The Feeling Good Club
Guess what? I’ve got a new book out! In fact, the first in a whole new series, called The Feeling Good Club, for 8-10s. It’s illustrated by the wonderful Jenny Latham and published by Stripes Publishing.
It’s about three friends who set up a club to explore and understand their thoughts and feelings. They do fun mindfulness activities to help them to tackle challenging situations and work through overwhelming emotions, like anger, anxiety and sadness.
I first pitched the series about five years ago, when no one had heard of COVID and mindfulness wasn’t as mainstream as it is now, let alone mindfulness for kids. I have always been into meditation and yoga, and I remember at the time of pitching it, thinking, hmm, this might just be too niche and too alternative…
But Stripes Publishing loved it, and bought it, and just a short half a decade-ish later (LOL – a two-year COVID delay included) here it is.
And here WE are. In a very different world, where many children are dealing with severe social anxiety after the lockdowns and months of online school. According to The Good Childhood Report 2021, seven percent of 10-15 year olds are unhappy with their lives, and a quarter of a million children did not cope well with changes during the pandemic. Sadly, as we all know, children are suffering a mental health crisis, as are so many of the adults who teach and look after them. According to MIND, half of parents say that their children’s mental health is worse now than before the pandemic.
So, whatever it is that excites you (and perhaps scares you a little bit!), go and give it a try. It’s time to challenge yourself!
My wish is that The Feeling Good Club will be as fun to read and as exciting as all good fiction, and will also help readers with their emotional and mental wellbeing in some small way. Of course, all books do that, pretty much, as all story is about emotional journey, underneath the fireworks of the A-story. And mostly, too, the very act of reading draws you into a calm, present moment and drops you into a restorative breathing pattern as you walk through the door into the characters’ world.
My hope is that by reading about the three friends’ challenging feelings, readers can see that these feelings are completely natural, and common to everyone. And, importantly, that difficult feelings can be understood and managed in a way that builds confidence and resilience. The actual mindfulness activities the friends do in the club are in the back of the books too, for readers to try for themselves. Whether that’s half an hour of fun with glue and eco-glitter for a reader, or the start of a life-long mindfulness practise, who can say! It’s super-exciting to be sharing these books at last, and I’m thrilled that the feedback so far has been very positive. I’m off to get on with writing book 4 now!
So, welcome to the world, The Feeling Good Club!