Young women painting glassware

Wellbeing service events

Discover the workshops and events on offer to help with issues you might experience while at university

The Student Wellbeing Service provides a programme of events, workshops and courses expanding on our distinctive Learning Well approach. The focus is on learning and practising strategies to manage common issues and improve your wellbeing.

You can drop in to our weekly Wellbeing Cafe for friendly company and fun wellbeing activities, or attend the popular annual Feel Good Fest with hands-on activities and taster sessions for feeling good.

When you register with us we will work out a personalised support pathway that may include one or more of our workshops. Or you can just browse our full programme to book directly onto a course or workshop that suits you.

Taking time out for self-care and wellbeing is even more important during the pandemic, and our events programme is presented fully online to make it safer and more accessible for all.

Wellbeing Café 

The Wellbeing Café is an opportunity to connect with others in person and take time out to focus on fun and relaxing wellbeing activities with other students that have an interest in investing in their wellbeing. 

You can drop in just to listen to the talks or participate in the craft activities, and you can choose whether or not to join in with discussions, games or other activities. You can also access informal support, information, advice, and connect with our Student Wellbeing Service staff.


It’s a safe space to drop in, connect with other students, and enjoy some free refreshments. We are hoping to resume our weekly Wellbeing Café sessions in February 2023 - stay tuned. Until then, during Teaching Block 1 we are getting together once a month for our Wellbeing Café Walks. 

Drop-in monthly meet-ups - Wellbeing Café Walks 2022:

Wednesday 5 October 3.00pm - 4.30pm

Wednesday 2 November 3.00pm - 4.30pm

Wednesday 7 December 3.00pm - 4.30pm


To find out more email and follow us on Facebook for updates.

Workshops and courses

Our workshops and courses expand on our distinctive Learning Well approach through our flagship Be Your Own Best Friend and Compassionate Mind Training programme. All workshops include positive wellbeing skills, such as mindfulness and self-compassion. Many workshops target common student issues like sleep difficulties, procrastination, perfectionism, low mood or anxiety.

Our courses and workshops are run in small group sessions (online and in-person) and offer a chance to share and learn from others in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. You will not be asked to share personal information but will have the opportunity to develop strategies and implement them in your life.

How to book

Places are limited, so it's essential to book these courses and workshops in advance. Scroll down to see the latest dates and times for our courses and workshops. For some, you can click to book on through this website and for others you will need to email us to book.

If there isn't an option to 'book here' through the website, to book, please contact:

Tel: +44 (0)23 9284 3466

Student Wellbeing Service
The Bateson Centre
The Mary Rose St

Our wellbeing workshops and events

Explore our upcoming workshops and events.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all the courses, workshops and events dates and times.

Book now - register your interest below

TransMission is a supportive and relaxed space for transgender, non-binary, gender questioning and gender variant students to socialise together, make new friends and network. 

This group runs on the second Wednesday of the month (term-time only) and are in-person.


  • Wednesday 14 December 2022 from 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Teaching Block 2 dates and times TBC.

Please register your interest here and we will email you with more information and the venue. 

If you need to, please contact for an informal chat and more information about the TransMission group.

A space to move, to shake out unwanted thoughts and feelings, and restore balance.

"The fastest way to still the mind is to move the body" Gabrielle Roth. 

These in-person weekly workshops are a fun way for you to move to a wave of music, to let go of stress, anxiety and unhelpful thoughts. There are no dance steps to learn, just let your body naturally move in response to an energetic wave of great music which starts quietly, then builds in energy and volume before slowly coming into stillness. The music will guide you through the phases of sensing, grounding, expressing, releasing, connecting, and completing. 

Come and enjoy the relaxed and friendly environment. No expectations and no judgement. To ensure this remains a safe space, we ask that you do not use your phone during the session. 


