Read our posts about creativity

Expressive Writing for Mental Wellbeing

Expressive Writing for Mental Wellbeing

Expressive writing , sometimes called written emotional disclosure, is a fancy term for such a simple act: expressing oneself through writing. Most of us have done it at one point in our lives through keeping a journal or a diary. But of course, with modern age, it is now being done with a keyboard. To some extent, keeping a personal blog can be considered as a form of expressive writing. Tracing the roots of expressive writing Expressive writing is a therapy introduced by Pennebaker and Beall in the late 1980s. Their pioneering work (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986)...
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Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing

Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing

As the name suggests, Craftivist Collective, founded in 2009, is a movement which seeks to combine craft and activism. Their aim is to provoke awareness and discussion of issues surrounding local and global poverty and injustice. The World Health Organisation includes “contributing to society” as one of their paths to wellbeing. This was the focus of the most recent Craftivist exhibition, which was held in Aldgate East in London. The project, titled #wellMAKING, was the culmination of more than 50 ‘stitch-ins’ held across the nation. It’s goal was to...
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Writing Music to Overcome Depression

Writing Music to Overcome Depression

One afternoon I had a moment of clarity and wrote all of the words, in one prolific sitting, to a song for my Dad. He moved to America when I was four and I dragged a heavy anchor of anger and disappointment behind me most of my life as a result. I describe in the piano ballad how I was confused and missed him as a child, felt that he didn't know me as a teenager, as an adult I needed him and finally in the present day, I forgave him. Along with a very long letter, I sent this song, which I called ’The Gift’, to my Dad in the mail. It was the closure that I...
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Culture Tip: PJ Harvey's 'Recording in Progress'

Culture Tip: PJ Harvey's 'Recording in Progress'

PJ Harvey’s collaboration with Artangel and Somerset House, Recording in Progress, is an extraordinary insight not just into the recording of music but the making of it too. It is probably one of the most absorbing cultural experiences in London right now. An ‘architectural installation’ by Something & Son with one-way glazing allows groups of up to 45 people a 45 minute session watching PJ Harvey, her musicians, engineers and producers record her ninth album. The slight figure of Harvey stands beneath a bespoke coat of arms engrossed in her work. Her...
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What is Music Therapy?

What is Music Therapy?

What is music therapy? Depending on many things, including my energy levels and perception of the openness of the questioner, this question can elicit from me a breadth of reactions. It's the one most often posed to me, since my decision to train as a music therapist five years ago. It's one for which the answer has since mutated into many fluid variations and continues to be re-defined for me. To a stranger, I will answer, “using music to help others”. To an interested colleague however, the answer is more complex, as music therapy is not one unified...
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Culture Tip: Grayson Perry's Who Are You?

Culture Tip: Grayson Perry's Who Are You?

The Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry talking recently about Who Are You?, his display of new works at the National Portrait Gallery in London, commented that, “identity is one of those words that gets used a lot particularly in political terms and it always seems a slippery term to me”. In this diverse collection of 14 portraits shown in the Gallery’s nineteenth and twentieth century rooms Perry uses his fierce intelligence and particularly winning aesthetic to try to pin that term down. The works have all been made in response to meeting...
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How Creativity Can Help With Grieving

How Creativity Can Help With Grieving

Alesha sought help through therapy after her father died.  Her mother had died some years before, around the time Alesha had her two children, and she found that the death of her father was unexpectedly complicated by grief for her mother. The grieving process can be seen as a balance between grieving and coping, and coping had taken precedence.As an only child it fell to Alesha to sort out her parents’ belongings.  Although she had managed to dispose of furniture and other objects quite successfully, she had packed up over twenty boxes of other belongings, which she...
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