Hi, and thanks for stopping by.
In a world growing ever more stressful, it's so easy to feel overwhelmed. I wanted to write a post specifically designed to recommend some (non-ficiton) books that might help alleviate stress and worry or even help you to manage mental health troubles. All of the things I'm going to mention are books I have read/used myself, and loved.
EASY TO READ & VERY LOGICAL
If you've never read Matt Haig's non-fiction work, you absolutely should. Even if you don't personally struggle with mental health issues, I think there is so much to be said for educating yourself regardless, and Matt's books do that wonderfully. They are written in short chapters that feel really easy to read, despite their sometimes difficult subject matter. Reasons To Stay Alive in particular is stunning; not only shining a light on the painful reality of living with anxiety, depression & suicidal thoughts but providing real guidance and hope for a future beside & beyond those things.
I absolutely love Meera Lee Patel. She is an incredible woman, artist and writer and every book she releases, I want to own immediately. My Friend Fear tells Meera's own story of coming to terms with anxiety and fear, of how to take it by the hand and walk alongside it and how to enjoy every second of life along the way. It is full of gorgeous quotes and is, in itself, a work of art, too. A lot of things in here were also things that I learnt about in CBT - there's something really powerful about acknowledging your fear, owning it and understanding the control that that gives you back over your life.
BEAUTIFUL QUOTES & TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE
If you like a book where you can fill things in/answer questions/make lists, I'd really recommend Meera Lee Patel's self-exploration/reflection journals. They are full of THE most beautifully curated quotes, artwork and really thought-provoking activities - for instance, "Life is a balance. Reflect on a difficult time in your life. How did that period prepare you for something good that came later?" and "Imagine a better world for yourself and others. What does it look and sound like?". Filling in journals like this can be really therapeutic, particularly because it's pretty special to put aside some time for yourself.
These books are written by M.H. Clark (published by Compendium) and I happened across both in John Lewis here in the UK, although I've seen them on Amazon since too. These are absolutely beautiful books. They are very emotive to read (at least, I found them to be) but so well composed, simple and meaningful. Read Till You Believe It was particularly well suited to grief, but I think works well for depression or even just straight sadness/struggle. You Already Are is a brilliant read for self-esteem issues & finding hope.
A Special Mention
This book is actually my inspiration behind making this post. Last year, the author, Lana Grace Riva, got in contact and asked if I'd be interested in reading Happier Thinking. After a pretty rough winter, reading this was a real breath of fresh air. Again, I found it very reminiscent of lots of ideas you may learn through CBT. What I think is great about it is how simple things seem when you're reading it, how realistic the advice is. Lana also does a really great job of applying her advice to real life situations, so you can see how the tips and tricks might fit into your life/apply to your habits. If you're looking for some ways to work happier, healthier thinking into your life, I'd recommend giving this a shot.
So those are just a few recommendations for self-improvement books. I'd also really recommend checking out The Happiness Planner, Kikki K (they have an entire range of different books based on themes like habits, mindfulness and gratitude) and the 52 Lists books (52 Lists for Happiness/Togetherness, etc).
If you have more recommendations for me, or everybody, please do leave them in the comments section down below. Let me know if you try out any of these books.
Till next time