The Therapeutic Power of Voice Journaling

Bijal A Shah
5 min readMar 7, 2019
Photo by Daniel Cañibano on Unsplash

The other day I spoke to a friend halfway across the world intimately discussing how torn I was feeling about living here in the San Francisco Bay Area versus living in London, my second home (my first home was Nairobi, Kenya). I loved living in London and pretty much thought I would spend the rest of my life there.

Until my husband landed an amazing, hard-to-say-no international assignment here in the Bay Area. We were super excited when leaving London and super sad too to say goodbye to the place we loved, where friends and family where just round the corner and which had become my home for the last 18 years, the longest I had lived anywhere. Yet there was anticipation and excitement — we were heading to Silicon Valley, the innovation hub of the world, where world-changing things happened, where entrepreneurial dreams came true, where the sun shone pretty much every day of the year. I was leaving my Investment Banking job (at least for a while) and with my husband and two-year-old daughter, moving to explore new horizons filled with expectations of life-changing experiences, where I could pursue my Book Therapy business full-time.

Fast forward 12 months, and we are coming to the end of my husband’s assignment here and we find ourselves at cross-roads — do we stay or do we head back to London? The pull of Silicon Valley opportunities against home comforts, such as intimate friends and family, free health care and great food, leaves both me and my husband filled with indecision. Did I also mention that the San Francisco Bay Area is the world’s most expensive childcare hub with an hourly nanny rate of $25 — $30?

Decisions, decisions, decisions leave me feeling overwhelmed and often frustrated — this was magnified when I was talking to my friend in a different time zone with three kids of her own. We’d finally had a moment to chat — a moment that worked for both of us in the face of our crazy kid schedules — and the Whatsapp Video chat refused to connect after 5 minutes of the call. We could barely hear each other’s words. We could message each other fine, just not speak over the video or voice…

Bijal A Shah

Bibliotherapist, author, poet & founder of Book Therapy - therapy using the power of literature: and