Rachel Kelly
Writer, Mental Health Campaigner, Public Speaker

Testimonials


Good Mood Food Workshop:

“Todays’ work shop was excellent. Rachel & her two colleagues were wonderful. The food was delicious & of course extremely healthy. I need to purchase a food processor & blender!!. I really loved the approach that Rachel took. It’s manageable cooking with out been stressed. It has encouraged to start experimenting. I haven’t cooked anything or than steam & pre-cooked food. Thank you for a providing a wonderful work shop.” Patricia

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“Dear Rachel,
Just to let you know how much I enjoyed your presentation on Wednesday. I spoke to the others, during and at the end and they were equally impressed. The fire alarm and cooker just added to the excitement! Seriously, I needed this talk. It has changed my outlook on cooking. Already, I have used coconut oil etc.
Thank you for enlightening us. It was brilliant!
Love, Eva”

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Other Testimonials:

“I wrote a little something, please spare a minute and give it a read:
There is very special kitchen I spent a great deal of my childhood in. This kitchen has produced five of the most brilliant kids I know along with some incredibly cherished memories. I practically grew up in this kitchen from the age of nine. This kitchen has seen me at my best and at my worst: this kitchen has fed me early in the morning and so late into the evening that the sun was feasting with us. This kitchen fed me an hour ago and gave me a quick hug and mood boost I really did need.
From this kitchen Rachel Kelly has written several books that have infiltrated my life. Her words and thoughts, whether spoken or written, are considered sacred text in my mind. This woman has defined mental health for me and has influenced my own journey in ways of which she has no idea.
Rachel recently published a cookbook that is quickly climbing London’s ladders and that I am sure will promptly make it into your own kitchen. The Happy Kitchen is a collection of mood boosting recipes for an energised and happy lifestyle. It is the perfect gift for one of your favourite people or a great investment into the future of your own mental health and kitchen.
It has been an absolute pleasure to have spent the last 8 years in and out of your microcosm.
Rachel, thank you.
To the rest of you, now go on, have a little look.”

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“There is little as deeply satisfying as an apt poem. It’s like chocolate for the soul. Except less fattening. It resolves the nervous system and captures the elusive experience of being alive. Give your child an appetite for poems with iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility and they will never be bored.” Helena Bonham Carter

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Black Rainbow is written straight from the heart of darkness. Amazing.” Ruby Wax

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Walking on Sunshine is a deceptively simple guide to a less complicated life – Kelly’s warm, wise personal tips have universal application.” Bel Mooney

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“After Rachel gave her talk at Linklaters, so many people were talking about it. While she was speaking I looked around the room and a vast range of people in the building had come. From suited lawyers, to business services people as well as Ryan from the post room. I haven’t seen our conference room that full for years! She delivered a difficult subject so naturally and did not scare us off with psychobabble.” Joanna Healey

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“Mind blowing workshop!!! Thank you ever so much.” SMART

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“Hurray for the iF Poems App!” The Times

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“Last week I found myself attending an event at the main K&C Library. A talk with Rachel Kelly presenting her book ’52 small steps to happiness’.
It’s about mental health I was told and how to learn small tricks in order to challenge our daily routine setbacks.
Whenever the topic is about happiness and how to generate positive emotions I always find myself intrigued and attracted.
We all have happiness in ourselves but the problem is that we don’t know about it. We tend to feel stuck to comfort zones where it seems suffering plays the main role.
From the time Rachel step into the room I was overwhelmed by her smile. I felt immediately in sync with her and accordingly with all the environment.
From the start I knew it was going to be something interesting and holistic. And it was. She took us through the main topics of her book and with simple, easy and smiling temper she dragged us into part of the small steps to happiness.
As a MAD Alliance member (service user) I admired the openness Rachel had, talking about her experiences being a mental health survivor, how it all came, how she overcame the hard times and about her mission today.
Her book ’52 small steps to happiness’ is an amazing toolkit on how to become happy and content where we are and who we are.
It’s about breathing, mindfulness, being grateful, doing small things we love, enjoying where and what we have.”
Vittoria De Meo

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“The Black Rainbow App literally saved my life. Couldn’t live without it. All the stars!” Storme Chaser

