Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management, Thoughts

You Do You

So today is international happiness day. Yes, there is a day dedicated to being happy. What is happy, you ask? Well, happy is not having to put a fake smile on your face and pretend to be okay. Happiness is getting up in the morning and actually wanting to face the day instead of hiding under your bed sheets. Happiness is many things.

In this day and age it is becoming increasingly common to feel down/depressed. With the constant peer pressure to look or act a certain way, it isn’t a surprise that some people don’t get enough fulfilment out of their lives. Running around day in day out to conform to stereotypes or make others happy is one of the things which wear us down.

This is where I want to say, you do you! You are going to get more enjoyment and fulfilment out of life if you do what you want to do and what makes YOU happy! As long as you aren’t hurting people on purpose and acting with good intentions, then you won’t be criticised for this! We live in a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to act yourself. The use of the internet makes the whole aspect of bullying worse with the many trolls you can find there.

In high school, you tend to get bullied or picked on for anything and everything that is unique about you. This is where we need to get the world to STOP bringing kids down from an early age. This bullying is causing the young generation of today to grow up feeling worthless. Children get that used to people saying negative things about them that they start trying to blend in with the crowd and start to harbour negative feelings against themselves. After all, we tend to be much harsher on ourselves than we are on other people. To change this we should encourage young school children to see the positive things about themselves and not to pick on others for their negative things. By doing this, I feel we can teach future generations to have more respect for themselves.

One thing I have learnt in the last few years is that if someone is bringing you down and having a constant negative effect on you then bin them. As difficult as it seems, it is much better for the both of you if you part ways. When I was leaving school, a girl I was friends with at the time started an argument with me and said some very hurtful things that upset me despite them not being true. A few months later, another argument occurred and this is where I decided that I would rather not be in someone’s life than to be in their life and arguments occurring often no matter who started it. As difficult as letting go is, once you have done it, life becomes slightly more positive and you feel lighter. You should surround yourself with positive people who bring you up instead of negative people who bring you down.

In life we strive to be happy but unfortunately we can’t be happy all the time. When it comes to career’s, some dream of being a teacher, some an astronaut, some the prime minster and others, something completely different. We go to school to learn, to progress in subjects we have a keen interest in and to discover what we want to do with our life afterwards. There is no unspoken rule to say that you have to decide what you want to do with your life before leaving school. There is heavy pressure within schools on students to study and know what want to do from an early age but what happens if you’re not ready to decide? Take your time finding out what you are interested in and then decide what you want to do with your life once you actually know, don’t rush it!

No matter what your career dream or goals are, make them realistic and something you actually want to do. Some people decide they are interested in a certain career because of money. Pursuing a particular career for the pay check you will receive is a big no. If you chase a job for the money, then you will never find happiness within your career. You will spend your life running around in circles searching for the next big thing with a half empty heart working in an area you don’t enjoy. Pick your career based on what you want to do and once you decide, work your butt off to make your dreams happen. This will allow you to create your own happiness and get the most from life.

Challenge yourself – Challenge is a great way to create your own happiness. Doing the same responsibilities at work day in day out may become boring and dull. By finding ways to challenge yourself, you can keep your life current and exciting. Last year for my college graded unit, I organised and carried out a sponsored abseil from scratch. Even though I had done charity event in the past before, this is something in which I had not previously done. It was a majorly nerve-wracking experience but it pushed me out of my comfort zone which allowed me to see what I could do and that near enough anything is possible. This year I am organising an even bigger event for my graded unit along with two other students. So far it has been a major challenge but I am enjoying it and know it will be worth it in the end. Challenging yourself allows you to push yourself and see what you are really capable of! You then gain happiness out of your achievements made.

Never be afraid to ask for help – Sometimes we all need a bit of help/support in our lives but it can be very difficult to actually ask for this help. If you need help or support, no matter how difficult it is to speak out, try and do it. You are not going to be judges for asking for help. In many situations, those close to you will even be proud of you admitting something is wrong. Many counsellors only need to pass on what you say if they feel you are at risk, so counselling can be easier sometimes than talking to someone you actually know. I myself have always found it difficult to admit when things are going wrong and actually ask for help. Recently I have begun trying to make the effort to talk about my problems and I can honestly say it was a good idea. Bottling up your feelings isn’t good for anyone, it only makes things hurt for longer than they need to. Talking to someone helps many to relieve themselves of the pain going on inside their brain. It could be a good idea to get a box and put inside any nice messages/comments you have received from others or any inspirational quotes you have read. This means that, when you are feeling down, you can revert to this box and read all these positive messages/quotes and be reminded how many people care and to keep fighting.

