I have never experienced the extreme highs and lows of addiction first hand, but whilst recording my new podcast I spoke to author Amy Liptrot, who's immensely compelling story made me realise how incredibly restorative nature can be when battling addiction.
My late ex-husband had a complicated relationship with alcohol and would often speak about how alcohol added a colour to his life that he worried would not be there if he stopped drinking. It even overshadowed the conflicting darkness of the shame, guilt and regret he also sometimes felt.
He feared that without it, he would lead a very beige existence.
Those of you that know me, are probably more familiar with my work as a singer songwriter, however, this blog marks the dawn of my arrival as a podcaster. But today I launch my first podcast series and I'm so excited to be finally sharing it with you all.
Episode one finds me discussing the restorative power of nature, its healing potential and the positive impact it can have on not only our physical, but also our mental health and well-being. In this episode Amy shared her remarkable story of a self imposed exile. She went, alone, to a remote Scottish island in a bid to overcome her addiction.
Listen to the story now
Usually, I'm the one being grilled by journalists about my music and life. But I found it extremely liberating to be the one doing the digging for a change. While recording the series I interviewed some fascinating people about their lives, struggle and journeys. I was moved, inspired and intrigued by every speaker.
This episode got me thinking about how we all like to escape from ourselves and yet still feel... alive. For Amy, that stimulus was once drugs and alcohol - but now, she finds it in the natural world.
The night sky became her disco. Long walks exploring the breathtaking beauty of the Orkney landscape became her escapism as she swapped the bright intrusive lights of bars and clubs, for observing the tranquil ballet of the northern lights.
Nature helps Amy heal her body and mind.
For me, nature makes me realise my place in the world. No matter how big and overwhelming our problems may seem, it's a constant reminder that there are forces around us that are more powerful than we will ever be. Enjoy it. Explore it. Take energy from it.
More About The Heart Speaks In Whispers Podcast
The rumblings of an idea for the series first came about when I was writing my latest album The Heart Speaks in Whispers. As with all my work, I poured a lot of emotional and physical energy into its creation and tapped into some very personal, almost transformational experiences that have happened to me in recent years.
These podcasts became a chance for me to explore the recurring themes that appear on my album and examine them on a much deeper level. To find out how other people may have been affected by or interpret these same themes and how our stories compare and contrast.
The topics I delve into are all areas that I am very passionate about: the different ways we respond to nature, what we can learn from listening to our bodies, paying attention to our dreams, following our instincts, being in the present moment, the therapeutic effects of music and how we can effectively juggle our online and offline lives.
You can listen to the whole series on audioBoom or subscribe with iTunes, Spotify and Google Play now.