The Gurls Talk Podcast
About this podcast
Your regular source of fierce female chat. Hosted by Adwoa Aboah and featuring different guests, as they talk, share, listen and take control of their lives.
About this podcast
Your regular source of fierce female chat. Hosted by Adwoa Aboah and featuring different guests, as they talk, share, listen and take control of their lives.
The Gurls Talk Podcast
- Season 2
Ep.56 Adwoa talks to Brandon Flynn about getting sober, self-reflection during the pandemic, and what it means to be an ally.
It’s easy to spiral from the seemingly smallest things during the pandemic. Life has been really tough for a long time now. But one thing, one huge thing, has helped immeasurably: being sober. And in this episode, Brandon shares his experience of leaning into the AA community and reaching his first year of sobriety. Choosing a life of sobriety, he says, has been the hardest and most gratifying thing he’s ever done. Brandon is a brilliant human, an empath, and an authentic voice on and off screen, which makes him a dream to talk to. We swap stories on living solo during the pandemic, about self-reflection and engaging in the quality of friendships. We talk about shows that are bold enough to tackle storytelling in a different way, and his character as the complex and conflicted heartthrob, Justin Foley, in the Netflix hit series, 13 Reasons Why. And lastly, we look at how the culture of curiosity plays a part in activism and community work. Enjoy listening. And mad amounts of love. You can follow @brandonflynn and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep.55 Adwoa talks to Rosalía about what it means to be a Spanish singer on a global stage and how the pandemic is impacting the future of music.
Remember being squished in a sweaty crowd with thousands of people watching an insanely talented music artist performing on stage? And the artist’s energy, and the crowd’s energy feeding one another, and in that moment, your body’s buzzing with joy – you feel alive. Yeah, us too. For Rosalía, she misses the energy from performing to a large audience, she misses being around people. I think most of us do. In this episode, we talk about how performances have had to adapt in this upside world. Being away from her Spanish home for the past year and in the US where she’s been busy working on new music, Rosalía talks about her influences and how the world closing its shutters has created a different energy to her music. With Rosalía’s Spanish heritage playing such a vital role in her identity and style, she expands on how it’s shaped her sound. Enjoy listening to this one. And mad amounts of love. You can follow @rosalia.vt and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 54. Adwoa chats with Stacy Sims, PhD, Global Expert on Female Athlete Physiology, and Nike Master Trainer Joslyn Thompson Rule about breaking taboos, first periods and girls dropping out of sport, and tracking your cycle to get the most out of fitness.
On this week’s podcast, I catch up with two formidable ladies in the fields of women’s health and sport. Stacy Sims, PhD is an expert in sex differences, and globally acclaimed for her research and TED Talk, ‘Women are Not Small Men’. She’s dedicated the last 20 years to educating women, and men, on the female body, and how it responds differently to athleticism than the male body. Joslyn Thompson Rule, a woman with many strings to her bow, is a Nike Global Master Trainer, a Sports Therapist, and Coaching Mentor. She draws from her years of coaching women, and young girls as we discuss the benefits of working with the female cycle: how it not only boosts health and training results, but also empowers girls to own their fitness through every stage of the menstrual cycle. I talk about my experiences with puberty, how confusing navigating that time can be, and we discuss why so many girls are dropping out of sport during puberty, after getting their period. I definitely remember skipping P.E. during that early life phase. It’s crazy that something that half the population gets is still the cause of such embarrassment. This week’s episode is a reminder to start having open conversations with girls about periods and sport early on. To be honest, I spent most of this episode enthralled by Stacy and Joslyn’s passion and commitment to this issue. And I learned a lot of things about my body, training, and the menstrual cycle that I didn’t know. Even as an adult! Easy listening guys - and as always mad, mad love. You can follow @DrStacySims and @JoslynThompsonRule, and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 53. Adwoa talks to Rupi Kaur about the potential of the self, the power of community and sisterhood, and the importance of amplifying marginalised voices.
Fangirling Rupi is an easy thing to do. If not for her raw, intimate poetry, for the way she talks about the power of her friendships and platonic, familial love. It makes talking (and listening) to Rupi feel like you’ve been friends forever. As we ruminate life in lockdown – me in London, Rupi in Toronto – we talk about making sense of our identity in the stillness and being gentle with ourselves. In home body, Rupi’s recently released, brilliant third book of poetry, she dedicates a whole chapter to the importance of rest. And like all of her poems, she talks with such clarity of thought and warmth on everything. She tells me, “for so long, my mind wasn’t a safe space for me, so what do you do, where do you go then? If your mind isn’t a safe space.” All I can say is thank goodness for Rupi’s words. She offers hope on the darker days, and generally makes us see and feel things differently. Enjoy listening. And as always, mad amounts of love. You can follow @rupikaur_ and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 52. Adwoa catches up with Michaela DePrince, soloist at the Dutch National Ballet, about facing up to trauma, the fight against discrimination, and the healing power of the arts.
