The joy audit: how to have more fun in 2020

This is the year to start taking happiness seriously. But how and where do you find the time? Here are the tips and advice you need for a pleasure-filled year The last time I felt joy was at an event that would be many peoples vision of hell: a drunken Nataly Kogan, the author of better sleep, better weight management, lower stress levels, Shamash Alidina, the author of Mindfulness for Dummies and the co-founder of the not-for-profit Museum of Happiness and more attainable than people may think. Many equate mindfulness with clearing ones mind of thoughts entirely. This means they often give up out of frustration, says Alidina but its not about not thinking, its about being aware. Spending just …

The best health foods? Soup, garlic and cake

When youre ill, food can be a powerful force for recovery even if scientists cant always explain why Some people are brilliant when their loved ones are ill, and know instinctively what face to make, when to chat, when to be quiet, when to make tea, when to plump a pillow and so forth. Others are terrible, instinctively avoidant, brusque and awkward. They need to ask themselves what theyre so afraid of. But in the meantime, a great way to show you care while you build your genuinely caring personality is to do convalescent cookery. Soup is so famously a restorative that scientists with a bit of downtime often try to show the mechanism. This week, a study found the …

The female problem: how male bias in medical trials ruined women’s health

Centuries of female exclusion has meant womens diseases are often missed, misdiagnosed or remain a total mystery From the earliest days of medicine, women have been considered inferior versions of men. In On the Generation of Animals, the Greek philosopher Aristotle characterised a female as a mutilated male, and this belief has persisted in western medical culture. For much of documented history, women have been excluded from medical and science knowledge production, so essentially weve ended up with a healthcare system, among other things in society, that has been made by men for men, Dr Kate Young, a public health researcher at Monash University in Australia, tells me. Youngs research has uncovered how doctors fill knowledge gaps with hysteria narratives. …

Just not sporty: how to embrace exercise as an adult if you disliked it as a child

Bad memories of PE can give people the lifelong impression theyre not cut out for sport. But plenty of adults have left behind sedentary lifestyles you just have to find the right approach When Sarah Overall was a child, a PE teacher held the entire class back because Overall would not do the high jump. She was tiny as an adult, she is under 5ft (1.5m) tall and was scared of hurting herself on the metal bar. I was too short to get over it, she says. I remember the whole class watching. Netball was pure hell. She enjoyed hockey, which suited her body better, but she felt written off by her PE teacher. I was like: Do you not …