Now in my 50s, I'm still hitting the wellness goals, and continuing professional development ambitions of my 20s - because I learnt early on that habits, purpose, goal-setting, gratitude, and self-rewards are the vital pillars of life. Thanks to advancing science and tech, I can now also use simple smart wellness techniques and tech to monitor and optimise my biological systems. All these tools combined help ensure you have a great time while on this earth. A sense of humour helps too! I've had the pleasure of working with many great people, and studying at many great places, over the past 30 years. Some of my credentials and experience are listed below. Plus at the bottom of this webpage there's a link to my full bio if you're interested.
(Photo by Rankin for the Let's Reset wellness book, 2019)
My Academic Credentials
BA (Hons) Sport & Exercise Sciences / Human Movement Studies
My first glimpse into the psychology and neurobiology of high performance and health. I read my first music neuroscience research paper during this course and that sparked my lifelong interest in, and use of, music for wellness and high performance. I majored in psychology and physiology.
MSc Sport & Exercise Sciences
My continued journey into neuroscience, psychology and physiology, and my first serious examination of the psycho-physical effects of music on the brain. Published in the Journal of Sport Sciences. This led to my work with GB Olympic squads and elite sports that continues today.
I explored the psychology of HR and organisational behaviour along with finance. For my thesis I analysed David Bowie's genius securitisation of his future royalty streams, and examined the same principles within the commercial mortgage sector (misuse of this finance tool eventually resulted in the global financial crash).
I examined music taste formation, and how the memories of music experiences from our youth produce powerful, lifelong effects, that can continue to give pleasure and contribute to our wellness, even in late stage dementia. This led to my work with the NHS and dementia projects.
Post-Doctoral Studies to date include:
The Neuroscience of Mental Health
Postgraduate Certificate at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience - King's College London
This provided me with an advanced understanding of the neurobiology of 'wellness' and what happens in our brain and body when our biological systems aren't working optimally. It's a fascinating and rapidly evolving field.
Nutrition & Metabolic Syndrome
Harvard Medical School
The gut-brain axis and microbiome will be key to our understanding and realisation of personalised wellness and medicine practices in future. You cannot be truly well unless you've mastered your nutritional intake. Wellness requires keeping inflammation in check throughout life. The things you eat and drink have a huge impact on that.
Analysis of Classical Music
A superb insight into the structure of music and why our brain loves it so much. It was fascinating to explore this from a classical music perspective alongside my commercial music experience.
What motivates me...
When I was 19 and working as a tennis coach I read a book about psychology. I learnt about dopamine, the reward and motivation chemical in our brain. I learnt about the powerful biological effects that things, such as music and breathing, could exert on our brain's reward circuits and many other brain and body systems. This fascinated me and continues to do so. It's enabled me to achieve consistently superhigh levels of motivation, productivity, achievement and wellness in my own life and also my clients' lives.
For the past 30 years I've been studying neuroscience, psychology and physiology and showing people how to apply the science to boost their own brain and body biology (and their employees and customers). I teach you how your brain works, and how to use simple tricks and techniques (now known as biohacks) to optimise your ancient in-built biological systems. This maximises your ability to enjoy lifelong wellness. It can also help you achieve high performance if that's what you desire.
Music/sound is my preferred tool/biohack due to the many proven ways the brain responds to it, its exceptional versatility and effectiveness. I've become known as 'Dr Rock' for this reason.
My client base has always been very diverse, ranging from ordinary folks like you and me, to Olympic squads, celebrities, business leaders, high achievers, and English Premiership Football Teams. The Smart Wellness approach works equally well for everyone.
I love learning and consider myself a lifelong student. My PhD, MSc, MBA, and Bachelor's degree research, examined various aspects of music's effect on the brain. I have amassed a very unique combination of practical experience and a wealth of knowledge through my academic and consulting career to date. This has enabled me to join the dots and innovate.
My post-doctoral studies are still in progress as I continue to delve deep into the fascinating neurobiology of mental health at King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. I've also recently completed a Harvard Medical School module in Nutrition & Metabolic Syndrome and an Oxford University short course in the analysis of classical music. Our brain loves to learn throughout our entire life. Lifelong learning helps offset the natural decline of brain cells as we age. Music learning adds even greater brain health benefits throughout life. So, I regularly learn new songs and lead solos on guitar, DJ, and am currently learning to play the drums - a true brain workout!
I enjoy my wellness coaching work with private clients. Alongside that work, I also advise and assist business leaders, elite sports and various government groups. I'm lucky enough to work with many brilliant collaborators in many different sectors.
There are several non-profit organisations and initiatives I'm proud to support including Young Voices Foundation (the largest schools' concerts in the world), The Musical Walkabout (dementia), Sing To Beat Parkinson's and the Canterbury Cantata Trust. I'm also a mentor for the fantastic Youth Group who do superb work helping improve employment odds for young people. At a government level I've contributed to several cross-party groups examining wellness issues and technology including the All Party Parliamentary Group for Artificial Intelligence's.
You can also often find me simply sipping coffee on the beach, daydreaming, shooting the breeze in the sun with fellow collaborators, dog walking, playing tennis, sea swimming and being musical.
I'm passionate about transforming public health and helping people live their best lives.