112 women and 37 men, with an average age of 50 years were referred for MBSR training with a range of chronic psychological issues. All participants completed the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (Tennant et al. in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 5:63, 2007) before and after the mindfulness training programme. A significant overall effect of pre/post training was found and this difference was not related to a specific disorder. The results suggest that a ‘brief’ dose of MBSR can have a positive impact on measures of well-being in a manner that is not related to patient characteristics. A follow-up of 28 participants confirms that participation in the 5-week Living Mindfully MBSR programme significantly enhances psychological well-being immediately after training, and this benefit is maintained up to 4 years after training. Continued practice in mindfulness meditation showed an insignificant relationship to well-being scores at follow up. Qualitative data suggest that the 5 week MBSR is an effective means of developing emotion regulation and psychological well-being.