It’s always great to step outside of your comfort zone, and when Hannah Beecham, Founder of RED January, asked me to join her on stage at Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Festival, I jumped at the chance. After a quick phone conversation with Hannah, she explained more, about how they wanted to me to talk about RED January from a participants point of view and how being a part of it, has positively affected my mental health. I was nervous about being on stage and having lots of eyes on me, but there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.
What is the Happy Place Festival?
Well, Fearne Cotton wrote a book called Happy Place and also has a Happy Place Podcast (which is awesome, check it out). The festival is designed as an extension of that and offers “a place to enjoy all things that make us happy from a clear mind, body and soul and joyful food!”.
There were amazing speakers line-up for both days (3rd & 4th August) including Katie Piper, Russel Brand, Joe Wicks, Briony Gordon, Rylan Clark-Neal, Jonny Benjamin and loads more amazing people and brands… and of course us! Plus there were workouts with Joe Wicks & Dame Kelly Holmes (who did a special RED January workout for us).
If it is all sounding super amazing and you wish you’d known about it, there is good news. It’s happening all over again in September in Manchester. Visit the Happy Place website for the latest information and book your tickets, you won’t regret it.
Little ole me and the Celebs
So I was pretty excited with the line-up, and to be honest a little intimidated. I can talk about running, RedJanuary and mental health until I am blue in the face. But I’ve never done it on a stage before, interviewed by the lovely Antonia O’Brien (she’s so lovely). Throughout the day we wandered around listened to Russel Brand, Joe Wicks, chatted away to Dame Kelly Holmes – it was all quite surreal.
I was actually really annoyed that I couldn’t join in the RED January workout led by Dame Kelly Holmes, I dropped a plate on my toe, and it is broken, so planks were a definite no-go. But it was fun to sit on the side lines and watch her run around and check everyone’s form, and encourage everyone to keep holding their plank positions.
We were on stage in the Talk tent after Jonny Benjamin, who told his amazing story, I was so moved. We were mic’d up, and headed on stage. As the last act on the last day, the crowd was a little thinner, but everyone looked really interested. We chatted away with Antonia, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t nervous and didn’t sputter over my words like I feared I would.
I had a few things I really wanted to share about making time for yourself, it might be for a run, but it also might be to paint your nails, and that it is really important for your mental health to be a bit selfish. The other thing I wanted to share is that running is great for your mental wellbeing, and it can be a great item to have your ‘toolkit’, but make sure you have other things in your ‘toolkit’ too. The last thing I wanted to share is how amazing Mind Charity is and how many resources they have, that anyone can use, because sometimes running (or the other things in your ‘toolkit’) might not be enough, and for those cases Mind is a great place to start looking for more help. Check out the Mind website here.
So many fun things to do
Here are some of the best things about the Happy Place Festival
- Amazing work outs led by fitness superstars
- Loads of fun crafts to do and try
- Super cute shopping tent with lots of great brands
- Super speakers on the main Talk stage (including us obvs)
- Delicious alcohol free gin (which was free, and so tasty)
- Free Arla smoothies – so yummy
- 20% off Sweaty Betty, and special yoga workouts
Were you at Happy Place Festival? Do you run for your mental health? Would you like to do RED January 2020?