April Favourites

Hey guys!

So since it’s coming to the end of April, it’s time for a monthly favourites post! Lots of wonderful things have happened this month and I’m excited to share them with you.

So first off one of my best friends from home came up to visit for the weekend at the beginning of April, which was lovely. I hadn’t seen her in a while as she now works down in London so it was great that I got to spend some time with her.

I started reading a new book called ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig. One of my friends recommended it to me and I’m really glad he did because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend to go and get it. It’s about the authors journey through depression and how he came through it, it’s absolutely brilliant.

I’ve also just purchased a new healthy cook book! Since I’m still running I thought it would be a good idea to start eating a little bit more healthier. It’s called ‘Get the Glow’ by Madeline Shaw. It has lots of really cool and fun healthy recipes which are so easy to make, it also has exercise routines and mediation tips!

I went to go see the Jungle Book movie – which is absolutely brilliant! I love going to the cinema and I haven’t been much this year, so it was really enjoyable to go. It also had Idris Elba voicing one of the characters and everyone loves Idris so thats a big enough reason to go and watch it. I’m not going to explain what the Jungle Book is about because you should all know. If you don’t then what have you been doing with your lives!? Seriously…(I thought I would add a picture of Idris in just to spice up this blog, he’s also great to look at. You’re welcome)

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The band and I have also got our set down! We had a great rehearsal at Blueprint studios the other day and everything is sounding great. It’s taking longer than I thought to get everything sorted but be patient because it is all coming together! You’re all in for a treat.

I also went to go and see a play at HOME Theatre called ‘Caresses’, which was rather interesting… I went with my friend Matt and we came out of it quite disturbed. I’m not going to go into detail with what happened during it, as I don’t think its very appropriate for a blog post but it was definitely thought provoking…

I haven’t been to as many gigs as I would’ve liked this month, I think work and essays have just taken over my life at the moment, so I’m struggling to find time to go and see gigs! I did catch a couple though, one of which is a band I spoke about in my March favourites blog. RUNAH.

This night was a little different as I normally see Tara perform with a full band, but it turned out to be even more captivating. She played electric guitar, and was accompanied by Singer/Songwriter Emerie who provided beautiful harmonies. Their voices blended so well together, and it was amazing to see everything stripped back. Each song was performed so elegantly and with a vulnerability that I found so affecting. The whole night was brilliant but RUNAH delivered the emotion, and that’s one of my favourite things. I had shivers through the whole set and was completely lost in the music from the very start.

Go on and check out their sound cloud, you won’t be disappointed – soundcloud.com/runahband

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Anyway until next time,

Lots of love,

R x

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Don’t rush, Life is a journey.

Hey guys!

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and are having a relaxing sunday! It’s also very sunny and warm in Manchester which has brightened up my day. So now it’s time for another blog post – I know you’re very excited.

I have lots of thing I want to say in this one and I usually do abit of planning beforehand, but I kind of just wanted to type this one out really and see where my thoughts take me.

So this morning I woke up and had a little cry. I think it’s only just hit me that I graduate University in about 6/7 weeks and then I have to go off into the real world. Thats a very scary thought and if I’m being honest I really don’t think I’m ready. I have a few things lined up after university which I’m hoping to go on and do, and I’m frantically running around trying to plan everything out. University has taken up 3 years of my life and in some funny way you think that it’s not going to end. You feel like you’ve got forever to figure your life out but then soon enough it’s April and you’ve got a load of deadlines and graduation is looming…

I use this app called Headspace. Its brilliant. It’s a meditation app, and it helps to just make me feel more calm. Especially in these past couple of months its proved very useful! I highly reccomend it.

Anyway, I came across this quote today and straight away I just felt more at ease and more calm with my life after University.

‘Don’t be in such a rush to figure everything out. Embrace the unknown and let your life surprise you.’ – Unknown 

I love this quote. I don’t need to have my whole life figured out. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to plan things and have goals and aspirations – but don’t be in a rush to try and figure it all out. I’m only 23, I’m still so young and I’ve still got so much to learn.

