The Greatest Gift

By Tracy Burton

Everyone knows money and success don’t always bring happiness. Or do they? Sally Lou Whitworth’s wakeup moment came after a bad car crash. Now she hopes her books will help young people understand how happiness is a good enough goal in itself.

Sally is not a mental health professional. In fact, her passion for helping young people on the path to emotional well-being and happiness comes from her own negative experiences. She hated school. When a teacher asked pupils to share their goals in life, she recalls how her classmates said they wanted to be doctors or other professional occupations.

“When my turn came, I said my goal was to be free,” she recalls. “And my teacher told me that wasn’t a goal.”

After a stint in the army, Sally launched a mobile tanning business in 2016, which she expanded into the business she still runs today – Tan and Sparkle – providing mobile glitter bars and braiding for weddings, festivals and parties.

A couple of years ago, she was involved in a bad car accident. Finding herself at “rock bottom”, she started questioning everything she’d always accepted as normal.

“I decided I wanted to change my life around and I started working with life coaches and investing in self-development. I had to heal a lot of trauma from school.”

Sally, now 26 and living in Albufeira, admits “being happy takes work, a lot of work”. However, she does believe it is achievable with commitment and the right mindset.

One of the biggest obstacles to young people’s happiness and self-esteem, she believes, is the prevalence of social media portraying others’ seemingly perfect lives.

“You can use social media to do great things, but if you find yourself sitting there scrolling images for hours it can do devastating things to your mind and your self-worth. Young people are constantly comparing themselves to those false images.”

Her books – Bee Happy and Cut the Crap – are full of fun and thought-provoking activities to foster a healthy mind and happy life. She wrote Bee Happy in just one month – and designed the entire book on her iPhone using an app called Canva.

“It just kind of flowed through me,” she recalls. “I designed and wrote the content one page at a time. Some days I’d do three pages, other days I’d just do one.”

Cut the Crap took longer because Sally was working again. This second book is aimed at a slightly older teen readership but is also being used by adults.

The workbook format forces the reader to fully engage with the content.

“Changing your mindset needs to be fun, it needs to be proactive. If you learn self-love and a healthy mindset at a young age, your growing up will be a lot easier,” Sally explains.

When I ask if the books are intended solely for girls (there is some hairstyling content), Sally reminds me we’re in 2021, with stereotypes disappearing and gender more fluid.

“I know more male hairdressers now than I do female,” she adds. Whatever her readership, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with parents telling Sally, ‘I wish I’d learned to have a healthier mindset when I was young.”

For now, she’s got no plans to write more books; however, she is offering her design services to other authors. “I’m already helping a lot more people than I thought I would, so that’s really rewarding.”

Both books are available to buy at:

Sally’s tips for a healthier mindset

Notice little things that make you smile

Focus on what you like about you

Think about what you truly want in life

Carry out random acts of kindness

Learn how to forgive people

DIY design

Use – play around a bit first and use a bubble chart for ideas

Join Facebook groups and asks LOTS of questions

Save your design as a PDF on your phone

Use Google to research printers and find out what other self-published authors have done

Sell on a platform like


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