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Our Story

Dark Coffee started as a podcast in 2018, hosted by mental health advocate and wellbeing facilitator Alice Lyons.

Alice wanted to normalise talking about suicidality by sharing her experiences, offering reassurance to other people who may have felt the same. Dark Coffee quickly found a wider audience as the conversation around suicide opened into broader discussions of identity, mental health, wellbeing and social change.

When Alice joined an entrepreneur accelerator program in early 2019, the interest from the small business community encouraged her to extend the Dark Coffee offering further. Within six months, Dark Coffee had become a wellbeing agency, redefining the mental health conversation through training, events and advocacy.

Dark Coffee Podcast

"Thank you Alice for being a beacon of light for so many others around this sensitive subject. You’ve opened my eyes to a new way of thinking around this topic and you deliver it in such a beautiful way."

"So good to hear honest, BS-free conversations about mental health and how to manage it in work and everyday life."

Alice's Story

Hi, I'm Alice - Founder and Director of Dark Coffee.

​I’m one of the 1 in 5 adults in the UK who has experienced thoughts of suicide.

The shame I felt around my mental ill health prevented me from seeking any help through my early twenties when I was experiencing depression and suicidality; it was the most casual thing in the world for me to fantasise about jumping off buildings when I was on my bus ride home after work.

​By the age of 24, I was fully burnt out and my body had a breakdown.

​I took time away from my job managing a coffee shop to have an operation, but during my recovery I realised that my physical problems were a symptom of my mental and emotional state. I needed to start making some serious changes.

I discovered the concept of personal development through watching TED Talks on YouTube. I reached a comforting realisation that I wasn’t alone with my challenges, I didn’t need to feel ashamed and, most importantly, that I could empower myself to do things differently.

I began investing in my personal and professional development, exploring everything from mindfulness, journaling and therapy to energy healing and spirituality, leading to massive changes in my lifestyle, work and relationships.

​My career took a vibrant and meandering path. I held leadership roles in hospitality and retail before retraining in interior design which eventually helped me trip into marketing and business development.

A call for adventure made me move from Bristol to Manchester with no friends, no job and no clear plan. I trusted that I’d figure things out when I got here – and I’m happy to say it’s worked out well so far!

​I have been a part of the small business community for the last four years and I combine my experiences of leading teams with my solid love of people to inform all of the work that I do with Dark Coffee.

I’ve designed it to be the company that I wish would have existed when I was struggling with my mental health on my own, to give other people the confidence, encouragement and skills to be able to step into their badass selves.

What We Do