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iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is a gorgeous and electrifying anthology that should be on the shelf of every child in Britain.” Carol Ann Duffy

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Black Rainbow has the gripping immediacy of a novel and taught me much about depression that perhaps I should have known, but didn’t.” Bel Mooney

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“Age-old wisdom delivered with new magic, Walking on Sunshine is a balanced and gentle companion on the road to a happier life.” Oliver James

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“We have had so many unbelievable comments since Rachel’s talk. She was superb; everything she said resonated with someone in the room. Thank you so much Rachel on behalf of all of us here at George. It meant the world to us.” Emily Kellett

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“Rachel’s poetry workshop was for me a little piece of tranquility in a busy week. A place to think, feel and rediscover the beauty, power and relevance of poetry. Under Rachel’s expert guidance I felt that I learnt a lot and was also free to express my thoughts and opinions in a warm and open environment. A great experience with lovely people.” Michele Mathieson

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“The iF Poems App is a poetry anthology reimagined for the multimedia age.” The Economist

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“The Black Rainbow App is simply brilliant, it will change lives! I really hope it reaches those who need to rid themselves of the ‘Black Dog’.” KitKatKelloggs

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iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is full of old friends and some new surprises.” Quentin Blake

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Black Rainbow is a book we should all read, especially women.” Judy Finnigan

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“Absolutely lovely – Walking on Sunshine is so broad in scope and yet so simple and effortless. This is unlike anything I’ve seen before in the world of happiness books and I’m sure it will be a real source of inspiration to many people.” Mark Williamson

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“When Rachel came to give a talk at Reading School, I found that her exuberant presentation style was key in engaging her audience. She is so clearly not what is generally considered to be the stereotype of a depressed person, that when she talks about her personal depressive episodes, the audience is intrigued. Rachel demystified a sensitive topic and her honesty and candour were so impressive. It was not only an educative presentation but also an uplifting one. My students felt more empowered to talk about mental illness as she did much to dissipate the stigma that is unfortunately still associated with this subject. I will certainly ask Rachel to return to deliver her talk to another year group.” Caroline Fooks

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“Rachel Kelly leads her poetry workshop with skill and tact, allowing close readings to be teased out by the group in authentically shared conversation. It’s an enlivening, inspiring way to spend an evening!” Kate Bucknell

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“The iF Poems App is a poetry app meant for kids but delightful for adults too.” Gwyneth Paltrow

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The Black Rainbow App’s relaxation recording for a peaceful nights’ sleep is the best I’ve found. Previously I have used various podcasts, but this is the most effective one.” KathyT17

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The thing I really like about iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is that I really like everything about it. An absolutely brilliant collection. I’m continually telling people to have some poetry in their lives, iF has made it a little easier for them.” Benjamin Zephaniah

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Black Rainbow is a revelatory read and alchemical tale of personal transformation: Kelly turns the lead of depression into the gold of emotional health. Art, in this case poetry, is movingly shown to be a royal route away from depression.” Oliver James

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“I have read many self-help books but Walking on Sunshine is one that sets out down to earth and achievable goals. The best I have read.” Ingrid Morgan

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“Rachel came to give a talk to the News UK commercial team to highlight the mental illness that affects so many adults in the UK. The way Rachel spoke of her own personal experiences and the strategies she has used was delivered in such way that it made the audience feel at ease, enabled them to open up, and feel comfortable around the taboo subject of depression. To any company who wants to break down the barriers, raise awareness and get people talking to each other: we couldn’t recommend Rachel highly enough. A huge thank from News UK!!” Matt Swarbrick

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“I have a brand new passion to cherish and wish to award Rachel’s workshop a resounding five stars.” Lynn Young

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“The Black Rainbow App works flawlessly, and looks great.” MagicMyers

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iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is one of the best poetry books of 2012” The Times

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“Rachel Kelly’s prose style is clear, unsentimental and extremely lucid. Black Rainbow is an important book that provides a detailed taxonomy of the stages of depression.” Angela Flynn

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Walking on Sunshine is a breath of fresh air; simply written and yet connects with the soul. I’m so pleased it’s small and compact as it now sits in my handbag for when I need it.” Jacquie Campion

