Going Wild

People all turn to nature in different ways and will respond differently. But one common thread running through nature’s impact on wellbeing is the otherness of nature – how it becomes an opportunity to stand back from our own experiences, thoughts and needs, and to see differently. My last nature-themed blog post focused on aContinue reading “Going Wild”

Think Art

As I think about how art can help mental health and wellbeing, two distinct ways emerge. One way sees creativity as a positive to focus on, as refuge or haven, space away from the everyday and from specific issues. The other uses creativity directly to address and work through those issues, to express thoughts, feelings,Continue reading “Think Art”

Light And Shade

The more I share and learn and experiment with art for wellbeing, the more different impacts I see and experience. Art can be therapy for all different issues, some long-running or severe, others more everyday. Many of us struggle with the long hours of darkness in early and mid winter, the days when it barelyContinue reading “Light And Shade”

O Come All Ye Faithful

For me, as for so many people, Christmas comes with a soundtrack – not a playlist, because it’s more about what we all hear at this time of year. There are carols, sung in church or around a tree or heard on the radio. Then there are Christmas songs, old and new. Some people thinkContinue reading “O Come All Ye Faithful”

Freedom Far Away

As winter sets in, it’s easy to feel less connected to nature – as going outside is cold and sometimes impractical, and even if you do venture out the countryside looks bare and lifeless. Turning instead to books about nature or about travelling in the great outdoors is a great way to immerse yourself inContinue reading “Freedom Far Away”

Colour And Line

I wonder what first springs to mind when you think about abstract art? For me, it would be Mondrian’s clear, ordered colour grids. But this “geometric” style is only one side of abstract art. Other, non-geometric abstraction covers diverse styles, from Pollock’s drip paintings to the work of Barnett Newman, Jasper Johns or Robert Delaunay.Continue reading “Colour And Line”

Mirroring My Mind

When music can creare and convey a mood with just a few beats, it’s no wonder that emotions and music & song are deeply interwoven on different levels. And this throws up many questions, exploring how and why music mirrors what we think and feel – or do we mirror the music? One way musicContinue reading “Mirroring My Mind”

Off The Scale

Last Monday was World Opera Day, so I’m writing here about opera – another in my occasional series of posts highlighting particular music genres and how they might boost wellbeing in different ways. I’ve already considered musicals, ballet, folk and jazz – now it’s opera’s turn. Opera is high drama. Costumes, sets and lighting allContinue reading “Off The Scale”

Opening Up Nature

The other day I came across a magazine feature about beetle research, inviting citizen scientists to record the beetles they see. Insect sightings and citizen science might seem unlikely themes for a wellbeing blog. But it struck me that taking part in research like this is another, different way of connecting with nature, with allContinue reading “Opening Up Nature”

At The Keys

As Piano Month draws to a close, I’ve been thinking what might be distinct about the piano as an instrument, and why it holds such an important place in many people’s musical memory & imaginations. Piano music conjures up so many different moods. It can be joyful, triumphant, fun, playful, lively, wistful, dreamy or contemplative.Continue reading “At The Keys”