Listen on:

Simon's first guest is writer, performer, comedian, and the 'poster girl for mental health' Ruby Wax OBE. Since her groundbreaking show 'Losing It' in 2011 which focused on her mental health issues, Ruby has written three best-selling books on mental health and wellbeing. She holds a master's degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford University and is currently touring the country with her latest show How to be Human.

In the comfort of her beautiful home in West London, Simon and Ruby discussed her interesting career, the pros and cons of social media, how Ruby manages her own mental health, and the power of comedy when discussing serious issues. A fascinating and entertaining start to our Just About Coping journey.

We'd love to know what you think so far! If you could take a moment to rate and review wherever you get your podcasts we would very much appreciate your feedback. Don't forget to get involved on social media using #JACPodcast!

More on Ruby:

Frazzled Cafe:
How to Be Human: The Manual:
Ruby's Tour:

Full transcript:

Ruby:    00:00    Hi, I'm Ruby wax writer, performer, comedian and mental health campaigner. And I'm just about coping *cough* sorry, *cough* let me say it again.

Simon:    00:15    I'm Simon Blake and this is Just About Coping. If you haven't listened to the trailer, I'd recommend it to give you a flavour of what I'm hoping to do in this podcast.

Simon:    00:28    So who better to start with than the poster girl for mental health, comedian turned mindfulness guru Ruby Wax. I was lucky enough to be invited to Ruby's beautiful home in West London where we talked about her career, the relationship between the mind and the body, our relationship with social media and technology and the benefits of mindfulness in which she has a master's degree from Oxford. So be advised, our chat did include a few swear words and some discussion at difficult themes such as suicide. This is what happened when I spoke to Ruby.

Simon:    01:05    Could you tell us, tell us a bit about Ruby Wax the mental health campaigner and where, where did that begin?

Ruby:    01:11    That began I think 15 years ago where, and I've said this in my show, so if you've seen the show, I'm sorry about this, but it's true, is that Comic Relief said, could I pose for them? Because they were raising money for mental health and so I did. But they put up a giant poster of me in all the tube stations and it said on it, "One in four people have mental illness, one in five people have both"- sorry, let me say it again- "One in four people have mental illness. One in five people have dandruff, I have both." And they put it up without asking me. And so people, I didn't want anybody to know I had a mental illness. So I said that was my publicity poster For a show I was planning on doing. Um, so I saw the posters and I was kind of mortified because they didn't ask, but it worked out okay because I have become Poster Girl for mental illness.

Ruby:    02:02    It's a whole new career. I always say, you've got an illness, use it. So, um, I did a show and pretended that was my publicity poster, and the first show was called Losing It and I performed it in mental institutions for two years. Different ones. Lots of different ones. And they liked it. I make a lot of jokes about it- "The bipolars would say I laughed, I cried" but it really was my best time because the deal was of course I wasn't paid but I could sleep over, because I love mental institutions. It's my happy place. So, um, that was the deal. And then I took it to real theaters and inadvertently I became a mental health campaigner because in the second half of the show, which was about depression, but funny, and now everybody does 'mental illness'. So I feel like my copyrights gone.

Ruby:    02:50    That's why my new show is not about mental illness, but about the human condition. Um, and what happened in the second half, the audience would stand up and start to speak, but then, they started off just a small number and now when the theaters got bigger, up to a thousand, you couldn't shut anybody up because people just want to be heard. And then I opened my theater when it was in London and had a walk-in, not when I was performing in the day, where we invited people just to come in off the street.

And I bring in like the big heavyweights, like Lewis Wolpert or Mark Williams or Peter Fonagy. They do a speech, then Marjorie Wallace would bring in volunteers from Sane and now people in the public could talk to a professional. And this was mind boggling because they'd never spoken before and realise that they could get help. And also realise there was no stigma, because all of us had something. And then I said, "Someday I'm going to open cafes, that'll be free, where people can come and talk this openly, not about their depression, but just about being human". Because let's not kid ourselves. It's not just one in four. Everybody's tearing their hair out. And so that was the birth of Frazzled Cafés and then the Queen gave me an OBE for it.

Simon:    04:05    Congratulations.

Ruby:    04:06    And you too.

