Life · Reading

On anxiety & Harry Potter


I dunno whether you guys know this about me…but I’m a pretty huge HP fan. Like, a substantial amount of my wardrobe (as an adult) is HP related in some way or another. And my bedroom is basically a glorified mini version of the Ravenclaw Tower.

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I also have anxiety. Crippling, all consuming, anxiety at times. I’ve had it since I was a kid. It comes in ebbs and flows–sometimes it’s manageable, sometimes I spend all day crying in my room, unable to do anything productive.

Now these two things seem like polar opposites. But to me, they are irretrievably intertwined. Harry Potter has become a sort of comfort blanket to my anxiety–whenever life gets too much, I settle down with a book or a movie, and it just chills me out.

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Now, the last year of my life has been pretty darn challenging. I’ve written and re-written a book, completed a MA full time, and worked a part-time job every weekend. It’s been full on, but I’ve coped with it.

What I’m a little more iffy on is change. Like the entire concept of it. A few weeks ago I submitted my dissertation, last weekend I left my job, and next week I start my PhD. That’s a lot of change in one go.

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But then I saw my fav Grace’s excellent blog post on the matter, and decided I needed to re-read HP immediately.

I normally read HP every year, at Christmas, but this year I decided September was the time to visit Hogwarts again. I needed too. As soon as I picked up the first book, I felt better, calmer, more ready to take on the world. It was the tonic to my stress. Sinking back in to that familiar world, a story I love so much, was just so comforting.

Obviously I’m not saying Harry Potter is the cure-all to my mental illness, of course not–medication and therapy is the bread & butter of treatment. But in this month of stress and worries and, yes, change, it has been my constant companion–my calm in a sea of chaos.

So, this blog has been a tad rambling & pointless, sorry about that. What I’m trying to say is, favourite books can ease worries & struggles, and help you escape from the stress of real life. It’s not a novel thought (haha–pun intended), but I think it’s one that needs to be reiterated. There’s a lot of emphasis on ARC’s and reading new releases in the book community (which are great, I LOVE me some new releases), but there is so much value in visiting old favourites, especially when times are tough.

What do you read when you’re feeling down?


16 thoughts on “On anxiety & Harry Potter

  1. I 180% feel you on this.

    I reread ‘Checkers’ from John Marsden because it’s super relatable and the whole point is basically you don’t need a big ass trauma to be the breaking point.

    I read it and fell in love so along ago. I’ve also cried about a bajillion tears on many different copies of this book.

  2. Such a fab post! And so, so true. My Doctor Who books are great for when I’m feeling really bad, & watching the show always helps too. Escape is so important.

  3. I love this post so much, Laura! I also love HP (as you know) and suffer anxiety/depression, and HP has seen me through it all. I used to reread the series every summer, but I fell out of that habit a few years ago with all of life’s changes. I think I’m going to pick them up again this winter. ❤ x

  4. This is such a lovely post Laura ❤. I’m a massive rereader, especially before I started blogging, and it really helps when things are tough. Some of my fave comfort reads include Geek Girl, Boy in the Tower and Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries.
    Your photos are gorgeous too, by the way, and I love your cat. (I’m obsessed with ginger cats. What’s his name please? I shall be stalking him on social media from now on if you let me 😉😂). I hope your return to the Wizarding World has helped, even a little 💜
    Amy x

  5. Beautiful post. You are so right! Reading especially books we love may take all the problems away and we can travel to a different place forgetting about those bad thoughts. I wish I could see you entire Harry Potter collection. I bet you have millions of HP things. That`s so awesome.

  6. So sorry about your anxiety. I’ve suffered with it as well, and you are right – it is crippling. I don’t have one particular book that I go to when I’m feeling low, but I do love the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. It’s a murder series, but I love the characters and the setting, so I feel at home whenever I read those books.

  7. Awh Laura, I love that you’ve found such a comfort blanket in Harry Potter. Books can definitely do that to us! I have anxiety too and not much gives me that giant sense of calm like HP does for you xxx

  8. This speaks to me on such a personal level — I’ve escaped to Hogwarts during times my anxiety overcame me, it’s like a safe space. Great courage chatting about it online! I’m using the books as therapy at the moment, blogging each chapter so I can really channel that anxious energy into something I love. Good for you 🙂

  9. Absolutely agree – Harry Potter is the series I turn to immediately when I’m feeling a little lost or out of place, and I truly believe Hogwarts is my home. It never fails to cheer me up, or at least transport me to a magical world away from Muggle life for as long as I need! xx

  10. Hi! I have experiences of anxiety to which I find very hard to manage. I am only a teen but I have been obsessed with Harry Potter for most of my life because it lets me out of my hectic life. I completely agree with the fact that books can transport us away from the muggle world and take us into a land where everything will be better. This is a lovely post xxx

  11. Loved reading your post. And I absolutely agree with you. Books and/or movies allow us to escape our troubles, at least for a little while. I too, go back to reading Harry Potter to escape the real world. To quote J.K. Rowling on this one, “the stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether we come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

  12. So it’s January 2018, this was written in October 2017 and I wish I had come across it sooner. Everything you have written feels like me, my anxiety feels so crippling sometimes but Harry Potter makes me feel safe and less anxious. I’m currently doing my MA and I work every weekend… are we secretly twins or living the same life but apart at different times?!

  13. This is so wonderful and refreshing to read, because I feel exactly the same. I know that Hogwarts is always a home for me to return to whenever I feel down, or anxious, or am going through a bout of depression. Keep staying wonderful yourself!

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