Nutritional Workshops

Good Mood Food Workshops with Rachel Kelly

Workshop One

A one off, one hour workshop summing up the latest research and evidence on what to eat for optimum mental health. The workshop shares what I've learnt over the past four years working with the nutritionist Alice Mackintosh who has helped my own wellbeing. Since changing my diet, and how I eat, I now feel calm and well, after a long battle with anxiety and depression. Food has been a key part of my recovery.

The workshop includes my personal story, as well as sharing general advice based round my Golden Rules for a Happy Kitchen. The workshop ties in with my book 'The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food' which is being published by Short Books (behind the 5;2 diet) in January 2017 and includes recipes we've developed to boost your mood, keep you calm and help you sleep.

Several newspapers are interested in serialisation and the book has been pre-sold to several countries, including Simon & Schuster in the USA.

Participants would be given a book at the end of the workshop. 

Workshop Two

This is a series of seven workshops. The first is a general introduction to my Golden Rules for a Happy Kitchen. The next six workshops address in turn the symptoms of low mood and anxiety, and what to eat to overcome them and boost your wellbeing. Week Two looks at Balanced Energy; Week Three is about Beating the Blues; Week Four is eating to stay Nice and Calm; Week Five is nourishing Mental Clarity; Week Six is achieving Hormonal Peace; and Week Seven looks at what to eat for Sweet Dreams.

Each workshop includes what I've learnt on each topic, where the research currently stands, as well as recipes developed to address each symptom.

Participants will be given a copy of the book at the end of the course. 

Workshop at St. Charles' Hospital

Workshop Testimonials

"Todays' work shop was excellent. Rachel & her two colleagues were wonderful. The food was delicious & of course extremely healthy. I need to purchase a food processor & blender!!. I really loved the approach that Rachel took. It's manageable cooking with out been stressed. It has encouraged to start experimenting. I haven't cooked anything or than steam & pre-cooked food. Thank you for a providing a wonderful work shop." Patricia


"Dear Rachel; Just to let you know how much I enjoyed your presentation on Wednesday. I spoke to the others, during and at the end and they were equally impressed. The fire alarm and cooker just added to the excitement! Seriously, I needed this talk. It has changed my outlook on cooking. Already, I have used coconut oil etc. Thank you for enlightening us. It was brilliant! Love Eva."


I attended Happy Kitchen Rachel's with the hope of reuniting myself with cooking nourishing food that would support my well being.  
Since my depression I'm now reliant on medication to support me day to day. Food has become a secondary requirement.  
My love of food has depleted. I eat because my stomach makes so much noise which is difficult to ignore.  
I will satisfy my need to eat by quick fix food.  
I struggle to cook from scratch. I find it stressful if the food I'm attempting requires a lot of ingredients and attention.  
I panic & focus on what I don't have instead off what I have to make the dish.  
Rachel's & Lucy prepared & cooked one recipe from each four chapters off Rachel's new cook book.  
Chapter 1- Balanced Energy
Chapter 3 - Nice & Calm
Chapter 4 - Mental Clarity
Chapter 7- Comfort food
What I loved was the simplicity and the approach that Rachel took when explaining each of the 4 recipe's.  
The ingredients were all familiar to me, non expensive, available at all supermarkets.  
Unfortunately we are bombarded with so much cook books, TV cooking programmes. It can be very off putting & very daunting.  
When I watch the celebrity's TV food programmes I find it difficult to grasp what the actual meal is.  
I feel I need a honours degree in science, design, geography, designer, kitchen to accommodate all off the utensils that is required to cook a meal.  
Rachel's approach was incredible practical & very easy to understand.  
No nonsenses involved with the ingredients that are required. All of the ingredients are very affordable which is very important.  
All off the recipes were extremely easy to follow. The time factor from start to finish 15-30 minutes which of course is crucial when your not able to commit to amore arduous timescale.  
I loved all off the recipes they all had the main elements for a lovely healthy meal which were love,kindness, happiness, fun all roled into one.  
I know what I will be asking Father Christmas for Rachel's beautiful cook book.  
What better way to start 2017 with a copy of Rachel's beautiful cookbook. Receips sprinkled with so much love for a healthy and happy 2017." ~ Patricia Purcell

‘Hygge’? Why High50 is welcoming new breakthroughs in tackling depression

We’ve been hearing a lot about ‘Hygge’ this week, partly because the Happiness Research Institute has found that Danes are the happiest people in the world. ‘Hygge’, sometimes translated as ‘cosiness’, means cherishing the small things in life and enjoying curling up in front of a fire in a candlelit room amongst friends.  There are no less then nine books about ‘Hygge’ scheduled for publication this autumn so it will soon be hailed as the latest wellness trend.

