Jog On: How Running Saved My Life is a book by Bella Mackie about her personal struggle with mental health issues and how running helped her to build momentum in her battle against anxiety and depression. Bella provides a disarmingly candid account of her experiences with mental illness and the failures and successes that she had in using exercise to confront it. Hearing about experiences from someone who has battled mental illness personally can help provide relief because that person can often relate to the nuances of others’ similar struggles in a way that someone who has not experienced mental illness cannot. It can also be discouraging for someone with depression to try a coping mechanism and find that it doesn’t work for them, so Bella’s honesty about the ways that exercise didn’t work is helpful in its own right. She talks about how she re-strategized and found smaller goals that she could achieve and combine into larger goals.
Anxious and depressed Bella had been divorced and was in a bad place in her life. She often found herself in tears, unable to move off of the sofa and feeling sorry for herself. One day, she decided to try something that was a foreign concept to her – running.
Her first run did not last very long but the very next day, she found herself grabbing her running shoes again. She did the same thing the following day. She slowly began setting herself achievable goals in running, walking, and push-ups. For the first time in years, she slowly felt her mood lifting.
Bella explains in a hilarious and honest way how running saved her from depression and anxiety, without having to sacrifice her three favorite things: ice cream, alcohol, and cigarettes. Bella shares many inspirational stories, research, and advice that she has picked up with the help of physicians, psychologists, sportspeople, and friends. In her book, she illustrates how exercise can save your life.
This book will encourage you to jog through your problems – big or small – while always keeping your head up to get your life back on track.