I hope you’re all doing well! Last weekend I visited the Feel Good Club in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I had a lovely catch up with an old friend and we ended up staying there for almost six hours. I had such a lovely time and luckily I remembered to take lots of photos, so I simply have to share it with you all!
What is the Feel Good Club?
The Feel Good Club is a coffee house but not just any old. It’s also a space for anyone and everyone. It’s a coffee shop with a real focus on mental health and wellbeing and it’s the first of its kind in the city. Their mission is to make you feel good every time that you visit! Not only do they serve delightful delicacies and cosy cuppas, they also offer the opportunity to take part in yoga classes and movie nights, to listen to guest speakers and to visit pop-up galleries showcasing local artists and businesses. If that wasn’t enough for you, their staff members are Mental Health first Aid trained to help support their customers in the best way possible. Something I was particularly impressed with was the way they displayed supportive and positive messages on billboards across the city, encouraging people to keep going. Also, get this – on Fridays, they open the space up for “Freelance Fridays”, to encourage self-employed people to use the venue for free as a place to network and feel part of a community!
What is their story?
The Feel Good Club was created by wives, Aimie and Kiera Lawlor-Skillen. They wanted to design a space where people could talk about mental health openly and honestly and where people would feel happy and safe. They originally started the initiative online, creating a huge community across various social media platforms. After being such a huge hit, the couple wanted to take it a step further and bring it to life, so The Feel Good Club opened in 2020! Despite the pandemic giving them all kinds of unexpected challenges, Manchester received the coffee house with open arms and it proved to be extremely popular.
We ended up choosing this coffee shop because my friend said she had heard great things about it…little did we know we would end up spending the whole day there! The moment I stepped foot in the place I felt calm. It was so bright and cheerful. It’s very open, which I love as I can often feel overwhelmed and overstimulated. There were lots of seating options, including the windowsill with some cushions which looked perfect for days where you need to study or get some work done.
The place is filled with joy and colour. It’s such a positive place to be and the vibes were immaculate *chef’s kiss*. Towards the back of the room, they had a little section dedicated to their own merchandise and some goodies from local businesses. One of which, Fruit Loop Studios, need a shoutout of their own – check out their Etsy page here. There was even a little affirmation station where customers could write a positive and encouraging note for someone else to discover. It was such a human place, with a real focus on mental health at the core.
Obviously I had to be all millennial about it and order myself something avocado related (with a sprinkling of radish and spring onion) but let me tell you this was DELICIOUS. I also had some Earl Grey with vanilla supplied by local business Tea Keepers, which was heavenly. We were there so long that we needed to eat something else later on, and that ladies and gentleman is when I fell in love with a biscoff stuffed cookie. I mean look at it? I limited myself to a bite every few minutes to make it last as long as possible. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
What did I think?
I absolutely love this place. It set me up for the week and that was on a good day so I can only imagine how fantastic it is to visit on a bad day. I felt calm, relaxed and comfortable enough to spend the day there which is unusual for me as I normally feel a bit boxed in after a while in a coffee shop or restaurant. The prices weren’t stupid either which is always a bonus for a city-based hangout. I love that they encourage freelancers to use the space to create a community of their own. It’s also lovely to see somewhere promoting local businesses in almost every aspect of what they do. I will absolutely be going back, maybe with my laptop to do some work, in the future. I can see myself being in there alone and feeling safe and totally chilled, which again is rather unusual for me. I look forward to seeing what else they do with the space and whether or not they open up any more Feel Good Clubs across the country. I can see them doing very well in other cities too – especially as a place for people to take a break after a stressful day or to stop by in their lunch breaks. I’m excited for them, I really am. If you’re visiting Manchester, or you’re here already, be sure to go and see it for yourself!