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The SCALES Model


SCALES is a system that uses six ‘strings’ to keep your mental wellbeing in tune:

  1. Sleep

  2. Creative

  3. Active

  4. Listen

  5. Earth

  6. Social


The six strings spell out SCALES. As with a musical scale, we can move up or down the wellbeing strings during a day, week or month. It is important to pay attention to each of them, so that our wellbeing is balanced and we feel in harmony.



Sleep is fundamental to wellbeing. It is how our day begins and the method our mind uses to heal and replenish itself. Sleep has a profound effect on all the other wellbeing strings, and it is impossible to achieve harmony without it. It is the root note of the mental wellbeing chord.

If your sleep is insufficient and you are not well-rested, you’ll be unable to perform at your best. But if you are sleeping well and have the energy to pursue your passions, you’re far more likely to feel in tune.

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The close relationship between creativity and wellbeing is what inspired the formation of Retune. Creativity is anything we can lose ourselves in, and allows us to use our imaginations and become immersed in what we are doing. This might be music, art, dance, theatre, comedy, cooking, gardening or any other outlet. Being creative enables us to express and explore emotions and feelings, so that we can make sense of what’s going on in our heads.

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Mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing are inseparable. Being active releases endorphins, natural painkillers that can bring about feelings of euphoria. Making sure that we get moving on a daily basis allows us to reframe negative thoughts, while building up fitness promotes a happier and healthier version of ourselves. Exercising with a partner or in a team encourages togetherness and community, so Active is a vital string to your bow.

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It can be easy to overthink and dwell on ourselves when looking after our mental wellbeing. Listen helps us to look to outside sources for inspiration. What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you listening to? Who is inspiring you at the moment?


Listen is not only about nourishing ourselves with the best books, audiobooks, podcasts, films and TV that the world has to offer, it is also about listening to your body by focusing on eating and drinking well, to keep the mind motivated.

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The Earth string has two meanings. Firstly it is about engaging with the environment around you – both at home and in the wider world. We are intertwined with nature, and we need to spend time nurturing this relationship by being outside and connecting with our roots.


Secondly, Earth is about keeping our feet on the ground and appreciating

the simple things, so that we are literally ‘earthed’. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation and yoga can help to achieve this.

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Social is the link between you and others, and is all about sharing. It is vital to keep the social string in tune because it allows us to have open, two-way conversations and to strengthen relationships, whether with family, friends or a partner. You might be working hard on the other wellbeing strings, but social cannot be ignored. Life is better when it is experienced together.

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Snapped Strings


Retune promotes self-care by offering creative tools that improve and maintain mental wellbeing. One of our aims is to prevent poor mental health. However, there are certain situations that require immediate, professional, medical assistance. This is what we call a ‘snapped string’. Sometimes, when our mental wellbeing is under a lot of tension and stress or burns out from overuse, it can snap. When one string snaps in SCALES, all of the others immediately fall out of tune.

Referred to as mental wellbeing in crisis, a snapped string can require help from medication and/or therapy, and in some cases it can lead to hospitalisation.


Retune works with excellent partners, including The NHS, The Hub of Hope, Shout and Samaritans. These organisations can help if you, or someone you know, is in crisis.

See our Get Help Now page for more information.

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