The 5-Minute Emotional Workout – Giles Montgomery

Welcome to the 5-Minute Emotional Workout! Find an uncomfortable place and let’s begin…

Cue unsettling, discordant soundscape.

Okay, first let’s warm up. Think of something stressful – your job, love life, money, the banal futility of existence – whatever works for you.

Got it? Good. Focus on that as you feel your heartrate increase and your chest constrict…

Are the walls pushing in? Awesome!

Now squat down, hug your knees and rock back and forth, get a rhythm going, work that adrenal gland.

And screw your eyes shut as we go into our first…


The beat drops, thudding in time to your pounding chest.

You’re eight years old, strapped in the back of a speeding car. Your parents are in the front, fighting. She wishes she’d never met him, he wishes he was dead – and he’s driving! The only thing they can both agree on is that it’s ALL… YOUR… FAULT!

Sound effect of a car crash, the music drops back.

Whoo, what a rush!

Now stand up, clench your fists and hyperventilate. Make sure everything’s good and tight.

Hey, what’s that up above you?


The music builds again, this time with a positive feel…

Reach for it! Jump! Feel the hope building!

It’s everything you ever wanted and it’s SO TANTALISINGLY CLOSE…

Record scratch, crowd goes ‘Ohhhh!’

But it’s gone. Next time, right?

Okay, nearly done. Let’s really push that limbic system!

A new, even more intense and disturbing beat kicks in.

Ready? Here we go…

Your friends throw a party, but you’re not invited!

Dinner with your family. Must… suppress… opinions!

You overhear your spouse tell a friend they ‘settled’!

You visit your doctor for the test results, but she won’t make eye contact!

Look at all these perfect, happy people on social media!

You air a problematic take and get cancelled!

It’s not imposter syndrome, you really are a hack!

Your dying father turns to you and… shakes his head in disappointment!


The music ends with a devastating KA-BOOM that reverberates away into an infinite and uncaring universe as you collapse into heaving, snotty sobs of utter despair.

5-Minute Emotional Workout is sponsored by…

Cue upbeat jingle.

When life’s got you down, get back up with the great taste of –

Giles Montgomery writes ads for a living and fiction for joy, previously seen in Storgy, Spelk, fat cat magazine, Tiny Molecules and Reflex Fiction. He lives near London with his family and can be found on Twitter @gilesmon.

Image via Pixabay

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