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eLibrary picks for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Written by · Published May 13, 2019

Solitude, The Happiness Project, Hurry Up and Meditate

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13 - 19 May 2019. We’ve picked out some top eBooks, eAudiobooks and digital music to mark the occasion.

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Emotional Freedom: Liberate yourself from negative emotions and transform your life, by Judith Orloff

“National bestselling author Dr Judith Orloff invites you to take a remarkable journey, one that leads to happiness and serenity, and a place where you can gain mastery over the negativity that pervades daily life. No matter how stressed you currently feel, the time for positive change is now. You possess the ability to liberate yourself from depression, anger, and fear.

“Synthesising neuroscience, intuitive medicine, psychology, and subtle energy techniques, Dr Orloff maps the elegant relationships between our minds, bodies, spirits, and environments. With humour and compassion, she shows you how to identify the most powerful negative emotions and how to transform them into hope, kindness, and courage. Compelling patient case studies and stories from her online community, her workshop participants, and her own private life illustrate the simple, easy-to-follow action steps that you can take to cope with emotional vampires, disappointments, and rejection.”

You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay

“Louise Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.”

Hurry up and Meditate: Your starter kit for inner peace and better health, by David Michie

“For anyone who wants to start meditating but has been struggling to get to the cushion, here are all the motivation and tools you need to achieve greater balance, better health and a more panoramic perspective of life.

“If meditation was available in capsule form, it would be the biggest selling drug of all time. It has been scientifically proven to deliver highly effective stress relief, boost our immune systems and dramatically slow the ageing process. It has also been shown to make us much happier and more effective thinkers. Given all the physical and psychological benefits, why aren’t more of us doing it?

“In this bestselling book, David Michie explains the nuts and bolts of meditation. As a busy professional, as well as long-term meditator, he also gives a first-hand account of how to integrate this transformational practice into everyday life. Combining leading edge science with timeless wisdom, Hurry Up and Meditate provides all the motivation and tools you need to achieve greater balance, better health and a more panoramic perspective of life.”

The Untethered Soul: the journey beyond yourself, by Michael A. Singer

“What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

“Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness.

“By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realisation.”

Shift Happens!, by Robert Holden

“Two caterpillars were crawling along a tree branch one day when a butterfly flew overhead. One caterpillar said to the other, “You will never get me up in one of those things.”

Shift Happens! is about personal alchemy and inner transformation. Some people “go” through life; and other people “grow” through life. Shift Happens! ­celebrates your unlimited potential to grow, blossom, and evolve - in spite of everything. It is a book of hope.

“The term personal alchemy describes the ability to take a piece of dirt, roll it around a few times, and fashion it into a pearl. This is what an oyster does. Personal alchemy is what your grandmother called turning lemons into lemonade. It is what old wizards described as turning straw into gold. Shift Happens! is about staying open all hours for miracles. Success, love, and happiness are only ever one thought away at most. One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith, can change your life forever.”

How to be Human: the manual, by Ruby Wax

“It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now. No question, anyone reading this has won the evolutionary Hunger Games by the fact you’re on all twos and not some fossil. This should make us all the happiest species alive - most of us aren’t, what’s gone wrong? We’ve started treating ourselves more like machines and less like humans. We’re so used to upgrading things like our iPhones: as soon as the new one comes out, we don’t think twice, we dump it. (Many people I know are now on iWife4 or iHusband8, the motto being, if it’s new, it’s better.)

“We can’t stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we’re on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, we’ll still, fingers crossed, have our minds, which, hopefully, we’ll be able use for things like compassion, rather than chasing what’s ‘better’, and if we can do that we’re on the yellow brick road to happiness.

“I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us ‘us’ in the brain. We answer every question you’ve ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you’ll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you’ve upgraded your iPhone.”

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

“In the vein of Julie and Julia, The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.”

The Inflamed Mind: a radical new approach to depression, by Edward Bullmore

“Depression will be the single biggest cause of disability worldwide, in the next 20 years. But treatment for it has not changed much in the last three decades. In the realm of psychiatry, time has apparently stood still… until now.

“In this game-changing book, Professor Edward Bullmore reveals the breakthrough new science on the link between mental depression and physical inflammation. He explains how and why mental disorders can have their roots in the immune system and explores a whole new way of looking at how mind, brain and body all work together in a sometimes misguided effort to help us survive in a hostile world.”

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What I Know for Sure, written and read by Oprah Winfrey

“In the first issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Oprah wrote: ‘We are all the causes of our own effects… That’s why I’ll never stop asking the question, “What do you know for sure?”’

“In the fourteen years since Oprah wrote those words, she has retired The Oprah Winfrey Show (the highest-rated programme of its kind in history), launched her own television network, become America’s only black billionaire, lost beloved pets and adopted new ones, watched friends and colleagues come and go, celebrated milestone birthdays - and through it all, she’s continued to offer profound and inspiring words of wisdom in her monthly O column, What I Know For Sure.

“Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful book packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme, these essays offer a rare and powerful glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women. Candid, moving, exhilarating, uplifting and dynamic, the words Oprah shares in What I Know For Sure shimmer with the sort of wisdom and truth that readers will turn to again and again.”

