Resilience Through Reflection with PsychReg Founder Dennis Relojo-Howell

Resilience Through Reflection with PsychReg Founder Dennis Relojo-Howell


What is resilience? Is it an inherited trait or a learned skill? And if it's learned - how do you build more of it? Well - why not ask the person that is literally researching it right now.

Dennis Relojo-Howell should know a ton about resilience. In fact, he grew up from meager beginnings in the Philippines - and through hard work, determination, and skill - was able to make his way out of poverty.

He's now living in England and is the founder of PsychReg - the world's first blog for psychologists.

This conversation really took some unexpected turns, but it was so much fun connecting with a fellow entrepreneur. What Dennis helped me realize is the importance of reflecting on your experiences. Whether that be through blogs, social media, podcasts, or video - the ability to reflect and share can help you build your resilience.

In 2022 - we're exploring many avenues to help you leverage RaceMob as your creative outlet. If you'd like to get involved - just reach out to me or Bertrand.

Unfortunately - Coach B couldn't make the conversation due to a scheduling conflict - but don't worry, we'll continue our normal format going forward.



Here are videos that are related to this podcast.

Podcast Images

Here are some images from this podcast. Feel free to share them directly to social media.

Ep 77   carousel   dennis relojo howell 1
Share This Image:
Ep 77   carousel   dennis relojo howell 2
Share This Image:
Ep 77   carousel   dennis relojo howell 3
Share This Image:

Podcast Transcription

The following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.

Guest Quote

[00:00:00] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Well, interestingly, you don't have to have a background in psychology or mental health for you to understand where resilience is. In fact, one of the most common metaphors that we attribute to resilience is that of bouncing back.

But as a PhD research, I realized that when you dig deeper into the literature, it becomes more complicated, simply because there's no consensus.

Episode Intro

[00:00:30] Kevin Chang:
Hello and welcome to the RaceMob podcast. This is episode number 78.

I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd. And I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator at the incomparable Bertrand Newson.

Guest Introduction

[00:00:45] Kevin Chang:
What is resilience? Is it an inherited trait or a learned skill? And if it's learned, how do you build more of it? Well, why not ask the person that's literally researching it right now, Dennis Willow, ho Howell should know a ton about resilience. In fact, he grew up from meager beginnings in the Philippines and through hard work, determination and skill was able to make his way out of poverty.

He's now living in England and is the founder of psych Ridge, the world's first blog for psych. This conversation really took some unexpected turns, but it was so much fun connecting with a fellow entrepreneur. What Dennis helped me realize is the importance of reflecting on your own experiences, whether that be through blogging, social media, podcasts, or video, the ability to reflect and share it can help you build on your own resilience.

In 2022, we're really exploring more avenues to help you. Leveraged RaceMob as your creative outlet. So if you'd like to get involved, please reach out to me or Bertrand. Unfortunately, Coach "B", couldn't make this conversation due to a scheduling conflict, but don't worry. We'll continue with our normal format going forward.

All the show notes can be found online at RaceMob dot com slash podcast. And without further ado, here's our conversation.

Start of the Interview

[00:01:57] Kevin Chang:
Hello, RaceMob audience. We are so pleased to welcome Dennis Relojo-Howell to the RaceMob podcast. Welcome to the show today, Dennis.

[00:02:06] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Well, thank you Kevin, for inviting me. It's a pleasure to be here on the raise smart and hopefully your audience can learn a bit about me and what I do, and hopefully it would add value to their mental health and their lifestyle and wellbeing.

[00:02:20] Kevin Chang:
Fantastic. Fantastic. Yeah.

Remind me again, where you're coming from is it's Essex, right?

[00:02:26] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Yeah. So I'm based in a town called Essex, some obscure town in Britain called Essex. So I live about half an hour in central London.

[00:02:35] Kevin Chang:
Fantastic. Fantastic. And when did you move there? Because I know that you. Oh, yes.

[00:02:41] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
So I was originally born in the Philippines and I moved here about 10 years ago.

I first came to England to do my master's degree and ended up meeting my husband conveniently. And then we got married and then I'm here.

Dennis' Origins

[00:02:57] Kevin Chang:
Fantastic. And I know you've, you've talked a little bit about your childhood and how that has impacted you and professionally and, and leading you into blogging and all of that.

So, I mean, talk to us a little bit about your childhood growing up.

