The Skeleton Diaries - True Story of Eating Disorder Recovery

The Skeleton Diaries is the true story of Rachael’s dark and gripping journey to recover from a severe eating disorder and depression.

Rachael was fifteen years-old when she was rushed to hospital, placed in a wheelchair and threatened with a feeding tube. Severely underweight, she was told that she had a mental illness and might not survive. Placed in psychiatric care she fought not only to regain weight, but to take back her mind and life. Her personal journey is vividly told through a series of raw diary entries. The book reveals that mental health can be a battleground; a fierce daily struggle and intensive fight.

But the war can be won.

The Skeleton Diaries is a story of resilience, recovery, and triumph.
It gives hope to those who have none left and inspiration for anyone who has ever felt unloved and wanted to give up.


“Rachael Stevens’ account of this horrific illness was at once frightening and uplifting.
Even in the midst of her then adolescent account of the physical and emotional damage which anorexia nervosa was reeking upon her, Rachael managed to honestly and maturely express hope for a life beyond the clutches of the illness. Reading as parents of a teenage sufferer, The Skeleton Diaries provided us with a greater understanding of the challenges our daughter faced from hour to hour and day to day, as well as hope that she would find the strength and resolve to recover sometime in the future.
We recommend The Skeleton Diaries to sufferers of anorexia and their loved ones alike.”

Parent of sufferer

“I have just finished your book and after wiping away my tears I knew I had to email you. I am battling a fight I’m not sure I can win, but your book has given me hope that hasn’t been there before. Your words have inspired me and your story has created a new found strength to help me fight.”

“This book gives me hope for the future, that I can recover one day”

The Skeleton Diaries provides: 

strength to those who need it the most 

a copelling insight into the mind of someone with an eating disorder

hope in a seemingly hopeless situation


Growing up in a broken home and a survivor of abuse, Rachael was hospitalised when she was 15 into a psychiatric ward with anorexia and depression. Later she dropped out of year 12 after being hospitalised again for attempting suicide. At this point she was informed she would never be able to work or study full time for the remainder of her life.

Rachael has overcame these immense challenges and over the last 6 years used her experiences, largely in a voluntary capacity to inspire others that recovery from mental illness is possible. She is also an outstanding student in her final year of her degree at The Australian National University studying sociology. While studying in 2014 she self-published her story, entitled “The Skeleton Diaries” to provide insight, challenge stigma and to give hope to sufferers. Rachael has shared her personal story of recovery in high schools throughout Australia. Her workshops and talks have inspired and motivated thousands to not give up despite challenges and seek help if they are struggling. Her work focuses on suicide prevention, health promotion and early intervention, empowering the next generation to seek support before they reach crisis.

Rachael communicates a message of hope to improve the lives of young Australians through collaborating with organisations such as Lifeline, SANE Australia, Orygen, Headspace, iINSPIRE Leadership and others. She has been a keynote speaker for various events and received multiple awards. She is also passionate about leadership and mentoring many primary and high school aged students to be agents of social change to improve the lives of others. Rachael’s creativity is remarkable, as she has designed, planned and implemented workshops and programs incorporating visual art, poetry and design. She has previously exhibited her paintings in 2 solo art exhibitions which promoted recovery from mental illness. Her work centres in building meaningful and authentic connections with those affected by mental illness, families, schools, churches, organisations and her local Canberra community. Rachael has big dreams for the future and feels she is only just getting started in making a difference to the wellbeing of young Australians.

 Image Credit: Tracy Lee Photography

Previous Awards and Recognition

2017: Canberra Citizen of the Year Finalist
2017: Young Achievers Finalist Leadership Award
2017: Finalist ACT Young Australian of the Year
2016: Winner of the ACT Young Woman of the Year Award
2016: Australian of the Day January 4th
2016: Young Achievers Finalist Leadership Award
2015: Winner of the Mental Health Week Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Award
2015: National Youth Week Courage Award Finalist
2014: Lifeline Rising Woman of Spirit Finalist