On this week’s episode, I spoke to the incredible, inspiring Michaela DePrince. The epitome of poise and grace, Michaela is a dancer, author and War Child ambassador. She has overcome tremendous challenges over her lifetime, including grief, war, racism, bullying and more, all in the pursuit of what she calls ‘her soul’ – her passion for dance. What stands out for me is her unmistakable grit; a burning desire to prove critics wrong and succeed against all odds. But that dedication is not without a price, and we discuss the emotional and mental toll that it takes to keep performing in the face of a global pandemic, personal losses, and the trauma of racism. This week’s episode is a timely reminder to us all to seek out the space we need to take care of ourselves. For Michaela, the arts and classical ballet provide an escape and a means of expression. I hope that with the new year, we can collectively make time to indulge in what grounds us. You can follow @michaeladeprince and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 51. Adwoa hears from activist and organizer Susan Burton on her journey from prison to founding A New Way of Life, a non-profit organization that helps formerly incarcerated women rebuild their lives and break the cycle of incarceration.
Warning: This episode covers difficult topics, which some listeners may find upsetting. These areas include sexual and physical abuse, child sexual abuse, addiction, the death of a child, police brutality and systemic racism. Please practice good self-care and listen at your own discretion. If you need additional support please visit our website at www.Gurlstalk.com/hotlines This week’s episode is a lesson in perseverance. Susan Burton is an activist and advocate for women caught in the cycle of incarceration in Los Angeles. Her non-profit organization, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, provides housing, employment assistance, legal services, and leadership development to women who have been formerly imprisoned. In this episode, Susan shares her personal experiences growing up in south LA, cycling in and out of the prison system and finding her calling as an advocate for incarcerated women. We talk about how processing grief and trauma led to her finding a purpose: helping women restore their dignity, rebuild their lives and thrive outside of prison, just as she was able to. You can learn more about A New Way of Life here and in Susan’s memoir Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com, follow us @gurlstalk and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast. TW: police brutality, physical and sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, addiction, systemic racism, death of a child.
Ep 50. Adwoa talks to Emily Ratajkowski about being politically engaged, as both a woman and a mother-to-be.
She’s known as the supermodel turned actress turned writer who’s sick of being put in a box because of how she looks. This episode with @Emrata is a biggie for anyone who’s sick of being told how they should behave, how intellectual they should be, and what they should or shouldn’t have an opinion on. While the world is on fire, my conversation with Emily Ratajkowski gave me a whole lot of love. She’s taught me how to appreciate myself, and to realise my impact on the world. We spoke just before the US election, so our conversation is full of anticipation for the results. You can follow @emrata and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 49. Adwoa speaks to acclaimed author and activist Bernardine Evaristo, about her approach to writing, activism and moving through the world as a biracial woman.
They say don’t meet your idols. But for this week’s episode I was lucky enough to do just that, and it was completely exhilarating. Bernardine Evaristo, the acclaimed author of one of my all-time favourite books, Girl, Woman, Other, joined me to chat about everything from her win of the 2019 Booker prize, to understanding her proximity to whiteness, to her work in theatre in the eighties. Bernardine is a force of nature, and I spent most of this episode enthralled by her passion and vivacity. Her life, as an award-winning author of eight books, as a professor of creative writing at Brunel University London, as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is just as rich and captivating as her storytelling prowess. You can follow @bernardineevaristowriter and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 48. Adwoa speaks to football phenomenon Ada Hegerberg about what she learnt while recovering from an injury, the power of confidence, and how she advocates for gender equity in sport.
On this week’s episode, I was lucky enough to speak to Ada Hegerberg, the first woman in history to win Football’s most coveted individual prize, the Ballon d’Or. Ada’s positivity and sense of perspective is infectious. While discussing her recent ACL injury, she explains how she viewed the healing process as an opportunity for gratitude and mental strength, as well as a chance to understand her body in new, enlightening ways. As a passionate advocate for gender representation and equity in sport, Ada and I talk about the importance of being true to yourself, and the strength that comes from having conviction in your craft. In this powerful episode, we discuss why building up confidence is a key part of challenging norms and commanding respect. You can follow @ahegerberg and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 47. Adwoa speaks to activist, author, TV host and photographer iO Tillett Wright on the nuances of identity politics, challenging heteronormativity and navigating white allyship.
