Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK begins on the 13th May 2019, with this year’s theme focusing on “body image”. According to the Mental Health Foundation, it is estimated in the UK that 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem every week – ranging from stress, grief, frustration and sadness, or more sustained symptoms related to conditions such as depression and anxiety. Here at the University of Salford we’re engaging with this hugely important awareness campaign in lots of different ways, as we know that mental wellbeing is something that touches all of our lives in some form.

If you feel you need someone to speak to or help, our askUS help desk has many services including on-campus counselling and wellbeing advisors. You can contact askUS and find out more information here.

Personally, I have always found taking the time to wind down and read a really effective way of managing and understanding my mental health. Below are some of my top picks for books that will help boost your confidence, help you introduce more “self-care” into your student routine as well as benefit your mental health. Some of these reads are even available at our own University library!

‘The Self-Care Project’ by Jayne Hardy

The book cover for 'The Self Care Project' by Jayne Hardy. It reads 'The Self Care Project' in bold writing in the middle of the cover. Above the title reads 'How to let go of frazzle and make time for you'. 'Jayne Hardy' is written underneath the title and then the text 'Founder and CEO of THE BLURT FOUNDATION' underneath her name.

‘The Self-Care Project’ is written by Blurt Foundation CEO and founder Jayne Hardy. Described as a ‘no-nonsense, practical journey’ in understanding the importance of self-care and looking after yourself, as well as highlighting why it isn’t selfish and how to design your own personal form of ‘self-care’ to incorporate into your everyday routine. Perfect for busy students who want to understand how to look after themselves more.

‘The Self-Care Project’ is available in our Clifford Whitworth library.

‘Body Positive Power’ by Megan Jayne Crabbe

Megan Jayne Crabbe is also known as ‘bodyposipanda‘ on Instagram and she is a body positive blogger based in the UK and also noted as a lover of all things pastel. After starting her Instagram blog back in 2015 she has helped encourage tons of people- both female and male – to feel comfortable about their body, love the parts of them society tries to tell them is worth airbrushing and to just make peace with your body. Her book discusses similar things as well as acknowledging the damages of diet culture.

‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan J. Jeffers

This book is claimed to be ‘the phenomenal classic that has changed lives’. Susan Jeffers asks ‘what are you afraid of?’ and from that shares advice on how to handle your fear, recognise the anxiety and try to overcome it. A great book for students who may suffer from anxiety, fear of public speaking, fear of asserting themselves or just want advice on improving their confidence.

‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ is available in our Clifford Whitworth Library.

‘Mindfulness for Students’ by Stella Cottrell

You might have heard the word ‘Mindfulness’ popping up a lot in the past year or two – but how would you fit it into a student lifestyle? Stella Cottrell’s Mindfulness for Students takes mindfulness techniques and mixes them with study skills to help students apply mindfulness tools to a variety of student contexts such as exams or listening in lectures. Mindfulness has been proven to help with mental wellbeing and health, so this great little book that is rich with illustrations is a great pickup for students.

‘Mindfulness for Students’ is available in our Clifford Whitworth Library.

‘How Not to Be a Boy’ by Robert Webb

Reading memoirs and non-fiction ‘tales’ by people who have experienced struggling with their mental health or wish to discuss the complexities of mental health can be really useful for coping and learning more about how you or someone else may feel. Robert Webb (Peep Show) wrote a great book last year discussing the ‘rules of being a man’ society has seemingly put into place as well as the expectations put on young boys and men. A great, emotional read for anyone but especially for students exploring issues around masculinity.

‘The Little Book of Body Confidence’ by Judi Craddock

Keeping in line with the Mental Health Awareness Week theme of ‘body image’, this little book by Judi Craddock is filled with tips and tools on how to ditch the habit of hating your body and start feeling good and happy in it. As well as helping people recognise that their worth isn’t defined by numbers on a scale or a dress size.

‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book’ by Emma Farrarons

People who have started to regularly ‘colour’ claim they feel more relaxed, happier and have a better sense of mental clarity. There hasn’t been many studies yet but the rise in adult colouring books has been due to its ‘de-stressing’ properties. This is where colouring books like ‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book’ comes into play. Take some time out of your student schedule to just sit and colour. A great, relaxing form of self-care perfect for students plus this book is so small and handy you can easily fit it in your bag for on the go relaxation.

A black notebook sits on a white table with white headphones tangled on top. On the left next to it, is a black pen and some assorted colour paper clips. On the right of the notebook is a pair of glasses and a pot full of sharpened coloured pencils.
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Find out more about our University counselling and wellbeing services from our askUS team who are available on

⬇️ Other useful contacts include:

CALM (Campaign against living miserably):
0800 58 58 58 

116 123

0800 068 4141