TV presenter, broadcaster and now debut author Angela Scanlon talks to our editor Rosalind about joy, moon rituals and birth charts
Angela Scanlon is the queen of colour, joy and daily gratitude snippets – in case you didn’t glean that from her Instagram stories, weekly newsletter, celeb-packed podcast, outfits on Your Home Made Perfect or her new book cover! I connect with the woman behind the camera, a down-to-Earth mama of two based in London (though originally from the other side of the Irish Sea) about what it was like pouring her heart and soul onto the page in her first book Joyrider.
Rosalind Moody: Hello, Angela, how are you?!
Angela Scanlon: Hi! I’m good thank you, I’m enjoying the sunshine, bit of a manic day.
RM: How’s everything going with the newborn, are you doing all right?
AS: I’m doing pretty well. The sleep deprivation gets to you, but actually by and large, great, have to look out for the older one so I’m on high alert. But all good, she’s 10 weeks tomorrow so it’s all fresh, although that feels like a long time at the same time.
RM: I commend you, and you’ve also got this new baby out – your book! I love it.
AS: Thank you. It’s a hard one – two babies in the one year, but I feel nobody’s gonna judge me with a baby, especially at this stage of the game. It feels quite scary to put this out into the world, but it’s exciting as well and I’m just really happy with the feedback; it seems to be connecting with people, so it’s a relief.
RM: How long had it been in the making?
AS: Well, I had done my Thanks A Million podcast for I don’t know how many years – probably four-ish. The spiritual-esque subjects had been part of my work life for a few years. But it’s been in the last couple years really. I’m used to it because of TV, but the lead time takes a bit of time. I guess I always loved writing and thought I would definitely write a book at some point. I was approached with this podcast with that subject in mind, then put together a proposal and the rest is history – well, not history, hopefully! I really enjoyed the writing; the editing was less fun but I think that’s normal.
RM: They’re so relatable, the stories you tell in the book. How did you feel surrendering it all?
AS: Honestly, I did not really think about it at the time, which is often how I approach things that I do, I just kind of do them and then I think later, which may or may not be a good thing, I’m not sure. I suppose I try to be open and honest in whatever it is that I do, but I’m sharing more than I ever have before. Obviously it is long-form and it’s committed to print, so that feels more permanent in every sense of the word – it feels that way, but it also feels like a release, because often we’re presenting a version of ourselves and it’s not that it’s a lie or a front, but it’s not always the full picture. So I’ve always kind of felt slightly compelled, you know, I’m an oversharer in person, so this feels like an extension of that, to be oversharing – and oversharing in the hope that it will allow other people to do the same and feel lighter as a result.
You know, I think sometimes that kind of subject of joy and even the word ‘joy’ for me – and I write about this in my book – it sounds like such a leap. It felt like such a point in my life where all of my emotions felt very down, I suppose, so the idea of having joy in my life felt like a stretch. But I think it’s important to show the full picture in order to not be fooled by this idea of like a toxic kind of positivity and just kind of taping over the cracks and smiling and thinking good things. That’s not to say that none of those are, you know, valid, but I don’t think it’s the full picture.
RM: People are really seeking out joy now. There’s like a spiritual kind of revolution, like a new age. Do you think people are coming out of their spiritual shells a bit more?
AS: Yeah, I think so. I think a lot of the time that was something that was kept quite secret; it was something you did on the side without necessarily telling people, and I suppose that was kind of what I did for a long time as well, you know, explored all these different modalities and different therapies and bits and pieces because on a personal level, I’m really interested and I’m definitely searching for something. Now, people are much more open about them and I share those things and I pass them on to people. Even my mum’s sceptic friends are open, you know, there’s no doubt, we’re not as political as before, and yes of course science plays a part in all of that, but actually, I think we’re just more open to something bigger, and the realisation that there’s something bigger at play, and we might not always be able to quantify or qualify that, but actually it’s there.
RM: Do you think you’d ever combine your personal interest in spirituality with your career?
AS: Joyrider is probably the first step. I would absolutely love to do documentaries in this space, and to travel and look into all of these different things. I have been pitching that for a really long time, to bring these slightly more niche things to a wider audience. I’ve spoken about gratitude as a subject and as the spiritual practice being the gateway drug into this world. I really believe that and I really think that people can kind of enter in and see and feel a shift and feel the difference that it makes in their own lives. And then, as a result, having proof and being able to explore, with a bit more belief and a bit more hope, all of the other things that are available.
RM: You’ve tried things like Reiki and Psych-K, but can you tell me what you connected with most? What were your spiritual awakening breakthroughs?
AS: I have really enjoyed all of those and I go in with a real open mind whatever it might be. Energy healing work is something I absolutely love. Sound healing, sound baths – I remember reading about them years ago and they were described as meditation for lazy people so I thought ‘Get me in there’. Crystal healing too – I don’t always know what it’s doing but I certainly feel something. Sound and energy are the two – those things are something that’s outside of me and I turn to other people on that front – but meditation has been a game changer for me, doing that on a daily basis, just going inside and connecting with myself and giving myself the space and time. And I actually think the most difficult thing about being a new mum, I didn’t have that practice when I had Ruby [Angela’s first child] so I didn’t know what I was missing. My habit was to wake in the morning and go have a cup of cacao, which again is something that I do quite religiously. That’s something that I feel has had a massive impact on my life and change on my way of being and those are strong habits that I would do all the time. Suddenly, I might go in to have a little meditation, but I don’t know when she’s going to wake up, so I’m on alert. That’s been kind of difficult for me, so I’m looking forward to some form of routine where I can get that back.
