Category Archives: Mental Health

I’m breaking up with my shame, on Valentine’s Day

There are studies that show what happens to couples on Valentine’s Day: the less attachment-avoidant among us fare better, as you might guess, and some of us break up. But what if the relationship is between a person and an … Continue reading

Posted in Allyship, Antiracism, Black History, Equality, Human Rights, Love, Mental Health, Psychology, Racism, Rejection, Shame, Valentine's Day, White Allies | Leave a comment

Being kind can reduce chronic inflammation. Who knew?

On 10 January, in Dr Michael Mosley’s series, Just one Thing, there’s an episode called Be Kind. In it, Mosley talks to Dr Tristen Inagaki, PhD of San Diego University whose studies show that being kind improves our immune systems and … Continue reading

Posted in Baking, Gifts, Goodness, Health, Kindness, Love, Mental Health, Mind, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Older women: Elder, not elderly

It’s getting close to mother’s day here in the UK (here’s a list of mother’s day dates worldwide) and that set me thinking about women and the different stages of our lives … and, naturally enough, Sheila Hancock. In a … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Creativity, Kindness, Listening, Love, Mental Health, Mythology, Psychology, Women | Leave a comment


In Matt Haig’s The Comfort Book – reflections on hope, survival and the messy business of being alive – he writes: Life is short. Be kind. A beautiful thing to be. (The Comfort Book is also beautiful, full of ‘consolatons … Continue reading

Posted in Good Things, Kindness, Mental Health, Psychology | Leave a comment

The Good Ally by Nova Reid

When Claudia Rankine, a Black poet and playwright, was asked by a white man, after a reading from Citizen: An American Lyric (Rankine’s 2014 anthology about the collective effects of racism in our society) ‘What can I do for you? … Continue reading

Posted in Allyship, Antiracism, Books, Climate Change, Democracy, Education, Equality, Health, Human Rights, Mental Health, Psychology, Racism, White Allies, White Fragility, Women | Leave a comment

Stephen Lawrence Day 22 April 2022 #sldayfdn

This is from Stephen’s Story on the Stephen Lawrence Day website: Stephen Lawrence was born and grew up in south-east London, where he lived with his parents Neville and Doreen, his brother Stuart and sister Georgina. Like most young people, … Continue reading

Posted in Allyship, Antiracism, History, Human Rights, Mental Health, White Allies | Leave a comment

Black Minds Matter (BMM) : donations #BMMUK21K

I’ve been in therapy, but the reasons for my therapy have never included the trauma of racism, of living inside a black or brown skin in a white-supremacist society. Nor have I been misinterpreted because the colour of my therapist’s … Continue reading

Posted in Antiracism, Fiction, Health, Mental Health, Psychology, Racism, Writing | Leave a comment

Deborah Alma’s Poetry Pharmacy: Poetry Prescriptions

Last week I had a telephone consultation with a pharmacist. Not an unusual thing to do in these corona-times, but this pharmacist doesn’t dispense drugs. Deborah Alma is a Poetry Pharmacist. Before corona I’d planned to go to The Poetry … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bookshops, Creativity, Fiction, Love, Mental Health, Poetry, Psychology, reading | Leave a comment

The Benefits of Reading the Old-Fashioned Way; and Splosh!

I found this article about the benefits of reading to children at a young age on Mental Floss a little while ago: April, I think. Anyway I’ve just refound it and it delights me to know that a 2018 study has … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Mental Health, Mind, Psychology, reading, Things I'd Love to Have Made | Leave a comment

Anne Lamott’s Twelve True Things; and Human Libraries

Anne Lamott, whose Bird by Bird helped me immeasurably when I was writing my first novel, Speaking of Love (I was stuck, didn’t know what to write or how, but Lamott’s Bird by Bird dispelled my despair, took my hand and … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Love, Mental Health, Psychology, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Women, Writers, Writing | Leave a comment

A hug a day keeps the doctor away, and Brooklyn’s new Center for Fiction

I read here, the other day, in an article by a South Korean Zen Buddhist monk called Haemin Sunim, that hugs have health benefits. Here he is and here’s part of what he wrote: Anthony Grant, a professor of psychology at … Continue reading

Posted in Bookshops, Creativity, Mental Health, Psychology, Things I'd Love to Have Made | 1 Comment

How Doctors use Poetry, and a blue-green stone

Recently I spent a night in hospital and the thing that struck me about the nursing staff, as I watched them admit new patients to the ward, was their infinite kindness; their ability to explain exactly the same things to … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Creativity, Jewellery, Mental Health, Poetry, Psychology, Science | Leave a comment

Creativity and Patience; and walks with Mental Health Mates

Being an artist means … ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms … summer [will] come. But it comes only to the patient … patience is everything! from Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice to Franz Xaver … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Mental Health, Poetry, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Walking, Writers, Writing | Leave a comment