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Life Lessons

Life Lessons | A thought-led wellbeing festival at Barbican

Life lessons generally come in two forms:

1) Scary & painful.

2) As a festival taking place at the Barbican this month.

And trust us when we say, if you miss out on the latter, you’ll likely get the former. Because this particular festival is going to have some of the country’s finest minds doing their damnedest to make you happier, healthier, and basically make sure you live up to all your better hashtags.

As we mentioned, it’s all happening at The Barbican, which it’ll take over for a weekend stuffed with talks, debates, classes, activities, workshops, podcasts, and all kinds of other goodness. The ice cream in this sundae is obviously the lineup of speakers, so we’ll start there. You can expect 40 talks (!) in total, including:

ADAM KAY – the author of This Is Going To Hurt will be there “in his most sarcastic fashion” to advise you on the mental health lessons behind the New Year’s resolutions you’re going to make, break, and regret.

DERREN BROWN – the famed mentalist will be talking about the philosophy of being happy. Or is he… yes, he probably is.

RUBY WAX – everyone’s favourite mental health advocate will be joined onstage by a monk and a neuroscientist to discuss the questions of how the mind works, and where everything that makes us ‘us’ can be found in the brain.

BILL BRYSON – in his keynote, Bryson will be discussing the human body, our misconceptions of it, and asks “whether being knowledgeable is the start of being healthy”.

RICHARD DAWKINS – The evolutionary biologist will be joined onstage by the Reverend Richard Coles (we estimate an 80% chance of fireworks) to discuss happiness, with or without god.

LILY COLE – the former model will be making the case for climate optimism, having explored the issue with the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Elon Musk, Sir Paul McCartney, and more.

Barbican Conservatory date ideas

And that’s all dipping just a mere toe in the intellectually stimulating water that floods this festival. The dozens of other speakers will include chefs, doctors, sleep specialists, comedians, and a former submarine commander.

And then there are the other activities. You know, like the spa. Or the live podcasts. Or the yoga lessons. Or the guided meditation (in the jungle that is the Barbican Conservatory). Or the ‘living library’, where you can learn directly about a topic by talking to someone who’s experienced it, or give some insights of your own.

Basically, there’s way too much going on to talk about it all here, and we’ve probably bitten off more than we can chew by even trying…

…maybe there’s a lesson in there?


NOTE: Life Lessons will take place from 15th-16th February 2020 at the Barbican Centre. Each ticket includes access to everything plus a book of your choosing from one of the speakers – and you can get them right HERE.

Barbican Centre | Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS

Keen patron of the arts? Check out our guide to what’s on in London’s art galleries right now.

Life Lessons

Silk Street, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS
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