Reviewed by Emma Wasson
The Feel Good Friends Feel Good Journeys CD is a relaxation CD with four separate magical journeys which each benefit children in a different way.
Inside the front of the CD case there is a small leaflet, this has been printed on good quality paper with bright colourful pictures of the 4 Feel Good Friends and a short explanation of each journey you can take with each Friend. My children enjoyed looking through the leaflet and matching each Feel Good Friend with their journey.
The back cover of the CD lists the contents, which consists of a short introduction and 4 journeys. There is also a short synopsis of what the CD is intending to achieve.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the CD, but was keen to put my children’s imaginations to the test, and intrigued to see if they would try out the breathing techniques.
The CD is narrated by a man with a calm and confident voice who instructs the children to sit in a relaxed position and to take deep breaths to relax the mind and body. This breathing exercise is repeated at the start of each of the journeys to help the children relax. My children, 5 and 7 were not quite sure what to make of this. I think my elder daughter was quite sceptical and couldn’t understand why she had to complete breathing exercises, however my younger son was more willing to give them a go.
Each journey is narrated by the same gentleman and during the story one of the Feel Good Friends of which there are 4, introduces themselves.
The stories that the Friends take you on are lovely. Each brings the listeners’ imagination into play using good descriptive language by setting the scene. It then invites the listener to join the Feel Good Friends on their adventure, whether this be on a boat, building a tree house, or floating on a rainbow. Throughout it uses positive language to convey a positive message to the children. Music plays a huge part of this as throughout the journeys it helps children visualise scenes, for example the sound of waves lapping on a shoreline are played when Pippin was in his boat, and bird calls are used in various parts when animals are described in the forest. However it also plays soothing and calming sounds to help them relax and sparks their imagination to enable them to build up a picture in their own minds.
Towards the end of each journey each Feel Good Friend asks the listener to repeat a series of words after them, which reinforce the positive underlying message told in the story, e.g. I am strong, I am confident. My daughter repeated all the words, quietly at first until her confidence grew and she became more familiar with the pattern of the journeys.
It does ask the children to close their eyes, which my children didn’t do, however my daughter told me her imagination flowed with her eyes open, and if she shut them she would fall asleep. Both my children said their favourite journey was Betty’s magic star, but for different reasons. My daughter
wanted her own magical wishes and my son wanted to float into the sky and travel the universe, and they did both say they would like to listen to the stories again.
I really like the idea that the CD is trying to promote, which is to instil positive beliefs in children, to encourage their imaginations and aid relaxation. Sometimes it is quite difficult to get children to sit quietly with all the modern day distractions that are on offer today. I’m not convinced that all children will try the breathing exercises but if you can get your children to sit still for 5 minutes these stories are lovely to listen to, and will help your children relax whilst using their imagination.
The product retails for around £12.99, which I feel is a little expensive as the whole CD only lasts 10 minutes. However that said it can be used time and time again, and doesn’t need to take up much time out of your day to use effectively, so I would recommend this product to others.
Available to buy from Feel Good Friends here.