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Does Stress Make You Sick? The Stress-Health Connection

Shannon Harvey

I was surprised this week to come across a paper in a medical journal which investigated the possibility that stress causes autoimmune disease. As regular readers and viewers of my film will know, I’ve been banging on about this for years.Thirteen years ago I was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that means my immune system attacks my own body. In recent years my doctor has changed the diagnosis to Sjogren’s disease, but whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that when I’m going through periods of unmanaged high-stress, I experience crippling fatigue and agonising arthritic pain throughout my body.... Read full article »


The Health Halo – When “Healthy” Food Isn’t

Shannon Harvey

The class promised that it was “ideal for beginners and home cooks wanting to learn how to make hearty and filling vegan meals.”  I’m not a vegan, but having looked extensively into what diet is best for our health, I do try to eat mostly plant-based food, consisting of nutritious, real ingredients. I’m also a terrible cook who aspires to improve, which is how I came to find myself in an inner-city cafe, feeling very off-trend in my jeans and jumper amidst the hippies and the hipsters.I’d always assumed that because vegan cuisine involves not cooking with animal products, by... Read full article »


Surprising Truth: Meditation Hasn't Made Me Happier

Shannon Harvey

I looked at the older, bald, robed man across from me and thought, whatever he’s on, I want some. I was interviewing Matthieu Ricard, the renowned Buddhist monk who normally lives in a monastery in Nepal but was in Australia as a keynote speaker at the Happiness and Its Causes Conference. It was eight in the evening and the 71-year-old was on his fourth and final day of a whirlwind tour. Starting in 2004, neuroscientists performed a series of seminal brain scans on Ricard and the popular media started calling him the happiest man on earth. As we prepared for... Read full article »


Sorry For Driving You Nuts – A Health Journalist’s Apology to Family and Friends

Shannon Harvey

If you’re a friend or relative of mine, the chances are that I drive you nuts. I know this because I see your furtive glances when you give my kids lollies, I see you sneaking away at family events to eat your ice-cream out of my eye-sight, and I know that when you invite me around for dinner you’re worried that I’ll critique your chosen menu.The truth is, being close to an investigative health journalist must suck. You probably think that I’m constantly analysing your stress levels, your exercise routine (or lack of one) and your sleeping habits. You probably... Read full article »


When Old Habits Die Hard: The Science of Being Healthy

Shannon Harvey

A leading health researcher recently told me a provocative definition of the word “addiction.” He defined it as “continued use, despite adverse consequences.” In other words, you’re addicted to something if you keep doing it, despite the fact that it’s bad for you. If he’s right, then I may be in trouble. It means that, among other things, I’m possibly addicted to… filmmaking.Ever since my husband (and co producer), Jules, and I decided to make another film, life has been mad. Despite the glamorous reputation that the movie industry has, the reality is far from it. We’re independent filmmakers, which... Read full article »


What’s So Great the Most Popular Meditation Course on The Planet?

Shannon Harvey

On a stinking hot summer Sydney afternoon I lay in a room with 15 other people, eyes closed, attempting to focus on the present by paying attention to my sensations, thoughts, emotions, and breath. The person next to me was snoring peacefully but I was far from feeling blissed out and “one with the moment.” I was feeling hot, fidgety and frustrated and I kept thinking, “Shit, I’m supposed to endure this every day, for the next eight weeks. Why didn’t I sign up to a cooking class instead?”Far from developing my culinary expertise, I had in fact signed up... Read full article »


My Year of Living Mindfully (Book)

In the midst of a global mental health crisis, millions of people have turned to mindfulness. But does it actually make us happier and healthier? In a world-first experiment, journalist Shannon Harvey recruited a team of scientists to put mindful meditation to the test. But what began as a year-long self-experiment soon became a life-changing experience..

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My Year Of Living Mindfully (Documentary)

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The Connection: Mind Your Body (Documentary)

The Connection is a feature documentary that uncovers the latest science in mind body medicine and proves we have much more to say about our health than we thought possible.

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The Whole Health Life (Book)

This is a guidebook for anyone who wants to get healthy, find balance, and live better.

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