Simon:    04:09    And so I think yeah, really powerful and clearly took about yeah, everybody um, is now talking about it. Yeah. Your, your copyrights has gone. Clearly, there's been huge amounts of progress, but the stigma still exists in your, in your experience. Um, can you reflect a bit about why you think that may be, you know, why is that stigma so deep that we, you know, we may be making progress

Ruby:    04:33    When I was a little, or before I was, when I was very little, it was the gay movement that suddenly changed within 20 years. I mean, it became the most popular parade in town and in such a short time, look what happened. So all these taboos are breaking down. But the last stigma is mental health, which is, if you think about it, it's who we are. I mean, I used to say that if any other organ goes down, you get sympathy cards and flowers except your brain, then everybody walks away. But you, uh, it's sort of better the devil, you know, you know, I think people are so afraid of that, that might happen to them as if it's catching. Yeah.

So they want to move away from it. And unfortunately now it's moving in closer. So if it isn't you, it's your parents or your cousin or your friend. And I think there's no denying it. Now even the government have to admit that the reason they're losing money and work, people are committing suicide is not because they have a broken kneecap. So it's the stigma is breaking down. I mean maybe not up in, well I tour my show everywhere. There's no place where people don't speak and they really want to. So I think we're past the crest of the wave.

Simon:    05:49    Yeah. And when people are speaking, are there sort of themes which come up time and again, any particular sort of poignant thoughts which people that have, you know, the expressions of themselves, which people are making?

Ruby:    06:03    Well they just want to be heard. You know, sometimes it'll be hilarious and sometimes it'll be "my dad killed himself and I wish I knew things" not that the show is depressing, but people sometimes just want to say, "I'm bipolar and this is what's happening" and "what kind of medication are you on?" Again, it's not all about mental illness or "my daughter won't come out of a room, what do you think?" Or it's a young person saying, "I'm just burning here with these exams. I don't know how to make friends. I don't know how to talk." It's all ages. And they're, um, they're feeling the pressure of this culture. The culture is the disease, not us.

Simon:    06:39    And I think that's the really powerful sort of, it isn't it? That actually what you said before is, um, is about being human. You know, mental health is about who we are and, and what-

Ruby:    06:50    I don't understand. At the mind, mental is physical.

Simon:    06:54    Yeah.

Ruby:    06:54    I mean there is nobody up there who's imagining things and bubbles, you know, thought bubbles. This whole thing is a onesy.

Simon:    07:00    Yeah.

Ruby:    07:00    And if your brain goes down, you can kiss goodbye to your immune system. And most diseases are because something happened in the brain, the brain is the messenger, you know, it sends the messages and if people understood more, Oh, you know, but instead they do star signs. And not that I- I'm an aries-

Simon:    07:22    Aquarius *laughs*

Ruby:    07:22    that, you know, you don't want to be not popular. I didn't want to be not popular, but, um, but you see people, I dunno, it's, you know, we're in the 21st century and people are, don't even know what to eat. You know, one week you have to eat chickens and the next week turf. I don't, you know, we don't know anything but what we should know a little bit about and kids know that the brain is running us. We aren't running it.

So learn how it works a little bit, you know, not, don't become a neurosurgeon and then you won't punish yourself so much for when you feel it's anger rising or negative thoughts. It's all part of the equipment and why we have it. You know, there's a reason we have negative thinking.

Simon:    08:02    Yeah.

Ruby:    08:02    And uh, and it is the human condition. It's not your condition.

Simon:    08:07    Yeah. I think that's something from reading your books that really struck me really is that much understood learned about and understanding the brain and, and what that, what that does. So, I guess my question would be, do you think we would do things differently, take better care of ourselves if we understood the brain a bit more?

Ruby:    08:28    I don't, you know, humans are partially, and that's my show in my book, partially savage. You know, there's a reptilian brain and then there's an evolved brain. It's more complicated, but a lot of, you know, part of us is very savage now. We were born to be, I was talking about it this morning. We have to have this unease. Otherwise we'd never accomplish anything or a nagging thing saying this doesn't feel good. Maybe I should make a telephone, you know, cause I'm sick of the parchment. And then when the telephone afterwards, we should make an iPhone. It's all the unease that makes us progress.

Simon:    09:03    Yeah. Yeah.

Ruby:    09:04    And the addiction to more and more to easier and faster. So look what we've built. But on the other hand, um, we have an evolved brain that has to kick in at some point, but then we do have this evolved brain, but you have to exercise it. It's there, but we just don't use it. Which gives you self-control, rational thinking, uh, compassion, awareness, um, you know, just a more feeling side of the brain and more, um, I can feel what you feel that isn't in the reptilian, that's fight and flight. So the other kind of a brain we have to kick in intentionally because otherwise you're just competing like, like a wild animal. And we are in a culture where nobody, the good guys don't win.

