With Lockdown: The Sequel fast approaching I was looking for a way to supplement my SAD lamp, indoor exercise and weighted blankets to try and banish those blues before November/No-Pub weekends took too much of a hold on my mood.
I’m yoga and mindfulness-averse but a podcast nut, so when I first heard of GABA – which describes itself as “next generation meditation that unfolds like a beautiful dream” I was intrigued. Would this finally be the thing that gets me – and my brain – to sit still for longer than five minutes?
From the first few bars of creator Adam Martin’s “audio art”, I knew this was something different. Part-soundscape, part-storytelling with a hefty dose of autobiography (from a genuinely interesting life), each episode focuses on a different theme or idea. “Glimmer” looks at the concept of memories, whilst “Blackberry Jam” manages to somehow weave together jam-making, hedonism and just feeling… alive.
I came to GABA for the clever use of musical motifs woven together with nuggets of wisdom from everyone from the Dalai Lama to my grandparents’ era-comedians. But I stayed for the very personal and intimate stories which Martin manages to layer on top like a dollop of refreshing, (very light) cream.
Before I knew it I was a million miles away from my small flat, locked down London and general grim grind. GABA changed my life and it can yours too.
3 other audio experiences to free your mind:
The app: Calm
The Calm app claims to be the #1 app for meditation and sleep, and it’s not hard to see (or hear) why. By creating a personalised meditation experience based on your own individual needs, it promotes the idea of getting into a meditation routine. Tamara Levitt, Head of Mindfulness, says: “You can really meditate any time – morning, after work, after dinner… What’s most important is that you find a time of day that you can stick with for the sake of consistency.” It features celeb-fronted sleep stories, music-based meditations and much more. I, personally. was drawn in by the offer of Harry Styles’ pillow talk. calm.com
The podcast: Sleep Cove
Sleep Cove’s podcasting promise is simple and alluring: a good night’s sleep. Founded by hypnotherapist Christopher, there are hours of free music-based podcasts around different themes designed to help you drift off peacefully. play.acast.com
The game: Dots
If you’re looking for something to simply occupy your brain to keep out day to day stresses as well as existential crises, then sometimes a mindless game can be just the ticket. Dots is a beautifully-designed gaming app inspired by minimalist art, which is intended to be soothing as well as challenging. And just a wee bit addictive too… dots.co