Happy, Calm, Sleep and Confident launch in the USA

This Book Will hard copies

We’re very proud that our first four books have launched in the States!

*blows trumpet*

This Book Will Make You Happy/Calm/Sleep/Confident are all available to buy right now in good bookshops, some not-so-good bookshops and, of course, online across America.

Packed full of simple, practical tips to feel healthier and happier day-to-day the books teach you why you feel and behave the way you do and then give you the tools to make changes. Based on a CBT framework, you’ll start recognising negative patterns of thoughts and behaviours and learn how to interrupt them so you can start creating new positive ways of thinking and being.

They’re not full of airy-fairy nonsense, but are concise and to the point, based on real examples and anecdotes that we found relatable and so hope you will too.

Everyone feels low, insecure, stressed and anxious sometimes (yes, even that guy living next door with the perfect white teeth). While you can’t stop these emotions all together you can change how you deal with them so you feel better able to cope with whatever life throws at you.

So, America, we really hope you like our books. Please let us know how you get on. And as a taster, please read some of our previous blogs which should give you an idea of the kind of things the books cover.

Thoughts aren’t facts

Why certain words are bad for you

Stop exploding with rage in the office 

Help! How to ask for help when you’re freaking out


Come to my talk on procrastination at Birmingham University

Birmingham University talkI’ll be speechifying at my old haunt Birmingham University this Saturday (18 October) as part of the annual Book to the Future Festival. I’ll be chatting about how to beat procrastination…RIGHT NOW! (See what I did there?)

Taking place in room 201 in the Arts Building from 4 – 5pm, I’ll be going through why we procrastinate, how it affects us (our mood, body, thoughts and behaviour) and the best ways of beating it. All the info, tips and insight are taken from our books.

Please come along and join in (don’t procrastinate over coming) or I’ll be chatting to an empty room. You can read more about the festival and register to attend my talk here.

Hopefully see you there!

The press campaign kicks off

Jessamy Hibberd and Jo Usmar photo

This Book Will Make You Happy/Calm/Sleep/Confident are out now and it’s all kicking off press-wise! (For all press enquiries please contact Margot Weale at Quercus: margot.weale@quercusbooks.co.uk)

Coming up: Sleep features in Look and Now magazines on 21 Jan; Calm recommended as part of Esquire Weekly’s Top 10 self-help books of 2014; talk at The Hospital Club on 28 Jan

Out now:

YOU magazine: a three page feature on This Book Will Make You Happy, which you can view online or download as a PDF (below)  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2535851/Wellbeing-bright-side.html

This Book Will Make You Happy PDF, You magazine Jan 12 2014

Huffington Post serialisation: Huff Post’s four week serialisation is underway with extracts and features so far from:

This Book Will Make You Sleep: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/07/how-can-i-get-to-sleep_n_4556365.html

This Book Will Make You Calm: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/13/how-to-deal-with-stress-anxiety-worry_n_4585462.html?utm_hp_ref=say-no-to-january

Cosmopolitan: We have a feature in this month’s Cosmo called ‘Where’s the happy news?’ with tips for beating the January blues.

Comopolitan online: I have written a separate feature called ‘Five ways to get your sh*t together this year’ for Cosmo online: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/diet-fitness/health/sort-your-life-out-tips

Stylist: This Book Will series, Stylist 15 Jan 2014

The Express:  http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/451571/Simple-ways-to-stop-stress

Radio: We appeared together on BBC Radio Wales on Thursday 2nd to talk about them with presenter (and all-round lovely man) Tom Price and it seemed to go pretty well (we hope). You can have a listen here (our bit starts exactly an hour and a half into the show): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03mnmb8

I also spoke to Caroline Martin and Adam Bridge on BBC Radio WM earlier on the same Thursday. You can have a listen to my bit at two hours 33 minutes into the broadcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ngq2t

Zest: This Book Will series review PDF, Zest Dec 2014

Woman and Home: This Book Will Make You Sleep PDF, Woman & Home Jan 2014

Female First: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/dr-jessamy-hibberd-399407.html

Frost magazine: http://www.frostmagazine.com/2013/12/this-book-will-make-you-calm-confident-happy-sleep-book-reviews/

Woman’s Way: This Book will make you Confident, Woman’s Way Jan 2014 

Very: This Book Will Make You Confident, Very Feb 2014

The Bookseller: We were also chuffed to be featured in The Bookseller (Nov 22 – pic below).

The Bookseller This Book Will article


My books are out now!

This Book Will series at Foyles St PancrasToday (Jan 6) is the official launch day for the books I co-authored with clinical psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd: This Book Will Make You Happy/Calm/Sleep/Confident! (This may explain that distant whooping sound you can hear in the distance.)

