As part of my ongoing recovery with mental health problems, books have become an integral part of my self-care routine- and allowed me to switch off through some of my most troubling thoughts. In particular books around mental health, self-help and how we can approach trials and tribulations better to live happier, more fulfilled lives. Added below are a few of my favourites; hopefully you enjoy them if you get the chance to read any!
1. Good Vibes, Good Life- Vex King
Detailing the positive impacts of self-love and embracing one’s imperfections, this book provides incredible insight, inspiration and learning – not to mention in a way which a reader will find both engaging and easy to follow. Especially for somebody like myself, who’s always been a pessimist, the tips around creating positive habits, overcoming toxic energy, reaching goals and maintaining a healthy mindset will be very useful moving forward. I cannot recommend it enough- a must-read!
2. The Courage To Be Disliked- Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
For those amongst you who’ve always struggled with the idea of being disliked or judged by others, this is a perfect fit. Following the conversations and back and forth of a hugely pessimistic, unhopeful youth and a knowledgable, calm and positive philosopher throughout the whole book, in my opinion, the language and teachings used are massively useful, powerful and written in a way that will very much stick with its readers. The format of continuous dialogue between the two characters really made the book come to life!
3. The Miracle Morning- Hal Elrod
Do you ever feel discontented with your life? That you are treading water and not achieving your goals? And that your life could be dramatically transformed into a happier, healthier and more successful existence? Uncovering the six habits that are doing exactly that to thousands upon thousands of people every day, The Miracle Morning teaches you how to wake up each day with more energy, motivation, and purpose than ever before in order to live the life you’ve always dreamt about. As well as touching on the author Hal’s experience of adversity and how he got through the harrowing lows, the book gives great tips, advice and success stories on how exactly to implement these various habits into your life. No matter who you are or what your lifestyle is like. The ideas are profound, yet so inspiring and uncomplicated!
4. Calm: Calm The Mind. Change The World- Michael Acton Smith
With a modern life of chaos, never-ending responsibilities and little time to think or relax, it’s more important than ever to instill a sense of calm and take a step back. The key focus of Calm is mindfulness and teaching its readers how to act more in the present moment, rather than reflecting on the past or worrying about the future. As humans we do have a tendency to instinctively and habitually react to the things around us, however it’s so important that we respond to situations with a clearer, more focused mindset. With a range of practical tips, activities, pictures and inspirational quotes on a variety of topics, Calm is sure to broaden your horizons to the pleasures of life and provide you with some much-needed peace. Particularly because of the interactivity and format, I believe it’s one of the best books out there. You can also download the Calm app or visit the website via the link below.
5. The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick
Also an oscar-winning film starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, The Silver Linings Playbook documents the life of Pat Peoples after a long stint in a psychiatric hospital. Living with a new philosophy of getting fit, being nice and always looking for the positives, Pat is determined to be reunited with his wife Nikki. An incredibly moving account into the life of somebody with a mental illness, the reactions of the people around him, and how he navigates the journey to recovery. I’m now really excited to see the film and how the story is portrayed on screen!
6. The Chimp Paradox- Prof Steve Peters
While the part of the brain referred to as ‘the chimp’ has a mind of its own, acts very irrationally and can often be our worst enemy, The Chimp Paradox is a brilliant, effective yet simple mind management model (including useful diagrams) that can provide you with the tools to recognise the patterns of your negative thinking, manage your emotions and thoughts better, and become an all-round happier, confident and more successful person. Successful sports stars such as Victoria Pendleton, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Sir Chris Hoy, Steven Gerrard and many others have also heaped huge praise on Peters in the past, even stating that this model has been a huge influence on the success of their careers. Whatever aspect of your life you’re wanting to improve, this book seems to have the answers!
If you have any of your own recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,