Around 2000/01, I was on the verge of suicide. Today I lead a life that I could never have imagined possible while I was battling depression.

My mission is to spread my story and message that life is worth fighting for, that it is never too late and anything is possible, for anyone.

I am Helena Bourdillon. I have survived and triumphed over chronic depression and now I freedive to depths of -79m.  I have 11 National Records for depth, pending confirmation of a World Record for the Masters 1 Category and have represented GB at the World Championships four times.

But I want to go deeper, much deeper, because the deeper I dive, the further my message will carry.

Born in 1974, my motto is “Daring to Inspire.” When I’m not in the water, I do public speaking events where I talk of my journey to positive mental health, incorporating the knowledge and skills that I have learned during my recovery process as well as those gained from freediving and how these can be easily translated into healthier lifestyles and businesses (without the need to hold your breath!)

As a certified Buteyko Clinic and Oxygen Advantage Advanced Instructor, with additional education gained from many other breath work disciplines, I use my knowledge to help anyone who sees the value in working to improve their health and general performance: from Long Haul Covid sufferers, to CEOs and performance athletes, people who struggle with anxiety and panic attacks to those just wanting to feel and do better by returning to and building upon the fundamentals of good breathing practice thus improving mental and physical baseline health as well as focus, performance and endurance.

My message is one of survival, resilience and hope.

I have been fortunate enough to have had a couple of short films made about my journey.  Light Beams For Helena 2023 by Kirk Horton from Little Bear Creative won the Award for Best Short Film at London Mountain Film Festival 2024, for Best Cinematography at 5 Point Film Festival 2023 and has been Officially Selected for numerous other festivals.  The original film was made in 2018 by Simeon Quarrie,


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