PHOTO BY BEN COPE

Trying to Figure It Out: Podcaster Ally Petitti on Mental Health Advocacy

Wellness

Podcasting has become a popular means of expression everywhere on social media and in our day-to-day lifestyles; from beauty to self-help podcasts, we can find a podcast on almost every topic imaginable.

If you're someone who enjoys spending their afternoons listening to a podcast, an episode of Trying To Figure It Out with the talented Ally Petitti has likely come across your playlist at some point.

A podcast changing the way we view mental health, Ally's Trying to Figure it Out is changing the way we think, all for the better.

Meet Ally

Ally was born into an Italian family in Westchester, New York. When she was relatively young, her parents divorced; Ally's grandmother then stepped in and helped to raise her along with her sister.

When asked about her support system during her childhood, Ally stated, "My grandma. My grandma is my best friend in the world. She is such an amazing woman who stepped in to be another mother figure to me and has been there for every major milestone in my life. My grandma helped raise my sister and me after my parents got divorced. I am fortunate to still have been able to have relationships with both of my parents."

On Podcasting

Although Ally had known she wanted to be an entertainer since she was eight years old, she revealed during her interview that she hadn't anticipated or even dreamed of being a podcaster.

"I never thought I would become a podcaster. I never thought I would know what to talk about or how to interview people. This last year or so, I have been through so much mentally, and it made me realize that I have so many stories about my life that I thought if I shared, I could help myself heal and others. So, after realizing I wanted to tell my stories, I started "Trying To Figure It Out."

Everyone always tries to find reliability within any social media content, whether they're watching a Tiktok or Youtube video or listening to a podcast. Ally is an authentic, energetic podcaster who has captured the hearts of so many people on several platforms- and her following count shows just how much of an impact she is making. With 28.5K followers on Instagram at the time of this interview and quite a few listeners on Apple Music and Spotify, Ally is truly bettering thousands' of people's mindsets.

Personal Experiences

Experiences can make or break a person; they could be the memories that pull us under a violent wave, or they can help us stay afloat and remind us why we should keep fighting to get to the shore.

Two years ago, Ally nearly reached the bottom and sunk below the wave, but she found a way back to the surface. "I think the biggest thing that helped me climb out of that space was baby steps. Slowly I got back to doing normal things, getting out of the house and pushing myself to be reminded of so many things I loved doing. As I slowly started to feel strong, everything started to fall into place more, and now it's all about continuing to grow and listening to my internal needs," she said.

Despite all the trauma and toxicity she experienced, she found a healthy coping mechanism through her podcast. She credits her podcast as being an essential step toward her healing process. As the Youtuber says, "It [Trying To Figure It Out] has been instrumental in helping me heal. I have learned so much about myself working on this project. I am so grateful for the space it has made for me and others to heal as a community from such a wide range of things and experiences."

Recording TTFIO

Ally presents the most authentic version of herself while also inviting guests to share diverse and interesting stories. They connect on topics ranging from mental health to toxic relationships, trauma, addiction, body culture, and much more. Some of her guests include Brooklynne Webb, Jordyn Jones, Colby, and Madlyn Kissinger.

Discussing serious topics in depth can be quite taxing on a person, especially if it's done regularly. When we asked Ally about her mental state, emotions, and whether she has broken down after taping an episode, she shared, "I have broken down after an episode. I think not immediately after, but usually, when going to sleep after taping, I find my mind is all over the place, and sometimes I feel extreme exhaustion. While I have never broken down during an episode, I have had days where I am taping a solo, and my brain just cannot do it. I get overwhelmed. Some days, I just don’t have the energy to dig deep and get an episode out of me, so it can be difficult to tape in those moments."

But the joy, happiness, and satisfaction that Ally receives makes it all worth it. Knowing that she has helped someone share their story makes up for all those difficult moments.

Mental Health Advocacy

As her podcast discussions convey, Ally is a mental health advocate that addresses many issues and stigmas surrounding mental health. The stigma of mental illness can come from family, friends, coworkers, and society in general. It can make it difficult for people suffering from mental illnesses to seek help, integrate into society, and live happy and comfortable lives.

Stereotypes are simplified or generalized beliefs or representations of entire groups of people that are frequently inaccurate, negative, and offensive. They enable people to make snap judgments about others based on a few distinguishing characteristics, which they then apply to anyone in that group.

Ally aims to provide a safe space where people can discuss "taboo" topics without judgment or shame. She aims to be the resource for people to feel less alone and will continue to push the boundaries regarding the stigma surrounding mental health.

Inspirations

Everyone has someone that inspires them to do better and be better. For Ally that happens to be her friends and family, and of course her passion project.

"Hearing other people's stories about their lives inspires me to continue being authentic and help people deal with all different kinds of things. Additionally, my friends and family inspire me every day to be better, and always do my very best in every area of my life," she shared.

Ally's Advice

When we asked Ally what she would say to someone currently in a dark place and struggling to work past their traumas healthily, she responded, "Never give up, and don't put such big goals onto yourself."

"Baby steps are the most important thing when it comes to healing, and sometimes if we set goals that are too big for us at a difficult time, it can feel even harder to get out of that rock bottom state. Set small routines, listen to your body, and be gentle and kind to yourself."

What's Next For Ally

Ally has accomplished so much in a short period of time, and she's only getting started. "I am wrapping up season 1 of TTFIO, already planning for season 2, and really just trying to live in the moment and keep growing this project into everything it has the potential to be," she told us.

Watch out world, Ally Petitti is on her way!

10 Quick Q's With Ally

What’s your take on reality TV shows?

I wouldn’t say I support the behavior, but I have to admit I am obsessed.

What's a song that sums up your life journey so far?

U.F.O by Coldplay.

If you’re not recording an episode of Trying To Figure It Out, you are...?

With friends or my dog having a chill movie night.

What does your morning routine look like?

Wake up, skincare, coffee, daily affirmations, to-do list.

What is one thing about being a podcaster you didn’t expect?

The amount of work that goes into all the planning, prep, and scheduling.

Your favorite episode of Trying To Figure It Out?

Too hard to say! I am so grateful for every story that's been shared and every person who has opened up, so it isn’t possible to have a favorite.

Your peak productivity time?

10am-2pm.

Last film you watched?

Hocus Pocus 2

Are you still obsessed with Metro Station?

Honestly, I will always be obsessed with Metro Station

Are you still trying to figure it out?

ABSOLUTELY.

Keep Up With Ally

You can listen to Ally's podcast on Apple Music and Spotify. You can also check out her socials: Instagram (@allypetitti), and Youtube (Trying To Figure It Out with Ally Petitti).

Cover photo by Lindsey Ruth @lindsphoto

Boitumelo Maenetja
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Boitumelo enjoys learning new things and doing things outside of her comfort zone. Boitumelo spends most of her time with friends and family. Her hobbies include reading, swimming and writing