When I launched my blog back in June, health and well-being was one of the subjects I aimed to include in my content hit list. I have skirted around the topic in various ways - such as talking about my Race For Life experience as I fundraised for Cancer Research - now I have been given the opportunity to delve headfirst into the topic once again - this time with a magazine review.
I have read Psychologies Magazine a few times in the past - so I am coming at this review with a little general knowledge, although I don't have too much to compare their new look magazine to. I remember a feature from a well known face on 'not being ashamed to be a pop fan' that I related to, and a general sense of inspiring content.
On the letters page the editor claims to be bringing readers "new sections, new look, and new experts." This is where I was a bit disappointed, as I was expecting something obviously different, but the December 2013 issue still has the same glossy front cover etc, and for me anyway I don't think new experts really count towards a re-launch - perhaps that's my writers brain being used to magazines changing contributors regularly.
A slightly disappointing re-jig on first impressions, but I have noticed a shift towards more photo led features, which in terms of topics like travel and beauty is always a winner for me. What I enjoyed was the features I didn't expect - Julia Roberts for example clearly has a film to promote, but I wasn't expecting her to appear in Psychologies doing it, and I also enjoyed the history of glamour piece - something different from the normal look books or product suggestions. With a good number of activities enhancing well-being, I was happy to see baking recipes including (I want to make a cake now!) although the baking section did look a bit lonely on it's own, so I hope there are more activities mentioned in forth-coming issues.
I think my absolute favourite piece was the wintery travel suggestions. There's something very festive and revitalising in their ideas, all of which I've never thought of before. Other high points include the relevant advertising, an international flavour to the contributors, and the Cold Comforts feature on how to deal with pesky winter bugs. A good quiz is always a fun way to pass the time as well.
Bad points - If you can call them bad - I'd say some features were a little too short, like linking the make your own light feature to Diwali, and as a photography fan, I would have liked to see more photo competition entries on the letters page. I wouldn't buy a magazine like this for features on sexuality or casual sex either. They are not topics that interest me, and I think it's just a high end way of dealing with subjects common in lifestyle magazines.
So Psychologies has changed, in some ways for the better, in other ways perhaps not so much. The tone was a little over formal in places, and felt a bit too much like classroom psycho analysis. I think you can be intelligent and interesting but fun as well. I missed a little of the fun, but they have re-launched with relevance.
It will be interesting to see what they have planned for forthcoming editions. If you are curious about the December 2013 edition, or want to find out more about the magazine, check it out here.
*This magazine was sent for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.