The Radical Self Love Collective Media Club
A media collection for you to explore, all with an overriding message of self-love. Explore freely below, or have these links take you directly to:
⚡︎ Art & Photography ⚡︎ Books & Audiobooks ⚡︎ Films & Feature Length Documentries ⚡︎ Podcasts & Playlists ⚡︎ Series ⚡︎ Youtube ⚡︎
Art & Photography
Byron Vincent is a writer, performer, broadcaster and activist with a long and varied career. He spent the aughts doing spoken word at music and literary festivals and, in more recent years, Byron has turned to theatre – working as writer director and performer for the RSC, BAC and other notable acronyms. Vincent is also a passionate social activist with lived experience of issues around poverty and mental health, a popular keynote speaker, and proud ambassador for mental health charities Rethink and Mental Health Foundation. His latest show Live Before You Die tackles male suicide, and is available to book now. And his latest solo show Instagramming the Apocalypse is an exploration of our relationship with truth and anxiety, and will be available to program from spring 2019. He is currently also working on a memoir *breathe* Everything this man touches goes from shit to glitter, for me. If you ever have the oppotunity to witness one of his performances, just do it. Nothing has made me laugh and cry so much – aside from, maybe, rehab.
@notesfromyourtherapist is the art Instagram account from Allyson Dinneen. Allyson is a marriage and relationship therapist, teacher, writer – specializing in emotional intelligence, emotional neglect, and relationships. The work that she produces is both thoughtful and beautiful in a raw and honest way: which I feel brings reflection, self-care, and understanding to the world of Instagram. You can explore more about Allyson and her work, using the links above. Please follow her online. You won’t regret it.
Tarik Carroll is the founder of The EveryMAN Project, lead photographer, body positivity activist & visual artist. Tarik created the “EveryMAN” project to empower and inspire. The project is geared towards creating a safe space that he hopes will serve to liberate men worldwide from self hate. The book challenges society’s standards of what the REAL male aesthetic is through the lens of re-imagined iconic 90’s fashion ads. Tarik wanted to challenge society’s obsession with hyper masculinity and perfection by capturing men/male identifying from all backgrounds, orientations, gender identifications, personal classifications, races and colors. EveryMan is a visual conversation about inclusion and diversity which he intends to translate into an actual conversation about the positivity that begins within. Please explore the link above to find out more about the EveryMan Project. And follow online @theeverymanproject.
Hannah Daisy is an artist living and working in London, UK. Her art is often based around mental health activism, intersectional feminism, queer identity, cats, and chronic illness. She is most well known for creating the hashtag #boringselfcare – which is a term she created to reclaim the real meaning of the term ‘self care’. Hannah Daisy has lived experience of mental health problems, endometriosis, and PCOS, from which she draws direct inspiration for her art practice. Hannah also has a decade of experience working as a Mental Health Occupational Therapist. I love her simple yet impactful artworks and illustrations. Please follow @makedaisychains on the link above, and realise that self-care isn’t all baths and face masks!
Marcela Sabiá is a Brazilian illustrator and resident of São Paulo. Marcela’s work reflects her enthusiasm for self love, body positivity, and mental health. And her Instagram account is full of colourful and bold images with messages of positivity that cover a range of topics including mental health, self-care, equaity and feminism, body image and real beauty. Intersectionality is incredibly important, and it is truly beautiful to see differently abled people, different gengers, ages, ethnicities, and religious/spiritual affiliations represented. Explore her Instagram posts and read the captions, by following the link above. Marcela’s honest messages of self-love and wellness are an awesome additonal to anyone’s feed.
Books & Audiobooks
If you are tired of being at war with your body, then Body Positive Power: How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live. “We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but this is not true. It’s how we’ve been taught to see our bodies that’s the problem… It’s time for us all to stop believing the lies we’ve been fed about what it means to be beautiful, and take our power back. Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. But then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated. Where there is no such thing as a ‘bikini body diet’ and 97% of women don’t hate the way they look”.
