Have You Heard? is a series where the Pod Bible team meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard of yet. While the Oh. My. Pod. section in the magazine gives a quick shout out to shows of that ilk, Have You Heard? aims to go deeper in an effort to spread awareness for shows that deserve more exposure! We recently heard from Kerry Keenan, who created Your Floating Bed, a podcast to help children struggling to sleep…
Who are you and what’s your podcast about?
I’m Kerry Keenan and Your Floating Bed is a collection of sleep journeys for children. During the first lockdown, my 7 year old daughter, Autumn, struggled to sleep. Like a lot of us, she found lockdown disruptive and unsettling. So I began to create ‘sleep journeys’ for her to help her unwind and calm her fizzy mind. These are simple stories using guided meditation and positive affirmations, where we imagine her bed floating away to a destination of her choice.
Then I heard how Autumn’s friends were also struggling to sleep, so I began sharing the sleep journeys, and that’s when I had the idea of creating a podcast.
Now we are having so much fun building our collection of sleep journeys using listeners’ destination requests.
What’s the first podcast you ever listened to?
Dear Joan and Jericha!! (Couldn’t be further away from what I’m currently creating!!!!)
Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
The pandemic has had such a negative impact on people’s mental health in so many ways. A recent survey from the Education Policy Institute UK, The Prince’s Trust, and Parentkind found that it’s children’s mental health, not their education, that is really suffering during lockdown. I knew what we were creating was positively resonating with children, and podcasting felt like an effective way of sharing. Also, to my knowledge there wasn’t many similar options in podcast form. I’ve been blown away by the feedback from listeners, each individual message means so much, and it has spurred me on to make more sleep journeys. I love that we are beginning to build our community of listeners. Since starting the podcast, I’m so proud Your Floating Bed is now being used as a resource for Kidscape who support children effected by bullying. We have also been added to a couple of school mental well-being resources.
Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
I love podcasts. I consume so many. My favourites are ‘chatty pods’ like Adam Buxton and Louis Theroux. Or Comedy pods like Dear Joan and Jericha. I particularly enjoy anything exploring human psychology, like what Dax Shephard is doing on Armchair Expert, or Brene Brown, or Emily Morse or Fearne Cotton.
In terms of what I’m creating with Your Floating Bed, I’ve not really taken inspiration from any other podcasts, as it sort of happened organically. In terms of mindfulness, the work of Emma Lucy Knowles who I met last year, is massively inspirational because she’s a wonder woman and has such a gentle, accessible, and effective approach to guided meditation. I’ve been discovering more podcasts for kids out there and it’s so great that there is such good content for them, such as Peace Out, and Super Great Kids’ Stories.
Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
That doesn’t really apply to my podcast. So why don’t I just say the Dalai Lama?!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
Patience. It takes a while to gain momentum. I started this two months ago and I’m still not there. When you are not a famous face, and you are not interviewing famous faces on your pod, it takes time and a lot of hard work to spread the word and build a listenership. I believe in what I’m doing, and hearing positive feedback from listeners has given me the drive to keep creating this pod.
Making the podcast is challenging me in lots of new ways. I’ve really enjoyed doing listeners requests, and some have been a massive challenge. One little girl has asked for a sleep journey to ‘soup’. Her Mum asked if that was too bizarre, but I said nothing is too bizarre! I love the challenge! So watch this space for a ‘soup’ sleep journey!!!
Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
Each episode has a similar format, but is its own journey, and its own adventure. So which destination you choose will depend on how you are feeling at the time of listening.