Introducing a wonderful musician Kartik Raghunathan, who I had the great pleasure to meet on Tuesday when he was performing at a gig with my choir master Odette Adams and her band at the Bull’s Head in Barnes.
Here are some amazing tracks that Kartik has produced that you can enjoy too.
Watch my video update and get to hear how the Bloom revolution to promote better mental health all started for me, and how the amazing men and women working in health, the emergency services and the military have inspired this dream to build Bloom – The Health Spa for the Mind
I have the great privilege to introduce to you, the wonderful Shane Koyczan: an incredible poet and writer who brings light into my life every time I hear his words, watch his performances, feel his vibes, and connect to the rhythm that he creates. Shane Koyczan has shown me what courage really looks like, and his words will surely inspire you too.
Shane weaves beautiful stories about his experiences in life, about mental health, depression, body image, bullying, love and relationships, his grandma and his grandpa, protection for the environment, and much more, with bravery, honesty and delightful humour, all wrapped up in his technicolor imagery, so that we find we are woven into the story with him, and we cannot escape the gravity of the message he wants us to hear.
Shane is the author of 3 books and has recently released his first studio album, ‘Debris’ with The Short Story Long.
I will share the first four videos from Shane that awoke me to his beautiful poetry, in the hope it will inspire you to go forth and discover more of his work, at his website: http://www.shanekoyczan.com
Music has always been a channel with which we communicate our well-being. It gives us a glimpse into the world of other people. Music helps us to relate to others’ struggles; with mental health, the melancholy of love, the beauty of life, and the darkness of depression. We can recognise ourselves in the lyrics, feel goosebumps at all the same moments, and take comfort in the fact that we all experience similar emotions.
Music can be a powerful way to change our mood; to lift us up, or to put some space between us and our thoughts, or something we put on to amplify our emotional state. Two stand-out albums for me when I was a teenager, and struggling with depression, were Come As You Are by Nirvana, and The Bends by Radiohead. The front men of both bands, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), and Thom Yorke (Radiohead), were a huge inspiration to me, in the way they sang about their mental health, depression, and their sadness, and it gave me a place I could escape to, and feel connected to something, and gave me a sense of hope, that things would work themselves out.
I am really passionate to promote music as a therapy for our mental health; both in the listening, and the receiving of music, and also in the creation of music, writing, songs and poetry, as a medium to express our emotions.
Doing this helps us to Bloom Connectionwith ourselves, and with others.
Here on BloomSpace, I am going to share different ways you can enhance your well-being through music and the performing arts:
Two years ago The Guardian ran a story about mental health in music, introducing research being carried out into music as a form of therapy. The research was particularly looking at hip-hop therapy as a new route to mental well-being.
The Guardian article introduced us to a clinically led social venture in the UK, called ‘Hip Hop Psych’, who are ‘engaging with mental health experts and the wider public, in order to challenge stereotypes and to disarm the boundaries between psychiatry, humanities, and hip-hop culture’.
Among the songs and artists highlighted by Hip Hop Psych for their potential use in the understanding of mental illness, and their notions of empowerment, is Pharrell Williams, and in particular the million-selling British No 1, Happy.
Watch the VIDEO. It’s impossible not to feel good
You can find out more about Hip Hop Psych and how their social venture has developed over the last two years, at their website: http://www.hiphoppsych.co.uk and you can follow them on Twitter here: @hiphopsych