Music, books and films for our mental wellbeing – Icon’s ‘Desert Island Discs’

5 May 2021

Music, books and films for our mental wellbeing – Icon’s ‘Desert Island Discs’

According to research carried out by Mind in 2011, researchers found that music releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical in our brain. With up to 9% higher levels when volunteers listened to music they enjoyed, there’s strong evidence for the link between music and mental wellbeing.

With this in mind we were inspired by the popular BBC Radio 4 programme where guests are asked to choose a record, book, and luxury item they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island. We reached out to our Icon team to find out what their ‘Desert Island Disc’ items were and subsequently what they read, watch and listen to for their mental health.

Meet our team as they share their cast away feel-good items.

Matthias Lossek, Senior Solution Architect

Favourite album

39 Laps by Monkey3 (because instrumental rock never gets boring)

Favourite book

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. A surprisingly easy read. It’s about Frankl’s experiences in the concentration camps and how finding a meaning in life can help to withstand even the hardest circumstances.

Luxury item

A decent set of snorkelling gear.

 

Alison Ashley, Engagement Lead

Favourite album

Happiness by The Beloved. This album reminds me of the summer following my A levels – it’s such a happy mix of uplifting songs and takes me back to when life was much simpler.

Favourite movie

Shakespeare in love. I’m a bit of a softy and I like romantic comedies – I also like Tudor history so the fact the film is set in Elizabethan England appeals to me too.

Luxury item

My kindle (solar powered) – I read whenever I can!

Tom Beadman, Principal Engineer

Favourite album

Untrue – Burial. Completely changed my perception of electronic music and even after 15 years I’ve yet to find an artist that evokes the same level as atmosphere and nostalgia. Hypnotic and transporting, hopefully, it can transport me off this island, even if only for 50 mins!

Favourite movie

Mulholland Drive. First introduction to David Lynch, equally captivated, confused, and terrified (that dinner scene!).  So many iconic scenes interleaved with that classic dreamlike aesthetic. Here’s hoping that with all this time for re-watching I can finally figure out what is going on.

Luxury item

American Deluxe Telecaster. The best guitar, simple. Even without an amp, I’d still choose an electric to avoid annoying the seagulls!

Simon Barrows, Director of Services

Favourite song

Primal Scream – Movin’ On Up (I’d take “Screamadelica Live”)

Favourite movie

Groundhog Day (as I don’t mind watching it again and again and again…)

Luxury item

Jet pack (with unlimited fuel) if allowed, and if not, a football

 

 

Indranil Bhattacharya, Senior Payments Architect

Favourite song

Mostly I listen to Bollywood and Indian classicals, however I will take “Perfect” by One Direction… nice soothing music.

Favourite book

Many books however “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma had an impact on me with respect of way of thinking about life. I will take this book to keep my thoughts and mind at peace.

Luxury Item

A solar portable fan! I need a fan running for a good night sleep and sleep is luxury (not just a necessity anymore!) for me… so anything to aid my sleep is a luxury for me!

 

Ben Hallifax, Co-Founder and Director

Favourite album

Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms

 Favourite movie

Pulp Fiction

Luxury item

Assuming the desert island already has a record player and TV (!) then a Hungarian goose down pillow. When we climbed Kilimanjaro a few years back, Darren (Capehorn) had a cheap blow-up camping pillow and mine was Hungarian goose down. Mine was considerably more comfortable, and as it happens was slightly lighter as well (which is important when people are carrying your luggage on their heads up a mountain for a week!).

Tom Cleaton, Project Manager

Favourite album

Underworld – Dubnobasswithmyheadman because the 90s techno sound would naturally entice ships to the shore like a mermaid’s siren call

Favourite book

John Twelve Hawks – The Traveller. This fantastic dystopian read would allow me to escape my current dilemma through honing my skills and passing through the four barriers into one of the six realms.

Luxury item

Bubble Bath – Lime, Basil and Mandarin scented (big bottle) because if I’m stuck on an island… I’m going to stink… so I need a good strong scented bubble bath.

 

Mark James, Security Officer and Support Consultant

Favourite song

Moments of pleasure – Kate Bush

Favourite book

Any Human Heart – William Boyd

Luxury item

Becky James, my wife

 

 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing our Icon ‘Desert Island Discs’. Feel free to share your own #IconDesertIslandDiscs with us!

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