Four Decades On, Patti Smith is Still the Godmother of Poetry and Protest

Few things match the feeling, as a fifteen-year-old girl, of hearing a woman in a classic rock song tell you: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” At once, you’re aware of the magnificence of living honestly and boldly. You also realise that if you’re too nervous to attempt that yourself, you can always turn up the volume, and ​live vicariously through someone who’s less afraid. Continue reading Four Decades On, Patti Smith is Still the Godmother of Poetry and Protest

Acknowledging Uncertainty: How Coronavirus has Changed the Way We Plan For the Future

Our lives are mapped around referential points. We all have calendars littered with birthdays, exams, parties, graduation ceremonies, interviews, visits to friends, events, plays, holidays, gigs. None of us live purely spontaneously. For decades modern life has functioned on the presumption that imposing order onto our immediate futures will make us more productive, prompt and predictable. Life is prearranged invisibly around us, marked by the constant promises of the near future, what’s coming next, what will I be doing tomorrow? Continue reading Acknowledging Uncertainty: How Coronavirus has Changed the Way We Plan For the Future

More Than Moustaches: Why Movember Matters

Now that the month is over, it feels like a good time to consider the scope of what the Movember movement is tackling in terms of men’s physical and mental health. First started in 2003 in Australia when four friends asked twenty-six others to ‘bring back the trend’ of growing moustaches, Movember has come a long way – raising £598 million over the last sixteen years. The annual event has become about more than just growing out your facial hair, with men and women across the globe raising awareness and money for this worthwhile cause. Continue reading More Than Moustaches: Why Movember Matters

Compassion and Self-Care: Considering Friendship as Emotional Labour

When Melissa A. Fabello’s Twitter thread went viral, I understood the criticism. Fabello’s Tweets suggested that you should ask friends if they have the capacity to support you in times of emotional difficulty and provided a script for those who didn’t. The proposed response lacked empathy and sounded particularly clinical. However, the sentiment behind the message resonated with me. Although there is an essential level of effort involved in maintaining friendships, everyone has a limit to how much they can handle. Ultimately when you reach capacity, emotional support becomes performative and damaging to your own self-care. Continue reading Compassion and Self-Care: Considering Friendship as Emotional Labour

A Better Place

As I stand at the edge of this rooftop, looking down on the place I once considered home, I begin to feel the irreversibility of what I am about to do. There are no second chances where I’m going. It is nearly time now; I am on my last cigarette. Inhale, exhale – like it is my oxygen supply. My lungs burn with each drag and the dizziness in my head is overwhelming, but I can’t bring myself to care. The things we worry about while we are alive just don’t seem as important when you know you are about to die. Smoking Kills. But so does everything: isn’t that the point? Continue reading A Better Place

“The Mirror”

She had caught her reflection in the mirror, and once her eyes had found it they were not inclined to let it go. It was not vanity or a certain degree of self-obsession, but rather it was curiosity and the pursuit of study. She liked to see herself as others saw her, to see herself like a stranger she would pass on the street, to see herself as someone and something she does not and may not truly know. To see herself as all surface and no depth, a shell with no echo of the sea. Continue reading “The Mirror”

We Need to Talk About Mental Health at University

Before going to university, you are likely to have been told that you should sit back and enjoy the ride because you are going to have the best three years of your life. People highlight the partying, the luxury of time you have to sleep, the budding social life, their own accounts of what fun a society can offer and their general enthusiasm for their former years. People rarely brace you for the other aspect of university, which is the very real presence of mental health issues. Continue reading We Need to Talk About Mental Health at University

How much does social media affect your mental health?

This is the question a group of students at the University of Exeter are asking in the introduction to their campaign video. It is an issue which follows on quite well from our previous article at Razz, which was all about the stigma that is attached to mental health issues. In case you want to refresh your memory, this is a link to it:(https://razzmag.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/discussing-the-stigmas-around-mental-health-in-society/) . … Continue reading How much does social media affect your mental health?