[00:03:09] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Yeah. I, I think the best way to take you to the kind of trajectory of my life would be to share to you the place where I grew up. So I was born in the Philippines. I, I spent my formative years in, in a slum in the Philippines.

My childhood involved, you know, there's no running water. There's no electricity, there's no television. I did not know how it was to stay on a bed until I was 15. But I look at my childhood without any regrets. And when I share it to people, I don't want to convey it like being melodramatic or trying to signal the victim.

Who'd I look back on my childhood with, with a sense of gratitude and I, I think. I've also benefited from growing in that kind of environment because it shaped me the way I am. And that leads me to researching on resilience because resilience form a big chunk of my life. If you grew up in an environment like that, you can't really afford to you know, to be not, not resilient. So that that's, I suppose that's the main highlights of, of the trajectory of my life.

I have to say thank you to a lot of things. A lot of people has been instrumental in changing the course of my life. My parents, they instilled in me the value of plugging. Also my teachers that were very instrumental in the, in instilling the value of education and also incidentally blogging also played a significant role in my life.

It did not just became a creative outlet, but it allowed me to earn a living without bragging. Blogging allowed me to pay off my mortgage. I'm at the age of 30. So that, that's the kind of in pages that my research is doing right now,

I'm trying to teach young people the value of resilience and at the same time, trying to share the the value of blogging, not just as a great development, but as, as a psychological intervention.

[00:05:03] Kevin Chang:
That's fantastic. Yeah. My parents also went through a lot of resilience and, you know, they grew up in Taiwan or in a very rural area of Taiwan. My mom's specifically, you know, very poor living with several, several relatives and finding a way to dig her out of, you know, that situation into getting higher degree, bringing herself over to the United States.

You know, my dad as well being able to, to come over to the U S in the seventies, I guess that sense of like always working hard, the resilience that they face has always been instilled in part into, into me. And so I really do relate to your story and, you know and I just say wow.

Major, major, like, I just can't tell you how, how much. Look up to you know, the amount of effort and work that you put into it. And you know, it's not always easy. And so that's fantastic.

The Stuff of Resilience

[00:05:56] Kevin Chang:
So yeah, I want of. Into resilience. I want to dig into, you know, you've done. Not only have you lived it and done it, but you are now researching it and you are now bringing a lot of the research to the forefront.

So talk to us. What have you learned? What are some of the things that people may. Not understand or, or know.

[00:06:15] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Well, interestingly, you don't have to have a background in psychology or mental health for you to understand where resilience is. In fact, one of the most common metaphors that we attribute to resilience is that of bouncing back.

But as a PhD research, I realized that when you dig deeper into the literature, it becomes more complicated, simply because there's no consensus.

You know, speaking from the standpoint of resilience research, there's no consensus as to what the psychological construct is. You know, some resilience researchers think that it's a trade, some resilience research, a think that it's a scale and some say that the sub-process or it's an outcome.

And as part of my ongoing research, that's what I'm trying to find out on. So full my, my, my PhD research involves four faces and I just finished I, I did not yet finish. I'm still about to finish the first stage of my recent.

Which involves trying to ask what young people especially were still in the midst of the pandemic, what do they think about resilience? Not just, you know, from, from a scientific point of view, but then as a person, what do they think about resilience?

So I want to capture that and that would hopefully inform me what's the best way to. Great. A psychological intervention is blogging as a psychological intervention. Will it be viable in promoting psychological resilience? So that's the kind of thing that I'm looking at.

Yeah, but just to go back to your question yeah, in a national there's really no consensus. If, if you are asking resilience for such. Th that psychological construct is, but personally I would love to convey the message that resilience is actually a skill.

Because I think that's a more, that celebrates message they need to say to people that it's a scale. It's something that you can develop that inspires people to be more resilient rather than telling people that it's actually a process and it's actually an outcome.

So you have, you, you, you. Ms. Communicating resilience, you're, you're telling people that you have to undergo an adversity, a a complex life event for you to demonstrate resilience, rather.

And on the other hand, if you're going to say that resiliency is actually that's not also a healthy message. Cause you're going to say to people that it's either you have it or not.

I want my research to, you know, to have a good take away that people can learn something that I can actually cultivate it. So, so that's, that's my notion of resilience. That's, that's where I'm coming from.

