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13 Inspiring Books about Mental Health Recovery

Recovering or living with a mental health-related condition can feel isolating and strenuous, sometimes you don’t know where to start recovery and other times motivation might be lacking.

At Trigger, we understand that, so we put together a list of some of the most inspiring books written by people who are overcoming their struggles to support and help you in your journey. The road ahead might be tough but the fight is worth it, and there is a bright future waiting for you. You’re not alone and we hope these books will show you that. 

1. A Walk from the Wild Edge by Jack Tyler 

After struggling for a long time with depression and coming close to suicide, Jack decided that it was time to get his life back. With only a pair of walking boots and a backpack, he left his home town of Maldon to begin a 3000-mile walk around the British mainland. In this book, he explores the way this adventure helped him in reconnecting with others and himself, sharing how strangers’ kindness helped him through his recovery.

Immerse yourself in Jack’s journey around the UK, in a trip of self-discovery as he tries to find peace with himself and the world. This book can be a guiding light for anyone who’s going through dark times.

2. Finding Frank by Rachel Townsend

After growing up surrounded by violence and abuse, Rachel fell into a rabbit hole of drug addiction and debilitating depression. So, how do you carry yourself out of that abyss and trust love again, after losing the one you finally opened your heart to? 

Despite having all the odds against her, Rachel manages to overcome adversity. Her story is one of success, as she finally makes peace with her past and completely transforms her life, finding love along the way. This book will be a positive example for anyone who doesn’t see a way out, showing that even when all hope seems to be lost perseverance is the key and that you might end up being pleasantly surprised.  

3. Love, Interrupted by Simon Thomas 

When Simon’s wife, Gemma, died three days only after having being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, his whole world collapsed. He didn’t want to live anymore, however, he had to find a way for his eight-year-old son. 

This heartbreaking memoir is a story of loss and grief, but most importantly of love and family, where Simon shares his struggles in getting a grip on his life after his tragic loss, and how close he came to end it. Love, Interrupted can be a great support tool for anyone experiencing grief.

 

4. Shiny Happy Person by Terri Cox 

Terri’s life seemed normal from the outside: a talented and intelligent young girl with an active social life. However, on the inside, her mind wasn’t as put together as it seemed, and a series of events escalated so quickly that they led her into a full mental breakdown. 

She felt ashamed of what was happening and withdrew herself from any social interaction. It was only when she started therapy and exploring the traumatic events that she was finally able to find that shiny, happy person she used to be. Therapy can seem daunting as well as revisiting your past and traumatic events, however understanding traumas can give you some answers to realise why your mind acts in a certain way and what may have caused a particular mental and psychical response in the first place. 

5. Daddy Blues by Mark Williams 

When someone becomes a parent, society puts immense pressure on them to be happy and always be on top of things, considering postnatal depression still a stigma. In this touching story, Mark narrates his own struggle with postnatal depression from a perspective often unheard – the one of a father. 

Mark slowly loses contact with his wife and needs to care for his baby, who doesn’t stop crying. He finds refuge in drinking while he tries to navigate through symptoms he didn’t know fathers could be affected by. Whether you’re going through something similar to Mark or another issue that isn’t often talked about, this book will make you feel more understood and less lonely. 

6. This Too Will Pass by Richard Martin 

Have you ever felt like everything happening in your life is crushing you? Have you ever felt immense pressure and demands from your career or social life, leaving you with a fear of disappointing anyone? Then, this might be the right book for you.

Richard’s inspirational story shows what it is like to live with social anxiety and how he got a hold of his life again, after receiving too much pressure from work and social commitments which were burning him out. If you’re constantly in a rush and scared of letting anyone down, try to slow down and give this book a read as it can offer a great support tool in getting a grip on your life again. 

