A Hypnotising Life Story

How do you turn your life around when you come from a dysfunctional childhood, are expelled from school, suffer illness from alcohol abuse at just 17, and regularly use recreational drugs? The answer is Glenn Harrold.

The rehabilitated Glenn Harrold is one of the world’s most successful hypnotherapists. He has sold over 10 million hypnosis CDs, MP3 downloads and apps. How he got from the troubled youngster who was on first-name terms with the local magistrate to the calm, happy and healthy Glenn I am interviewing is a modern journey of redemption worthy of a movie.

Glenn positively radiates good health. As I enter into our interview in my standard stressed mode, I instantly feel more relaxed when confronted with his aura of clarity and wisdom that comes from a person who has learnt many lessons along the road of life. I am astounded that from the age of 12, he often slept rough to escape a toxic home environment. “The one thing that got me off the street was learning the bass guitar and joining a band,” he recalls.

In his teens, Glenn was the bass player in the punk band The Vagrants, which later became Sugar Ray Five. Under the latter name, the band won £10,000 in the BBC1 National Battle Of The Bands, from where they signed to a major label, released several singles and enjoyed many TV appearances. “It was all over too soon,” says Glenn, “but it gave me a new perspective on life.”

Glen in his youth playing bass.
Glenn with his band, Sugar Ray Five

He went on to work on the cabaret circuit and it was during this period that he watched a hypnotist. “I was fascinated by it. Not that I ever wanted to make people pretend to be a chicken, but I was interested in its potential for healing.”

Glenn was looking for a way to resolve his childhood traumas and saw hypnotherapy as a way of healing from the inside out. He enrolled on a two-year clinical hypnotherapy diploma course and, along the way, repaired his old wounds.

Now living in Kent, Glenn has made hypnosis his profession. After seeing patients face-to-face for around five years, he started making hypnosis and meditation recordings dealing with sleep, weight loss and anxiety issues. His practice was above a chemist shop and the owner told Glenn he would sell these early recordings in his chain of shops. 

“I started to realise there was a market for this. It seems strange now as the market is so flooded with self-help techniques, but in those days, there really weren’t many people doing what I did. The market was wide open.”

I confess to Glenn that being hypnotised and losing control has always frightened me. He is familiar with this reluctance, which he puts down to the prevalence of hypnotism cabaret acts. He says hypnotherapy is the reverse – “you actually gain control of negative emotions”.

Glenn went on to do deals with Waterstones and Smiths, selling over 10 million recordings with 150 titles released over 25 years. “I did feel a weight of responsibility as I wanted the hypnosis recordings to be effective but safe. So, I developed a five-step technique. It works on the basis that when we are in a relaxed state, we are open to suggestions and affirmations.”

In 2006, he received a gold disc for selling 250,000 copies of his hypnosis recording Complete Relaxation. “I knew I was on the right path. It was a very organic process. I loved what I did and I was in the right place at the right time.”

Book deals followed with Orion in the UK and McGraw Hill in the US, who gave him a six-figure advance. Glenn’s first four Orion books, De-Stress Your Life, Look Young, Live Longer, Lose Weight Now and Sleep Well Every Night, were re-issued by Orion in January 2019.

He then produced hypnosis audios for BBC Audiobooks, Orion Books and Diviniti Publishing. His seventh book, The Answer (Orion), was released in January 2012 (hardback) and September 2013 (paperback) and the audiobook was released in March 2012.

With his star in the ascendant, many celebrities have used his techniques and referenced him, including Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys and Lindsay Lohan. Both have tweeted that they love Glenn’s recordings. For a feature by Closer magazine, Glenn even hypnotised UK Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean to cure her of chocolate addiction. “I try to regress patients to the root cause. In Andrea’s case, it came from childhood when her father used to hide chocolate around the house for her to find. Andrea said she never wanted to eat chocolate again, so I used an aversion technique. Under hypnosis, you ask the patient to visualise chocolate mixed with rotting fish. She called me after to say that now whenever she sees chocolate, she gags. She used to talk about it on the TV show.”

Such was the demand for Glenn’s CDs that he owned a warehouse in the UK with a team of people to distribute his titles. Seven years ago, when technology changed and wellness became more centred around apps, Glenn saw an opportunity to leave England and travel. He discovered the Algarve and settled here three years ago with his wife, Nicola, and two young children who are eight and six.

His hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness audio titles continue to reach millions of people on Amazon, iTunes, Audible, The Apple App Store, Google Play App store, Spotify and many other audio platforms. He has 160,000 followers on Insight Timer and his sessions have been streamed ten million times on this platform alone.

His app has become one of the world’s biggest-grossing self-help Apps for iPhone and Android. Relax & Sleep Well has been downloaded over four million times, and it has reached number 1 in the lifestyle app chart in over 50 countries.

Glenn is now happy to hand the baton of his one-to-one hypnotherapy sessions to his older son, Lee, who also moved to Portugal. Lee followed in his father’s footsteps to become a certified cognitive hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. He is now an experienced therapist, having helped hundreds of people over the years with all kinds of anxiety issues, fears, phobias and stress-related problems. “I am so proud of him,” says Glenn. “He is doing a great job helping people in the Algarve.”

Today Glenn is a world away from his youthful self-destructive patterns of behaviour. He is a non-smoker of 25 years, a vegetarian, a fitness fan and drinks only very occasionally. He plays over 60s walking football for Odiaxere FC, tennis and padel at Lagos twice a week, practises yoga, swims, and uses self-hypnosis and meditation to achieve his goals. I ask him if he is healed. “I am a million miles away from the delinquent kid I was, though I will always be a work in progress but I have become a master of my own mind. When I was in the band, I had such low self-esteem I always let the others do the talking. I have now cleared this anxiety and I believe you change your life from the inside out. Now I am in my own power.”

I ask Glenn why so many people struggle now with mental health. “Modern life is challenging. We make more decisions in a week than our grandparents did in a year. There is too much information available and stimulus. Most people know that you need to exercise three or four times a week to build a healthy body. You need to do the same for a healthy mind. Happiness is our birthright, but it takes work.”

Glenn is certainly a study of how we can change our lives by creating a healthy body and mind. He really is hypnotising!

Tomorrow is delighted that Glenn will be writing a new column in this magazine starting in April 2023. He will be sharing some of his wisdom on how to achieve a healthy mind for our readers.

Relax and Sleep Well App: www.relaxandsleepwell.com

The Answer: Supercharge the Law of Attraction and Find the Secret of True Happiness amzn.to/3xlrCWz



Main article photo: © www.instagram.com/ptf12_photoagency

Band interview with Mark Curry from 1983

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