Addressing Mental Health through Haikus - 575 Haiku Book

By Mara Huberman


Mental Health in May

Please be aware and check-in

With people you love!

The haiku above is just one of the five hundred and seventy-five haikus I wrote for my book “575: A Haiku Book”. The title comes from the anatomy of a haiku: five syllables, seven syllables, then five syllables. Why a book of haikus? I have a list of goals I want to achieve in my lifetime: heli-skiing, learning all the names of the different types of flowers, and to write a coffee table book to name a few. So, in March of 2018, I decided to tackle the book and I thought it would be clever to write a book with 575 haikus, to pay homage to the structure. I have always loved poetry and find it a beautiful outlet for creative expression as well as personal reflection. I have also learned a lot about myself by pursuing this goal. I discovered that I had deep reserves of determination, creativity, and resourcefulness necessary to bring my vision to market. Creating this book, stretched my imagination and taught me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to with hard work. As a comedy performance minor at USC, I combined my love for poetry with my love for jokes and chose to put a comedic flair to my haikus. My goal with writing 575 Haiku Book is to make haiku poetry more relevant and relatable to a younger generation. Traditionally, a haiku is inspired by nature, but I chose to draw my inspiration and find humor in everyday life. Clarity, specificity, and concision make most premises in comedy funny, and what type of poetry is more clear, specific, and concise than a haiku? Especially in times like these, humor is some of the best medicine.

May is mental health awareness month and now more than ever it is important that we do not neglect our mental health. You never know what someone is going through as mental illness does not discriminate. I know so many of us who struggle with mental health are trying to find ways to cope during these trying times, but just reaching out to your loved ones and asking, “How are you? Are you okay?” can make the world of difference. Some days it’s great to be creative and write poetry or do something you’re passionate about, and other days it is great to just do nothing and check-in. Here are some more haikus on mental health that I created on a day where I was feeling especially low but experienced some catharsis through the expression of haiku.


no matter how low

you go there is always a

stairway to climb up


just had a breakdown

Eyes are so puffy, so sad

Trying to get jobs


It’s okay to cry

It’s okay to be okay

It’s okay to frown


some days it’s real hard

some days it’s better than most

you win either way


Uncertainty spikes

Anxiety... so right now

Just breathe in and out


A wave and smile

Acknowledgment and warmth can

Makes the world better

575 Haiku Book is available for purchase today on Amazon and makes the perfect coffee table book/quarantine read. Filled with amazing illustrations and irreverent haikus, it will not only look great on your table but keep you entertained in the q. Check it out at the link below and follow us on Instagram @575book!


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