Just, just to give a bit of a context. So. I'm doing a PhD in clinical psychology and positive psychology. So that's kind of, you know my, my notion of resilience, we have to give a more positive and more healthy message.

[00:09:10] Kevin Chang:
That's great. Yeah. And, and actually, it's interesting because if I were to take a look at the sample size of our previous podcast guests, you know, I mean, I think that you're going to find different. Pockets of people that I a hundred percent believe that resilience can be learned, grits can be learned.

Right. And so you know, we have a lot of athletes who are much later in life, Bertrand and myself, you know, Bertrand started in his forties running
and endurance sports and athletics, right. We have had people who have lost hundreds and hundreds of pounds, 200 pounds, 300 pounds much later in life getting into it and finding, you know, finding their speed and you know running as the outlet, endurance sports as an outlet.

We've had people that have been, you know, addicted to alcohol and drugs for many, many years, and then finding this as one of these outlets in order to overcome some of those addictions. So I do think that it's interesting that, you know, we can find people that have learned these traits later in life who have, you know.

And sometimes sure some of it is innate, you know, I don't know if any of these elite elite athletes, you know, the way that they can push through pain, the way that they can push through and create mental models that will get them to the finish line in the amount of, you know, intensity that they're getting it in.

Sure, some of that may be innate or maybe learned at a very, very, very young age, but it's, it's really interesting. I mean, you know, if I were to take these sample size of our guests who have come onto the show and who have been podcast guests, they may, they may become interesting takeaways for your research.

[00:10:45] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Absolutely. Just to touch up on what you said, Kevin that that's the good thing about resilience. Cause you can actually see the real life application and it I think psychology is one of those disciplines that people sometimes thinks that we're studying some really esoteric construct that don't have really that application, but like what you've said you know, resiliency, you can, you can see its application with elite sports developing grit especially for young people you can see it's real life application.

And just another thing that I want to add it might also be worth looking into whether resilience also is cultural without playing into stereotypes. You know maybe people of certain ethnicities, they're more, you know, maybe because it's something to do with, with cultural or societal expectations, they're known to be more resilient.

[00:11:33] Kevin Chang:
Have you seen that to be true at all? Or? I don't know what I mean is that...

[00:11:37] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
I, I don't know how to best phrase this without sounding too political because you get this, you hit more, more of this in Western culture, you know, like snowflake. But you don't get to hear that in. And other cultures. I live in five countries before coming to Burton.

So I have a lot of comparisons. There's the last place that I've lived? I live in Singapore before coming to Britain and certainly you won't really associate you know, wokeness or snow flakiness into Singaporean culture. It's just different in Western culture. So I think it's just my theory.

That's sometimes the cycle expectations also play a role on how you conceptualize resilience. And also I'm probably all also into my Chinese heritage.

[00:12:25] Kevin Chang:
No, I, yeah. I think it's a, it's a conversation worth having for sure, because you know, what we've seen in endurance sports is that it is primarily Caucasian dominated, right.

And so how do you, how do you diversify the sport? How do you actually. You know, get get more minorities into the sport. And so we've had a lot of conversations with, again, president of the RRCA we've had conversations with you know, really pillars of the organizations that are trying to make it a difference.

Bertrand. And, and Matt, we just had Matt Fitzgerald on last week and they were creating a coaches of color initiative, but really the only way that you can start introducing diversity in the sport is by having experts and coaches that look like you sound like you, that can bring you in right. And make you feel welcome and warm.

That's one of the ways to, to start fostering a community of inclusiveness in general, the, the other issue I think that we're coming into is endurance sports in and of itself. It takes a lot of time. Right. And so if it takes a lot of time and you don't have a lot of time because you're working long hours, long jobs, it can be difficult to introduce yourself to a sport that, that takes, you know, a, quite a bit of your time.

So there are other, you know, factors that play socioeconomic factors at play for sure. But it is interesting to see in, and I w I wouldn't know, you know, if there are. If there are differences in terms of, you know, the, the makeup or the resilient nature or any of that. But I do think that there are other things probably playing into, you know, why we don't see a lot of diversity in our sport in general.

[00:13:57] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
I think, yeah, it's important that we try to, you know, have as many role models as possible, but I think I I'm, I'm not sure we, we, we would agree on this, but I think it's, it's, it's healthy that we don't really agree with. Everyone cause, cause my idea is that we don't just have to engage in diversity, be it sports or positive role models in psychology or mental health, just for the sake of, you know, diversifying it.

