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The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us - A Diary

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Emma Mitchell has suffered with depression - or as she calls it, 'the grey slug' - for twenty-five years. In 2003, she moved from the city to the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens and began to take walks in the countryside around her new home, photographing, collecting and drawing as she went. Each walk lifted her mood, proving to be as medicinal as any talking therapy or ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published December 27th 2018 by Michael O'Mara
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Depression is a horrid illness that can thrive unseen in the people around us. Unless they are a very close friend or family member, it is only as the person suffering reaches the very limit of what they can tolerate that most of us come aware of their suffering. Emma Mitchell is one of those who has suffered from depression for over two decades. Sixteen years ago she moved from the city to the edge of the fens with the hope of overcoming 'the grey slug' as she has named her depression in her ...more
Karen Mace
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that not only looks good - it's packed full of beautiful drawings and photos - but it's also a wonderful reminder of what is around us all if we just take the time to look. You don't need to travel far to see something, or even just to hear the sound of bird song in your back garden, it all works in a way to help detract our minds from the negative aspects of life and can set us back on a more positive outlook on life no matter what we are going through in our personal ...more
Lydia Bailey
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another beautiful book by Emma Mitchell. Ive marked it down a star just because it doesnt quite match Making Winter for a relaxing & useful read. Contains just a little bit too much reality and not quite enough crafts & makes. Not the escapist read I was quite looking for but still very lovely. ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant find. I came across this book while I shopped for an Almanac and didn't really know what to expect. I could relate to a lot of the passages regarding depression and the medicinal effect nature can have. I felt at times that E.Mitchell was talking about my life/experiences. I envy the knowledge of flora and fauna and it has ignited a desire to read more about them. A gem of a book.
Hannah Wattangeri
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A simple and beautifully written book. She is frank and open in talking about her depression and its debilitating impact on her life. Her connection to nature and its healing effect is inspiring, as are her beautiful illustrations. I was struck by her attention to detail as she describes the intimate beauty of the nature around her.
Gemma Elizabeth
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A deeply personal account of the authors battle with depression. She writes about her encounters in nature and how they help her to manage her symptoms. I found the authors writing beautiful and soothing to the heart; which I especially appreciated during these troubled times. In addition, the book is filled with stunning photography and artwork by the author. I hope to reread this book again to pick me up during the winter months. ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeously written and illustrated book. Heartbreakingly honest and straight-forward, the author explains how nature can heal us even on the darkest of days. I especially enjoyed the way the book was broken down month-by-month. Highly recommended for anyone who might need just a nudge to connect with nature on a deeper level.

After reading this book, when I am out for walks in any kind of weather I am going to turn a sharper eye and ear to what I am seeing and hearing, especially in the
Sadie Slater
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
T sent me a link to Emma Mitchell's new book, The Wild Remedy, last week, saying he'd seen people talking about it on social media and thought I might be interested though he wasn't sure if it would really tell me anything I didn't already know, given that getting outside and walking is already one of the main things I do to manage my mental health. I was interested enough to pop into Blackwells to have a look at it, and then Waterstones the following day because Blackwells didn't have it, and ...more
Annabel Bird
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Its beautifully produced, one to treasure whilst reading. It is interesting to read and is highly personal and honest. Its made me want to seek out nature reserves near to where I live and study the nature I see more closely and its effect on me. ...more
Gem ~ Bee
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, sublime book exploring not just the natural world around us and it's endless wonders, but also the author's memoirs of their depression and how the seasons influence this and offer a curative response.
Full of wonderful photography and artwork, this book is uplifting, inspiring and a piece of therapy in itself.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book with sketches and photos by the author, set out in diary form. Emma Mitchell suffers from depression - she calls it the grey slug - and found her condition improved when she moved to rural England from a city setting. The book tracks her walks in the woods near her home through the seasons of the year. I found this book to be remarkably soothing as well as being informative about all things flora and fauna. Its a volume I will keep on my nightstand. ...more
Felicia V. Edens
As I sat reading this in my living room late last night, it occurred to me that I was experiencing a quiet and stillness that I haven't in many years. It was only brief, a minute or so, but I cherished the moment completely. I sat there on my couch with the candles flickering, the room filled with lamplight against the darkness of late evening, the balcony window open letting in a cool midsummer breeze, the outdoor fountain pleasantly making the sounds of falling water.

