This week, 13th – 19th of May we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week here, in UK so I thought what better way to do it than by putting up some amazing titles to recommend to you.
Suffering from anxiety and raising a toddler in the same time is no joke. I live with ups and downs and sometimes it defeats the best in me. Reading some of these books helped me cope better and see things in a different perspective. And if I can help someone with even this little post, I will be more than proud.
So, here is my list of best books to read on mental health awareness.
- EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE by Dolly Alderton
A spot-on, wildly
funny and sometimes heartbreaking book about growing up, growing older and
navigating all kinds of love along the way. This is a story about bad dates,
good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone
are enough. Dolly Alderton’s powerful debut weaves together personal stories,
satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that
will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – all whilst making
you laugh until you fall over. It’s a book full of heart that brings to life
the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful and wonderful
- THE ART OF NOT FALLING APART by Christina Patterson
We plan, as the old proverb says, and God laughs. But most of us don’t find it all that funny when things go wrong. Most of us want love, a nice home, good work, and happy children. Many of us grew up with parents who made these things look relatively easy and assumed we would get them, too. So what do you do if you don’t? What do you do when you feel you’ve messed it all up and your friends seem to be doing just fine?
For Christina Patterson, it was her job as a journalist that kept her going through the ups and downs of life. And then she lost that, too. Dreaming of revenge and irritated by self-help books, she decided to do the kind of interviews she had never done before. The resulting conversations are surprising, touching and often funny. Let me tell you that as a former journalist myself, this is one book I am actually looking forward to reading this year.
- SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW by Wendy Mitchell
Being the first memoir ever written by someone living with dementia, this book constitutes an incredible insight into the world of a suffering person.
What do you lose when you lose your memories? What do you value when this loss reframes how you’ve lived, and how you will live in the future? How do you conceive of love when you can no longer recognise those who are supposed to mean the most to you?When she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of fifty-eight, Wendy Mitchell was confronted with the most profound questions about life and identity. All at once, she had to say goodbye to the woman she used to be. Her demanding career in the NHS, her ability to drive, cook and run – the various shades of her independence – were suddenly gone.
A phenomenal memoir – the first of its kind – it is both a heart-rending tribute to the woman Wendy once was, and a courageous acceptance of the woman dementia has seen her become.
- YOU GOT THIS by Bryony Gordon
Frank and fearless, You Got This openly explores topics like self-respect, body image, masturbation and mental health, making it the perfect companion for young women.
Written with the verve and punch that you expect from Gordon, You Got This is always illuminating and never condescending. A must read for all teenage girls.
- LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green
I love John Green’s writing. It is full of passion, love, drama and heartache. Reading his books I always shed tears and remind myself how lucky I still am for all I have.
“In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes – fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too.”
BEFORE. Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event until he starts at anything-but-boring Culver Creek Boarding School and meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up and utterly fascinating she pulls Miles into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. But when tragedy strikes, and Miles comes face-to-face with death he discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
AFTER: Nothing will ever be the same
- REASONS TO STAY ALIVE by Matt Haig
What does it mean to feel truly alive?
Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living.
This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.
I wrote this book because the oldest cliches remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven’t been able to see it …Words, just sometimes, really can set you free. – Matt Haig
- I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.
I could never read the self help books, therefore I cannot recommend any of them. However, these are stories, most of them true and incredible. They help me fight the monsters in my head, they help me keep my anxiety in control and the most important thing, they teach me that I am not alone.
Obviously, there are so many other incredible books on mental health awareness and I would love to know if you read any of these or if you have other recommandations.