Lonely? Sad? Want to live longer? Get a group.

There’s loads of talk lately about the importance of ‘social connectedness’ to human health, and how relationships can be a pathway to wellbeing. But what does it mean to be ‘socially connected’ and how can we get more of it in our lives? Well the late news is, it ain’t about the number of followersContinue reading “Lonely? Sad? Want to live longer? Get a group.”

Improving with age

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain I’m not going to lie to you, getting older is … awesome! Fewer responsibilities, more time to yourself, less social pressure, more stable relationships, a calmer outlook. Positive psychology and I have some pretty – well, positive –Continue reading “Improving with age”

Buy less and be happier for it

The wellbeing industry The word ‘wellbeing’ is bandied about pretty liberally these days, used as a catch-all for anything wanting to be viewed as good or positive. Unfortunately, the term is rarely accompanied by a definition of exactly what sort of wellbeing is on offer or what kind of benefits it might confer. Increasingly, ‘wellbeing’Continue reading “Buy less and be happier for it”

Do you doodle? I do.

Well this is awkward. I set out to research the pervasive activity of ‘doodling’, expecting a plethora of wellbeing benefits in the vein of mindful colouring or mandala drawing. What I found was a swag of web pages extolling the virtues of doodling, but little to no scientific evidence to back up their claims. OfContinue reading “Do you doodle? I do.”

Making your own kefir: A recipe for wellbeing

I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m a fermenting junkie; though my conversion to fermented foods seven years ago was by necessity rather than choice. You see, my husband has an autoimmune disease that makes him sensitive to several foods, including lactose. My husband also believes that milk and cheese are alternate terms for ‘air’ andContinue reading “Making your own kefir: A recipe for wellbeing”

Want to be happier and healthier? Reconnect with nature

If you believed the movies, you’d think all Australians live either in a desert or on the beach, and that we’re a country populated by rugged outdoorsy types who spend their days surfing, going walkabout, or wrangling native fauna. In reality, Australians spend 90% of their time indoors, 40% of their waking hours engaged inContinue reading “Want to be happier and healthier? Reconnect with nature”

Mandala colouring

Colouring for adults What little kid doesn’t love colouring. But somewhere between thinking their parents are the coolest humans in the multiverse, and getting their PhD in tweenage eye-rolling, small humans abandon this simple joy in favour of texting, TV and TikTok (it’s not just a biscuit, parents). In recent years, though, there’s been aContinue reading “Mandala colouring”

Tragic optimism: Finding hope in a hopeless situation

Not long ago, my sister went to the doctor with a sore back. She came home with stage IV lung cancer that had metastasised to her pleura and brain. Her oncologist talks a promising game of novel gene therapy and clinical trials, but the stats are less optimistic. Most people with her diagnosis don’t surviveContinue reading “Tragic optimism: Finding hope in a hopeless situation”

Feeding the beast: Why economics doesn’t equal wellbeing

Years ago I read a book called The Good Life1, which endorsed a life of frugality and the rejection of established concepts around work and money. The idea that one could reject wealth and a traditional working week was life-changing to me; as was the notion that I was engaging in certain practices only toContinue reading “Feeding the beast: Why economics doesn’t equal wellbeing”