For those of our in our fifties and beyond who have suffered or are suffering from depression, lighting the odd candle and snuggling up on the sofa may not quite cut it. It’s no surprise that some of us have sneered at this cosy-cosy approach (see John Crace’s piece in this week’s The Guardian) while we’re staring at the prospect of a long, bleak winter.

However Rachel Kelly, who wrote so movingly about her own journey to recovering from depression in her book Black Rainbow, thinks any move away from medication towards a more holistic approach is welcome.

‘Anti-depressants don’t address the actual causes of what makes life challenging.  There is a transitional age group in which we’re very vulnerable,’ Rachel says.  ‘The work place has changed and we’re up against short-term contracts or facing redundancy or the end of our careers.  Relationships have changed, we don’t have an extended family in the same way we used to and many of us are facing marriage break ups or our children moving away.  Some of us have lost an elderly parent or even our partner. What triggers depression and anxiety is a sense of loss and we’re all facing loss, even if just of confidence, as we get older.’

Once again Episode Two of the ITV series Cold Feet was spot on this week, as we watched the character of Pete, humiliated by having to drive a taxi to make ends meet, succumb to a profound and numbing depression.  Thank you Cold Feet for keeping the issues that are so relevant to our generation alive and on air.

Rachel’s book, Black Rainbow, charts her recovery from depression, partly through reading poetry.  Following the success of the book, Rachel, who is an ambassador for SANE and vice president of United Response, wrote Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness, which fast became a best-seller.  On Thursday 15th September she is running a workshop How To Walk on Sunshine at City Lit in London as part of this week’s Mental Wealth Festival.  Tonight, Wednesday 14th, she kicks off a series of talks on the healing power of poetry at The Idler Academyin London.

Rachel has also collaborated with Warwick University’s on-line learning team to devise their on-line course Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing.  Already 26,000 people have signed up for the course which covers all those topics that are facing our age group : stress, heartbreak, bereavement, trauma, depression and bipolar, ageing and dementia.

‘We need a broader, holistic approach to mental health, a physical as well as a psychological approach,’ insists Rachel.  ‘It’s not just, “Take a pill and you’re sorted.”  While it’s bad news that so many older people face depression, the good news is that we’re finally seeing the evidence that a holistic approach to depression works. 90% of Serotonin is made in the gut so there is a lot of research going on now about the link digestive and mental health.  In the 17th century Descartes split physical and mental health and that has formed attitudes towards mental health for centuries. Now everyone knows that mental and physical health are not just connected –  they’re indissoluble.’

Rachel’s new book, The Happy Kitchen : Good Mood Food, written with nutritionist Alice Mackintosh, about how to eat to stay calm and well,  is released in January 2017.

For Depression and Mind Alliance, Rachel is running a nutrition workshop next month at St. Charles’s Hospital, London, with Second Half of Your Life Foundation, a charity founded by author Jill Shaw Ruddock who wrote her book about life after the menopause, The Second Half of Your Life.

We’re delighted that Rachel Kelly is working so tirelessly to continue providing practical solutions to the burden of depression that our age group shoulders and we celebrate her own recovery from the illness.

Rachel’s top five foods for staying calm and well:

Salmon: oily fish is full of omega-3s, which help boost your mood if you are feeling low.

Live yoghurt: 90 per cent of the happy hormone Serotonin is made in our stomachs. Yoghurt helps balance our digestive system by encouraging healthy bacteria in our guts.

Dark chocolate: contains magnesium, which is calming if you tend to be anxious. Only go for good quality 70 per cent dark chocolate and eat in moderation.

Green leafy vegetables such as kale and cabbage: the fibre they contain contributes to the health of our digestive system and a happy gut. They are also a good source of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and your physical health, which in turn impacts your mental health.

Calming herbal teas especially lemon balm and valerian: help you wind down and get to sleep if you suffer from insomnia, especially a combination of the two.