Prince Harry took part in a podcast about mental health, grief & therapy

Prince Harry attends Landmine Free 2025 event

Prince Harry has probably done a “first” for the royal family: he sat down for a lengthy podcast interview. And it’s about mental health! Harry chatted with The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon’s Mad World inaugural podcast specifically to discuss mental health. In an effort to destigmatize therapy and seeking mental health support, Harry went in-depth about his grief over his mother’s death and how it took him years to really work through that grief. You can hear the podcast here at the Telegraph. Some highlights:

Losing his mom at the age of 12: “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well. I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”

Whether he’s ever seen a shrink: “I’ve done that a couple of times, more than a couple of times, but it’s great.”

He took up boxing to work through his anger issues: “During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression. And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”

His brother and other people suggested he seek help: They said, “Look, you really need to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you.”

Prince Harry said of his loss: “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? [I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back. So from an emotional side, I was like ‘right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything’. So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it. And then [I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the 
forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”

Dealing with fight-or-flight reactions: Even at royal engagements, he said, he had found himself battling a “flight or fight” reaction without properly 
understanding why. Once he started opening up to friends, he added, he found those same friends felt able to “unravel their own issues”.

He wasn’t struggling with mental health issues because of his military service: “I can safely say it’s not Afghanistan-related. I’m not one of those guys that has had to see my best mate blown up next to me and have to apply a tourniquet to both their legs. Luckily, thank God, I wasn’t one of those people.”

Learning how to talk about his mother: “The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club…. What we are trying to do is normalise the conversation to the point where anyone can sit down and have a coffee and just go ‘you know what, I’ve had a really s— day, can I just tell about it? Because then you walk away and it’s done. Because of the process I have been through over the past two and a half years, I’ve now been able to take my work seriously, been able to take my private life seriously as well, and been able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else.”

[From The Telegraph]

Harry says a few times in the podcast that William was a huge support for him and that William was one of the people telling him to seek help for his anger, anxiety and grief. Which is interesting because I sometimes feel like William is the one who hasn’t properly dealt with anything regarding his mom? William is the one who tightly balls up his fists to get through his royal events. He’s the one who chose his wife by how much he liked her mother. Still, it’s great that Harry is talking about all of this and he’s doing great work destigmatizing mental health conversations at every level.

Prince Harry attends the UK team trials for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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60 Responses to “Prince Harry took part in a podcast about mental health, grief & therapy”

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  1. Citresse says:

    Feel better Prince Harry. It’s good days and bad days. You’re not alone.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes. I love how easily he’s able to talk about these issues that can be especially tough for men. The more we normalize it, the better chance we have of erasing the unfortunate stigma around mental health.

      • Emma33 says:

        I had tears in my eyes reading this, because I have a close male member of my family who struggles with mental health issues. We have talked a couple of times about how hard he finds it, as a guy, to be open about what’s happening with him. I really had no idea there was such a gender gap in talking about mental health issues.

        Now, I’m not going to tell total strangers about my anxiety , but I can certainly tell friends, and my relative didn’t even feel he could do that.

        It is quite possible that Harry will save a couple of lives by being open about his grief and the fact he has seen a counselor, because I imagine this interview will be quite high profile in the UK.

      • bluhare says:

        Same here, Emma33, about having a male relative (two, actually) who struggle, and are closed up about it.

      • Esmom says:

        Count me in as someone with a male relative who struggles. My son is almost 18 and his battle against anxiety and depression (he’s also on the autism spectrum) has been epic. He’s the strongest person I know, yet he suffers in silence. I had to take him to the ER one night last summer and he did talk about it a little bit with two friends as he was recovering. But now he’s back to being stoic and silent and I wish that wasn’t the case.

      • Original T.C. says:

        This is why untreated PTSD rates stay so high until a violence is committed by the sufferer. I think it would help if more men were recruited into the mental health field. More ex-military especially.

      • Lucy says:

        My father didn’t seek help until he was in his 50s he suffers from bi-polar, depression and anxiety but was too ashamed all his life to seek help.

  2. Talie says:

    I suspect William has been in therapy as well…but he’s way too guarded to do an interview like this.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      They both apparently got counselling in the aftermath of the accident.

