How talking changed everything – Co-founder Aimi Maunders shares her journey on Happy Place

Happiful co-founder Aimi Maunders joins Fearne Cotton’s podcast to talk all things Happiful and shares how talking to a therapist changed everything for her

Marking fifteen years since Counselling Directory – the beginning of all things Happiful – was launched, co-founder Aimi Maunders joined the Happy Place podcast line up to share the life experiences that led to Happiful’s creation, her own belief in the power of talking and how making a connection with the right professional support for you, can make a huge difference.

In 2005, Aimi and her sister Emma launched Counselling Directory – to help people find the professional help they needed, on their own terms. The idea was born out of their own mental health challenges, and their shared fundamental belief that we all need to help one another.

Fast forward to 2020 and Counselling Directory has five sister sites including Life Coach Directory and Nutritionist Resource, and of course – Happiful – which launched in March 2017. All are now part of the Happiful family and over 1.5 million people have found support through Happiful’s resources.

Aimi was one of the many people who used the Directory she and her sister had developed for others, to find a therapist of her own after living with OCD since her teenage years and experiencing challenges after the birth of her first child.

“Emotions are something that have been very difficult for me, and feelings, they’re not something that I’m used to expressing easily.” Aimi shared, reflecting on how she connected with her therapist.

“So to be able to sit in front of somebody and she didn’t try to give me advice, she didn’t try to tell me what to do, she just gave me herself – her whole self. It was life-changing.”

Explaining how working with a therapist isn’t the same as chatting with a family member or friend, Aimi says: “The difference is when you’re sitting across from somebody who has no agenda other than for you to do what you need to do, it allows you to do what you need to do.”

Both Aimi and Emma continue to be huge advocates for finding the help that best suits each individuals’ circumstances – not just engaging professional support but knowing personally the small things that can make a big difference on a daily basis – whether that’s meditation, time outside, talking to others or exercising.

“Having a self care ‘toolbox’ that you can go to when you need to is great,” Aimi explained. “That’s partly what we offer with Happiful, we have all these articles and resources, and things you can do to help yourself – that’s the purpose of Happiful.”

Listen to the whole episode of Happy Place with Aimi

Listened to Happy Place already? You can hear from Fearne Cotton, Shahroo Izadi, Jamie Windust and Kimberley Wilson on Happiful’s podcast I am. I have.