Mental Health & Body Positivity


MG & Up

  • Mental health
  • Body positivity
  • Self-esteem
  • Reflection activities

See each book

Summary: Both of these books are wonderful! They work beautifully together, so I decided to do a double review and talk about the important of mental health, emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, and body positivity.

Body Positive by Emily Lauren Dick is a beautiful tome filled with information, photographs, areas for reflection, and quotes from a myriad of real people. An aspect of the book I really like is the “Chapter at a Glance”, which is a short bulleted list with main objectives and takeaways that will be found in the forthcoming pages. I appreciate the way this allows to flip quickly through the book and find a topic relevant to a conversation at hand (or in response to an overheard comment).

Filled with diverse photos of women taken by the author Emily Lauren Dick herself, Body Positive is a celebration to the readers own critical thinking and reflection. There are women of all body types giving their own bits of wisdom to the reader, wearing what makes them feel comfortable. The book addresses very real and serious messages of fatphobia that are extremely prevalent in the media, and information about disordered eating in all its forms. Body image struggles can be found in every person, but this book focuses on women. At the end of the book are some notes, a final note from the author, and sources for each chapter. Body Positive is a powerful tool to combat the negative messaging we receive from the media, inner pressure, and helps us embrace every bit of our unique and bodacious bod.

Happy, Healthy Minds: A Children’s Guide to Emotional Wellbeing is another book that truly helps to explain the world and the importance of mental health to readers that are middle grades and up. This book is extremely approachable and every reader who flicks through the pages can see things they’ve definitely thought before (but may have felt like they were the only ones).

The book does have a chapter about confidence and body image, but covers a huge range of topics related to mental health; bullies, feeling misunderstood, school, nature, and so much more! Importantly, there’s also a chapter about screens, which covers the concept of addiction and how sometimes all we want to do is play video games.

Along with a bunch of tips and tricks for healthy mindsets, reflection questions, and writing exercises the book also covers Imposter Syndrome. I’m sure every person reading this right now can relate to feeling like they are in a situation they’re not qualified for (and that everyone will find out)!

As someone who has had anxiety for as long as I can remember, and trouble with self-esteem and confidence, I would have loved both of these resources to make me feel like I wasn’t the only one struggling. Of course, these books can work wonderfully together or separately. Having resources like this that can be opened to a random chapter to mitigate a specific issue isn’t as daunting as having to read the entire book in one sitting (however, judgement free zone if you do…I did)! Pre-teens can be hard to communicate with sometimes, but with beneficial resources like Body Positive and Happy, Healthy Minds they can help open the door a teeny crack, and help get some information in.

Besides these wonderful books that I’ve highlighted, I recommend The Body is Not An Apology, a book and website, devoted to “an international movement committed to cultivating global Radical Self Love and Body Empowerment.” If you’re looking for a body positive yoga practice, I definitely think you should check out yogi Jessamyn Stanley, who also just came out with a book! The CDC even has an extensive set of webpages devoted to many aspects of mental health in children, including information about how the pandemic is affecting our youngest members of society. If you’re still wondering more about the Body Positive movement, you can check out this article here, which is written very accessibly.

These books were both kindly sent by the publishers. Happy Healthy Minds was sent by GMC Publications, and Body Positive was sent by Familius. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to review these incredibly important books. All opinions and the decision to review is my own!

The School of Life Press

The School of Life is an organisation built to help find calm, self-understanding, resilience and connection – especially during troubled times.

They place emphasis on the need to understand ourselves better, so that we can secure serenity and make optimally reliable decisions, particularly around love and work.

Emily Lauren Dick

Emily Lauren Dick is a body image expert who is committed to making girls feel comfortable in their own skin. Her book, Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body, is the number one resource for young adult women who desire to redefine and understand true beauty. Emily believes that educating young people about body image, teaching resiliency, and normalizing real bodies is critical in combating negative thinking and improving self-esteem. Emily is passionate about promoting positive body image, media awareness, and healthy relationships.

Emily holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women Studies and Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. When Emily is not being a champion of body positivity, she is a Marketing Manager for her family’s pizza business and a part-time photographer. She specializes in women’s portraiture where she inspires her clients to feel beautiful inside and out. Emily lives with her children, husband, and dog in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

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