Three tips for finding inner calm, with author Heather Brainerd (@HFBrainerd)

I’ve known American author Heather Brainerd ever since we had our first books published around the same time with the same publisher, and we’ve remained friends ever since. I hope to meet in real life some day. In the meantime, I’ve been lucky to get to know Heather as a guest on my blog before – one time was when she gave this delicious recipe for chocolate crinkles, which I made myself and I can vouch for their deliciousness.

It’s a great pleasure to welcome Heather back today on the re-release of the first in her Josie Cates Mysteries.

Welcome to Yorkshire, Heather! I’ve made another batch of your chocolate crinkles and a big pot of tea :)

Finding Inner Calm

By Heather Brainerd

These days, the world feels close to spinning out of control. So many people are struggling to find calm in the midst of chaotic events and uncertain times. If you need help, I urge you to reach out to the people in your life or the organizations that provide support.

If you simply could use a bit of a boost, I have a few suggestions.

helena fairfax, freelance editor

Get outside

Fresh air, sunlight, and the sights and sounds of nature can do wonders to boost your mood. I enjoy taking my 13-year-old “puppy” on daily walks. We both feel more calm afterward.


There are many different forms of mindfulness and meditation. The benefits – both physical and emotional – have been shown in a plethora of scientific studies. Even just five minutes a day can make a difference. For more tips and free guided meditations, visit me at Calluna Wellness.

Read a book

I find that light, fun reading is called for these days. It’s a lovely distraction and helps me find inner calm. Helena Fairfax has many books that provide a lighthearted escape, and I recommend them all! With the help of Helena’s editing skills, I’ve recently dusted off my old mystery series and given it a metaphysical twist. The first book is out now on Kindle and coming soon in paperback. Books two and three to follow!

Wishing you all the best, my friends. We’ll get through this together.


Thanks so much, Heather, and wishing you all the best, too. I love your calm meditation photo, and I totally agree with your three tips!

Here is the blurb to The Energy Eater, the first in the Josie Cates Mysteries, which was written by Heather and her brother David, and published under the name Heather David.

I very much enjoyed editing this book and spending time with wise-cracking Josie, P.I.

Business is dead slow for new private detective Josie Cates. As her bank account dwindles, her first big client finally walks in the door. Chef Marco hires Josie to find out who’s skimming money from his restaurant. It doesn’t take her long to discover that things at Bistro Italiano aren’t what they seem. Secrets cling to Chef Marco like spattered marinara. While following the clues, Josie is drawn into an unexpected metaphysical adventure…

The Energy Eater is available on Amazon.

And you can find Heather at Calluna Wellness on Facebook and on Instagram @moana_fett


It’s been great having Heather back on the blog. I hope you found her post useful. If you’ve found recent times difficult, or if you have any tips of your own on finding and keeping your inner calm, please do drop in and let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

20 thoughts on “Three tips for finding inner calm, with author Heather Brainerd (@HFBrainerd)

    1. I feel your stress, James! Try Heather’s idea of just five minutes’ meditation every day. I think there are a few apps you can download to help. Best of luck with the move. Hope you’re soon in a more relaxed frame of mind!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wonderful post, Heather. Thank you for your meditations.

    I loved your and David’s Josie Cates series the first time around. I know I’ll enjoy these.
    Best Wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the character of Josie Cates, Susan. She’s funny and strong, with just the right amount of vulnerable. It was a pleasure revisiting these books. Thanks so much for dropping in, and for taking the time to comment x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey, Helena and good to see you again, Heather. Yes. Inner calm is hard to come by now. You have reminded me I’ve fallen behind in meditation. I’m recommitting to it right now. It doesn’t have to be for long. Sure makes a difference in my blood pressure. Not doing much outside walking these days. Way too hot in Texas, but it’s been bearable early in the morning and late evening so our pup gets his walk. Good luck with the re-release. Excited for you. I’ve shared. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dog really struggles with the heat, too, Marsha. Last year we had the hottest day ever recorded in the UK. We’re just not used to it here, and houses aren’t built with air con. I had to run a fan by her basket all night, as she was panting. I can feel for you and your pup. I hope things soon cool down for you.
      Thanks so much for dropping in, and for taking the time to comment.


  3. Put on the kettle. I coming over to join you with tea and crinkles. YUM! Congrats on your new project. I love Josie too! I have to do a lot of talking to myself to get up and get focused during this COVID crisis. Meditation/prayers is helpful to find the strength to get through tough these times. Thank you for the tips. Wishing you great success with the book series and Calluna Wellness!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots of people have recommended meditation to me, Janet. I really do think it’s a powerful way to deal with many of life’s problems. Like you, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stay positive. What a year it’s been! But reading books like Heather’s have also helped. Josie and her friends took my mind off things and put a smile on my face!
    Thanks very much for dropping in. Hope you enjoyed the crinkles! :)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The crinkles look great, but would that recipe work with gluten free flour and soy(a) free chocolate ? No weight problems, but the latest stress inducing rules, statements from in high, and immediate counter-statements would make eating at any bistro, even delightfully Italian, too stressful.
    As for romance… Thinking positive, or trying hard, I remind myself, often, that I once met a tall dark Viking, 1,00 feet up a mountain, in a thunderstorm, at about 1. a.m.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good question about the crinkles. Heather mentioned in her recipe post that her son had recently been diagnosed with celiac disease and she was working on a gluten-free version. (I hope you had some success, Heather.)
      I’m sorry to hear about your stress-induced problems, too, and I completely sympathise. I think this virus is going to leave an aftermath of many other problems that have yet to see the light. I already take Heather’s advice on board and it does help. At least it’s summer here, so getting out is actually a pleasure. I hope you can manage to find some solace in the outdoors, too.
      And I love the tall dark Viking! That’s amazing. I do hope you work that into a story. I’m really intrigued!
      Thanks very much for dropping in and all the very best. Your Viking tale has cheered me up :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use Cup 4 Cup brand flour to make gluten free crinkles, and it works perfectly! If you have a chocolate substitute that works for other cookie recipes, it would likely work here, too. If you give it a try, please let me know how it works out! And yes, aside from take-out, we haven’t been to restaurants lately. I agree that it’s too stressful. But that’s part of the escapism of fiction that we can all use right about now :)

        Liked by 1 person

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