Simon:    09:51    Yeah. And, and, and,

Ruby:    09:53    Oh, so your question was do you think if we knew more, okay, well you'd forgive yourself more to understand why there's rage and anger and envy and shame. Because those came for a reason. With the package. We had to be in the tribe, we had to feel we weren't pulling our weight and that was kind of shaming. And then we try harder. It was healthy.

But now when you're competing on social media with, you know, somebody who jogs 48 hours like you and then, you know, has a job where he makes 200,000 a year and has the perfect wife, we can't keep up. And so it burns us alive. You know, if you just knew about the neighborhood, you'd be okay.

Simon:    10:31    Yeah. Um, and you talked to before about compassion and obviously compassion for ourself is one of the things which perhaps is so much more important in a world where we can see so many things around us with social media. And um, I guess it'd be really interested actually to just touch on, um, social media a little bit and uh, you know, thoughts, pros and cons of it? What's, what is your,

Ruby:    10:54    you know, I'm a little, um, when people speak about social media, they get incensed or angry or fearful. And I just think these are buttons that we push. Just like talking about Brexit or 'the one in America', it's, we become suddenly, we could become obsessed with "what can we do?" And it's even more fearful but social technologies aren't going away so you better lie back and take it. So this is where I'm saying we have to exercise some muscle in our brain to be able to navigate it because it's coming, it's going to be in you and around you, and it's going to be tempting.

You know, who wouldn't want to just think about the food and it shows up in your mouth, uh, unless you want to go off grid. But most people just fall into it and there must be something in your mind only if you want that says, okay, I'm really going to use this now for all it's worth. And now I'm going to shut down and go quiet and into myself and back to the human and then go out and be partially machine. But that takes a lot of work. You know, that's not easy. It's like saying, "Oh, give up smoking".

Simon:    12:04    Yeah. And it's really interesting, isn't it? Because social media is, as you say it often becomes demonized as the problem and actually-

Ruby:    12:13    yeah, it's us.

Simon:    12:14    It's us.

Ruby:    12:14    We did it. It didn't land like a meteorite. It's us. Yeah. And we made it so stop pointing the finger.

Simon:    12:22    Yeah.

Ruby:    12:22    I think people have to understand the reason this is going on is maybe not cause you high and mighty, but it's us as a human race. Yeah. So, but I think I'm not a politician, but fix yourself and then go save the world. That's my kind of thing. Don't Blab on about it. Either. Get off the pot and go work in a refugee camp or shut up at a dinner party.

Simon:    12:45    Yeah.

Ruby:    12:45    Yeah *laughs*

Simon:    12:46    Um, I was on a, um, uh, holiday a couple of weeks ago in Greece and I was reading Frazzled on the beach, uh, and the person next to me was from Middlesbrough and has also, um, read Frazzled. And the conversation that we had was, uh, that the key lesson from this was nobody's going to do it for you. You're going to have to work hard in order to get your brain to work, to enable yourself to think and behave in the ways that you want to.

And I thought it was, uh, really interesting at the point at which they said, um, and sometimes it feels too hard and easier to just go with how things, how things are, but they were working hard in order to try and work hard on themselves. And that was the sort of the key message that they were taking from the book. No one's going to do this for you. You're going to have to do this yourself.

Ruby:    13:32    But everything you learn, you know, from math to walking to talking, you had to practice. So people say, "give me a top tip" or "what's a pill"- you know- "I can take", well if it was that easy, I'd be doing it. Um, the, you can do it if you want, if you don't, you know, if I want a six-pack, I can wish it all I want.

Simon:    13:51    Yeah.

Ruby:    13:51    But you like, you know, have to get in that swimming pool four times a week or, you know, do your running. So the same with the mind. There are exercises, it doesn't have to be mindfulness. Tai Chi is really good, things that whenever you focus on, on the body or physical-

Simon:    14:08    Yeah.

Ruby:    14:08    The brain cools down. You can't be yabbering up here if you pull focus to, let's say, and I don't mean being in the gym and reading a book and filing your nails and watching TV. I mean, when you really focus in on the body like an athlete does.

Simon:    14:22    Yeah.

