Saturday 18 November 2017


What I hope you take away from this book: good Mexican food deserves to go viral; good underwear never features the word 'string'; good mental health is the single most important thing you need to live a happy life.

I don't have a psychology degree - in fact, I once tried to throw a typewriter at a child psychiatrist (this was in the days before MacBook pros) - but I do have experience, understanding and coping mechanisms to help you get your sh*t together. From anxiety and eating disorders to OCD and psychosis, I want to help break down taboos surrounding mental health conditions (which directly affect 1 in 4 of us each year - you are NOT alone) and help you come out the other side happier and healthier. I'd also like to gift you with a deeper understanding of what's going on in your head, and how to navigate through life without feeling overwhelmed or isolated. 

Where my lack of medical background becomes an issue, Dr Radha swoops in to the rescue. As a GP, mental-health expert and co-host of BBC Radio 1's The Surgery, I've worked with her to make sure all the information and advice is spot-on. She's clever, she's kind and she GETS it. I wish my teenage brain had had access to Dr Radha.

This was a surprise title I received from Hachette Australia. A book I hadn't expected and didn't know anything about, but it sounded interesting. So I decided to check it out and found myself squeezing in a bit here and there, between some of the other books I've read during the last month.

I wanted to take my time, and finished it tonight.

Rae Earl might not have a degree in psychology, but she's been through enough mental health issues and situations to know a thing or two. And that's why she wrote this book, which is a great way of presenting serious issues such as anxiety, OCD, depression, psychosis, and so much more in a way readers of all ages can both understand and relate to. 

This might be one person's account of a life full of mental health experiences, but there's a lot of familiar issues mentioned throughout, and even some very helpful coping mechanisms. It's also a book that engages the reader and talks to them on a level that feels more like a conversation. There's no judgement, preaching or pushing an agenda, which is essential when dealing with such delicate and sometimes taboo situations.

There were some things that had me nodding my head because I could totally relate, and others I've never experienced/seen. It's quite an eye-opener.

I thought the addition of an actual mental-health expert was a great idea, because it helps support all the things Rae Earl discusses.

The layout is very cool. The illustrations by Jo Harrison are excellent and totally capture so much of the important stuff. It even helps to break everything down so the information doesn't become overwhelming.

Every single person, for a variety of different reasons, will be affected by a certain degree of mental health issues during their life. Or at least know someone who is. So it's important to realise we're not alone, and that there are ways to make it out from under the dark cloud.

It's All In Your Head is a very cool book that deals with some very serious topics, yet is presented in such a fun, interesting and visual pleasing way that the reader is quickly drawn into a comfortable and safe environment. The familiarity in a lot of the experiences will also keep readers stuck to the page.

I'll be passing this over to my teenage daughter so she can check it out too.

It's All In Your Head: A Guide to Getting Your Sh*t Together, September 2017, ISBN 978, Wren & Rook 

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