Jessica Redman Shares Her Keys to Thriving After Mental Health Challenges

Jessica Redman shares her keys to thriving after mental health challenges

Life as an entrepreneur can be an exhilarating journey. But there’s a side of this journey that often remains unspoken – the challenge of mental health. This is a reality for many entrepreneurs, including Jessica Redman, whose story we’re excited to share with you.

Jessica isn’t just a successful entrepreneur, she’s also a brave advocate for mental health awareness within our community. In this interview, Jessica offers a raw and honest account of her experiences.

We hope that her story is encouraging and inspirational to others experiencing similar issues.


Business Name: Didgeheads
Website URL:
Founders: Jessica Redman and Soraya Easterbrook
Business Location: Online (United Kingdom)
Year Started: 2021
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 6

Please tell us about yourself and your business.

I’m 32 and have worked in marketing for eight years with a focus on SEO for six years. Two years ago, I started my own SEO agency with a focus on e-commerce businesses. I founded it with my wife Soraya, whom I married in 2023. We have just moved to Ibiza to spend a year working and living!

Can you share your experience with anxiety and mental health challenges?

The first time I had really struggled with my mental health I was living at home. My Dad was quite sick and my Mum was his carer. With his physical sickness, his mental health deteriorated and it came down really hard on my mum.

He couldn’t be on his own, so she wasn’t leaving the house. She couldn’t even go to bed, so she started sleeping on the sofa next to him. He would panic when she left and scream her name but of course, she had to get out to do shopping and other chores.

I was kind of left at home at this time and trying to study for a Masters, and I remember feeling this sense of just being stuck. I lived in a very stressful household so home was no solace or sanctuary for me and I couldn’t find a job at the time.

It all got too much and it manifested in me with generalised anxiety disorder and OCD plus intrusive thoughts. I used to become obsessed that something bad would happen to me, and it would be the same thought over and over again without any relief. It was exhausting and you start to believe these thoughts. So you start restricting your life because you feel you can’t get away from this fear. I went on medication and had therapy and eventually, it eased off. 

Then a couple of years later it happened again. I had started a business which I left because it wasn’t working and my Dad had passed away. My partner was pushing me into committing to a 9/5 job that I didn’t want so that we could rent a place together but it wasn’t the life I wanted.

We went on a weekend to Amsterdam and desperate for some fun memories with my partner at the time, I smoked some weed. I’d smoked a few times before and been fine but this time it triggered the anxiety immediately. It was unbearable, I was terrified, convinced in the moment that I had lost my mind.

When I got home my Mum was in shock at the sight of me. I was shaking, crying, couldn’t get out of bed, the intrusive thoughts stealing all my energy. Again I went on medication and had CBT therapy this time which completely changed my life. In two months I felt miles better and really started a real journey to recovery, not just a temporary fix.

This came with a complete life-changing turnaround for me. I left my then partner, and immediately felt a sense of relief. I was with the wrong person for a long time and our relationship had become toxic in a lot of ways, both of us behaving in ways that were not conducive to a healthy relationship. We wanted different things, and I found myself (both times) committing to a life that I didn’t want, on a deeper level.

I also got my first diagnosis from a psychiatrist (which GPs were unable to do) which I did privately. He told me exactly what to do to get better, so I found an incredible CBT therapist and she completely transformed the way I cope in life. 

In hindsight, I believe that this happened because I wasn’t living a life authentic to me. I didn’t want a 9/5 office job, it made me deeply unhappy, and felt like I was just surviving in my life, not thriving. I was also in the wrong relationship for five years out of fear of being alone, but now I’m with the love of my life.

I think the key thing here is this: if you ignore the signs for too long (wrong relationship, bad job, unhappiness in general) then your mind and body will eventually sound the alarm.

Did you ever struggle with mental health before this?

I had experienced anxiety when I was younger. It came out of nowhere but my family all have experienced it at some point.

Did you feel like you had the support of friends and family?

My family yes, 100%, and some of my friends. I did go into a shell and didn’t see friends as much at the time though. But my family was instrumental in helping me. My mum found therapists for me, and my sisters talked to me for hours and bought me books. They were amazing.

What has been helpful for you in overcoming or dealing with these challenges?

CBT therapy is the CORE aspect of this whole journey. It changed my life. Also, acceptance – some days, I can just ball up on the sofa and eat pizza, and that doesn’t have to be a scary thing. I have learnt to embrace my moods and honour whatever it is my mind needs.

Why did you decide to be open about your experience?

Because I believe that’s one of the reasons why I experienced it – to help others in their time of need. It really helps me feel a sense of purpose about what I went through and at the time, I was always on Instagram looking for people who inspired me and gave me a sense of hope. Hopefully, I can be that for others.

How do you think we can break the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the entrepreneurial community?

I think we should do more mental health workshops and talks at startups, podcasts, share our experiences on LinkedIn, share interviews with entrepreneurs (like you’re doing), and generally just encourage a sense of openness.

How do you manage the balance between running a successful business and taking care of your mental health?

It’s actually easier for me to take care of my mental health as a business owner than it was as an employee. I make my own hours now, so if I’m having an off day, I know that I can just chill out and make up for it another day – no biggie. I think it’s important to keep perspective. I always ask myself “Is someone going to die if I don’t send this email?” and that helps take the pressure off. 

Are there any specific resources you recommend?

What advice do you have for others who struggle with mental health issues?

  • CBT therapy
  • Don’t hesitate to go on medication if you need it
  • Try to see a specialist mental health advisor

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