    • Nicole says:

      I agree I believe he probably has gotten therapy. However William might have pushed aside his own issues for his brother at some points. Not saying I love William but he is an older brother this would not surprise me.
      This was a great podcast.

  3. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Glad you sought help and that you are speaking out about it. Harry should be leading on Mental Health on his own as he clearly has empathy that shines through when he talks about it. Can’t say I feel the same about his brother and his wife who look like they’d rather be elsewhere.

    And yes I agree that William needs counselling as well, there is still a lot of anger/resentment there with him and he’s taking it out on his father. I know they had counselling in the aftermath of the accident but it seems that maybe they didn’t take it in.

    • Original T.C. says:

      I always find it odd that it’s Harry the little brother who is the most affectionate and praising of William in public but never the reverse. In pictures, it’s always Harry literally looking at William with stars in his eyes.

      I will never forget the moment Harry sneaked back a look at Kate coming down the aisle during Wills’ wedding and expressed his happiness to his brother on choosing a beautiful bride. It might just be a normal dynamics of their sibling relationship that works for both but it seems so uneven.

      • Nicole says:

        I don’t know I feel like it’s their personalities coming to play as well as the older/younger dynamic. I see it in me and my brother. I’m way more closed off as the older sibling where my brother is more open than I am. I also feel like if you have a good older sibling you might idolize them. Idk I find their dynamic quite normal

      • lobbit says:

        IDK it’s not unusual to see someone idolize an older sibling. I agree that Harry is a lot more generous than William in his praise, but then Harry seems much more open-hearted than William is in general.

        I do remember that moment with Harry and Will at the wedding – it was so sweet. It’s one of the few moments from the ceremony that’s stayed with me over the years.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Coupled with this, 9 times out of 10 it is William saying something negative about Harry (often to his face in interviews) vs. Harry;s rare joking comments about William. Generally, William’s “joking” has a hurtful twist to it as well.

      • Original T.C. says:

        Good point, it could just be their natural personalities of openness vs. guarded.

    • Joannie says:

      Seriously? How would you know if William needs counselling? Or if he’s taking it out on his father? Lol i cant help but laugh at your all knowing assumption.

      • AnneC says:

        Harry praises William for helping him, everyone on this site says what a terrible person William is. It’s like clockwork. I don’t even need to to click on comments anymore. Made the mistake of reading comments about Garner/Affleck. Ugh, people are so unkind about people they don’t even know. Very trumpian. I save my anger for people who are really doing bad things, not celebrities I don’t know.

  4. bluhare says:

    I actually listened to it for the entire 29 minutes! Something of a record for me; I usually don’t last that long at things. I came away impressed. I bet he really helps someone with that; as I was listening I thought about one or two people who could benefit from it.

  5. Megan says:

    Honks for Harry!

    • bluhare says:

      Honks for Harry!

    • Lainey says:

      All the honks for Harry!

    • Maria says:

      Honk, honk honk! And lots of hugs for Harry, who is not only raising awareness about mental health and grieving, but is talking about his personal experience as well. My boys were 10 and 14 when my husband died. Neither talked about it, one worked through it by getting a philosophy degree, and the other at 26 came down with a panic disorder that went on for a few years. He is ok now, does a lot of yoga and keeps busy managing a restaurant. So thank you Harry!

    • lobbit says:

      Honk HONK!!!

  6. Eleonor says:

    Harry has inherited his mother ability to connect to people, to be warm, and has learned to use the media, like Diana. William probably because of “the future king” trap he is in, does not or have not that ability. He thinks he can do no wrong.
    I also think Harry made a lot of mess when he was younger (the nazi custom FFS) and he paid the consequenses: William has never been slammed in public like his brother up to know, I think it could be good for him.
    And btw I think Diana would be very proud of Harry, and all the work he is doing.

  7. felixswan2 says:

    Love.

  8. Lucy says:

    Wow. Now I really want to listen to it.

  9. ash says:

    harry is amazing

  10. Sharon Lea says:

    Its very impressive that he admitted he had been dealing with it, not only as a teenager, but well into his 20s. Wonder if these things fueled his heavy partying. And did Charles encourage his counseling? I have to listen to it, at work so can’t right now.

