In today's landscape, a sense of hopefulness can be hard to cultivate. With political unrest, an ever-rising cost of living, and a planet in climate crisis, 20 minutes of scrolling online can render a sense of doom before you've even had your morning matcha. All too often, I find myself uttering the words, "I've had too much internet today", having been exposed to the realities of the world without the necessary tools to process such information.
One tool that has consistently aided me in my existentialism, however, is the hypnotherapy album "This Feeling Is You". The album is an immersive journey of seven chapters exploring magic, music, and meditation by Jessica Boston, the cognitive, clinical and somatic hypnotherapist. Boston released the album in 2020, having collaborated with electronic band Desert and artists Crista Leonard and Charlotte Retief, to achieve an album that is both accessible and cool.
Dubbed "the creators' hypnotherapist", Boston has 10 years experience offering hypnosis programmes and creative mindset consultancy and explains the album "was designed for today's world", with the knowledge that "we will often need to return power to a helpless hopeless subconscious mind".
Listeners have described the album as a "psychedelic trip" and "pure magic", with one even stating "this album saved me last year". For me, I'll either use tracks to top me up or carve out time for the full immersive experience.
On the benefit of the album, Boston explains, "it is not simply a short-term fix for changing your state in those moments when you are hijacked by emotion, but in reprogramming your mind, body and spirit for better long term".
"This Feeling Is You" utilises the environment of a magic garden to create a visual meditation journey that explores negative shadows, amps up confidence, taps into inner knowledge, and awakens consciousness. The immersive journey flows as follows:
The Beginning - For an introduction to hypnotherapy
"The Beginning" sets the tone for the album, inviting you into a relaxed state and exploring what you might be seeking help with, be it clarity, direction, meaning, or "simply becoming more you then you've ever been". It begins to question the internal narratives we have for ourselves, asking "how do you know the things you think are true?" It starts the journey, while encouraging you to envisage what the end of that journey may look like.
To The Magic Garden - For entering a hypnotic state
In the second track of the album, the concept of the Magic Garden is established, introduced as a safe space to enter a hypnotic state as it deepens from 1 to 10. As breaths become deeper and limbs become looser, you're encouraged to float down to a place of calm and quiet awareness, a magical garden that is "whatever you want it to be", complete with a golden garden door - naturally.
In The Magic Garden - For developing a safe space for relaxation
Once at the golden door, "In The Magic Garden" invites you into "a place that grows as you do". This place houses all beginning and ends, designed for sowing seeds and pulling weeds. It's a place of growth, birth, losses, and successes as you are surrounded in splendour, colour, harmony, and balance. All the elements that exist in this magical garden are gifts you were born with, designed to be taken on the path ahead.
Negative - Minus - Less - For making peace with negative emotions
"Negative - Minus - Less" explores the shadows within the garden and encourages you to connect with something you want to work through. It may be something that holds you back or something you find draining. In this track, that negativity is located and identified, exploring its colour, weight, size, texture, and temperature. Once identified, that negativity is pulled from you, so that you can see it more clearly as you create an allyship with it.
Positive + Plus + More - For encouraging confidence and self love
"Positive + Plus + More" reiterates the garden's nourishing abundance, dialling up confidence with the symbolism of water. This track encourages you to stand tall in the reflection of the water, releasing comparisons, and seeing your inner beauty with self acceptance and love. As you step into a sailing boat, a long and fulfilled life stretches out ahead. There are good things on the horizon.
The Knowing - For tuning into your inner voice
"The Knowing" amplifies the quiet voice within that cuts through "the fog of indecision" and delves into an inner knowledge. It encourages positive and powerful thinking, reminding you of the counsel you possess and answers you already carry, "for even when you can't see the sun, you know it's there".
The Awakening - For sharing your light with others
Transcending from the garden and into the stars, "The Awakening" is an intergalactic ending, taking you to a floating state where you possess a brilliant sparkle. Surrounded by other sparkling lights, you are able to beam light to these alternate stars, even the stars that represent those who might be hard to love. It seeks the good in others and demonstrates how you can affect the consciousness of those around you. The track counts you out of a hypnotic state but reminds you "you can always revisit the garden".
Speaking with Boston, I asked her how best to listen considering time and emotional bandwidths. For starting the day, she suggests "Positive + Plus + More" to get you "hyped up and connect back to your inner awesomeness". Duvet-diving depression or imposter syndrome? Try "Negative - Minus - Less". And if you need to cultivate a sense of hope, "The Knowing" and "The Awakening" have you covered. I have consulted "Negative - Minus - Less" more times than I'd like to admit. But as a result, I've made an ally of many of my bad feelings turning them from "Flubber"-like rubbery polymers to warm glows within. I frequent "The Knowing" when I am seeking too much outside of myself and am needing to be reminded to look inward for answers. I opt for the whole album as an antidote to helpless days, knowing I always have access to the Magic Garden.
It's not just the case that "This Feeling Is You" touts an album cover you want framed on your wall with Jessica acting as the enchanting therapist you want to befriend, but there's proof in this good-looking pudding. If you're in need of some hopeful magic, trade 1.2 hours of doomscrolling for a "This Feeling Is You" experience. Queue it up with Charli XCX's "Crash", and you'll be unstoppable.