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London’s First Happy Café Improves Self-Esteem

London’s First Happy Café Improves Self-Esteem

London’s First Happy Café Improves Self-Esteem

London has always been the center of global commerce and international influence in the West. Such a busy city is certainly filled with many people with busy schedules. However, while herbal tea and various pastries have been the traditional way to alleviate stress, the new generation of Londoners now love to visit its first happy café.

Opened in October of 2014, The Canvas is a café in Shoreditch that seeks to improve its visitors’ confidence, self-esteem, and happiness. Originally a coffee and pastry shop and lounge, The Canvas opened with only one clear goal in mind, to make people happier. In a city where only 30% of its residences rated themselves as “very happy” according to a recent Office of National Statistics Survey, The Canvas is filled with comfy sofas, chairs, and tables inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the day.

To further enhance the comfortable experience, The Canvas has recently partnered with Action for Happiness to host activities and events that would ensure even more happiness and confidence for its visitors. Activities include free movie viewing, yoga session, and choir concerts at the shop. In March of this year, a TED talk has also been added to the café’s busy calendar.

The café aims to be like an extension of the people’s living rooms,” owner Ruth Rogers explains. Rogers is also the founder of the award-winning body image charity Body Gossip. Rogers wants people to be confident in who they are and live happily in the fast-paced and stressed-filled lifestyle that, unfortunately, dominate global cities such as London today.

Rogers tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle, “I founded Body Gossip back in 2006. I took my white living room sofa to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007 and invited passers-by to write one thing about their body on it.” But when people eventually wrote “the most beautiful, open messages””, Rogers thought
wouldn’t it be great for us to have a whole space dedicated to talking about self-esteem?”

Over five years later, The Canvas finally opened as that space that not only encourages people to themselves freely, but also promotes relaxation and positive thinking.

Rogers envisions The Canvas to be like a blank canvas where every passer-by, customer, and visitor can paint their mark on it and become part of an ever-changing piece of art that tells the stories of millions.

Since opening, The Canvas has been especially popular among students and families. When asked why so many people are in need for a happy place such as The Canvas, Rogers believes that “people are focusing on the wrong things”. As she explains to the HuffPost UK Lifestyle, “people are focusing on money, power, and possessions to be happy, but actually, happiness is about how we connect with one another.”


Living in Durham, North Carolina, Cheryl is currently a junior in high school. She is completely in love with free expression through writing and has a wide range of opinions on various issues in popular culture, politics, and social topics.

She is also passionate about women's and children's rights. Besides Her Culture, Cheryl also writes for Miss Heard Magazine, United 4 Social Change, and is a high school ambassador for Her Campus. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, shopping, and 20th century books in particular.


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