I love reading. That is a sentence I never believed possible as a child! A flick through Mizz Magazine (90's girls, you'll know this well) was quite enough reading content to last me a month.
As I have grown older, however, I have come to adore everything that picking up a book has to offer. Not only does reading act as a meditative activity through bringing you into the present moment which has a whole host of health benefits, but it also allows you to explore a totally different world and headspace.
I wanted to put a list of my favorite Mental Wellbeing focused reads, as I know that many of us will be looking towards that extra support through this current period of challenge and uncertainty.
I really do believe in the power of reading, the power of hearing another say 'I've been there too' and the power of sharing darkness, so that we can find our light.
I hope you enjoy!
Rumi's Little Book of Life
My beautiful friends sent this to me when I was experiencing a darker period last year. Rumi, for those of you who don't know, was a 13th-century Persian Muslim poet, who's writings have gone on to be translated for readers to enjoy worldwide.
His teachings are spiritual, his words wise, his poems short, light, dark, twisted and centered all at once. His words can be enjoyed through the ups and downs of life.
I really recommend this book to dip in and out to remind you of your own internal wisdom, stability, and courage. It is a lovely bedside table book.
The Little Big Things
Henry Fraser is a hero of mine. Henry experienced a tragic accident whilst on holiday abroad with friends, just as his freedom should have been at its most abundant.
For what would be hell for so many, Henry took as a hugely deep wake up call for gratitude. Writing about this book is actually making my skin shiver! It is simply so powerful in mindset, in the appreciation for the very little things which we often take for granted.
If you are struggling with finding perspective and gratitude, I really recommend reading this one.
This is my favorite book of last year. Someone very close to me recommended it to me when struggling with my own journey.
Edith Eger is a now trained psychologist, helping others come to terms with their own trauma.
Edith is a Holocaust survivor. Her truthful, honest and harrowing story is told in such an eloquent way. Her courage to tell her story is something that is deeply heroic and truly inspirational. I especially admire hearing of her sister's companionship, which pulled them both through the very worst of times.
Edith's story is life-changing, grounding, and highlights the deep importance of kindness and compassion in all that we live and do.
Brave, powerful, heroic, tragic, despairing, haunting, true, inspiring, beautiful.
Pleaseee read this one!
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
Written by Haemin Sunim, this is such a wonderfully beautiful book on the pure beauty found in not hurrying, not rushing, not pushing, not resisting, something I feel we are all learning this year!
In this fast-paced world, where we are continuously attracted to more, more and more(!), it is so important to take a moment to reflect on what really matters to us, which path we're walking on and taking time to process, grieve, and be more present.
This book is great if you're interested in meditation, and incorporating that into your everyday life.
Reasons to Stay Alive
If you haven't heard of Matt Haig's incredible 'Reasons to Stay Alive', then you may have been living under a rock! Haig is simply incredible, inspirational and courageous.
Telling the story of his 24-year old breakdown of clinical depression and anxiety in the most brutally honest and truthful of ways, it really guides even the most un-empathetic readers into a heart of compassion for the young mans suffering.
Matt writes about his 'breaking down of self', and the rebuilding stage beyond it, and coming to terms with his diagnosis.
Whether you suffer from mental health issues or not, I really urge you to read this. It will empower you with not only empathy, compassion, and non-judgment but also equipt you with an intuitive 'mental health aid kit'.
I pretty much recommend this book to anyone and everyone!
The Power of Now
Eckhart Tolle is one of the greatest, most influential and most humble of spiritual leaders. Eckhart shares the tale of his own darkness, and how he self-taught himself to find peace within the present moment.
It is simply a life-changing read, which I read over and over again to remind myself on the power of NOW.
It's Not Ok To Feel Blue and other lies
Curated by my inspiring and beautiful friend Scarlett, and teaming up with a whole host of influential and inspiring people to create a powerfully honest 'bible' for mental health.
Mental Health still has a humungous way to going being spoken about and respected as much as our physical health, but Scarlett has done so much incredible work through this book.
Filled with honest, truthful and courageous accounts of others mental health journey's, the reader is taken on a journey of recognizing our shared humanness, that maybe we are not so alone in our darkness, and provides us with a greater understanding that mental health is serious, is important and is something which needs to be heard.
This is a wonderful book for anyone feeling alone in their struggle, and for those supporting others through darkness.
How To Fail
Written by podcast host and journalist, Elizabeth Day, this book is just wonderful in how open and honest it is!
Elizabeth went through a challenging journey, including a divorce and a shift in paths in life. This book is all about that period of her life, and coming to terms with the beauty that can be found in 'failure', a word so often used in a derogatory, shameful and bitter way.
I am so happy to have read this aged 25 when life throws its curveballs and challenges. Elizabeth's words are like an older sister, guiding you through realms of self-love, self-acceptance, and the resilience to turn a negative into something which ultimately makes life more successful in abundance, love, and honesty.
I hope you enjoy these reads!