My name is Non (pronounced like "known") Wels, and I'm a writer and editor, dog lover, and feely human. I created and host the podcast: You, Me, Empathy.
You, Me, Empathy is about embracing vulnerability and empathy in our conversations around mental health. It's a podcast about breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness. And it's about creating a safe space for everyday folks like me to share their mental health story.
My listeners are people who care deeply about fostering mental health awareness, want to find hope and solace in relating to others, realize they're not alone, and who choose to embrace empathy wholeheartedly.
I started You, Me, Empathy because I almost died once (you can read about that here: nonwels.com/my-story). After many decades of bottling everything up inside, as a form of control, but also as a form of survival, I've learned that being more vulnerable and open about my mental health is good for me—and I believe it's good for others also.
My initial goal for the podcast is just to make an impact in the way we talk about and perceive mental health; and to encourage people to share their own story. It took a few months to develop the concept for the podcast, and maybe a month of chatting with people before I released my first episode on January 1, 2018.
You, Me, Empathy is a weekly podcast, with new episodes out every Monday. It takes anywhere from 3-4 hours per episode to put everything together—from the editing to the post-production audio stuff to the show notes and whatnot. It's a lot of work, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am deeply passionate about it, so I make the time on weekends (usually during the week as well when I can) to get it done.
I spend money on hosting, website, podcast domain, audio leveling. It costs about $30/month or so.
I don't have any sponsors currently. It's a very new show. But I also don't foresee that happening for You, Me, Empathy. And I'm okay with that. I just want to create a quality show that makes an impact on people's lives. If I can get just one person to say that You, Me, Empathy has inspired them to be more open and vulnerable about their mental health, to share their story with friends, or even just to seek help, I am so content with that.
I use Libsyn as my podcast host. I level my audio with Auphonic. I have two Audio-Technica ATR2100 USB mics and a small Xenyx mixer.
I find guests by searching on Twitter or Instagram, typically. Or just people in my network I've connected with before on other topics. I don't do too much prep work, as I find that can stifle actual active listening and empathy. I try to be in the moment; I find that makes for the best interviewing and conversation. I interview most of my guests via Skype, and I use the Ecamm Call Recorder as a recording device.
People listen mostly via my website at YouMeEmpathy.com, or through the Podcasts App (iTunes).
I don't really do much marketing, but I try to stay active on Twitter and Instagram (@YouMeEmpathy). And I created a You, Me, Empathy Facebook Community that allows for listeners to create another safe space to talk about mental health.
Don't take too many notes beforehand. Keep research to a minimum. Practice listening, and stay present. The better you do at that, the better conversation you'll have with your guests.