Sam Delaney

Journalist, broadcaster and speaker on men's mental health

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Author of best-selling Sort Your Head Out – Mental Health Without All The Bollocks
Journalist whose writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Mirror and many more
Radio host and broadcaster who has fronted documentaries for BBC and Channel 4

Sam Delaney is an experienced author, journalist and broadcaster with a special interest in men’s mental health.

His most recent book, Sort Your Head Out – Mental Health Without All The Bollocks, became an Amazon bestseller in 2023 and received critical plaudits from the likes of Irvine Welsh, John Niven and Seth Meyers.

He recently qualified at Level 2 in counselling skills and became an ambassador for the mental health charity, CALM.

Sam’s writing has appeared across the national press for many years, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Mirror and many more.

As a broadcaster, he has fronted documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 and hosted over 1000 hours of live national radio across the BBC, talkSPORT and talkRadio.

In a past life, he was a lad mag writer and, from 2009-2011, was the editor-in-chief of Heat magazine. He later became editor in chief of Comedy Central UK.

His other books include Get Smashed – The Story Of The Men Who Made The Ads That Saved Our Lives (Sceptre, 2007) and Mad Men And Bad Men – What Happened When British Politics Met Advertising (Faber, 2015).

He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Suggested Talks: 

A Man’s Guide To Asking For Help: Sam Delaney was a jack-the-lad with a highflying media career, a loving family, a nice house – and a secret drink and drug habit that he feared might ruin it all. On the surface, he was holding it all together. But like many stressed, middleaged men he was sliding slowly towards self-destruction. Shame, pride and fear held him back from opening up and asking for help. When desperation finally forced him to reach out, he found that people responded not with judgment but with a kindness, compassion and love that probably saved his life. Being honest about his problems lifted a vast weight from his shoulders, allowing him to start his recovery and eventually arrive at a state of true contentment. Sam explains how he managed to reach out for help without feeling ashamed or patronised; how making himself accountable to others helped him quit drink and drugs for good; and how sobriety and therapy improved his family life and boosted his career. If you’re a bloke who doesn’t like the idea of psychobabble, therapy, wellness and group meetings, this is the no-nonsense guide you need to get on top of your problems. 

How To Talk To Men About Mental Health (Without It Getting Weird): For many years, Sam Delaney got paid to talk to men. From lad mags to sports radio, he was hired for his ability to engage and entertain ordinary blokes. But when it came to talking about anything deeper than beer and football, he struggled. Like most men, he found the language of mental health alienating, patronising and boring. It was only when he faced his own mental health problems in his thirties that he realised he couldn’t avoid these conversations forever. Only by articulating his own pain and reaching out to others for help could he tackle his problems with depression, anxiety and addiction. Now the author of a best-selling book, Sort Your Head Out – Mental Health Without All The Bollocks, Sam is devoting his career to normalising conversations about mental health among men. He is passionate about speaking plainly, without the use of psychobabble; employing the language and humour of ordinary blokes to show them that talking about their feelings doesn’t have to be weird, awkward and dull. His aim is to stop men having to reach crisis point before they decide to open up. This talk spells out how it can be done. 

The 100% Myth – In praise of low-performance: From high performance podcasters to Instagram gurus, Premier League footballers to Apprentice contestants, everyone (especially men) loves to give 100%. In the board room, on the sports fields, in the gym and in the bedroom, only maximum effort will do. But is investing that much of your time and energy into any single aspect of life really healthy or practical? Could it be that this obsession with ‘100% culture’ is in fact the root cause of mass burnout and the male mental health crisis? Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. Endless studies suggest happiness indicators are in decline among men of all ages. And yet we are told by our cultural icons that more effort and application will solve all of our problems. In this talk, Sam Delaney explains the deep flaws in the 100% mentality and explains why balance is the key to happiness and success. He details how his own ‘all or nothing’ mentality led him to a state of overwhelm, depression, anxiety and addiction. And how his recovery was founded in seeking balance. By never giving more than 70%, to anything – career, money, family and fitness – he made everything 100% better. This talk advocates ‘lower-performance living’ – a much needed antidote to rampant control freakery, burnout and toxic perfectionism. 

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At Heineken, we’ve worked with Sam for around 5 years or so and he is totally professional but brings the fun and energy to every project we’ve worked on. More recently, Sam hosted a podcast on Men’s Mental Health alongside some of our senior management team. His personable approach and interview style created a safe atmosphere for our team to open up and share their experiences.

Joanna Dring, Head Of Media at Heineken UK