Rachel Kelly
Writer, Mental Health Campaigner, Public Speaker

Writer, Mental Health Campaigner, Public Speaker

In her early thirt­ies, Rac­hel suf­fered two major de­pres­sive epi­sodes. These two epi­sodes have be­come the de­fin­ing events of her life. Since then, she has writt­en about the con­di­tion, and her re­covery, in books that have been read by tens of thousands of peo­ple.

Her mem­oir "Black Rain­bow" was a Sun­day Times be­stsell­er in 2014, and her second book on wellbe­ing "Walk­ing on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Hap­pi­ness" is an in­ter­nation­al be­stsell­er and has been pub­lished in the USA, Canada, Poland, Ger­many, Tur­key and Croatia.

Rac­hel now speaks pub­lic­ly about her ex­peri­ence of de­press­ion and re­cove­ry to help educate and break stig­ma. She is an of­fici­al am­bassador for Re­think Ment­al Il­l­ness, Young Minds, Sane and The Co­un­sell­ing Foun­da­tion, and her latest book " The Happy Kitch­en: Good Mood " food was pub­lished in Janua­ry 2017.

Press & Media:

Sky News:

August 2017

​The rise in ment­al health re­lated 999 calls & the need to re­think care pro­vis­ion.

Radio 4 Today:

August 2017

"I'm not men­tal­ly un­well. I'm just un­well"

The Guar­dian:

April 2017

"Talk­ing about ment­al il­l­ness helps – but we need money more than words"


Good Mood Food

​Over the past 5 years, Rac­hel Kelly and Alice Mac­kintosh de­veloped re­cipes that put more than 140 nut­rition­al stud­ies into prac­tice. They’ve hel­ped Rac­hel to be­come more en­er­gised, less an­xi­ous, clear­er think­ing, more balan­ced and a bet­t­er sleep­er. Con­ver­sa­tions bet­ween Rac­hel and Alice and ex­peri­ments led to the book ‘The Happy Kitch­en’. In it, Rac­hel shares in de­tail what she has learnt about eat­ing for hap­pi­ness. By har­ness­ing the power of food to boost her mood, not just on melancho­ly days, Rac­hel has been able to man­age her ten­den­cy to an­xiety. Nut­ri­tion has be­come an im­por­tant ele­ment in Rac­hel’s holis­tic approach to stay­ing well.


Black Rain­bow book by Rac­hel Kelly.


How Words Healed Me – My Jour­neyThrough De­press­ion

Black Rain­bow is the power­ful first-person ac­count of Rac­hel Kelly’s struggle with clin­ical de­press­ion and how she man­aged to re­cov­er, in part, through har­ness­ing the heal­ing power of the writt­en word. In 1997, Ox­ford graduate, work­ing moth­er and Times jour­nal­ist Rac­hel went from feel­ing mild­ly an­xi­ous to being com­plete­ly un­able to func­tion with­in the space of just three days. After a short spell in a psyc­hiat­ric hos­pit­al, she re­tur­ned home to be cared for by her fami­ly. As some­one who had al­ways loved poet­ry, it be­came some­th­ing for Rac­hel to cling onto – from re­peat­ing short man­tras to learn­ing and re­cit­ing en­tire poems. These words and ver­ses be­came a positive force for chan­ge in her life. Black Rain­bow of­f­ers a li­feline to an­yone who wants to un­derstand the ex­peri­ence of de­press­ion and is tes­ta­ment to the therapeutic value of the arts.


52 Small Steps to Hap­pi­ness

Walk­ing on Sunshine of­f­ers 52 tips, tools and positive ideas (one for each week of the year) to man­age the pre­ssures of every­day life. Rac­hel Kelly shares the strateg­ies that have hel­ped her stay calm and happy after over­com­ing two epi­sodes of severe de­press­ion. Some of the steps re­late to par­ticular ex­peri­ences and events, such as holidays, work and her children’s exams; oth­ers are use­ful at any time. Writt­en in the con­fiden­ti­al, con­ver­sation­al style of a good friend and il­lustrated by Daily Mail car­toon­ist Jonat­han Pugh, Walk­ing on Sunshine ser­ves as a con­stant, sup­por­tive com­pan­ion through the seasons.

"Thank you for so courageously sharing you story , black rainbow I have benefited enormously from your writing. I have suffered on an off with depression for over 20 years, I have read many books on the subject but nothing as helpful as yours. At a time of my life when I am fighting off familiar warning signs and looking at the prescription for my antidepressants, your words have given me great clarity and hope. Your book 'walking on sunshine has literally just been delivered! Many thanks for sharing your story."

"This no-holds-barred account of a totally debilitating depression suffered by a woman who apparently 'had it all' is a vital read for anyone who has experienced anxiety, the need to be perfect, to be all things to everyone, to live up to expectations real and imagined. I am awed by the courage it must have taken to write it, and the generosity of spirit involved. As someone who has experienced anxiety and depression, I found this book hugely informative in its physiological pointers, and hugely supportive in its central message (for me) that we all really must stop being so bloody hard on ourselves!"

Official Ambassador for:


07917 225227