Don’t be in a rush to settle down – Just because you’re in your 20’s, does not mean you now have to get married. Don’t think because all your friends are getting married and having children that you have too. You don’t. Go and travel the world, go to cities you’ve never visited before, run a marathon, jump out of a plane, go swimming with sharks –  (I will do that one day…) Don’t be in a rush to have everything figured out, it’s okay to be unsure, that doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure. That just makes you human.

Being in your 20’s is such an amazing time. You can take chances you won’t be able to take when you’re older,  you can meet new people and see new places. Take time in learning to love yourself, you’ll enjoy life so much more. It’s okay to take things as they come, to make mistakes and change paths. Don’t let anyone put you down for not knowing what you want, some of us take longer to get there and thats okay. Trust that things will fall into place. It’s okay to be uncertain, embrace the unknown – you may just surprise yourself with who you turn out to be.

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It’s okay to not know what you want to do in 10 years. Enjoy the moment you’re in now and make it the best moment it can be. It’s okay to not know exactly where you’re life is heading. Challenge yourself everyday that pushes you in the direction of your goals, it doesn’t have to be huge but as time goes on, the future that seemed a little cloudy 3 months ago will start to seem abit more clearer.

Most of all – don’t think that everyone else has figured life out. While some people are further along the journey than others, we’re all in the same boat. Don’t forget to enjoy your life, don’t stop striving for your dreams but be open minded to change. Don’t keep looking back to the past, be excited of where you are right now and look forward to where life can take you. It can be all kinds of wonderful.

You’ll be okay. 

Life is a journey, so enjoy the ride.

Until next time…

Lots of love,

R x

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Believe in yourself.

Hey guys!

So a few of my recent blog posts have been about issues that I’m really passionate about, I really enjoyed writing them and the response I’ve had from them has been amazing. So I thought I would do another post on a topic that I think a lot of people struggle with.

‘Believing in yourself’

‘When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt’ – Honore De Balzac

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been the greatest lover of music. Whether that was listening, writing or playing. I fell in love with writing songs from an early age, and I knew that was all I wanted to do. I did have a little break where I thought about becoming a doctor, but I think that was because I had watched too much Grey’s Anatomy. (It’s so addictive)  I’m also not great with needles so that definitely wasn’t a path I should’ve taken!

During my love of writing songs, I started having piano lessons and I was finally able to write songs with music! My first song was actually about my older sister and it was called ‘Sister  Sister’ – Yes, very skilled. I know. But learning piano really made my songs into something great , and I loved writing about how I felt. Songwriting I think, is one of the best ways to express yourself.

I’ve been told many times and I’m sure lots of other musicians have, to just give up as its not a real job. When I’ve been out with friends and people ask me what you do for a living and I tell them I’m a musician, they look at you like –  ‘Are you being serious?’ This automatically placed a seed of doubt in my mind. I felt that there was no point in being a musician because to a lot of people a musician doesn’t really do much. There was a time when I actually felt quite ashamed, and had really wished that I was doing something where people would respect and admire what I was doing. I looked at a lot of my friends and they were at some of the top University’s studying subjects that would no doubt get them a great job at the end of it. Some friends bagged jobs straight away in a profession where they could live comfortably – and then there was me, the piano player that liked to write songs.

During school I think I lost a lot of confidence because no one was necessarily bothered about a new piano piece I could play, they were more bothered with the people who were having a sweet 16 birthday bash at the local village hall or how many friends you had on Bebo. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing bad about being excited for these things, that’s great, but doing music through school I definitley lost sight of where I wanted to go. I guess I was quite scared in a way, when fear grabs you, it suddenly feels like all your goals are out of reach. I was constantly questioning my ability and knowledge in everything I did.