Having fun – Try to manage your work/life balance. Working too often can cause you to be stressed or down regularly. In school the often pressure received from teachers involve things like “if you don’t put in the work now, then you won’t make anything of yourself.” This is simply not true! You will not get doomed all because you didn’t study at school or failed your exams. This world is constantly changing and evolving and so are you! This means that you have a lifetime to focus on your career. Live in the moment and do what you can for today. Don’t take things for granted and live like there’s no tomorrow but don’t propel yourself so far forward that you are unprepared. If you need a gap year – take it. If you want to go travelling – do it. Do what you want to do in the current moment of your life. It’s all good and fine to have an amazing career, but you shouldn’t have to cut out your social life to do so! Go to see that movie with your friend. Go on that holiday you’ve been dreaming of. It is never too late to have a career!

If you struggle to find happiness then why not try getting a notebook and writing down something every day that makes you happy or makes life worth fighting for. Hopefully from there you can build your everyday happiness!

Posted in Music

The changing music world

What do you prefer? To buy physical albums or listening to music digitally?

It is clear to say that the music world is constantly changing. Gone are the days where we would buy cassette tapes and load them into a CD player, on the way out is the days of buying CD’s and we are now splat bang in the middle of an era of illegal downloads and digital music being the only source.

Both digital music and physical copies have their advantages. If you love a specific artist you can buy their full album as a physical copy and anticipate that magical moment when you get it home to listen to or it arrives in the mail. For example, I am a huge Girls Aloud fan and when I found out Sarah Harding was releasing her debut solo EP I was more excited than words can describe. I had been hoping for a solo Sarah Harding album since Girls Aloud split. Ordering that hand signed copy and opening it in the mail was one of the most magical moments for me.

When it comes to digital music, more often than not you don’t even get the hope of a signed copy of any albums you buy. Unless the artist has advanced technology allowing them to digitally sign your album. Despite this, digital copies do have their advantages. For example, if you own an iPod like myself it allows you to download the digital copy to your iPod, then you can listen to your favourite music away from home. Another example is if there is an artist, you’re not the biggest fan of. For example, you may like a specific song, or a few songs but not the whole album. This means you can download the song(s) you like without having to download the whole album and therefore save money.

All this aside, what will happen to music in the future? Face it, most of today’s generation download their music by ripping it of YouTube or similar sites. The result? Music doesn’t sell as well. For example, my love, Sarah Harding, the signed copy of her EP was selling for months after it went on sale, in fact, even 5 months after it went on sale there was still signed copies out of 2500 left. It pains me to look at Sarah’s YouTube channel and see that the lead single: “Threads” got 121,105 views. That is over 45 times how many signed copies there were available. I feel that, in the future, music sales are going to decline even more if we don’t do anything to change this.

Music Streaming Sites – In the early days of using music streaming sites, I remember using Groove Shark in high school. When my administration teacher in my early years of high school discovered that she could get us to be quiet while actually doing our work by letting us listen to music, that is exactly what she did. Once a week in her class she allowed us to collect a pair of over ear headphones from the front of class and listen to music while doing our work. I remember using Groove Shark, simply because it was about the only music streaming site that the school computers did not block! Oh yes, I remember the agonising days when you couldn’t access YouTube while in school.

Recently I have really got into Spotify. I had heard of it for a while but only began to use it at the start of March. So far I am really loving Spotify. I have found so many decent songs to mix it up a bit from the songs I tire out repeatedly. Before Spotify, I found it really difficult to find new music that I actually enjoy. I don’t really like the chart music so for me Spotify is my go to. I like to click on “browse” and then browse by Genre. This allows me to pick a Genre of music which I really enjoy and explore the playlists within that to find new music that I actually like. Country is one of my favourite genres and I have found many good songs on the country playlists. Spotify also allows me to save the playlists I like and even create my own with the new music I find.

Chart music is making it increasing difficult to find good music, so much so that I have stopped paying attention to music that is in the charts. It’s no good! In order to find quality music, you have to be prepared to venture further than you would normally. I enjoy discovering new finds that none of my friends know about and growing my list of favourite songs. Recently I took a glance at a list of top 100’s to be disappointed when I found that Justin Bieber had about 3 songs in the top ten. Seriously? The current generation don’t tend to know good music when they see it. I feel that the young generation of today are pleased easily by music to the point where they will accept anything into the charts. In order to change this we need to be committed to searching constantly for the latest great tunes. Only then will we regain that sense of good music that is missing from the charts!

Posted in Events

World Book Day 2016

World Book Day is a much loved day of the year every year for avid readers. Whether it be school pupils waiting until that magical moment where they can trade their World Book Day tokens they got in school for free books or if its the adults reading Harry Potter again and again, it is always a much loved day every year.

