Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her twenties in tears. She could barely find the strength to get off the sofa, let alone piece her life back together. Until one day she did something she had never done of her own free will – she pulled on a pair of trainers and went for a run.
That first attempt didn’t last very long. But to her surprise, she was back out there the next day. And the day after that. She began to set herself achievable goals – to run 5k in under 30 minutes, to walk to work every day for a week, to attempt 10 push-ups in a row. Before she knew it, her mood was lifting for the first time in years.
In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be.
About the Author
Bella Mackie has written for the Guardian, Vogue and Vice. This is her first book.
‘Bella’s brilliant love letter to running turns into an extraordinarily brave and frank account of her battle with anxiety. This is a compassionate and important book which presents running as a simple but effective antidote to an anxious world.’ - Joe Lycett
‘A heartfelt and joyous ode to the strange, wonderful pull of a pair of ugly trainers, tight fitting Polyester, the rainy, windy open road and the peace and clarity it brings. Anyone that runs will love this book.’ - Dermot O’Leary
‘A very relatable book.’ - Philippa Perry
‘Sport and exercise are important for both body and mind. Jog On is one person’s brutally honest and insightful account of how running had a positive impact on their mental health.’ - Jimmy Anderson
‘A brilliant, compassionate insight into both mental illness and exercise, Bella Mackie’s Jog On will act as a comfort – and a spur – to so many. It is kind, it is honest and it will make you finally pull on those trainers and get moving. It will also – and this is so important – help you to understand what those experiencing anxiety endure.’ - Lynn Enright
‘Hilarious, poignant and inspiring, Jog On is part homage to running, part self-help guide to conquering your fears. Using her own story, and others', Bella shows how we can change our lives one step at a time.’ - NetGalley
1K. Everything is Awful - 1
2K. In Sickness and in Health - 29
3K. Suffer the Little Children - 63
4K. Is It Too Late to Try?
5K. Exercise is Intimidating - 117
6K. Pushing through Panic - 137
7K. Why Do We Run? - 157
8K. Know Your Limits - 183
9K. Listening to Your Body - 201
10K. Pitfalls and Disappointments - 227
And finally... some tips for getting started - 249
Resources - 267
References - 271
Acknowledgements - 279