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Health (incl. Addictions, Insomnia & Unplanned Pregnancy)

Self-help books on Health

(incl. Addictions, Insomnia & Unplanned Pregnancy)


There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.

Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.

Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.


The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.

(incl. Addictions, Insomnia & Unplanned Pregnancy)

Date of information: Jan 2006, updated Feb 2010

Tired But Wired
Nerina Ramlakhan, 2010

Describes the science behind sleep and how to find your natural sleep rhythms and provides the Sleep Toolkit Programme that anyone can use, adjusting it for your own lifestyle, needs and personality to provide all the essential habits and routines you need for brilliant sleep.

Beating Chronic Fatigue: Your Step by Step Guide to Complete Recovery
Dr Kristina Downing-Orr, 2010

In her book Dr Kristina Downing-Orr reveals the causes of chronic fatigue and offers an accessible, scientifically valid, easy-to-achieve program me that will inspire people with CFS to regain their health and restore their energy and vitality. Chapters cover Kristina's own story, what chronic fatigue really is, what causes it, diagnosis, a step-by-step self-treatment program me, how to strengthen the body, coping with stress, and resources.

Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Be a Happy Non-Smoker for the Rest of Your Life
Allen Carr, 2013

The world's best selling book on how to give up smoking. "It didn't take any willpower. I didn't miss it at all and I was free" Ruby Wax.

 The Effortless Sleep Method

Sasha Stevens, 2011

This course book will guide you to rediscovering your natural ability to sleep. A vibrant engaging and believable book that makes absolute sense and offers hope to both the short and long term sleep deprived.

Overcoming Compulsive Gambling
Alex Blaszczynski, Robinson, 1998

A CBT self-help book to use if your gambling is a compulsion adversely affecting many aspects of your life.

Deidre Boyd, Element Books, 1998

This book looks at the nature of addiction and its many forms, including alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, and religion.

Body Foods for Women: Eat your way to good health

Jane Clarke, Orion, 1997

Seeks to show how to design your own healthy eating plan to suit your lifestyle, based on foods you enjoy, whether you want to become fitter, control weight or to treat and manage specific health problems.

Body Foods For Life
Jane Clarke, Seven Dials, 1999

A guide to healthy eating.

Overcoming Chronic Pain
Frances Cole, Hazel Howden-Leach, Helen MacDonald and Catherine Carus, Robinson, 1997

A CBT self-help book that can help you to understand your pain and its causes and how to cope with it.

Abortion and Afterwards
Vanessa Davies, Ashgrove Publishing, 2000

This book offers advice on the medical, legal and practical aspects of abortion and what to expect in the emotional aftermath.

Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems
Colin A Espie, Robinson, 2006

A CBT self-help book to help you improve the pattern and quality of your sleep

Women and Alcohol
Elizabeth Ettorre, The Women's Press, 1997

A book intended for women who think they may have a problem with alcohol. It combines advice and help with an understanding of the particular issues that face women who drink.

Unplanned Pregnancy - Your Choices: a Practical Guide to Pregnancy
Anne Furedi, Oxford Paperbacks, 1996

This book explains what is involved in adoptions, abortion and motherhood. It is based on interviews with women who have had unplanned pregnancies and the choices they took.

The Food and Mood Handbook: How what you eat can transform how you feel
Amanda Geary, Harper Collins, 2001

Focusing on the problems associated with diet, such as over-consumption of fat and quickly-digested carbohydrates, this text explains which carbohydrates are best for health and how to use the glycaemic index to make meals 'work'. It includes glycaemic index factor charts for more than 600 foods as well as 50 recipes.

Overcoming Weight Problems
Jeremy Gauntlett-Gilbert & Clare Grace, Robinson, 2005

A CBT self-help book that aims to help you to learn new habits, not only lose weight, but then stay at your new, more healthy weight in the long term.

You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay, Hay House, 2002

Louise L. Hay offers a profound insight into the relationship between the mind and the body. Exploring the way that limiting thoughts and ideas controls and constricts us, she offers a powerful key to understanding the roots of our physical diseases and discomforts.

How to Stop Smoking and Stay Stopped for Good
Gillian Riley, Vermilion, 2003

Seeking to avoid scare tactics and aversion therapy, this text aims to teach the smoker how to control their desire for cigarettes without gaining weight or feeling irritable, depressed, or deprived.

Let's Drink To Your Health
Robertson & Heather, Blackwell, 1996

Intended for those who, due to health or financial reasons, wish to cut down on their drinking. The text aims to give the facts about alcohol and offer advice to enable people to change their drinking patterns. A drinking diary and specific tips for drinking less are included.

Overcoming Problem Drinking
Marcantonio Spada, Robinson, 2006

A CBT self-help book that will help you address your alcohol related problems.

Embarrassing Problems
Dr Margaret Stearn, Health Press, 1998

An A-Z guide from acne to wind - containing advice for coping with a range of problems.