Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Positive Books For A Pandemic

This is just a small collection of books that I think provide a little boost during these challenging times, whether you need a fictional distraction, or to learn something new during what is for some people extra free time, there definitely should be something you like here!

1) Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World, And Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling

This book is one of my all time favourites. It talks through development issues in such an accessible manner, which is a great way to encourage people to learn more about a very important topic. This book serves as a polite reminder that even though things may seem bad, we have made so much progress as a society. This book can provide hope in slightly more statistical terms than other typically 'feel good' books, but it certainly helps me!


2) Notes On A Nervous Planet, and Reasons To Stay Alive, by Matt Haig

We're doing a 2 in 1 for these, as I think both books play very different but equally important roles in giving people some hope and guidance during difficult times. As many people have not left home in a while, or fear the phased return to 'normality' or some strange new 'normal', these books can provide a little comfort for both those struggling with their mental health, and those who are fairly overwhelmed by the current world and society we are in.

Notes On A Nervous Planet is a must-read for anyone who is overwhelmed by social media, the expectations of others, or literally anything else going on in their lives. Reasons To Stay Alive is incredible for anyone struggling with depression, social isolation or any of those kinds of feelings that can be really hard to deal with.

The author, Matt, has a personal experience with mental health struggles, and therefore has a really interesting perspective to share, especially regarding life after struggles and being able to look forwards to the future, however the future may look.


3) It's Not OK To Feel Blue (and other lies): Inspirational People Open Up About Their Mental Health, by Scarlett Curtis

This book is a collective of short essays from a huge number of people, from bloggers and influencers, to mainstream celebrities, authors, and activists from all walks of life. It is so refreshing to hear a whole bunch of different stories and experiences about mental health, rather than the stories we are repeatedly told in the media. These stories are usually not incredibly diverse, and tend to be lacking in hope or practical advice. Whether you are personally struggling with mental health challenges, or whether you are interested in people's lived experiences or psychology, this book comes so highly recommended by almost everyone I know who has read it.


4) Any book you've read before and loved

This isn't exactly a direct recommendation from me, but getting back into a book that you have read before, and you know that it's a personal favourite is such a comfort. From books you read when you were little, and a series you know has the ending that you wished it would, to the things you have read in the last few years that just feel nice. When the world is as weird as it is right now, finding comfort in things is a must for me, and during lockdown I've re-read Matilda, a childhood FAVOURITE, and re-watched the film so many times it's actually embarrassing, but you've just got to do what you've got to do during times like these.


5) Find a book that will inspire you

For me, this is books like Half the Sky: How To Change The World, by N.D Kristoff and S. WuDunn, and I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai. These books are all about wonderful women and what they have done to create a positive change with links to International Development. This helps me to keep pushing through with studying, volunteering, internships and everything else that I do in order to work towards my future career, in which I'll hopefully be able to make a difference too. Whether you are fueled by seeing other creatives doing their thing, socioeconomic injustices that you can help to combat, lawyers, health professionals, teachers, or whoever else, reading about them and their lives can really give you the boost that you might be looking for.


6) The Happy Newspaper, curated by Emily Coxhead

Sometimes the news and social media is just too much. Whether you're sick and tired of hearing and seeing bad news on social media, or just want to find out what good is going on around the world, The Happy Newspaper is a definite source of positivity. Published quarterly, this absolute bundle of joy can be delivered straight to your door, or picked up from retailers such as The Greenhouse in Leeds, Swalk in Manchester, News from Nowhere in Liverpool (the best bookshop in the world as far as I'm concerned, and so many other places. If you're in need of some positive news for once about people being nice to one another, this is the read for you!


Happy Reading!


Words By: Amy Randles 

Edited By: Dasha Pitts-Yushchenko 

International development student Lover of all things northern, feminist and leaf print
Similar Reads👯‍♀️