Non fiction

Jog On


About the Book

Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her twenties in tears. She could barely find the strength to get off the sofa, let alone piece her life back together. Until one day she did something she had never done of her own free will – she pulled on a pair of trainers and went for a run.

That first attempt didn’t last very long. But to her surprise, she was back out there the next day. And the day after that. She began to set herself achievable goals – to run 5k in under 30 minutes, to walk to work every day for a week, to attempt 10 push-ups in a row. Before she knew it, her mood was lifting for the first time in years.

In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be.

What I thought

I spotted this book on Netgalley in November I think it was.  At a time when the winter weather was starting to get to me like it always does and I was starting to grow roots on the sofa where I sit welded to my laptop/tablet/phone or Kindle.  Although I would never take up jogging (my knees can’t take it, I tried it a couple of years ago, took me a week to walk properly) I don’t mind walking and I quite like riding my bike providing the weather is OK.  So I thought this book sounds like it’s just what I need, something to motivate me to get up and get out in these winter months.

What I failed to take proper note of was the first lines of the description:

“Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her twenties in tears”.

This is not just a book about taking up running.  It’s mainly about mental health and how exercise, especially outdoors and in particular jogging can help to alleviate at least some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.  I tend to suffer more from a lack of motivation and perhaps a little laziness rather than serious mental health problems so the first half of the book didn’t really apply to me.  However it does give an insight into how restricting and debilitating severe anxiety can be for the sufferer.  I should imagine this book would be a fantastic source of both understanding and hope for anyone who does suffer mental health problems, especially anxiety.  Bella tells her story of the way anxiety affected her everyday life, what led her to go out for that first run and how she gradually started to turn her life around by getting out every day and running.

She has done a lot of research into the effects of exercise on mental health and how much it can help. The book quotes from many studies that have been carried out in this area but is an easy read with a humourous and friendly narrative to the writing.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but I definitely will keep reading to the end.  It never preaches but as you get further along the authors enthusiasm for exercise with its positive effects on mental health oozes from the pages and you can’t help but feel motivated to get outside and just move. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who either just needs a push to get out and run (or walk or cycle), I promise by the end of the book you won’t have a single excuse left for not doing it; or those who suffer mental health problems and want to hear from someone who completely understands their problems and has been there.

So what are you waiting for? Buy the book and get those trainers polished up.

♥ Happy Jogging ♥

The book is available now in hardback from Amazon and also bookshops or on Kindle

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley.  With thanks to 4th Estate and William Collins publishers




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s