"The Wild Remedy: How
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Wild Remedy is a beautifully curated year, separated into chapter months of how green spaces, and the general wildness can mend us and most importantly how these things have kept our author; Emma (@silverpebble2) connected. The pages are interspersed with her photographs and intricate illustrations. She writes with a refreshing frankness regarding her struggles.
As a visual artist, creature lover, and introverted human I fully believe the science behind how much the natural world heals us but
Emer D
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell is a gem of a book. Emma is a naturalist, writer and illustrator and has also suffered from depression for a long time. This diary, set out in months, is her journey for 1 year with her depression and the effect nature had on it during that year. If you're not interested in nature at all, this might not be for you but I found it a lovely read. Emma writes beautifully and candidly about "the black dog" and her descriptive prose about nature is captivating. I think ...more
Victoria Taylor
This is a beautifully written book that perfectly replicates the heightening experience of wandering through open woodland or spending a summer day beside the sea. It felt especially beneficial to have read it in January: not only did it remind me that actually, there are plenty of wild gems to go in search of in winter, it also re-created the brilliance of spring and summer, and all of the nature finds there are to look forward to. Emma Mitchell is endearingly candid about her struggle with ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a work of art, in so many ways. Emma's writing is powerful, turbulent and honest and the artwork throughout this books pages bring colour and light to an often dark subject matter. We are treated to a wealth of information, from snippets of folklore to the science behind how nature can make us feel better - all intertwined with Emma's personal and thought-provoking insights on depression and the outdoors. In the form of a diary, we journey with her both into the local environs and ...more
Brigid Gallagher
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Written in diary format, the author shares her battles with depression, its seasonal troughs, and her medication of SSRI's, rest and walks amongst Nature.
She takes her readers on a journey through Cambridgeshire woods, fields and fens, Suffolk and majestic Artichoke seed heads, Welsh beaches and rock pools...
The reader will enjoy sharing sightings of plants, birds, mammals, crustaceans... together with delightful photographs and drawings.
This book is best read slowly like good poetry. It will
Billie Hinton
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant and beautiful book on how nature heals depression. As a psychotherapist of nearly 30 years I know this to be true, but Ive not seen such compelling and lovely evidence as Emma Mitchell presents. Its a book that we all need within reach for our selves, and to gift to others. Her walks and nature finds, collecting and photographing and drawing what she sees, are rituals that should be taught to children, as a way to enrich their lives. When my children were young homeschoolers we did ...more
An interesting read. I found this while looking for books that delved into the link between good mental health and nature or woodlands. Emma has a far greater knowledge of nature than I do - I can't name trees never mind rare flowers - but I definitely feeling an appreciation for nature. Some days my mind is busy and little permeates. But some days I can still my brain and hear the distinct bird songs, notice the different colours of green, spot the little flowers. On a recent holiday I stood at ...more
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful (hardback) book describing a year in nature, in drawings, photos and words. It was a joy to both read & look at.
The simple concept of how being in fresh air, walking and observing is just so good for our souls - has inspired me to reconnect with the Great Outdoors as my slightly anxious brain needs a bit of a break.
Although described as how nature heals us, the author does an accurate job in ensuring that mental health is recognised as a complex condition and requires a
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful read and completely resonates with me. I wholeheartedly believe that spending time surrounded by nature is like a therapy for the body, mind and soul. This book encourages you to open your eyes and look at what is around you, noticing the big and the small wonders that nature has to offer. I love the poetic descriptions and the delicate illustrations. It was a joy to read and Im sure I will re-visit it many times. ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I always knew going for walks in nature restored my soul.

Emma Mitchell suffers depression and by going out into the wild and observing the seasonal changes that occur in nature have helped maintain a neutral balance within her mind. Within the year she wrote this book, she had a very dark time over the early Spring months that she talks about in here but mostly the book is uplifting and has motivated me to spend more time outdoors.

Daria Muszyńska
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favorite quote from this amazing book:
'This year of using nature as a remedy has convinced me that humans may need to be in natural landscapes regularly in order to be fully well. There is an ancient and potent connection between us and the land: we evolved to live in wild places. Perhaps it is the displacement from nature in modern life that is causing so many of us to struggle with our mental health'
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was expecting this book to guide the reader through feeling of sadness and then offer hope through interaction with nature.
Instead it made me feel worse, as each part started to uplift the author dropped back with another tale of her depressions.
I've given it 2 stars for the wonderful illustrations and photographs.
Hilary Campbell
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book. It is beautiful to hold and look at, and it contains writing that is beautiful, real and honest. I love the attention to detail and it is a great encourager to take time, pay attention and to acknowledge the way that being in nature, access to nature, are vitally important to our wellbeing.
Mitchell Bennett
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found this book was easy to read and did not have an overly complicated subject or train of thought, but as i suffer from Melancholy and Depression I found it emotionally challenging to process what was written, as it really affected by own mental health and may affect other with mental health issues. Just a friendly warning.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a beautiful book, in terms of its execution: Emma's drawings and photographs are gorgeous and give the book such a unique feel. The text, on the other hand, wasn't as interesting for me as I'd hoped. A more personal, more open approach perhaps would have helped relate to her story, but without it the book just feels like a generic description of flora and fauna.
A beautiful book (both in terms of content and presentation) that tells of a year in Mitchell's life, along with her adventures in exploring the natural countryside around as a way of helping treat her depression. Mitchell's voice is clear and lovely, and the book is inspiring and educational without being preachy.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so wonderful. It is definitely one that I think I will reread more than once. It has already helped me refocus my mind during the long, gray Seattle winter and spring, helped me remember that being outside is beneficial to my health. The illustrations are lovely, as are the photos. And the narrative is really inspiring.
Eleanor Slater
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-bookcase
A wonderfully honest and open diary of a year spent seeking solace in wildlife. Interesting and inspirational as well as down to earth and funny - the perfect detox to a consumerist Christmas and the perfect remedy to the winter blues.
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