mdma lsd candyflipping trauma heal healing parent

This is a guest post from the great Theo. Find him on his website Untangling Self or Twitter.

Combining LSD (enhanced creativity and imaginal powers) and MDMA (radical love and emotional safety) to heal complex trauma (#cPTSD) ft. Ideal Parent Figure Protocol

Understanding Complex Trauma: More Than Just Events

You know how we have these negative incident traumas that cause us to develop fear-based emotional learnings?

These events are tangible and specific, making them relatively straightforward to process and resolve. But then there’s complex trauma. It’s not about a single big incident or even a few big incidents, but rather the accumulation of a series of incidents over many years. 

Often, it’s not even about something that happened, but things that did not happen, like emotional neglect. Something like your mother not being attuned to your needs or not getting enough physical touch/affection in your early years or your father not being as present. Such psychological malnourishment stunts our development in many tangible and intangible ways, and since none of us had perfect parenting, we are all affected by these issues of lack, to varying degrees.

Ideal Parent Figure Protocol: Tapping Into Innate Reservoirs of Love

Before I delve into my candyflipping experience, let me introduce the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) protocol which unexpectedly shaped my experience in a beautiful way.

This protocol involves imagining an ideal set of parents that are perfectly suited for you — deeply attuned, present, caring, affectionate, etc.

The Ideal Parent Figure protocol is more than just an exercise in imagination; it can be a beautiful journey into the depths of our own innate capacity for love. This practice enables us to tap into our existing, perhaps untapped, reservoirs of love and affection. 

mdma lsd candyflipping trauma heal healing parent

By envisioning the perfect parental figures, we don’t just create a fantasy; we awaken and mobilize the deep-seated love and nurturing instincts that reside within us. Through this process, we can channel this awakened love towards the parts of us that have long yearned for it — the neglected, the unseen, the unacknowledged. It’s like directing a healing stream of compassion and understanding to the corners of our psyche that were left barren in our formative years. This internal flow of love helps in filling the voids left by what we lacked and forming a new, healthy internal working model of secure attachment. 

Candyflipping: Magical Synergies

In my personal healing journey, I’ve been delving into the potential of altered states to facilitate the healing of complex trauma.

Particularly intriguing to me is the exploration of synergistic combinations of substances or modalities that might work in harmony to unlock deeper healing. Having processed the explicit, more accessible memories of hurt, I recognize that the journey is far from complete. There are subtle rigidities and tensions that linger in my being, manifesting not just physically but also in my relationships. These subtleties hint at unresolved, deeper aspects of trauma, possibly rooted in the implicit and non-verbal realms of the psyche.

Consequently, I turned to a combination of LSD and MDMA, a pairing often referred to as ‘candyflipping.’ This combination is reputed to be safe and synergistic, potentially offering a unique therapeutic landscape. I could imagine the magic of combining LSD’s boundless creativity with MDMA’s heart-opening warmth for an exercise like the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) protocol. It felt like having the perfect tools at my fingertips for some serious emotional alchemy.

Trip Report: Nourishing Emotional Landscapes

I went into my session without any specific intentions or plans. I started with 100ug of LSD, intending to take 150mg of MDMA after two hours to align their peaks. The initial part of my LSD trip felt random and chaotic. But when MDMA entered my system, the chaos subsided, and the experience became grounded and centered, like a deeply attuned teacher calming a rowdy classroom with love and gentleness.

My mind spontaneously initiated the Ideal Parent Figure process. I started reliving my childhood, intuitively filling up the holes in the parenting I received. It almost felt like it was happening to me, not something I was consciously doing. LSD opened up my mind’s creative floodgates, making the imagined ideal parents in the IPF exercise come alive in vivid, almost tangible detail. It was like painting with an expanded palette of emotional and imaginative colors. Then, enter MDMA, the perfect dance partner for LSD in this journey. MDMA really turned up the volume on feelings of love. It’s like it opened a door in my heart to let in big, warm waves of unconditional love that just kept flowing. More importantly, it allowed me to attune to the needs of my neglected parts and then be with them in ways they needed someone to be. 