    • bluhare says:

      I absolutely think that they fueled some of his behavior. Alcohol is a classing numbing technique. Charles has been in therapy himself, so I hope he encouraged him with that.

      • Sharon Lea says:

        Yes, it does seem like he hinted the partying tied into it. I wonder if Charles encouraged him because he specifically mentioned William by name a few times, but not his father. And we know Charles probably didn’t like discussing Diana.

  11. slowsnow says:

    “I don’t really listen to podcasts”: that is not to say on a podcast, Harry! Poor thing he comes off as an old man who is really nervous – which is incredibly endearing.
    My take is that he was really screwing up when he was a kid due to grief and pressure from his role as a public person to the point where even his out-of-touch brother noticed.
    And now he’s the best one of the 2.

  12. seesittellsit says:

    Ummm, HELLO is reporting that Harry is going to the Middleton wedding AND that Markle has asked for time off from “Suits” to attend the wedding with him. . .

    No surprise about Harry attending, but if it is true that he’s bringing Markle (which would kind of surprise me in view of the “upstage the bride” issue) . . . it looks like one of my bets this year will FINALLY pay off (albeit not by much).

    • Luca76 says:

      Oh they’re getting engaged Markle stepped down as spokesperson for some clothing line then went a step further and made the stop using her image in current ads. So that’s , rumors of her leaving Suits (that seem to come from bigger sources) and , shutting down the Tig, and walking away from a modeling contract. All because she wants to do philanthropy. (Wink)

      • seesittellsit says:

        @Luca76, agree totally. I think him ditching the traditional Easter service to be with her speaks volumes-the broader message is, “There are now enough people closer to the whole game to do this . . . I don’t need to do it and I’m going to head for a more private life . . .” Kidding aside, I don’t think Harry-Meghan are going to be another Andy-Fergie extravaganza. I think Harry is more realistic, it’s Kate and Wills carrying the ball now and he’s heading for a far more comfortably-secondary role. Markle will be kept carefully secondary, too, in line with Charles’s realizing the whole show has to be scaled back, going through the direct heir only . . .

      • notasugarhere says:

        It appears the step-down took place in December not now. The store kept using the association for four months after the contract ended, which would be why lawyers would get involved.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      KP confirmed last week that he was going to the fake royal wedding, would be surprised to see Meghan there as it would upstage the bride and given how precious Pips has been about over halves am not sure she’d allow it. She apparently told the groom’s own brother that he can’t bring his gf – there is a ‘no ring no bring’ policy.

      If Meghan turns up it would purely be for the PR that they’d get off the back of it.

      • seesittellsit says:

        Well, she could certainly come in spend the week with him and not show up at the church, but perhaps at some pre-parties . . .? They could make a silent statement without her actually coming to the church and upstaging poor dear Pippa.

      • Lady D says:

        …or the bullshit about her ‘no ring, no bring’ is just that, bullshit. A speculative story from a gossip rag. Do you suppose it’s TRJames that is insisting on Harry at his wedding?

      • Nic919 says:

        Maybe Harry only agreed to go in the first place if Meghan could attend as well. It’s also possible he is basically engaged but due to protocol the formal announcement won’t be made for a while.

      • bluhare says:

        Hello! said she was going and People’s now come out and said she’s going to the evening reception, not the ceremony.

      • lobbit says:

        People mag has confirmed that Meghan will attend the reception with Harry–not the wedding, though.

  13. Rae says:

    Another honk for Harry.

  14. suze says:

    This should be very effective. Personal stories often are.

    Good for you, Harry.

  15. Mamunia says:

    Having watched Harry grow up, you can easily see the changes. He’s now very comfortable in his role and accepts the responsibilities. William has such serious mental health issues. He was, by all accounts, his mother’s confidant. He clearly is angry with his father for the way he treated his mother and has not accepted Camilla after growing up hearing from his mother about this horrible woman. He is openly resentful of his royal status and does everything he possibly can to avoid it. He needs therapy desperately. I’m afraid that his parents marriage was as detrimental to him as his mother’s early death. I’m not making excuses for him, but he’s clearly not dealt with his emotional issues and he’s clearly unhappy and discontented with his life.

    • Joannie says:

      Serious mental health issues? You know this how?

