Read our posts about soul

Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

What prompts us to ignore the distress of other people? We’ve all found ourselves in situations - the times we’ve seen someone taunted and didn’t intervene; when we’ve driven past a car that has broken down, assuming another driver would pull over to help. We’ve noticed a young man slumped on the pavement, and not gone over to check if he’s okay. We witness a problem; consider doing something, then respond by doing... nothing. Something holds us back. So why don’t we help in these situations? Apathy can immobilise us when we feel the impulse to flee and help at the...
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Imagine A World Without Trees?

Imagine A World Without Trees?

Can you imagine what your neighbourhood or this country would look like if there were no trees covering the countryside or dotted around our cities, towns or villages? In her novel The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie, author Ayana Mathis describes this scene perfectly when she writes, “ She smelled the absence of trees before she saw it…” There was a time in the past when the UK was covered in wild forests, where trees would live for up to 2000 years. Surely the ancient trees that have survived, who have worked so hard on our behalf, providing wood, habitat for animals and...
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Millennials' Quarter-Life Crisis

Millennials' Quarter-Life Crisis

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or Quarter-Lifers, (basically, those currently in their 20s and early 30s) are facing one of the toughest economic climates for many years, and the pressure is starting to show. Mental health amongst this generation is deteriorating (one in ten young people now experience mental health problems), staff retention is down, indicating a lack of satisfaction at work, and more and more Millennials are being priced out of the housing market, with one in four young adults returning to live with their parents between the ages of 25 and...
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Top 5 Retreats in the English countryside

Top 5 Retreats in the English countryside

For all-round wellbeing Yeotown, North Devon One of my favourite retreats in the UK, Yeotown is a rare find because it mixes lush, contemporary interiors with a genuine, open-hearted holistic approach to health. Its award-winning health and fitness detox programme, the Yeotox, takes place over five days from Wednesday - Sunday each week and combines outdoor activities, yoga, fitness classes and a detoxifying menu for busy professionals. You can expect gorgeous interiors, power showers, underfloor heating, decent beds, a sauna, good treatments with local...
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What We Don't Know About Death

What We Don't Know About Death

I’ve heard ghost stories about death before, but, until the spring of 2008, I didn’t realise that in reality they were usually love stories. No one in my family realized that until, one March morning, my father unexpectedly died in his sleep. My beloved elder sister Katharine happened to be awake in her bedroom one hundred miles east, that night. All of a sudden, she sensed a presence with her, and felt hands gently cupping the back of her head. Tender, loving hands; an inexplicable swirl of energy. It was an utterly uncanny sensation that she’d never had...
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I'm a Female TV Sports Addict

I'm a Female TV Sports Addict

Do you realise the pressure I’ve been under this summer? Not because of my job, or an unusual number of family celebrations. Instead, it’s the pressure of watching every World Cup game, the tennis, the Tour de France and keeping an eye on the Premiership transfer market, whilst still maintaining a semblance of normal family life. I love watching sport; I was brought up on it. It was a family thing - tennis and athletics for mum, footie for dad. I remember the delicious ritual of closing the curtains to keep out the summer sun while we watched the Olympics,...
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Writing Fiction Airs My Demons

Writing Fiction Airs My Demons

Writing is a form of therapy. The creative act seems as necessary for my mental health as a social life and exercise. And beyond that, I find that my deeper, darker soul emerges in my novels in ways I never expect… We all know that diary and letter writing can be cathartic  -  and certainly my own teenage diaries were where I worked out the passions and indignities of life – but writing longer fiction works as therapy on several different levels. I’m not proposing that we should all attempt to write full-length novels, because it’s horribly difficult and takes...
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Top 5 Sea Retreats

Top 5 Sea Retreats

Go with your lover to the Maldives Spa time at Constance Halaveli (above) If my husband and I ever won the lottery, it’s the Maldives we’d head to first, to have treatments, drink champagne and plan our new life together. There are all sorts of glamorous retreats out there, but we rather liked Constance Halaveli in the Ari Atoll, a civilised island with mahogany-lined over-water villas, exceptionally good Balinese therapists (ask for Ayu) in the over-water U Spa by Constance and delectable seafood (we got addicted to the reef fish balls). Hang out in the hot pools...
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Beauty: What Lies Beneath the Makeup

Beauty: What Lies Beneath the Makeup

Inspired by the media coverage of the no-makeup selfie campaign by Cancer Research UK, I decided to research the influence of makeup on women’s lives by setting myself up as guinea pig for my student paper at the University of Warwick.   One day I went out barefaced and the next I wore noticeably more makeup than usual. How would I feel? And how would other people respond to me? I normally wear minimal makeup, but the idea of going out makeup-free even for a day made me feel uncomfortable.  I was concerned about looking unprofessional at work and...
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How To Become A Better Listener

How To Become A Better Listener

Our environments have become increasingly and worryingly noisier. We talk and text constantly on mobile phones.  It’s the norm to see couples and friends out eating and drinking, and everyone will have their heads down texting or tweeting, even whilst in conversation. So it’s not surprising that as our digital talk increases we’ve steadily become poorer listeners, not better ones. So how does one become a better listener and can you learn to listen well? We’ve become adept at a type of hearing which processes information through our own personal filters. Most...
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