Keeping in contact with one another is important, whether it is through social networking sites or old-fashioned conversations

Writing articles for HSJ can be like sending e-mails to children at university - a bit of a black hole, from which the emanation of no news is assumed by optimistic parents to mean good news.

You can always look on Facebook, but our own son's entries are somewhat alarming and anyway we are not members. So his big sister keeps us briefed - luckily she is kind hearted and provides an editing service.

I am from a generation of teenage girls who bought a diary from WH Smith with its own tiny padlock and key, so confidential were the contents. On rereading, they seem a little mundane.

These days I worry that some of the young people using personal networking sites may later come to regret having been so open and honest about their innermost thoughts and activities.

It is interesting how many senior people are using personal networking. Some of their entries are so well crafted you might almost suspect they have been written by media advisers.

Setting aside personal networking, one of the best ways of getting to know someone is through their taste in music. To counteract evidence from previous columns that I spend my life outside work watching television, I will mention Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs.

I was particularly moved by the selection last month of Alan Johnson, our very own health secretary. Not only does he understand from first-hand experience the links between poverty and poor health, but as a musician himself, he appreciates the Beatles, Neil Young and Elvis Costello for their music and the relevance of their lyrics.

You may have played your own version of Desert Island Discs with family and friends, or even your work team; if not, I recommend it. The only problem you will encounter will be limiting the detail on why they have made their choices - you may have to remind them that, as in most things, less is more.

And so here is my personal selection.

  1. The Beatles: Here, There and Everywhere – I wanted to choose And Your Bird Can Sing but copying Mr Johnson's choice seemed sycophantic. This one is a good leadership motto
  2. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Our House – because I love my cats, home and husband
  3. Otis Redding: My Girl – for my lovely daughter
  4. Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing – and my lovely son, and all guitarists
  5. Ron Sexsmith: Hard Bargain – or anything else by my favourite Canadian. I won't mention commissioners
  6. Elvis Costello: Brilliant Mistake – we all make them
  7. The Shins: Turn on Me – music as therapy
  8. Joe Jackson: It's Different for Girls – it just is

Music feeds the soul, it can reflect your mood and even alter it. It is cheaper and safer than drugs or alcohol and is increasingly being used as an evidence-based therapy to help with memory loss and mood improvement. So go ahead, it's your turn. And going back to the start of this article, please let me know how you get on.