You know I think the word for that, those like, you know, just, just having a token, I think it's important that above anything else? Whether someone looks like you specifically looks like someone else it's important that the role models that we, you know, we put in this platforms big because of the merit that, that.

That's that's, that's how I think about it. In particular, I don't really like I'm one of those people, like let's say I I'll try to connect it with what I do. So as a resilience researcher, I don't particularly look for someone do, do I, you know, follow his work because he looks like me. I, I don't do that.

I, I try to, you know, assess your work because of its merit. Not because you look like me because it would sound really superficial just to give you a very crude example. Let's say I go to a conference and then the way I would assess. You know quality of work. Do I do like, does he look like me? Do we have the same skin tone?

You know what I mean? I understand where you're coming from, but we have to diversify, you know a role model.

[00:15:35] Kevin Chang:
I would, I would I would agree with you on vast majority of cases. But when you look at the industry and it is, you know, 92% Caucasian and 90, you know, six or 7% of race directors are, are white male, right. Then you have to, let's take a look at, oh, is there some sort of unconscious bias happening here?

And can we be looking, should we be looking at things at a different way? Right. Because whoever. The merit criteria, if they are, have some sort of unconscious bias in terms of how they're setting that merit criteria and who can become coaches, do you have enough money to become a coach?

You know, all of these other things, then they may not be looking at it in a way that could actually help diversify the four sport includes more into the folds right. Of the sports. So I think it's interesting. I think that, you know, we've talked a lot of people. I think there's a lot of opportunity, right?

A lot of areas of opportunity as well. If you take a look at, you know, There's untapped potential in a lot of population. Yeah. There, it doesn't, it doesn't take a lot of money to be able to run. Right. You need a pair of shoes, a good pair of shoes probably, but you know, you can get a lot of joy, a lot of benefit, a lot of other things out of the sport in general.

So I think it's interesting.

[00:16:46] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Yeah. I just want to add on that this a Filipino cause I'm originally from the Philippines. So I have two Samples would come from that does I'm a weight lifter. I'm hiding Diaz. I'm not sure if I remember her name, right, but she's the first gold medalist to, to win in the Philippines.

And I sought of learned about her background. She comes from a poor family in the Philippines, and so there was no language, so they were not expensive. There were no resources. Just to support her with her you know, chosen career, but because of determination and also some kind of people who supported her, she, she managed to, you know win a gold medal for, with the country.

And yeah, I do see the point that, you know, we have to, you know, make equal representation when it comes to when it comes to town and ultimately your hard work, your dedication will speak for itself.

A Tool for Learning Resilience

[00:17:41] Kevin Chang:
Well, do you have any tips, any, anything that our athletes can take? You know, you, you have gone about this and talked how resilience may be a learned trait.

And so if it is a learned trait, are there, are there things, mental models, anything that you think may help? Some of our athletes,

[00:17:59] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
my top tip would be, it might not sound straightforward. It is, especially if you're an ethic pump. My top tip would be to find a creative outlet. I'm not saying it should be blogging, but it could be other forms of creative outlets.

Be it, you know, like painting. Because, ultimately, while you're trying to improve your physical strength, you also have to look after your mental health and creative outlet could be a form of self care. You need a sort of destruction from the usual things that you do.

Say for instance cause I. I don't have any athletic stuff I don't do any of that. Most of the times I'm just, you know, looking at screens. So usually during weekends, I try to kind of, you know, make something different. So I go for a walk and that's the most, probably physical activity that I would do and God's name. So if you'll on the other side, your mouth that day, try to do something more creative.

Try blogging or podcasting talk about, you know how you can inspire more people to be more athletic. Yeah.
That's my number one tip. Look for a form of, self-care.

How Dennis Became a Blogger

[00:19:07] Kevin Chang:
Talk to us a little bit about blogging. I mean, you've, you've said that it has changed your life. And so talk to us about your blog how it got started you know, the trajectory of your blog and.

I'd love to dive into tips for, for others who are looking to potentially start a blog or yeah. To learn from you.

[00:19:25] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
Yeah. So I'm blogging for those who are not familiar that the technical definition of logging with over black is a platform that consistently gets updated like a journal. So w I think one of the key characteristics of a blog is that it's conversational and it's not, you know, when you compare it to other mainstream websites that is formal. And also you have more control of what kind of contents that you put there. So that's why we have all sorts of genre when it comes to blogging.