For me, the dominant feeling during the trip was that of security and stability. I felt radically safe, protected, and seen, which led to a lot of somatic release. As I felt safer, I could relax and let go of body tension I didn’t even know I had. The imaginal work wasn’t just a mental exercise; it was actively transforming my emotional and physical responses. It was as if each release was a physical manifestation of a psychological burden being lifted, a sign that the parts of me that had been holding onto these tensions, perhaps as a response to past traumas or unmet needs, were now able to let go. This process was not just about imagining a safer, more loving environment but actually experiencing it in a way that my body recognized and responded to. It reflected the profound interconnectedness of mind and body, and how imaginal work can bridge the two to facilitate deep healing.

Elaborating on the Ideal Parent Figure Protocol

I believe having role models of what healthy parenting looks like is valuable in the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) protocol. For me, books, stories, and movies were invaluable resources in this quest. These mediums often present diverse portrayals of parental figures, offering a rich array of examples of loving, supportive, and nurturing parents. As you explore these stories, you may find certain portrayals of mothers or fathers that resonate deeply with you, almost as if they’re filling in the gaps left by your own experiences.

mdma lsd candyflipping trauma heal healing parent

Moreover, engaging with these stories does more than just provide examples; it also helps you develop a heightened sensitivity to your own needs. As you empathize with characters and their relationships, you begin to better understand your own emotional landscape. You start to identify what kind of support, affection, and guidance you needed but didn’t receive. This understanding is key in the IPF protocol, as it guides you in imagining ideal parents who can meet these specific, previously unmet needs.

I find it important to clarify that the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) protocol isn’t about replacing, competing with, or correcting your actual parents. It’s a thoughtful imaginal exercise that also helps you develop a deeper empathy for your real parents, understanding their limitations and strengths. The experience not only allowed me to experience ideal parenting but also helped me connect more deeply with my actual parents, especially my father. It gave me a deeper understanding of our relationship. I could also allow myself to feel and cherish the gifts and love I have inherited from him.

In a way, the IPF protocol serves as a bridge to access the love you did experience from your parents and others in your life, even if it was imperfect or sporadic. And then redirecting that love, focusing that energy in a more attuned and intentional way towards parts of yourself that missed out on it.

Find more from Theo at his website Untangling Self or on Twitter.

mdma psilocybin combine combo how to guide

If you’ve been finding it difficult to relax and open up in your psilocybin journeys, then you might consider combining it with MDMA.

MDMA can help bring about a more relaxed, open-hearted space, which is an ideal state, or set, to enter a psilocybin journey.

There are a few members inside our The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer community who have tried this combination and it has been giving pretty good results, so I thought I’d write about it as part of MDMA month on the blog.

In this blog post, I’ll cover the potential benefits of this combination and offer suggestions on dosages and timings, as well as share some experience from members of the community and myself.

mdma psilocybin combine combo how to guide

Benefits of Combining MDMA and Psilocybin

I first heard about this combination given serious credence in the book Psychedelic Psychotherapy by Coleman. An excellent read, which I highly recommend btw.

Coleman mentions that leading with a dose of MDMA before a psilocybin journey can help ‘soften the entrance’. The general positive atmosphere and reduced fear response that MDMA provides can set the perfect stage for entering a psilocybin experience, where darker material may arise from deep in our psyches. This allows us to be more open to such experiences.

As such, this combination can be helpful for working through traumatic material or engaging in shadow work.

Safety Considerations

Combining MDMA and psilocybin is generally well-tolerated and if you’re not contraindicated for either, the combo is as safe as taking each substance individually. If you’re clear to take both and in general good health, the main thing is to be psychologically prepared as these can be intense and challenging experiences.

It’s advisable to try and sample batches of each substance before embarking on a significant journey. Potency can vary between batches. As always, remember to prepare your setting carefully and cautiously.

As usual, follow standard best practices for MDMA.

Dosages and Recommendations

Prevailing advice online suggests starting with lower doses of each substance because of the synergistic effect of combining.

However, I’d say it depends on your level of experience and your intentions for the session.

For experienced psychonauts going for a psychedelic therapy style session, for example, I think closer to a standard dose of both can be considered. For example, if your standard for MDMA is 120 mg, then 110 mg. Because if you’re taking MDMA, you want it to work its magic.

If you’re new to psychedelics but have experience with MDMA, I would suggest starting with a standard dose of MDMA and a conservative dose of psilocybin, equivalent to the level of experience you’re after (mini/low/medium/high dose), with an option for a psilocybin booster.

