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Bird Therapy (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Published back on June 13th, some of you may be interested in my book ‘Bird Therapy.’ It’s a multi-faceted book - the crux of which is my memoir, detailing my battles with poor mental health and how I rediscovered a childhood interest in birds and took up birdwatching as a hobby. It begins in a dark place, but ultimately ends up brimming with light - and birds.

I explore many themes in the book, built around a self-help framework called ‘5 ways to wellbeing.’ These are 5 things you can bring into your life to improve wellbeing and they correlate beautifully with birdwatching (connect, be active, give, take notice and learn). I also explore:sense of place through local patch-birding, the weather, winter, spring and the benefits of birdsong and sounds in general.

As well as my battle with my wellbeing, it was a fight to get it published too. No traditional publisher would commit to it and I was approached by a crowdfunding publisher called Unbound. It was a difficult decision to commit to something so anxiety-inducing, but to my surprise, it funded in six weeks and counts Bill Bailey among 3 kindred patrons. It also features a powerful foreword from a Chris Packham, who has been incredibly supportive of the book and message.

The book has also led to numerous opportunities to spread my message about the wellbeing benefits of birdwatching and you may have seen me on BBC Winterwatch in January, or read my features in nature/birdwatching publications.

Anyway, if you’re interested, have a look at my blog at: http://www.birdtherapy.blog and the page titled ‘book’ which has more information. Thank you for reading.

Joe Harkness - Bird Therapy


Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Hi Joe. I’ve got it and I’d totally recommend it. Well written, doesn’t skirt the subject matter, but many warm moments as well.



Mostly in the Midlands :)
United Kingdom

I have just bought your book from Bird Sounds.

Do not want to write much more, reasons etc.. here.

Will let you know!



Super Moderator
Staff member
I was given a copy of this book recently and have just read it. It is a very interesting insight into how birds (and the world around us in general) can impact on mental health.

I think that statistics reckon that about 10% of people suffer depression at some point and the number growths when you add in other mental health issues (anxiety, ocd, etc). So the chances are that if you are not a sufferer yourself you will know someone who is. This book gives a useful picture of the ways that these issues can impact all aspects of life and the way that the author's connection with birds have help him.

Buy it. Read it. Think who in your life needs to read it and buy them a copy.


Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Some statistics says one in five will suffer from clinical depression at least once in their life


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