I wanted to take a look at a couple of celebrity self help books for review as they are often high sellers due to their authors being so well known and often more relatable to a younger female audience. Like me, they have no qualifications on advising people how to live their lives but have taken a particular interest in the subject and talk about what works for them.
Kate Hudson – Pretty Happy
I was really interested to read this book as Kate Hudson is well known for her love of living an active and healthy lifestyle and I was happy to find that the book wasn’t a ‘do what I do and you’ll be perfect’ kind of book. The book takes a quite holistic approach looking at different elements of your life and breaking them down to understand how they work for you.
The book itself is also very interactive asking you to write down answers to questions and multiple choice questionnaires to understand your body type, exercise, diet and emotions of which she refers to as a drawing board.
The audio book is great as she is very engaging as a narrator but its limited when it talks about a drawing board as for that its much better to have it visually in front of you.
I really like the book but because of the vast amount of content it doesn’t go into much depth about any subject and really only gives you the basic information as an overview of what works for her and might work for you. I did get a bit lost when she begins to talk about your dosha body types as I found that as it was so vague I could have fitted into all three of them but the idea of having a better connection with your own body and what it need can only be a good thing.
Kate is another celebrity advocate of ‘detoxes’. I put this in brackets as I’m not sure how I personally feel about them. Maybe my knowledge base of the subject isn’t up to scratch but I am also aware that we have both kidneys and a liver that do this for us and if these aren’t eliminating our toxins then we are in serious trouble! I agree that sometimes we need to give our bodies a bit of a break by revaluating our alcohol, fat, sugar and salt intake but going as far as living on an alkaline diet and detoxing using a wide variety of very expensive difficult to obtain ingredients is something that doesn’t sit quite right with me.
Overall I liked the book but I wont be following it word for word. Take what works from you from it and then leave the rest.
Fearne Cotton – Happy: Finding joy in everyday and letting go of perfect
I’ve known Fearne Cotton for her up-beat and humorous persona on both TV and radio but had never know that she herself suffered from depression. It highlights to me just how well some people can mask it, especially if they are afraid of what people will think or if their job relies on them doing so.
A lot of celebrities are opening up about their fight with mental health problems and we are currently seeing a really positive period of time where the stigma around mental health is being tackled head on. One of the worst things you can do when your feeling down or depressed is to hide away, shut yourself off and not share your feelings. Things don’t get better; they will only get worse. There are so many agencies, charities and professionals that can help you. Depression continues to be a misunderstood illness but hopefully with more open public conversations and books like these it will get better.
The book itself talks about black and blue moments and I really love this concept. I think even if you have not suffered from depression we have all been in dark places in our lives where the light at the end of the tunnel seems too far away.
I think the book is amazing for anyone looking for ways to raise their mood but not for anyone suffering from clinical depression where even getting out of bed is a surmountable obstacle. I think it goes along way to help you understand what could trigger you to feel low and another book, like pretty happy, that takes a holistic approach to looking at all areas of your life as I agree the answer does not lie in just one of them.
The book itself is absolutely beautiful to read and the colour and layout must have been carefully selected to raise your mood as I felt happy just reading it.
Overall I think it’s a fantastic book and I can only hope that more celebrities like her keep raising awareness of mental health so that one day the stigma disappears.