Mindfulness is all the rage at the moment. Here are five self-help books to make 2018 your best year yet, and help you to overcome January blues.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Perhaps the title is self-explanatory. Author Mark Manson encourages readers to sift out what isn’t important to us and teaches us that, occasionally, a wholesome dose of pessimism is exactly what we need. Manson provides readers a solution: ‘self-help for people who hate self-help.’
Comedian and actress Chelsea Handler has revealed that she is a fan of the book. Chris Hemsworth has said of the book on social media: ‘Hilarious, confronting and damn refreshing, it’s more than a practical guidebook to choosing what’s important or unimportant in our lives, it’s a brutally honest reality check about our personal problems, fears and expectations. A good kick in the arse that I needed!’
- The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul by William Sieghart
‘Truly a marvellous collection … There is balm for the soul, fire for the belly, a cooling compress for the fevered brow, solace for the wounded, an arm around the lonely shoulder’ – Stephen Fry
For 20 years, author William Sieghart has cured the unhappy by prescribing poetry.
The idea for the book came from the suggestion of a friend, following a time when Sieghart set up a small tent with a couple of armchairs and a prescription pad and would see people for 10-minute slots at literary festivals. Then he decided to compose ‘The Poetry Pharmacy’, which includes a poem for nearly every shade of bleak emotion one might experience. The book contains 56 remedies to problems an individual may face; from purposelessness to emotional repression. The book helps to ease any tension or pain you may be experiencing and acts as a reminder that you are not alone.
- Silence in The Age of Noise by Erling Kagge
Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge considers the question of what silence is and investigates why it is most important in the present day, more than it has ever been. The 33 numbered sections in his book are responses to this. Kagge is a very interesting individual. As an outdoor adventurer, he was the first person ever to reach both the North and South poles and the peak of Mount Everest on foot. He has also crossed oceans and ventured across Manhattan through its sewer tunnels. Kagge infuses these extreme experiences in his exploration of the philosophy of silence.
- Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand
Russell Brand openly describes the self-destructiveness he experienced over his lifetime: from having eating disorders to being addicted to drugs and alcohol. His vibrant personality comes across throughout the book and in this way, it is as entertaining as it is helpful. Whether you are battling something or not, Brand produces moments of pure clarity – thought provoking ideas which illustrate issues that are universally experienced and understandable. He writes about his 12 steps that saved him, which he believes can save his readers too:
‘I’m trying to create territory to have a different conversation about spirituality, for people who are naturally humanist, or atheist. Or people who are just cynical.’
- Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Haig’s memoir contains a brutally honest view into his experience with depression and anxiety, but he also paints a picture of a poignant and inspiring sense of faith by delving into the wonder of what it means to be alive, and to hold onto hope whilst living with mental illness.