B is for . . .

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Excuse me – biblio-what-now? If you’re not familiar (and you’d definitely be forgiven if you’re not), bibliotherapy essentially does what it says on the tin – it’s a way of treating or improving your mental health using books! So today we’re talking mental health, how your brain works, and how you can use the power of books to boost your mood. So, let’s dive in…


Short answer – yes, sort of. Your brain is a complex masterpiece of natural design, but there are ways you can encourage it to produce the right sort of chemicals that will make you feel good. And we’ve even put together a handy little chart to show you how….

Happiness Chemicals And How To Hack Them

Reading for health – where on Earth should I start?!

There are a lot of books out there that claim to help improve your mental health – so where should you start? Well, we’ve done some of the hard work for you, so a good place to begin is with our collections on Overdrive. From mood-boosting fiction, to practical advice, and even uplifting poetry – we’ve got you covered. And did we mention that you can access Overdrive (and its sister app Libby) for free with your library membership?

Browse our collections…

Mood-boosting books

Reading Well for Adult Mental Health

Reading Well for Children

Mood-boosting books chosen by Reading Groups

Mood-boosting books chosen by young people

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Spreading happiness far and wide!

We couldn’t talk about the power of books and reading for wellbeing without mentioning the stellar work our mobile libraries do.

We have four mobile libraries working across Devon, making over 350 stops between them every month, delivering books to rural communities across the county.

For many people, who may be isolated or vulnerable, the mobile library is a vital resource not just for books, but also for staving off loneliness and improving people’s wellbeing.

Due to current lock down restrictions sadly our mobile libraries are not operating. Please check back in regularly to find out when services will be resumed.

Here are just a few comments from our regular mobile library users:

  • “Mobile libraries are such a valuable resource in rural areas to promote reading and wellbeing, and to reduce social isolation and loneliness.”
  • “The library is a valuable resource and brings great comfort for the people you benefit from this service. Reading is one of the great joy's I have.”
  • “I am always so grateful for the books from the mobile library. Being disabled, I am unable to travel to the local library so rely on the mobile.”
“The mobile library is a lifeline for many people.”
Tree Creativity Activity

I don’t need a mental health charity – do I?

Mental Health Charities and websites are a fantastic resource, and they’re not just there for when you’re struggling. They can actually be a great source of material to help you stay self-aware and on top of your mental health and wellbeing needs, meaning you should definitely give them a browse, even when you’re feeling good.

For example, www.MentalHealth.org.uk is packed full on interesting articles, research and activities, such as this Creativity, Nature and Mental Health activity book Thriving-With-Nature.pdf – we’d definitely recommend giving it a go!

Book and chill

Sometimes, all you need is half an hour to yourself to dive into you next read. You’ll surface again feeling refreshed and relaxed, having allowed yourself that little bit of ‘me time’. But the real question is – where is your favourite spot to read? Some of our library team have shared their favourite spots…

We’d love to know your favourite reading spots! Why not share a photo of your favourite reading spot on social media and tag us @librariesunlimited?