This week, I’m honoured to introduced the Gurls Talk community to my dear friend, the talented iO Tillett Wright. This autumn, he releases a new book, Self Evident Truths: 10,000 Portraits of Queer America. It documents a 10-year journey across America where he has photographed thousands of people from every walk of life. Centred on the tenet that ‘familiarity is a gateway drug to empathy’ his pictures are a deeply powerful glimpse into the lives of people marginalised by oppressive systems. In this episode, we explore shifts in politics and activism through the lens of personal identity and growth, and discuss what allyship to the Black community means. You can follow @iolovesyou and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 46. Adwoa and the community organisers from London-based youth outreach initiative Milk & Honey Bees discuss how they work to carve out spaces for Black and Biracial women where they can defy society’s expectations.
The experience of Black girlhood is a difficult one. We are thrust into spaces and organisations that aren’t built for us, that do not understand us and that deny us agency. Few people understand this more than my guests this week. Ebinehita Iyere founded Milk & Honey to create spaces where young Black girls could connect with their feelings and vulnerability at that pivotal point in their lives — before they are forced into the trope of ‘strong Black woman’. With her colleagues Sophie and Chevone, they have used their proximity to violent systems to build and safeguard spaces that give Black girls a sense of belonging, allowing them to process thoughts and feelings central to Black girlhood that are otherwise silenced. You can follow @milkhoneybees and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 45. Adwoa speaks to activist, campaigner and founder of Glitch, Seyi Akiwowo about the dangers of online abuse and the effect of the current political climate on digital spaces and our mental health.
As the Black Lives Matter movement hit the streets earlier this year, less attention was given to how the trauma of racism is carried by people of colour in online spaces. My guest this week, Seyi Akiwowo is passionate about this cause, to the point where she started a charity, Glitch UK, which aims to end online abuse. In this episode, we discuss shortcomings in the policing of online hate crimes, gaps in understanding about our intersectional digital identities, and the merits (and pitfalls) of cancel culture. You can follow @seyiakiwowo and @glitchuk_ on instagram, and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 44. Adwoa talks to Lexi Brumback from Netflix’s Cheer about rewriting your future
If you’re anything like me, then you were addicted to the dedication and focus shown in Netflix’s Cheer. Lexi Brumback was the tumbler with a natural ability to fly through the air like an actual goddess, but her origins are much darker than you’d ever assume from looking at this blonde and bubbly beauty. This episode, Lexi will wow you with her honesty as we enter the dark world of her teens. Her life seemed destined for a sad ending after she ran away from home at 16, but Lexi credits cheerleading for turning it all around. I on the other hand think Lexi’s now bright future is a result of her spirit of pure openness and her ability to shine sunshine onto every story and situation. It’s something I believe we can all take from our chat as we do as Lexi says and “find a reason to smile daily”. You can follow Lexi at @lexisbrumback and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 43. Adwoa and Afua Hirsch discuss the nuances of biracial identity, the power of language, and the insidious nature of Britain’s brand of anti-Black racism.
Growing up biracial in Britain is something I have in common with this week’s guest. Afua Hirsch and I are both proud of our Ghanaian heritage, but growing up in predominantly white spaces meant we both struggled to express that pride and protect ourselves from the microaggressions of our white peers. This episode explores some deeply personal themes of acceptance and identity, and reflects on the exhilaration and exhaustion that has come with the recent wave of anti-racist awareness and activism. We speak about Afua’s book, Brit(ish), her first-hand experiences of racial bias in the media and explore how every person can improve their anti-racist practice. You can follow @afuahirsch and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 42. Adwoa discusses activism, vulnerability and changing your narrative with Black Lives Matter ambassador and futurist storyteller, Janaya Future Khan.
