Ruby Tandoh is a food writer and author living in Sheffield with her partner, Leah Pritchard, who plays in the band Alimony Hustle. They have recently launched the pre-order for their magazine about mental health, Do What You Want, the profits from which are going to charities and not-for-profits which benefit mental health, including Mind, Beat and Sisters Uncut. Features include an interview with Mara Wilson, an essay by Heather Havrilesky (Ask Polly) on the power of therapy, an interview with Sara Quin (Tegan and Sara), and features from Trust Fund’s Ellis Jones and Joanna Gruesome’s Alanna McArdle.
words by ruby tandoh
It is not always easy to do what you want. Your bank balance won’t stretch to that holiday, you have work to do this weekend, and there are a million boring chores on your to-do list before you get to the pub. And that’s without considering the many ways in which our minds can sabotage us: being too anxious to go to that gig; being so deep in depression you haven’t brushed your teeth in two days, let alone mustered the energy to go on a date; feeling, thanks to your borderline personality disorder, like you can’t even trust the friends that you ordinarily rely on.
This is why we need to hold tight to whatever opportunities come our way – opportunities to do something that makes us feel good, even if only for a few minutes. Cracking open a cold can of Coke at your desk on a Friday afternoon. Spending a few moments more under the hot shower, even if you’re already running late. Standing outside the office fire exit for 10 minutes on a sunny day. It could even be something as small as listening to a song you love.
These are the songs that might occupy those moments for us. How often my days have turned around after the drums come in for the last chorus on Chained to the Rhythm, or I’ve felt connected to my body again as my lungs fill up to strike the soaring chorus in Trust Fund’s “footbAAAAAaaaall”. Some of these songs tell us to do what we want in no uncertain terms. Others slowly tease you into letting go with their pulsing basslines and joyful crescendos.
Order a copy of ‘Do What You Want’ here