The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships and Live Their Fullest Lives is a book from Lewis Howes: “Lewis grew up as an athlete. He played almost every sport in high school and went on to play football professionally. Howes then transferred his competitive nature from sports to business, building his podcast The School of Greatness into a global phenomenon and becoming successful beyond his wildest dreams. But his whole identity was built on misguided beliefs about what ‘masculinity’ was: dangerous, false ideas learned from teammates and coaches in locker rooms and stereotypes in the media. Like so many men, Howes grew up angry, frustrated and always chasing something that was never enough. At 30 years old, outwardly thriving but unfulfilled inside, Howes began a personal journey to find inner peace and to uncover the many masks that men, both young and old, wear. In The Mask of Masculinity, Howes exposes the nine masks that men wear to protect themselves – and the truth that lies beneath them. He teaches men how to break through the walls that hold them back from showing real emotion, and reveals how women can better understand the men in their lives. It’s not easy, but if you want to love, be loved and live a great life, then you must make an odyssey of self-discovery. This book is a must-read for every man – and for every woman who loves a man”.
“The Celestine Prophecy contains secrets that are currently changing our world. Drawing on the ancient wisdom found in a Peruvian manuscript, it tells you how to make connections between the events happening in your own life right now… And lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystalize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life, and how to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow”. Dubbed the book that comes along just once in a lifetime and changes lives forever. To find out more, read the reviews here.
Released earlier this year, Notes On A Nervous Planet is THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. “The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index:
♥︎ How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
♥︎ How do we stay human in a technological world?
♥︎ How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?
After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the twenty-first century”.
If being in love means being in pain, this book was written for you. Leading relationship and marriage therapist Robin Norwood describes loving too much as a pattern of thoughts and behaviour, which certain women develop as a response to problems from childhood. Many women find themselves repeatedly drawn into unhappy and destructive relationships with men. They then struggle to make these doomed relationships work. This bestselling relationship self-help book investigates and reveals how powerfully addictive these unhealthy relationships are – but also gives a very specific programme for recovery from the disease of loving too much, a problem that plagues women everywhere”. Readers say: Don’t be put off by the cheesy title!; And One of the best self help books I have read. All women who pick “the bad guy” and don’t know why, you must read this book. Easy to understand and makes complete sense. The author shares the stories of some of the women she has helped. She then explains what happened in their lives which could have contributed to their decision making. Most women repeat the pattern again and again, but this book gives answers and actions that can be taken to break this cycle.
“Sometimes it’s not easy to find self-worth in a world that seems obsessed with telling us we’re not good enough. Empowering, intimate and full of heart; What a Time to be Alone: The Slumflower’s bestselling guide to why you are already enough is the highly-anticipated debut book from online sensation ‘The Slumflower‘, aka Chidera Eggerue, the unstoppable force behind the ground-breaking movement #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER. And is essential reading for all young women. It’s time to take charge of your life. Own your story. Create your own narrative. Read this book”. Cosmopolitan says: ‘Categorically one of the coolest women in Britain’, readers’ reviews say: ‘Money can buy self love, in the form of inspiring, reassuring and kind words by the Slumflower’.
Films & feature length documentries
EMBRACE is a social impact documentary that explores the issue of body image. The project has been supported by nearly 9000 Kickstarter pledgers who responded to a fundraising trailer I released in 2014, which has now had over 25 million internet views. Embrace director Taryn Brumfitt says: The inspiration for EMBRACE came about after I posted an unconventional before-and-after image on the internet in 2013 that sparked an international media frenzy. The image, which embraces body diversity, was seen by over 100 million people worldwide and led to hundreds of interviews and articles. But I soon realized how restrictive 4-minute TV interviews, 800 word articles and 140 characters on Twitter can be. This issue needed a louder voice on a bigger platform, so the idea of creating the documentary EMBRACE was born. Embrace is told from the point of view of Taryn as she traverses the globe talking to experts, women in the street and well-known personalities about the alarming rates of body image issues that are seen in people of all body types. In her affable and effervescent style, Taryn bares all (literally) to explore the factors contributing to this problem and seeks to find solutions. After 24 months of travelling, interviewing, production and post production Taryn and the Embrace team have created a film that is relevant, relatable, highly engaging – but above all life changing.
⚡︎ 100 Vaginas
I started watching this and, within 5 minutes I felt full of the beauty of feminine uniqueness, and was hooked. If we could rip away the fake images of sex and have more factual information like this – society would get on much better! 100 Vaginas, by Laura Dodsworth, had me smiling, feeling empathic and sad, laughing, and feeling harmoniously connected with my own form. The film addresses period positivity, the clitoris, medical stigma and predujice, mystery, and societies view on the vagina ( what it should, and could be), as well as asking:
“What if women did a sexual ‘Brexit’ and took back control? And then said to men: You’re only allowed near it if you know what you’re doing…”
A must see for bloody everyone, and a piece of art in itself. Available on the link above and Channel 4 on demand services.