Ruby:    14:22    The chattering comes down. But that's not the idea. The idea is now when you're in front of somebody who's terrified you or somebody is pushing your button, you remember how to pull, pull the focus down so that you're not pumped full of that red mist and lose your mind.

I mean, but it's your choice. You know, and I think now there are tools like CBT, cognitive therapy and mindfulness is if you want to cut out the therapist and you know, if you want to save money and you know, just do it a minute a day. It does exercise the brain and you can see the six-pack in an MRI scanner. It's not a six-pack, but I wouldn't be doing it if you didn't see physical evidence.

Simon:    15:04    No, absolutely. So, um, you obviously have a master's degree in mindfulness space cognitive therapy.

Ruby:    15:10    Cognitive therapy, yeah you got that!

Simon:    15:10    So a good segway in. So if you were to describe the purpose of mindfulness in one sentence-

Ruby:    15:16    Well you can't, you're doing exactly what people do. Would you explain jogging in one sentence?

Simon:    15:21    No, but I might try I guess.

Ruby:    15:26    Go ahead, try...

Simon:    15:29    I can't actually off the, off the cuff.

Ruby:    15:30    There is no one sentence. Frazzled is a whole book. You can buy it where it explains it and it explains it from the horse's mouth, which is my professor who was Mark Williams who invented it. Um, it's mindfulness based cognitive therapy. He invented it. So he allows me to translate it into comedy.

Simon:    15:50    Yeah.

Ruby:    15:51    That you can go shopping while you're doing it. You can, you know, stand in a queue. You can be on the loo, whatever. It's a way of exercising your brain. I mean, you can't exercise your pelvic floor when you're in a bus queue, believe it or not, you don't have to be in a gym. You just pull up your pelvic floor, nobody knows except you pull up a lot of leaves on the ground, but otherwise nobody knows.

So mindfulness is the same thing. You notice where your mind goes and it's not pretty. You know the shit-show that you get is horrible, but then you start to pull the focus to something physical- It could be a breath, breathing and then the mind takes it and then you bring it back and that's the equivalent of lying on your back and sitting up and lying on your back. And each time you do that, you strengthen a part in your brain that helps you pull focus. So you're saying to the mind, in a nice way, get back here. I'm controlling you. I'm controlling you. You're not going, "come on bitch, lie down".

Simon:    16:45    Yeah

Ruby:    16:46    Because we are all programmed to be cruel, mostly to ourselves. But you just, you go, okay, everybody thinks like this. Everybody's got, "Oh, I'm not good enough. I'm an idiot. I'm not getting away." Everybody has it. Nobody doesn't have it unless you're in a coma. So you see where the mind goes. Hasn't done anything wrong. Pull it too. You could do it to your feet, hitting the floor when you're jogging. Breath is easy cause it keeps coming or it could be your taste in coffee.

Watch where the mind goes: bring it back to the taste. Anytime you bring your focus to a sense you're lassoing in that brain and then it becomes your new habit. It's your new default. So when my mind like now is all over the place, it's easier for me to focus on you. Otherwise my hand would be on that telephone. But don't think it doesn't want to go to the iPhone. It wants to. But I've, you know, I've trained that bitch up there to say listen to this guy. You're here now. It's not going to help to go to the phone.

Simon:    17:45    Yeah.

Ruby:    17:45    But every part of my body wants to go to the phone. Cause I have really important -you know- the white house is calling, Putin wants to know what to do next and so I really need to be on that phone. That's what's going on in my head.

Simon:    17:58    Yeah.

Ruby:    17:58    Meanwhile I'm getting spam thinking it's really important.

Simon:    18:04    It's interesting. Isn't it? So I always say, yeah, my phone.

Ruby:    18:06    What are you thinking of now?

Simon:    18:08    I'm thinking of, uh, I'm, I'm listening-

Ruby:    18:10    Well you're reading.

Simon:    18:11    Well, I was listening and thinking about, uh, having read Frazzled on holiday in Greece. We actually spent, uh, uh, evening, um, drinking a pretty awful wine and uh, and a delicious Greek salad and properly tasting, observing, I was with my, uh, my partner. And it is actually something quite incredible to just focus on what you're doing and really think about it. And sometimes it's delicious and sometimes it's awful.

Ruby:    18:39    And sometimes your mind takes you and you're back in London.

Simon:    18:42    Yeah.

Ruby:    18:42    And sometimes you're in the future. It doesn't matter. You can't control your brain completely. It takes you, and that's the, that's the bit that you should clap and congratulate yourself on, is that you noticed it went away. Yeah. That's the reward, not the bringing it back. You go, I've noticed my mind is wandering.

