Positive Mental Health by Dr Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder (Book Review)

In Review

Positive Mental Health – Overcoming Mental Health Problems

Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder

Genre of book:
Psychological Research

Number of pages:

LID Publishing

In the last couple of years, “Mental Health” has been part of people’s dialogue more often. A quick search on TalkWalker.com showed that in the week of September 22-28th 2019, the hashtag #mentalhealth generated 68.5K conversations on twitter. However, what is Mental Health, and what factors contribute to human Wellbeing? How can you know if you are dealing with a mental health issue? You can find the answers to these questions in a recent book, Positive Mental Health, by Dr Shaun Davis and Andrew Kinder, who not only offer data-driven insights, but also practical tips on how to actually improve and take care of our mental health.

Positive Mental Health automatically became one of my favourite books on health and wellbeing due to its straightforward language and content. It’s a book that it is easy to read and at the same time packed with very important information. The authors really did an incredible work, because it’s not easy to communicate health and wellbeing stats and facts in a language that is concise, engaging and accessible to everyone. Hence, this is a must-have book if you want to have a wider perspective on mental health and, especially, if you support or teach people on mental health and wellbeing matters. To be completely honest, at the moment, it’s probably the first book I can recommend to those who are just starting to learn more about mental health or interested in having an overview on the topic with enough in-depth.

One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives (in Positive Mental Health by Dr Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder). See full book review.

The book has six parts, each one of them addressing a specific aspect of mental health. In Part 1, the authors explain us what mental health is and how a holistic approach is required if we want to fully understand it. For instances, our mental health depends on a great number of psychological factors, but also on the quality of our emotional experiences, social interactions, and physical condition. In Part 2, you will learn how taking responsibility for our own mental health is key to maintain a good quality of life and the first step to overcome any mental health problem. This requires you to address aspects like self-awareness, self-esteem, resilience, and several health-related factors (e.g. poverty) and risk behaviours (e.g. alcoholism).

Part 3 is about how particular mental health conditions such as anxiety, burnout and trauma impact wellbeing and what you can do to manage them. Part 4 addresses how life changes (e.g. relationship breakdown) influence our mental health, while Part 5 focus specifically on topics related to mental health in the workplace. Some of these topics include how to communicate your mental health concerns at work, what sources of help and support can employees look for, and why looking after your wellbeing at work is rather important. Finally, Part 6 is packed with more specific tips to improve mental health, a very good list of organisations and useful contacts for people who need more support in their mental health journey, and also a brief list of mobile apps focused on mental health.

To conclude, the structure, its straightforward language and the very useful content of Positive Mental Health allow me to confidently say that this effectively is one of those books that not only informs, but also educates and guides people’s towards better mental health and wellbeing by providing both accurate health-related information and practical suggestions on how to eat well, exercise regularly, improve social interactions and other equally important wellbeing aspects throughout different areas and life events.


  1. I have been working with 55 and older adults for 8 years. Most of them got some sort of physical pain. Recently, I’ve been researching the mind and body connection I’ve been feeling that positive thoughts can give us positive healing energy to the body as well. This book sounds quite interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ellie, thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. I’m a great believer of the mind-body connection. This book brings our attention to several aspects that influence that connection (food, sleep…). Have you ever read about Ellen Langer study on age reversing? It might be interesting to you. I think it’s a good example of how our mind and beliefs shape our reality (body, behaviours): https://www.businessinsider.com/ellen-langers-reversing-aging-experiment-2015-4

      Liked by 1 person

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