Book Review |My Anxiety Handbook: A Guide for Young People – Sue Knowles, Brodie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwan

Title: My Anxiety Handbook: A Guide for Young People
Author: Sue Knowles, Brodie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwan
Publication date: January 18th 2018
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Goodreads rating: 3.49
Pages: 194
Genre: Mental health, self help, non fiction

I would like to thank Jessica Kingley Publishers and NetGalley for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to thank the authors, Sue Knowles, Brodie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwan

All reviews are my own and aren’t influenced by receiving a copy of this book.


Helping young people with anxiety learn to recognise and manage their symptoms, this anxiety survival guide teaches 12 to 18 year olds how they can overcome their biggest worries.

Showing that anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people face, this book helps young people understand the ins and outs of their own anxiety and helps them to challenge the difficult patterns they may get into. Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully.

With practical chapters on sleep, exam stress, transitions, and seeking extra help, this is a go-to guide for any tween, teen or young person living with anxiety.

Overall opinion of the book:

This was an insightful and helpful read that I would certainly recommend to teenagers and young adults. As the synopses suggests, this book focuses on anxiety, why a person may be experiencing it and contains some useful tips that may help others. It was written by a group of people who have all experienced and dealt personally with anxiety, so readers know that the advice given in the book has actually helped others in the past. This handbook does emphasise that although the techniques mentioned have helped people with anxiety in the past, they may not be successful for everyone. Anxiety isn’t the same for everyone, which is important to remember.

My Anxiety Handbook is full of helpful and useful information, along with resources to help people struggling with anxiety. It contains a mixture of facts, personal experiences and various illustrations. The age the book focuses on is quite broad, 12 – 18 years. While it’s great that there’s a book to help all of teenagers, I do feel as though this book is perhaps more suitable for perhaps 14-18 year olds as some of the content may be a little complex for younger readers. As a 24 year old reading this, I definitely think this book is correct in being intended for teenagers as some of the content was quite simplistic and not as suitable for an older demographic.

Given this, the book contains some really helpful tips and explains anxiety in a really accessible way. The language used isn’t too complex and everything is easy to follow and understand. When writing about a sensitive topic like this for younger readers, this is essential and the authors have done this brilliantly.

Although the book is helpful in suggesting ways of managing anxiety and it’s symptoms, it emphasises that it’s not a replacement for visiting the doctor and receiving treatment if needed. It covers the basics of the causes of anxiety and some cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that can help alleviate the symptoms. It focuses on helping you to control your anxiety so that it stops controlling you.

The authors include their own experiences with anxiety, what happened and how they responded to it. This is so useful for young adults to read as it emphasises that they are it alone or isolated, and that anxiety is a common mental illness. As someone who personally suffers from anxiety, this book would definitely have helped me a lot if it was released when I was a teenager. I’ve managed my anxiety over many years now so much of the information shared in the book I was already familiar with. But, if you’re someone that is showing signs of suffering from anxiety, I would definitely give this insightful and helpful book a read.

Final thoughts:

I would certainly recommend this book as it’s an informative and easily accessible read. It’s important as it raises awareness of anxiety and discusses way to cope with and manage it.

My Anxiety Handbook is easy to read and contains many personal experiences and useful tips. If you’re a teenager struggling with anxiety then please give this book a chance, I wish it was around when I was younger!

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, you can do so here:



Book Depository


Do you have any tips on dealing with anxiety? Feel free to share them in the comments to help others. 💕

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3 thoughts on “Book Review |My Anxiety Handbook: A Guide for Young People – Sue Knowles, Brodie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwan

  1. jen_bookworm says:

    It’s great how there’s so much about anxiety for young people now. I had panic attacks in my pre-teens and still suffer with anxiety now. I’ve read so many books about it. I think sometimes you are just not able to sit and read pages and pages of a book. Also you can get too caught up looking for help and reading books and articles which personally didn’t help me. I kept looking for a cure but think I got too caught up in that. What helps me is yoga and mindfulness and also figuring out what I need to do to be calmer/making life or mindset changes. Like less pressure on myself with a massive to-do list and letting myself be lazy 🙂 I don’t really feel that I manage my anxiety really well, every no and again I have a sort of mini crisis and get back into the searching for a cure thing. But I’m learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ash Williams says:

      Completely understand what you mean, as there have been many times where I’ve felt the same, and where reading articles about anxiety have led to me feeling more anxious. Mindset changes, forward planning and rationalising my thoughts has helped me a great deal, but I still get bouts of anxiety especially when travelling and socialising in large groups. It’s definitely a constant working and learning process.

      Liked by 1 person

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