Helpful resources

Here we list some resources about mental health and emotional well-being, which you may find helpful. This includes websites, books, apps and social media.

Much of the content below has come from people sharing their ideas and experiences about what helps them. Please note that some of the links below are non-UK resources and so information on services may differ to what is available in the UK. Please note all external links open in a new window.

If you have any suggestions about what you have found useful, please email us.

Websites

  • BeMindful - a website about mindfulness from the Mental health Foundation, including online learning.
  • Breathworks - information about mindfulness, including mindfulness-based pain management. The website includes a three-minute breathing space meditation.
  • Free Mindfulness - downloadable meditation exercises.
  • Happier - a  website that focuses on gratitude and wellness, with free online courses and an online community. The Happier app includes a gratitude journal.
  • New Economics Foundation - information about the five factors associated with well-being.
  • NHS Choices - has information about meditation and mindfulness. Search ‘meditation’ or ‘mindfulness’.
  • TedTalks – TED (technology, entertainment and design) has a huge range of presentations from a variety of speakers, including inspirational authors such as  Brené Brown and innovators such as Steve Jobs. You can search for topics such as ‘health’, ‘stress’ or ‘mindfulness’.

Books

  • Facing the storm by Ray Owen.
  • Headspace guide to Mindfulness and Meditation by Andy Puddicome (the founder of ‘Headspace’ app) available as a printed and kindle book, and audio book from Audible.
  • Living through grief by Harold Bauman.
  • Living with the enemy - Coping with the stress of chronic illness using CBT, mindfulness and acceptance by Ray Owen.
  • Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams (co-developer of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy). The book also includes a free CD of short meditations. Available as a printed and kindle copy, and audio book from Audible.
  • A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax (who did a masters in mindfulness- based cognitive therapy). Available as a printed and kindle copy, and audio book from Audible.
  • Sane New World: Taming the Mind by Ruby Wax (who did a Masters in mindfulness- based cognitive therapy). Available as a printed and kindle copy, and audio book from Audible.
  • Audible – audio books available from Amazon (you will need an audible account and there is a cost for books). This is a good site for anyone who prefers listening to, rather than reading, books. There are lots of books if you search for ‘mindfulness’, ‘breathing’ or ‘meditation’. Audible allows you to listen to samples from books before buying, and you can return a book if you do not enjoy it.

Online articles

A series of articles on emotional wellbeing and coping strategies, written by consultant clinical psychologist Graeme Gillespie.

An article from 'Hey Sigmund' website ('Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human') 

Apps

There are lots of different apps available for smartphones and tablets: you can search your device’s app store to find what is available. Here we list some apps that you may find helpful. Some apps require you to register with them, and some may have in-app purchases.

  • Aura app - offers meditations based on your current mood, mindful breathers and nature sounds. Also includes a reminder to meditate, and mood tracker. This app is free to download although you can subscribe to more (paid) content. Search your device app store for ‘Aura: meditations & mindfulness’.
  • Buddhify app - this is a meditation app, offering custom-made meditations for mindfulness. There is a one-off cost of £2 – £5 to download this app, depending on your device. Search your device app store for ‘Buddhify’.
  • Happier - the app includes a gratitude journal. Search your device app store for 'Happier'.
  • Headspace mindfulness app - this meditation and mindfulness app is available from Headspace. It is free to download but there is a cost for some of the content. Search your device app store for ‘Headspace’.
  • Insight Timer app - this app offers over 6,000 free guided meditations, and is free to download. Search your device app store for ‘Insight Timer’.

Social media

If you use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can find and follow people who post quotes and inspirational messages. This is particularly good for people who like ‘visual’ images rather than just words.

Fitness trackers

Some fitness trackers (for example, the Fitbit charge 2, Apple Watch and Bellabeat LEAF) have short ‘breathing’ or ‘relaxation’ features, which encourage you to do short breathing and focusing exercises. Check with individual fitness trackers about what they offer.

Useful organisations

  • British Association for Counselling and psychotherapy - a professional body that sets standards for counselling and psychological therapies in the UK. It has information on the website and details of registered qualified counsellors.
  • Mind - provides information about mental health conditions and advice, advocacy and support services. Local Mind services provide drop-in centres, counselling and befriending services.
  • Mental Health First Aid England - provides mental health awareness training to a variety of organisations, businesses and communities, and aims to increase the population’s mental health literacy and reduce the stigma around mental ill health.
  • Mental Health Foundation - provides information on mental health and tips for looking after your mental health. They also focus on preventing mental health problems.
  • NHS Choices - provides information on various aspects of mental health services.
  • Rethink Mental Illness - provides information and advice on mental health problems, practical, legal and welfare issues, as well as services and support groups.
  • Samaritans - runs a Freephone helpline. Although known as a service for people who feel suicidal, Samaritans are there for anyone who wants to talk.
  • Self management UK - self-management courses throughout the country for people with long-term conditions and for carers.
  • Young minds - for children and young people. Has information about mental health and services, including children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Thank you to everyone who has shared their ideas and experiences, so that we can share them with you.