Hi! I’m Dan Keeley.
I’m a purpose-driven optimist dedicated to sharing my story & keeping men alive by talking.
By definition I’m someone who tends to be optimistic about the future, who lives life with a deep sense of purpose to help create a better world than the one I was born in to.
I believe in a world where the vast majority of people feel optimistic about the future, who have the support they need to get through their darkest times, and where we have far fewer than 12 men a day taking their own life in the UK. And I’m on a quiet mission to help make this world a reality.
To the best of my ability, I support & empower people to feel optimistic about the future so that together we can show future generations how it’s done.
You can read what I do and why I do it on my welcome page here, you can see what I speak about here, or feel free to head straight to my blog. This page is where I’ll tell you more of my story, it’s great to have you here.
I’m originally from Sussex but now live in Kent. We lived in London for 8 years before moving here and figured this would be a great middle ground. We love it, and when I say ‘we’ I mean me and my incredible wife Georgie who’s been by my side for over a decade.
Growing up, I was always that energetic and enthusiastic kid, passionate about most things I set my mind to which was generally anything sports related or creative. I remember wanting to be a graphic designer when I grew up. I also remember wanting to be David Beckham. Neither of those things came true but I am frikin’ pleased with how my career path has turned out since then.
My school days were fantastic, my college years flew by, my attempt to start a degree in architecture just because I could sketch an epic-looking stadium was, on reflection, one of my less sensible life-choices.
After changing course, the right choice was made to start a degree in Sport & Leisure Management during which I channeled just as much of my time and energy (probably more than I should have) towards the many sports-related voluntary roles I took on, which I not only loved but would help develop my skills & confidence to face the real world after graduating. It paid off.
After graduating I was a researcher for a national sports research project, a sports events manager at an international business park, and then spent a little time working as a marketing executive linked to the London Olympic games. During this time I also qualified as an alpine ski instructor which was a dream I’d had since visiting the mountains for the first time back in my school days.
It’s in 2012 when the story gets a little more interesting, and in hindsight there were definitely some warning signs in the years before that perhaps things might not be as stable as they appeared with my mental health.
In January 2012, after starting a new position with an amazing snowsports youth charity, I stopped looking after myself. I stopped prioritising my sleep or nutrition in favor of trying to have the biggest impact possible, in the fastest way possible, all by myself, which was never a recipe for success. I was ready to change the world and my foot was stuck on the accelerator. My mood started escalating and the alarm bells started ringing. This wasn’t going to end well.
After 6 months of this building up, I experienced a full-scale manic episode which resulted with me preaching from the central lane of a major motorway at rush hour in Italy. I believed I was ‘the chosen one’, the one who was sent here to show the world how to ‘slow down and follow our hearts’. In the true sense of the phrase I had lost my mind and I was about to come back down to earth with the biggest bang imaginable.
What followed was time spent in psychiatric wards, the diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder and 6 months of crippling depression which had me wanting to take my own life.
I went from having 100% conviction in myself and my thoughts, to believing I was the biggest burden on society and all those closest to me. I felt like the scum of the earth and I didn’t want to be alive any more.
Thankfully through an incredible amount of love, warmth and patience from my closest family and friends, coupled with life-saving medication and talking therapy, I began my long yet progressive journey back to the positive place you find me in today.
Today I feel more grateful, stable, calm and intrinsically happy than I ever have in my life, which is exactly why I’m so passionate about doing what I do and sharing what works for me.
Today, alongside my passion for speaking, writing and doing what I can to change the conversation surrounding mental health issues the UK, I’m also a proud husband, a family man, a partnerships & community manager for the youth charity I mentioned (they really stuck with me), a Salomon Brand Ambassador, Movember Foundation SpokesMo, EtchRock Elite, Thrive LDN Champion, BASI Level 2 Alpine Ski Instructor and National Running Show Ambassador.
Some people refer to me as a mental health campaigner, others consider me an adventure-runner, but that’s up to them, both sound pretty cool to me.
All this combined, you’ll rarely find me doing anything other than channeling as much of my time & energy towards what I believe really matters most – my health, relationships, passions, growth and contributing to others.
And the biggest contributor to help me with all of this is by practicing minimalism – the lifestyle choice & continual pursuit to clear away life’s excess so I have as much time, space & capacity as possible to focus on what really matters most, all the stuff above. Like the sound of minimalism? I’ll happily help you get started.
To round things off, the reason that some refer to me as an adventure-runner is because I recently ran 1250 miles from the Colosseum in Rome back to the London Eye, entirely solo & self-supported. The adventure was called Rome To Home, took 65 days and raised over £17,000 for charity. I took on the adventure to bring my story full-circle, to use it as a huge platform to share my story and ultimately keep more men alive by talking. It was a real team effort behind the scenes and truly life-changing for all the right reasons! You can read more about Rome To Home here.
I love trail-running, connecting with positive like-minded people and above all else spending as much time as I possibly can with my amazing wife, my family & friends.
I’m 32 years old.
Enjoy the site, it’s great to have you here, shake & bake.