  • Thursday 17 November 2022 from 4.00pm – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 24 November 2022 from 4.00pm – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 1 December 2022 from 4.00pm – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 8 December 2022 from 4.00pm – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 15 December 2022 from 4.00pm – 5.30pm


Room 1, Students' Union - First floor (accessible by elevator)

Cambridge Road, PO1 2EF

What if I don't like the music?

No problem, you can move in a way that expresses your dislike! 

What if I'm tired?

Then come and rest, many people begin by lying down and some stay there!

What if I can't dance?

This isn't about being able to dance, it's about moving authentically. And not all movements can be seen - some are tiny. 

Do I need to bring anything?

Bring some water, and make sure you are wearing something you can move in. Shoes are optional (the floor is carpeted). Bring your friends (UoP students only)!

"Dancing has healed many places for me that words couldn't reach" - These workshops are facilitated by Janine Kane (Counsellor and Movement Facilitator). If you have any questions, please feel free to get in contact with (please note I work on a Wednesday and Thursday only.) 

You can just drop in, or book here to join these weekly sessions. You only need to book once and are welcome to attend weekly. 


Mindfulness is an integrative, mind and body based approach that helps us change the way we think and feel about our experiences. In these sessions, we will also cover ways to regulate our mental state using breath and movement. 

We are in the process of setting up a series of practice sessions that include Mindfulness, stress reduction techniques, conversations around resilience, and other ways to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing. The group will meet weekly on a Wednesday (term-time only).

Please register your interest here and we will email you with dates, times, and the venue once we have confirmed these Mindfulness sessions.

If you need to, please contact for an informal chat and more information.


The surprising way that our minds work and how we can work with them, not against.

This is now an online Moodle resource for you to work through at a time that suits you. This Moodle resource offers an introduction to the concepts of the Compassionate Mind model. Armed with this understanding you will be able to benefit from its application in many areas of your life like building positive relationships (with others as well as yourself), increasing emotional resilience, and feeling more optimistic.

In this Moodle resource you will learn:

  • The 3-Systems Compassionate Mind model and how it can help make sense of your inner life
  • How developing compassion for yourself and others will improve relationships
  • Breathing exercises and visualisation techniques to help you manage your mind and be your best you
  • To develop your own compassionate mind toolkit
  • The benefits of taking part in the online compassionate mind training sessions

Coming soon - register your interest on this google form

The aim of these live Zoom sessions is to build on your understanding of the theory behind the Compassionate Mind model. This is a skills-based personal development course which will help you thrive personally and academically and help you build more positive relationships.

Understanding why it's good to replace counter-productive self-criticism with greater tolerance, kindness, and self-compassion will help you to realise what is really holding you back and support you in stepping out of the vicious cycle of self-judgement.

Week 1:

  • Improving relationships with others and learning how to be a better friend
  • Why we struggle with compassion

Week 2:

  • Using the concept of compassion to help deal with difficult and challenging situations in your life
  • Understanding the benefits of receiving help and compassion from others

Week 3:

  • Understanding the functions of self-criticism and self-judgement and how self-compassion can help you feel better about yourself
  • Creating and applying a personalised self-compassion toolkit to transform your relationship with yourself and others

It is essential to first work through the Be Your Own Best Friend Moodle resource before enrolling on to the Compassionate Mind Training course.

Participants will need to commit to attending all three Compassionate Mind Training sessions to benefit most, as each builds on the previous one, so do check your availability before signing up.

Understanding your values and developing a sense of purpose can help drive you towards more meaningful living and learning.

This workshop offers an introduction to the concepts of meaningfulness, personal values and sources of meaning. Equipped with this understanding and personal awareness, you'll be able to develop your own plan to move towards the things that are important in your life.

In this workshop, you'll:

  • Review the basics of how our minds work (using the Compassionate Mind: 3 systems model) and how values are relevant to our wellbeing
  • Identify your own values
  • Identify barriers that may prevent you from moving towards the things that are important in your life, and learn ways that you can overcome these barriers
  • Learn about the ‘person who you want to be’
  • Develop a plan for meaningful living in relation to your student experience

This workshop is to support students to regain a balance in their lives and take better care of themselves. Offering tried and tested strategies, this workshop is a practical and realistic support for common wellbeing and lifestyle issues.

