How Not To Be Good

The A-Z of Anxiety, a memoir in just over 26 parts


This book is for anyone who finds themselves overwhelmed, struggling to cope and feeling guilty about it.

For anyone who wants to live a good, fulfilling life but is exhausted by all it seems to entail.

For anyone who is moving ever faster trying to outrun their anxiety, who cannot find rest or peace no matter how hard they search.

book and bottlesElli Johnson offers nothing less than a map of her soul – unsparingly honest and illuminating. A brilliant candle against the dark.

– Frank Cottrell- Boyce


Raw, passionate and unflinchingly honest, How Not to Be Good is part self-help, and part Elli’s story about living with, and surviving anxiety.

It’s a story about what she did, who she is now and how she took charge of her life.

How Not to Be Good challenges the myth of ‘having it all’; it questions our desire to be ‘good’ and confronts our expectations.

You will feel her pain and rejoice in her triumphs.

This is her story.

This book is for anyone who wants to grow and find solace from mental fight. How Not To Be Good is absorbing, fearless, personal and packed with insight. It has been forged in the fire of a daily struggle that will echo in the hearts of all who read it.  So read this book and then give it your friends so they too can find that relief is possible.

– Mark Rowland (CEO Mental Health Foundation)


Readers are saying:

I ordered your book, received it last Wednesday – read it from cover to cover on the train to Sheffield Thursday morning – told my 2 colleagues they need to order it, read it again right through on the train home. Asked my husband to read it Friday and have given it to my cousin to borrow Saturday. It’s like you have climbed into my head and articulated my exact thoughts/feelings/worries. THANK YOU – for being brave enough to do it, for going through it and for sharing it

I read your book last night as I couldn’t put it down- I just kept thinking yes that’s exactly it… I’m feeling stirred and emotional but your vulnerability is allowing my vulnerability. Thank you xX


So much of this book resonated with me. The anxiety spirals and panic attacks I’ve experienced are spelt out with real eloquence. I think anyone who has dealt with anxiety – both directly and via a partner or friend – will get something out of reading this book.

– Grace Timothy (author of Lost in Motherhood)