Today we’re sharing five books to help you to find clarity, confidence and faith in yourself, even when you don’t think you’ll ever have them again.
You Do You by Sarah Knight
Sarah Knight is by far my favourite author. Her no-BS approach is incredibly empowering when it comes to being unapologetically you. After reading and loving her two previous books, The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving a F**** and Get Your S*** Together, despite the lack of swearing in the title, I knew I wouldn’t regret ordering You Do You.
It acted as the perfect reminder that it is absolutely fine to make mistakes, not be perfect and not have a clue what you want or where you’re going. Sarah nudges us about something we shouldn’t forget – that it should be easy to be ourselves, to listen to our own mind/heart/body, to stand tall and to go after our dreams. There are only a few people who matter but so many people who don’t, yet the latter are the ones whose opinions stick with us and hold us back. If we let go of those and be true to us, then we feel more at peace and more confident.
I recommend all of her books (having now also read Calm The F*** Down and her latest, F*** No) but if you start with one, choose You Do You.
Becoming by Laura Jane Williams
Becoming is by an author I’ve looked up to online for a number of years now as someone who has prioritised self discovery and documented it, knowing her story rings true for so many who read it.
Laura Jane Williams opens up in this book about her own experiences of sex, drinking too much and self-worth, embarking on a year long mission of celibacy in her 20s. She shares her heartbreak as the guy she thought she would marry breaks up with her and marries her friend, her career as she works in various countries pursuing a life away from what she had back here in England so she could forget about him, her journey to loving again and finding inner peace – realising she doesn’t need anyone but herself, her family and her best friends.
Although this was her real life, this book had me in tears of laughter and sadness. My biggest takeaway was that things are never really as bad as they seem and that whatever we are recovering from, we can and will get through it. Her other books, Ice Cream For Breakfast and Our Stop are great reads too.
Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
I was drawn to the title of this book not long after I was diagnosed with mental illness (anxiety and depression) a few years ago. It’s one that has since stayed with me and is being recommended everywhere I go despite being released in 2015. It’s not just a memoir, about mental health in men or for those suffering with depression and having suicidal thoughts, rather it holds space for us all in society. Whether you are diagnosed with an illness – cancer, chronic pain, an eating disorder or something completely different, or your journey is one of heartbreak, anger and pain, this short read can shed some light and keep you going.
Matt Haig is very honest with his battles throughout this book, sharing conversations with himself and highs and lows, but inspires you to remember that recovery is possible. I also read his book, Notes On A Nervous Planet on holiday last year which is a great follow-up, focussing on anxiety.
I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones
Despite me not particularly being in the target audience for this book (as I’m 28), I still wanted to share it in this post as I enjoyed the message behind it. Written (in my opinion) for somebody in her late teens or early twenties, Alexis Jones focuses on finding your purpose, your passion and who you really are. She enables you to think bigger and to look inside rather than waiting for the world to tell you who you should be and what you should do.
I Am That Girl is about defining your own path, embracing fear and stepping out of your comfort zone, facing challenges and overcoming them, and accepting that you are the person who can break the mould when it comes to your career/how you live your life.
Radical Self Love by Gala Darling
Gala Darling battled depression and an eating disorder, so the road to self-love has come from one of self destruction. Of all the books included in this post, this is the most practical, with ways you can prioritise yourself in a physical and mental sense. The author is very connected to the idea of our higher power and wellness, making this the most spiritual of all those listed here, but if this isn’t you, don’t let that put you off. This is one that is uplifting but authentic, bringing you more in touch with what makes you feel at your best.
I read this sat by the pool on holiday a couple of years ago and it certainly helped me to feel refreshed and ready to go back home with myself as my number one.
For me, reading is a big part of daily self care. It can be for fun, for self-development and for recovery. Whether you like to pick up a physical book and run yourself a bath or indulge in a few pages on your phone/tablet during your commute, spending some time engaged in something other than social media can make a big difference to your health.
As well as sharing more information on the services we offer, our friendly advice team can help you to resource yourself – whether that’s with books, podcasts, forums or therapists in your area. If you or a loved one need support, contact us today via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0845 603 6530.