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“Balliol College, Oxford was kind enough to host this year’s Oxfordshire’s Women of the Year Lunch and talk in aid of the Mulberry Bush School. The addresses were made by Jane Garvey (presenter of Woman’s Hour) and Rachel Kelly. The dining hall in Balliol was stilled by Rachel’s vivid and uncompromising description of depression. Pretty, smiling and speaking with warmth and generosity of spirit, Rachel nevertheless challenged her listeners with dark and difficult truths about the reality of the illness.” Kate Ehrman

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“I would most wholeheartedly recommend Rachel’s workshop. Rachel is an incredibly understanding individual – her choice of poetry demonstrates the power of the written word to heal through gentle, mindful lyrics and uplifting imagery which enriches the mind. For me it made for some incredibly comforting moments of group counselling and contemplation.” Janice Gilbert

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“Your story and Black Rainbow App have been brilliant for me.” Brian Lawlor

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“Whether you’re after a poem that is charming, sad, silly, sleepy, magical, long or short, there’s something in iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility for everyone” Irish Daily Mail

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Black Rainbow is an extraordinary book. Unflinchingly honest, courageous, eloquent and ultimately optimistic, it describes Kelly’s rapid descent into the hell of clinical depression.” J. Barclay

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“I love Walking on Sunshine – generous, spirited, fabulaic, and true – the way it demystifies the totem of happiness and breaks it down so simply and eloquently. It does not try to be a ‘tome’; it knows that is not what real joy pivots around. Thank you Rachel, for writing it.” Pele Cox

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“I attended Rachel’s talk at Linklaters and thought it was fantastic – I have never seen the auditorium so packed, nor have I heard members of the audience engage and open up as much as they did after she spoke.” Kenneth Velos

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“Rachel’s workshop introduced a whole new world of wisdom to me which had been sitting on the shelves waiting to be discovered. I could never have imagined that a 13th century Persian poet could understand my personal/ private anguish and describe a philosophy for coping that is so apt. Thank you for introducing me to the magic of poetry.” Marjorie Bannister

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iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is a beautiful book… It addresses a gamut of universal subjects that we all grapple with at one point or another in our lives.” Red Online

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Black Rainbow upended how I think about and talk about people with depression. A beautifully written book.” S. J. Allcock

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Walking on Sunshine is a fabulous tool for both counselors and clients. We will be looking to place an order for copies for all our client waiting rooms.” The Counselling Foundation

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“Rachel led her workshop gently and with tact. She knows a lot about poetry and her passion for it is infectious. Thank you Rachel.” Jane Anderson

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iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is a poetry primer for kids that adults can enjoy too.” Goop

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“There were times during Black Rainbow that I almost stopped breathing. It’s like reading an account of sailing around Cape Horn or climbing Everest, hovering on the edge of your seat wondering if she’s going to make it.” A. R. Webster

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“I loved Walking on Sunshine. I read it slowly, a couple of pages a day, imbibing it with lots of tea and biscuits. A couple of chapters a day felt like the best way to read it, rather than all in one go. Just as one wouldn’t scarf down a whole bottom of vitamin pills. I can see it being really useful as a recommendation for my clients struggling with depression, or any of the other existential ailments of existence too.” Steve Wasserman

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“I was mesmerised recently by a talk Rachel gave at Lapidus (the Writing for Wellbeing Organisation) and this prompted me to attend her workshop at the Idler Academy. Her sensitively selected choice of poems elicited some deep and thought-provoking discussion and she created a safe and nurturing environment to talk about universal themes like hope, renewal and connection. Rachel values and appreciates everyone’s contribution with warmth and generosity of spirit and facilitated the group with a special magic and vivacity. I left much enriched by the experience. Thank you!” Sue Schraer

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“Great concept, content and layout. iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility should be compulsory in all school libraries and everyone encouraged to learn the poems by heart! A real treasure.” Jeanette Burn

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Black Rainbow is a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in mental health, as it gives a brilliantly honest description of how a depressive illness can be experienced and recovered from, as well as providing very well researched advice for managing this illness. It is also a great read for women who are trying to juggle the demands of work and family life. Overall, a superb book.” K. E. O’Brien

