THE BLOG
01/04/2016 12:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

#Flawless Favorites: The Inspirational Reads of 2015

Since the launch of the holiday season we have been writing about the hope and progress in mental health, from the groundbreaking Emotion Revolution Summit hosted by Lady Gaga and Yale and the creation of a mental health roadmap for New York City, to the important initiatives being spearheaded by various nonprofits and healthcare organizations around the nation.

It was also the year that we, and many others, continued to focus on the discrimination and judgement that too many in our society continue to bring to mental health issues. At the Flawless Foundation, we believe that changing the language, discussion, and portrayal of mental health is a crucial part of the innovation to ensure better brain healthcare for all. Many public figures have chosen to speak out this year about their own personal experiences with mental illness, and we applaud their courage and candor. Earlier this season, I too felt called to share more publicly about my own history with mental health challenges , and once I did, many people were open with me and, feeling empowered, went on to share their own stories.

Authenticity, honesty, and compassion -- this is how the revolution for brain health starts. As the year and the holiday season draw to a close, we celebrate our favorite books of the year: inspirational reads that provide hope and take us one step closer to our goal of educated awareness and acceptance for all.

  1. Sheila Hamilton, All the Things We Never Knew Radio host, journalist, and mental health advocate Sheila Hamilton published her memoir back in October detailing her husband's rapid onset of bipolar disorder, which tragically ended in his death. Sheila pays homage to their loving relationship, and in baring the rawest, most poignant moments of her family's attempts to cope, she weaves a beautiful and complex portrait of mental illness. This inspiring book has been called a love story and is essential for anyone looking to understand and to heal.
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  3. Patrick Kennedy, A Common Struggle
    A former congressman, the youngest son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and an avid advocate for mental health rights, Patrick Kennedy demonstrated tremendous courage when he released his memoir revealing his personal and family's history of brain health challenges. Although some members of his family publicly distanced themselves from the book, Patrick Kennedy stood fast, recognizing that openly discussing what is an all too common struggle for so many was important. Our fearless leader of the mental health advocacy movement realizes that no one is immune from these conditions and writing about the mental health challenges of one of the country's most iconic families is a valuable example to set for all Americans.
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  5. Bert and John Jacobs, Life Is Good: The Book Optimism is everything, according to Bert and John Jacobs, the co-founders of the Life Is Good clothing brand. We had the privilege of hearing Bert speak at the Emotion Revolution Summit and their family story of resilience and hope is one for us all to study. Reflecting on their journey to a $100 million dollar business, from living in a van with $78 to their names, to the creation of a beloved brand, the brothers share their insights into how to keep going when the going gets tough. The Jacobs brothers share the values we embody at Flawless and reveal how gratitude, openness, and compassion can fuel any dream and help weather unpredictable and challenging periods in life . This book is a perfect inspirational guide for how to start the new year off right!

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