In this workshop you'll learn:

  • How to find a balance and maintain good wellbeing
  • How this can help manage stress, low mood, anxiety and depression
  • Positive ways of coping
  • How to map your resources and build your resilience and confidence
  • Specific and tangible strategies that work

You'll also be supported in creating a personalised wellbeing plan for yourself so you can take away actionable tools and strategies to get you back on track.

Register your interest, here. We will email you once we have confirmed the dates and times.

Learn how to reclaim and restore your positivity.

This is a motivating, practical session for students who regularly experience low mood. Using the Compassionate Mind model, it's based on tried and tested ways of expanding our influence over our moods and is designed to help identify personal and effective mood lifting strategies.

In this workshop you'll learn:

  • How to better manage the ups and downs of life
  • Tools for boosting your mood and building your resilience
  • Strategies and ideas for reassessing your current coping mechanisms
  • The value of taking better care of yourself

Register your interest, here. We will email you once we have confirmed the dates and times.

Something is stopping you – come and learn how to stop it instead.

Procrastination is the avoidance of a task that needs to be done – postponing it until tomorrow what can be done today. If every time you sit down to do some work you find yourself diverting to something less important and repeatedly putting things off to the last minute, then this workshop could help.

Using the Compassionate Mind model, you will be better able to understand why you procrastinate and how adopting a more self-compassionate approach will enable you to be more productive.

In this workshop you'll learn:

  • Why we procrastinate and how we can change our procrastinating habits
  • How to become more efficient and use time productively
  • Well-proven tips and strategies to help improve motivation, planning, and organisation

Register your interest, here. We will email you once we have confirmed the dates and times.

Learn why good enough is actually good enough.

This workshop explores the paradox that perfectionist aspirations and behaviours can often result in poorer performance, high levels of anxiety, and an unrewarding lifestyle. Using the Compassionate Mind approach to increase our understanding of what drives perfectionism, you will find ways to develop less self-punishing strategies for success.

In this workshop you'll learn:

  • What perfectionism is and why it’s unhelpful
  • How to use self-compassion to become more productive
  • Well-proven tips and strategies to help get a better balance in life

Register your interest here. We will email you once we have confirmed the dates and times.

This workshop will introduce the idea that laughter can be used to help us cope with life’s challenges. Understanding your sense of humour and learning how to use it to your advantage will help you to soothe yourself when life serves you lemons.

In this workshop you'll:

  • Review the basics of how our minds work (using the Compassionate Mind: 3 systems model), and how being able to selfsoothe is relevant to our wellbeing
  • Learn the physical and psychological benefits of laughter
  • Learn about your own sense of humour, identify what makes you laugh, and how to use it to your advantage
  • Develop your own "laughter toolkit" to help you to enhance your student experience
  • LAUGH!

Register your interest, here. We will email you once we have confirmed the dates and times.

Expanding your learning and support

A key part of our Learning Well approach is about expanding your support network. We work closely with other parts of the University and encourage you to make full use of all the other study support options available to you. As part of your personalised pathway we may also support you to engage with services and programmes offered by some of our other partners.

More support

Talking Change is the free NHS talking therapies service for Portsmouth, offering evidence-based treatment (mainly cognitive behaviour therapy – CBT) for anxiety, depression, the impact of trauma and other common mental health difficulties.

Talking Change works closely with the Student Wellbeing Service, delivering CBT-based courses and workshops for students and also offering initial assessment appointments arranged by the Service.

You can also self-refer online or you can ask your GP to refer you. You do need to be registered with a Portsmouth GP in order to access Talking Change services.

The University is collaborating with the Solent Recovery College to offer both staff and students the opportunity to learn about recovery from mental health difficulties through a range of free courses and short sessions.