And so I started blogging probably about 15 years ago, that shows my age now. So I started like when WordPress was launch. And initially I just started as a personal blogger when I say a personal blog you know, one of those people.

Kind of share what happened during the day. And they just talk about their opinions. Cause when I was young, I was quite political. So I share things about what, what I think about politics.

And then eventually I think about five years I transitioned into travel blogging. When I was in my mid twenties Traveling to Southeast Asian countries and I just wanted to kind of Chronicle my experiences, my adventures, and also give tips.

And then that's the time that I realized that you could actually monetize content. And so that's the time that I started to earn from blogging.

And then when I came here in Britain in about 10 years ago what I was doing my master's degree, I wanted to kind of compliment my blog with actually what I'm doing, because I thought it doesn't really make sense that I'm studying psychology and then I'm creating content about travel.

So I ended up traveled blog and I switched to psychology blogging. And then yeah, long story short. I still managed to monetize the content and then last year I set it up as a company. And so I know I manage a small team of five people.

It may just sound, you know, just like it's a hobby, but it could actually be you know, a form of it, it could generate income if you do it the right way. Yeah. That, that different ways of monetizing content.

So, you know, who knows probably some of your listeners. Got them interests in creating content about affect the system or trying to, you know I encouraged people to be a good role model. They could also create contents around those genre.

[00:22:09] Kevin Chang:
If you like our podcast and sign up for our newsletter, where we give you weekly tips on how to run your best race and have fun in the process. Just go to RaceMob dot com and sign up today.

Blogging Tips and Advice

[00:22:21] Kevin Chang:
Yeah. I mean, talk to us a little bit about, you know, you've now monetized basically two blogging sites. What, what are some of the gotchas or the how tos? You know, I, I think it would be interesting to learn more about.

[00:22:33] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
That. These two platforms. I first I monitored site grudge. I, I love to describe myself as, as, as a social entrepreneur. And the reason why I'm this, I'm saying this is, I don't want people to have the wrong, the wrong impression that I'm actually monetizing mental health contents.

I'm actually funding a school in the Philippines. That's where some, some of our income scope. So that some, some of the earnings goes to that school project and the other is just to sustain the website.

Yeah. But just to address your main question how, what are the no house, but it's, you have to get lots of traffic because, you know, I build some money without eyeballs, you can't monetize anything.

And then. Things that you can do to get eyeballs. First is SEO search engine optimization. So you make your content Google friendly. So every time someone searches for a specific keyword, it lands on the first page of Google, because that's very important if you're a content creator.

And then you also get some sponsored content, you know? So these are people who wants to, you know, target the specific. Market target specific audience. So about three years ago, I started these Christmas wish. And then so obviously they, I get something in return for putting them on that lesson. That's an example of sponsored content.

Another thing that I monetize is my YouTube channel, but I hate to snug up Google, but you don't really get a lot from, you know I have I'm out of subscriber, but even so I was expecting that, you know if I get X number of views perhaps this would be something, but full disclosure, probably I earned just about 6 quid, 10 quid a month from a YouTube channel, but yeah, that's fine. It's, it's something that I enjoy doing.

Yeah, so those, those are the main ways that you could monetize the content, but it may sound cheesy. It may sound cringey, but ultimately you have to have a genuine passion and genuine interests for what you're creating. Be it, you know, psychology be resilient.

So be if sports cause without. You know, it's, it's not just the income that you earn from it that will sustain that the platform you, you need to have a genuine interest.

[00:24:58] Kevin Chang:
Yeah, love it. And I know, you know, behind the scenes here at RaceMob, we've been looking at blogging content, YouTube content, obviously podcasting content you know, we've, we've gone through a multiple iterations of all of these things.

And it's not always easy, but it is a great creative outlet, right? It is great to be able to sit down at a computer and, and be able to dive in and research something and be able to share that with an audience, be able to talk about topics at a high level and be able to help people, you know, especially. Looking back 10 years when I started running, I didn't know a lot of these things.

And so, you know, if one tip or two tips can really help our audience get to the finish line or get to that first event you know, it's all the more meaningful I think. So I think that.

Talk to me a little bit. You said you now have a team of five.