Growing up and starting college and then University I started to believe in myself more. I realised that there is no point in fighting self-doubt. I needed to train it, and by that I mean I no longer tell myself ‘I will never be a good enough Songwriter or Pianist’ – instead I say ‘What can I do to become better?’

Learn to recognise when self doubt is kicking in. When your mind is telling you that ‘You can’t’ or ‘What if I fail?’ – remember that you can always try again. And do just that. Doing this will transform a negative situation into an opportunity for growth. Give yourself a chance to shine, let the world see just how amazing you are!

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Try and avoid toxic people and toxic situations. You need to surround yourself with people who are supportive and passionate, people who inspire and bring out the best in you. Through college and University I’ve met some of the greatest people who will constantly push me, and help me become the best musician I can be. I’m around some of the most talented people I’ve ever seen and every time I see someone play, whether thats a Songwriter, guitarist, bassist or drummer – I come away feeling inspired and a feeling of just wanting to play.

There will be times when self doubt will kick in a lot harder than you can imagine. Coming to the end of last year I had no interest in writing songs. I had a lot going on and I just lost all motivation and confidence. I had no interest in sitting down at the piano and writing. I physically couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt like I wasn’t good enough – I had a lot of rejection through that time and that suddenly just took it’s toll on me. But being a musician and even in every day life you are always going to face rejection. Yes it sucks, and it’s not a nice feeling, but I’ve learnt to accept and grow with it. I’ve grown as a person and a musician and I’ve been working on a set of music that I’m so proud of and so excited to share with everyone.

Don’t let anyone tell you to give up, or that you’re not good enough. Allow your dream to motivate you. You are all amazing and can do anything you want with your life. Have belief in yourself that you can be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Have belief in yourself that you can do whatever you’ve been wanting to do. Don’t give up. Try again.  I believe in you.

 

Until next time…

Lots of love,

R x

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Recovery is beautiful..

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and are ready for the week ahead!

Since my post ‘Finding happiness in you’ went down so well (Thanks to all the people who messaged, emailed and text me to say how much they loved it) I thought I would write another one. I’ve had this idea for a long time but I didn’t know how to write it, I’m still not completely sure but I think it’s such an important topic to talk about.

Recovering from something whether that being an eating disorder or depression is something a lot of people are too afraid to talk about. I completely understand why people are, because when you talk about something so personal you are automatically making yourself more vulnerable to everyone. Whether you’re male or female you should never be ashamed about your recovery or what you went/or are going through.

Recovery is a beautiful thing. It shows just show strong you really are, and that should be celebrated.

Mental health is real. Battling with your own mind is scary. It’s not something that can be turned off like that, It’s a real struggle that people face every day. One of the saddest things is that in a lot of people you can’t tell whether they are struggling, and knowing that breaks my heart. Underneath all the smiles and the laughs is a person who is constantly trying to find a reason to carry on the day. That’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. Just because you can’t see the pain it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. To all the people feeling like this or going through something similar, I just have to say one thing – You are not alone.

Whatever demons you’re struggling with you are not alone. When I was going through hard times I was constantly told I wasn’t alone, at the time I never believed it because I got myself into such a state that I thought I had no one. But as the months went on and I started to heal, I realised I had never been alone through anything, and that was such a wonderful feeling. I look back now and feel so blessed that I had such amazing friends and family that never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself.

Some days are worse than others, but thats okay, you’re allowed to have bad days. Don’t feel like you have to put a brave face on to the world every day. I think a lot of people don’t realise how strong they actually are.

My road to recovery is still on going, but it’s a beautiful thing to witness. I look back to 6 months ago and I’m not in that place anymore. How amazing is that?! I wake up every morning with a reason to smile, life is so beautiful and you can do whatever you want with it. Have faith in yourself that you can get through whatever you’re going through. It will hurt, and it will be hard, recovery isn’t the easiest thing to do. But you’ll soon look back and weeks will have gone by and you’ll realise you haven’t cried, or you haven’t been fighting with your own mind, or you haven’t self harmed – and that may seem like a small step, but that’s a step in the right direction.