Taught in a classroom setting, students can learn practical skills for living with ongoing symptoms and learn how to get the best from mental health services in a safe and confidential space.

All of the sessions are designed in partnership between Solent Mind's Peer Trainers and staff from Solent NHS Trust, allowing those who have lived with mental health issues to share their experiences and skills supported by mental health professionals.

Courses offered include:

  • Life after lockdown
  • Understanding and Living with Anxiety
  • Understanding and Living with Depression
  • Understanding and Living with a Personality Disorder
  • Living with Bipolar
  • Understanding and Developing Mindfulness
  • Coping in a Crisis
  • Substance misuse and mental health
  • Writing your Recovery Narrative

Browse the Solent Recovery Centre's current courses.

The Students' Union Advice Service offers support and advice to students with respect to university policies and procedures, such as extenuating circumstances applications or with disciplinary procedures.

The service is independent from the University and all enquiries are dealt with in confidence. The team works closely with the University to resolve issues and ensure students are treated fairly, and works collaboratively with the Student Wellbeing Service to provide support and advocacy where students have experienced bullying, harassment, discrimination or violence. For more information, see the Students' Union website.

The Sort It Out service uses restorative practices to help students address harm and repair relationships after conflict.

Conflict resolution allows you to have difficult conversations in a safe environment with a trained impartial mediator. They will facilitate the discussion to help everyone involved to listen to each other and support you as you identify areas of commonality and difference.

The mediator will not solve the problem for you, instead they will help you to analyse the problem, decide what you want to achieve and come to a mutually agreed solution.

We work in partnership with Portsmouth Mediation Service and have trained Student Mediators offering the service as Peer Support. We are independent from the University.

Visit the Sort It Out website to see a short introductory video, find out how the service works, see examples of issues they work with, download a housemate agreement and send a contact request.

It's not just you

Would you like to be put in touch with other students with similar circumstances to you?

Sometimes it can really help to know others are facing similar challenges and to share thoughts and coping strategies. But it might be difficult to find them – and that’s where we’d like to help.

Friendly support groups

We bring together small groups of people who would like the opportunity to meet, share and support each other around a particular challenge or concern that they have in common.

Are you:

  • a student who is being affected by bereavement, whether recent or in the past?
  • a student who is the main carer for a family member?
  • a student who commutes to university from a distance, rather than living in Portsmouth?
  • a student who is estranged from their family?

Challenges like these could leave you feeling isolated when others on your course or who you live with don’t understand.

The important thing to realise is that you’re not alone and that maybe you have something to offer others who feel the same as you. For example, the students who attended our bereavement group said that it was really valuable to meet people with similar experiences and have that group support.

If this is something you think you’d like us to develop and provide, why not get in touch and tell us and we’ll see what we can do to help find others who feel like you. Contact us at and put ‘It’s not just me’ in the subject line.

Feel Good Fest

Every year students, staff, local artists and organisations gather at the University of Portsmouth Feel Good Fest – our free annual celebration of the things that help us feel good.

Just drop in, but leave yourself enough time to join in with all the fun and relaxing activities including a variety of crafts, performances and entertainment from student societies, free food tasting, hand or shoulder massages, activity taster sessions, giveaways and raffles.

Check out what we did for Feel Good Fest 2022 below and stay tuned for Feel Good Fest 2023 date release and more information!

Take Notice – Mindful photography workshop

Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Location: CCI Atrium

Keep Learning – Learn about the Library's resources and get creative making your very own affirmation journal

Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Location: Library Atrium

Connect – Food tasting, craft workshops, student society performances, Wellbeing Café and more

Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Location: Students' Union, Third Space



Be Active – Interactive activities for all levels

Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Location: St Paul's Gym

Give – Giving and getting advice from all the student support services (Students' Union, Careers, Finance and Wellbeing).

Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Location: Students' Union, Waterhole