Calming touch

Would these ten objects help you with your mental health?


My hula hoop is soothing to me and is probably the reason why I am alive.

Discovering hooping gave me a purpose to my life, especially in terms of accepting my body.


It’s easier for children to see the victory and overlook the defeat.
I feel this picture captures that.

Even though I had just fallen off my bike, I had succeeded in kicking off for the first time. As an adult I often get so hung up on the defeat, that I overlook the victory.

Revisiting this photo regularly is crucial to my recovery because it helps me refocus on what is important. Although sometimes I fall, it’s the joy in the victory that picks me back up.


The beads help me to bring my awareness intensely into the present, where I can’t worry about the future, or dwell on the past.

I first started using the beads when I was managing large-scale events. It was quite stressful at times and in situations like these your mind naturally scans the environment for every potential thing that could go wrong. You find yourself catastrophising.

It's like when you have a computer with too many tabs open. You can't really focus and eventually the computer can crash because you have too much going on at once.

These beads are a way of closing all of the tabs in my mind and bringing myself back into the present moment where I can focus on what is in front of me.


My photograph album helps me whenever my depression feels suffocating. Sometimes it all gets too much but I know I can find solace in my album.

It's full of photographs from happier days, and it helps remind me that whatever I am experiencing in that particular moment will pass, and that there are many more happy days to come. It grounds me and stops my mind from racing.

Typically I over analyse things and anxiety usually accompanies my depressive bouts, so having my album close to hand really stops my mind from overthinking. It brings me back to reality, and the reality is that this, too, shall pass.


This works like a charm for me, it’s priceless.

When I am not sleeping very well it puts me into a deeper sleep and it helps when I am anxious or low. It helps me keep on going. It is something to take comfort in.


My mum bought me the rings and necklace to remember her before she passed.

They mean so much to me, as my eating disorder began due to the loss of my mum.


At first, suffering from post-natal depression, I wanted solitude. I would put my dressing gown on and put my earplugs in and then read and read.

Now it's a comfort, as when I do this I enjoy it. It relaxes me and reminds me how far I've come.

It is nice to be here as opposed to where I was. I feel like my old self again.


I don’t know where I got the idea for my recovery ladder but I just wanted to make something I could use to track my progress over my depression.

There are seven rungs in total and I colour one in when I feel like I’ve made an important step towards feeling better and recovering.

When I started to feel better, the next thing I wanted to do was help other people. It gives me a boost on my own ladder when I see people using theirs.

They are small enough to fit into your bag and if you lose them people won’t know the significance - what it means to you. It’s discreet like that. They don’t look like much but for each individual they mean a lot.


I was given this small stuffed dog when I was five after we lost our family dog. I named her Sophie, and for a few years I took her everywhere with me.

By the time I developed my eating disorder at the age of 12 we'd moved house a few times and Sophie had been placed in a box in an attic somewhere and forgotten about.

Fast-forward 18 years, having moved 500 miles away and then back again, I was walking through town one day when I spotted Sophie in the window of a charity shop. I knew it was her instantly because she has a very distinct scratch on her nose. Sophie once again became my loyal companion.

I suffer from anxiety so I hold her in the evenings, which is when I really struggle with obsessional thoughts. She helps me feel a little calmer and safer, and gives me something soft to keep me grounded.


I think playing the guitar has always been an outlet for all these emotions that you can’t express in words. Music does that for people. It’s something that’s not literal, but helps you get out and say what you wanna say.

When I was really ill with anorexia, it was a method of channeling all this energy that I would have otherwise put into something destructive, into making something really positive. It’s something that I enjoy, something that other people love to hear. So, channeling all those bad things into something good.