Former NFL player, Shaun Draughn, recently spoke on the very important topic of mental health on an episode of the podcast The Journey Told by Shawn Zanotti. In the beginning of the discourse, Zanotti shares her podcast philosophy by saying, “I believe life is about the journey, not the destination. To find the journey in every step of the road. The highs and lows, the twists and turns, the ups and downs, it’s in that. It’s in those moments that make life so beautiful.” 

The conversation between the two quickly turned toward the topic of mental wellness and what his experience was like. Draughn on what the mental mindset shift was like going from NFL player to retired NFL player: “That was a tough time for me. Having my wife and kids and my parents, who’ve always been my support, being there during that time of transition, made it better, but it still was a tough transition for me. And I didn’t realize how much it would impact me, because you never know, like with my career I didn’t know, but I mentally tried to prepare not going past even three years, and I went seven, so when I went to seven I thought ‘maybe I’ll get to ten.’ But in that transition, it was like somebody dying. I played football since 4th grade, so not being able to play anymore, something you grew up to love and have done all your life, the majority of your life, and now that thing is gone, it’s a little separation anxiety and depressed moments. Just a feeling of you don’t know what’s next and you don’t know how to fill your time. Your time has been filled with schedules. You be here at this time. You do this at that time. And now, it’s up to you and what else can fuel you like the game is really a big question… The transition was kind of bumpy. I had some moments here and there, but I ended up coming out of it with new things I like to do. Changing roles.” 

“I tell everybody, the thing I miss most is Sundays and being around the team with the guys in the locker room. I still talk to some guys now, but being around that locker room atmosphere, you can’t duplicate that. That’s something I really miss. I actually don’t even watch a lot of football, believe it or not. And, I did initially miss it a lot, but now I can’t say that I miss, miss it, but I do dream about it. I’ve actually had a few dreams the past couple months. It’s periodic.”

The conversation continues into the things Draughn is up to now; which is real estate, being an entrepreneur, his wife and family, finances, covid, and an NFL food cook-off. Discussing insider real estate information, he opens up about the highs and lows of the business.

All-in-all, this was a fabulous and informative episode of the wonderful podcast. The Journey Told is one of the leading sports and entertainment podcasts circulating around the journey and pivots of athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs. The show airs weekly on Spotify, ITunes, I Heart Radio, Apple Podcasts and wherever you listen to your audio podcast platforms. You can also watch in full on the shows’ YouTube Channel, called The Journey Told. For more information on the podcast,