'Basically I never take it off': Turia Pitt on her three most useful objects

Turia Pitt has spent most of this year figuring out what makes people happy. The writer and life coach has spoken with everyone from athletes like Mick Fanning to the Auschwitz survivor Eddie Jaku for her new book Happy and Other Ridiculous Aspirations (out now through Penguin). Along the way, she discovered “that part of happiness is accepting that we’re not going to be happy all the time. There’s a real power in accepting and acknowledging all of our emotions – even the ones that might not be as comfortable.”

In her spare time, she’s been picking out interesting products from communities that have been impacted by fire and Covid-19 for her Instagram account @SpendWithThem. Here, she shares the three things that have been most useful in getting her through a busy year.

A phone lanyard

I’m the sort of person who is always dropping my phone, or losing my phone – and this stops me from doing that. It means my phone is always tethered to me. I wear it everywhere, if I’m hanging out the washing or making dinner I can use it with a pair of headphones – basically I never take it off.

It isn’t super daggy, despite what the name suggests. There’s enough room to fit one card – these days you don’t even need your whole wallet when you’re going out anyway. Mine is black leather – it just looks like a little black purse with a strap on it, and it’s made by a company called Bandolier. I can wear it around my neck, over my shoulder, but usually I wear it like a cross body bag.

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I met Mia Freedman once in the city, and she had one of them, and I was immediately obsessed. I’m surprised they haven’t taken off more, because they’re so useful.

A meditation app: Calm

There’s a zillion things I adore about this app – but my absolute favourite is the hypnotic – and extremely calming – breathing bubble. It’s a visualisation to help you become more conscious of your breathing, counting in and out. Meditation isn’t one of the things I am naturally good at, which is funny because being present in the moment is one of the parts of happiness I wrote about in the book. This helps if you’re not much of a meditator, it’s got nice music which always helps, and it’s a pretty shade of blue. For me, having that visualisation is key.

A breathing visualisation from the meditation app Calm

A breathing visualisation from the meditation app Calm. Composite: App

I can’t even remember how I found out about it – I probably read about it somewhere. There are celebrity meditations on it too – I really like Stephen Fry’s Blue Gold, which is good for sleeping. But mostly I use it for the breathing bubble.

A lipid-replenishing balm

I use this balm on my face, on my body, on my lips – even on my kids. It’s really easy to apply and doesn’t feel sticky, but it’s super hydrating. I put it on throughout the day every day, and I’m always pressing it into the hands of my family and friends, and anyone I speak to really. My skin doesn’t have any of the natural oils in it, so it does have a tendency to get really, really dry – this kind of product makes my skin feel really nice and supple and mobile.


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