Fancy a few hours off your life? These 8 lockdown-proof activities will give you that sorely-needed break at a cost of zero pence. So turn off the news and block out all social media. Prepare to feel better right now!

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#1 The Theme From Badlands
Yes, this 1973 crime drama may seem an unlikely source of joy. But the theme music, Gassenhauer by Carl Orf, is just gorgeous and has magical tantrum-reducing powers, as I explain in the episode.


#2 Space
Yesterday I used my lockdown exercise time to cycle up to a local beauty spot, Lyth Hill. From the top you get a stunning view and can see for miles and miles. I realised that I was getting not just a hit of natural beauty, but something new: a feeling of space. If I was an ad woman, I would have captioned it Nature’s Valium.

I realised that we are all spending far more time in restricted spaces at the moment. Even if you have not got countryside to access, go to your local city centre and find the biggest open plan area you can. It will most likely be deserted. Just sit and soak up the space.


#3 Kindle Unlimited Free Trial
You can get two months free at the moment. This will spark a kind of compulsive joy in you if you have a history of being a self-help junkie, a topic I discuss in this episode.

Having all that reading matter to consume may get a little compulsive, but we all need a bit of escapism from ourselves. Life is forcing all of us to be more present, to be more adaptable and accepting.
I am reading Introducing Evolutionary Psychology: A Graphic Guide by Dylan Evans at the moment.


#4 The End of Return Of The Jedi
Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, who wouldn’t want to have a dance with those little Ewoks in the forest?


#5 A Cathartic Cry
One of my favourite films is Broadcast News, where we see the ball of fire that is Holly Hunter’s news producer kick ass and mow down everyone who gets in her way. Several times in the film, we see her in quiet moments burst into tears, sob for a minute, then get back to the programme – without fuss.

If everything gets too much for you, take a leaf out of Holly’s book. Accept your inner pressure cooker needs the lid lifting. Cry and feel good about it, then get back to…number #6


#6 Everything Is Alive
Interviews with everyday household objects does not sound very joyous on paper, does it? But it is. There is no point in me explaining. Go listen to this podcast NOW and get a surprising dose of perspective and enlightenment from a baseball cap, a pane of glass, a newspaper and more.


#7 Listen To A Perfect Album
I woke up this morning with a massive craving for a song. I couldn’t place it, but I knew it was U2 and the lyric went ‘you run like a river

If you guessed One Tree Hill you are correct.

The Joshua Tree, from which that song is taken, is what I call a perfect album.

(Remember when we used to buy albums? When we didn’t access music in dribs and drabs via Youtube and Spotify?)

Perfect albums have no dud songs on them. In my younger years, when I was pretty fanatical about my music, I came to accept that perfect albums are a rarity. I can only think of a handful right now. (The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths, Power, Corruption and Lies by New Order and What Does Anything Mean? Basically by The Chameleons).

So make a list of perfect albums from way back when. Now go a lie down, have a nap and listen to one.


#8 Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review
When I was younger, I used to fantasise about being a film critic, because all the cinematic literature I used to read at college was so dry and intellectually challenging. Mark Kermode saved me the trouble of changing career, because he does it so well.

At the moment during lockdown, this podcast is covering films that you can stream at home, so it is very useful for discovering more much-needed distraction.

In the next episode – which will be on curbing boredom eating – I will reveal my number one source of joy that can take you out of this feeling of restriction.



Find out more about coaching at

What Is Cavebrain?


Episode on Self Help Food Junkies

Broadcast News Trailer


Everything Is Alive


Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review


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