If you’ve tried psilocybin but not MDMA, I’d suggest starting with a conservative dose of MDMA, and considering a booster. Then, when you reach a point with the MDMA where you feel ready to dive into more psychedelic waters, then dose the psilocybin.

One final consideration is that whilst you might fast before a psilocybin journey, you might not want to do this before a session with MDMA as it could potentially result in stomach cramping.

Timing Options

There are a few different ways you might time your dosing. Here are a couple you might consider.

1. MDMA ~70 minutes before Psilocybin

The standard recommendation for timing I would offer is the one Coleman offers in Psychedelic Psychotherapy.

This means dosing the MDMA approximately 70 minutes before the psilocybin. This is so that the journeyer can utilise the effects of the MDMA to have a softer entry into the psilocybin experience.

An alternative to this is to dose MDMA first and then, once you are feeling the effects, dose psilocybin. This ensures that you are in the MDMA space for the entirety of the come-up and entry into the psilocybin space.

One thing to note is that the effects of MDMA last a shorter time than psilocybin. (3-5 hours compared to the 4-6 of psilocybin). So this combined with the fact you’re dosing MDMA earlier will mean that the MDMA will wear off before the psilocybin, and the later part of your psilocybin will be without the MDMA.

I think this is fine as typically the most challenging part of the psilocybin experience is the coming up, and the first one to two hours. Typically the most challenging or pressing material to be negotiated will arise here so that’s where the MDMA’s effects will be most appreciated.

However, if you would prefer the MDMA for the whole psilocybin experience, you can take a booster dose of MDMA to extend it. The standard is half the initial dose ~90 minutes after. You might like to pre-weigh that booster dose, have it ready, and set a timer just to make it easier to navigate during the middle of your trip.

However, if you would like them to last the same generation at the same time you can dose the take a booster dose of MDMA at some point. You might like to send you the 

2. MDMA ~20 minutes before psilocybin

Another option, recently suggested by a colleague, is to take MDMA first and then psilocybin about 20 minutes later.

Due to the differences in onset time, both substances’ effects will hit you at once, with both peaks hitting at the same time. 

The come-up will be more intense and I wouldn’t recommend this to novices. However, one upside I have heard from this approach is that there’s less opportunity for you to be stuck in your head. The journey just gets underway and takes you in.

So if you find that you have a tendency to be a bit stuck in your head or find it difficult to when you’re waiting for the effects of substances to kick in, this might be suitable for you. It might also be useful if you find it difficult to let go and fully immerse yourself in the experience. This way is equivalent to jumping into the deep end of the experience. I’d recommend considering a sitter for this option.

Other Timing Options

The other options are then taking both at the same time, or taking the psilocybin first, and then the MDMA later. 

Taking Both Simultaneously

Taking both at the same time means that the psilocybin will likely start slightly before the MDMA, which I don’t really see any point in. One upside, however, is that it’s easy and straightforward. You just take everything and then wait. No synchronizing timings, no clocks needed. As one of my friends calls this no-nonsense approach: ‘JBI’ – ‘Just Bosh It’.

Psilocybin Before MDMA

The final option of course is taking the psilocybin first and then taking the MDMA later. I don’t really have any experience of this myself or from people that I know so I’m not gonna comment on it or recommend it here. 

Experiences from the Community

This approach has been experimented with by a few members of The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer community, as I mentioned before. They have reported that taking MDMA before embarking on the psilocybin experience helps them feel more clear and connected to the heart center.

Here are a few comments:

I feel the combination really helped me surrender to my experience. I encountered some really hard and traumatic past experiences in my journey and I think the MDMA opened and softened my heart allowing me to resolve these things from a place of forgiveness and not judgment or guilt or shame. […] I noticed my heart rate pick up with the MDMA, and just reminded myself to relax and focus on my breathing.”

“I have tried that combination with good results. MDMA is a gentle way into the shrooms (less turbulence perhaps) and then, you don’t get the rough comedown from MDMA because you are still high on the psilocybin”

“I definitely came in a state of focus, calm and readiness. As for me both substances kicked in together (peak) it was overwhelming but mystical.”

My Experience

This combination is not one I have experimented with much personally. I have found it pleasant on the couple of occasions that I have done it, and they were helpful. I followed the Coleman timing on dosing, which I found to work well and ease the entry as planned.