Courage: Overcoming fear and igniting self-confidence, by Debbie Ford, read by Deanna Hurst

“Every day we are confronted with hundreds of choices that either make us feel confident and strong or rob us of the things we desire the most. When we lack confidence, we feel unworthy of having what we want, of speaking the truth, of making decisions that improve our lives. When we feel weak, helpless, or powerless, we lack the strength to ward off the thoughts of defeat, negativity, and fear that fill our minds and prevent us from moving forward and living in harmony with our deepest desires.

“For decades, Debbie Ford has been helping people break free from the emotional baggage that has held them hostage. In Courage, she provides a life-altering path to discovering confidence and authentic self-expression. By learning to accept all of who we are, including our histories, our flaws, our misgivings, our weaknesses, and our fears, we discover that what keeps us stuck and feeling weak is nothing more than an illusion of the past. By showing us how to be confident, stand in our strength, and feel great about ourselves, a new self emerges with the power to accomplish anything.

“Introducing seven guiding principles, Ford expertly leads readers out of the common pitfalls of fear and insecurity and into the strength, power, and freedom of a courage that has been present all along.”

Meditations for Stressful Situations: finding peace in the everyday, by David Michie, read by Nicholas Bell

“Stress is a constant presence in our everyday lives – more than ever before, we’re working harder, juggling more responsibilities and taking less time for ourselves.

“David Michie offers a series of meditations designed to take those moments in life that seem unbearably stressful, and gives you the calmness and peace of mind to take control of the situation, and of yourself.”

A Manual for Heartache, written and read by Cathy Rentzenbrink

“When Cathy Rentzenbrink was still a teenager, her happy family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy. In A Manual for Heartache she describes how she learned to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming and how we can emerge from suffering forever changed, but filled with hope.

“This is a moving, warm and uplifting book that offers solidarity and comfort to anyone going through a painful time, whatever it might be. It’s a book that will help to soothe an aching heart and assure its readers that they’re not alone.”

Recovery: freedom from our addictions, written and read by Russell Brand

“This is the age of addiction, a condition so epidemic, so all encompassing and ubiquitous that unless you are fortunate enough to be an extreme case, you probably don’t know that you have it.

“What unhealthy habits and attachments are holding your life together? Are you unconsciously dependent on food? Bad relationships? A job that doesn’t fulfil you? Numb, constant perusal of your phone, looking for what?

“My qualification for writing this book is not that I am better than you, it’s that I am worse. I am an addict, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, love and fame.

“The program in Recovery has given Russell Brand freedom from all addictions and it will do the same for you. This system offers nothing less than liberation from self-centredness, a new perspective, freedom from the illusion of suffering for anyone who is willing to take the necessary steps.”

Solitude: in pursuit of a singular life in a crowded world, by Michael Harris, read by Kerry Shale

“Solitude is a rapidly vanishing experience. Our society now embraces sharing like never before: time alone is being forced out of our lives by the constant pings of smartphones and prods of social media. But what if being alone still has something to offer us – something we have forgotten, but that we still desperately need?

“In Solitude, award-winning author Michael Harris examines why being alone matters now more than ever before. He reflects on the paradoxical feeling of isolation that emerges from being constantly connected – and on how learning the beauty of solitude can help us escape it. After all, it is when we are alone that we realise the greatest truths about ourselves. Being alone – really alone – could be the only antidote to the frenzy of our digital age.

“Rich with stories about the transformative power of solitude, and drawing on the research of the world’s leading neuroscientists and behavioural psychologists, Solitude offers a timely and profound exploration of how to be alone – and why it matters for us all.”

Override: my quest to go beyond brain training and take control of my mind, written and read by Caroline Williams

“Can you really rewire an adult brain?

“In theory the answer is ‘yes’, but there’s a problem: no-one seems to know exactly how to do it.

“In Override, science journalist Caroline Williams sets off on a mission to find the answer. Delving into the latest studies on brain plasticity, which indicate that brain games don’t actually do much to make you smarter, she tries to square her findings with the reality of brain plasticity – that the brain adapts physically as we learn something new.

“Visiting top neuroscientists in their labs, Williams volunteers herself as a guinea pig in neuroscience studies, challenging researchers to make real changes to her – functioning, but imperfect – brain. Seeking first to improve on her own weaknesses, such as a limited attention span and a tendency to worry too much, she then branches out into more mysterious areas such as intelligence, creativity and the perception of time.

“Trying everything from high-tech brain stimulation to meditation, adding bolt-on senses and retraining her stress response, Override is a very intimate, fascinating journey into discovering what neuroscience can really do for us – and, crucially, whether it’s worth all the bother.”

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the truth about perfectionism, inadequacy and power, by Brené Brown, read by Lauren Fortgang

“The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can’t seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like, Never good enough! and What will people think?

“Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance, we might think its because we admire perfection, but that’s not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are real; we’re drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance.

“There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what, and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgement, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.

“Based on seven years of ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.”

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Lisa Brennan

Lisa Brennan

I'm a content and reader development librarian.