Uplifting books to promote self-love for all

Self love - book covers

Content warning for mental health and eating disorders

February is the time to celebrate love, but we want to encourage you to love yourself! The way we feel about ourselves can be complicated for a whole range of reasons, from our mental wellbeing to what we see in the media. So we’ve rounded up some top titles centred around accepting, loving and celebrating who you are.

The Comfort Book - Matt Haig

The Comfort Book – Matt Haig

Much of New York Times bestselling author Matt Haig’s writing draws inspiration from his struggles with mental health, and The Comfort Book is no exception. This collection of stories and notes serves as a reminder that life’s dark moments are not so powerful as they may seem.

This title is available as an eBook and audiobook on BorrowBox.

You Are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread - Samantha Renke

You Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread – Samantha Renke

Samantha Renke’s You Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread is a series of lessons in embracing every part of yourself. The message of the book is simple: if you’re thinking it, someone else is thinking the same. From disability to body positivity, and even the big question: ’am I normal?’, everyone will find comfort, joy and acceptance in You Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.

This title is available as an audiobook on BorrowBox.

Time to Talk: How Men Think About Love, Belonging and Connection - Alex Holmes

Time to Talk: How Men Think About Love, Belonging and Connection – Alex Holmes

In a world where men are often under pressure to present a tough, masculine exterior, podcaster Alex Holmes wants to change things. Time to Talk: How Men Think About Love, Belonging and Connection celebrates men as they are, and seeks to challenge the societal demands placed upon them.

You Are Not a Before Picture - Alex Light

You Are Not A Before Picture: How to finally make peace with your body, for good – Alex Light

With reviewers hailing itas the ’most inspiring’ and ’most important’ book they’ve ever read, You Are Not A Before Picture tackles diet culture head on. This book is a masterclass in challenging everything you’ve been taught about how you should perceive your body.

This title is available as an eBook and audiobook on BorrowBox.

In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life - Jamie Windust

In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life – Jamie Windust

Jamie Windust’s In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life dares readers to not only accept, but to celebrate themselves. Navigating life as a non-binary person in an overwhelmingly binary world, Windust shares anecdotes of their own experiences, providing reassurance and comfort to those embarking on their own exploration of gender and identity.

This title is available as an eBook on BorrowBox.

Whether you’re in need of some guidance on your self-love journey, or you just need a reminder that you’re doing great, Hampshire Libraries have a book for you.


Mental Health and Wellbeing

Taking care of ones mental health and wellbeing is important, books can help explain to children how to deal with their feelings and emotions, and give helpful tips on how to cope and deal with those feelings.

Image result for Your mind is like the sky

Your mind is like the sky
by Bronwen Ballard

Your mind is like the sky. Sometimes it’s clear and blue – but sometimes a raincloud thought comes along and makes everything seem dark. So what can we do about rainclouds? This beautiful picture book shows children that worries and negative thoughts are normal and helps them develop healthy thinking habits. Tips on mindfulness and extra resources for parents are included at the back of the book.
Age: 5+

Up and Down Mum
by Child’s Play and Wellcome Trust and illustrated by Summer Macon
Age range: 3+

Living with Mum is a bit like a roller coaster ride. At times, she is excited and full of energy, but at others, she is tired and withdrawn. But she’s always my mum, and we’re sharing the ride. For children who grow up in the care of a parent with mental health problems, life can be filled with anxiety and uncertainty. With the aid of a clear and simple information spread, this story helps us to understand the causes of mental illness and how we can learn to live with someone who has it. Developed in close consultation with families with parental mental health conditions and created in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust.

