Another Bryony Gordon book about mental health, and another hit, in my eyes.
I have struggled with my mental health for 6 years now, and done plenty of reading about how to help myself feel better; while I don't claim to know everything, it was a pleasant surprise to find a book that felt so helpful after having read so many others.
This book was a lovely mix, in fact, a pretty perfect mix for me, of anecdotes from the author's personal experiences, guidance on how to feel better when you're struggling yourself, practical exercises to put learnings into action and resources to help people move forward in their mental health journey. While it felt more like a manual than previous books I've read by Bryony Gordon (I would imagine that was the idea), it never felt preachy or instructive. At all times, the author struck just the right balance between supportive friend and self-deprecating advocate. This is clearly someone who is passionate about helping people through tough experiences, similar to the ones she has had herself.
I read this book across two nights, and within 24 hours of finishing it, I had already put some of the tips into action in my every day life. I was reading it during a bit of a lockdown funk and it really did help lift my spirits and refocus me a little.
A perfectly timed release of hope and help in this mad, tough, sometimes depressing lockdown/Covid world we're all living in. Thoroughly recommend, even if you don't feel you are struggling right now.
'Mental illness has led to some of the worst times of my life... but it has also led to some of the most brilliant. Bad things happen, but good things can come from them. And strange as it might sound, my mental health has been vastly improved by being mentally ill.'
From depression and anxiety to personality disorders, one in four of us experience mental health issues every year and, in these strange and unsettling times, more of us than ever are struggling to cope. In No Such Thing As Normal, Bryony offers sensible, practical advice, covering subjects such as sleep, addiction, worry, medication, self-image, boundary setting, therapy, learned behaviour, mindfulness and, of course - as the founder of Mental Health Mates - the power of walking and talking. She also strives to equip those in need of help with tools and information to get the best out of a poorly funded system that can be both frightening and overwhelming. The result is a lively, honest and direct guide to mental health that cuts through the Instagram-wellness bubble to talk about how each of us can feel stronger, better and just a little bit less alone.
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Headline.