Relapsing will sometimes happen during recovery. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You just have to get back up and keep trying, and believe me as the days go on everything will become just a little easier – You matter, don’t ever let anyone else tell you different.

Embrace your recovery, be proud at the fact that you’ve managed to get out of bed in the morning even when you really didn’t feel like it. Be proud at the fact that you managed to go the whole day without crying. Don’t be ashamed of your story. I’m not saying that recovery is easy but it is worth it. Watch how you grow and change as a person, along the way you’ll learn how to love yourself again. Every day is a constant battle but keep fighting. You are all wonderful warriors and deserve all the happiness in the world.

Like I said, I’m not really sure how well I wrote everything. I just kind of sat down and typed.

‘Be faithful in the small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.’ – Mother Teresa

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

Lots of Love,

R x
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Essays and stress..

Hello guys!

I had a really cool idea for this blog post – since the end of the academic year is coming closer, or the end of our whole university degree for many of us, we are swamped down with millions of essays. (By millions I mean several) With loads of essays comes a huge amount of stress. Through this post I just wanted to share some tips and ideas with how to deal with stress. I’m no expert in how to deal with stress at all, but I’ve found some useful tools that have helped me, so I thought it would be really cool to share!

The first thing to do is write a list. I can’t recommend this enough. I didn’t realise everything I had to do until I wrote it all down. I then sorted out a little timetable, this is a really helpful idea – I’ve planned my days in advance with what I’m going to do. So when it comes to it I’m not stressing about which essay I should do first as it’s all planned out!

Secondly, If you’re feeling stressed out and you’re worried about how much you have on your plate, get out of the house! Go for a long walk or a run and have time to clear your head. I can guarantee when you come back you will be thinking much clearer! The walk might even jog some ideas for what you want to write about or have to deal with!

Next, stop saying CAN’T. I’m sure many of us have been told when we were younger that there is no such word as ‘Can’t’. ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I can’t do that’. But as a matter of fact YOU CAN. Stop thinking negatively, I know it can be hard when you have a 4,000 word essay to write on a subject you really can’t be that bothered with, and automatically you just think I can’t do it. So whats the point. But there is a point, try and think positive and straight away you’ll see a shift in mood, and when I’m in a good mood I feel more motivated to do work! Stop thinking that you can’t do it, as long as you try your best and put your mind to it,  you’ll be surprised at how well you can actually do. c825e10b195db447261486dd0ebcdc82

Try not too compare yourself with how well other people are doing. I know it can be hard when your friend has written 3,000 more words than you and that’s made you feel a little crap, but stop focusing on how well everyone else is getting on and focus on you! Just because your friends have nearly finished an essay and you’re only half way through it, it doesn’t make what you’ve done any less of an achievement. Go at your own pace, some people work a lot faster than others and thats fine, everyone has their own pace to work at. Stop trying to be in line with everyone else, they’re not writing your work, you are. Go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable.

Next, try and listen to music whilst you study. For some people listening to music when writing essays or revising doesn’t work, and thats fine. But if you’ve never tried it then I highly recommend it. I don’t mean blasting Drake or Beyonce full blast, but actually listening to music that has a calming and relaxing element to it. Instrumental music is great to study too, as there are no lyrics to distract you from what you’re writing and it has a really calming aura about it. Here are some links to some of my favourite pieces to work too;

  • This one may be around 3 hours long, but it’s absolutely beautiful. I used this all the way through second year when I was writing essays.

 

  • This album is all instrumental, and I’ve been a huge fan of Keaton Henson for a long time. Each piece is incredible. Give it a listen.

  • Obviously I was going to mention Ludovico Einaudi. Any of his albums really are great to study too.

  • Finally, the Theory of Everything soundtrack is another great album to listen too. When I went to go see this movie, I fell in love with the soundtrack. It’s unbelievable. There are some beautiful pieces on there which are great to study too. I highly recommend it.

