Making Authentic Connections with Mari Stracke

In this episode, we talk to Mari Stracke about the power of connection, comparing pain online and why sharing your unique story is so important.

oct 11th, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 2:38 You cannot sweep mental health issues under the carpet. It just comes back and it comes back bigger and worse.
  • 4:48  So often I think people who struggle mentally with things assume that “well that’s just life.” 
  • 9:58  I initially just thought if I just talk about it the way I truly feel it without trying to think about the likes that you will get, or if it resonates with people, then I can, I can just, it’s out out of my heart in a way, the negative stuff.
  • 10:54 But we are getting there, where we understand that we all have vulnerable sides. That’s what makes us human. And you have such a bigger shot at building a stronger connection with people, if you actually show your vulnerability. And if you go beyond the surface.
  • 12:49 And so I had meaningful conversations. And sometimes it’s just like an exchange of two sentences. And that’s all I or the other person need in that moment. It snaps you out of that, that loneliness that I think fuels so many of the mental illnesses that we have.
  • 14:48  I feel like what else are we really here for if not making real connections? It’s the most beautiful thing. And I think when you’re younger, that might not be on the forefront of your thoughts. And the older you get, or at least for me, it’s like, oh, well, of course, that’s what I’m here to do, the enjoyment of the dialogue with other people and to share a little bit of their experience and the way they see their world. Yeah, it’s very powerful.
  • 17:10 I often have to remind myself that I now live in a very nice bubble, of people who are advocating and who I have conversations with and where it’s very open and where everybody is proud to be vulnerable. But that is a bubble, in the grander scheme of society that is not there yet at all. 
  • 18:15 Don’t let anybody invalidate your pain.
  • 21:22 If you feel it, it’s there. Pain is pain is pain is pain. There is no “oh, no, this pain is different than that.” And if you feel it, you have it. You have that pain inside you, and you’re suffering from it. And so therefore, you deserve to be heard, and listened to and taken seriously. And to receive, ultimately, help.
  • 27:04 So that’s the first thing I say to people. I’m absolutely open to listen, and I’m interested if you want to share it. But it’s not for me to measure whether your pain is valid enough to now say, maybe try some therapy, maybe try some tools about breathing exercises, those kinds of things. Because you know that no one else is an expert on how you feel, but you. No one else, there’s no other authority than you. 
  • 29:22 I think that’s a big one for me at the moment to try and live fully. And by that I mean, go for the connection. Say yes to things.
  • 29:53 Life is about the dialogue with other people, understanding how other people see the world and understanding that my viewpoint is just one of very many. And we all have this experience on this planet. So living life to the fullest, for me, personally, is something [that] has become a mantra recently.

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This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit

Show Contributors
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Mari Stracke

Originally from Germany, Mari Stracke is a London-based writer, occasional stand-up comedian and mental health advocate who blogs about mental health to her engaged 50k following on Instagram. After a close family member tried to commit suicide in 2013, she began to speak publicly about the importance of de-stigmatising mental illness. Today, she openly shares her own struggles with anxiety and PTSD, which she was diagnosed with after witnessing a graphic knife crime in London.   With a background in filmmaking, Mari particularly loves working on stories that raise awareness. She believes that making the extremely personal experience of living with a mental illness widely accessible through storytelling can be a lifeline – not only to those who suffer in silence but also for loved ones who find it difficult to relate. She is currently working on her first book and in her free time she enjoys watching the colorful houseboats on the canal in her home borough of Hackney.