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10 Wonderush activities which are also Pokestops

Pokemon Go has been taking the world by storm, and it’s- Sorry, hold on. Just catching a Jigglypuff. OK. Carry on. Like we were saying, Pokemon Go has been taking the world by storm, and it’s become a bit of a craze at Wonderush HQ. We’re constantly in need of our nearby Pokestops so we can replace all the Pokeballs we waste on the huge number of Drowzees that seem to be resident in our office. But when we’re out and about of an evening it’s also useful to know if we’re going to be able to stock up on the necessaries. So, we put together a list of the Pokestops we can find at Wonderush activities. It’s always good to know where your next poke-goodies are coming from, after all.

Wonderush Pokestops #1: Urban Coterie

Yoga with a view

There doesn’t seem to be a pokestop directly in Urban Coterie, but there are definitely some great ones just outside. And what better way to make an awesome morning than picking up some essentials before and after a great early-morning yoga session with included breakfast?

Wonderush Pokestops #2: The Good Ship

Comedy Club

Everybody likes a laugh, and TheGood Ship has some of the best comedians in the country. It’s an awesome venue with a great atmosphere, and now comes with added pokeballs. What could be better?

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Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Music, Popular, Things To Do, Travel, Try Something New

5 Ways to kick start festival season

Festival season (By which, let’s be honest, we basically mean ‘Summer’) is nearly upon us. It’s a few glorious months of fields, camping, music, mud, and floral wellies. With tickets getting booked up super-early in some cases, it can be hard to contain the excitement when you know you’re going, and after a while it stops being enough to simply spend every day at work shopping for fringed waistcoats and denim shorts on ASOS. Luckily, we have a few ideas for place you can go to kick off festival season sooner rather than later.

Campfire Club

Nothing says ‘it’s nearly festival season’ quite like sitting outside listening to acoustic music by the light of a campfire. The fact that the weather is, all of sudden, warm enough to make events like this possible; and that the whole thing takes place in a secret location is just icing on the festival-esque cake.

Festival Headbands

If you’re going to a festival or seven this summer you’re bound to run into someone wearing the exact same flower crown as you. After all, there are only so many designs in Accessorize. But instead of buying one, how about making one yourself? You can also wear it to the office to really show off your crafty credentials.

Thom Foole’s House Party

Thom Foole’s House Party has been booked for appearances up and down the country this festival season. It features character comedy, music, games, and all-around debauchery. However, if you’re not destined to cross paths with them at some point in the Summer they’ll be in London, and you should be too.

Festival of The Spoken Nerd

A festival season double whammy (in that they are performing at several festivals this Summer and also have ‘Festival’ in their name), Festival of The Spoken Nerd mix science and comedy brilliantly. Their shows are perfect for graph fans, or indeed anyone who likes their comedy a bit more interesting than usual.

Swing Patrol

Swing Patrol will be celebrating festival season at Wilderness in Oxfordshire (as well as holding the London Swing Festival this weekend). They’ll also be able to teach you some awesome new moves that you can take away and use at every festival you attend. That is, provided your wellies don’t get stuck in the mud, of course.

So, are you excited about festival season? If you’re heading to loads of them this Summer we hope you have a fantastic time. If you’re not, you’re in luck. With a Wonderush Unlimited membership you’ll still be able to get out and about and doing awesome stuff all season anyway.

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10 Songs you should definitely sing at Nineties Karaoke

Our friends at Hot Since 91 have had an awesome idea. Everyone likes karaoke, and most people who are old enough to be in a bar can remember the nineties. So why not combine the two. “But music in the nineties was terrible!” We hear you cry. Actually, no. We respectfully disagree. Music in the nineties was great. And the small subsection that was really bad was so bad it went all the way around and came back to being good again. So put on all of your nineties normcore finery, and meet us in Highbury. Maybe you’ll want to sing one of these classics. You’ll have to get in line.

Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back

Start as you mean to go on: With a total classic. Nothing gets a person respect faster than knowing all the words to this, and not needing a karaoke screen to help. We are obviously basing this on experience.

Fugees – Killing Me Softly

An opportunity to show off for all of the good singers in the audience. An opportunity to have our very own ‘About A Boy‘ moment for the rest of us. But definitely a karaoke regular even when it’s not nineties-specfic.

Leann Rimes – How Do I Live

A song that smacks slightly of desperation but in a good way. Possibly one to steer clear of on a first date, but otherwise a great opportunity for some, what we’d call, passionate gesticulation. Steady now.

NSync – Tearin’ Up My Heart

We’re willing to bet that this is the song everyone hears and says ‘No. This was not in the nineties. I remember this being on the radio!” To those people, we say “Look at Justin Timberlake’s hair in the video. Of course it was.”

S Club 7 – S Club Party

If you’re on stage and want the crowd to join in, this should make it happen. It’s just unfortunate that S Club’s seminal 40th birthday party classic ‘Reach’ was too late for the nineties. But this’ll do the job just as well. And it really gives you the chance to show off your ‘mid-air-S’ drawing skills.

