Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness

#BlogTour #BookReview Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Pages: 272

Publisher: Unbound

Available: 13th June 2019

Genre: Psychology / Non-Fiction / Nature

With thanks to Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours the publishers #Unbound and the Author Joe for my copy of this book, it was a wonderfully insightful read!


I can’t remember the last book I read that I could say with absolute assurance would save lives. But this one will’ Chris Packham

When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is.

The positive change in Joe’s wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street.

In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves.

My Thoughts:

This was a wonderful book that was an intriguing change of pace. Full of wonderful illustrations and interesting insights, it certainly left me with a strong desire to do some bird watching!

The book flows between three types of information perfectly, including the authors own story and experiences, describing wonderfully and emotively his own journey into bird watching, and how this has helped him.

This book also gorgeously describes his experiences around birds, how it felt to watch them for the first time, the different emotions and sensations of seeing the birds living their lives, and how each type of bird encouraged different feelings. The author describes these experiences so vividly that it gives the reader a kind of rush to picture these amazing creatures in the ways he portrays them. For myself, I have so many bird feeders in my gardens, and I love to watch the birds come and go. It’s a joy to watch them, peaceful, so I can completely understand the Authors views on this.

That being said, even without that experience for myself, having read the scenes the author has described so wonderfully, I would feel inclined to begin bird watching myself, and had I not already had the bird feeders I certainly would have been getting some ASAP.

That being said, what makes this book powerful as well as beautiful, is the authors use of academic writings to corroborate what he is saying. He doesn’t just throw out opinions on difficult topics, rather he has done his research and at each point makes reference to a variety of sources whom support what he says, quoting NHS and various others with relevant information in a way which is easy to digest and made all the more intriguing when found within such gorgeous imagery.

I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys watching the wildlife, or for anybody who has had or is having a difficult time with their personal mental health. Much of this is soothing to read, and otherwise informative and insightful in a way that makes personal reflection a relaxing thing to do.

About The Author:

Joe Harkness has been writing a Bird Therapy blog for the last three years. In 2017, he had articles published in The Curlew and Birdwatch magazine as well as recording three ‘tweets of the day’ for BBC Radio 4. He is employed as a Special Educational Needs teacher and has worked in the youth sector for nine years. He lives in Norfolk.



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