However, I have had more experience combining MDMA with LSD. Probably the first five or six times I took LSD, they were all combined with MDMA. In my research and preparation for those experiences, I read online that taking MDMA first can be a good idea as it helps to get you into a positive mindset and a positive state, which is a good place to enter the psychedelic journey from. So, in that respect, a lot of the same principles apply. And I have to say, it worked very well. I remember being with friends and getting into a good space with the MDMA first. Then, there would come a point where I felt ready for the LSD, feeling good and prepared, and then we would dive in.

Because of the success of the initial session, that approach actually became my modus operandi for my first year of psychedelic explorations. Those experiences were formative, mind-expanding, and treasured moments. It wasn’t until about a year into my psychedelic explorations that I actually journeyed with LSD alone.

However, I believe those early experiences helped me build a solid relationship with psychedelics, providing positive first encounters and setting the stage well for future experiences. Of course, it was always combined with a good set and setting—I was in safe, private spaces with close friends.

Final Thoughts

I hope this post is helpful, informative, or useful in some way. If you’re considering hippie flipping, then as usual, take good care, factor in your setting, and follow a solid preparation. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Best of luck out there.

mdma concert gig live music how to guide

MDMA and music: Magical combo.

MDMA and live music: Now we’re talking.

Concerts, gigs, shows. Whatever you call them. MDMA can heighten the experience beautifully.

The combo is a popular choice because it goes down so so well.

As the psychedelic revival continues to grow, much talk on the use and application focuses on the idea of using psychedelics in a medical or clinical context. While some argue that psychedelics are only good when used for treatment or healing, I believe in cognitive liberty. 

Citizens should have the freedom to alter their minds as they choose. That includes taking MDMA for enjoyment, fun, therapy, and mental health interventions.

I am a huge believer in using both classic and non-classic psychedelics for healing and therapeutic purposes, and at the same time, going to gigs on drugs has been one of my greatest joys in life.

So I wanted to write a blog post to help others have some amazing and memorable experiences. This post will contain some tips to help you make the most of your experience. Of course, many drugs can be enjoyed with live music, and most of the tips here will apply across the board. I’m just keeping on theme for MDMA month on the blog.

We’ll go in three sections, in chronological order: 1. Pre-show, 2. During, and 3. After.

Let’s ago!

mdma concert gig live music how to guide

1: Pre-Concert

Before getting into concert specifics, follow these standard MDMA best practices to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

1.1: Prepare Doses

Save yourself the hassle of fumbling with tiny crystals while you’re out and about. Pre-weigh your doses and have them ready to go in capsules. I generally like to dose before entering the venue if I can so I don’t have to think about any security checks, but in my experience, those are usually pretty lax.

1.2: Create a Basic Schedule

Timing the dose well is key. This prevents the need for redosing, or not being high when the band plays.

To time well, knowing the stage times is crucial.

Reach out to the band on Instagram or Twitter, contact the venue, or arrive early to find out, where stage times might be posted around. Otherwise, you might ask the sound guy or whoever is at the merch stand, as they’re usually wise to this info. If you can’t get this info before, you can make a best guess. Based on doors opening, how many bands are playing and recent gigs at the venue. 

Once you have the stage time, you can work backward to create a basic schedule and plan your time of dose accordingly.

I typically aim to be up and feeling the effects about 15-30 minutes before the band I am there to see steps on stage.

For example, say I’m seeing the Oh Sees, and they’re on at 9:00pm.

I like to dose on a more or less empty stomach, and MDMA takes about 80 minutes to kick in on said empty stomach. So I’d make a basic schedule that looks like this:

5:00 Dinner
7:15 Dose / Leave
8:00 Arrive venue
8:00 Opening band
9:00 Oh Sees

1.3: Essential Packing List

Make sure you have any important items with you. Here’s my standard packing list:

  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Phone
  • Earplugs (I’ll usually use these for opening acts to save my ears)
  • Chewing Gum
  • Water (note that some venues won’t allow you to take this in)
  • Weed vape

Make your own with items you’ll need or want and know where you’re keeping them for the show.

1.4: Scouting the Venue

It can help to get familiar with the venue before the concert.

