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What is it all about?

Five to Thrive (or 5 ways to wellbeing) is a national initiative promoting positive mental health and general wellbeing. Based on research by the UK government, five key things were identified that promote wellbeing and make our lives happier and more fulfilling.

These are – connecting, being active, learning new things, giving, and taking notice.

In City and Hackney, Five to Thrive offers advice, suggested activities and local events that residents can access to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing through the five ways. If you would like to find out more, download our leaflet for yourself, friends and family. You can find out further information on activities to support Five to Thrive by clicking the button below.

The Five Ways to improve your mental health

What they are, and what you can do:


Spending time with family, friends, people in our local community, work or school provides emotional support and also allows us to support them as well.

  • It contributes to a sense of belonging and reduces loneliness and isolation.
  • Having people around us that we trust, can rely on and who make us feel valued, can positively boosts our wellbeing, happiness and resilience.
  • So taking action to build, maintain and strengthen our relationships is so important.
We can support you to connect with others, such as joining a community group, coffee morning, lunch club, walking group or volunteering.

Reflection: Have you reached out, spoken to or spent time with someone today?

Being Active

Exercising and being physically active can boost our moods, help us manage stress, sleep and think better. 
  • There are lots of simple things we can easily do to be active which does not cost money: walking, running, dancing, gardening, yoga — the list is endless and can all make a difference to how we feel!
We can support you to join a free exercise class, walking group or gardening programme. Any small amount of exercise is beneficial.

Reflection: What exercise or activity will you do or have you done today to improve your wellbeing?

Learning New Things

Learning or experiencing new things can help build a sense of purpose, fulfilment, happiness and creativity whatever our age. “We are never too old to learn.”

  • Learning is not just for school but for life — it does not only mean formal learning, it also includes informal learning of topics or skills we are curious or passionate about. Reading is a good way to learn — and joining a library gives free access to books/audio-books and films too.
  • If you have suffered from mental illness, we  can support you to access a range of free courses at the recovery college. Some colleges and the university also offer free courses for anyone to attend. You can also access free courses online, such as learning a new language, instrument, cooking courses, dressmaking, knitting and many more.
Passionate about arts and creativity? We can guide you to where you can learn to draw, sculpt or be artistic and provide you with tools to help you upgrade your skill level in filmmaking, design or coding.

Reflection: What is the one new thing that you have tried or learnt recently? What else can you try and learn this week?


When we help others or show kindness, it does not only make people happy, but it can also help us feel happier in ourselves.

  • It can boost our mood and create a sense of self-worth.
  • It helps us feel connected to others and helps us contribute to building a stronger community and a happier society for all.
Every act of kindness counts — from small acts like a friendly smile, a few kind words, helping with bags, offering up our seat to fundraising or other volunteering activities. It is not all about money – we can give our attention, time, knowledge, ideas or support.

Reflection: What act of kindness can you do or have you done today or this week?

Taking Notice

Live a life of mindfulness — paying attention to the present moment, can help us relax and enjoy the world around us.

  • Many of us live busy lives – finding ourselves multi-tasking or living life on autopilot with our minds going over the past instead of focusing on the present (what we are doing and experiencing, who we are with or what is around us).
  • There’s more to life when we stop and notice. For example, noticing the leaves dancing on a tree, a bird singing, the smell of new blossom, the colour of the sky or the flicker of a smile as someone passes by.
  • Take a few minutes a day to be grateful for the little things, meditate and reflect on your achievements.
Just pause right now and notice what is around you. What can you see, hear or smell? Now check in with how you are feeling right now. What sensations and emotions do you notice?

Reflection: How many times a day do you do this?


Five to Thrive website

Five to Thrive suggestions (Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest)
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Five to Thrive activities (Hackney Circle)
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Workout classes to boost your mood and meet some friends
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Ten top tips for leading a happier life
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Clubs and projects for young people
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Places to volunteer
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Adult education courses
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