4 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

I’d been meaning to read this book for a very long time, after everyone said how amazing it was, but I always wondered how I would talke to it, not being a frequent memoir reader myself. I’ve always been somewhat interested in mental health, and reading about it and exploring other people’s lives who live with it makes me question my own.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig

What does it mean to feel truly alive?

This is the true story of how Matt Haig came through crisis, triumphed over a mental illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. Moving, funny and joyous, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

My Review

Reasons to Stay Alive is a memoir exploring Haig’s journey through depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, and how he found certain aspects of life helped him through particularly difficult stages, and how tasks that may seem easy for people who don’t suffer from depression/anxiety, became more difficult as his illness developed. The reader is given a large insight into Haig’s personal life, which is explored through a series of life events, lists, quotes and advice. For anyone with mental health problems, this book is like a bible, and give hope that you are not alone in your illness, even though fit may seem like you are. For people interested in exploring their own mental health, this book can almost guide you through symptoms, daily life and what it is really like to live with severe clinical depression. It was extremely interesting to read how Haig has explored his own mind in-depth to understand his depression and know what particular things can trigger it, what can calm it, and what he can do to just block everything out.
In particular, I found the moments that I could connect to the most interesting, for various reasons. I understand that every case of mental illness is different, and, apart from having similar symptoms, no one can experience the same case of depression or anxiety or OCD, etc. It was intiguing to find some aspects of the book I felt were really true for me, and others that were quite personal, and very different to some of my experiences. The lists helped a lot with understanding the wider general depression and anxiety signs and symptoms in a way that they haven’t been taken from the NHS website, but written by someone who has ‘first hand experience’.

Aside from the fact this book was mainly about depression, there were parts that really made me giggle in a way that I completely understood what was being said; it was so relatable to the point that it was funny. The book is called ‘Reasons to Stay Alive, and among Haig’s exploration into his own mental health, it also provides immense help, and really does, within the content, give you reasons in life and in yourself, to stay alive.

The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if you aren’t able to see it.- Matt Haig

I feel like anyone who picked this up would find something in it that they can relate to or find comfort in, although I do recommend it more for the slightly older reader, and especially those who know they are, or think they are, suffering with any kind of mental health issues, and also those with an interest in finding out more about what it’s really like to live with depression. If you feel like reading a book about depression that isn’t completely depressing, read this one!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):


The Book Depository 

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

By bookmuffin

I like books and tea. MA Children's Literature student.

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