You might find out if sections are standing, or if seating is unreserved or reserved and choose your ticket type accordingly. This can help avoid the stress of searching for seats while under the influence.

mdma concert gig live music how to guide

1.5 Cloakroom and Jacket Considerations

To ensure maximum comfort during the concert, consider the cloakroom options. Some venues offer cloakrooms or garderobe where you can store your belongings for a small fee. Some don’t. Again, you might try and find this out before, but if you can’t you’ll need to be prepared for both scenarios. 

mdma concert gig live music how to guide

If it’s not available or practical, you might wear lightweight clothing and keep your valuables on you.

I’ve just placed my jacket in a corner or on the stage at some shows and picked it up after. If you do this you might take an old jacket so that you won’t be too worried if it disappears (it has happened to me once!).

2: Navigating the Concert Environment

2.1: Scouting the Venue on Arrival

When you arrive, familiarize yourself with the venue. Knowing the layout and key locations will help you feel more at ease and in control of your surroundings, help allow you to fully immerse yourself in the concert experience.

Here’s a few basics:

  • Locate the toilets: Knowing their location will save you time and prevent any unnecessary wandering around in search of them. Also good to have this knowledge when MDMA might increase your need to use the facilities.
  • Identify water sources: Staying hydrated is obviously important, especially if you’re going to be dancing or sweating. However, sometimes the bar queues are a joke. So you might like to keep a small bottle on you. One trick I use is hydrating from the bathroom taps if they’re accessible and clean. If you’ve been able to bring in an empty water bottle you can top this up there. It can also be nice to splash water over yourself to cool down.
  • Explore the outdoor area: Fresh air and a change of scenery can enhance your experience and provide a brief respite from the crowded concert environment. Also can be a good spot to meet up with friends or take a breather between sets.
  • Other places: Places to sit down: Good to know in case you need it.

Also good to familiarize yourself with the entrances, exits, and any other noteworthy features or spaces. 

2.2: Empty Your Bladder

I like to do this directly before the band I wanna see cause y’know, I don’t wanna go in the middle of their set.

2.3 Finding Your Spot In The Crowd

If standing, where are you gonna stand for the show?

This is entirely up to you, but if you’re with friends you might like to briefly discuss it before.

Will you attempt to stay together? Will you maybe lose each other in the crowd? Some people like to be closer to the action, some people prefer to be in spots where its less crowded. You may also split up and reconvene later. Some clarity on this can be useful though.

mdma concert gig live music how to guide

For most gigs I like free reign and then to catch up with friends again after. If you like to be close to the front, one trick I’ve found that works well is to wait until the band starts playing, and then just move forward to the pit. It helps prevent the old sliding past people and then just stopping awkwardly infront of someone.

If you’re close to someone in the crowd who’s bothering you for whatever reason, I’d suggest moving to another spot sooner rather than later.

If you’re in unreserved seating, you might like arrive early and claim your spot.

When choosing or booking seats, you might consider if you’d like to be close to the aisle for easy access and not having to trample and squeeze past people when you wanna get out.

2.4 Placing Your Attention

Where you put your attention can massively change your experience. It’s consciously filtering the intake of your setting.

This might be from watching the band, closing your eyes and tuning in to the sounds of the music, taking a panoramic of the light show, or watching a particular band member. If there is a band member whose energy you’re vibing with, try and get in a spot where you have a good clear view of them. Or just remember to keep your eyes on them.

3 After The Show

3.1: Establishing a Meeting Place

Designate a meeting spot for easy reunions with friends. Make sure it’s a location that everyone can find without difficulty. You might choose somewhere inside or outside the venue.

3.2: Planning Transportation

Don’t leave yourself stranded in an unfamiliar city late at night and high. Figure out your transportation options before, then plan your transportation to the degree that you’d like to., considering timings and availability of options.

3.3: Preparing for After the Concert

If you’re heading home after the concert, have your preferred food, drinks or whatever else you’d like ready and waiting for you. 

Final Thoughts

Some of my favorite and most memorable life experiences have been at concerts, with substances, and in a combination of both. That includes being obliterated in a tornado of Ty Segall’s guitars (2-CB+MDMA), feeling universal love with Sigur Ros (1p-LSD), and rocking out to the Oh Sees (MDMA – yes that example was from last month).

I hope this guide will help you to have some incredible and joyful experiences, too.

