Here's a wee bit about me.
My Mum (Mom) had post natal (partum) depression following the birth of my youngest of three sisters. I found a book that helped her during my first ever visit to a library when I was 11 years old. It focused on the mind-body connection. It didn't cure depression but it offered my mum insights and strategies that helped her navigate a course through some of the difficult days. That's where my interest in the mind-body connection and other alternative practices began.
Years later, I studied chemistry (specialism in biological and medicinal) at university and obtained a First Class honours degree. My goal was to enter the pharmaceutical industry and help to research and develop medicines that could help people.
I followed this up with a PhD in organic chemistry and then worked in R&D with one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies where I developed drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
I had a particular interest in the placebo effect, born out of years of interesting discussions with my mum in my teenage years, so I began to research it in my spare time, uncovering a wealth of insights into the mind-body connection and how it works.
Realising there wasn't much public understanding of the mind-body connection at the time (in 1999), I resigned from the pharmaceutical industry with a goal of writing books and educating people on how they can harness their mind and emotions to optimise and improve their health and wellbeing.
I am now author of 11 books, including, 'Why Woo-Woo Works', 'The Little Book of Kindness', ‘How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body’, the Amazon No.1 bestseller, ‘I Heart Me: The Science of Self Esteem’, and the Amazon top 5 bestseller, ‘The Five Side Effects of Kindness’.
I write a regular blog on my website (there's over 150 of them to check out). Many people refer to me as a Kindness Scientist because I write and speak so much about the science around how kindness impacts our mental and physical health. Three of my books deal with this subject (Lady Gaga read one of them!).
I have been a guest on Channel 4’s live show, ‘Sunday Brunch’, in the UK and ‘CBS Sunday Morning’, in the USA, talking about the health benefits of being kind. I am also featured in HEAL documentary.
Here's a few kinda fun facts very few people know about me:
- I used to be lead singer in a 14-piece amateur soul band.
- I unofficially (for about a week in the late 90s) held a memory world record for memorising the order of a deck of 52 playing cards (in just under 2 minutes). My party trick was memorising a 100-digit number in about the same time. Haha - exciting parties! LOL (I have an on-demand workshop on how to do this that's available to members of Personal Development Club).
- I play competitive tennis. I suppose that's expected when you live in the same town that Andy and Jamie Murray (former world number 1 tennis players) grew up in.
- I co-founded an international relief charity with some friends back in 2001 (Spirit Aid Foundation)
- I'm a former athletics coach (long jump and triple jump)
- Among many other jobs I've done over the years, I drove a van for a parcel delivery company to earn money while I wrote my first book.
- Even though I'm a writer now, I failed my English exam on my first attempt at high school.
- I love learning new things so I'm always studying something. I'm currently doing a part-time degree in mathematics and physics in my spare time, where I'm learning, among other things, the mathematical basis of quantum mechanics.
- My PhD thesis was on: "Synthesis and reactivity of pi-allycyclopentadienyl cobaltolactone complexes" ... phew! :-) Haha ... I couldn't resist throwing that in at the end.