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Reasons to Stay Alive

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  62,217 ratings  ·  7,223 reviews
Reasons to Stay Alive is about making the most of your time on earth. In the western world the suicide rate is highest amongst men under the age of 35. Matt Haig could have added to that statistic when, aged 24, he found himself staring at a cliff-edge about to jump off. This is the story of why he didn't, how he recovered and learned to live with anxiety and depression. I ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published January 7th 2016 by Canongate Books (first published March 5th 2015)
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Ebtihal Abuali it's more of an autobiography than a self help. The author talks about his personal experience with depression and what works for him. …moreit's more of an autobiography than a self help. The author talks about his personal experience with depression and what works for him. (less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Self-Help Readers, Carers, Depressed Readers
FINALLY! A real book about depression that makes sense, that those with depression will read and sit nodding their heads and agreeing all the way through it. No psychobabble here (from Psychologists who have never experienced depression) - just real raw telling of Matt Haig's journey with the dreaded black dog.

This book should be given or bought by EVERYONE battling depression, or has a loved one battling it. It's everywhere you know.

I first read this and reviewed back in 2015 and I decided to
JV (semi-hiatus)
"I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying. I am satisfied just to be."
2018 — The demon came. 'Twas the year I lost a part of myself. My soul wept and mourned for that someone I once truly cherished — the previous me. Looking into the mirror, I saw nothing but hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness in those eyes — bereft of joy and love. The dem
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I think I was expecting the book to be more profound than it actually turned out to be. It's more a series of thoughts and reflections that the author has. I appreciate Haig sharing his struggles with depression and his sensitivity, but I'm not sure if it does much other than being relatable. This might suit better for someone who is starting to understand depression; otherwise, it doesn't add anything new to the conversation we've already been having about mental health. ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
So relevant for these strange, uncertain and stressful times!

"Words, just sometimes, can set you free."

'But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.'
~ Albert Camus, A Happy Death

This book has been an incredible read. I am not sure if there is an ancient saying about this, but this book surely appeared when the reader needed it. Matt Haig's Reasons To Stay
is just wonderful. It brought many bright rays of hope and sunshine, at a time when life's become so very uncert
4.5/5 stars. If you've suffered from depression and/or anxiety yourself at some point in your life or you know someone that has (and it's very likely that you do) this book is an absolute must-read. ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Inspiration almost drips off the pages. It's honest and vivid enough to make difference even for people who have done no personal trips to the hellish planet of Depression.
And the imagery! Don't get me started on it or I won't get any sleep today! I love when concepts are mixed with guidelines and wisdom of someone who has been there and done all that.
I can't imagine why I never knew about this author before! It's a sure must read and a
Dr. Appu Sasidharan

(Regular Review) This book tells you the journey of the author through depression and anxiety. He depicted all his feelings openly when he was depressed without any filter. He also writes how he overcame the disease with the help of books and his wife Andrea's love. He tells how depression made him a better person and how he appreciated life more after it. This is not a book that everyone will understand. You might be feeling that the author is exaggerating stuff when you read certain parts
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
#reasonstostayalive: High five to the one who said "... my TBR pile"! You made my day!

I am so glad I waited all these years to read this book. One of the most important books which deal with depression, anxiety and panic attacks which totally made me feel like this person knows me.

And I bawled like there's no tomorrow while reading the second half of the book.

I have been quite restless all day, being snappy at everyone, trying to calm myself down and I wanted something to rely on which would t
“How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.”
― Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive


This was OK ! There were some bits i related to, others not so much. However, the writing style was simple and accessible, the paragraphs; short and concise. This is a good read if you're beginning your journey of learning about depression :)
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Beautiful. Informative. Powerful.

Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:
- 34. A book about mental illness
Muhtasin Fuad
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Page count: 272
Published: 2016

This book describes how the author gradually conquered the mental illness and slowly found his way back to life. I feel it's an important book when depression, anxiety, frustration become the bigger problem. It's moving, witty, and as entertaining as it is touching.

herever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans t
Hattie Grünewald
I won this proof on twitter from Matt and though I don't often review books here, I thought that probably I owed him that. Not just for giving me a free copy, but for writing the book in the first place.

Let me be honest, I started reading this and thought "This book isn't written for me". But then I thought "There are people I would like to read this, because it feels so familiar to me." I would like to give it to people who are close to people with depression and anxiety, but don't really under
Jan 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
reasons to stay alive was recommended to me by my dear friend, who said that this book "had changed her life." what a dangerous declaration.
this book consists of:
- random "deep" thoughts;
- random quotations - sometimes it seemed to me that the weak construction of this book would fail were it not for other writers or philosophers;
- random "funny" little remarks (often in parentheses);
- random book and movie titles important for the author.

let's say that i can understand why the author didn't dec
"Now, listen. If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal."

A meaningful book about depression, anxiety, and creating reasons to stay alive. Like a modern day William Styron, Matt Haig shares his experience with depression and anxiety and how he fought to overcome su
Nat K

5**** plus.

”You are going to go mad. Like Van Gogh. You might cut off your ear.”

Whether you have a large black dog lumbering behind you, or a playful puppy bounding by you side, your mental health is one of your greatest assets. It is more delicate than the most intricate Swiss watch. We often don’t think of it too much, until things go skewiff. It’s something we take for granted, like the sun rising and setting.

