Both in the UK and internationally, the ‘recovery model’ has been promoted to guide mental healthcare in reaction against what is perceived to be an overly narrow traditional bio-medical model. It has also begun to have an influence in thinking more broadly about mental health both for individuals and for communities and in the latter case has been linked to policies to promote social inclusion. In this widening application, however, there is a risk that the model becomes too broad to count as a model and thus to compete with other models such as a bio-medical model of health or illness. In this short paper we sketch some of the competing views of illness and health in order to locate and articulate a possible recovery model for mental health. We suggest that a distinct recovery model could be based on a view that places values at the centre of an analysis of mental health. Our aim, however, is to clarify the options rather than defend the model that emerges. We do, however, caution against one possible version of a recovery model. Thus if a recovery model were to be defended along the line we sketch we think that it would be better to construe the values involved on eudaimonic rather than hedonic lines.