To mark the 25th World Book Day this month I’m sharing with you a list of book recommendations which focuses on the theme of mental wellbeing. Please bear in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list as the market is saturated with wellbeing books and there are more coming out all the time. When I first started writing this blog the list was huge so I have cut it back to just 10 titles which cover a variety of areas. Simply click on the title of each book and it will take you to Amazon where you can find out more and buy a copy. Of course you can also take this list to your local book shop or library.
If you’d like to learn more about the mental health benefits of reading then please check out my blog ‘A Healing Read’ published in August 2020.
Overcoming Worry – Mark Freestone and Kevin Mearns
The ‘Overcoming’ series as a whole is fantastic. I use this particular book a lot when I am supporting people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder as it clearly sets out the principals of CBT, provides lots of useful information and is a tool which people can refer to once treatment has ended. The book can be used as a stand alone self-help guide but if you are struggling it’s always a good idea to have the support of a professional.
The Power of Self-Compassion – Mary Welford
Mary is one of the leading practitioners in Compassion Focused Therapy which is a new development of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with her back in 2016. What I like about this particular book is how practical it is with self-reflective exercises throughout which you can incorporate into your day to day life.
Dis(connected) How to Stay Human in an Online World – Emma Gannon
I’m really interested in the relationship between social media and our mental wellbeing. One of the reasons I publish this blog is that I want to use the internet as a tool for positive wellbeing. Emma has a nice informal style of writing about the overwhelm of living in the digital age and she offers great tips for how to stay true to ourselves and thrive in this culture.
And Now for the Good News … – Ruby Wax
Ruby has published a number of great books on mental wellbeing and mindfulness all of which I love. Her latest offering if a fabulous antidote to the constant stream of negative news which we are exposed to. She shares inspiring stories such as the community project tackling loneliness, and children with learning difficulties who are learning to read through AI. If you want a little more ‘hope’ then this is the book for you.
Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Another book which offers some much needed ‘hope’. This is Haigs moving and at times funny memoir about the crisis he experienced in his early twenties and how he overcame it.
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World – Mark Williams and Danny Penman
This has been my go-to mindfulness book for years now because it contains everything you need to know about mindfulness in a simple and accessible style. The book introduces you to an evidence-based 8 week programme including one chapter per week, practical exercises and guided meditations using the CD included.
Four Thousand Weeks – Oliver Burkeman
Oliver Burkeman is a journalist who spent years trying out all the latest time management techniques, until he came to the realisation that you can’t control time. This is a surprisingly deep and philosophical exploration of our relationship with time and how we can focus on what really matters in life.
The Things You Only See When you Slow Down – Haemin Sunim
A beautiful little book to gift yourself or a loved one. The message is clear – ‘the world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to’. You can read it cover to cover or dip in and out to enjoy the insightful short passages and gorgeous illustrations.
Jog on: How Running Saved my Life – Bella Mackie
As a newbie runner this one is on my ‘to-read’ list. It’s a personal memoir about how running helped Bella in her struggle with mental health problems and the fall out of her recent divorce. I’ve written in a previous blog about the mental health benefits of exercise and know from personal experience how valuable this can be so I am looking forward to reading this one.
Happy – Derren Brown
An insightful look at the philosophy of happiness from the Stoics to the modern ‘self-help industry’. Derren Brown explores how sometimes the things we do in an attempt to feel happy actually make us feel more anxious and depressed. Don’t worry though he does make some good suggestions for how we can reclaim happiness and lead more fulfilling lives.