Remember basic safety, plan your schedule, pack the essentials, and navigate the concert environment like a pro. With these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to have an awesome time. 

If you have questions, feel free to reach out. I’m here to help you have an amazing concert experience!

Stay safe, and best wishes out there.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Picture this: you, reclining comfortably, pen in hand, experiencing the heightened state of openness and ease induced by MDMA.

This is the perfect moment to embark on a journaling journey of self-discovery.

Welcome to the transformative world of journaling in MDMA sessions.

In this blog post, we will explore the powerful combination of MDMA and journaling, unlocking a pathway to self-reflection, emotional release, and personal growth. I’ll discuss the benefits of combining MDMA and journaling and offer a few different types of journaling you can try during your roll. And I’ll end by sharing a bit of my experience.

Let’s dive in.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Benefits of Journaling on MDMA

The benefits of journaling are well-documented. They include self-reflection, emotional release, clarity, personal growth, emotional regulation, memory enhancement, problem-solving, creativity, emotional healing, and accountability.

So why the need to introduce MDMA?

Reduced Amygdala Response: Enhanced Openness and Relaxation

One of the notable effects of MDMA is its remarkable ability to reduce the amygdala response. The amygdala is part of your brain that plays a central role in the brain’s processing of emotions, particularly fear and stress.

By reducing amygdala activity, MDMA enables individuals to approach difficult and stressful subjects with a greater sense of ease and openness. It diminishes fear and anxiety, establishing a safe space for self-reflection and introspection. This is what has made MDMA such a powerful tool in the treatment of PTSD and it also creates an ideal mindset for valuable inner work through journaling.

Journaling in this state can be transformative, providing insights into one’s inner world and uncovering the root causes of challenges.

Enhancing Motivation and Focus

If you’re like me, you might not journal as much as would probably benefit you.

The good thing is, with MDMA, can help with motivation and focus.

MDMA has amphetamine-like properties that can boost motivation, as highlighted by Ben Sessa in the Netflix series based on Pollan’s book “How To Change Your Mind.” Sessa pointed out that the amphetamine part of MDMA helps patients participate in therapy by providing a motivating effect.

The stimulating aspect of MDMA can also bring a heightened sense of focus, allowing you to be fully engaged in the journaling process. Similar to how a good cup of coffee can help on a workday. But with an emotional opening and mildly mind-expanding boost.

By tapping into the heightened state of openness and relaxation facilitated by MDMA, combined with the lowered amygdala response and increased focus, journaling during MDMA sessions can become a powerful tool for personal exploration and growth.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Types of Journaling

There are several ways you can incorporate journaling into your MDMA sessions. Here are a few options you might try:

Open Journaling

Keep a journal nearby and jot down any interesting or insightful thoughts that arise during the session. This unstructured approach is a good starting point, especially if you’re new to journaling or don’t want to dedicate the entire session to writing. If you’re sharing the session with someone, you can even share a journal.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) / Parts Work

This modality has gained popularity in the psychedelic world. It involves recognizing that each individual is composed of different parts with conflicting interests. By engaging in parts work, you can bring these conflicting parts together and facilitate a dialogue to find resolution and a path forward. Any internal conflicts or disharmony can serve as fuel for a parts work journaling session.

Journaling Prompts

Thought-provoking journaling prompts can guide your mind in specific directions and prompt you to explore certain topics. Similar to how therapists ask good questions to elicit insights, well-crafted journal prompts can lead to valuable reflections. You can choose prompts related to areas you wish to focus on, such as health, relationships, work, or personal growth.

If you are doing some online course, maybe a homework exercise has some prompts for you that you can use. 

Here are a couple journaling prompts to get you started:
80/20 Life Audit
7 Death Contemplations


MDMA’s mild psychedelic effects and enhanced enthusiasm make it a great tool for brainstorming. Choose a topic, such as ways to improve your life, make money, enhance relationships, or improve your health, and let your mind generate ideas freely. This activity can be engaging and enjoyable during an MDMA session.

Creative Journaling

You can also merge brainstorming with creative projects. Use your journal to brainstorm ideas for a creative or collaborative endeavor. You can create outlines, explore divergent ideas, and let your creativity flow without filtering or judgment. This stage is about generating as many ideas as possible. You can review and filter them later.

Vision Boarding

Sketch or create small images of things you want to manifest or bring to life. This type of visual journaling helps you to visualize your desires and aspirations.


