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Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen and Melvyn Bragg share stories of how literature can help with mental health problems | News | Culture | The Independent. Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen and Melvyn Bragg have each given deeply personal interviews to academics as part of a free online course which considers how poems, plays and novels can help us to understand and cope with deep emotional distress. The trio discuss their experiences of some of the six themes – stress, heartbreak, bereavement, trauma, depression and bipolar, ageing and dementia – that make up “Literature and mental health: Reading for wellbeing”. Each man also describes how the work of literary greats such as Shakespeare, WH Auden and Philip Larkin have helped them during troubled times. Fry has experienced mental health problems throughout his life, but was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder until he was 37. He explores the value of poetry, poetic form and how the metrical “stresses” of poetry – the emphasis that falls on certain syllables and not others – can help people to cope with the mental and emotional stresses of modern life.

Melvyn Bragg on dementia Reuse content. Zero. A Navy SEAL Explains 8 Secrets To Grit And Resilience. Sometimes you just want to quit. You know you shouldn’t but nothing seems better than crawling back into bed and hiding under the covers. (I am there right now, actually, with my laptop.)

The emerging science of grit and resilience is teaching us a lot about why some people redouble their efforts when the rest of us are heading for the door. Research is great, but it’s always nice to talk to someone who’s been there firsthand, and to see how theory holds up against reality. So who knows about grit and persistence? Navy SEALs. So I gave my friend James Waters a call. James and I talked for hours but what struck me was how much of what he had to say about SEAL training and his time in the teams aligned with the research on grit, motivation, expertise and how people survive the most challenging situations. So what can the SEALs and research teach you about getting through life’s tough times? 1) Purpose And Meaning To say SEAL training is hard is a massive understatement. So purpose matters. The fears and hopes of Port Talbot's children. Be_Resilient - Les Brown Motivational Video. Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday 2016: What can we learn about long life? Image copyright Getty Images The Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday this week yet there are few signs that she is slowing down.

Last year alone she carried out 306 engagements in the UK and 35 abroad. What does the Queen's good health tell us about longevity? Good genes The Queen can thank her mother, who lived to 101, for passing on good genes. According to Prof Sarah Harper, from the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, just over half your chance of living a long life is dictated by luck of birth. "If you have parents and grandparents who made it into their eighties and nineties there is a chance you have inherited good genes.

"Genes also influence if we have obsessive behaviours, such as taking more risks or to eat or drink too much. " The Queen's father, George VI, died at 57 while her paternal grandfather, George V, died at 70. Avoided bad habits Half of long-term smokers die prematurely, losing an average 10 years of life. More coverage In pictures: Queen at 90 in 90 images Marriage. How four men survived as hostages of IS. Image copyright Giles Duley In his classic novel 1984, George Orwell writes about Room 101 - a torture chamber where you are subjected to your worst nightmare, the worst thing in the world, to break your resistance. To survive any such place of profound pain is the greatest of gifts, a triumph of the human spirit.

In our time, surviving brutal captivity at the hands of so-called Islamic State in Syria must certainly count as such a triumph. When four former hostages came together this month for their first reunion since they were freed, at different times, two years ago, it was a celebration of friendship forged in the most threatening of circumstances, a remembrance of an agonising ordeal.

In the BBC radio programme Held Hostage in Syria they recall months without sunlight, weeks chained together, days upon days of beatings. But it was also an affirmation of extraordinary resilience. Find out more The 19 hostages What they can share with us is a compelling chronicle of our time.