      • bluhare says:

        I think what Maumunia said is a stretch; however, I do think it’s likely he has had repercussions from his mother’s death as well. Assuming it’s only Harry because he’s the one acknowledging it now isn’t necessarily correct either.

    • Minxx says:

      I agree. I always thought that William was most affected by the way his parents’ marriage disintegrated – let’s not forget that he was “parentified” by Diana, who relied on him for support, even when he was quite small. I don’t know obviously how seriously he’s affected by his childhood but there is no way he was able to put it behind him without some serious therapy.

  16. Cerys says:

    Good for Harry. It can’t have been easy to talk about such a personal matter in public and I hope it helps other people in similar situations. He certainly seems more comfortable with himself and his Royal role nowadays.

  17. PettyRiperton says:

    I’m happy Harry gotten help and is willing to share it with the public. I’m not surprised William encouraged his brother to seek help. It’s easy to recognize problems with others than oneself. William need to talk to someone too. He resents his father and how he treated his mother therefore tries to do as little as possible when it comes to his royal duties.

  18. Pumpkin Pie says:

    Bravo for the courage!

  19. Gailly says:

    So much honking for this one!

  20. Spike says:

    His good works honor his mother. He is carrying on her legacy.

    Mental health issues still carries a stigma. Discussing his own struggles, showing that kind of vulnerability & empathy shifts the conversation.

    It’s important work at a time when it has become a public health crisis. If only US politicians would recognize this; increase funding instead of gutting it.

  21. Kri says:

    Wow.What a man. I really appreciate him for this.Amazing.

  22. Cee says:

    My 66 year old mother lost hers at the age of 15 and she still deals with her loss. I’m happy Harry went to therapy and I hope he gets better and learns to live with the reality of not having and missing his mother. I am also glad he is being open about it – men usually suffer the hardest as they have to keep up this macho facade that ultimately corrodes them. I used to suffer in silence and therapy saved me; it’s a long process but things do get better.

  23. Hashtagwhat says:

    Well played, Harry. Just like your mother.

    Wills skips commonwealth services to go skiing and gets a ton of flack for it. Harry misses his grandmother’s birthday and Easter services to go to Toronto, but the news is released alongside this little mental health gem, which we’ve all been wanting Harry (or some royal) to talk about personally.

    And we still think Harry’s got worse press instincts than his brother? I think that’s either wrong or definitely changing. This to me is him starting to get the public on his side for an engagement. Sorry to be a cynic.

    • lobbit says:

      Well, to be fair, he hasn’t missed his Grandmother’s birthday. I do agree that this interview was strategic in the timing of its release. It’s pretty smart, actually: The interview serves one of his signature causes in a massive way and also helps to endear him to the public at a time when he could use a little goodwill. I think its very interesting that he made it a point to mention that attending to his mental health allowed him to get serious about his professional AND personal life…

      ETA: I do think that he was being genuine in the interview and that he actually wants to help people by sharing his story. And the press is calling his admission a paradigm shift in the way Britain deals with mental health issues. So, well done, Harry!

  24. Minxx says:

    Well done, Harry! I think he’s preparing the ground for the engagement announcement – soon after Pippa’s wedding. I think they’ll get engaged by June and marry by December, I doubt this is going to be a long engagement – she’s 35 and they probably want to have at least a couple of kids before she turns 40. His comment about being serious “in his personal life” combined with Meghan’s closing down the blog and pulling out of certain projects suggest that they’re privately engaged already.

  25. Sharon Lea says:

    Just listened to the podcast and bravo Harry, this was an excellent personal interview and with such a willingness to discuss his point of view. Its like the words came tumbling out of him. As a huge Diana fan, this interview reminds me most of her. Diana was willing to seek help, discuss her problems with friends and professionals. She had the guts to reveal things publicly, to show she was human and truly cared. I am so glad he found his way.

  26. Vinot says:

    I’ve long thought that Harry’s mannerisms and general attitude has shown evidence of serious therapy, possibly EMDR, and possibly starting after the Vegas incident. As someone who is currently in their umpteenth round of therapy, it’s comforting to see Harry take such a modern attitude about it. Not only does he state that he’s been, but that he had issues because he hadn’t gone to see someone. Honk all the way up.