That's as far as you can take it. But you bring it back to the physical sense because otherwise it'll take you and then you'll be in Spain and then you'll be in Europe. And eventually you'll get to the iPhone, call a travel agent and book another holiday, which I've done while you're on holiday. I've done that one.

Simon:    19:15    It's the best feeling, isn't it? It helps forget the blues.

Ruby:    19:19    Yeah. But then eventually there's a moment where you flipped. You know, it's really healthy and efficient, but there's a moment where you're out of your mind.

Simon:    19:27    Um, so in your show you talk about, um, Descartes saying, "I think therefore, I am", can you tell us a bit about that?

Ruby:    19:35    Yeah. It's in 'How to Be Human', the show. He did say it, but I then say, he got it wrong. Um, cause I know better, but I clearly don't. But the thing is, everybody who studied him knows he's wrong. We aren't our thoughts. And then I say thank God. Otherwise I'd be a shopping list. Um, but the thing is we're, we are not our, just our thoughts. And then I have to explain that your thoughts are 1% of the 99% that's running you.

So you don't know when you're swallowing and what happens to that food on its way down. You don't know when your heart is beating or you're about to get, you know, uh, you know, have a fit. You just don't know. All you're thinking about is your shopping list really. You're thinking, I gotta do this. I have to do this, based on these bodily sensations.

So I later in the show I said, I can't really tell the difference when I'm in love and when I have indigestion, they feel the same. So your thoughts are always interpreting this gigantic kind of huge a Cosmo's living under your neck. So thoughts are kind of tiny and that's, I guess another thing to get your head around is they may be wrong. They aren't who you are. They may be wrong.

Simon:    20:49    I might talk to my husband tonight about whether I've had indigestion for the last 15 years, or whether it's love.

Ruby:    20:53    Think about it. You know, you want to throw up in the beginning. Yeah.

Simon:    21:01    We talked a bit about, um, how much things are changing, how much mental health is now being talked about. If you were to say where you think we need to focus our energies, if we're really going to shift the culture about mental health so that people can, um, talk freely, understand their bodies. Do you have any thoughts about where we need to go next? Uh, you know, building on the momentum that already exists.

Ruby:    21:30    Well, the money now that you give to various charities was never really given to the brain, not as much. And I was at a meeting where there were people from Oxford professors saying, you know, we, Oxford was the one that cured TB, I think. And they also came up with a cure for polio. This year, and for the following years, we're going to cure mental illness. So it's a trend. Now when they start to understand where depression is, but it's very difficult. It's what schizophrenia actually looks like.

Then if you're fired from your work, you hold up a little sign that says, this is my disability. And if they dare fire you, you take them to court. Just like you would if you were physically disabled. So the more money goes into understanding the brain, the quicker we'll be able to say this is an actual disease. This isn't because somebody thought, should I go to a golf club or should I try to commit suicide? And so I think that's the way to break for me. I'm very, I like science, figure it out and then people won't think you're a wanker when you can't get out of bed.

Simon:    22:36    Sure. So comedy clearly has an important role in breaking down some of the taboos and some of the traditions. That's what comedy has done around all sorts of, of issues. And in terms of your experience of, of talking about mental health in comedy shows, you know, what would your reflections be on its contribution to breaking down some of the stigma in your, in your experience?

Ruby:    22:59    You know, a comedian is supposed to be the philosopher of their age and it stopped being there cause we went to a phase of art men, uh, awful. And look how fat I am. Though, there's been a trend or you know, we just pounding, whoever politician happens to come in, but the, the genius of all times is George Carlin, and if you want to get an overview of politics or anything, the way we live, go to him. Don't read Heidegger.

So, um, that's your job. And a comedian is there to hold up a mirror. And if the audience laugh at me and say, "recognise it", and once we're all on the same planet, then you can do stuff. If they laugh it means there's mutual understanding. If people are angry, they're in their own worlds. So the real job of comedy is to get a commonality going in the room and then we're all human.

Simon:    23:55    Sure, what I would be, uh, so we're still moving towards the end of our time together. So just thinking about the, the future, um, if you could paint, uh, yeah, the, that sort of perfect picture. The worldview that we're striving for: what would that look like in Ruby's next book?

