Beyond the Pages: How Books can Benefit your Mental Health

Here at The Folio Society, it’s no secret that we are obsessed with books! Whether it’s unravelling a thrilling mystery, solving a crime, or embarking on a whimsical adventure, we embrace them all. And just like the diverse worlds within our books, mental health knows no boundaries.

In 2019, the World Health Organisation published that 970 million people globally were living with a mental health disorder, with anxiety and depression being the most common. To put that number into perspective, that’s over 200 million more people than the population of Europe.

Whilst we know there’s no quick fix to mental health, we firmly believe in the power of small gestures. From walks in the sunshine to reconnecting with a friend, or escaping amongst the pages of a captivating book, each moment of respite counts.

So, with this week being Mental Health Awareness week, we wanted to share our top five reasons why reading can have a positive impact on your mental well-being!



1. Escape to another world!


When life is getting you down, it’s difficult not to ruminate on your anxious thoughts, but immersing yourself into another world can often help you forget your worries and provide a sense of escapism. Research has even shown that practicing escapism can be a transformative process and changes the way people interact with the world and others.

In fact, for our summer collection this year, we have asked our customers to join us on the ultimate escape… To switch your Out of Office on! Do this, and you can fully immerse yourself amongst the pages without any distractions. Suddenly, you’ll be whisked away to far-off lands, exploring new worlds, and walking in the shoes of legends. Ah, the sweet escape!

Illustration by Becky Chambers



Illustration by Sam Weber

2. New achievement unlocked.


You’re only human if life gets on top of you sometimes, but when you’re struggling with your mental health it can always feel like this. Instead of climbing on top of it, you start to procrastinate, and suddenly, your to do list is as long as Lord of the Rings and everything becomes too overwhelming. So, what do you do? You go to bed.

Whilst you’re in bed, consider tackling even a single chapter of that new book you’ve had on your shelf for the past six months. Embarking on a literary quest can give you a sense of accomplishment and that surge of dopamine might just kick-start your motivation for other tasks too! Whether you’re sipping tea with the March sisters, or reigning as Emperor of Arrakis, each page turned is a victory for your mental wellbeing.



3. Give your mind a break!


Two in three people use a screen before bed, with 42% of people falling asleep with and waking up to social media on most days. Instagram, Tik Tok and pretty much every social media channel is crowded with people #LivingMyBestLife!

Social media can make us compare ourselves to others, whether that’s body image, intelligence, wealth or simply the feeling of ‘Why has everyone else got so much going on and I don’t?’. Whatever it is, it’s not good for your mental health, and instead, we recommend picking up your favourite story, calming your mind and giving yourself a break from societies ‘expectations’.

Illustration by Daniel Liévano



Illustration by Charles van Sandwyk

4. Sweet dreams and sound sleep.


Suffering with your mental health can drastically impact your sleep, with the Sleep Foundation stating that around 75% of depressed people show symptoms of insomnia. And when we don’t sleep, our mood lowers, our brain becomes foggier, and our motivation is pretty much non-existent.

However, research also shows that diving into a good book before bedtime not only helps you unwind but also sets the stage for quality zzz's. Your brain will certainly thank you in the morning!



5. Let’s de-stress with a Literary Spa Day!


Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders? Take a literary breather and indulge in a spa day for your mind! Reading as little as six minutes a day can work wonders for stress relief, as it gently lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart rate, eases muscle tension, and boosts your mood. So, grab your favourite book, and let the pampering begin!

Illustration by Charles van Sandwyk





Song of Achilles
Little Women



Lord of the Rings
Slouching Towards Bethlehem