The 10 Best Mental Health Books of 2021 –

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Mental health books can teach you new skills, offer support, and help you along your healing and self-discovery journeys.
Want to learn more about a mental health condition or develop valuable coping mechanisms? Reading mental health books can help you achieve your goal, no matter what it is.
Anecdotal evidence supports the idea that reading about mental health offers many benefits, like relieving stress, building new skills, and increasing self-awareness.
To help you sift through the hundreds of mental health books on the market, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks — one for (almost) any occasion.
Here are some factors we considered when choosing which mental health books to feature:
In his book “Undoing Depression,” psychotherapist Richard O’Connor, MSW, PhD, presents a holistic approach on how to “undo” your depression — with an emphasis on establishing healthier habits. He doesn’t dismiss the severity of the condition, though. Instead, he offers creative ways to achieve a sense of well-being.
“Undoing Depression” identifies the obvious and not-so-obvious causes of depression and shares practical tips on healing. There’s also an interactive Mood Journal that you can use every day to connect your symptoms with potential underlying issues.
“Anxiety Relief for Teens” is an interactive book full of quizzes, tools, and strategies for young people seeking new skills to cope with anxiety. The insights are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques and author Regine Galanti, PhD’s experience working with families as a licensed clinical psychologist.
This book can help teens experiencing anxiety related to school, relationships, or life in general. It’s also a great resource for parents looking to support their children navigating their teenage years.
Rather than a how-to meditation guide, “The Power of Now” shares deeper insight into what it means to be fully present.
In this book, spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle describes how to disconnect from your mind and ego to find inner peace right now. He also offers ways to stop letting your thoughts and feelings control you and how to transform your life to become more aligned with your true self.
Buddhist Zen master, monk, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shares his incredible insights on mindfulness in his book “You Are Here.” He explains how achieving inner peace and happiness is possible, emphasizing breathwork practices and finding beauty in the present moment.
His teachings include practicing mindfulness in our own lives and how it can enhance our relationship with the world around us.
Studies suggest that art therapy, when facilitated by an art therapist, offers benefits, such as improved cognitive functioning, reduced stress, and enhanced emotional strength.
“Color Me Calm” is a therapeutic coloring book created by board-certified and licensed art therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter. It features 100 relaxing designs to help folks find a creative way to destress and unwind at any time throughout the day.
According to one reviewer, licensed therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab’s “Set Boundaries, Find Peace” is “the boundary bible.” The book defines different sets of boundaries (e.g., physical, emotional, sexual, work, time) and how to enforce them in a clear, healthy, and empowering way.
Curious about potential root problems holding you back from setting stronger boundaries? Need some tips on speaking up for yourself in all areas of life? Tawwab offers inclusive information and interactive exercises to assist you in meeting many boundary-related goals.
Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is all about how our habits impact our lives — and how to improve your habits to improve your life. He offers personal insights, practical tips, and engaging exercises to enhance how you approach your personal and professional goals.
This self-help book has sold millions of copies and has been named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century. For decades it’s been highly recommended by successful people, including Ariana Huffington and Maya Angelou, and the general public.
Bessel van der Kolk has worked in the mental health field for decades as a psychiatrist, researcher, and founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Massachusetts. His book “The Body Keeps The Score” details what he’s learned while studying post-traumatic stress and its effect on human beings.
If you’re recovering from trauma or interested in learning more about how trauma impacts us on different levels, this book teaches what trauma is and the many different ways you can heal from it.
It’s worth noting that the content in this book may be upsetting to some folks, so please consider reading with caution.
Are you interested in attachment theory? If so, consider reading “Attached” by psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine, MD, and psychologist Rachel S.F. Heller, MA.
“Attached” is an easy-to-read guide to understanding different attachment styles and how yours might relate to how you approach relationships. Its insight and quizzes can help you recognize where your relationship issues may stem from and improve how you navigate relationships with partners, friends, and family members.
Want to start living a life that you love? In her book “You Are A Badass,” bestselling author and success coach Jen Sincero outlines how to overcome self-doubt and create a more enjoyable, fulfilling life.
This lighthearted self-help book is full of positive affirmations and words of encouragement to help you eliminate limiting beliefs that may be stopping you from living your best life. Sincero also offers advice on how to get out of a rut, with actionable steps to improve your current situation.
Mental health books can help you learn more about specific conditions, better understand your habits and tendencies, and improve your overall sense of well-being. The books listed here present deeper insight on different mental health topics, including relieving anxiety, practicing mindfulness, and building healthier relationships.
Reading books does not serve as a substitute for therapy or treatment, though. They’re meant to aid in your healing and self-discovery journeys. Seeing a therapist or mental health professional can offer you further support and resources, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Last medically reviewed on August 25, 2021