Find a Companion for Life in Jill Rakusen’s book for Challenging Times

News provided by National Foundation for Giving Voice on Wednesday 14th Jun 2023

June 2023 — (Leeds) — Jill Rakusen, co-author of the classic 'Our Bodies Ourselves', and co-founder of the National Foundation for Giving Voice, has pioneered creative approaches to health and wellbeing for much of her working life. Then, after developing post-viral fatigue syndrome, she was astonished to discover a new, and transformational relationship with music. It involves song, yet it doesn't necessarily involve singing a note! As she began to share her discoveries with others, many started to experience similar benefits.

Now she’s produced a guide to this unique approach: ‘Unlocking the Power of Song: A Companion for Challenging Times’. This deeply companionable book shows how others can make use of her discoveries in day-to-day life, no matter what their prior relationship with music – if any.

The book is inspiring and beautiful. As a reader says, “Every time I pick it up it falls open at a page that speaks to me … It’s a safe haven, to rest in. I feel more open to new ways of being. It's an amazing book!” Another reader comments,I am amazed at how, more than any other book I have ever seen anywhere, it is bursting with love, care and support … it’s a truly holistic tool.” Meanwhile, a mental health activist and former president of Mental Health Europe, exclaimed,“This book means so much to me … it is already helping me to heal, and more. It’s wonderful. A masterpiece!”

A self-directed resource for life, the book can help in many different ways, eg to:

    • become better at nurturing and cherishing (self or others), particularly if feeling isolated and/or dealing with chronic illness, including long-COVID
    • strengthen the reader’s capacity to rise to personal and global challenges
    • facilitate meaningful change in their lives and thus in the world around them

Jill shares how the challenging experience of illness and disability led to her discoveries about what song could offer, even when completely isolated, and often without making any sounds: “As my life shrank to my four walls – and often to the size of my bed – a deep need was prompted in me, which is what led to my discoveries. The most profound ones occurred in silence. As I developed it, curiously, and perhaps paradoxically, this approach came to be known as ‘Giving Voice’”.

Her method is quite different from other approaches involving song: it can be used at any time, it’s not dependant on anyone else, nor is it like singing in a group or choir, or even how most people listen to someone else’s singing; and its most profound impact tends to occur when not singing at all.

About the author Jill Rakusen, described as an ‘enabler extraordinaire’, originally trained as a musician (with several instrumental teaching and performing diplomas, plus an academic degree in music). She then became deeply involved in the promotion of health – in its widest sense – working for various NHS bodies, local and national, and running events for a wide range of other organisations nationwide. Her previous books include the classic ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’, the UK editions of which she is co-author. She loves singing, both aloud and in silence. Jill is available for interview - see contact details below.
About the publisher The National Foundation for Giving Voice is an educational charity that aims to illuminate the relationship between music and health and wellbeing. This is largely addressed through promoting the Giving Voice approach that this book is about. The publisher is offering all book purchasers an online ‘taster’ of how they can use the book, which they can then build on in the months and years to come.
Obtaining copies
ISBN: 978-1-9196405-0-1
Imprint: National Foundation for Giving Voice Date Published: 2022 (initial launch to those familiar with the work); June 2023 (launch to wider public)
Format: Paperback
Copies can be obtained directly from the Foundation, at a cost of £25 (incl UK P&P), with concessions available for those in difficult circumstances. Please visit:
Contact details Email: 
Phone number: +44 (0)113 289 3108
For more information, visit the National Foundation for Giving Voice website:

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of National Foundation for Giving Voice, on Wednesday 14 June, 2023. For more information subscribe and follow

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Find a Companion for Life in Jill Rakusen’s book for Challenging Times

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