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Reading for Pleasure and Mental Health

February 14, 2023

Last week was Children’s Mental Health Week and this year’s theme was ‘Let’s Connect’, encouraging children and families to make healthy, rewarding, and meaningful connections that sustain their wellbeing.

In this week’s blog, we’re focusing on the ways reading can reduce stress and support children’s mental health, as well as the part reading together can play in building and strengthening emotional connections between children and their grown-ups.

Reading for pleasure  has a significant number of benefits that can support your child’s mental health. According to the National Literacy Trust, reading for just 10 minutes a day can help them unwind after a busy, overwhelming day. Research done by the University of Sussex found that ​​reading was 68% better at reducing stress levels than listening to music, 300% better than going for a walk, and 700% more than playing video games. Reading for even a short amount of time reduces stress levels by 60%, slowing heartbeat, easing muscle tension, and considerably improving state of mind. It makes us feel more positive and hopeful, and several studies have shown that it reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also helps establish healthy sleeping routines, which is vital for children’s mental (and physical!) health.

Reading together, especially paired reading between children and their grown-ups, can be a rewarding and meaningful experience that creates a profound sense of connection. It can be an opportunity to spend time together and enjoy magical moments getting lost in a great book (you can find a lovely piece by bestselling children’s author Smriti Halls – via BookTrust – on the benefits of reading together here).

Before we even started building the Mosey app, we spent a lot of time talking to parents about their experiences of reading with their children. They talked candidly about the joy of these moments and the feelings of closeness and connection they brought. One of the parents we interviewed said:

“(When reading together) I felt connected to my son like we have a special bond. And I just felt happy to see him happy and that he’s enjoying the experience.”

In short, reading for pleasure is a simple yet powerful activity with multiple benefits that can help support your child’s mental health and foster a profound sense of connection. Whether your child is reading on their own, or you are reading together, we hope you both enjoy these moments!

Do you have any suggestions on making reading relaxing and soothing or fun and exciting? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks! Share your thoughts on our social media channels:





Did you know that you can use the Mosey app to read together with your child? Our beta version is currently available on iOS devices (iPad and iPhone) and you can easily install the app by clicking here.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, your child can choose a book to read, activate voice recognition, and begin reading aloud. The app will follow the reader’s voice and highlight the words helping to focus on the text. There’s also an option to click on tricky words to hear the pronunciation.

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