Image result for Breath by breath : a mindfulness guide to feeling calm / Paul Christelis

Breath by breath
by Paul Christelis

Follow 3 children and how they all deal differently with feeling calm. Contains notes for parents and teachers.
Age: 6+

Self-esteem and mental health
by Anna Claybourne

Growing up isn’t always easy – your brain is changing and there’s many things to cope with from new emotions to stress. This book explores what is self-esteem and mental health and why it’s important and looks at topics such as mental illness, phobias, eating disorders and self-harm. It looks at techniques to deal with issues including stress reduction, mindfulness and assertiveness.
Age: 9+

by Nicola Edwards

This poetic journey to a place of happiness and calm will inspire and empower your child to enjoy the practice of mindfulness.
Age: 5+

Image result for Double Felix"

Double Felix
by Sally Harris and illustrated by Maria Serrano
Age range: 7+

He skips every second step when he takes the stairs, taps door handles twice and positions objects in pairs. The problem has become so bad that Felix is on the verge of being expelled from school because the principal has had enough of trying to run the school around his very specific rules. Then Charlie Pye arrives and turns his world upside down. She is grown up with very few rules. She eats cereal for lunch, calls a boat home, and has a very loose interpretation of school uniform. The question is, can Felix ever learn to be wrong when he is so obsessed with being right?

Image result for Calm : mindfulness for kids / written by Wynne Kinder, M. Ed.

Calm: mindfulness for kids 
by written by Wynne Kinder, M. Ed.

Teach your kids how to focus their thoughts and notice the world around them with this fun mindfulness kids activity book. Mindfulness activities are a great way to teach children about their thoughts and feelings and how to understand them – while having fun at the same time. This book is packed with activities – make a mindfulness jar, learn how to appreciate food with mindful eating, and get out into nature and explore the outside world.
Age: 7+

Image result for Harry in a hurry / Timothy Knapman, Gemma Merino.

Harry in a hurry
by Timothy Knapman

A retelling of Aesop’s fable. The Hare learns that you don’t always have to do everything as fast as you can to enjoy life.
Age: 3+

What is mental health? Where does it come from? and other big questions
by Lucy Maddox

Exploring and explaining the range of mental health, from wellbeing through to mental health problems, in a non-stigmatising, accessible and accurate way. This book is about the whole range of mental health, from feeling good and being able to do what we like, to needing extra help with thoughts or feelings or behaviours that have got out of hand. Having a mental health problem is part of the range of human experiences that any of us could have, and the book includes pieces from a range of contributors who share their experiences realting to mental health. Mental health problems can be frightening to experience, but there is help available and this book includes useful skills that can boost mental healthiness.
Age: 9+

Image result for the colour thief"

The Colour Thief: A families’ story of depression
by Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters and illustrated by Karin Littlewood
Age range: 5+

The Colour Thief is a simple, heart-warming tale which helps to open up the
conversations around depression and to support young children whose families have been affected. We follow a young boy who loves spending time with his dad, doing fun things together. When his father becomes sad and distant, he doesn’t understand and believes he has done something to make his dad so, despite being told otherwise. Narrated from the child’s perspective, this is the perfect book to read with children who are trying to understand the 11 cause and effects of depression and reassure them that depression passes, and their parents are not lost to them.

What’s going on inside my head?
by Molly Potter

We all know that healthy minds are really important but how do we make sure we look after our mental health from a very young age? This is a book for children that explores practical ways we can keep our minds in good shape as well as our bodies. By talking about positive self-image, emotional intelligence, relationships and mindfulness, this book will help children develop healthy habits and good coping strategies from the start.
Age: 5+

Image result for Mental well-being and mindfulness / Ryan Wheatcroft, Katie Woolley.

Mental well-being and mindfulness
by Ryan Wheatcroft

Introduces the importance of looking after your mind as well as your body. Looks at anxieties and self esteem etc and has guidance notes for parents and teachers at the back.
Age: 6+

How Not to Lose It: Mental Health Sorted
by Anna Williamson and illustrated by Sophie Beer
Age range: 9+

Family. Friends. Exams. Are you finding life a struggle? At times, it can feel like nothing but problems and pressure. But the good news is that even if you’re struggling to think straight, you can learn to be the boss of your brain. Creating healthy habits. Staying in the moment. Breaking negative thought patterns. Finding things to be happy about. Tricks like this are like taking your mood to the gym – helping you feel good and bounce back from obstacles. Attitudes, fears, stress levels: take charge of yours right now!

Useful Organisations

Action for Children:
Help and information to spot signs and behaviours that could point to needing more support in regards to mental health.

Mental Health Foundation:
Giving support, information and help about mental health for children.

Information about anxiety in children.

Young Minds:
Support and advice for young people.