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Summary

The Sunday Times best seller.

Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her 20s in tears. She could barely find the strength to get off the sofa, let alone piece her life back together. Until one day she did something she had never done of her own free will - she pulled on a pair of trainers and went for a run.

Over the previous decade, Bella had been so paralysed by her fears that exercise was the very last thing on her mind. So that first run didn’t last very long. But to her surprise, she was back out there the next day. And the day after that. She began to set herself achievable goals - to run 5k in under 30 minutes, to walk to work every day for a week, to attempt 10 push-ups in a row. Before she knew it, her mood was lifting for the first time in years, and she had swapped hiding in her house for fresh air, unknown roads and running tracks.

In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational audiobook will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track - no matter how small and scary those first steps may be.

©2018 Bella Mackie (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Bella’s brilliant love letter to running turns into an extraordinarily brave and frank account of her battle with anxiety. A compassionate and important book." (Joe Lycett)

"My kind of role model." (Ben Fogle)

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What listeners say about Jog On

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Obviously running is good for you...

But this is an inspiring and relatable story. I hate running, but this book helped me to realise I could go for a 'jog' and not put any pressure on it. Doesn't need to be about miles, or goals. I listened to the whole book in one day, and then went for a jog.

25 people found this helpful

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Brilliant.

Listened to this in under 24 hours. I was completely absorbed by the experiences Bella shared because not only were they like a mirror of mine, but that she gives insightful facts about mental illnesses which is very comforting. I used to think ‘well this is it, I’ve had it. Goodbye fun life’ and it’s nice to be comforted by the experiences of someone else who has sadly felt exactly the same. I chose this book not because of the ‘trend’ or that I’m struggling particularly badly with my mental health, quite the contrary. I like to check in with my mental health to keep above the plume of fog which is what my anxiety and depression does to me and this book was perfect for that. Highly recommend this to anyone with or without mental health issues.

19 people found this helpful

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Loved it!!!

I’m a sucker for a book about mental health and running and this did not disappoint.
Honest and insightful (and not too long!!)
Def recommend for the start of the new year for those that want to get out and about!! It’s definitely inspired me!!

10 people found this helpful

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A great start for a new year

Bella is honest, raw and hilarious in this. Truly inspiring and relatable. I started couch to 5k yesterday even though I’ve run 4 half marathons - I had a poor mental health year and took 1 year or so off pounding the pavements. This has inspired me to get out there again.

7 people found this helpful

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Not a fun read for an anxious person

As someone who had just started running for my mental health it was hideous to relive someone else’s anxiety while dealing with my own. Very mental health heavy/ in depth about all the symptoms which I was already experiencing. I preferred the last 1/3 of the book going into how running can actually help. Motivated me to keep on trying and you don’t need to set a distance but it’s not that fun to listen to if you’re depressed and anxious already.

5 people found this helpful

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Thankyou

Pick this book up if you want to hear someone gently offer you a life changing opportunity to run, be that at whatever pace you can cope with and for however long you need to, knowing that each time you run, you’ve run further than you’ve ever run before. Listen to her reminding you life is tough and this isn’t a fix but it’s a brilliant way to manage. She’s strong, resilient, kind-natured, clever and funny. So well narrated and written. I cried so much just relating to what she was saying; happy tears but just reminders that you have to get yourself out there even when you can’t be bothered or you feel too happy to run.. it’s got me through my dissertation by proving mental strength is something you build through resilience, persistence and determination. Thankyou, Bella xxx

5 people found this helpful

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Outstanding and very relatable.

Funny, factual and different. There were parts that left me a little emotional and parts that gave me so much hope. Personally, I believe Bella is inspirational and this audiobook is perfect for somebody who isn’t quite feeling themselves. As a dentist and scientist, it’s spot on, too! Looking forward to the next book.

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Dark and relentless

I hate to say, I didn’t get very far with this book. It really dragged and was too full of statistics and dry definitions of various mental heath illnesses. Maybe it got more uplifting nearer the end, but I found I wasn’t looking forward to coming back to it and was making myself listen. I was looking for something similar to Bryony Gordon’s Eat, Drink, Run which was fantastic (highly recommend!) better structured and much more light and shade. This is just quite dark and doesn’t let up.

4 people found this helpful

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More than just a book about running

Like Jaws is said to not be a film about a shark, Jog on is not a book about running, instead it is so much more! This book details Bella Mackie’s mental health difficulties and her discovery of how running can help her feel better - both mentally and physically. A book which is less about motivation to help a novice begin the first steps to regular running and instead more about why running can be very beneficial and necessary to her mental health and could help others in similar circumstances.

To anyone suffering from any form of mental health problems such as anxiety this could be a very important and powerful book to read. This book could help the sufferer understand they are not alone and there is hope. This is also book which should be read by those fortunate to not suffer from adverse and restrictive mental health problems to generate more understanding and empathy.

If the reader is wanting a more motivational book about running I would suggest Alexandra’s Heminsley’s excellent book ‘Running like a girl’ or the books by Vasso Alexander.

I found this book to be an honest and insightful book whichI would recommend to anyone to read regardless of running ability or motivation.

3 people found this helpful

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Great for an introduction to anxiety

Great introduction of anxiety for people who haven’t experienced it.
But for someone like me who has coping mechanisms, the book was a trigger as she describes the detail of it. Could do with some light-hearted sections too like Bryony Gordon has in her book ‘eat, drink, run’.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gwynne
  • 14-10-20

A wonderfully candid and clever read

Bella brilliantly draws light to the shade by generously sharing her story and knowledge from a life tightly interwoven with anxiety, speaking to her highs, lows and running progress with such raw and witty candour.
It’s a wonderfully motivating, smart and chord striking read, sure to be enjoyed by all and treasured by those unaware of how much they needed it.

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  • Rona B
  • 26-07-20

I didn't even finish the book.

The publisher's summary and a few reviews mentioned that this book is hilarious. I'm on chapter 4, I haven't laughed once. If you're looking for a book to keep you motivated and interested to keep listening during your run, this is not the one.

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  • Clair
  • 26-02-20

Bella - you’re fabulous

I loved every word. It’s wonderfully written, inspirational and emotional. Thank you for sharing Bella!

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  • charlotte
  • 11-02-19

Amazing

If you read any book this year, it has to be this! Honest, charming and hilarious at times.