About Bird Therapy
'I can't remember the last book I read that I could say with absolute assurance would save lives. But this one will' Chris Packham
'Succeeds – triumphantly – in articulating with great honesty what it is like to suffer with a mental illness, and in providing strategies for coping' Mail on Sunday
When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is.
The positive change in Joe's wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street.
In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves.
My review of Birdwatching
I know that I am unable to put into words just how important this book is. But, I will try and share my thoughts on how much I absolutely adored this book.
Joe Harkness tells his own story with honesty and warmth. He tells us of how he wanted to take his own life, and of how he hit rock bottom. He tells us of how bird therapy saved his life, and it's a beautiful, gritty, and life affirming read.
The information, stories and advice in this book make so much sense. The fact that watching birds, listening to birdsong and having a common interest with others can all help to improve our mental health and wellbeing. I read these words and found myself absorbed in their meaning. That nature truly is a healing power.
There is so much advice in this book, alongside useful refrences, ideas to try and research to read. It's a refreshing read, and I found myself being lulled and calmed with the words on the page.
I really do think that everyone would benefit from reading Bird Therapy, even if you are not a birdwatcher. It's about embracing nature, going for a walk in the countryside, along the canal or to your local bird reserve. It's about looking up at the sky and noticing the birds, the clouds, the sounds around us. It's about getting away from screens, the internet, our smartphones and simply being with nature.
Reading this book is good for out mental health. Ultimately it is a stepping stone to good mental health. And I really do believe it will be a lifeline for many people.
With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ebook.
Bird Therapy published 13 June by Unbound.