This female-focused, no judgement therapy space and shop is designed to help women take control of their physical and mental health.
The Pink Room is the latest addition to Leeds Corn Exchange. It’s a feminine, feminist space that’s part wellbeing studio, part shop. It’s an all-female collective of holistic practitioners who are passionate about providing support and empowerment to anyone who identifies as a woman. From taking ownership of your nutrition to getting support for your health, this is the place to start your self care journey.
The Pink Room is an exciting new adventure for co-owner Ella Norman. After going through a breakdown herself, she ditched the corporate world and became an holistic therapist. As she began her new calling, she found that most of her her clients were women. They were people going through something – fertility problems, the loss of a child, pregnancy or postnatal depression. “Without realising it, my specialism became very female-focused. And I discovered that actually, my passion in life was trying to de-stigmatise mental health,” Ella explained.
And so, she came together with her fellow holistic practitioners to create a place where women felt safe enough to be their authentic selves. The wellness industry can be toxic, idealising unrealistic beauty standards and lifestyles, but The Pink Room rallies against that. “My history is what got me to take that step into the wellness world, but actually, I felt like an outsider,” she told us. “I still do to a degree, as a bigger-bodied, inflexible, meat-eating, alcohol-consuming, regular woman. It can feel like a very elite, exclusive club. The Pink Room is kind of an anti-wellness, wellness space.”
Behind the red and pink door, The Pink Room has a calming, minimalist vibe. The walls are painted a dusky pink and the sheer curtains at the window diffuse the light, making it feel like a soothing sanctuary. The space is dedicated to therapy during the week, with each practitioner getting a specific day in residence. There’s even a sign that tells you not to knock when the door’s closed, as they’re busy working their magic. At the weekend, the therapy space is closed for shopping and events.
The Pink Room collective includes holistic massage therapists, an energy healer and reiki practitioner and an anti-diet nutritionist, all passionate about empowering women. An acupuncturist and a doula will be joining the roster shortly too. So if you want to start investing in you, there’s a whole range of different therapies to choose from. You can top up your life force after a challenge with reiki, help balance your mind and body with a massage or glass cupping, and feel good about food with a gentle nutrition consultation.
Every session starts with a chat about you. You can talk about everything and anything – your period, sexual harassment, your mental health, menopause, there’s nothing you can’t be honest about here. From there, you’ll discuss what you want out of the therapy session, at which point your practitioner will create your bespoke treatment plan based on your conversation. Then it’s on to the therapy session itself. Whatever the treatment, it’s a step on the journey to taking ownership of your healing and self-care journey.
At the weekend the space is transformed into a shop, where you can peruse their homeware and wellbeing products. All their stock is sourced from independent, woman-owned businesses and solo makers, most of which are local to Yorkshire. We’re talking delicious-smelling candles that soothe the soul, illustrations of women of all body types and soap to nourish your skin. It’s a bit of a who’s who of Leeds’ female illustrators too, with Alice Needham, Lorna Robey and Louisa Foley all making appearances.
There’s a menstruation section with period products, books that empower you to learn more about your cycle and natural pain-relief patches. The period products come from two social enterprises – Hey Girls and Bettercup – so when you purchase pads or a cup, they’ll donate one to a woman in need. Not only that, but if you find yourself with an excess of period products, you can donate them to The Pink Room because they’ve partnered with Freedom for Girls, who work to end period poverty in the UK.
The collection of feminist books is worth the trip alone. From ‘My Past is a Foreign Country’ by Zeba Talkhani to ‘Perimenopause Power’ by Maisie Hill, they’ve really tried to capture the length and breadth of the feminine experience – and the collection is only going to grow. If you’re interested in modern witchcraft and its connection with spirituality and self care, there’s a section for that too. With everything from introductory books to beautifully designed tarot cards and smudge sticks, you can start your practice, ask questions and explore your inclinations without fear of judgement.
In the coming months, The Pink Room has lots planned. As well as more therapists joining the roster, they’ll be holding talks and workshops too. Their aim is to make female empowerment and wellness accessible to everyone who identifies as a woman. They’ll cover a plethora of empowerment topics from the in-house practitioners and outside experts – there will be one on owning and understanding your menstrual cycle, one to help you write empowering poetry and another to introduce holistic self-care. Keep an eye out for more!
The Pink Room, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.Cover image credit: Stu Hansom.