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8 Reasons singing is awesome

Singing is awesome. There’s a reason all the Disney princesses do it so much before they get rich and their lives drastically improve. It’s just fun. Whether you’re a strictly shower-based singer, or you like to branch out a bit, we’re sure that at some point or another you’ve realised the power of a really good sing-song. And it’s not just our opinion. There are proper scientific facts to back all of this up. We’re not doctors, but we still thought we’d give a summary of some of the benefits singing can bring:

It raises your oxytocin and endorphin levels

Without going into too much detail (because of the aforementioned fact that we are not doctors) endorphins and oxytocin are chemicals that make you feel good. Endorphins are responsible for the runner’s high, and Oxytocin is often referred to as ‘the love hormone’ – both sound very promising, and both are things that you want more of.

It can improve your sleep

One of the great things out our good friends endorphins and oxytocin is that they can help you to get to sleep easier at night, which is something we can definitely get on board with.

It improves your mental alertness

There’s a bit of a chain reaction happening here. Basically, good chemicals = sleep = mental alertness. There’s also the much more immediate fact that when you’re singing, and especially in a group, you have to keep track of exactly where you are in the song, which helps to hone your ability to pay attention.

Your posture gets better

Remember when, as a kid, you’d be learning a song in school for an assembly or something equally boring, and then the teacher would tell you to stand up, and then you’d complain, but then it would sound a million times better? Posture is key when singing, and once you start focussing on it, the improvements can last for ages afterwards.

It helps with lung function

There are loads of lung-based benefits that go hand-in-hand with singing. For a start, your aerobic capacity (which is pretty important for silly little things like being able to breathe) improves, and your intercostal muscles and diaphragm get a workout. It’s not going to make you super-hench any time soon, but those are muscles that you definitely need in tip-top condition.

It can clear a cold

While your lungs are getting a workout your sinuses and respiratory tubes are as well. It’s definitely a thing. It’s just that it’s not the kind of thing you’d particularly notice unless there was something wrong with them already. There’s nothing like a few sound waves to vibrate gunk out of a blocked sinus. Disgusting, but true.

It improves your self-esteem and confidence

You don’t have to be a good singer to feel good about yourself. Just the act of singing, and doing all of the good stuff for yourself that we’ve already mentioned, can do wonders for the self-esteem. And if you’re feeling more outgoing, it can feel fantastic to stand up in front of people and sing. It doesn’t come from the quality of the singing, it’s simply the act of doing the thing. A very cheap high.

It’s just fun!

We’ve listed some very good reasons to get singing but, at the end of the day, nobody would bother if it wasn’t fun. You might like singing on your own in the shower, and that’s fine. The other option is getting together with a group, having a laugh, and meeting new people. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of working in (literal) harmony with other people who all love the same thing.

And on that cheesy note, we’ll just casually remind you that if you want to find somewhere to go singing we can totally help you out. Or, more accurately, the lovely folks at The Bridge Choir, The Petting Zoo, and Gospeloke can help you out. Get singing and thank us later!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Music, Things To Do, Try Something New

6 Things you could try when you have a song in your head

Sometimes in life, you have a song stuck in your head and singing in the shower just isn’t enough. You could do it at work, but unless you’re actually Taylor Swift we suspect you’d be hauled in front of HR pretty quickly. You could do it on the tube, but it’s probably only a matter of time before peoples’ commute-based stress boils over into a full-on lynching. You could do it walking around the streets, but you risk being mistaken for a busker and having change thrown at you. So where else can you go? The only way to get a song out of your head once it’s in there is to exorcise it. Well. We have some ideas.


Gospeloke

GospelokeYou know that feeling when you’re giving it your all on stage, belting out a brilliant song, and then the gospel choir joins in, and everything is just magical? No. We don’t either. But the good news is that we soon could, thanks to the geniuses behind Gospeloke, who’ve put together an event where everyone can experience what it feels like to be a musical superstar.


Karaoke Rumble

Karaoke Rumble betterIf you’re feeling slightly more confident about your superstar potential, Karoke Rumble might be just the thing for you. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sing for two minutes. Pretty simple, right? Wrong. If the audience (or indeed the host) feel like it, they can boo you off the stage. And now that we’ve made the whole thing sound very scary, we’ll also point out that it’s a super-fun night.


Eureka Live

EurekaIf you’re a more serious ‘musician’ type, you might like the option of getting up on stage and performing a song without backup from rogue choirs or raucous booing. And you’re perfectly entitled to your preferences, which is why we’d like to suggest that Eureka Live might be just the event for you. It’s also good for those who simply want to listen to people do their thing.


Learn to Uke

UkuleleIf your musical ability isn’t quite what you were aiming for, and feel like you could do with an instrument to take you to the next level we fully have you covered. The ukulele is a pretty easy instrument to learn, and there’s nothing like the feeling that next time you see all of your friends you have all of the facilities to lead them in a spontaneous-and-really-cool singsong. It doesn’t matter that you probably won’t, because you’ll know that you could.


Musical Bingo

Musical BingoSometimes you don’t so much want to show off your talents as your mastery of music-based general knowledge and ability to know the actual names of well-known tunes. Musical bingo is the perfect place. They’ll play medleys of tunes, and you just have to mark off each song that appears on your card. It’s a bit like a night down at the bingo hall, but most people have drier underwear and a better sense of humour.


