A recently published article which assessed the stress levels of frontline health workers and the coping strategies they used, found that using humor to cope was related to lower stress levels. In other words, they confirmed what both your grandmother and the home decor section of [relevant megastore] has been telling you for decades — laughter is medicine.

If this is you, you most likely have COVID-anxiety

To start this article with a brief, and, doubtless, entirely nominal mention of wherever we are in this pandemic would be not only unhelpful, but run counter to what I’d like you to walk away with from this read. If you are…


It’s noon on a Sunday. You turn off your TV show and, still feeling the aftertaste of coffee in your mouth, sit there, wondering if you should go get another cup. You quickly remember you’ve already had two. The silence of your apartment grows hauntingly louder. You look around and the objects of your life that surround you all scream for you to pick them up. You fish your phone out from under the sofa cushion in the hopes of finding something, anything to do to escape this horrible feeling of stillness.

Boredom is horrible. There are so many things…


The UK and Italy have agreed to allow travel without the need for quarantining, provided you haven’t travelled to any other countries 14 days prior to your trip. A friend and I decided to travel to Italy — what used to be the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe. Despite the fear factor, our experience was surprisingly relaxed and enjoyable.

First things first — the pandemic is no joke. Please follow the guidance that’s in place local to you. This trip was done fully in line with government guidance. …


A few days ago, I came across an increasingly familiar feeling. I had just finished doing an online yoga class which ended with a heartfelt message about our current health crisis, and the importance of compassion and unity.

What was meant to be a heartwarming message, intended by the yoga instructor to feel like a warm hug of reassurance, instantly spiked my stress levels and sent me into an instant state of anxiety. My first thought was, “F***, this again!”

If I were writing for Vice, I would have used my reaction for the title above. I’ve since switched to…


Multitasking is so ingrained in our mentality about how to work that “juggling so many things at the moment” has become the natural, permanent state of a modern human living in the developed world. We’ve all heard, vaguely, sometime in the last 10 years, that multi-tasking doesn’t work — whether it was something you overheard at the office, or were told by someone who read an article, somewhere, but didn’t remember who wrote it and what it meant. As a person who’s worked on several research projects on the cognitive neuroscience of memory, I feel personally obliged to tell you…


It’s been described as a new job enhancer, mood booster, and even as a way for tired moms to actually enjoy playing with their kids. The secret? Microdosing — taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to reap the benefits, without getting high. Microdosing has been the topic of debate for several years . The debaters, much like with any biohacking trend, are split evenly into fans and stout deniers. Like with any wellness trend, productivity hack and otherwise new cure-all, the question needs to be asked — is it all a bunch of bull-?

I decided to talk to some…


It’s 2020 and mindfulness is a lifestyle. It’s on our phones, in our workplaces and millions of people practice and swear by it. The claims about its positive effects are everywhere, and there is also hard evidence that practicing mindfulness reduces anxiety and symptoms of depression. It’s something many people have at some point been told about, and maybe even considered developing into a regular practice. For many, mindfulness has become an aspiration, one that can feel constantly out of grasp.

Finding your mindfulness

A friend I went to my first meditation class with told me a year after dropping out that she…


I want you to think back to December 2019. I know you probably don’t want to. You probably feel like you’ve put that last week of December behind you. Sorry to spoil your bubble, but it’s precisely because of your feelings about the winter holidays that I’m about to tell you this. If you have mixed feelings about Christmas 2019, or straight up hated it, you’re not alone.

For many, Christmas is fraught with conflict. Those visiting family for an extended stay face the prospect of reliving childhood conflicts and annoyances. A poll in the UK from a few years…


A while ago, a close friend and I talked about a book we had both read and which felt transformative for both of us. This was not merely an interesting read. I’ve walked away from many novels changed by an exciting and, often, inspiring idea, but I had never felt the sort of indescribable feeling of being fundamentally changed by a personal connection and relationship with a completely fictional character’s story.

It’s not that I haven’t connected with characters in novels and film, it’s that I’ve never felt like a fictional character altered my own life journey in a powerful…


If you’re my age, you have probably only sporadically experienced the focused silence of being hard at work. Millennials do not do quiet. We text, talk, listen to music on our way to work, keep our bluetooth earphones on even at the office, and associate work with the endless, exciting and nightmarish buzz that is the open-plan workplace. Personally, I’m not afraid to share that working in an open-space office has, at worst, felt to me like the stuff of the devil’s creation. So, I set out to explore this hellish landscape with hope of finding answers.

“Open plan offices…

Alec Lysak

People are my passion. I write stories about human experiences, health and wellness. My background is in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience.

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