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Recovery Themed Books/TV shows/Movies/Podcasts

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi All

There is a tonne of first-person literature out there telling about experiences of MH.
I've read a tonne of it. And watched so many tv shows and movies on this theme.

Does anyone have any advice of media/books dealing with recovery from MH struggles? I'm really interested also to read about ppl who have survived attempts.

The only book I know about this is Rosie Waterland Every Lie I've Ever Told

I found some support in the chapter on addiction in So Sad Today - but that was otherwise a harrowing book.

Rupi Kaur's poems are quite empowering.

Anyone else got any tips?

29 Replies 29

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
just to clarify i'm wandering if sometimes although there's a lot of Mh related media - it's not always recovery focussed. Sometimes it doesn't deal with the subject amazingly. Wanting to find some inspiring ones.... ones that show that recovery is possible.

Dear Sleepy21,

This is a great thread! It got me thinking...I haven't encountered much that gives a positive message about mental health recovery either. Most of those I know either deal with poor mental health as it is happening (without recovery), or progressively deteriorating mental health. I'm interested to hear what others have got to suggest.


Community Member

Really interesting topic, I've been trying to locate some over the last few years myself, specifically movies in my case. You're right in that there aren't a lot that deal with the recovery side of things, at least in a very authentic way. A recent film I watched though is 'Leave No Trace', I want to avoid spoilers so I will say it doesn't demonstrate full recovery, but the way it explored PTSD and potential rehabilitation felt very authentic to me.

Something that did have a profound effect on me was Gary Numan's documentary 'Android in La La Land'. I guess you do have to know who he is because his background as a musician is useful, but there's an engaging story about his recovery from severe depression and anxiety. He went through extreme lows, made even more difficult from being a public figure and the criticism he was copping not just from the voices in his head but externally from the press etc as well. But he managed to navigate it and become productive in his field again and gives 100% to doing what he loves without fear. I found the message and how he shares his stories and experiences very helpful.

wow, amazing response emmen it's so true... how many times do we see ppl deteriorate.... i'm thinking of when we watch/learn about ppl taking the steps forward to learn about managing MH....

Hi Memory Trap that's inspiring... i'm going to look him up...

I've heard of Leave No Trace... did you enjoy the movie?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I don't like TV shows which glorify mental illness and see the person spiralling or self-medicating...

does anyone on tv shows or movies go to therapy?

Two shows I like are

Crazy Ex Girlfriend

and Insecure

because the women in it struggle and actually go to therapy, and the therapists are depicted as caring, smart and professional

I thought the movie Silver Linings PlayBook had a weird notion of therapy. Why was his therapist coming out in emergencies to support him in person and be there with him at tough life events? Therapists don't do that....and probs shouldn't in my opinion. It seemed like the therapist was just a kindly older figuire who would become a surrogate parent. This is actually toxic! It's good to normalise therapy and reflect what it really looks like in reality. Therapists aren't best friends.

Community Member

Has anyone watched Mr. Robot?

If you have seen the first three seasons, it might seem so dark but it's very rewarding if you watch all season. For those who don't know, the main character is a bipolar network security engineer by day but a hacker by night. The past traumas he had shaped him such a way that he enjoys hacking people to find out how what they enjoy, drink, watch etc. He creates alternate realities to find comfort, to escape loneliness. There are a few dark and also comforting clips on youtube if you can't watch the whole thing.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

it's come on my feed ... thanks so much for the rec i need to watch

great to know that it's relevant to MH, was hard to guage what it was about from the ads... appreciated

Hi Sleepy, yes I liked Leave No Trace, probably one of the best movies I've seen in the last few years. I liked that it was non-judgmental towards the characters and doesn't force a happy ending. The best thing about it was that there is no manipulative music to try and make you feel a certain way like I find most of these kinds of films do, it just presents the scenes and lets things unfold.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

What a great thread, but I too can't think of many movies that put mental health in a good light or at least make mental health not so dark.

The one movie that shows a real struggle, and that has a positive end is "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can". It's about a lady I believe is battles a benzo addiction. I'd really recommend it to someone whom has a interest in the subject matter mentioned.

Also, there is "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" which has a happy ending to a heavy plot, also "trainspotting" which can be quite dark at times. Mental health themed movies they definitely are.

I'd love to hear from you that have heard of or watched "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can". Its a great mental health movie.