Friday Favourites: Words That Are Good for Our Emotional Wellbeing

You may have heard of terms like mindfulness, meditation, self-care, self-compassion. These might be concepts you already use, or you want to find out more about what they are.

You might think those words, and ‘nurturing your emotional wellbeing’ is all airy-fairy.

The fact is, we all need a bit of time out from our hectic lives, a bit of emotional comfort every now and then. We all need to nurture our emotional wellbeing to help recharge the batteries and prevent us burning out.

You are likely to find the books listed below in the ‘self help’ section of the bookshop. I don’t like the term ‘self help’ very much though; it implies there is something ‘wrong’ with you, something that has to be fixed. It’s more about fine-tuning. Many self-help books can be guilty of navel-gazing, too. That’s why I prefer to call them ‘words that are good for our emotional wellbeing’.

Mindfulness means different things to different people – to me, it means taking the time to appreciate the flowers and the birdsong; to make time for self-care; to be compassionate to myself when I am having a bad grief day by acknowledging the strong feelings are part of grief and do not make me a bad person; to clear my mind of racing thoughts. It is not, and can never be a cure for grief or emotional troubles – it helps me cope – and therefore find more joy and happiness in life.

I found most of the books below as a result of my grief journey, but they are not specific to grief. Anyone interested in finding a bit of emotional time out will find them useful.

The Little Book of Mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan is a good place to start exploring the concept. The book is full of information about the benefits of mindfulness, and suggests ways to practise mindfulness, and meditation too. The suggestions are easy to integrate in to your everyday life – it’s not an ‘extra’ thing to have to do. Mindfulness should be a bonus, not a burden.

It’s perfect to dip in and out of, and find something that resonates with you – you don’t need to read it cover to cover.

As the title suggests, the book is little which means it’s easy to carry around and have a read when you have a few moments to spare.

I placed a pen next to the book so you can get an idea of scale, and that the book's size lives up to its title!

I placed a pen next to the book so you can get an idea of scale, and that the book’s size lives up to its title!

The Alphabet of the Human Heart by Matthew Johnstone details the A to Zen of Life. A psychiatrist suggested the book to me, and I am glad she did; I have now become a big fan of Matthew Johnstone’s books!


Positive concepts…

...and concepts that can be damaging to our wellbeing.

…and concepts that can be damaging to our wellbeing.

The concept of the book is simple: it contains beautiful illustrations alongside some words of inspiration and encouragement, from A to Z. At one end of the book are positive words and concepts; turn the book around, and there are words and concepts that can be harmful to your wellbeing.

Again, it is a good book to dip in and out of when you have a moment. It is also effective when you are having a ‘moment’ – I find it helps calm me, and the simplicity of the text means it’s good for a foggy brain.

Become The Best You by Renee Davis. My lovely blogging friend Renee (Mummy Tries) wrote this  account of how she broke the cycle of a dysfunctional early life to be the person she wanted to be. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make positive changes in their life, whatever their background or whatever those changes are. You can read more about the book in my review.

The Little Book of Resilience by Matthew Johnstone – this is the book I read last week that led to my lightbulb moment (I am pleased to report that I am keeping true to the  promises I made!).


Resilience is understanding that life will not always go to plan, that life does not always play fair, and finding ways to get back on your feet again. Like all Johnstone’s books The Little Book of Resilience is very visual, with humorous illustrations accompanying tips to help you build up your resilience. I love this picture – it pretty much sums up the book!


I discovered Flow Magazine while browsing in WH Smith. It is quite unlike any magazine I have ever read: it focuses on encouraging creativity, imagination, imperfection, and mindfulness.

The magazine’s ethos reminds me of a BBC Horizon programme a few years ago, which was about how the best ideas come when you are not trying to think of ideas, but when your mind is relaxed and open to things. It makes sense: sitting at your computer trying to write a post when you are feeling uninspired doesn’t work, as I have discovered! Going off to do something else instead helped inspire me to write a post from the heart – the lesson for me was don’t force it.

The magazine is full of pretty little things like little ‘poetry pictures’ and a journal. Priced at £10 it seems expensive for a magazine, but being quarterly it is good value, especially considering the quality of the contents – and the potential for giving a boost to your creativity, leading to more ideas and inspiration!




You Baby Me Mummy

12 Comments on Friday Favourites: Words That Are Good for Our Emotional Wellbeing

  1. Mummy Tries
    May 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm (5 years ago)

    What a fab and uplifting post Leigh, I’m really touched to feature among these brilliant books. I’m going to buy the Little Book of Mindfulness 🙂

    I agree that the term mindfulness is much better than self-help.

    Lovely post to read after a 10 day blog break. Hope you’re well hon xxx

  2. Louise
    May 28, 2015 at 2:27 pm (5 years ago)

    Love this post Leigh and I think ‘nurturing your emotional wellbeing’ is a much better term that ‘self-help’ – sometimes it’s more about accepting and going with our emotions as opposed to trying to find a ‘cure’ for them. Out of your list the only one I’ve read is Renee’s book which I too found incredibly inspiring and it has helped me move onwards and upwards in so many ways. I love the sound of the Little Book of Mindfulness and Flow magazine – am going to look out for this one next time I am in WHSmith.

    • Leigh Kendall
      May 29, 2015 at 8:26 am (5 years ago)

      I agree Louise – you’re right, it’s about accepting who we are and trying to make the best of that rather than trying to ‘cure’ or change yourself. Renee’s book is brilliant isn’t it? Hope you like Flow too if you find it xxx

  3. hannah mum's days
    May 28, 2015 at 9:20 am (5 years ago)

    I love this Leigh xx as a natural soul-searcher this is absolutely my cup of tea and you’ve found some real gems. I’m really glad they’ve been able to help you and I MUST read Renee’s book. I feel terrible that I haven’t already!! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx

    • Leigh Kendall
      May 29, 2015 at 8:24 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks lovely Hannah! I can definitely highly recommend Renee’s book, an inspiring read. Hope you like the others too if you get them xxx

  4. jasmine shei
    May 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you for recommending the books. I need to feed my brain with fresh thoughts and inspiration

    • Leigh Kendall
      May 24, 2015 at 6:39 pm (5 years ago)

      Hope they are useful for you too, Jasmine xx

  5. Mummy Writes
    May 22, 2015 at 2:42 pm (5 years ago)

    This is a great list. I’m going to have to read it again and I want to find out more about Renee’s book. It’s been in my Amazon basket for ages. I find it so hard to read for long periods these days so these books look ideal. #thelist

    • Leigh Kendall
      May 23, 2015 at 7:55 am (5 years ago)

      Me too, my concentration for reading is dreadful, so these books are perfect. I can highly recommend any of the books on the list, and Renee’s book is absolutely fab. Thanks lovely xxx

  6. Life as we know it
    May 22, 2015 at 9:41 am (5 years ago)

    I find the concept of mindfulness very interesting. I try to follow my own version of leading a mindful life but am not sure that it stacks up to anyone else’s idea of what that is. The little book of resilience is something I really needed 4 years ago when we hit crisis point for many different reasons. I am glad that it is available now and helping to guide those who need it x #thelist

    • Leigh Kendall
      May 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm (5 years ago)

      Mindfulness is a really personal thing I think, and you interpret it in a way that is relevant to you. Sorry to hear you could have done with the resilience book four years ago. I can highly recommend it to anyone who needs it. Thank you for commenting xxx


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