Here are my top 5 reads:

The Iron King:

It is a series about a young girl called Meghan Chase who grows up in the mortal world but knows nothing about the world in which she actually comes from. Her father went missing when she was only 6 years of age and when her brother gets stolen she finds out about the world in which she comes from. She finds out she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and learns how far she will go to save a loved one. I love this series because it is well written and fast paced. I love any books to do with magic/fantasy and this is a series which has really intrigued me. It makes me interested in the characters and want to know what happens next for these characters. Each book in the series goes from a different character’s perspective and I feel this is one of the major draws to the series as it makes you fall in love with more than one of the characters and you learn what they are like from their point of view.

Harry Potter:

In my opinion, Harry Potter is an absolute classic. It is clear to say that the Harry Potter series, both the books and the films have been a huge phenomenon amongst the young and mature. It is a series which has widely enchanted much of the world. It all started with a woman with a dream of writing. Before Harry Potter, J.K Rowling was a single mother trying to make ends meet to look after her young daughter. The Harry Potter book series was rejected by many publishers before Bloomsbury made an offer.

I first found out about the Harry Potter series when the second film came out in the cinema. The Harry Potter series quickly captivated an audience and soon became one of my favourite series. After I watched the first film I began to be hooked by the Harry Potter series. Since then I went on to read all the books as they came out. I remember the highly anticipated wait for the films when reading each book. When the films did come about, there were many areas that fans felt were left out such as Peeves the poltergeist.

I think my one of my favourite things about the series as I was growing up was that Harry Potter felt like an escape from reality when the world was too much. Through the books, J.K Rowling has created, let’s face it, a world in which a lot of people would love to live in. The Half Blood Prince would probably be my favourite book out the series since I think it was one of the best crafted ones and I loved the way it was conveyed on screen. I think that Emma Watson was one of the best people to be cast in the film adaptions.

All I know Now:

All I know now by Carrie Hope Fletcher is a fantastic read that is highly inspirational to not just teenagers, but also adults. Carrie conveys what she wants to bring across really well and writes in a way that is helpful to many people struggling through similar issues from what Carrie has been through. I would highly recommend that teenagers and even young adults should read All I know now at least once in their lifetimes, they might even learn a thing or two. Despite the fact that Carrie is only a few years older than me, I look up to her and she has an amazingly lovely fanbase.

City of Bones:

Before reading City of bones I had wondered what all the fuss was about but once I began to read the series I understood all. Cassandra has an effortless way of writing which just entices you into the series. Right from the very start I was hooked on the series. I am currently reading the last book in the series: City of heavenly fire and I can honestly say it is one of the most well written and interesting book series in which I have read. I have been enticed from the beginning and curious about everything such as Jace and Clary’s relationship right through to finding out who her father was and everything ever since. I would highly recommend this series.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl:

I’ll admit that I haven’t actually read this book yet but it is on my list because I am a fan of paranormal books/films. I like the idea that this book was actually based off a YouTube channel because it is unusual/different and not normally what would happen before a book is actually published. I am excited to see what will entail within the book and watch the Youtube channel.

World Book Day is not only avid readers splashing out on the latest addition to their bookshelves, it is also parents competing to create the best outfit for their children who will, for the day be going to school dressed as their favourite book characters!

When I was a kid, unfortuantely there wasn’t the option in either of the Primary Schools I attended to go dressed as your favourite book character on World Book Day. While many parents have the task of getting their kids an outfit in time for World Book Day, I’d like to list a few ideas that I would go as if I was a kid again for a day:

Hermione Granger:

Face it, there are a lot of girls/women who would love the chance to be Hermione for the day. A few years ago on Halloween I actually went as Hermione for a fundraiser I attended. With a poorly put together outfit that included a Dracula cloak because I couldn’t afford the actual thing I would love the chance to be able to do it properly. The official Harry Potter cloaks actually cost around £80 these days, which is a lot of money for a once a year day, and besides, a year later you aren’t likely to dress as the same character!


I think its safe to say that having the same abilities as Matilda was something that would be the dream of a lot of children back when I was growing up. Better beware of Mrs Trunchbull though!


The wizard of oz was always a classic for me while growing up so I feel that I would of loved the chance to go to school dressed as Dorothy for the day. Who wouldn’t like the adventure of a life-time to a separate, magical world which could make you temporarily forget about the real world? The Wizard of Oz was always an escape from reality for me and a series that I have continued to love, time and time again!

What is your favourite book? And, if you had that chance again, what book character would you want to dress as for World Book Day? Let me know in the comments below!