As lockdown 2.0 endures in the UK, the mental health crisis faces another huge challenge. Writer and actor Shaun Nolan (Pickle, Paper Dolls) has created a new podcast, What I’m Grateful for Today, which highlights the importance of gratitude in these uncertain times.
Shaun believes that encouraging a positive mindset every morning is a vital remedy at times like these, so he decided to help get his dwindling mental health back on track by starting his fifth podcast, What I’m Grateful for Today, where he sits down with a different guest each week to each discuss three things they’re grateful for right now.
Speaking of the show’s healing power, Shaun says: ‘The exercise promotes a positive mental attitude and it’s a game I’ve played with my grandma for years. When I started doing it with friends over the course of the past six months, I realised the positive effects it has on people, especially those who have never thought of doing it before. Turning this idea into a podcast has been healing for listeners, but it’s also been healing for me when I’ve been having some very low days.’
The first season has already seen guests like YouTuber Mikhila McDaid (known online as ‘Miss Budget Beauty’) and theatre critics The Break A Leggers join Shaun to talk about things like the forward motion of time, the endlessness of love, and making something out of nothing. Future guests include the actress Sinead Matthews (The Crown on Netflix, The Antipodes at the National Theatre, London), and playwright James Graham (Brexit: The Uncivil War for Channel 4, Olivier Award-winner for Labour of Love).
As well as What I’m Grateful for Today, Shaun Nolan was the host and producer of documentary podcast Opening Doors with Shaun Nolan, that finished production after three years in 2018, as well as host and producer of the podcasts Home or Away? with Abbie & Shaun, My Noughties Diary, and Nobody Puts Movies in an Order. All three of those podcasts have finished their runs. Shaun also created, starred in, and wrote the comedy web series Pickle. In December 2017, the show was selected as a semi-finalist for the Best Web Series prize at the Los Angeles Cinefest. He also wrote and starred in the one-man political farce Paper Dolls, which ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018, and was the writer and producer of the Christmas audio play The Sugar Plum, released in December 2019. Shaun regularly writes essays and think pieces for several publications and websites, most notably a regular column on arts and culture in Vale Life Magazine.