Seven years ago, Osher Günsberg was a very different man. Living in Los Angeles and spiralling into a deep depression, the Australian television and radio personality was attempting to launch a new podcast, all the while facing a barrage of negative thoughts and uncertainty. But there, in his sunken lows, Osher found the answer, and it wasn’t a new one. “When I first started my podcast, I was off meds and on the way down to a horrible low,” he tells Man of Many. “But I learnt through sobriety that hearing other people’s stories helped me know that I wasn’t different or alone. So, one day I just opened the mic and talked about how I was doing.”
It’s been the basis for what has become a seven-year evolution. Günsberg’s Better Than Yesterday podcast has just ticked over 300 episodes, seeing the host lay his biggest insecurities bare, usually with a celebrity guest by his side. It’s an incredible achievement, particularly in an industry where longevity is hard to come by. So, how has this radio presenter, turned television personality, turned podcaster managed to break the mould?
“I’ve come to realise that there is no substitute for authenticity,” he says. “So much of what we see is curated or highlights, but it’s that authenticity that we yearn for. Mental illness tries to convince you that it’s only you, it’s not. Through my experience and my work, I’m able to put my thoughts in words that resonate with people. The more I have these conversations, the less strange it is for other people in the same circumstance.”
Osher’s milestone comes at a poignant time for the country. With the world under lockdown, Aussies are being forced to confront their inner demons without the common distractions. But rather than attempt to battle through isolation in jest, Osher believes there is a silver lining to our current predicament. “The big blessing, amid all this chaos and upheaval, has been that it has encouraged us all to, somewhat forcefully take a moment to think about what parts of life we actually enjoy,” he says. “For the first time, we’re stopping and thinking ‘I really enjoy spending time with the kids, checking in with the neighbours, taking the time to call people. The reality is that you can’t buy that feeling, so why are we working so hard to avoid it? It would be a great shame if we didn’t take this as an opportunity to reconnect.”
The 46-year-old practices what he preaches. The time in isolation has allowed Osher to strengthen his emotional connection with his wife Audrey and their two children. The trick, he says is to not sweat the things you can’t control. “In this time of extraordinary uncertainty, the only pathway I’ve found works is to accept the things you cannot change and to have the courage to change the things you can control. I can’t control if they let a cruise ship dock or how quickly a vaccine is developed, but I can control how much sleep I get, my exercise and how much I care for my family.”
Now with over 320 episodes under his belt, the home-grown mental health hero feels he’s starting to find his bearings, and it’s good news. Osher reveals he has no plans to slow down any time soon.
“You build that body of work and over time, you sharpen the blade. In my career path, I’ve had to learn new skills to prolong my career. I know it takes five to seven years to truly master something. Only now that I feel like I’m getting the hang of this podcast thing. You’re going to have to be prepared to be shit for a little while. There is no shortcut. If its something you create, you control the flight mode and hours in the cockpit, it will work out easier for you.”
It’s a sentiment we should all take on-board. Osher is a man who isn’t afraid to expose his flaws, celebrate love and fail hard. It’s part of what makes today’s Osher better than yesterday’s. You can check out all the episodes of Osher Günsberg’s Better Than Yesterday podcast at the link below.