5 Best Books for Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

The three Types of Mental Health Books

  1. Greater Understanding/Research — These are books that explain what the latest research suggests that’s happening in your life/brain and what the most effective treatments may be. Building your understanding and knowledge about your problem can often be enough so that you can take care of it from there.
  2. Feeling Less Alone — These books are written primarily to inspire hope. Usually, the author has suffered from the same problem as you, except that their situation was orders of magnitude worse than yours. This has the double-whammy effect of a) reassuring you that you’re not the only one to go through shit like this, and b) that there is hope — if this guy/girl made it, so can you. “Feeling Less Alone” books tend to be the most emotionally powerful (and best-written) of the three flavors.
  3. Exercises/Actions — I’m personally not a huge fan of books that want you to take out a sheet of paper every other page and write a bunch of crap down. But I know some people are. And I know that some of these exercises can be highly effective. And if the exercises are well-done (usually constructed by a therapist/psychiatrist with tons of experience) you can get good results from these books.

The Best Books on Depression and Anxiety

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

2. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

3. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns

4. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris

5. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

Can reading about depression and anxiety actually help you?

Looking for more books to read?

STOP BEING AN EMOTIONAL IDIOT

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Mark Manson

Mark Manson

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Author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. OG Blogger. Psychology Nerd. I enjoy cats and whiskey. But not at the same time.