Book review: Singing in the rain by Rachel Kelly

Happy Cafe Ely has a special reason to stock Rachel Kelly's books on the shelves in Julia's Tearooms on Ely's High Street. Rachel very kindly came to launch our Happy Cafe enterprise, in conjunction with the national charity Action for Happiness, in July 2017 and she delivered an entertaining workshop based on her previous book, 'Walking on Sunshine'. Her earlier book is a collection of ideas which Rachel personally found helpful in her quest to remain calm and well after suffering two major depressive episodes, one lasting the best part of two years.

Awareness of, and encouragement to be open about, mental health issues has grown in recent times. Many of us realise that the demands of modern life need careful management and that we have as much responsibility to look after our mental as our physical wellbeing

In her new book, Rachel describes having a 'toolkit' of ideas for her mental wellbeing to make a further depressive episode for her less likely. 'Singing in the Rain' is a collection of practical steps she shares with us all, things we can actually do, which are all based on numerous psychological studies as well as personal anecdotes from many individuals in the field of mental health. This book is all about action, 52 actions to be precise, one for each week of the year. It's a great place to start building your own personal wellbeing toolkit if you haven't come across this idea before. As Rachel says, 'thinking often makes us sad, but doing rarely does'.

She encourages an individual approach to finding strategies which work best for you and the book is far from being prescriptive. The activities are varied; some require more time and reflection whereas others offer a more immediate result. All of them are underpinned by the idea that being pro-active and engaging in activities to protect our wellbeing is a worthwhile investment of our time and could prevent problems from escalating.

'I know I'm using the right wellbeing strategies for me when I am able to sing in the rain, or in other words, when I can see the positives within the negatives each day' - Rachel.

'Singing in the Rain' is available to browse along with Rachel's other books, 'Walking on Sunshine' and 'The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food' in the Happy Cafe Ely library in Julia's Tearooms.

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