Book Review: Reasons To Stay Alive

Matt Haig’s semi-autobiography is an inspiring read about dealing with mental health.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Matt Haig. He’s been talked about plenty of times, especially from people at work, about how he is an engaging and creative writer. As I was considering which of his books to begin with, I discovered ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’.

This book is all about Haig’s struggles with his mental health, particularly during his mid-twenties. It’s a topic which severely relates to me, and it’s also a bit of a niche of a book as men are known to struggle with being so open about their issues.

‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ is told through really short and easy-to-read chapters, mixed in with poems, quotes, and lists. It’s really a quick read too, at just around 250 words. I read the book in about a week and a half, not wanting to put it down. His sense of humour really shines through in the many lists, which ease the mood a little – for example, including ‘Living In Hull’ in his list of “things that have happened to me that have generated more sympathy than depression”.

Without spoiling the book, it was lovely to read something which didn’t have a “sugar-coated” ending. There was no wave of a magic wand and everything was all okay, it was more about accepting your struggles and working out effective ways to reign them in.

I’m happy to report that what I’ve heard about Haig’s way of writing is absolutely true. He has an excellent and compelling way with words that just clicked immediately with me. He has a sense of humour, is humble, yet completely open and honest about what he went through.

I would definitely recommend reading this book, and it’s safe to say, I am a new-found fan of Matt Haig. In fact, I’m currently reading through another of his books.

The fact that one in five people will experience depression in some capacity within their lives is enough for me to recommend this book to everyone. Anyone will have either experienced it or know someone experiencing it, and it’s a great way of learning more about the way depression can affect someone and the way they are.

It’s a beautiful, honest, and much-needed book and it’s great to hear its received such critical acclaim around the world.

If you haven’t read it yet, you need to add it to your book list immediately.

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