Ruby:    24:16    That's my next book, it's called The Future With Love. Um, but I can't, you know, I can't, I can only, I'm trying to say what's happening now that makes the future look really hopeful rather than another doomsday scenario. I don't know. I have, why would I know if somebody could read the future?

We've been, you know, everybody's needs futurologists writing books. What do they know? Uh, we, we can't say half the people will become more savage and then maybe a few will, few souls, you know, that are trying to self evolve or, you know, at least be able to deal with it will, there will always be those people. But, um, if they don't kick in and we'll all get swept up.

Simon:    25:00    And clearly, I guess we, we, we don't, you know-

Ruby:    25:02    What's to say Trump doesn't push the button or you know, North Korea doesn't go- but I don't want to live in fear, you know, otherwise it's not happening right this second.

Simon:    25:11    And I think that's my exact point actually, is let's not live in fear, but what, let's, let's live in hope and, that sort of sense. And we know that hope is so important in terms of recovery, in terms of the ambition-

Ruby:    25:24    Like you or you know, making that volunteer sector, you know, a parity there between, you know, that we should really honour those people that are doing the real thing.

Simon:    25:33    Yeah, absolutely and I think the sort of sense, you know, that the work that you've done with the Frazzled Café and giving people a space, you know the work that we're doing at MHFA England is all part of a bigger picture, isn't it? When is about trying to enable all of us to manage ourselves, to learn to understand ourselves a bit better-

Ruby:    25:54    And to help, you know, that's the Frazzled Café thing is that there's a group of people, they're not in there moaning. They're there to help each other and not for mental illness reasons, but because they're human and everything is, is harder these days, even though it's not tangible. So you know, there's safety, there's anchors by the Frazzled Café is, and then first aid, train the facilitators so that that space is safe and it's held.

And these people meet every two weeks so that this becomes their new tribe because we don't have community, or some of a lot of us don't, and so it's an artificial community, but it's their lifeline. And I think there should be more of those. Yeah. Because we have to do an antidote to, um, to just, you know, using a screen, we, God bless it, I love those screens, but we do have to be near each other so we can pass, pass the love, you know, look in each other's eyes. And if you can't at work and you can't with your family, then you go to Frazzled Café.

Simon:    26:58    And so I think that points, you know, takes us right back to the beginning, doesn't it around, um, how we cope, how we really live is about understanding ourselves and having that compassion for other people and the hope of a world in which we are, feel able to love ourselves and to love each other.

Ruby:    27:16    The only point of loving yourself or being kind to yourself is that it spreads to the next guy. This isn't like let's all sit in a tub and eat a Flake bar, you know, and put some yak oil on, the point of being tolerant with your own madness and in darkness is that your essence. It's neuro-wifi. We pass our state to the next guy. If the thoughts are overwhelming you, you know, you're not in the midst of this brainstorm. If you can just get the thoughts a little bit, you know, quieter than I'm more available to hear what you're saying.

If I'm, you know, in the storm of my mental, you know, uh, weather conditions, I can't hear what you're talking about. Or can I give you any empathy cause I'm too busy in my own self absorbed cocoon. But the idea is if you can cool it down, not make your thoughts go away, you just have a different relationship. You go, "yeah, yeah, I'll get to you later" and I can focus on you. I've passed, I've actually past a hormone called oxytocin, which makes your heartbeat come down and your, um, you know, you're, you're breathing more even. That's how mothers grow their baby's brains and that's how we relate to each other as adults.

Simon:    28:33    There you go. Brilliant. Thank you. Um, I mean really thank you so much for talking to me. It's been an honour and privilege. Thank you for welcoming us into your house. This is the first ever Just About Coping podcast and I know that people will enjoy listening to you, even as much as I have, so thank you very much.

Outro: [Music]

Simon:    28:56    I don't think I could have asked for a better start to my very first podcast, the inimitable Ruby wax there, talking about our mind and body as a onesy. Ruby's latest book, How to Be Human: The Manual is available now. She's on tour until the end of November 2019 with The Monk and The Neuroscientist from the same book- for all the dates, head to Ruby's website which will be in the description.

If you want to find out more about the Frazzled Café meetings Ruby talked about, head to We're working with Frazzled Café to train their facilitators in Mental Health First Aid England training, which I'm very excited about. So if you'd like to hear more of our podcast, please subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Please also rate us on the same place so we can find out what you think and make sure to spread the word using social media with the hashtag #JACPodcast. I hope you enjoyed this first episode, and until next time I've been Simon Blake and thanks for coping with us.