An award-winning journalist, charismatic motivational speaker, published author and influencer, Poorna Bell works extensively across several areas including women’s journalism, women in business, fitness and strength, body image, wellness, mental health and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion. The former UK Executive Editor and Global Lifestyle Head for HuffPost, Poorna now works as a freelance journalist and editor for titles including The Guardian, Red magazine, Stylist, Grazia, Women’s Health and the Daily Telegraph. A popular public speaker and event facilitator, Poorna also received Stylist magazine’s Rising Star Award at their inaugural Remarkable Women Awards 2019.
Poorna’s debut book, Chase the Rainbow, was published in 2017, to high acclaim. The personal memoir is the story of one man’s journey with mental health told by the woman who loved him. It has received a raft of glowing testimonials from, among others, novelist Matt Haig and author and presenter Fearne Cotton. Poorna’s second book, In Search of Silence was released in May 2019 and was one of the winners of Red’s Big Book Awards 2019.
Poorna’s third book, Stronger, released in Spring 2021 is part manifesto, part memoir inspired by Poorna’s journey to find physical strength following her husband’s passing, after which she became a competitive powerlifter. The book was named Sports Performance Book Of The Year by The Sunday Times. Poorna also hosts See My Strong, a personal blog which champions stories of womxn and fitness traversing all races, ages, body shapes and sizes, aiming to inspire and empower beyond the mainstream.
Her first foray into fiction In Case of Emergency, published July 2022 has been hailed Stylist’s book of the summer.
Poorna is often invited to speak at literary events including the Cheltenham Literary Festival and Henley Literary Festival.
Poorna has acted as both a facilitator and guest speaker at many mental health and wellness events, has been named as one of Balance magazine’s top 100 wellness personalities and has spoken on mental health for the NHS and at the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit. Trained in presentation at RADA, Poorna has presented in a number of formats from panel sessions to chairing conferences and has spoken on a variety of topics including women, mental health, physical and mental strength, imposter syndrome and resilience, and the faces of social media. A popular speaker, Poorna has delivered keynotes for a range of national and international corporations, including Spotify, Twitter, The Financial Times and Ernst & Young. Other areas of expertise include diversity & inclusion, the changing face of the digital world, how the online world is shaping debate around identity and seeking business solutions for audience growth.
Using her social media platforms for good, Poorna was named on the Marie Claire Verified power list 2019, which champions women who use Instagram to amplify positive messages, inspire others and open difficult conversations with honesty and candour. An avid weightlifter, Poorna credits the sport for helping her throughout her grief, providing her with not only physical, but mental strength, body confidence and resilience too. Her work in the fitness space and position within the diversity and female empowerment conversation has led to a number of high profile collaborations with brands including NatWest, Bupa, Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Gymshark, Marks & Spencer and Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign.
A judge for The Mind Media Awards, Poorna is also the chair of the print category for judging the Own Media Awards. She has also sat on the judging panels for the prestigious The British Book Awards, Sony World Photography and First Women Awards.
Working in every facet of the media, Poorna has regularly been a guest on TV and radio with appearances including BBC 5Live and BBC Radio 4. Additionally, she is also a regular guest on podcasts, including Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place and The Book of Man with Professor Green.