Posted in Weekly Blog

Do more of what makes you smile


Sometimes when in the middle of difficulties and life’s storms it can be helpful to remember the wee things that make you smile, and can actually change a moment or even your day.  A few people cited how nice it is when a random stranger smiles at you and can really brighten your day.  Dogs can make us smile and make us feel better, its very nice to be met by a waggy tail, and to see how dogs are naturally friendly to one another, or the way they cosy in with us, or how they are just so happy to chase a ball relentlessly all day long. Most people will connect to some kind of animal affectionately, whether that’s thinking a sloth is cute or funny or enjoying YouTube videos of kittens!

For some people getting outside and connecting with nature caused a smile, noticing flowers, birds and sunshine. And when back in the hubbub of people, overhearing snippets of conversation or seeing someone be kind to another makes us smile; or meeting up with and being able to chat to friends.  Children can be very humourous when they just say it as it is with no filter or have us play games and do things their way.  We watched the funny clip from the news last year when the children interrupted a live interview.

Sometimes doing something which feels like an achievement can feel very pleasing to us.  That can be getting through the door of ‘A Life Worth Living’ on days where it just feels really hard to do so, but the benefit of being with others and connecting makes people feel better and leave with a smile.  One person had pushed through a particularly hard time and had taken themselves on a trip and felt so much better for it.

Music and humour are other elements which make us smile…different comedy for different people, and as we certainly discovered last time, people definitely had different musical preferences.  The smiley music cited for this week was the sound of the sixties on Radio 2.

While we are going through tough times we may find it hard to raise a smile, but if we can,  it can act as a stepping stone to making you feel a bit better.


Posted in Weekly Blog

How we listen to music


Chatting about what music means to us is a popular topic at various times in the group.  We did things a bit differently today and took the time to listen to three different songs. We used the time to be quiet and properly listen to the music, the lyrics, the tune, the harmony and the instruments and see what we thought the artist was trying to say, what it meant for us, what emotions were evoked in us and how the whole experience of the song as a whole affected us.

The first song that we listened to was ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera.  Interestingly everyone in the group had a very similar reaction to this song in that it was felt to be insincere and a bit of a marketing gimmick, and though the words were a nice sentiment it wasn’t deep enough or genuine enough to be particularly meaningful for people.

The next song we listened to was ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles.  This received a more mixed reaction.  Because it’s The Beatles, and the massive affection held for them some felt they would like it anyway by association, though admitted that this was maybe the first time they had properly listened to the words.  So for some there would good memories and it felt nice to listen, for others it spoke of loss and this incurred some pain or memories of their own loss, and still for others it felt that all the past was being disregarded and put away for the love of a current one which was perhaps unrealistic.

The final song was ‘The best is yet to come’ by Mike and the Mechanics.  This song was  unanimously disliked for being clichéd and shallow!  And thought that the singer was saying that potentially ‘her’ happiness depended on him.  Admittedly it was upbeat with a driving beat.  One person felt that it was optimistic and saying Yes! to life.

The group found this to be a really interesting exercise to really listen collectively to the music and the ways in which each person interpreted the pieces of music in different ways.  Below are the pieces of music.


Posted in Weekly Blog

New start for 2018



It was nice to see everyone at the start of this new year and to hear all about how they got on over the holiday period. As some people struggle over this period we felt it right to use this space to hear peoples’ experiences.  As you can imagine people had mixed experiences over the Christmas period. For some, there was a sense of relief that the holidays were over for another year. While for others they have been left with a feeling of flatness at the start of the year.  We then looked at what members’ goals and hopes were for 2018.

  • Continue to have boundaries and stay strong
  • Continue to see chidren
  • Have a better diet
  • Be less isolated
  • Be less self-critical
  • Possibly volunteer
  • Create a structure into week
  • Continue getting well for me and my family
  • Be more open with people
  • Not discounting postives in my life
  • Not judging myself
  • Read less
  • Go on confidence course

This exercise seemed to help people give them a focus of what they would like to achieve in the year ahead.


