Skip to content

I need help

Help for barristers

Barristers inherently face very specific challenges on a daily basis. If you need some help click on support to find contact details and advice on seeking support.

Get help

Help for clerks and staff

The professional lives of clerks and chambers’ staff include many potential stressors. If you don’t know how to broach an issue, want advice on your options.

Get help

Help for students and pupils

These resources have been designed specifically for those who have completed their BPTC and for pupils up to tenancy.

Get help


Our vision

Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

Read more

Policy & practice

Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

Read more

Media pack

Logos and banners to help you to promote wellbeing.

Read more

Case studies

Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

Read more


Support for barristers

Who to talk to, how to get help in coping with the pressures and demands of life at the Bar.

Get support

Support for clerks and staff

Who to talk to and how to get help, resources are for clerks and staff themselves.

Get support

Support for students and pupils

Who to talk to and how to get help for those who have completed their BPTC and for pupils up to tenancy.

Get support

Assistance programme

The confidential 24/7 helpline with access to counselling for barristers, pupils, clerks and chambers’ staff.

Get support



What worked for me

I wasn’t at breaking point but I think I realised that I didn’t want to get to that point before doing something about it


In 2014, after a succession of many years working flat out at the Bar and, before that, as a solicitor, and, before that, doing two degrees at three different universities and, after having had two children, I was a bit … erm … tired (and, no, being on maternity ‘leave’ does not count as time off).

I wasn’t at breaking point but I think I realised that I didn’t want to get to that point before doing something about it. 7 years’ later and my overall well-being and happiness are completely transformed. I put it down to 2 things: yoga and horses.

My well-being journey began after a heavy trial, on the train home from Edinburgh, in December 2014, where I had taken my childhood friend to a Jesus and Mary Chain concert. I was flicking through a copy of the Spectator, that somebody had obligingly left on the seat next to me, and noticed an article about de-stressing at a retreat centre in Surrey. When I googled it, it was eye-wateringly expensive but further research led me to a slightly cheaper option in Somerset, where I met Wendy the yoga teacher. To be honest, I don’t think that doing the ‘yoga’ movements do much on their own: it is everything else that goes with it which seems to make the difference, which is difficult to articulate, but may best be summarised as ‘looking after yourself’.

Six months after that, I was due to go on holiday with a friend and she cancelled at the last minute. I was bored and wondered what I could do to fill the time. I ended up contacting a horse-riding centre in Dorset which re-ignited my huge passion for horses. I now have my own horse (Stormzy) and a big part of my well-being and happiness is down to him. Horses are emotional mirrors: you can’t wear a mask for them because they see behind it immediately. Their sensitivity is what makes it so rewarding to be with them: a fascinating fact is that if you engage your core muscles the horse will engage its core muscles! I have had so many brilliant adventures with Stormzy – from our first solo hack to a pub in Chiddingstone to jumping our first proper hedge at a hunter trial at East Bysshe cross-country course – and I have so many more planned (beach ride, riding across Dartmoor). There have been lots of ups and downs (I had two spectacular failed attempts before finding Stormzy) but the tools that I have had to find during the ‘downs’ have helped me navigate my way through.

It doesn’t matter what direction you pick to get yourself out of mud – whether it is yoga and horses, collecting coins or doing stand-up comedy, I think what worked for me was that I just picked a direction and kept moving forward.


Jane Russell

Jane is a barrister specialising in employment law at Essex Court Chambers 

Seminars & Events