All of our services are available online

60. Authenticity & Self-Expression

This week’s episode is a recording from a Facebook Live between Alice Lyons and Dani Hakim, CoFounder of Safe Space, a societal impact agency committed to helping companies and individuals pursue better mental health. Dani has 15 years of experience in the marketing industry, which is experience she uses creatively within the business.

The mission of Safe Space is to make mental health support accessible by providing initiatives, programmes and resources by network-trained professionals in a safe and nurturing environment to help people learn how to prioritise their mental wellbeing.

Dani and Alice discuss the concept of authenticity in business, the relationships that can occur because of it and the difficulties people have with bringing themselves to work.

Also discussed:

(1:01) Alice’s introduction to the episode

(6:15) Introduction

(9:21) Authenticity and empathy and how this factors into your relationship with customers/clients, brand authenticity through sharing stories and personal experiences

(14:45) How hearing other people’s stories helps us resonate more than superficial forms of connection and the importance of being authentic genuinely rather than for marketing purposes

(16:50) The difficulties of applying steps towards bettering mental health, the connection between self-expression and authenticity, live videos and comfort zones, ways to start ‘bringing yourself’ to what you’re doing

(23:00) How specific comments people give can affect how we try to approach things in the future, giving yourself permission to be yourself which can also help others to do the same, social media and the boundaries it can create due to excessive editing and photo manipulation

(28:41) Difficulties that arise due to maintaining authenticity in down moments, presenting your authentic self rather than your ‘best self’ to others and how this ties into the shame around mental health

(31:49) Quality connections and how they increase when we’re being honest with ourselves, similarities are acknowledged, resonating with content

(37:50) Being authentic at home and at work rather than separating the two, what businesses can do to help facilitate authenticity, the importance of leadership

(37:30) Sharing things first to facilitate others to share their own experiences, building trust

(43:45) Tips for bringing authenticity to conversation/communication

(50:27) Do you think there has to be a distinction between you/your business and how much humour can you bring?

(55:24) Closing comments

Dani’s LinkedIn:

Safe Space LinkedIn:

Safe Space website:

Welcome to Dark Coffee, the podcast that starts engaging and approachable conversations around mental health.

Join wellbeing advocate Alice Lyons as she attempts to normalise the conversation around mental health, from suicide to satisfaction and everything in between.

Dark Coffee aims to create a safe space to explore dark topics with curiosity, compassion and courage to empower people to build their mental strength, resilience and sense of connection.

Join the conversation by sharing this episode, subscribing to the podcast or following Alice on Linked In.

Your reviews will help Dark Coffee reach more people. If you like what you’ve heard, please consider leaving a review to help spread the conversation further.

Suicide and Emotional Support Organisations – UK

Samaritans: Confidential suicide discussion and emotional support. Free helpline available round the clock. Text – 116123.  Call – 08457 909090  Email – Website –

Mind: Support and information for anyone suffering from a mental health issue. 0300 123 3393 Website –

Saneline: Practical information, crisis care and emotional support to people affected by mental health concerns. Helpline: 0845 767 8000, open daily from 6pm – 11pm.

Leave a Comment