 

Next, try and avoid procrastination. That’s easier said than done, but try not to leave everything till the last minute. I’ve done it before and it’s not exactly a great idea. Have a plan of what you’re going to study for that day. It will make everything a little easier for you, and you’ll feel great after you’ve completed what you’ve set out to do for the day!

Don’t be too hard on yourself! This is important! Stop thinking you have to be sat at your laptop for 12 hours straight everyday writing and revising. Give yourself a break, go hang out with some friends. (Maybe even start a little study group) Enjoy your time off and be kind to yourself. Don’t feel bad that you’re not working every minute of everyday. Its okay to have breaks!

Take care of your health – this may seem like a pretty pointless one but it’s actually one of the most important! Try and stay as healthy as you can – I don’t mean going on all these crazy diets but keep an eye on what you’re eating. Try and exercise and get a good nights sleep. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to work.

Like I’ve said, I’m not an expert at dealing with stress, but trying out a few of these has really helped me recently with my work!

Hope you enjoy.

Lots of Love,

R x

March Favourites

Hello everyone!

So it’s officially April 1st. (I really don’t like how fast it’s going) So because March is over I’ve decided at the end of each month I’m going to do a favourites post, So this one will include some of my favourite things that have happened in March!

Firstly, one of my favourite things that has happened this month is coming back to Yorkshire for Easter. At the moment I’m unbelievably stressed as I graduate this year and I have SO many essays and projects to complete. I just want to hide in a little cave really and forget about them, but unfortunately that isn’t an option. Coming back to Yorkshire for a break was definitely what I needed. I’ve started back up running these past couple of months and you really can’t beat running round the Yorkshire countryside as the sun is setting. This picture just makes me fall more and more in love with Yorkshire.

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I also went to go see Ludovico Einaudi live after waiting so long to see him, and on top of that I got to interview him (which is already explained in another blog post) That was pretty incredible and definitely a highlight of March. But if you haven’t seen already heres the selfie I got with him. (I still can’t get over it)

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I started watching a new series on Netflix, which is now my favourite –  ‘House of Cards.’ If you’ve never seen this you’re missing out, it’s brilliant. That’s all I’m going to say. Just watch it.

Over the Easter weekend there was an incredible charity event in Memory of my good friend Liam. This included live music, food, drink and even a burger was named after him! The charity L.I.A.M – which stands for (Laughter, Inspiration, Art and Music) is doing amazingly well and I’m so thrilled that I get to be a part of it. 12814684_10206855957291116_5077583102150373764_n

 

Throughout March I went to numerous gigs where I saw some of my closest friends perform. This is always a pleasure as I LOVE watching friends do their thing on stage. 2 of my absolute favourites have to be Romario and Runah. (I’ll leave links to their music and pages below, be sure to check them out!)

I know for a fact whenever I see Romario live, I will never be disappointed, his personality is just as big as his voice, he’s insanely talented. I was so impressed with his set, I knew he was good but seeing him live properly for the first time in a while was awesome to watch. I forgot how much soul that guy has! His next gig is on Wednesday 13th April, Night & Day Cafe (Manchester) 8.00pm. If anyone is around I highly recommend to go and see him! 11148757_404095086449231_1705278754542443369_n

Next up is Runah, fronted by the beautiful Tara May, their set was absolutely magical. I think thats the only way to describe it. In March this was the first time I’d seen them live since about a year ago and you could tell how professional everything was. It was so beautifully haunting to watch, and I could’t take my eyes off Tara. They incorporate poetry into their set which is so different to anything thats happening in the music industry today, but the words they use are so delicately written. I love watching friends progress with their music and seeing where they are now, its pretty amazing.

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If you want to check out their music and websites here are some links;

Romario facebook.com/RomarioBryanMusic 

 

Runah runahofficial.com

facebook.com/runahband

soundcloud.com/runahband

 

 

There are so many more favourites I could mention but I don’t want to ramble on too long!

Anyway until next time..

Lots of Love

R x