”Life is hard. It may be beautiful and wonderful, but it is also hard. The way peopl
Whitney Atkinson
4.5 stars

If you’re easily triggered by descriptions of other people’s mental illnesses, I would advice against reading this during low points. There’s some very in-depth descriptions of his dark thoughts and the panic and depression he felt, and it was really uncomfortable to confront. I think the title misled me because I picked this book up on a bad night hoping it would be uplifting, but I almost immediately had to put it back down when I realized it wasn’t going to help at all, just add to m
Joanne Harris
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from Canongate. My usual technique, when reading an ARC, is to read 5 pages, then take a view as to whether I'm going to actually read the book. With REASONS TO STAY ALIVE, I'd passed the 50-page mark before I remembered to take a view, and by then I was down the rabbit-hole. Matt Haig is a marvellous writer: limpid; tender; passionate. In this memoir (and it's short, barely 200 pages long), he manages to articulate, both the bleakness of depression and the means o ...more
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good that it should be required reading. In schools. For GPs. Everyone. Haig says that each mind breaks differently, but I think his heartfelt words will say/mean something to anyone who has felt anxiety or depression. Some sections were so real that I had to put the book aside for a while.

It's brilliant and hopeful. My thanks to Matt Haig for sharing so much of himself. It's not something most of us are able to do.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Matt Haig recommends exercise and world travel as a cure for mental illness. He felt bad while living in Ibiza with his girlfriend but he's better now. Cool.

He says he's not anti-medication but also says that SSRIs aren't better than a placebo. He doesn't want to take anything because then he wouldn't be able to fully experience Life™. His lists of reasons to stay alive are shallow and he seems completely unaware that life is pretty difficult for people who aren't being financially supported by
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Wow. Wow. Wow. What an absorbing and powerful read. This was a book I purposefully set out to read slowly and in snippets mainly because many of the books themes took me to places too familiar and disturbing but I also couldn’t look away instead I devoured this in almost one sitting. Like a tragic car accident you can’t help staring at, I couldn’t stop reading. There’s times this book felt suffocating and uncomfortable like reliving a past nightmare. I even felt while reading this book a resurfa ...more
Imogen Kathleen
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
This book makes me want to give everyone I know a warm hug and a cup of tea.
I'm not really sure how to rate this one, but I do know that everyone should read it. As someone who has been diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD, this book means a lot to me, even if Matt Haig's journey with mental health has been very different from my own. You can get through it in a single sitting, but I'd recommend savouring this one and taking time to think about Haig's words in relation to people you know.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: privileged white male author completely unaware of his privilege yet using it to spew untruths and stereotypes about mental illness.

Actual sentences from a book that's meant to "destigmatize" depression: "Writing, reading, talking, traveling, yoga, meditation, and running [were some] weapons for the war." And, "I am happy that I largely mended myself without the aid of medication, and feel that having to experience the pain minus any 'anesthetic' meant I got to know my pain very well."
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across many references to this book and have wanted to read it since some time. This is the story of how Matt Haig fought depression. The book is extremely important – it deals with the topic of mental health which needs more attention, and his personal account is very well written and inspiring.

Matt is unable to reason how and why it happened, but he slips into a very deep depression. His self-esteem is dented severely, and he develops extreme anxiety – so much so that even walking to th
Julie Eilén
I feel like this book is a friend I very much needed.
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.”

🌟 I am glad that I am reading more non-fiction books, because while fiction relieves stress and entertains me, I have found through trial that non-fiction does stay with me more. I find my brain retaining most of the things I read in non-fiction!!

🌟 While I have heard mostly good things about this book, I se
Amy | littledevonnook
Not too long ago I was approached by Canongate about this book. They had seen that I made a recommendation video on my YouTube channel for books relating to mental health and because of this they thought I would enjoy this book. Mental health awareness is something I consider to be of the utmost importance - having suffered with depression and anxiety from a young age this is definitely a topic I hold dear to my heart.

Now I have to be honest - I'm not one for reading non-fiction, in fact last ye
I don‘t know how to rate this book. On one hand I really liked it, his perspective was interesting to read about, but on the other hand it a little bit triggered me.
Matt Haig is an amazing writer. This is the first nonfiction book I’ve read from him, he wrote my favorite book I read last year: The Humans. But this book is really great and really important. It’s a book about his depression and anxiety and it’s partly the story of how he tried to kill himself and how he overcame that, but there’s also some really insightful facts about depression and anxiety and metaphors and lists of reasons to stay alive, and just a lot of really inspiring hopeful things in ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful, witty and comforting approach to depression. I would've liked a little more hard science in this, but the author's right to say that our understanding of the brain is in the early stages, and to a sensible degree, we have to find what works for us. Throughout the book, we're offered avenues to explore that.

I'd particularly recommend this book to family and friends of the sufferer, as it explains depression very well, but there's plenty in here for veterans of the struggle.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2017, ebook, nonfiction
3.5 stars.

I enjoyed reading this. It was such an honest and personal account of what Matt Haig went through. I could really relate to this but reading some parts were hard because of that. I kind of wish I read this when I was in a better mental space because I might have gotten more out of it but I think he did a really good job. I especially liked a passage that I have highlighted below about depression (I marked it with a * to differentiate it from the other quotes).

I hope more people come f
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Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, rive ...more

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If you want a great book recommendation (or three), here at Goodreads we have a tip for you: Ask an author! Not only are authors very...
113 likes · 11 comments
“How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.”
“THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.” 619 likes
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