“In his first-ever movie, Wayne Dyer explores the spiritual journey in the second half of life when we long to find the purpose that is our unique contribution to the world. The powerful shift from the ego constructs we are taught early in life by parents and society – which promote an emphasis on achievement and accumulation – are shown in contrast to a life of meaning, focused on serving and giving back. The Shift captures every person’s mid-life longing for a more purposeful, soul-directed life. The Shift not only inspires, but also teaches us how to find the path to our spiritual purpose, and therefore our greatest joy. Dr. Dyer says: ‘I am 68 years old and I have a new career. When I was asked to do this film, I didn’t think ‘I’m too old to do something I’ve never done before.’ I thought ‘I am open to everything. I am willing to change and to learn.’ I’m more proud of this film than of anything I’ve ever done before’. Reviewers say: ‘There are certain films and/or documentaries that should be seen by everyone; this is one of them’.
Based on the bestselling book, with the same name, from author Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love is the inspiring true story of a woman who, believing there’s more to life than a husband, house and career, finds herself with a new appetite for life, leaves New York and embarks on a yearlong journey – traveling to Italy, India and Bali – seeking self-discovery through good food, meditation and the prospect of finding true love; An easy heartwarming watch with nothing hard hitting going on.
From the director of The Secret, Drew Heriot, and co-creating and starring Isabelle Allende, Maya Angelou, Paulo Coelho, Deepak Chopra, Mark Nepo, Eckhart Tolle, Gary Zukav and more: comes a life-changing film about the astonishing power and intelligence of your heart. Featuring stunning science interwoven with powerful real-life stories from some of the most inspiring icons of our age, this timeless documentary will lead you to uncover… and rediscover… the treasure in your chest. This film fills my heart with love and my body with a sense of indescribable power. Must watch AT LEAST once in a life time.
A film I recently discovered – by acclaimed filmaker, Gus Green Van Sant Jr. The film is based on a true story and follows the main character – an Oregon slacker John Callahan. After he nearly loses his life in a car accident, the last thing he intends to do is give up alcohol. But couraged by a girlfriend and a charismatic sponsor (played by Jonah Hill), Callahan reluctantly enters a treatment program and discovers that he has a knack for drawing. The budding artist soon finds himself with a new lease on life when his edgy and irreverent newspaper cartoons gain a national and devoted following. He Won’t Get Far On Foot explores themes of recovery and manages to be incredilbly insightful, full of wisdom, and funny.
“THAT SUGAR FILM is one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as “healthy”. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. The film features guest cameos from the likes of Stephen Fry, Isabel Lucas and Brenton Thwaites, interviews with Gary Taubes, Michael Moss and Dr Kimber Stanhope plus a rocking soundtrack including Depeche Mode, Peter Gabriel and Florence and the Machine.” THAT SUGAR FILM will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.
In I FEEL PRETTY, follows the story of a woman – played by Amy Schumer – who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. With this newfound confidence she is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly, but what will happen when she realizes her appearance never changed? With reviews between the film ‘falling flat’ and being ‘quietly revolutionary’… I say it’s worth a watch! And feel that the film is subversive and thought provoking.
Cancer is no laughing matter – but the archaic way we are beating it, is! With a dose of good humor, heart, and a touch of rock-n’-roll beat, THE C WORD reveals the forces at play keeping us sick and dares to ask: if up to 70% of cancer deaths are preventable … what are we waiting for? And, in asking the question, director Meghan L. O’Hara reveals astounding truths that no one is talking about on a grand scale – until now. At its heart are powerful, twin stories: one from celebrated French neuroscientist and cancer revolutionary Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, the other from THE C WORD’s own director, and cancer survivor Meghan L. O’Hara. After braving the journey from diagnosis to wellness, Meghan and David join forces on a wild ride of discovery; including hidden science, the absurdity of the status quo, and a vibrant cast of characters changing the game. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, THE C WORD message is simple, life-changing, radical: we can beat cancer before cancer beats us.