So how do you, how do you go about hiring people, funding things? Do you, have you found others that are just passionate about the space looking to be writers in the space? Or are you actually talk to me a little bit about like that whole process.

[00:26:00] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
All of a video editor. They're all freelances by the way.

So I have a video editor, cause I'm not very good with editing video, so I need a helping hand to manage that. And then I have to social media do so social media people who helped me. Spread the spread the content on various platforms, social media platforms. And then I have one who is a content creator.

So on helps me with publishing content. And I have one who helps me tweak the website. Yes. So those are the people behind the scenes. So it's not just me all day long.

Yeah, so, so basically what I earned from OD system, that's my main source of income ads helps do, you know, pay, pay. These people helped me and also support the, my, my, my projects. Yeah.

[00:26:50] Kevin Chang:
Cool. Yeah. Yeah. So we have very similar paths. I mean, you know, we have over here on RaceMob we have a podcast editor. A video editor when we were doing YouTube content you know, we have a number of contributors to the blog and the website as well. And so, yeah, it's interesting to see, you know, even halfway across the world, how similar our lives are and, and you know, what we've dove into.

So probably a lot more conversations I'd love to have offline on, you know, what is working for you? What you know, what we can do a little bit better?

The Benefits of Blogging

[00:27:19] Kevin Chang:
Well, one thing I do want to dive into though, is you mentioned blogging as a great way to. Creative release, right. Or you know just a great creative outlet for users.

So, I mean, talk to me a little bit about the benefits of blogging, whether that be a personal book, you know, we dove into the monetized blog. Everybody usually starts with some sort of personal blog or blogging for yourself I think is, is really important. And so talk to us a little bit about, you know, w w the benefits of blogging well,

[00:27:45] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
The psychological research about the benefits of blocking actually predates the internet cause there's a psychologists by the name of James Pennebaker. And in the early eighties, he he did a study which found that, that those people who engage in what he calls expressive writing, it's good for them. Physical health, and it's also good for their psychological health.

One thing that he found out is that if you give people a chance to express themselves through writing, especially talk about the psychological trauma.

It improves this sleep and it also managed the managers, their anxiety. It lowers their blood pressure. So but that, that was before the internet. But I think whether you, you express yourself through traditional writing or through blogging, I would suspect the effect would be the same. Yeah. That's a research done in 2013 by two psychologists called born and Barrack.

And they're actually my heroes because they're the first psychologist to have demonstrated that blogging could actually confer a range of psychological benefits.

So what they did. They invited 150 young people, and then they asked them to blog for about three days. And what they found out is that it it's, it's good for young people to express themselves through blogs.

It manages their social, emotional difficulties,
especially those students who are introvert. So I would, I would love to extend that work, but in particular, I'm looking into. The viability of blogging as a way to improve resilience. And that that's, that's what I'm looking to it yet. And that those are, those are the psychological benefits of blogging, but of course it has its downsides.

You know, cyber bullying is one you know, trolling before, when I initially set up site grudge, cause I. Invite people to write mental health stories for bridge. Yeah. By the way I, I do pay my contributors. I, I, I pay them. It's just a small sum of money, but it's something in exchange for that time.

But anyway the, before, when, when I, you know, when I publish this mental health stories, the common section they're open. And then I just found out that. It's quite unfair for people who share the mental health journey because they get bullied.

And I don't have all the time and space to moderate all of those comments. So I now close the comments, so on site. Great. You can leave any comments. So yeah, I think that's just one of the ways that you could minimize the risks of, of blogging it's going to be your chosen psychological intervention.

And another benefit of blogging is that it improves literacy. There are now many teachers. We encourages the student to create their own blog especially during the pandemic. You know, it's, it's, it's more internet, more accessible than ever. So a lot of people are starting to create blogs.

And interestingly you know what, Kevin. Talking to young people as part of my research my notion of blogging is somehow different with the notion of blogging.

Like earlier in the conversation I told you that my idea of blogging is, you know you, you express yourself through writing and an informal way. And when I was talking to these young people from Philippines, Some of them actually don't differentiate between blogging and social media for them. It's just different.

But yeah, that, that's one thing that I look at how, how the definition of blogging has changed over time. You know what one of the emerging themes that I've discovered is that, you know, whether they see blogging as social media, whether they see blogging as a way to express yourself through a writing, they consistently see blogging as a form of self-expression as a form of creative outlet.

And also as a way to connect with like-minded individuals.

