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Celebrity Health – Melinda Messenger

Image of Melinda Messenger © Jenny Smith

Melinda Messenger talks to YHL about her new career as a psychotherapist and offers some of her top tips for positive thinking

TV presenter and former model Melinda Messenger has hosted and appeared on numerous shows including Channel 5’s Fort Boyard and Cowboy Builders as well as the BBC’s To Buy or Not to Buy and ITV’s The Health Lottery Draws. Melinda, who is aged 50, and a mum-of-three, has since retrained as a psychotherapist.

Q How do you ensure that you keep fit and healthy?

Melinda: I like to walk and cycle and do some yoga at home. I just try to keep things balanced. It’s about the daily choices, but not ever giving myself a hard time over it. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 30 years and I think I do eat healthily, but not obsessively. I eat everything I want but try to keep it balanced. I love to eat foods that are whole and natural whenever I can and have vegetable and fruit juices regularly.

Q What are some of your favourite healthy foods?

Melinda: I love cashew nuts, olives and tomatoes cooked in mixed herbs on the German-style toasted rye bread. I love homemade vegetable curries, homemade soups and homemade bread.

Q In recent years you fulfilled a childhood dream by training to become a psychotherapist. What prompted you to retrain?

Melinda: When I was around seven years old I remember wanting to be a psychiatrist or a teacher. I was told it was unattainable as I’d have to go to university. But it stayed with me. I wanted to work in a healing profession so I retrained. I’m currently studying for my Master’s degree and seeing clients and it is so fulfilling and meaningful. It’s a calling of the heart.

Q You have completed a course at Oxford University in Mindfulness. What benefits has mindfulness brought to your life?

Melinda: Mindfulness practices have been vital to me. They are transformative over time and can bring immediate relief to stress, anxiety, fear and pain. It’s essentially finding stillness of the mind and with that comes peace. With peace all our actions and choices generate different outcomes.

Q What other things do you do to ensure that you look after your mental health?

Melinda: I have a simple mindfulness meditation practice that I do every day. When my mind starts to race I become very conscious and bring my attention back into the present moment. I do this as many times as I need to throughout the day. I watch for what affects my energy. If something is negative or draining in some way I choose not to engage. I make sure I have time in nature either walking the dogs, cycling or sitting in the garden every day as nature will reset us.

Q Do you have any tips for our readers for how they can maintain a positive and upbeat mindset?

Melinda: Become aware of your thoughts. What’s the dialogue? If there’s a stream of negative chatter, be aware. Challenge some of those thoughts by asking “Is that true?” What we think, whether we are aware of it or not, will affect our emotional state. The emotional state will generate in turn more of that thinking. So we need to break the loop. The fastest way is to recognise the mind chatter. Don’t be hard on yourself. Focus on your breath for five minutes. Just notice the breath coming in and going out. Notice the sensation in your hands or feet. Are they tingly? Cold? Hot? Numb? The point is that as you draw your attention into your body you withdraw it from the mind. The emotional system can start to settle and regulate and your thinking patterns can shift. Another great way to shift quickly is through gratitude. Look around and think about what you are grateful for: a warm home, something to eat, the sound of the birds, maybe your pet, even the warmth of the water as you wash the dishes. Small things that you appreciate. Find them and focus on them. This will start to shift how you feel. Try to notice it.

Melinda Messenger is a member of Sara Eden Introductions, the UK’s foremost dating, introduction and matchmaking agency. To find out more, visit

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