“What is our purpose? Where do we come from? What is reality?”; What the Bleep Do We Know!? is a documentry drama which follows a fictional photographer’s quest to spiritually rediscover herself, interspersed with documentary footage of scientists and theologians discussing the philosophical aspects of quantum physics. The film takes viewers on a journey to unlock the secrets of life. As the main characters entire concept of reality is challenged, yours will be too… Worth a watch, and contains some intriguing information that could change your perspective and therefore you life – but not the easiest watch, especially if you have prior knowledge of quantum mechanics or have a strong reaction to anything that could be perceived as preachy.
Violet Jones doesn’t realize it at first but she’s dismayed by her superficial, “perfect” life. She has everything she thought she’d need – a successful career, friends, and a boyfriend who is a handsome doctor. When her fairy tale begins to unravel, so does she. This movie shows what a beautiful, smart, successful woman can do when she starts to look inward instead of outward! Viewers reviews say: “This movie isn’t just about hair. This movie is about a women who finds herself. It’s a movie based on upon the deconstruction of African-American women fitting in to societal standards of what beauty is. The hair is a metaphor for African-American women who continue being someone they are not. By cutting her hair [Violet] found out more about herself and her culture/ancestral roots. She freed all worries, stress, and anxieties that has been placed upon her shoulders”. Nappily Ever After also carries a pretty hot soundtrack. I enjoyed it.
The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. There’s a lot of people talking about the benefits of a plant based diet on the planet at the moment, but this film addresses the benefit to our health first and foremost. There’s lots of interesting information, from the stance of health, rather the environment or economy – as the idea of food as medicine is put to the test throughout the film.
“Jennifer Brea’s Sundance award-winning documentary, Unrest, is a personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. Jennifer is twenty-eight years-old, working on her PhD at Harvard, and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s “all in her head,” she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine abandoned. In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answers as they face unexpected obstacles with great heart. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jennifer connects with others around the globe. Like a modern-day Odysseus, she travels by Skype into a forgotten community, crafting intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly. Jennifer Brea’s wonderfully honest and humane portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.” I tried to watch this with my partner when I was first well enough to return home and only made it part way through – Jen’s film is incredibly touching and focuses on a fight for health, against ‘invisable illness’ – go steady.
Podcasts & Playlists
Launched in 2018, The Deliciously Ella Podcast sees food writer and entrepreneur Ella Mills talking about business, health, mental health, and nutrition with her co-host, husband and business partner, Matthew Mills. The weekly series has seen a diverse range of guests from the business and wellbeing worlds, discussing their own stories and sharing advice. Because of the range of topics – I was draw to some episodes, much more than others – but found the entire series to be very engaging. Some of the thought and facts that their guests shared blew my mind, and – finding reading difficult – the podcast format felt invalauble.
“Since its launch in January 2013, the School of Greatness podcast has grown rapidly to be one of the top-ranked Self-Development & Business podcasts. It regularly appears in the Top 50, and is downloaded over 2 million times per month. Episodes range from interviews with incredible world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, athletics, mindset, and relationships… Past guests on the show have included powerhouses like Tony Robbins, Alanis Morissette, Scooter Braun, Julianne Hough, Jack Canfield, Arianna Huffington, and so many more.” If you’re only now discovering the podcast… you have over 700 episodes to exploreSo you pick and chose your topics at will, it’s unlikely you’ll run out.
Sophia was a world traveling aerial acrobat who became walker/wheelchair-bound with a rare autoimmune disease. These are her anxiety-driven rants (I mean stories) of lessons she doesn’t want to learn and faces she wishes she could punch on her road to remission. I have found her podcasts to be both honest and funny, as well as having a great range of topics: she sits somewhere between Don’t Make Your Enemies Happy and How To Stop A Screaming Fight. Check her out on Instagram @thesophiachang too.