And I, another thing that I, I want to share to you about the benefits of blogging is that I can't remember the research and top of my head, but there was a research that young people they would rather read a blog about mental health rather than talk to a mental health professional.

So, so that's, that's, that's very telling in fact share to you The demonstration, if you will. Well, w one of the most visited blood psychology plus today, psychology today. I don't know if you've heard of it or your listeners, and one of the most visited psychology. I'm sorry, not most visited. One of the most prestigious psychology journal.

Psychological bullets in now there's a website called similarweb.com and it allows you to check how much traffic a website gets in a month. So if you put psychology today alongside alongside psychology bullets and you will see a massive difference in traffic, so psychology will attend.

The last time I checked, I get about 1 million in a month where a psychology today, they get about 1220 5 million views. Now that's the trend for textual blog, but you would also see a similar trend in video blog. Say for instance the YouTube channel of American psychological association, which is the biggest psychological body in the world.

The last time I checked, they have. 40,000 subscribers. And then the British psychological society, which is the largest psychological body in Britain, they have about 12,000 YouTube subscribers. And then this, this Canadian mental health blogger who just, you know, one of these young people would just record stat video on the bedroom.

And she has about 3 billion subscribers. It's not really a competition of who's got the most likes, who's got the most subscribers. But what I'm saying is that when you trying to design an intervention, what, and you're targeting a particular demographic, young, young people, these are trends that you cannot ignore.

What I'm saying is that. You, you cannot ignore the fact that a lot of young people, they would rather read mental health blogs. So they would rather listen from individual content creators rather than mental health charities or psychological buddies. So these are facts that you cannot ignore. These are trends that you can not ignore.

[00:34:09] Kevin Chang:
It's so interesting. And I think that it can be. Tough. Right. We encourage people to blog for a creative outlet, right? So blog to create, you know, photos to create videos probably for their own benefit and, and, you know, to, to have this outlet of, of creative ideas.

And yet there's kind of a juxtaposition between wanting to get views, wanting to get likes, wanting to, you know, really get a wider audience. Right. And so, and I don't know if that's a healthy balance all the time, right?

Like the blog that you may create for yourself and your own benefit versus the, Hey, if I want to be a YouTube creator. I've got to post two videos a day, I've got to do editing till all hours of the night. I have to have well-defined scripts and, you know, con tight, concise five minute, you know, things.

And you know, and it's interesting because we do take a look at some of these outliers of, Hey, this one person in their bedroom, she has 3 million subscribers, but we don't know what had to happen behind the scenes.

You know what Sarah does. Our every action, because for every one of those, there's probably millions and millions that tried to do this, but has, you know, a viewership of one or two and may give up after time.

Self Expression or Career

[00:35:19] Kevin Chang:
So I don't know if there's. Yeah. If you have any thoughts in terms of like, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, we want to encourage people to have this outlet, but we want to encourage you to have this outlet to, for yourself. You know, probably more, more so than just to get the views and just to get the people out there. But,

[00:35:37] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
so that's a good point. Kevin, so yes, that, that's one idea that you blog for your own, you know, for you for your own psychological benefit and you also. To kind of create your own audience and ultimately, or you have your own audience, you would monetize it.

But we also have to realize that, you know, blogging or content creation or however you want to call it, it's not a pathic platform. In fact, one of the most criticisms of blogging is that pop psychology.

You know, that some of the people who get most of the views and I'm not referring to the individuals that I mentioned earlier, who get most of the views that, that they contents are not based on science, it's not empirically based. So we still have to remind, re rely to, you know establish authorities like the American psychological association or psychological bodies.

But what I'm saying is that. Content creators, they have their own role to play it. Perhaps there's something with them, perhaps there's something with that delivery, something with the presentation of their contents that allows young people who are experiencing mental health issues that allows them to thrill, to relate to them.

And I think that's one thing that these authorities and charities. Learn from that Babs, you have to make your content more engaging. You'll have to make it more conversational. Because you know, the, the field of psychology, the field of mental health, it's not that to serve researches. It's not that just to have academics.

Your target audience should be the people who could directly benefit from your. Research from your outfits. That's what I'm saying. But of course we have to strike a balance between creating and engaging content and a content that is based on science and without sounding self-serving.

Cause the, the end goal of my research project is to create a blog that encourages young people to see resilience in a different way and to cultivate. I could easily do that.