Posted in Uncategorized

Essential Nutrients Analysis


Below is a table which shows essential nutrients for better mental health and wellbeing. (Thanks to Steve Turnbull for providing this)

Rank Food Score   Rank Food Score
1 Spinach 56 55 Oranges 14
2 Asparagus 51 56 Sunflower seeds 14
3 Swiss Chard 48 57 Turkey 14
4 Broccoli 44 58 Beans, black 13
5 Bok Choy 43 59 Cranberries 13
6 Tomatoes 38 60 Mustard seeds 13
7 Kale 37 61 Onions 13
8 Brussels Sprouts 36 62 Watermelon 13
9 Rocket 35 63 Almonds 13
10 Romaine Lettuce 35 64 Barley 12
11 Cauliflower 34 65 Blueberries 12
12 Cabbage 33 66 Grapefruit 12
13 Mushrooms, shittake 31 67 Oats 12
14 Green beans 30 68 Peanuts 12
15 Peppers, bell 30 69 Avocado 11
16 Parsley 27 70 Bananas 11
17 Peas 27 71 Cloves 11
18 Carrots 25 72 Potatoes 11
19 Celery 23 73 Pumpkin seeds 11
20 chili peppers 22 74 Turmeric 11
21 Leeks 22 75 Yoghurt 11
22 Mackerel 22 76 Chicken 10
23 Raspberries 22 77 Cumin 10
24 Salmon 22 78 Lamb 10
25 Tuna 22 79 Miso 10
26 Fennel 21 80 Oregano 10
27 Prawns 21 81 Cinammon 9
28 Strawberries 21 82 Grapes 9
29 Sweet Potato 21 83 Thyme 9
30 Basil 20 84 Walnuts 9
31 Cod 19 85 Figs 8
32 Lentils 18 86 Olives 8
33 Sardines 18 87 Pear 8
34 Eggs 17 88 Plum 8
35 Kiwi fruit 17 89 Rice, brown 8
36 Beans, Garbanzo 17 90 Wheat 8
37 Beef 16 91 Apricot 7
38 Beetroot 16 92 Cashew nuts 7
39 Garlic 16 93 Lemon & lime 7
40 Pineapple 16 94 Quinoa 7
41 Tofu 16 95 Rye 7
42 Beans, Lima 15 96 Buckwheat 6
43 Beans, navy 15 97 Corn 6
44 Cucumber 15 98 Peppermint 6
45 Flax seeds 15 99 Apple 5
46 Papaya 15 100 Cheese 3
47 Scallops 15 101 Dill 3
48 Sesame seeds 15 102 Millet 3
49 Soy beans 15 103 Olive oil 3
50 Beans, kidney 14 104 Raisins 3
51 Beans, pinto 14 105 Soy sauce 3
52 Black pepper 14
53 Cow’s milk 14
54 Aubergine 14
Drinks Hot Green Tea
Hot water with lemon
Cumin tea (cumin seeds boild in water & strained out; add honey)
Cow’s milk
Hot chocolate (Green & Black’s organic)
Cold Coconut water
Yogurt shots (actimel, yakult or bonnie shots)
Spring water
Cow’s milk
Orange juice (cold pressed)
Apple juice (cold pressed)
Cranberry juice
Snacks Nuts cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts
(must be whole nuts, not cooked or roasted, unsalted)
Fruit Raspberries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pineapple, oranges, bananas
blueberries, apples
yogurts organic and probiotic preferably, with fruit pieces
(tip: chop up some fruit and add yogurt on top as a desert)
Salads on a roll spinach, rocket, tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce
meal spinach, rocket, tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce
swiss chard, cucumber
add sesame seeds, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
(tip: add chilli peppers and coriander for heat)
(tip: add strawberries and grapes for extra flvour)
serve with mackerel, tuna, salmon, beef or turkey
vegetables stir fry asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, mushroom, bell peppers,
chilli peppers, carrots, peas, garlic
use coconut oil, sea salt, black pepper and spices
roast sweet potatoe, carrot, bell peppers, garlic, parsnips, mushrooms
tomatoes (cut them open and add a drop of balsamic vinegar)
(coat with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and spices)
steam asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans
(make a cheese sauce to pour over the cauliflower)
boil brussel sprouts (then fry them with smoked bacon bits)
soup chunky vegetable soups, or healthy soups from Baxters
Scottish soup company