Author, Artist & Free Surfer


Thriving with Mental Illness

Sophie Hardcastle is a twenty-two-year-old author, Fine Arts student and free surfer currently based on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has written two books, both published by Hachette Australia. Her first, Running like China, is a memoir that lays bare the details of her experiences with a mental illness and her second book, Breathing Underwater is a novel set to be released in July 2016.

 Sophie Beach 1

In this Podcast Sophie shares

  • How at 17 years old, the once happy-go-lucky surfer chick lost her joy, her motivation, her energy and witnessed her world unravel as waves of devastation washed over her
  • The dark days she endured through three years of misdiagnosis and subsequent mismedication
  • Her rapid cycling episodes, recurring hospital admissions, her use of drugs, alcohol and sex in an attempt to fix herself, and the desire to take her own life
  • Finally being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder and feeling the clouds lift and the sun shine again after receiving the right medication
  • Writing and publishing her first book Running Like China
  • Where the name China came from, and how she used this name to mask her illness
  • The process of writing her second book, Breathing Underwater
  • Coming to terms with her disorder and finding a way to thrive in spite of it
  • What to do if you, or someone you know could be suffering from a Mental Illness
  • How we can help raise awareness and acceptance of Mental Illness


Connect with Sophie

Visit to learn more about Sophie, purchase copies of her books, view her art and read her brilliant blog.

You’ll also find Sophie on


Listen to the Podcast

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