Why taking care of our feelings matters

“Positive emotions are worth cultivating, not just as end states in themselves but also as a means to achieving psychological growth and improved well-being over time” – Barbara L. Fredrickson Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions, 2001 According to recent psychological research, the experience of positive emotions such as joy, interest, contentment and love, not only…
Continue reading »


Why having fun is good for you

We all know that leisure time makes us feel good, but now scientific evidence shows that taking time out and engaging in activities you enjoy really does lead to both psychological and physical wellbeing. It’s a well-established fact that physically healthy actions such as eating well and getting enough sleep make us feel better, it…
Continue reading »


Happy World Mental “Health” Day

Hello folks, and a very happy World Mental Health Day to you all! To celebrate, Mindapples have been on tour around London, beginning in Brixton on Thursday and Saturday, and culminating in installing the Mindapples Tree at CityCamp London in the Hub King Cross today. It’s been an amazing few days, stepping far out of…
Continue reading »


Hand Made Health

I settled down this morning to have a proper read-through Mindapples Co-founder Tessy Britton’s extraordinary new book, Hand Made, and feel inspired to write a post about it. In fact, two posts – you can see my thoughts on its social and policy implications over here. The book collects a beautiful set of stories about…
Continue reading »


A brief history of mindfulness

Hang out around mental health circles either side of the Atlantic at the moment and soon enough you’ll hear someone talking about mindfulness. And here in the UK, the status of mindfulness as official flavour of the psychotherapist’s month was secured this year when the Mental Health Foundation launched its Be Mindful project. With its…
Continue reading »


Mind Training

I went to see some very helpful people at Mind this morning for their campaign skills training – a marvellous free service they offer to people like me who care about mental health but don’t know what to do about it. It was great to meet people at the sharp end of the spectrum, campaigning at local level for specific support for service users. Very humbling to see how much passion and commitment goes into making even the smallest changes to the ‘system’.

Interestingly, the first ‘icebreaker’ question of the day was “What’s good for your mental health?” – a very Mindapples question if ever there was one. Everyone had at least one thing to say, so, in no particular order, here’s what they said:

  • walks in the open air
  • supporting your football team (when they win)
  • being listened to and respected
  • being taken seriously
  • talking to friends
  • doing something you’re good at
  • chocolate

The idea of being listened to and taken seriously is a big one for me. I’m not sure if it’s something we can always control ourselves though, more like something we need from our environment. That’s why we’re focussing on the simple, practical things we can all DO to care for our minds. But it’s important to acknowledge that what’s good for our mental health is as much about our context as our activities.

Here are some more ideas from Mind on how to improve your mental wellbeing.