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Radio 1’s Jordan North On How Having A Good Laugh Helps Him De-Stress

With so many new wellness trends around, it’s easy to forget about the basic stuff – like having a good old laugh with your mates.

“Everyone’s got that mate who they always have a good laugh with, and it’s so important,” says radio and podcast host Jordan North. “If you’re feeling like life’s getting on top of you, you’re a bit stressed and your mental health is taking a bit of a battering, it’s good to go and see that mate you know you can have a laugh with.

“Thankfully, I get to do that every day with Vick [Hope, his BBC Radio 1 co-host] and William [Hanson, who North co-hosts the podcast Help I Sexted My Boss with], so I’m very, very lucky.”

The York-born broadcaster, 32 – who was runner-up on the 2020 series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – clearly loves his job.

Radio has been his passion from day one; he studied media production at the University of Sunderland, getting involved with student radio before working his way up via researcher and producer jobs for various stations after graduating.

“I’ve always said, as long as I’m on the radio, I’m happy,” he says. “But if anything else comes along (and it’s something that really appeals to me) then that’s great too. But I don’t want to be on telly and stuff just for the sake of being on telly, if that makes sense, I do try to pick carefully.”

Right now, he’s teamed up with the newly launched KitKat Bites on their ‘Mid-Weekend’ campaign – encouraging people to embrace a bit of self-care and mood-boosting indulgence on a Wednesday, instead of just waiting for the weekend.

A survey by KitKat found more than half of Brits (56%) want more time to de-stress but struggle due to their busy lives – with things like being swamped with deadlines (28%) and meetings (23%) getting in the way, while 44% admitted they feel overwhelmed with anxiety.

Psychologist Dr Roberta Babb, says mid-week self-care could be really beneficial, especially if Monday-Friday tends to be “fast-paced” and “stressful – with breaks often being seen as something that occurs at the weekend”.

Babb adds: “A ‘little and often’ approach is an easy way to improve your wellbeing.”

For North, it’s important these things are actually attainable – and don’t have to “cost an arm and a leg”.

Usually, his “happy place” is the football – “but it’s been really stressful this season!” he says. “For me, it’s really the simple things, like going to the cinema, because you can totally switch off there.

You can lose yourself in a film for a couple of hours and you can’t get your phone out and get stressed.

Jordan North
Jordan North before embarking on his 100-mile Comic Relief rowing challenge in February (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I also love running, that really helps me. Going for a run around the park really clears the head. Also, just having chilled nights in. You can’t beat just watching telly, getting into a really good series.

“I’d love to say I go to the park and do yoga and meditate and swim in the river at six o’clock in the morning, but no, that’s not me,” he adds with a laugh. “It’s just good old-fashioned going to the cinema and having a chilled one.

“That’s why I was so happy to be part of this campaign. Yeah – let’s have a bit of a treat midweek! Have some chocolate and chill out, that’s how it should be. We’re so strict with ourselves these days. But this stuff just cheers you up and puts a smile on your face.

“It’s funny,” he recalls, “back in January, when everyone’s miserable, I was like: I’m not doing dry Jan and I’m going to start doing more stuff during the week, and I still try and do it now and it’s just been the best thing.”

These things are a constant “learning curve” though, North reflects. Plus the podcast, which sees the hosts read out and discuss listeners’ often highly embarrassing, hilarious and shocking life dilemmas, is a good reminder that “we’re all just winging it” a lot of the time.

“We are – whether that’s your work, whether it’s being a mum or dad. I can tell you I definitely am – some days when we go on the radio, I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what we’re gonna talk about’.”

There’s one thing he’s “100%” certain about however – having a good laugh does a lot of good for his own wellbeing.

“I always get a bit giddy before I do [the podcast] and just before I go on air, and no matter how stressed I am or if I’m feeling a bit meh, it always puts a smile on my face,” says North. “It’s such a laugh and always makes me feel better.”

To mark the launch of the new KitKat Bites, KitKat is encouraging the nation to embrace some ‘Mid-weekend’ self-care and indulgence.

Readers in London also have the chance to win a luxury KitKat Bites Midweekend package, hand-delivered to their door by Jordan North. Enter before midnight on Tuesday (May 4) via the KitKat UK Facebook page