Book to share jour­neys to hap­pi­ness


Eve Mac­far­lane and Jonathan (Jono) Nabbs are two friends who met through com­pet­i­tive rowing in 2012.

It was only through open­ing up and shar­ing their sto­ries, that they re­alised they had some­thing else in com­mon - both had suf­fered from and beaten de­pres­sion.

Now that the pair have found their happy places again, they are work­ing to­gether on a project they have aptly named How We Got Happy.

How We Got Happy will be a cof­fee ta­ble book that won’t be a ‘how-to’ guide, but rather, a col­lec­tion of sto­ries about the things that have worked to help a group of 20 young Ki­wis get and stay well.

The fo­cus of How We Got Happy is not to dwell on where the de­pres­sion came from in the first place, but more about how it was beaten.

To date 16 peo­ple in their 20s from di­verse back­grounds around New Zealand have told their sto­ries.

They are still on the look­out for four peo­ple to get the right bal­ance.

‘‘When we looked for help in books and web­sites, we found a lot of info on how de­pres­sion made peo­ple feel and how bad our na­tional sta­tis­tics were; but not a lot of info on what paths peo­ple took Mac­far­lane said.

‘‘We now want to share peo­ples pos­i­tive sto­ries of re­cov­ery in a con­struc­tive, op­ti­mistic style to pro­vide re­lat­able info for peo­ple go­ing through their own strug­gles.’’

Eve, 25, lives in Raglan, is a World cham­pion rower who com­peted at the Rio Olympic Games and works for the Raglan Co­conut Yo­ghurt Com­pany.

Jono, 27, spent his early 20’s to re­cover,’’ rat­tling through the Christchurch earth­quakes while at Can­ter­bury Univer­sity and now man­ages one of New Zealand’s largest high-wel­fare pig­geries - Te Aroha’s Rawhiti Pork.

The Mental Health Foun­da­tion of New Zealand (MHF) has also en­dorsed the project.

If you would like to get in touch with Eve and Jono and share your story in How We Got Happy, email jonathan@howwe­

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