“Lets get sleepy: Bedtime stories are like a soft nest for the mind. They are a place for it to rest so that it doesn’t wander away and get into trouble, and in the world we’re living in now it is so easy for it to find trouble. If you are trying to get a good night sleep after spending an hour or so scrolling through upsetting news, cruel comments, and terrifying articles you know this is true. Try something different. Let me tell you a bedtime story. It’s a simple story, in which nothing much happens, you feel good and then you fall asleep”. Nothing Much Happens is a collection of bedtime stories for adults. These were reccommended to me by a friend with chronic illness, and they have been amazing for getting to sleep and resting my anxiety stuffed, twitchy pain body! Creater and soft voiced story teller, Kathryn says: “Ever since I was a child I’ve made up stories to help myself fall asleep. In fact, one of my earliest memories is of a story I told myself about a thick warm blanket on a cold night. I’ve never stopped and now, decades later I have quite a library in my head of simple tales to drop off to. I love story telling and using my voice to help people relax. In the rest of my life, I am a yoga teacher and own a small studio in Michigan. I have a wonderful wife and three dogs. My waking life is so sweet that sweet dreams come easily”. Stories are available on Spotify, and online on the link above.
I have a collection of Spotify playlists that I take suggestions for: with genres like (Self) Love Songs and Music Therapy. If you’re after something to listen to, check them out on the link above. I add new tracks to the mixes whenever I find a song that lifts me up, or makes me feel something. I’d love to hear from you about any music you turn to too, so if there’s a track that gets you feeling yourself or supports you mentally – ping us a message.
Series & Documentries
Plum Kettle is a 21st+ ghostwriter for the editor of one of New York’s hottest glossy fashion magazines. Struggling with self-image and fed up with how she’s treated by her boss and society, Plum sets out on a wildly complicated road to self-awakening. Dietland is based on Sarai Walkers debut novel of the same name, and uses dark comedy to explore a multitude of issues that women face today, including: patriarchy, misogyny, rape culture, unrealistic beauty standards, and society’s obsession with weight loss. Walker says: I’m hoping [for] a change in the culture, that we’re going to see more fat people and smarter portrayals of fat people… Considering what has come before, I do hope so!
Sex writer Karley Sciortino investigates female sexuality, gender, and love in the modern world in Slutever the series. Slutever was originally released on VICE, and series 1/2 is now available on Channel 4 services in the UK. The series explores lots of themes surrounding sex, love, and kink: including Sex & Disability and Abduction Fantasies. Also Karley’s site by the same name (slutever.com), is awesome. The site explores sexuality, relationships, pro-sex feminism, BDSM, sex work, sex parties, and a bunch of other slutty stuff – as told from the front lines. Check out more video shorts, her blog posts, and advice column there too.
Feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem brings WOMAN, a raw and revolutionary new show about global womanhood and gender-based violence, to VICELAND. “Gloria spent her career traveling the world, investigating and drawing attention to the issues affecting women today. The raw and revolutionary documentry series, looking at womanhood, brings together a team of female journalists who explore how violence against women drives global instability. The show focuses on a variety of issues from sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo to unacknowledged murdered and missing women in Canada”. Gloris says: More than poverty, natural resources, religion, or degree of democracy, violence against females is the most reliable predictor of whether a nation will be violent within itself or will use violence against another country — and gender violence has become so great that for the first time, there are now fewer females on Earth than males. This series informs and gives viewers ways to help. Watch the trailer above, and view the series on VICELAND and Channel 4 services.
YouTube videos, channels & collections
What can I say? I have a major soft spot for this woman. I found SOFA2SNOWDON online, on her Instagram account @sofa2snowdon, when I was bed bound and stalked away for a long time. Ruby has a way with words and doesn’t attempt to be anything she isn’t, which is amazing, because she is honest, candid, and expresses the views of a lot of people out there living with chronic illness – in a down to earth way that shows life with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) for exactly what it can be! Her channel on Youtube and Instagram account stories both document her conscious new life on the other side of burnout & #MECFS. I watch her stories every damn day. Go and check her accounts out at the links above.
We have a collection of YouTube playlists that I take suggestions for: with themes such as, Mental Wealth and Radical Self Love. If you’re after resources to watch, check them out on the link above. I add new videos when I watch something that builds up my mental health, or self-worth – or when I find a video that supports me in my life and/or relationships. I would also love to hear from you about any videos that have done the same for you – so ping us a message!
Our Media Club
⚡︎ If you produce artwork, have a podcast, film, book, YouTube channel, or series that promotes self-love, self-care, recovery, mental or physical health: you can contact us directly to be included in the media club.
⚡︎ If you have suggestions of things you would like to be included in the Radical Self Love Collective Directory or Media Club: you can contact us here.