Write letters to yourself, imagined future self, or significant people in your life. You can also use letter writing to work on relationships or express your thoughts and emotions. You can even then decide if the letters (or some, perhaps soberly edited, version of them) are something you would pass on.

My Experience

I discovered the combination of journaling and MDMA during the first lockdown in 2020 when I embarked on my first solo MDMA experience. I was hesitant to try this at first, as I thought that I’d want to be around other people, but a friend of mine had told me he’d done MDMA on his own before, and it was great every time. So I tried it. And he was right, it was great!

I’ve done a bunch of solo MDMA sessions since then. And journaling is always a key part of it. Nowadays, during a typical solo MDMA session, I’ll fill at least 10 pages in my bullet journal. I use all of the above options. Sometimes I’ll plan for some of them, sometimes I leave it open.

If an emotionally tricky topic arises, which would normally be towards the start of a session, then I will often turn to parts work journaling to find some resolution on the matter. Or if it involves another person, I find writing letters to be very helpful.

The content ranges from personal reflections to creative ideas, and fun topics. Journaling helps me gain clarity, connect with my emotions, and approach creative work from a place of inspiration.

Depending on the session, I usually do other things. It may be hanging out with friends, playing some music, or going to see a band play. In which case I usually time it to see the band, and then go home and journal on the tail end before bed.

I’ve found that being offline (or uncontactable) and disconnected from daily responsibilities allows for deeper thinking and exploration of complex issues, so if this is an aim, I’d recommend you go on airplane mode.

Quick Tips

Discern What You Journal

It can be easy to get caught up trying to write everything down, so try to be discerning about what you write down. Aim to capture insights and significant reflections rather than mundane details.

Keep It a Safe Space

Remember that your journal is a safe space for expression, free from judgment or fear. Your journal should be a private sanctuary where you can be your truest self, allowing you to explore your innermost thoughts, dreams, and fears with complete authenticity.

Embrace the freedom to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of criticism or scrutiny. 

Review Your Notes

Revisit and go over your journal entries within a couple of days of the session. Reflect on your insights, separate the fun from the profound, and transform actionable items into concrete tasks. This integration process enhances the value of your journaling practice.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Journaling during MDMA sessions can encompass a wide range of activities, from inner work and emotional exploration to creative ideation. Find the approach that resonates with you and embrace the transformative power of combining journaling with MDMA.

If you have a session coming up, I recommend trying out a bit of journaling. Let me know how it goes!

mdma safe use best practices maximizing benefits

MDMA is a drug that can change the world.

If used wisely, it’s a substance that can help heal trauma, actively improve relationships, fire up creative inspiration, and just have a really great time.

It also serves as a great entry point for psychonauts wanting to explore altered states because it’s tremendously easy to have a good time. This opens the door to deeper experiences in the corridors of consciousness and widening worldviews.

I’ve enjoyed and benefited from taking MDMA for a number of years. It has also been popping up in my field more recently and I see it’s time to shine coming to the forefront. So I’ve decided to write a short series on the wonder drug that made it into Shulgin’s magic dozen this month on the blog.

We’ll be exploring different modes of use, supplements, and concert experiences, and combining with classic psychedelics.

But today I’d like to start us on a firm footing: sharing some general best practices for safe MDMA use. These will help to reduce harm and maximize benefits.

To maintain a logical flow, I have organized these practices chronologically into three sections: Before, During, and After.

Follow these steps, whatever your session, to set yourself up for fruitful, beneficial, and dare I say, really fun times in your mollified states.

MDMA Best Practices


Check Your Contraindications

If you’re taking any medication, be sure to check that there are no contraindications as this can be very serious. Also check your physical health, as MDMA can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Consult with your doctor when necessary, or one of those psychedelic consultants. 

Test Your Substance And/Or Know Your Source

As MDMA is currently unregulated, you almost certainly won’t know what it includes. Testing can help you be sure that what you have doesn’t contain something dangerous like fentanyl. You can find test kits online (UK) (US).

I’d recommend testing each batch. Or knowing and trusting your source. Who is the provider? Do you know them? Do you trust them? Is there any consequence for them if what you have isn’t actual MDMA? Consider these and have peace of mind from the outset.

