Books are some of the most healing things if you struggle with anxiety. I don’t think you necessarily have to go to the self-help section of a bookstore to find something helpful for mental health.
The best books are the ones with characters you relate to, and that inspire you to live life the way you want to live. Their stories can teach valuable lessons you can apply to your life. It’s okay to escape into the world of a book sometimes!
All of these have helped me in some way, whether I was going through a tough time or needed to escape. Or just needed some inspiration.
Best Anxiety Relief Books – Natural Relief for Anxiety Book List:
1. Not That Kind of Girl – A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” written by Lena Dunham
No other book but this one has made me feel that my ordinary experiences growing up as a girl deserve to be heard and that they are remarkably similar to other girls.
2. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild was one of those life-changing books for me. (The movie was as well). It was one of those books where I would practically yell in people’s faces that they just had to read it, and it explained what I felt like no other book could. It’s the story of a 23-year-old guy who gives up all his possessions and money and heads for Alaska.
It’s full of the most beautiful insights about life, love, and what truly matters. It made me feel like everything would be okay no matter what petty problems I had in my life and what I was scared of for the future. It was a reminder that there is so much beauty in the world around you and in life itself.
3. Wild – From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.
I’m not sure what it is about books about people exploring the wilderness, but it was also incredibly inspiring. Cheryl Strayed tells her experiences when she hiked from Southern California to Washington.
And does it beautifully. She is a woman who went through so much loss and succeeded in doing something incredible. It’s the kind of story that inspires you to be braver.
4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
I never thought I would be into a self-help book that helps you tidy up your house, but Marie Kondo’s approach inspires you to look at life differently, embrace minimalism, and take a good look at what truly makes you happy.
5. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
This book is about a teenage boy who has a suicidal episode and ends up in a psych ward, the people he meets, and the things he learns there. Besides being funny, it helps you realize how ordinary and common mental health problems are and makes you feel better about being open with your own.
6. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
What to say about Harry Potter, except that if you struggle with anxiety, depression, or a mental health issue, Harry Potter should be on your list. The character of Harry alone is so complex, and through his eyes, you learn about love, friendship, grief, death, and bravery, among many other things.
Not to mention that no book series has ever captivated and successfully pulled me into a completely different world. Not only is the magical world a nice escape from reality, but you also find that magical people are just as relatable as regular ones.
7. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Siddhartha is my first recommendation to anyone seeking meditation or mindfulness to deal with stress or anxiety. For such a short read, it’s full of wisdom. (check out other books here)
I will add more books to relieve anxiety and stress as I think of them! I’d love to know your recommendations! What’re some Best Anxiety Relief Books that have helped you through a tough time?