Photo of book, YOU ARE NOT A ROCK, on a table that has candles, green tea, blue berries, and a pen on it.

YOU ARE NOT A ROCK is the mental health skills book I wish I’d read years before I began struggling with my mental health. It’s all of the skills, concepts, and practices that anybody can use to handle the stuff in their heads while doing the things they care about in life. It’s time we started to approach mental health in the same we approach physical fitness: as something we all need to work at proactively before we’re forced to care for it because of a crisis.

This is a book for everybody that has a brain. But if your brain is misbehaving and you want to learn how to wrangle that squishy urge blob in your skull, YANAR will be a useful tool on your adventure. From cutting out compulsions, to handling horrific intrusive thoughts, overcoming paranoia, contacting traumatic experiences through meditation, making changes in the systems that can trip us up into relapse, and so many other challenges we encounter when with recovery, the exercises at the end of each chapter will help you build the skills to overcome them.

Photo of the book, YOU ARE NOT A ROCK, opened to the Compulsion Journey exercise.

What are reader’s saying?

Here’s some of what people are saying about :

Image of book review says: This book has been instrumental in my journey to be a better leader and entrepreneur. A healthy minded CEO is key to the success of a business and Mark has created a practical blueprint to help people on their journey.
Image of book review says: This book should be on the required reading list for ALL high schools! It is for everyone and would be so beneficial to young people BEFORE they really get serious with life. Easy to understand and Mark is a genius. Recommend for everyone to read.
Image of book review says: I've been raving about this book to *everyone* since I bought it. Having dealt with anxiety for many years, medication and therapy only felt like short-term solutions. As the list of things I fear because of my anxiety started to grow, and I started developing depressive thoughts, I came across Mark's book through a random account on Instagram, just as I was thinking about going back on medication. I started reading the book carefully and doing all the practices. As I moved along, I looked forward to the practices at the end of each chapter, and little by little, I started seeing changes in how I reacted to my anxiety and how I live on a daily basis. It's been about a month since I started this book, and I feel myself growing more and more as a human every day, being more in tune with what I want out of life, what I value, and how I can get to those values while feeling all the feelings that come with being human! I am less afraid and more present, and most importantly, I now experience an inner calm and acceptance of uncertainty that I never thought possible. In short, buying this book will be the best gift you can give yourself. I cannot recommend it enough. Enjoy your journey to living a full, happy life! Mark has, quite literally, saved my life.
Book review says: After I discovered ACT, I got hooked. ACT and this book are what I have always needed. It is like life now makes sense--all those urges, fears and compulsions... I thought I was the only one in the world. No other approach has helped me like this one. Mark does a great job at expanding and offering specific exercises based on Mindfulness and ACT.
Tweet says: No book helped me move through my OCD, anxiety, and depression more than YOU ARE NOT A ROCK by @thepathtochange Few people helped me more than Mark. This book--out today--is one of the most important I've ever read. I couldn't recommend it more.

The Mind Workout

This book originally came out in the UK as THE MIND WORKOUT. I appreciate everybody that’s asked about buying both YANAR and TMW but, if you do that, you can gift one to a friend. Digital and audio rights vary by country so if you’re not finding the ebook or audio version of YANAR, search for THE MIND WORKOUT on your favourite book site.

Making Brains Sweat Around the World

The reason I started creating mental health content was to fill gaps/chasms in our mental healthcare systems. My audience on YouTube has always been global and I’ve always created content with a global mental health perspective and audience in mind. So I am thrilled that this book has already been translated into multiple languages, with more on the way, and it’s available around the world. Here are some of the translated editions:

Das Mind-Workout

To learn more about what was involved with writing the book, check out this video “YOU ARE NOT A ROCK – Making a mental health book”:


  1. Mark
    August 16, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

    Thanks, Chris!

    I’m glad you’ve found it useful. Happy swimming!


    • Conrad
      November 9, 2017 @ 1:11 am

      Is it possible to get an audio book of this please?
      I’m a mobile computer technician who spends most of the day driving around and would love to listen to it.



      • Mark
        November 16, 2017 @ 2:21 am

        Thanks for asking about it, Conrad. There’s an audio book version available on the Amazon UK page but there are some rights issues with different countries and it might not be available there yet depending on where you are. The US version comes out in Summer of 2018 and there’ll be another audio version with that I believe.


  2. William
    May 3, 2018 @ 1:11 pm

    Mark, i experience your ‘online stories’ as extremely useful. By far the most enforceable techniques i’ve heard till now on. I follow you’re YouTube-channel since 2014, the first time i realized that the patterns showing up in my life were actually OCD. Besides the fact that you support mindfulness, acceptance and exposure, you provide us with a deep understanding of the roots of OCD. I find it amazing how you put so much energy and wisdom in something what’s still so disturbing for a lot of people. I personally needed the most informatie about cutting out compulsions, because i personally mentioned that it brings up a lot of aliveness, new feelings, memories, energy, changes in the body and so on. I don’t know how you guide people with that in your book or courses, but for me that’s very helpfell. Cause living ‘clean’ is really walking the long mile.

    Much love and respect from Europe (Holland). I don’t know if you guys in the US are familiair with paying with Ideal, but for us Europians it makes digital payment a lot easier!


    May 17, 2020 @ 1:04 pm

    […] recommend Reasons to stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig, You are Not a Rock by Mark Freeman (I am also a big fan of his Youtube and social media), and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer for […]


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