I also have grounding sheets [bedding with a conductive material woven through] that my sister bought me for Christmas. They balance and ground, and they’re amazing. But even walking outside on the grass, we live near a wood, listening to birds, all of the stuff that makes me sound like a wacko, is stuff that I actually love. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, just taking off my shoes, standing in the garden whatever the weather and just breathing – I think a lot of us don’t realise how shallow our breath is a lot of the time, how we’re living in our heads or in that survival mode – so big, fat, deep breaths. Cold water I find is another thing that I go back to, that I can do myself, because you and I both know that there’s so much in this world. It’s hard to sift through it and if you’re new to it, especially, it’s like a different language. The things that I kind of revisit are things that anybody can do and that was where gratitude came in, cold water, all of the grounding stuff. I do a newsletter every week and a lot of these are things that I kind of explore and share.
RM: Do you have manifestation rituals that you’ve always relied upon?
AS: I’m a big one for lists. I listen to a podcast by Lacy Phillips called The Expanded Podcast by To Be Magnetic – I love it. That changed my understanding. I was always aware of it, I had read The Secret and Paul McKenna’s books, so I was aware of the idea of creating your reality and I definitely did that at the start of my career. I think I was probably always doing it without knowing, but then I started doing it consciously. My book was definitely a manifestation. And it’s tricky, isn’t it? Because people are like, what a load of sh*t. I think you’ve got to be careful because there are circumstances, and I think if you’re in a position where you’re manifesting, you know, lovely things, then you’re privileged already; when you’re in survival mode, that’s a harder thing to think about, because they’re not necessities, are they? But I 100% believe in manifestation. I try to do releasing at the full moon and on new moons I’ll craft a list. I also love the power of a women’s circle, I think it’s really powerful with manifestation as well with that shared intention and support.
But lists, revisiting lists, and not being too specific. I think some people are really specific manifestors, and other people are not, so I think it depends. Sometimes I’ve manifested things that are literally exactly the same, and other times it’s kind of… better. They can be really superficial things. Even like a moisturiser that I saw a picture of and put it on a list and thought about, then someone would call and say, ‘Oh, I have a spare one of these, you should try it’, and it’s there. Or someone will invite me to something that I had thought ‘I’d really love to see that show’.
RM: I love that you do new and full moon rituals. Do you know your moon sign and your rising sign?
AS: So I know that I’m Capricorn sun, Leo rising, and I kind of want to say Gemini moon…
Ros looks up Angela’s birth chart
AS: Have you ever done Vedic astrology?
RM: No I haven’t much, but I know Sahara Rose does it!
AS: Ah, I love her! She’s brilliant. I really like her podcast. A key thing that resonated with me, she talks a lot about surrender with a basic kind of power of being in that receptive mode, and that we have to really untrain ourselves from being in that productive kind ‘push, push, push’ moment. There’s a kind of wild, feminine power in literally lying back and waiting for it to arrive, as opposed to that masculine push – that’s fascinating to me.
One of my sisters is Gemini, and we’ve got a tricky relationship. And obviously Gemini, of all the zodiac signs, particularly for women are like, ‘Uh oh, dodgy bitch’. I think I kind of maybe just denied that that was a bit of me.
RM: I agree, Gems get a bad rep! Maybe when you’re upset, your moon side comes out and you want to communicate it, write about it, journal about it…
AS: That’s literally it! Because that’s the only time I really write, and it’s often quite dark. That’s so interesting.
RM: Yeah, it really helps everything make sense. And you’re ascending in Leo. Do you know what that means?
AS: Leo makes sense to me from a work point of view, that side of like shiny, showy, centre of attention, big energy, big personality. But my sun is Capricorn. So it’s quite a mix really because Capricorn feels more private, a little more introverted and more, you know, ‘Steady Eddy’, working towards things kind of silently.
RM: Yeah, Capricorns are really hard-working and loyal. That’s your base persona. But Leo rising describes your first impression. So with a fire sign, and your red hair as well, it’s total first impression Leo. But in a good way! I’m Leo ascending but I don’t usually get on so well with Leo suns.
AS: I don’t love full-blown Leos. I find them quite overpowering and overbearing. I also love the wild and blatant self-confidence that they seem to exude, so yeah, maybe like a pinch of that is not bad, but the full shebang, not so much.
RM: I see you’ve got Mercury in Capricorn and Venus in Capricorn too. So there’s a lot of Earth element
in your chart.
AS: It’s funny because Cap can be perceived as quite serious, which is not me at all. I do get sh*t done, to be fair, but it’s bloody exhausting… Wow, this is like therapy!
Joyrider: How Gratitude Can Help You Get the Life You Really Want by Angela Scanlon (Vermilion, £16.99). Listen to her popular podcast via thanksamillionpodcast.com and follow for more on Instagram @angelascanlon