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Walking on Sunshine is a book readers can dip into any time when they need a bit of reassurance or inspiration.” Gloucestershire Echo

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“In the past I have always cowed away from expressing my opinion, but Rachel’s workshop was so friendly and relaxed I felt comfortable enough to share my views with the group. By the end of the four sessions my head was brimming with newly acquired information and new poetry. I even left with a more confident spring in my step.” Tara Maxwell

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“I bought iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility for my lovely granddaughter who passed her exams as a book to keep forever and pass onto her children.” Judy Mendel

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“Rachel Kelly’s account of her depression is beautifully written and sobering. Black Rainbow shows how even the most blessed and loved can be suddenly undone by mental collapse.” Amanda Craig

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Walking on Sunshine is elegant and wise; moving, too, in its way.” Jason Cowley

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“I can’t thank Rachel enough for bringing into the network her warmth and wisdom through her workshop. I really think we have a wonderful self-help group that will blossom.” Depression Alliance

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iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility is a brilliant compilation of poetry for all groups and ages.” Richard Coward

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“With Black Rainbow is a compelling narrative about one woman’s descent, not once but twice, into the depths of depression. Anyone who has any experience of depression, whether personal or via an afflicted loved one, will find themselves nodding and exclaiming in recognition at her keenly observed descriptions of the illness and its effects.” Dee Kirkman

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Walking on Sunshine is a gem of a little book.” Angels & Urchins

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“I am dipping into iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility at those moments when words fail me. This collection helps balance my equilibrium and make sense of things.” Nora Young

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“In writing Black Rainbow Rachel Kelly has taken us by the hand and led us through the agonizingly turbulent waters of her two nervous breakdowns which brought her to the brink of suicide. Above all, she has taught us not to despair. By revealing every intimate tortuous twist and turn of her harrowing journey, by baring her soul, she has helped us understand how to preempt and ward off this illness.” Virgina Ward

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“What a joy Walking on Sunshine is! I dived right in and read all 52 beautiful chapters in two sittings and am looking forward to dipping in to it often from now on. It was really a revelation, so tenderly but optimistically written. Thank you Rachel for sharing your wisdom with us.” Caroline Hutton

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Black Rainbow describes with brutal honesty how incredibly debilitating depression can be and how completely unstoppable its progress – an apparently idyllic life counting for nothing in the face of its onslaught.” Sue Laurence

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Walking on Sunshine is the perfect book if you feel that life is getting on top of you or if you’ve been treading the darkness for too long and are looking for some simple and effective ways of nurturing yourself back to health. Wonderfully accessible, and designed so you can dip in and out of it.” Bethany Rivers

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“Writing Black Rainbow was an act of great generosity that will help fellow sufferers and their families and support those who campaign against stigma.” Annie Stogdale

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“I bought Walking on Sunshine because I loved the title! I have recently been bereaved and this book has made such a difference to me already. Rachel Kelly writes with such attractive honesty – and seems not to pretend she is anyone but who she is.” K. Von Schenk

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“In Black Rainbow Rachel Kelly lays herself bare, not always portraying herself in the most flattering light, as she endeavors to deliver a subjective portrayal of her descent into regressive states, hugging the truth all the way.” Judy Edwardes

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Walking on Sunshine is beautifully and truthfully written…tipped as a Christmas bestseller.” The Daily Telegraph

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Black Rainbow is a remarkable book – thought provoking, immensely readable and utterly captivating. Rachel Kelly writes so well and her account of what she has been through is harrowing but also very uplifting. As someone who knew little about depression before I read it, I had my eyes opened to this subject.” Charles Harman

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“In Walking on Sunshine Kelly writes with charm and kindness about overcoming depression.” The Evening Standard

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“The essential paradox of Black Rainbow is that, though the colour has faded from the speaker’s existence, it doesn’t fade from the book itself.” J. T. McAloon

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Walking on Sunshine stretches out a hand to the lonely, the lost and the exhausted. It’s a great gift of hard-won wisdom.” The Matthew d’Ancona

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