Awesome Mental Health Reads + GIVEAWAY! // Welcome to Shattering Stigmas!

Posted October 2, 2017 by Inge in Features, Join the Dance // Events, Tags & Challenges / 13 Comments


Welcome to our third edition of Shattering Stigmas! I am so excited to get started.

Shattering Stigmas is an annual blogging event that lasts two weeks. During this fortnight, we’ll be talking about anything and everything mental health related. The aim of these posts are to take away some of the stigma surrounding mental illness, to invite people to open up about their stories, and to help others learn. I recently found a quote in The Little Book of Lykke which perfectly sums up why we do what we do:

To fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, we need to listen more and learn more. We need to end the misunderstanding and the prejudice. We need to end whispering about mental illness behind closed doors. We need to say the scary words out loud, so they lose their power, and so no one has to struggle in silence.”

Our lovely hosts for this edition are:

Make sure you check out all of our blogs and channel so you don’t miss a single post! We’ll also be hosting loads of guest posts by fellow bloggers so we’re able to tackle more topics in a real and authentic way. Guys, this event is really special to us, and we hope you like it.

I was thinking that this event was going to be quite heavy, so I wanted to start off light. I’m sharing with you some of my favourite mental health reads. I read a lot of these because I learn a lot from them, but I also find a lot to relate to and that is a huge comfort. It makes you feel less alone. I recommend these books to others all the time.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

  • an #ownvoices take on agoraphobia and OCD
  • fucking real and raw and honest
  • this is usually the first book I recommend for mental health
  • the author is a mermaid


“I want to see that girl in my social media selfies. The one that smiles and never has to live up to anyone’s expectations or explain why she is the way she is. But all I see in my real-life reflection are blunt smudges of shadow. Fragile. Upset. Weak. Thin. Afraid. Failing. And tired. Above everything else, tired of battling with my own mind.”

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

  • it’s actually quite funny
  • while still being super real about anxiety and OCD
  • plus there are some strong female friendships
  • and our characters are in a feminist club


“Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks. “Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.”
“Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation, I literally had a panic attack.”
“I’m so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar.”

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • should definitely come with a couple of warning labels
  • but this book is bound to leave an impression on you
  • haunting story of anorexia and self-harm
  • you will not forget this story soon


“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

  • this is another beautiful story about female friendship
  • in the midst of dealing with mental health
  • we’re talking trauma, self-harm, the whole shebang
  • left me gutted, but such a great book


“But people we love come and go, Caddy. That doesn’t mean we loved them any less at the time.” 

When We Collided by Emery Lord

  • vivi and jonah are still some of my favourite characters to date
  • they’re such precious spring beans and made me smile a lot
  • so when vivi’s bipolar disorder takes a hold of her, that’s gutting
  • but you’ll end up rooting for all of them


“My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it.”

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

  • the funniest book about mental health to date
  • the author makes you laugh about mental health a lot
  • and tells the most absurd stories
  • really good for when you need a pick-me-up from life


“As the doctor walked me out he told me to ‘stop worrying so much’ […] and I made a note to tell my shrink the breaking news that the medical world finally found the cure for my severe anxiety disorder and that the prescription is ‘Just stop worrying so much’.
My God, we’ve come so far with science.”

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

  • for those of us who were a little eh about 13 reasons why
  • so much more depth about depression and suicide
  • it also has a really great portrayal of grief
  • definitely a story that will linger with you


“You might be looking for reasons but there are no reasons. The sun stopped shining for me is all.”

Honourable mentions: Goodbye Days, Paperweight, 180 Seconds

Looking for an excuse to read some of these? I’ve been asked to co-host a mental health book bingo in November! Find the hashtag #MHBookBingo and stay tuned…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are some of your favourite mental health reads?


13 responses to “Awesome Mental Health Reads + GIVEAWAY! // Welcome to Shattering Stigmas!

  1. I love that you do this event! Looking through your rec list and thinking of my own, I realized I haven’t actually read that many books with mental illness. I must remedy this! I did enjoy Goodbye Days, though, as well as Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan; Note to Self by Connor Franta; and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Oh I love your list of recs! And I really badly want to read Under Rose Painted Skies…I’m not even sure why I haven’t yet….sheesh, Cait. Some of my favourite mental health books are Definitions of Indefinable Things and all of Adam Silvera’s books. <3

    I'm so excited to read all the upcoming posts! And I LOVE that quote.

  3. I am so excited to read everyone’s posts for this event! You have some great recs here. Furiously Happy really spoke to my own experiences with mental illness. And although their main characters have different mental illnesses than I do, I still really loved Under Rose-Tainted Skies and When We Collided. I adore Nina Lacour, so how have I not read Hold Still Yet?! Some of my other favorite mental health reads are Little & Lion, 10 Things I Can See From Here, and History Is All You Left Me.

  4. I loved Under Rose Tainted Skies so incredibly much, easily one of my favourite mental health novels ever! I actually just started reading Am I Normal Yet? the other day so I’m so glad to hear it’s one of your favourites!

  5. Ooh, this the first time I’ve come across this event and I’m looking forward to it! I haven’t read any of your recs, but one of my favourite mental health books will always be It’s Kind of a Funny Story 🙂

  6. Yay, I’m so excited this is finally here and we get to read such amazing posts. And omg I’ve only read one of these (When We Collided and LOVED), so I really need to change that. Under Rose Tainted Skies is probably at the top of my TBR of this list, and I hope to get to it soon!

  7. DAMN Inge, that quote though! That is SO true. So very true. I love it! Also… I have not read ANY of the books. Can you even imagine? I do own all but one though, so there’s that? Seriously, problems. Maybe we should have done a readathon just so I could get my act together 😉 Last year I SWORE I was going to read at the very least Under Rose Tainted Skies, Furiously Happy, and Beautiful Broken Things. So… now I will say the same thing again about 2018 and hope it works 😉 So excited for all your posts! Thank you so, so much for your endless help with this event, and your general light and hopefulness that makes my little pessimistic heart smile ♥♥♥

  8. I’v only read Furiously Happy out of these, but I just bought Under Rose Tainted Skies because it’s been on my TBR for ages and if you liked it, I’ll probably like it (I always look out for your reviews when I’m trying to decide whether I’ll like a book :D). If I finish on time I might even write a review for Shattering Stigmas! Those look like some excellent recs, and I’m thrilled I get to co-host with you this year!

  9. Oh this is such a great event. I love it already, thank you for creating and hosting part of this <3
    I love your list of recommendations here – I recently read Under Rose-Tainted Skies and ended up loving it so, SO much. When We Collided and Am I Normal Yet are both on my TBR, I can't wait to read them someday 🙂

  10. Wonderful list – thank you for putting it together. I’m tempted by a few of them, but ‘Hold Still’ in particular looks worth a read for me.

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