Be Familiar With Basic Info and Possible Effects

Stuff like how long it takes to come on and the range of effects. Basic education. Important for any conscious drug user. PsychonautWiki is my go-to for such information.

Understanding that things like sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and clenching jaw are often par for the course helps to roll with it.

Find Your Dose

Dosage matters, and it’s personal. What is high for one person may be low for another, and vice versa.

A general rule to start is 50 mg plus your weight in kg. For example, if you weigh 77 kg, your dose would be 127 mg. 

Take Your Stomach Contents Into Account When Dosing

This can affect the time of onset and the strength of the effects. Taking on a full stomach will mean diminished effects and a longer time of onset.

I like to have something lightish (decent smoothie or bean salad) 2.5-3 hours before a first dose. I’ve found this to offer a predictable onset and effects at the doses I work with.

Also, save your nostrils the burn, and swallow rather than snort.

Weigh Your Dose

Get a milligram scale. The AWS Gemini is a decent, affordable option that will do the job.

You can buy empty capsules online and put your doses inside for convenient storage, transport, and ease of dosing.


Don’t Re-dose Excessively

MDMA largely feels good. Sometimes people just want to stay in that feel-good serotonin state, so they want to keep on dosing.

But your body will pay the price, and the more you consume in one session, the more serious any neurotoxic effects will be.

I would suggest choosing the number of doses in advance (not more than 3), and then just sticking to that.

If you’re an aging nerd like me, staying up all night and being completely toast the next day has less and less appeal over the years. I like to have the session, make the most of it, and then wind it down and get my rest.

So now I usually like a single decent dose, and then maybe one booster (around half of the original dose), after 60-120 minutes to prolong the session, if desired.

You might like to try the same.

Don’t Mix With Booze

Booze can dampen the effects of MDMA. It can also contribute to a hangover and feeling tired and exhausted the days after.

If you insist, try to at least go easy on it. 

I do, however, understand the joys of a cold beer. You might try drinking alcohol-free beers. They can offer that delicious taste and you won’t lack the feeling of getting drunk as you’ll be high anyway.

Stay Hydrated

Especially important if you’re dancing or sweating. Taking electrolytes can help.

If you’re not, however, this won’t be much of a concern. You don’t need to overdo it and drink so much that you’re continually having to go to the bathroom. You can use the color of your pee as a hydration guideline.

Be Mindful of Body Temperature

Again, dependent on what you’re doing and where you are, but overheating is one of the biggest dangers with MDMA, as it raises core body temperature. This is especially important to consider if out dancing or in crowded or otherwise hot places.

Be sure not to overheat and remove clothes or head to cooler or shaded areas as needed.


There are a few different theories about supplements and I’ve been down a bit of a rabbit hole with research. I will return with a whole blog post on this soon. Check back to find it (or join the newsletter to stay up to date). In the meantime, you can check out this MDMA supplements guide



Yes, I put this in capitals because so many people miss this.

The importance of sleep in overall physical and mental health has been highlighted in recent years. Molly can be quite taxing on the nervous system so it’s especially important after a session.

Rest is crucial for recovery. Sleep is an essential part of this.

Take a lie in the day after, or get as much rest as needed.

I also recommend having that day after as an easy day, with the option to head to bed early again.

Do not renege on your sleep and rest in the days after an MDMA session.

Many people like to smoke some weed to help drift off to sleep a little easier. Some people recommend taking melatonin.

Keep an Eye on Your Frequency of Use

Don’t overdo it.

Overuse can lead to a higher risk of neurotoxic effects, gradually increasing tolerance, and ‘losing the magic’.

Using MDMA once every three months (four times a year) is a standard recommendation found online.

However, closer intervals have been used in MAPS studies (two sessions over a four week period [1], two or three sessions placed a month apart [2], and might be experimented with caution).

I have personally done it more frequently myself with no noticeable ill effect – taking into account the rest of the practices on this list. For example, once a month for a few months at the first lockdown, and two sessions on consecutive days on a summer mini-break with friends in the countryside. 

I should add that I seem to tolerate it well compared to most people – I’ve never really had the comedown or low mood in the week after that many people report. 

Stay Safe, Session Well

As always, take a thought to your setting and your company.

MDMA is a remarkable substance with vast potential.

Follow these basic practices for safe, healing, and wonderful experiences with this magnificent molecule.