You can find them in lots of bookshops (including Foyles and lots of independents) and online.

They are featured in this month’s Cosmopolitan magazine, tomorrow’s Look, this week’s Esquire Weekly and next week’s YOU magazine. They are due to be serialised on Huffington Post and they were also in last month’s Zest and Women and Health. We appeared on BBC Radio Midlands and BBC Radio Wales on Friday to chat about them so fingers crossed the word’s getting out.

Please nab a copy or a couple of copies (no pressure) and let me know what you think.

This Book Will Make You Happy/Calm/Confident/Sleep

Calm cover image Confident cover image Happy cover image Sleep cover image

I have co-authored a series of self-help books with the amazing clinical psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd that is available to buy now! (Have a gander at them online at Amazon,Waterstones and Foyles or visit any number of bookshops.)

There are four in the collection: This Book Will Make You Happy/Calm/Sleep/Confident. 

Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy they’re accessible, practical and immediate. No fluffy airy-fairy nonsense – just straight-forward advice to make your day-to-day life better, healthier and happier.

Jess is an old friend (old meaning we’ve known each other for a while, not that she’s ancient) and we’ve collaborated on many features together. Through our combined work we realised that there weren’t any small, simple and relatable wellbeing books on the market that we wanted to recommend to people. Everything we read was patronising or full of group-huggy gibberish that made reading a chore. Or they were such heavy tomes that lugging one around in your bag felt like you literally did have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Don’t get us wrong, there are some brilliant books out there, but many are only relevant if you’re suffering from a specific diagnosed disorder when loads of people just want to learn more about their emotional health and how to manage their mood so they can feel their best more of the time.

So we penned a series of funny (hopefully) books, written for busy people who want straight-forward, accessible advice that will give them the tools to change their lives because no one feels perfect all the time and everyone shares the same insecurities and worries. The strategies we recommend are proven to work and will change your life (no exaggeration) if you stick at them.

I really hope you like them and they help with whatever you’re going through. To get a taste of what they’re all about you can read some extracts by clicking here.

Stop procrastinating and get on with Christmas (and everything else!)

Stop procrastinating at Christmas

If you’re one of those people who habitually puts stuff off, humming loudly with your fingers in your ears instead of facing what you have to do, then chances are you’re probably in the midst of a Grade A Christmas freak-out right about now. Having promised yourself you’d be more organised this year and despite all the warnings – the Christmas lights, your constant hangover, All I Want For Christmas played on loop on the radio – suddenly there’s only a few days left and all you’ve managed to do is buy yourself a nice new outfit. Standard.

It can be easy to put things off. “I’ll wait until I know what everyone wants”/ “I haven’t got time before my office party”/ “I’m too drunk”. “I’ll do it tomorrow” turns into “I’ll do it next week” and the longer you leave it the more anxious and guilty you feel until the task seems MASSIVE and insurmountable. Just the idea of getting started can feel exhausting. You feel guilty, stressed, annoyed at yourself and FURIOUS at all those people wandering around spouting how they had everything sorted, wrapped and labelled in October. Oh, smug-off.

But panic not! Stop breathing into a paper bag and unwrap that tinsel from around your neck. Before you go barrelling to the shops, wide-eyed, sweaty and disheveled with no plan of action, calm down, pour yourself a brew and break down the problem (the guide below works for anything you’re putting off – not just Christmas presents).

1. Identify the specific problem you want to deal with

I need to buy everyone presents for Christmas

2. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can

Write a list of who you need to buy presents for and note down anything that comes to mind next to each

3. Pick the best idea

Choose a present for each person and note it down. Don’t be precious about it – at this point you need to get something even if it won’t be The Best Present Ever. Also, write down a back-up present in case you have any problems.

4. Break the solution down into achievable steps

When can you go shopping? Where you can buy each present from? Is the shop open? [Rocking up and finding a ‘closed’ sign might tip you over the edge.] Which shop should you go to first? [Make a route – there’s nothing more stressful than negotiating your way down a hellish high street only to realise the other shop you need is at the other end.] And, if you’re buying online work out whether it’ll arrive in time

5. Get started!

Book the date and time you’re going to start in your diary. You’re far less likely to cancel if it’s ‘official’. If you’re going out rather than buying online go in the morning so you don’t have the day to find an excuse to put it off.

Whether it’s Christmas shopping, a work project or a difficult phone call, putting things off might seem like the easy option, but actually you’ll just end up feeling worse and more stressed out. Use this strategy with whatever problem you’re facing. By just getting started by making a plan you’ll have a better idea of what you’re dealing with and your anxiety and guilt levels will drop. You’ll realise it’s more manageable than you were expecting and will feel more motivated to see it through. Things are (almost) never as bad as you think they’re going to be and even if they are you’ll be amazed at your ability to cope.