Notting Hill Unplugged

nicola emanuelleIf you’d rather just sit and enjoy a song or several while someone else does all the work, acoustic performances like those at Notting Hill unplugged are just what the doctor (what? A musical doctor is totally a thing) ordered. With great artists like Nicola Emanuelle and Georgia Van Etten, there’ll be something to please even the most discerning music fan.

If music isn’t your thing we have loads of other activities available, so don’t forget to check out the Wonderush Marketplace. If you’d rather try a whole load of cool stuff every month, don’t forget to check out Wonderush Unlimited!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Music, Popular, Things To Do, Try Something New

Anatomy of a #HappyYouYear: Autumn

We went off on one a couple of weeks ago about how we kind of resent New Years resolutions and are choosing instead to make 2016 a Happy You Year. Of course, it’s very easy to spout inspirational pep talks like that, but it’s hard to imagine what a Happy You Year might really look like. Well, not any more, folks. Community Manager Nicola is here. In the last couple of weeks she’s given us examples of what a Happy You Spring and a Happy You Summer might involve, and today she is imagining how a Happy You Autumn might look:

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Peopple with their umbrellas up as seen through rainy window
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7 Uplifting Activities For Times When You Need That

November can be kind of rubbish. In fact, winter in general can. It’s grey, it’s probably raining (or, god forbid, snowing),  it’s cold, and you often can’t walk from point A to point B without being hit by wet umbrellas every ten paces. Add to that the fact that nobody else seems to be in a  good mood either, and, well, things start to look pretty bleak. That’s why we’ve made a list of seven suggestions of uplifting activities you might like to try. We can’t guarantee that they’ll work for everybody, but it could be better than nothing.

1. African Drumming

Uplifting African drumming classNow hear us out. While a room full of people making a lot of noise doesn’t immediately sound like it’d be uplifting, this is a room full of some very cheerful people. There’s a certain amount of teamwork that goes into the whole thing that really makes you feel part of something cool. While you make an effort to keep time with everybody’s rhythm you’re left with very little brain space to think about other things. Plus, if you’re feeling annoyed all you have to do is bash that drum just a little bit harder. Everyone’s a winner.

2. Yoga

Uplifting ashtanga yoga classWe have all kinds of yoga classes to suit all tastes, whether you want to sweat out your problems, experience anti-gravity for a little while, or take it more gently. Yoga is renowned for making people feel calmer. It emphasises breathing techniques and focus on posture which, if you’re anything like us and slightly erratic, leaves little room for thoughts about anything else. Plus there’re all of these other thoughts that tend to invade your brain at inopportune moments, pushing out the bad mood.

3. Boxfit (or anything else where you get to punch things)

Uplifting boxfit classIt could be boxfit. It could also be a martial art, or a long walk in a rough neighbourhood. Although actually, we categorically do not recommend the last one. But there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be gained at the end of a rough day by really letting loose and hitting something (or someone who is wearing pads) repeatedly. Boxfit is the acceptable face of that. The heart rate increase doesn’t hurt either, and the endorphin rush afterwards is an added bonus.

4. Meditation

Uplifting meditation ClassIt almost goes without saying, really, but meditation is a great way to calm down and refocus your energy when you need a lift. While focussing on your breathing and your surroundings sometimes feels like the most difficult thing in the world, it can be surprising how easy it is to get into the swing of things. Not that there is a swinging element to meditation. If there is you might find you’re in the wrong class.

5. Music

Uplifting jazz clubWhether you’re the kind of person who listens to music that enhances your feelings or whether you try to use music to change them, it’s a great way to cheer yourself up. We could even take that further and suggest you try learning an instrument (more on creative pursuits later) or getting all of your feelings down on paper by writing a song. There are all kinds of music-based activities out there, whether you’re looking to create or simply to listen, and it could be just the thing.

6. Comedy

Audience at an uplifting comedy clubThe need for laughter is something that runs deep in human nature. It’s a genuine, evolutionary thing. It makes us feel connected to those around us, and release endorphins like nobody’s business (#science). Sometimes, after a crap day, the best solution is simple: Call a few mates, get a few drinks in, and have a laugh. The one thing that can really help with that whole ‘laugh’ part is a trip to a comedy club. They’re dotted all over London, and you never know what amazing acts you’ll get to see.

7. Anything creative

Wax crayons mounted on a board and melted down with a hairdryer to look upliftingWe touched on this when we talked about music, but sometimes the best solution is just not to think about whatever it is that’s bothering you. (we’re not advocating ignoring your problems, but nor are we actual professionals in this field, so here we are.) It’s very difficult to do that if you have nothing else to occupy you, and that’s where creative activities come in. Whether you’re putting your energy into something crafty, something arty, something writing-y, or something else, it’s nice to take your mind off things.

If we’ve tickled your fancy with any of these, or if there’s something else you’re looking to try, you’re welcome to hit the ‘browse’ button in the top corner and have a look at everything we have going on. Don’t forget – if there’s something you particularly want to try but you can’t see, you’re welcome to get in touch and let us know. We love suggestions.