People always feel better knowing they’re not alone. And one of the best ways to feel less alone is through self-discovery. Feeling seen, heard, and understood empowers us to be our best selves—and a little help from some experts never hurts.
We put together a list of bestselling books on mental health to equip you with the tools to better understand yourself and others and empower you to be your best self.
1. ‘Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy’ by David D. Burns, M.D.
People have said that this book is like having a therapist at your fingertips. Through scientifically proven techniques, psychiatrist Dr. David D. Burns teaches you how to train your mind and emotions to develop a positive outlook on life. While Burns believes that anxiety and depression can be treated without medication, the book also has an “All-New Consumer’s Guide To Antidepressant Drugs,” if that’s the route you choose.
2. Anything written by Eckhart Tolle
Women’s Health magazine voted The Power of Now the best book for anxiety. The 2001 bestselling guide to spiritual enlightenment gives readers the tools to be present in their lives and stop overthinking. It also explains how damaging the anxious spiral can be in your daily life. Oprah called Tolle’s follow-up book, A New Earth, the most important book of our generation saying, “Eckhart Tolle walks the reader through awakening, consciousness, ego, pain, pride, resistance, and so many challenging life experiences. It prioritizes and teaches inner peace in a way that only Tolle can.”
3. ‘What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing’ by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry
Speaking of Oprah Winfrey, her most recent book is a conversational collaboration with leading neuroscientist Dr. Bruce D. Perry, where they explore childhood trauma and how it affects people in adulthood. To them, it’s important to shift from asking, “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” because your past experiences might be to blame for your mental health struggles and the key to overcoming them.
4. ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Mark Manson
This is the rebel’s approach to living a good life. The book opens our eyes to the fact that maybe, the secret to a positive outlook and happy life is to stop caring so much about everything. Manson explains that we need to figure out the things we really give a f**k about and make them a priority in life. If we can let go of the small annoyances and embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, we can live a more fulfilling life.
5. ‘Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle’ by Emily Nagoski PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA
Burnout is one of the most common mental health reactions that was exasperated by the pandemic. Granted, people definitely got burnt out before, and they will continue to after. And if you don’t make changes to nip it in the bud, burnout can lead to depression. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by sisters Dr. Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski investigate the science behind burnout and share advice on how to combat it, recover, and maybe even prevent it from happening. If you’re a woman who takes on too much, this book is for you.
6. ‘A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine)’ by Patricia Pearson
This is a fast and easy read about battling anxiety. Patricia Pearson questions what factors in today’s North American culture lead to anxiety diagnoses for millions of people. She combines historical and cultural analysis with present-day experiences and how to cope. It’s almost like a memoir as a lot of it follows Pearson’s personal struggles, but you might see some of yourself in her journey.
7. ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ by Lori Gottlieb
Therapists need therapists, too. When therapist Lori Gottlieb experienced an unexpected breakup, she found herself in therapy for the first time. She shares the lessons she learned along the way and how they made her a better therapist and person. Gottlieb proves that it’s okay to ask for help no matter your position, as we all share the same human condition. This book is perfect for people who are hesitant to go to therapy for fear of being judged.
8. ‘It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle’ by Mark Wolynn
There’s a proven genetic predisposition to mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and phobias. Author Mark Wolynn, who has been called a “pioneer” for his work in the field of inherited family trauma, takes readers through groundbreaking scientific research on the subject and presents tools on how to stop the cycle and heal.
Recognizing your need or interest in mental health books is a significant first step in the right direction. Acknowledging that you want to educate yourself on mental health topics and the expert advice that comes along with it can help prepare you to take on whatever challenges life throws at you.
Our mental health assessment can also help with self-discovery and understanding your own mental health