.

    We discuss the impact of the current pandemic on employees and Selena offers tangible advice to leaders on supporting their workforce through these challenging times as well as opening up about her own personal struggle of becoming a first time parent in the midst of a pandemic.

    We go deep on:


    Remembering to ask for advice and help

    Stress and new challenges caused by the pandemic

    Adapting to the changing needs of employees

    The shared experience of the pandemic

    Leading by example and promoting work/life balance

    Driving mental health conversations and championing open culture in the workplace

    How to support employees during maternity

    Managing maternity cover dynamics

    The benefits of remote working

    Self -care during the pandemic



    Connect with Selena on Linkedin and hear more about our mental health work at Petra Velzeboer Ltd. 

    • 49 min
    151. Off work with poor mental health - an employee experience and what helps with Tony Nneke

    151. Off work with poor mental health - an employee experience and what helps with Tony Nneke

    ‘I would say to anyone, speak and there is bravery in that even if you are vulnerable ‘

    Tony Nneke is Chair of Oracle UKIE Cultural Harmony Network and passionate about Diversity and Inclusion as well as mental health.

    Tony  talks openly about needing to take time off work due to poor mental health and how leaders helped or hindered his experience in the workplace.

    We go deep on:


    Practicing vulnerability at work

    The need to create supportive and safe environments in the workplace

    Engaging in mental health conversations in the workplace

    Impact of mental health on productivity

    Opening up to management and colleagues

    The feeling of shame around mental health

    The Power of Conversation

    Childhood experiences of mental health

    Recognising the trigger points and the ongoing journey

    Finding your own balance and boundaries



    Connect with Tony on Linkedin and hear more about our mental health work at Petra Velzeboer Ltd.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

Smileytabs ,

Such sense

Love hearing Petra speak about experiences of life. Really accessible.

Soma 2019 ,

Unique and love hearing others stories

When I came across this podcast it was because someone I know was actually interviewed on here. I love how deep, meaningful and raw the interviews are. Petra asks questions which really help the guests open up and be who they are. I also love the lessons learnt here. Important topics like mental health, women empowerment and grief are covered to mention a few. I always learn so much when I tune in. Thanks for creating this unique and supportive podcast.

Maze444444 ,

Such a refreshing podcast

Amazing conversations & interviews. Petra has a real gift for asking awesome questions and getting people to share their stories. Very inspiring 😀

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Dr Rangan Chatterjee: GP & Author
BBC Radio 4
Jay Shetty
Scicomm Media
ZOE
Mo Gawdat