Ever since the tragic murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, the Black Lives Matter movement has protested against police brutality and racism in all 50 US states and more than 18 countries (and counting). But activism cannot be achieved without vulnerability and sacrifice, which is exactly what my guest this week epitomises. Janaya Future Khan talks about how their past shaped, but didn’t define, their future and how they’re unpacking the narrative around black womxn. Plus, we discuss the failures of policing, leadership, the patriarchy and explore the power of the imagination in the fight for change. You can follow @janayathefuture and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 41. Adwoa talks to Hollie Arnold, the Team GB Paralympian about achieving something you never thought possible
I just love episodes like these… where I know I’m going to talk to someone who will change my entire outlook on life. Hollie Arnold is a record breaking, gold medal winning javelin thrower who loves makeup and was born without her right arm. She’s an absolute force of pure joy and she puts it all down to her love for sport and the positive people in her life. We talk about how finding something you’re good at it is one of the most freeing experiences you can have. If you’re trying a new sport, or learning to meditate, or just getting really good at relaxing, then listen to this episode as we talk about how important it is to not feel guilty about how much you are or aren’t doing right now. Whatever we can manage is enough. You can follow Hollie on Instagram @holliearnold8 and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 40. Adwoa talks to Megan Barton-Hanson about reality TV, insecurities and lifting women up.
The maneater, the glamour model, the sexy one. Well, that’s the role the producers of Love Island put on Megan Barton-Hanson when she was in the villa in 2018. But as we all know, reality TV is a heavily edited version of what really happens, and Megan and I dive into this and how sudden fame affected her mental health. We talk about how women are still being judged against each other in the media and online, and how this toxic negativity needs to stop. Like, NOW. Megan tells us about her struggles with being bullied and trolled, and how cosmetic surgery can yes, give you bigger boobs and a smaller nose, but it can’t fix your confidence. Megan’s unapologetically honest about all sorts of issues like mental health, enhancing your looks and sexuality. She tells us “we all need to be more real, to be kinder, and show our vulnerable side.” And I couldn’t agree more, Megan. Enjoy listening and until next time, mad, mad amounts of love. You can follow Megan on Instagram @meganbartonhanson and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 39. Adwoa talks to her mother, Camilla Lowther OBE, about the joys and pressures of motherhood
This is a special one for me as I’ve always wanted to introduce my wonderful mum to the Gurls Talk community. She’s an inspiration to me and many others, not only as my mother, but as one of the mothers of the fashion industry. Her talent agency CLM represents some of the biggest names in the business, and watching her juggle a career and being a parent has taught me so much about what’s possible. We talk about how she got through the darkness of finding out that her daughter was battling with her mental health. For her, it was a complete shock that she couldn’t have got through without therapy and the overwhelming support of the incredible charity, Al-Anon. I think what I’ve learnt most from talking to her is that mothers everywhere are juggling, especially right now. My mum says that “surrounding your children with love so they don’t feel alone” is one of the most powerful things you can do as a parent, and I think that’s an approach we can all take right now. Surround everyone you know with love, and we’ll get through these mad times. Al-Anon is a charity for families and friends of alcoholics: https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/ As always, you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 38. Adwoa talks to Lucy Sheridan about breaking the comparison trap and the power of self-confidence.
“The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.” I read this Mark Twain quote in Lucy Sheridan’s new and utterly brilliant book ‘The Comparison Cure’ and it really resonated with me, because we can all get stuck in a compare and despair space. Lucy’s a great friend of Gurls Talk, and I loved having her back on the podcast as she really is a deity of building up self-worth. We talk about her incredible new book which is a much-needed guide for today’s world, helping us overcome ranking ourselves against others and breaking the comparison trap. The book feels like a retreat, as she guides us on how to nurture ourselves and shares tools on how to be less ‘them’ and more you. We talk about our shadow side, choice anxiety and how being in the neutral zone is sexy. Lucy is next-level positivity, so enjoy the conversation, be kind to yourselves, and mad, mad, mad amounts of love. You can learn more about Lucy and order ‘The Comparison Cure’ here www.proofcoaching.com And this is the book Lucy referenced in the episode: ‘The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Side-Light-Chasers-Reclaiming/dp/0340819057 We love Lucy’s cheerleading Instagram posts, you can follow her @lucysheridan and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
Ep 37. Adwoa catches up with Dua Lipa about social media, mental health, and her five-point plan to shake up gender equality in music
Releasing an album in the middle of a global pandemic wasn’t part of her plan, but this week’s guest Dua Lipa did exactly that. In this week’s episode, she talks through the process of launching her new album Future Nostalgia, the pitfalls of listening to social media, and explains how she’s taking care of her mental health during isolation. This episode explains how the pressure for this to be a period of self-improvement and productivity is unnecessary. To get through this, we all need to cut ourselves some slack and do our best to slow down and have patience with ourselves when things don’t go according to plan. You can follow @dualipa and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.