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Getting Lost in a Good (Mental Health) Book

It’s Mental Health Awareness week, and whilst we are all for speaking up more, sometimes we want nothing more than a little alone time.

One of the best activities to do in solitude? Reading! Nothing beats curling up with a good book. We often make time to read on holiday, or might dabble in an audiobook on the commute, but do we ever consider the connection between reading and mental health?

Some of our wonderful speakers have published important and groundbreaking works on mental health. You'll recognise many from bestseller lists, which is a great sign of the expanding conversation on mental health, and a big win in the way of breaking the stigma! 

This week, we will be dipping in to...

1. Matt Haig, Notes on a Nervous Planet

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The author of the hugely successful Reasons To Stay Alive, Matt Haig is the go-to mental health writer of the moment. His books are neat and digestible but dive deep into those hard to tackle topics. We love Matt as both a writer and a speaker!

2. Ruby Wax, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

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For a long time now, Ruby Wax has been a dedicated mental health campaigner. She has a few books, but her guide for ‘the frazzled’ is something we can relate to! Ruby offers some practical advice for those of us who feel like we never have the time.

3. Fearne Cotton, Calm

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Fearne Cotton has firmly established herself as an author now! Along with her other books, Happy and Quiet, Calm is a venture into the mindfulness space. She shares tips about overcoming the ‘noise’ of modern life, and the book itself includes interactive pages.

4. Andy Puddicombe, Get Some Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make All the Difference

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Andy Puddicombe is the founder of the Headspace app, but the good news is that his expertise has made its way into print! Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to unplug, so digging into the Headspace book is a great alternative to the app experience.

5. Steve Peters, The Chimp Paradox

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Steve Peters, as well as being a psychiatrist working in elite sport, business, and education, is the CEO of Chimp Management Ltd. If you haven’t yet dipped into his book, The Chimp Paradox, we recommend you do! Steve talks about how to deal with fear and overcome obstacles, with practical takeaways.

6. Bryony Gordon, Mad Girl

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Whether you read Bryony’s column in the Telegraph, or tune into her podcast, Mad World, you’ll know that she has an incredibly candid approach to mental health. In Mad Girl, Bryony speaks up about OCD, arguing that silence has given the condition an authority it doesn’t deserve. The book is brimming full of Bryony’s trademark wit.

7. Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Fast Asleep, Wide Awake

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Dr Nerina Ramlakhan is a physiologist who focuses on maximizing performance through wellbeing, balance, and vitality. With a strength for practical takeaways, Fast Asleep, Wide Awake recognizes that sleep problems do not start at the pillow but are a culmination of our thoughts and behaviours throughout the day. We could all learn something here!

8. Alastair Campbell, The Happy Depressive

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These days, Alastair Campbell is just as well-known as a voice on mental health as he is for his Spin Doctor years with Tony Blair. In The Happy Depressive, Alastair recounts his own story; a breakdown, depression, the good days and the bad, but also explores happiness as a societal issue. Asking ‘are you happy?’ and ‘does it matter?’ Alastair eloquently reveals that the pursuit of happiness is a long game.

9. Dr Heidi Hanna, Recharge: 5 Simple Shifts to Energize your Life

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Dr Heidi Hanna is founder and Chief ‘Energy’ Officer of Synergy, who provide brain-based health programs, and the Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress. As you can imagine, Heidi knows a lot about how the brain works! In Recharge, she teaches readers how to manage brain energy more efficiently. A little different from other mental health books, but an energized state, and optimal health, happiness, and performance, is something we can get behind.

10. Farrah Storr, The Discomfort Zone

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Farrah Storr is magazine editing royalty. Recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Elle, after successful years at Cosmopolitan, Farrah’s triumphs haven’t happened by accident. In The Discomfort Zone, Farrah shares personal memoirs and scientific content on personal growth. The trick? Stepping into the discomfort zone, embracing fear and worry. We think Farrah’s reframing of typically negative emotions is enlightening.

For further information or to book a speaker, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070+44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk.

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