Feeling a bit flat recently? You’re not alone. Turn on the TV and you’ll be greeted by endless bad news stories, venture outside and you’ll be met with cold and darkness… it’s easy to find yourself in a bit of a funk as we head into the long winter months.

But if you are looking for a boost, one of the best ways to rejuvenate your mood is by scheduling in some dedicated ‘me-time’ to focus on your wellbeing. That was what I told myself as I headed off to the spa at Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in Edinburgh, ready for an afternoon of purely selfish pampering.

As well as a luxurious pool, steam room and sauna, the Charlotte Square spa has recently become home to the UK’s first sound wellness room. Known as the Swell Room, this revolutionary concept has been designed to harness the therapeutic nature of sound.

The room was developed by an award-winning producer, Brian D’Souza, who spent two years curating sounds he had recorded from locations across the world (including the Hebrides, the Arctic Circle and Cape Verde). The soundtrack guests experience in the room combines ‘nature sounds’ recorded by D’Souza with traditional instruments like violins and harps, all of which were mixed together in a studio in London.

But, before entering into the Swell Room, I was first whisked off for a 55-minute deep tissue massage using organic Ishga products. This type of massage specifically targets areas of tension, making it the perfect introduction to my sound session.

I was then led into the Swell room and given some juice infused with a couple of drops of CBD oil. A derivative of cannabis, but without any psychoactive ingredients, the touted benefits of CBD include alleviating anxiety and aiding sleep – and I certainly felt relaxed as I lay back with a pair of headphones to begin the therapy.


First, the lights in the room are dimmed to allow participants to focus on the sound. The chair that participants lie on is linked to the soundscape, causing it to vibrate at certain points in correlation with what is being heard, something the creators describe as ‘vibroacoustic’.

It took a bit of getting used to. My whirring mind needed a while to adjust to the sensation of simply sitting still and listening – but I soon felt myself immersed into the sound and the 40-minute session flew by.

So much so, in fact, that when I stepped out into the noisy streets of the capital, I found myself reaching for my earphones to play sounds of the forest on my walk home…

The sound wellness treatment at the Swell Room can be added onto the existing treatment menu or booked as a stand-alone experience. Prices start from £10 for a 20 minute session and £15 for 40 minutes.





Recently developing a cult-like following, those who embark on cold water therapy enthuse about the mental and physical benefits of taking an outdoor dip. Studies have shown it can reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and lower stress levels, but there are also risks attached, so it’s best to go with an expert instructor.

Shirley Scott runs her Watermind Scotland events all year round, taking participants to lochs, waterfalls and beaches near Glasgow. All you need to do is buy your ticket online and turn up at the location with swimwear, gloves and a hat – no wetsuits permitted if you want to feel the full benefits. The sessions last a couple of hours and include yoga and meditation, with around five minutes actually spent in the water before warming up around a fire with tea and toasted marshmallows.

Tickets cost £12 per person, more details at www.watermindscotland.co.uk


The Body Toolkit is a guided retreat at Cray House, near Glenshee, where participants cleanse their diet in a bid to improve their wellbeing. Staying for six nights, you will embark on an organic juice detox and soup programme while getting guidance on how to form better long-term habits.

Participants report feeling more energetic, with brighter skin, reduced inflammation and better sleep. There’s also walks in nature and some gentle yoga included, as well as the cost of the luxurious accommodation.

Prices from £1199 per person, visit www.thebodytoolkit.com for details on upcoming retreats.



Glencoe has long been famed for its otherworldly qualities. What better place, then, to practice yoga outdoors in a bid to reconnect yourself to nature? Wild Yoga Glencoe will bring you on a mindfulness outing at the magical Glencoe Lochan, involving a gentle walk, forest bathing, chi gong, yoga and meditation.