Why I Started Mind Cafe

It all began with a tragic diagnosis, and now, four years later, here we are.

Adrian Drew
Mind Cafe

Newsletter

2 min readJan 12, 2021

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By this point, you’ve may have heard a lot about Mind Cafe.

What began as a passion project aimed at teaching people worldwide how to live happier lives has now developed into a globally-distributed publication, packed full of beautiful images and breathtaking articles from the world’s best.

What you didn’t know, perhaps, was why I started Mind Cafe in the first place.

In 2018, my fiancé was diagnosed with brain cancer out of nowhere. After eighteen of the most difficult months of my life, she passed away peacefully in the summer of 2019.

Deep in the throes of grief and all that comes with it, I turned to self-improvement books, articles, and mentors to teach myself how to cope with the pain I was enduring.

It was around the same time that I stumbled across a surfing magazine while holidaying down in St Ives. I don’t surf, but something about the magazine drew me in. The minimalistic design, beautiful photography, and the fact that one person had transformed a fleeting idea into a tangible, physical collection of ideas.

And that’s when I had an idea.

Learning all of this information about happiness and keeping it to myself felt pretty selfish, so why not share it? What if I could create a space for writers and speakers worldwide to collaborate, sharing their musings on happiness with everybody that needed them as desperately as I did?

Alas, that’s exactly what I did. I’m not sure where the name Mind Cafe came from, but as an avid reader of psychology and daily frequenter of coffee shops, perhaps it was just a combination of two components of my subconscious. I went ahead and created it. The rest, I left up to fate.

Mind Cafe was never meant to be a business. Not at all. But, almost as if by magic or serendipity or whatever you might call it, only weeks after Charlotte’s passing, our audience shot up from around 50K readers a month to 2.5 million.

Million.

Once our audience was well established, I decided it was finally time to return to my silly little idea — to launch a print magazine. And now, working on the production of edition three alongside my team of six of the most creative, talented people I know, I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made.

It’s been a whirlwind few years, but I’m stronger because of it. Charlotte might not be with us anymore, but I know that, high above the clouds, she’s looking down and smiling.

And I’m smiling right back at her.

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Adrian Drew
Mind Cafe

Owner of Mind Cafe | Let’s chat on Instagram: @adriandrew__