Phoenix Well Being

Our mental well being influences everything in our lives - how we think, how we feel and what we do. It affects our daily lives, our relationships and our work. Many of us feel uncomfortable talking about it. Talking means that you are taking the first steps to being in control and feeling a little better. At Stevenage Phoenix running club we can help with that first step.

The club have a Well-being Champion, Colette Cooper, who is there to help you to take the first step on your wellness journey. She can provide guidance, support and most importantly a confidential and empathetic ear.  Please don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to Colette during or after a run or via  via messenger. 

Meet our Well-being Champion, Colette Cooper

As a busy mother of two, who works full time, I know more than most the pressure life can put on us to "do it all". Whilst we strive to do our best, and show that we are coping with life, we experience daily a feeling of overwhelm, stress, pressure and sadly poor mental health as a result of a busy lifestyle.

The pressure to exercise can be seen to be an extra thing we do. I "must" get out for a run, or I "should" get to the gym. But we need to change our narrative around this mindset. In order to do this it's important to strip everything back and focus on what exercise can give us, both physically and mentally. In my opinion, it's ESSENTIAL for our mental health.

Being the Mental Well-being Champion for Phoenix Running Club is more than just a title. It's promoting the benefits of exercise overall for mental health and ensuring people who are in the club, and those who are interested in joining are well informed in all aspects.

Running in particular replicates the process by which we are told to deal with the daily stress of life: Just put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Talk to anyone in our running community, and they will tell you that the mental benefits of running far outweigh any physical. The physical benefits come as a by-product.

My passion for mental health awareness started many years ago when working as a Personal Trainer. I witnessed on an hourly basis the transformation of the mindset of many of my clients from just an hour of exercise. Often using the session as a stress release and living off the exercise high for many days afterwards. Qualifying as a mental health First Aider last year has supercharged my passion for using exercise as a vessel to improve our mental health, especially at a community level. I have a growing interest in Neurodiversity and truly believe that those of us with these superpowers should be celebrated and encouraged to use them for the good of our friends, family and community.

I have lived in Stevenage for nearly 20 years and have run around the town for most of these years. I joined Phoenix Running Club in February 2023 after missing the accountability aspect of a group and of course the structured training provided by the club.

Please don’t suffer in silence. If you are struggling with your mental well-being please get in touch with me. You could do this during or after a run or message me directly. My DMs are always open! 

If you are thinking about starting running, have run in the past and want to get back into it, or are just intrigued about the benefits of joining a fun, friendly and FREE running club, please get in touch. My DM's are always open!

5 top tips to optimise your mental health this Christmas 


For some, Christmas can be the most amazing time of year. For others, it’s a real struggle.

How you come into the Christmas season will be your own personal journey. As always, keeping up your exercise (running) routine can really help, but in times where routine goes out the window, this can be tough.

With this in mind, here are some simple hacks for keeping your mind healthy this season:

1. Don’t feel under pressure

There will be lots of talk around indulgences, eating lots and relaxing. Whilst this is fine, this may be something that you are not actually comfortable with. 

For example, despite it being everywhere and it being offered to me, I don’t drink alcohol. That doesn’t change regardless of the time of the year. Hold true to your values. If you still want to eat “well” and not drink, then do it. If you want to go to to the gym or get miles in over the Christmas period then go for it. Don’t let the peer pressure of indulgence ruin what makes you feel good.

2. Do good

It’s the season for giving. And gifts come in many packages. Remember it’s not about the amount of presents, it’s the value of PRESENCE.  Have a think about where you can spend your time to do good. This doesn’t have to be a lot. A visit to an elderly neighbour, offer of childcare to stressed out parents, or a walk (run!) with a friend for a chat to decompress. Phoenix Running Club is associated with Knebworth Foodbank and most of our members are on a rota to help out all year round. If you are interested in helping it would be most welcome. Please contact us via the website and we will put you in touch!

3. If you are struggling, TALK

Please do not suffer in silence. If you are finding this time of year a struggle financially, emotionally or generally stressful please reach out to those around you who care.

As a running community, we know the value of combining exercise with mental health. We may come across as running for every occasion; but actually it’s just about moving. If you move, with a friend and talk, this can have immense benefits. If you feel this goes beyond a chat with your community or a friend, please reach out to;

MIND in Hertfordshire


4. Take the break you deserve

If you are in a job where a break is possible, take the break!

We are in an age where we are accessible in many ways. Our devices are never far away from us, and within those devices we have functions for DM’s and video calling. Not to mention emails, WhatsApp’s and texts. One thing that I have done for a while now is turn off all notifications on my phone. This means that I actually have to go into my apps to check. It’s a lot less frequent when you don’t get a notification! Once you leave work, leave things that connect you behind too. Mute, archive, remove. They will still be there when you get back and January is a long month! Of course, if still being connected to your work actually helps your stress levels and means you can relax a bit knowing you are in control, then do that too!

5. Do what “fun” means to you 

Having fun means different things to different people. Make sure you don’t feel the pressure to have other people’s fun. This doesn’t make for a very happy festive period and can mean that you are not fully engaged. There will always be things we are not keen on doing, just make sure you create boundaries and even it out with things that YOU like to do

As always, Phoenix Running Group are on hand to help with this. Whether it’s a run, a chat, or come and engage with us over on the Facebook page, We’d love to see you there!

Have a great Christmas and happy new year to you all




RED January 2024

The club are proud to be supporting the RED January campaign by having a running based activity/event on every day of January 2024. Just come along and join in! You can see all the details on our dedicated RED January page.

MIND in Herts

We are proud to be working with MIND in Hertfordshire supporting individuals mental well being. 

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