You know, I don't have to do a PhD to do with that, but I want my research to be informed by modern psychology to be backed by science. And that's the reason why I did a PhD. I don't have any ambition of being an academic when I finished my PhD. The only reason I want to that the only reason that really prompted me to do a PhD.

I want what I'm doing with my blood to be based on science. So I just don't want to be seen as a content creator who monetizes that content, but I want to be seen as a content creator who added value and the way I added value is based on science.

[00:38:30] Kevin Chang:
Love it. Yeah. I think it, it makes a lot of sense. It's a, it's a great goal, right?

Because you could go down and I think we've seen a lot of companies and a lot of channels go down this shock value kind of titles, but not back it with science will not back it with the research. Right. Or just have superficial or high level research just to get the clicks and just to get the views.

And I think, yeah, we probably share some common goals as well. You know, I would love for our audience, our listeners, if you are interested in having a creative outlet and writing content and creating videos and doing podcasts or other things you know, we've done a lot of the grunt work on the backend to figure out how do we get views?

How do we build a community? You know, like-minded or interested, parties can view your content can look at your content, can give you feedback and, you know, we can help you along the way. Because if you love
creating content or you love just talking to people or you love just researching and researching it's endurance, sports and running then you don't have to do the whole like website creation and everything else on the background. Right?

What you need to do is just find that audience of like-minded people that are interested in your content. So anything that we can do. Our audience out or help others, you know, find that content. We are there for absolutely.

[00:39:43] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
I expect them you on that, Kevin cause actually sometimes you don't have to, you know, launch your own platform to have an audience, but you can just what they do, what they score as guests posting.

Or you could just get some podcast rather than creating your own podcast because it's a lot of work ultimately. When you write an article for a number of. Websites, a number of blogs. People in that niche will recognize you will hear about you. So rather than you creating your own podcast, while you could just, you know, go to like, RaceMob talk about your, your area and in that way.

You know, it takes less time. It takes less resources, but you still get the message out there. So, yeah. I second, what you said, just try to contribute on platforms that are already existing rather than compete with them. Yeah, that's

[00:40:37] Kevin Chang:
fantastic. Yeah. And an open invitation to our audience, if you want to contribute you know, we are, we are here to help you amplify your voice.

Parting Words and Online Reach

[00:40:44] Kevin Chang:
So fantastic, Dennis, any, any last words, any parting thoughts for our.

[00:40:50] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
I think that the pod thing thoughts is I've got without sounding cringy is to just, you know the discover. You know, what, what you love doing and discover and look for an effective form of self care, be it, you know exercise.

So be it my form self care, usually it's like, I take it to the extreme during weekend because I I'm just in front of the computer most of the, most of the weekend away. So Saturday and Sunday, my self-care day. And my idea of self-care cover a range of issues. It's getting a Chinese take away having a Netflix marathon gardening, going for a walk.

I really do it to the extreme on Saturday and Sunday, just, you know, to just to stay away from that, from this screen. Because if you just keep on doing something, you know, that be exposed if you're just doing it for the rest of the week A, it becomes a chore and we don't want to live a boring life like that, that, you know, it's like, you, you feel that you're a machine designed to deliver an output.

So yeah, that's, that's my main takeaway. Take it easy. Have a Chinese state code.

[00:41:59] Kevin Chang:
Great. I work in our audience find you online.

[00:42:02] Dennis Relojo-Howell:
So Kevin, they can find me on, on site grudge. So that's, that's my main platform. I'm also on YouTube. I interviewed a range of people and hopefully one of these days I could feature one of you guys on, on DRH show anyone from RaceMob Professionally, if you just Google my name, you'll find my university page and it outlines there.

My research area. I love to collaborate with people. Anything that has something to do with digital mental health, with resilience, with grit social media, those sites. Those are my research area. Also I'm I'm on Twitter to just look up my name and I'm happy to connect with you. I love connecting with people.

[00:42:42] Kevin Chang:
Fantastic. Thank you so much, Dennis, for, for joining us on the podcast. And I'm sure that this is just the stepping stone to many collaborations because I think we share a lot of similar interests. So love the conversation and thank you so much.

Episode Outro

[00:42:55] Kevin Chang:
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the RaceMob podcast.

Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at RaceMob dot com. Please subscribe to us on apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us. Until next time, keep on moving.