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Healing through Poetry

Aside from medication and therapy, there are now a multitude of ways to cope with mental health challenges. 

More and more people are turning to other means of taking care of their mental health, in particular, they are turning to books. 

Although people living with mental health issues find support, information and guidance in novels, self-help books and other texts, there is a common misconception that you have to read books that are scientific and clinical, in order to benefit from them. But that is simply not the case.

It may be true that some people prefer to read books that are factual, so they can implement findings and theories that are backed by science into their everyday lives, however, many people seek to find an escape in books - they want to read something that makes them feel a little less sad, a little less alone and a little more alive. 

Poetry and other nonfiction books are doing the trick for many people struggling with their mental health as they can be incredibly healing and transformative. 

I’ve personally turned to poetry after difficult periods in my life, or even just after difficult days. I find that there is no better feeling than reading something that captures everything that you were feeling, but could not find the right words to say. 

Whether I hold an actual copy of a poetry book in my hands, scroll through poetry accounts on Instagram, or watch spoken word artists on Youtube, this art form helps me to connect with what I’m feeling and thinking in a way that can be emotional, heart wrenching and even enlightening. 

I also love reading a poem and saying “wow, me too” afterwards, knowing that although I feel alone in what I’m going through, someone else has felt what I’m feeling too. As well, reading some poetry can feel less daunting then reading a lengthy article or book, especially when my brain is foggy or my emotions are too much.

I highly recommend immersing yourself in a poem next time you are feeling low, it can inspire you; motivate you for growth and change; and help you to find light in the darkest of times. 

If you are not sure where to start, here are some of my favourite poets:

  • Sabrina Benaim (her book Depression and Other Magic Tricks is a must read)
  • Neil Hilborn 
  • Rudy Francisco 
  • Clemetine von Radics
  • Lang Leav
  • Andrea Gibson
  • R.H. Sin (find him on Instagram @r.h.sin) 
  • Rupi Kaur (her books Milk and Honey and The Sun and her Flowers are classics) 

You can also check out Button Poetry on Youtube.