5 Empowering Mental Health Books That Will Make You Feel Better About Your Life

Books to help you thrive in the midst of life's chaos.

We live in a world that is constantly demanding and extremely exhausting. As human beings, we are part of an unspoken challenge that makes us push further, run faster, work harder, and try to be even better than we were the previous day. We’re in fear of our lives ending, even before we really get to live them. The continuous stream of information, news, distractions, etc., that surround us can be overwhelming. According to The Washington Post, “a third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression,” and the numbers rose even more amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The human mind is a complex, confusing thing. We hate to say it, but all of us feel stress and anxiety at some point in our lives. And when it gets too out of hand, it can become debilitating. Especially when it is combined with depression, anxiety, stress, or any other form of mental illness, so, if you have been feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or lonely lately, know that you’re not alone in this battle. To help you along your journey to mental wellness, we’ve found the best mental health books for anxiety, depression, and other states of mental illness.

1. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression By Andrew Solomon

The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon is the book you must read to know everything about depression. From Solomon’s personal history with depression, his medical experiences, pharmacological treatments, and cultural interpretations, this book has it all in 12 read-worthy chapters. We hope this mental health book will help you navigate through your struggles.

2. No Such Things As Normal: What My Mental Illness Has Taught Me About Mental Wellness By Bryony Gordon

Acceptance is key! And that is what the book’s title, ‘What my mental illness has taught me about mental wellness,’ talks about. Bryony Gordon describes her battle with depression and mental health issues, including OCD, Bulimia, drug dependency, and alcoholism. This mental health book gives an insight into why we worry and how to worry less. It covers lockdown loneliness and how to cope with it; the book addresses low self-esteem and how to ask for help. Gordon’s frankness about her own struggles, failures, and how she wins her battles are genuinely inspiring and uplifting.

3. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy By David D. Burns

This book by Stanford psychiatrist David Burns, M.D. is the new mood therapy using cognitive-behavioral techniques. Burns, in this book, explains how cognitive-behavioral techniques can alter the way we feel every moment. Cognitive distortions cause great suffering to people going through chronic anxiety or depression. However, when you change the way you think, you can change how you feel! This mental health book will undoubtedly guide you towards mental wellbeing.

4. The Anxiety & Phobia WorkBook By J. Bourne

This practical workbook is a workout buddy for those suffering from anxiety and disorder. It covers Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and more. You can refer to this book either by itself or as a supplement to therapy. With this workbook, you can develop an arsenal of skills to quiet those worried thoughts and put yourself back in control of your life.

5. Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania & Healing By Horatio Clare

This book is about a very different kind of journey. It is a story of suffering from a complete mental breakdown. In this book, H. Clare, a well-known travel writer, describes the various stages of his illness, from mania and psychosis and being sectioned under the Mental Health Act to taking the first small steps to recovery and beyond. What will you take away from this book? Not to underestimate the effects of childhood trauma, drugs or alcohol abuse, sleep deprivation, stress, and how not spending enough time outdoors can impact mental health. If you suffer from or have any of these issues, this mental health book will be like a soothing balm.

It takes many little things adding up together before you realize how much you’re suffering. While the stress of everyday life is unavoidable, there are many ways to fight back and cope with mental health problems more effectively. Hopefully, these mental health books will help you understand these feelings and that you can get the help you need. With self-care, mental health books, and therapy at your disposal, you can find your way to happiness. And that’s something everyone deserves!

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