Posted in Weekly Blog

“Thank-you for the Music!”


This weeks group was focused around what music means to us, from childhood, through teens and adult life.  As children it seemed to be that for most people, what we listened to was very much influenced by what we heard in our homes, the music our parents, grandparents and siblings were playing.  In the group this ranged from Country and Western to Scottish Country music to The Doors, from songs played on Children’s favourites to Queen.

In teenage years people in the group talked about forming their identity through the music they listened to, following a genre, the music, attitudes, protest in some cases and the theatre of the clothing styles.  For example, punk, goth, heavy metal, and bands and artists such as Bob Dylan, the Sex Pistols and ACDC.  Music, it seemed was very important at this age in forming political and cultural ideas and individual stylising showing who and what we identified with though fashion.  This led to a bit of a discussion as to whether teenagers currently find this sense of identification and expression through music or whether this has now transferred to other platforms such as social media.

We touched on the music of the 1980’s, people related to music in a different way during this era, although they enjoyed listening, it didn’t seem to have quite the same power of expression as the previous decade; think Bananarama, New Kids on the Block!!

The music of the 1990’s seemed to resonate with quite a few group members, with bands such as Oasis, Radiohead and the Verve, bringing a particular mood to the decade before the millenium.


People spoke about how the music they listened to sometimes spoke to loss, or pain so they would listen to feel, or music related to anger and it could be a helpful way to express and shut out the world; with heavy metal for example.  People also shared about the music they listened to at exciting times in life and partying.  We also spoke about times when it felt too raw, too emotional to listen to any music, because music can be so evocative, and so associated with memory that it can feel too much, at these times people may listen to chat radio instead which distracts from sad thoughts rather than engaging with all the emotions through music.

People talked about enjoying jazz and the pure talent of it, and of going to classical music as a source for something soothing, and choral music as often being uplifting such as gospel.

So we will leave you with this from Beethoven.


Posted in Weekly Blog

Food – friend or foe?



Today we looked at what food meant to us. To assist us in this we used the questions below as a guide;

  • What is your favourite food and how does it make you feel?.
  • Do you cope with your emotions by using foods? If yes, what kind of foods do you
    consume at such a time?
  •  Do you know what you are trying to fill? (FILLING A VOID E.g Feeling lonely/
    disappointed or empty. SELF-MEDICATING)
  • How do you feel after consuming food to cope with emotions?
  • E.g. Guilty, know it is not good for my health….)
  • Do you cope with emotions by not eating and by depriving yourself of food?
    Is food your friend or foe?
  • Do you know when you have had enough to eat and stop?
  • How else might we listen to and cope with our emotional hunger?

Some people talked about pleasant associations with food in a nostalgic way, like family gatherings with sunday roast or mince and tatties. For others food has become a coping mechanism providing some comfort whether it be eating too much or too little. Of course, both over a period of time can be equally damaging to our health. If people feel they have no control in their lives this may be the one place they feel they do.  Unlike others dependencies we cannot avoid food- so we need to be informed, relearn
our physical hunger because then we can trust ourselves to make good choices
and to attend to emotional hunger in other ways.

Foodie Fact 1-
Do you know that some foods (like Pringles) are engineered to keep us eating and wanting
more and to ignore signals our brain is sending that we are full. Sugar, Salt, fat, additives,
combined in a snack/nibble or a sweet treat. Such foods actually light up the pleasure
centres in our brains as much as taking cocaine would! So neurologically we
become addicted to them and we ignore that we have had enough.

Foodie Fact 2-
If we consume lots of calorie dense foods which lack good nutrients such as; a
McDonalds, pizza or fish and chips our body might well be signalling it is starving and
needs more grub, because it is needing some vitamins and minerals not in fast foods. So
we want to eat more and often we will deride ourselves for being greedy or lacking will

Foodie Fact 3-
Food information is so confusing and conflicting it is hard to work out what we should be eating. So here’s what ‘experts’ agree on-
• Reduce or stop eating processed foods (white bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes & fast food.
• Eat your greens! Fruit and vegetables.
• Be loving and compassionate to yourself as you make some alterations. Start small
with little changes, over time they all add up.


Posted in Weekly Blog

Lifestyle Balance

Lifestyle balance pie

The group had requested a session on lifestyle balance.  As we chatted together at the beginning of the group today it was clear to see how stress or anxiety in one part of life can impact on other parts.  So it was helpful to fill in the above chart showing levels of satisfaction with each area of life.  People could see which areas were struggling and how this impacted on other areas; for example, if relationships are struggling, this may impact on social life, health, home environment and joy.  If career is struggling this can impacts on creativity, joy and finances etc.  By being able to see which area needs attention or a different approach we can figure out what to do and this will hopefully have a positive effect on other areas.  Stress felt prevalent for people at the moment, so we stopped and did a mindful breathing focusing exercise aimed at reducing stress.  This was helpful as part of the exercise was to see if you could notice a particular word, feeling or sensation.  Just taking the time to stop and think about this did allow people to be able to pinpoint a root which then enabled us to look at how particular issues could be addressed.  For example, this may be safeguarding an area of time to do something for your well-being which you enjoy, even if that is only one or two hours a week.  It maybe a particular conversation that you need to have with someone, or maybe its saying no, or yes! to something.

rest and self care