Poetry in motion – how favourite things aid wellbeing

bee pic

People across Kent had their favourite things included in a specially commissioned Wellbeing poem with the help of poet Dan Simpson.

For two weeks via social media, residents sent their thoughts and feelings on what aids their wellbeing to Dan, who incorporated them into verse. Whether it was enjoying luscious food like Brie and cranberries, surprise presents, or a brisk walk along the beach with a favourite pet, the suggestions were many and varied.

Dan, who is the current Canterbury Laureate, said: “The Six Ways to Wellbeing crowdsourced poem is made up entirely of words given to me by people in Kent via Twitter. I tweeted out prompts and ideas with the hashtag #wellbeingpoem, and waited to see what would come back from the public. I got beautiful responses and funny ones; some poignant words and evocative thoughts. I took all the words and rearranged them in an order that made sense to me, and created the communal, crowdsourced poem.”

Enjoy reading the poem in full below.


Wellbeing is a purring cat on my lap

whistling for the dog

it’s dancing in the dark to your favourite pop song

spinning with your arms aloft.

It’s pilates and feeling graceful like a dancer

a seeded batch loaf with brie and cranberry

it’s smiling quietly or roaring with laughter

it’s a steaming mug of tea.

It’s coastal walks in any weather

under the huge sky

it’s that long linear horizon; a strong sea breeze

it’s finding delightful surprises.

It’s bubble-wrapping an absent colleague’s desk

finding fun in the mundane

it’s building a boat by night

it’s not caring about the rain.

It’s learning boogie-woogie piano to fend off dementia

(making music for the mind)

it’s hard-to-keep-secret gifts

it’s eating lots of chocolate

it’s tiny acts of being kind.

It’s trainers on, get set, go

drawing deep lungfuls of invigorating air

it’s something simple – like dry socks

it’s that book you have share.

It’s the important people

the leaves turning from green to gold

it’s creating colourful memories

it’s knowing: you can change misdeeds of old.

It’s living in the moment

never checking your phone

it’s glittering sunsets

getting lost in ice cream cones.

It’s being joined in a garden ramble by a bumble bee

it’s giving up lattes and starting deep breathing

it’s feeling connected with your body

since it may be windy outside – but in my heart it’s swing.


Find out more about Dan on his website.

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