ThisÂ woman has been leaving sticky notes with positive messagesÂ across Portsmouth
Everyone has bad days.
Sometimes it can be a painful chore to get up in the morning, a drag to get ready and a hard jobÂ to just get through the day.
And when it feels like the world is against you, wearing a smile feels likeÂ an impossible task.
But this 24-year-old is on a one-woman mission to change that and spread happiness across Portsmouth '“Â in the form of stickyÂ notes.
Emily Keel, of Hilsea, is the founder of the Portsmouth Happiness Project which was created in July 2018.Â
'˜ItÂ just came to me and I thought it would be a nice concept to introduce to my home city,' explains Emily, '˜they are simply positive messages to put a smile on someone's face.'
And she has remained anonymous '“Â up until now.
'˜My family and boyfriend know about the project andÂ think it's great. TheyÂ just let me get on with it.
'˜It has beenÂ anonymousÂ for a while '“ I don't think anyone at work knows I do this so it might come as a bit of a surprise,' she laughs.
Armed with a pen, hundreds of multi-coloured notes and Sellotape, Emily has been decorating Portsmouth withÂ inspirational quotes and kind words such as: '˜Your feelings matter. Be kind to yourself.'
Her aim, she says, is to make someone feel better about themselves, even for a split-second.
And it's a project which EmilyÂ appreciates the importanceÂ ofÂ because she has hadÂ first-hand experience of feeling down in the dumps, with theÂ lack of energy to pick herself back up.
'˜I have had anxiety on and off for a whileÂ now but earlier this year I really wasn't feeling great. I had had a tough time with my previous job and with myself,' says Emily, who works as a personal trainer and part-time chef at Southsea Coffee Company.Â
With an estimated 288,000 people living in Portsmouth, just over one fifth of them struggle with a mental health problem each year, according to Portsmouth City Council.
ThereforeÂ Emily believes her project is more important than ever.Â
'˜I have realised mental health problems are soÂ common now '“Â everyone needs a pick-me-up sometimes.
'˜I went travelling a couple of years ago and was drawn back to Portsmouth. But I kept on hearing people say how much they hated it here,' explains Emily.
'˜But I love living in PortsmouthÂ and I think some people take for granted what they have. So many great things happen in the areaÂ and sometimes the residents may need a boost.'Â
With a constant stash of positive notes in her bag, Emily has made the presence of Portsmouth Happiness Project known by sticking her quotesÂ up anywhere and everywhere she can.Â
'˜At first I was trying to write and post a message around Portsmouth everyday but now I averageÂ three or four a week,' she says.
'˜It probably takes a few hours out of my time '“Â but that's not a lot at all.
'˜I just write whatever inspires me.'
Born and bred in Portsmouth, Emily admitsÂ most of her messages have landed in Southsea because she spends so much time there.
But when asked whether she would like people to join herÂ positivity mission, she was overjoyed at the thought.Â
'˜I would love for other people to put them up across the city,' she says, '˜youÂ just need to be brave enough to say it and give others that little boost.'
Ever since the Portsmouth Happiness Project was founded fiveÂ months ago, its social media presenceÂ has grown.
With 100 likes on its Facebook page, 620 followers on Instagram and more than 100 posts to #PortsmouthHappinessProject, Emily hopes its numbers will continue to climb.Â Â
'˜When people have messaged me and attached pictures to their stories on Instagram tagging the projectÂ '“Â it feels amazing to make a difference,' says Emily with a wide grin on her face.
Now knowing the impact her project is making on others, this happiness advocate is adamant that her work will continue becauseÂ her job isn't done quite yet.Â
'˜I really enjoy the project. It's vitalÂ for people to think positively.
'˜This has helped me get out of the rut I was in '“Â I want other people to feel like they could do that and focus on the good things,' adds Emily.Â
'˜You never know what's going on in someone's life so it's important to be kind. I love the thought of putting a smile on someone's face.'Â
Watch a video about Emily and theÂ Portsmouth Happiness ProjectÂ at portsmouth.co.uk/lifestyle.
How to be happier and more in control'¦
It's important to know how toÂ pick yourself up when you areÂ feeling down.Â The NHS have devised four easy tips to make yourself feel better. Â
Manage your stress levels: Use time-management and organisation techniques to manage your workload.Â Spend more time doing something you enjoy: Whether you love cooking, dancing or exercising, prioritise your hobbies. Spend time doing something you are good at and have a sense of achievement. Have a healthy lifestyle: Limit your alcohol intake because it can exaggerate anger or depressive feelings. Choose a well balanced diet to make you emotionally stronger and boost your self-esteem. Moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that can lift your mood. Also, try and getÂ enough sleep '“Â eight hours is the average amount of sleep an adult needs for their body and mind to fully rest. Talk and share your feelings: Communication is important, whether it's with a friend, family member or counsellor. Talking things through helps you to release tension, rather than keeping it inside.
For further information on how to reduce stressÂ Â go to the NHS website at nhs.uk/