ABOUT THE BOOK
When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is.
The positive change in Joe’s wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street.
In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves
Published by Unbound
Amazon UK £10.25
An inspiring book that shows just what you can learn about yourself when you hit rock bottom. And with Joe, his discovery was the calming and restorative hobby of birdwatching and in this illuminating book he shares his journey and a wide range of practical tips of how you can also embrace the power of nature to help your mental health and wellbeing and to enjoy the little things that life can bring.
The story starts with the state of his mind at his lowest point and it doesn’t make for pleasant reading – but it made him reach out for help and to try and find a way of distracting his mind and he recalls how much enjoyment being outdoors brought him as a young child so started to walk locally. And on these walks he began to notice the wildlife around him and how the joy of spotting a new bird gave him so much joy! It also made him much calmer – it gave his mind a chance to escape daily life and to notice different things.
He documents his experiences along his birdwatching journey – setting up bird feeders in the garden to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for example, and I was so pleased to read that he gives the birds that visit his garden names too! He has a coal tit that visits that he names ‘Colin’ – I have a robin that visits who I call ‘Robbie’!! It’s the little things in life that often give the greatest pleasures haha!
It was so fascinating to read the different parts of his journey – the lists he made, the amount he was learning about wildlife and himself, noticing the different patterns of bird behaviour through the seasons and as a keen birdwatcher myself I found myself nodding along in agreement with so much!
What comes across most though is his passion for the subject! The enjoyment it brings him is clear to see and he really does a great job of explaining how having this hobby gave him a new outlook on all that he faced in his life. The perfect read for those looking to improve their mental health and to find out more about birdwatching and how nature is such a great healer.
my thanks to the publishers, Unbound, for my copy in return for a fair and honest review.