talkhealth meets... Joanne Mallon

Finding a sense of calm is something we are all striving for when it comes to juggling work, home, relationships and everything that comes with modern life. 

Thankfully, there are people like Joanne Mallon to help us along the way. The experienced life coach, who specialises in media careers, took to the talkhealth hot seat for an expert interview about how she helps her clients to remain zen. 

Before her webinar, we asked her some questions so that you can get to know her...


Let's take it back to basics - what is a media career coach? 

It can mean one of two things - either coaching people to help them deal with the media (I do a little of this but it’s not my main focus), or, career coaching for people who work in media which is my specialism. I coach a lot of TV producers, journalists, authors, digital media professionals, broadcasters.

Often my clients are freelancers or they might be high profile and it’s quite difficult for them to find an objective outsider who knows the media world well, which is where I can help as a coach.

Why did you make the switch from journalist to coach? 

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever 100% left journalism behind because I still write features from time to time and there is a lot of crossover with coachinhg. In both professions you are showing a curiosity about the world and people, and doing a lot of deep listening to try and find out what’s really going on with a person.

At the time I first trained as a coach, I was working as a producer for live daytime and breakfast TV, and I just wasn’t finding it particularly fulfilling or enjoyable. That world can be a bit of a sausage factory as you strive to create a programme every day that fills a hole in the TV schedules but doesn’t really have much impact apart from that. I felt like I wanted to make a more positive change in the world and I wanted to work with people one to one, on a deeper level.

Life in the media is increasingly fast paced, was there a gap in support when you were working in the sector? 

There’s no support at all as a freelancer, you have to work everything out for yourself, and for every job you do you have to prove yourself anew. And this is now a big reason why so many media freelancers come to me for coaching - they’re yearning for that support system too.

Why should we all put our wellbeing centre stage?

Because Iife’s too short not to! When you have people in your life who depend on you - your family, friends, even pets - you can’t keep on giving to them without at some point giving to yourself as well. Recharging is essential.

What does wellbeing encompass for you? 

I think for me physical and mental wellbeing go hand in hand, and what benefits one will usually benefit the other. You have to treat it as absolutely core to your life, as everything else will suffer if you don’t.

So I focus a lot on sleep, nutrition and exercise. I like strength training at the gym as there are so many benefits, it makes you feel mentally and physically strong at the same time.

We all have less and less time, what would you say to someone who thinks they don't have time to practice wellness?

Life is busy for all of us so I get that it can feel like yet another thing to add to your list. However, the danger is that if you never recharge, then at some point your battery will go flat and not only will you suffer, so will everyone who depends on you. 

There are many things that you can do to improve your wellness that take very little time or even no time at all. There are over 60 ideas for this in my book. For example, adopting a daily gratitude practice is one of the best ways to help you feel more positive. I do this in the shower in the morning, simply by thinking of 3 things I’m grateful for in that moment. It doesn’t actually take any extra time because I’d be in the shower anyway, but it makes a big difference to help me start my day in a positive frame of mind.

What are your top three tips for a sense of calm? 

  1.  Let go of perfectionism, it will only drive you mad because life is never perfect except in its imperfection. By all means, have a gold standard for yourself and aim high, but accept that you will make mistakes, there will be times when things go wrong, but it will all work out in the long run.
  2. Be a friend to yourself. Speak positively to yourself and treat yourself as a person of value, because that’s what you are.
  3. Pay attention to how you spend the first hour of your day because that sets the tone for the rest of the day. It’s quite common to wake up with raised levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which can lead to anxiety in the morning. So aim for as calm a start to the day as you can, and in particular, stay away from scrolling aimlessly through your phone.

You can listen to Jo's podcast here. If you need more support for your mental health, check out our mental health hub

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 10 October 2023
Next review: 10 October 2026