7. Bring me to Light by Eleanor Segall 

What happens when your life takes an unexpected turn, and never you would have expected to be put on hold by mental illness? Eleanor was only 16 years old when she was admitted at The Priory, with a Bipolar Affective Disorder diagnosis. However, after gathering her strengths to recover, she now uses her own experience to speak about mental illnesses, bringing hope to others in similar situations. 

Bring me to Light is a powerful account of how difficult, but ultimately worth it, the journey to recovery is. If you’re struggling with Bipolar Disorder or another debilitating mental illness, let this story inspire you to find the strength to keep on fighting. 

8. Another Peak by Alex Staniforth

Unable to rest, jumping from an adventure to another, always wondering what’s next, Alex now turns to his biggest challenge yet: ClimbTheUK, which involves cycling to the highest points of the UK.

But physical exhaustion and nature are not the main obstacles in his journey, indeed it’s when he’s left alone with his thoughts that the real challenge begins.

Sharing an insight into depression and an eating disorder, Another Peak offers a great reflection point and hope for anyone struggling to find a purpose in life. 

9. Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo 

Anorexia is a lying, manipulative illness that ends up controlling every single aspect of your life. In her autobiography, Hope explores all of this, sharing her strenuous journey to recovery, as she revisits some of her darkest times that then led her to a brighter future. Now, Hope is an activist whose goal is to raise eating disorders awareness, breaking the stigma surrounding it, and pressuring the government to provide more and better treatment for patients. 

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder or you would like to support someone affected by it, Stand Tall Little Girl will provide an insightful perspective on what it’s like to battle anorexia, helpful for both suffers and carers who might be unsure of what to do. 

10. Beautiful Chaos by Ali Douglas 

TV presenter, Ali, was living a glamorous and successful life, but despite seemingly having everything she needed to be happy, she wasn’t. Indeed, Ali was often lonely and depressed, until she was finally diagnosed with Bipolar II at 35 years-old, and decided to start looking at life from a new perspective. 

Beautiful Chaos is an extraordinary testimony of what the fight to get your life your back from the depth of darkness can look like. Ali shows us that sometimes, complete peace is not the ultimate goal, and learning to find beauty in chaos can be equally as powerful. 

11. My Journey Home by Hannah Green

After being sexually assaulted Hannah was left without a place to live, developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As she kept on running away from the truth, she found herself homeless for more than a year, Hannah tried to find comfort in drugs and alcohol. It was when all hope seemed to be lost and at her lowest point that she found people who could finally understand her, introducing her to surfing, which proved to be life-saving for Hannah. 

Sometimes, when life keeps on throwing curveballs at you, it feels like the only solution might be to let yourself completely go, however, Hannah’s story shows how there is always some hope left as long as you don’t give up, no matter how awful life might seem.

12. Hope Through Recovery by Hope Virgo  

After having struggled herself with anorexia, in this guide book, Hope collects a series of resources helpful for anyone struggling with any type of eating disorder. With the collaboration of Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Chi-Chi Obuaya who provides insightful knowledge and additional guidance, this book combines Hope’s personal experience and the work done with patients, parents and health workers. 

Rich with practical and emotional support tools, this book is perfect for anyone recovering from an eating disorder who’s looking for some resources to guide them through their journey. 

13. The Recovery Letters edited by James Withey and Olivia Sagan 

If you’re affected by a mental illness and you feel like there isn’t a way out from the pain you’re experiencing, you might want to give this collection of letters a read. The Recovery Letters was launched online in 2012 as a way of letting people recovering from depression writing letters addressed to those who were currently struggling themselves. 

Now, these letters addressed to ‘Dear You’ have been put together into this beautiful collection of powerful testimonies written from a first-hand perspective to show that recovery is worth it and to offer hope and support to others affected by depression. In this book, you’ll also find additional resources, motivational quotes and new exclusive material.

Reading about how someone else has overcome a problem can inspire you to tackle your own. Each one of these stories is unique just like yours and the advice given is often relatable.

 

 

We hope that among these books you have found one that resonates with you the most. You can head to our online bookshop to shop for more books. 

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