Look And See

Remembering the famous carol ‘The holly and the ivy’ got me thinking about the importance of plants at all times: and how trying to see and notice might become a practicable, everyday way to boost wellbeing. In many woods (the setting for the carol), the holly and the ivy would stand out as the onlyContinue reading “Look And See”

Shared Or Unique?

Music has great power as a unifying force. Songs and music create a shared vocabulary to draw on as they become a common experience. But while music builds community, its impact on us is also highly personal: I might respond to a song very differently to you. These two distinct impacts music has on usContinue reading “Shared Or Unique?”

Talking Of Trees

Planting a tree is an investment in the future, an act of hope. It also recognizes trees’ enormous impacts, not only on the natural environment and on ecosystems but on wellbeing. Of all features of the natural world, trees have maybe the most widely proven impact on our wellbeing: easing fear, anxiety and depression, connectingContinue reading “Talking Of Trees”

Freedom Through Music

How can the ability to improvise music survive the onset of dementia? On one level, Four Notes is the story of one man’s musical imagination, even as he lives with dementia. But on another level it could reveal more about improvisation’s specific scope for music for wellbeing across different situations. You are probably familiar withContinue reading “Freedom Through Music”

Still There

As nature falls dormant once again, its power to boost wellbeing might seem less obvious. Weather can have a strong impact on mood. At this time of year in particular, nature itself can fuel depression, as nights draw in and growth slows or halts. And maybe never more so than this year, when autumn andContinue reading “Still There”

Painting Your Mind

A paintbrush might seem an unlikely tool to ease mental health issues like anxiety. But art can do this in different ways. It can help by focusing the mind on a creative task, so that you concentrate more fully on what you are doing and the dear loosens its hold, for a time. It canContinue reading “Painting Your Mind”

A Song To Sing

Is singing always more powerful than instrumental music in boosting wellbeing? This is one question Medley plans to explore more widely. If it is more powerful, then why is this? Many songs have a strong narrative element. Is it this storytelling which makes songs memorable because people can identify with them? Do we have anContinue reading “A Song To Sing”

Rooted and Grounded

At a time when we connect with other people more and more through screens and our lives have become more and more virtual, nature can become a counterbalance. Connecting with the natural world actively by planting, growing or clearing makes us almost literally rooted and grounded, with more of a feeling of place. Planting bulbsContinue reading “Rooted and Grounded”

Age And Art

When I think about art, I think of colour and exuberant life, so it’s no wonder that drawing, painting or crafting brighten so many older people’s lives. As lives narrow and dementia or frailty make many people inactive, visual art can become a vital stimulus. And where language fails, line and colour can become aContinue reading “Age And Art”