“I love peas. Everything else is a chore if I’m honest.” We chat wellbeing with Will Young’s podcast co-host Chris Sweeney.
Chris Sweeney, alongside his good friend Will Young, is one half of the hilarious and heart-warming podcast Homo Sapiens. Their guests span the world of sport, acting, politics and music. They recently interviewed Jeremy Corbyn on jam-making and the Zen art of being a member of parliament. The pair are currently travelling the UK to hear about LGBTQ+ life across Britain.
What are you working on at the moment?
Series 2 of Homo Sapiens. For this series we’ve gone on the road travelling all over Britain talking about LGBTQ+ issues from all over the country.
What has been your biggest life challenge – what did you do to overcome it?
Apart from working with Will…? Joking, I think coming out as gay was a really big deal for me at the time. I found it really, really hard. I overcame it by – I suppose – just starting to tell people, and then immediately wishing that I had done it years before. We underestimate how much the people around us love us and want to help.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Tea in bed with my husband and my dog Ridley, then a drive to a park for a long walk, lunch somewhere with my friend Harry, having a good idea that I’m excited about in the afternoon, followed by seeing my family and then an evening with my husband where we have a drink and talk for hours.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Literally everything – we are so lucky to be alive!
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Perseverance! Keeping on top of your mental health is a constant continuous thing that requires discipline but when you get it right you feel great.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
Mini Magnums. Only half the size of a proper magnum!
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new ability to aid your health what would it be?
An ability to do exercise without constantly thinking: ‘How can I get out of this?’ (As if I’m a naughty school kid).
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I do Joe Wicks Body Coach while I listen to podcasts. I often skip a set of reps because I’m writing something interesting down!
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
My version would be playing football and being terrified. Sport ruined school for me. But hey ho! And next week to conquer my fear I am playing with an over 45 women’s team called COGS. I’m going to be the honorary man for the match! I’m actually terrified.
Do you think the egg and spoon race should be an Olympic sport as well as running for a bus?
Hmmmm not sure? I do think we should merge Paralympics and Olympics though – they should just be called The Olympics, no?
Who was your best friend at school? What was the funniest thing they did?
My friend Harry – he’s still my best friend. That’s cool isn’t it? Once we had a Geography assignment to write about a natural disaster and he chose to ignore that and made a film where he pretended he was in an earthquake by shaking the camera and falling over the place. Our teacher was not happy.
Pumps or trainers for PE?
Hiding in the changing room until the class was over was my preference.
Name your top five best vegetables.
Five?? Blimey. I love peas. Everything else is a chore if I’m honest.
What three songs lift your spirits?
There are so many. Mariah Carey ‘Honey’ is an all-time favourite. Jess Glynn ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’ got me through a tough time, and then often something really sad lifts my spirits because I sort of exorcise the sadness by listening to it if that makes sense. Lily Allen has done a song called Family Man that someone sent me and it’s just beautiful.
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
The Velvet Rage really helped me understand some things about myself.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Share what you’re feeling. People will always want to help. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Homo Sapiens series 2 is available now, homosapienspodcast.com