Arriving in Britain from the United States in 1977, Ruby Wax began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She went on to write and perform in her own hugely popular television programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 and was Script Editor on all series of Absolutely Fabulous. She has also worked as a stand-up comedian.
She has a Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from the University of Oxford and spoke at TEDGlobal. Ruby has become the poster girl for mental illness in the UK.
Ruby has been a prolific and prominent television personality, presenting BBC’s Ruby (1997-2002). The Ruby Wax Show (2002) and Ruby Wax’s Mad Confessions from Channel 4 in 2012.
Ruby regularly speaks of her keenness to normalize mental health by talking openly about it. She describes her experience of trying to keep anxieties under control, but finding out she simply couldn’t cope after becoming famous. Her show Sane New World revolves around the fact that one in four people suffer a mental health problem at some time in their lives.
Sane New World: Taming The Mind, Ruby’s non-fiction work on mental health and mindfulness, was published by Hodder on June 6th 2013 and is a Sunday Times No. 1 Bestseller. The paperback was published in 2014. A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled was published 7th January 2016 by Penguin Life.
In 2017 Ruby appeared on BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?
“Ruby Wax was the latest celebrity to rummage around in her ancestry… what unfolded was a gut-punching story of Jewish persecution and mental illness.” – Michael Hogan for The Telegraph.
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HOW TO BE HUMAN: THE MANUAL – Buy it here
It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now. No question, anyone reading this has won the evolutionary Hunger Games by the fact you’re on all twos and not some fossil. This should make us all the happiest species alive – most of us aren’t, what’s gone wrong? We’ve started treating ourselves more like machines and less like humans. We’re so used to upgrading things like our iPhones: as soon as the new one comes out, we don’t think twice, we dump it. (Many people I know are now on iWife4 or iHusband8, the motto being, if it’s new, it’s better.)
We can’t stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we’re on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, we’ll still, fingers crossed, have our minds, which, hopefully, we’ll be able use for things like compassion, rather than chasing what’s ‘better’, and if we can do that we’re on the yellow brick road to happiness.
I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us ‘us’ in the brain. We answer every question you’ve ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you’ll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you’ve upgraded your iPhone.
“With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment.” – Stephen Fry
“Ruby has beautifully fused neurology and spirituality and given us a means to cope with operating both a mind and a brain. If this mental upgrade works then all other books will become defunct as we repose in bliss.” – Russell Brand
“How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy. Ruby, the Monk and the Neuroscientist are today’s Magi.” – Joanna Lumley
“As I expected its funny and thoroughly readable but what I hadn’t expected was that it would change the way I think about how I think. Remarkable work from Miss Wax.” – Jennifer Saunders
“Ready to laugh and cry as you dive deeply into what it means to be human? Guiding us across evolution, from the far past into the present and even preparing us for the future, Ruby Wax and her neuroscientist and meditating monk colleagues provide us with a science-informed, practical, and humorous guide that is as hysterical as it is profound. Be prepared to feel your way into well-being with this magnificent blending of entertainment and education into the nature of our minds’ thoughts, feelings, and identity as you explore and expand who really you are.” – Daniel J. Siegel
“A three way encounter between a Monk, a neuroscientist and Ruby Wax sounds like the set up for a joke. Instead it’s produced one of the most fascinating, intriguing and informative books about minds and bodies and brains and mindfulness I’ve ever encountered. A triangulation on what it means to be human. Utterly readable and surprisingly wise.” – Neil Gaiman
“Ruby Wax has spent a lifetime trying to be human…. with this book, she’s so very nearly there…” – Dawn French
“This is a present for your head and your heart. Do yourself a favour and read it, you’ll love it.” – Davina McCall
PUBLISHER: Penguin Life
PUBLICATION DATE: 25th January 2018
Buy it here.
500 years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we’re still swimming with the pond scum. If we don’t advance our more human qualities then we’re doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an ‘Apple’ where our hearts used to be. Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness.
I know what you’re thinking – what if I don’t want to stare at a butterfly wing or hear the single ting of a wind chime? My definition of mindfulness isn’t about sitting erect on a hillock, legs in a knot, humming a mantra that’s probably the phone book sung backwards, it’s something that can help us all: learning to notice your thoughts and feelings so you can truly experience life.
Outrageously witty, smart and accessible, Ruby Wax shows ordinary people how and why to change for good. With mindfulness advice for relationships, for parents, for children and for teenagers, and a six-week course based on her studies of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy with Mark Williams at Oxford University, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled is the only guide you need for a healthier, happier life.
“A wonderful book full of passion and verve. Ruby Wax gives her unique take on the science and practice of mindfulness. She shows how to meet – face to face – all that life throws at us, and gives her own step by step guide to finding deep stillness in the midst of the chaos.” – Prof. Mark Williams
“Ruby Wax has written a guide to mindfulness that’s as hilarious as it is useful. Drawing on the latest science, she offers insightful, irreverent advice on how to improve every aspect of our lives, from our health and happiness to our relationships and careers.” – Arianna Huffington
PUBLISHER: Penguin Life
PUBLICATION DATE: 7th January 2016
SANE NEW WORLD: TAMING THE MIND — Buy it here
Ruby Wax – comedian, writer and mental health campaigner – shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity.
With her own periods of depression and now a Masters from Oxford in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to draw from, she explains how our busy, chattering, self-critical thoughts drive us to anxiety and stress.
If we are to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world.
Helping you become the master, not the slave, of your mind, here is the manual to saner living.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION DATE: 6th June 2013