Mixed Mental Arts™: A Seven Week mental resilience course with Dizraeli

psychology mental resilience neuroscience meditation mindfulness
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Enquiries to rowan.toughcookie@gmail.com
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Reviews from previous courses 

"Absolutely fantastic, I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to realise a better, calmer, stronger version of themselves. Rowan's teaching style and compassion elevates this course into a rare opportunity to effect immediate and positive change in your relationship with yourself and the world around you."  ★★★★★ Lu Morris

“The course helped me no end.. the time to focus on one's own mind and to learn meditation techniques has been invaluable. It's a tricky old thing the brain, with it's constant tricks to outwit us - learning techniques to observe and steer the soliloquy is so powerful. Thank you” ★★★★★ Joe B

“This insightful and invigorating dive into the science and holistic aspects behind our mental health blew the winter blues away from our bodies and brains. It left us feeling hopeful about change and full of tips and tricks to make us more resilient against life's turds in the inbox! Dizraeli's heartfelt delivery was the oil in the machine. His anecdotes, stories and personal experiences of meditation led to an instant connection in the group and lent a massive degree of humanness to an otherwise quite technical agenda. It was a healthy mix of professional learning and activities, all of which worked surprisingly well online. Thank you” ★★★★★ Anon


If you ask yourself the question "How am I coping with the adversity in my life right now?" and then stay with that question in a sustained, focused way, what answer would you find? Are your coping strategies as effective as they could be? 



Most of us were never taught the cognitive, emotional or relational skills that are required to build deep mental resilience and are therefore often dealing with stress and uncomfortable emotions through numbing, distraction, avoidance, pleasure and comfort. Though these strategies have their place, they are unsustainable as primary coping mechanisms.

Mixed Mental Arts™ was designed to help people cope with change and adversity in a way that is skilful and sustainable

A powerful journey through playful experiments, cutting edge neurobiology and a toolkit of twelve practical techniques; Mixed Mental Arts builds your resilience through helping you establish lasting behaviour change. 


Mixed Mental Arts is taught over six modules, with an additional Integration session at the end of the course.

  1. Breaking our addiction to thought
  2. Hacking the body’s stress response
  3. Neutralising unhelpful thought patterns
  4. Navigating overwhelming experiences
  5. Re-learning relaxation
  6. Re-claiming emotional autonomy
  7. Integration session

The Modules are delivered on Tuesdays 7.30pm-9.30pm, starting 14th March and running once per week, over the course of seven weeks until 25th April. Each module lasts for two hours (with breaks) and participants are expected to commit to home practice for the duration of the course, with Audio and PDF guides provided to support.


Each module includes between 1 & 3 techniques, with topics covering the following:

Module 1: Breaking our addiction to thought

  • Abstract thought and the mechanics of mind wandering.
  • Cognitive bias and the phenomenon of worry.
  • Focus, choice and the war for our attention.
  • Deconstructing mental training.
  • Neuroplasticity, rewiring the brain and taming the mind.

Module 2: Hacking the body’s stress response

  • Evolution, a three-tiered brain and the internal tug of war
  • Neuroception and the vagus nerve
  • The Autonomic Nervous System and the body-mind connection
  • Heart-Rate Variability and stress resilience
  • Coherence and the heart-brain connection.

Module 3: Neutralising unhelpful thought patterns

  • Self-referential thought, cognitive fusion and negative self-image.
  • Meta-cognition and untangling ourselves from false narratives.
  • Responding to intrusive thoughts.

Module 4: Navigating overwhelming experiences

  • How emotions create bias, filter perception and affect our decisions.
  • Adversity, coping and how avoiding difficult emotion leads to burnout.
  • Interoception, equanimity and how to become ‘better at feeling’.
  • Traversing overwhelm skilfully.

Module 5: Re-learning relaxation

  • Rest, guilt and the fetishisation of busyness
  • Cortisol crash, adrenal fatigue and burnout
  • Refractory periods, deep rest and integrating recovery time into our diary
  • The relationship between musculature tension and our minds.

Module 6: Re-claiming emotional autonomy

  • Brainwaves, gamma synchrony and self-generating positive emotional states
  • Coherence and the heart-brain connection.
  • The relationship between appreciation and thinking clearly.
  • Mirror neurons and why our mood affects others.

Final Session : Integration

  • An opportunity for reflection on the course, and to discuss any burning questions.
  • Best practice for integrating these tools and techniques into our lives.


85% of students viewed Mixed Mental Arts as an ‘Extremely valuable’ or ‘Very valuable’ use of their time.*

94% of students said they were ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to use the practical techniques in their lives going forward.*

95% of students were either ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to recommend Mixed Mental Arts training to others.*

*data from 20 courses delivered during the 2020 Lockdown


Dizraeli aka Rowan Sawday is an award-wining poet and musician, whose performance career saw him tour the globe before confronting his own struggles with mental health. He created an album and theatre show, The Unmaster, based on his experiences which was nominated for 2020 Album of the Year in Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards.

As well as completing the Tough Cookie Mixed Mental Arts Trainer accreditation he has studied mindfulness and breathwork at the London Mindfulness Project and Scotland’s Dhanakosa Centre, and has many years’ experience as a mentor, teacher and workshop facilitator leading workshops in masculinity, wellbeing and creative practice in diverse contexts including The Science Gallery at Kings College London, The Mankind Project, the Hay Festival of Literature & Arts and the HERA Programme.

Rowan brings warmth, dynamism, humour and most importantly his own lived experience of mental health issues to his delivery of the course.


Tough Cookie supports organisations to prevent mental health problems in the workplace by training staff in Mixed Mental Arts - a toolkit of twelve practical techniques designed to build up people's mental resilience by changing the way they manage their thoughts and emotions.

Inspired by humanity's wisdom traditions and supported by the latest research in psychology and neurobiology, Mixed Mental Arts has been taught in organisations including Facebook, Greenpeace and the BBC.

Tough Cookie Website

Dizraeli Instagram

Dizraeli Facebook

This is a 7 week online course, based around live online workshops and including peer accountability groups and a commitment to home practice for the duration of the course.



  • By continuing with the registration process you confirm that you have read, understood and agreed to the MMA ENROLMENT AGREEMENT FORM
  • Mixed Mental Arts (MMA) is a mental resilience training programme that draws on evidence-based research from psychology and neurobiology as well as insights from a number of humanity’s wisdom traditions. 
  • The purpose of MMA is to help participants better understand how their mind works and build a toolkit of mental skills and practical techniques to better manage their thoughts and emotions.
  • MMA is a personal growth activity designed to enhance quality of life and is not a substitute for medical or psychological diagnoses and treatment.
  • Your MMA trainer does not have the skills or qualifications to support people with serious or diagnosed mental health issues, and cannot offer therapeutic or clinical services.


We do not want finances to be a barrier to anyone having access to this course. If you are in genuine financial difficulty and cannot afford the lowest price tier, please contact Rowan at rowan@tough-cookie.co.uk to discuss.

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This event started about 1 year ago

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