Cosplay and Community

Have you ever wanted to step into a different character, even just for a few hours? When Tom Stribley approached us a few months ago, he had a slightly unusual take on recovery in mind.

Tom is a “cosplayer” – someone who roleplays in costume as a hobby – and it’s a lot more popular than we realised. So when Tom started telling us how it had helped him with his mental wellbeing, we realised he was really on to something. As word got out, more and more people agreed that cosplay had helped them, and asked to join in. With a whopping seven people in the final Zoom room, it’s been our best-attended podcast so far!

Going out this week, the chat includes cosplayers Tom, Kev, and Erin, live-action roleplayer Anne, and specialist cosplay photographer Jo. Hosted by Jody and Em from the Recovery Devon team, the gang explores why stepping into costume can be magical for mental health. It’s a great way to connect with emotions, get creative, and find your tribe.

We all need our heroes and their stories; why is it so powerful to step into their shoes? A recent article by Alison Escalante, who writes on the science of performance, explains more. She uses a popular show to illustrate what these connections mean for our mental wellbeing. See what you think: “The Neuroscience of Game of Thrones.”


So much effort goes into cosplay and LARP outfits; it’s hard to get that across in an audio podcast. We really wanted to find out what our podcasters looked like in their full regalia. Luckily for us, Fab Fantasy UK‘s Jo was kind enough to photograph some of the team especially for this podcast. Jo puts hours of work into her photos, even adding special effects to bring them to life. She met with our podcasters right across Devon to find locations to match their costumes, including a warm welcome from Tiverton Castle (a perfect contemporary setting for Anne’s outfit).

Anne’s Dumnoni archer robes
Erin’s delicately made Xiao cosplay
Tom’s brilliant take on Bon Clay

Thank you to Jo and all our podcasters for giving so much time and energy to this episode. The fun really shines through. We hope everyone finds ways to emulate their heroes, and that our cosplayers get a chance to visit conventions again before too long!

Do you have a passion that you’d like to share in a Recovery Devon podcast or blog? Get in touch!