MARY O’CONNOR meets the York barrister turned holistic therapist who says it’s never too late to turn your life around.

AT some point in our lives, we all fall prey to living a hamster-wheel existence: working, eating, sleeping, without reprieve. And then working some more.

For Andrea Morrison however, this way of living soon began to have serious ramifications for her health.

To the onlooker, Andrea was one of these women who “had it all” – the dream job as a barrister, three children (despite a battle against infertility), a lovely house and a great hubby.

But the reality beneath the career girl image couldn’t have been more different.

She said: “I was working long hours and travelling the length and breadth of the country, I was separated most days from my children and my father had recently passed away. In November 2008 I ended up with pneumonia and by 2010, I had developed chronic fatigue syndrome.

“I now know that this was the best thing to have happened to me, as I finally had to stop and think. This gave me the chance to become the person that I wanted to be.”

In re-assembling her life, she didn’t go down the counselling route, but underwent a short course of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which helped her to re-frame her mind and belief system.

Andrea also began to look into holistic therapy and reflexology, as hobbies initially, but after completing a holistic massage course at the local college, she looked into pursuing a career in this field. After attaining the necessary qualifications, she opened her own practice from her York home in July 2012, Eden House Holistic.

Today, Andrea is the author of a book, Feel Good Factor in 30 Days, in which she shares the lessons she learned on her journey.

She says: “By taking lots of small actions in your life, you can make big changes to your levels of happiness.”

And to give us a small taste of just how easy this can be, Andrea shares with us a sample of some of the first steps:


Today, decide to smile. How do you feel? Notice what happens to the people around you when you smile – the chances are they will smile back, so you are not only making yourself feel better – but you are making others around you feel better too!

Be realistic not perfect

Think about what causes your stress – make sure it isn’t your expectations. So today, try and alter your expectations and see what happens, learn to repeat the mantra “Ok these things happen” instead of questioning “why does this always happen to ME?”.

Breaking the same old same old

Do you ever feel that every day is just a re-run of the day before? At lunchtime or in a break or just for five minutes do something different. It might be that you read a bit of a book in a local park, have a coffee in a different café, or simply walk a different way to work. It can be absolutely anything. Change your routine – just a tiny bit and start to live your day.

Clear the decks

It’s time for a good old fashioned clear out – it could be anything a drawer, a cupboard, a box with stuff in or a whole room – whatever is bugging you – just do it.

Focus on now

Try not to think about anything else apart from what you are doing at that moment in time. The object is to enjoy that moment and to remain in that moment, not the past or in the future. So the next time you are enjoying a coffee – enjoy it – don’t think about what happened this morning or what might happen this afternoon or how are you going to pay the rent etc. Instead, sit there having a moment of calm.

• Feel Good Factor In 30 days is available to download or purchase through