Best Books on Mental Health 2023

Best Books on Mental Health 2022

Step into bibliotherapy with these best mental health books! 

Whether it’s a self-help book, a workbook, something you are reading in a book club, or a book that has been recommended by a therapist or good friend, reading about mental health and well being can and will help boost your mental health. Despite the prevalence of social media use and streaming services available to binge-watch on, people do still read books. Reading is one of the best ways to gain comprehensive knowledge on a specific topic and for many, reading can be calming and considered a favorite pastime. 

Reading mental health books can help us better understand our own emotions and those of others. Exploring books on mental health allows us to gain insights into the human mind and its complexities. These books provide valuable information about different mental health conditions and emotional pain and how to cope with them. We can learn effective strategies for managing stress and anxiety. We can discover stories of resilience and find inspiration to overcome challenges in life.

Featured Programs

Reading about mental health promotes empathy and compassion towards those facing these struggles. They offer practical advice and techniques to improve our mental wellbeing. We can help break stigmas and foster a more supportive society.

Books about mental health can empower us to seek help and support when needed. This literature opens doors to self-reflection and personal growth.

The mental health experts at Psychology Today say that “the term bibliotherapy is used to refer to self-initiated book reading pursued by an individual with mental illness. This can be supported by a clinician, family member or peer supporter, or simply pursued alone.”

There are so many fantastic and powerful pages out there just waiting to be read. 

So keep on reading…about reading the best books about mental health. 

Books to help you with relationships…or help you get out of one

Books can be valuable resources when it comes to navigating relationships and making important decisions. Here are some books that can offer guidance in both strengthening relationships and navigating the process of ending them.

The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency

By: Melody Beattie

The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series) by [Melody Beattie]

This popular mental health book has over 7,000 5-star ratings on Amazon and is a helpful resource for someone in addiction treatment, recovering from addiction, or simply in a codependent relationship. Inside the book are daily meditations to take you out of the stress from life and into your mind, body, and soul. 

A positive review on Amazon:

 I have recommended this book to most of my female clients over the past 15 years. It has been extremely helpful as a daily reminder around learning to and staying out of the business of others, allowing others to make choices and handle the consequences. Yes, it is written with the 12 Step Program in mind, but that doesn’t get in the way of the truth of each page. A reader doesn’t need to be involved in 12 Step to get the wonderful benefits.

And if you want more after you get done with this one, it is part of a series; the second book is called More Language of Letting Go

This is Me Letting You Go

By: Heidi Priebe

This Is Me Letting You Go by [Heidi Priebe, Thought Catalog]

Although this best books on mental health has a similar title as the one mentioned above, the focus is on letting people, situations, or things go in our lives, especially when we aren’t ready for them to go. This could be due to a divorce, a death, or a separation simply out of necessity. Author Heidi Priebe knows a thing or two about this topic. She will share her experience with you in her book while you journey along to gain the confidence and peace of mind to let go. 

A positive review on Amazon:

I cannot lie, I have read this twice. Each time I read it I cry. My break up is fresh and I want so badly to fix things but each time I read this I know I have to live for me. It hurts badly but there will be brighter days after the pain.

It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

By: Mark Wolynn

It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by [Mark Wolynn]

It Didn’t Start with You is a must-read for those who grew up in a family stuck in the cycle of trauma. At a very young age, traumatic events shape our brain and who we are––but that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to continue affecting us. Author Mark Wolynn teaches readers how to stop the cycle, even when you may be genetically inclined to be more vulnerable or have been negatively affected by trauma. 

A positive review on Amazon:

By using Mark’s core language, which he generously shares in this book, you can uncover your own inherited trauma and start healing yourself and your family. Read this book slowly and let the language affect you. Do the exercises. This book will change you. Then start living the life you were meant to live!

Books to help you heal yourself

These books can be valuable companions on your healing journey, providing guidance, comfort, and inspiration as you navigate the path towards self-discovery and well-being.

The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

By: Bessel Van Der Kolk

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by [Bessel  van der Kolk]

It is estimated that around 70% of the adult population in the U.S. has experienced some form of trauma during their lifetime. There’s a lot of people out there trying to cope. While some go to therapy for trauma healing, others have not decided to make that jump and go another route instead––the self-help route. The Body Keeps the Score is absolutely the book to start with. It is incredibly popular and is currently ranked number four on the Amazon Charts, with almost 37,000 5-star ratings. Word is getting around that this is the one to read, whether you are someone who has experienced trauma, for loved ones of those who have, or for professionals who treat individuals with trauma. 

A positive review on Amazon:

Featured Programs

I highly recommend this book for therapists and survivors of trauma. The insights Dr. Bessel has put into this book are enlightening and helpful, especially to those who are not familiar with the persistent aspects of trauma.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry

By: Seth J. Gillihan

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry by [Seth J Gillihan PhD]

Stop thinking negatively and open your mind to change. Reading this book will be just like seeing a therapist, but for a fraction of the cost! Learn how to cope through common challenges related to mental health and manage your life. Those diagnosed with anxiety, depression, panic disorder, and more can utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies at home, work, in traffic, at the grocery store, and anywhere else they are needed. With this book, you can learn about 10 specific CBT techniques, track your progress, and practice using the embedded CBT workbook. With over 4,000 ratings at almost 5 perfect stars, this is the to-buy read all about CBT. 

A positive review on Amazon:

Very well written in easily digestible pieces and encouraging! It has practical exercises and relevant, engaging and illustrative stories to explain the concepts. This was very helpful and helps you identify and retrain patterns of thinking to get you out of a slump and negative thinking.

It’s Okay That You’re Not Okay

By: Megan Devine

It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand by [Megan Devine, Mark Nepo]

The author of this book focuses on the subject of death––that taboo/awkward subject no one wants to dive into. For many, it is difficult to think, speak of, acknowledge, or even read about death and dying, especially if they have just lost someone they love. The culture that many of us live in has not made it easy for people to open up to the topic. Megan Devine helps to normalize grief, remind people that there is no time limit to grief, nor are there rules, and she makes it clear that grief does not need a solution. If you or someone you love has experienced a loss, they might get a lot out of reading this book. 

A positive review on Amazon:

I’ve been gifted, loaned and purchased many grief books in the two years since my son died. I can honestly say that none of those texts resonated with me and the truth of my grief experience more than Megan Devine’s new book. She is a credible source of useful information, bringing not only her educational and occupational background to bear but more importantly her own life experience with deep loss and a broken culture. Above all, she is a truth teller and an advocate you’ll want in your grief space.

Books that focus on mindset

Books that focus on mindset can be incredibly powerful in shaping our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. Here are some highly recommended books that can help you develop a positive and growth-oriented mindset.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

By: Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Don’t you want to seek out joy and be happier with your life? Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu will lead you toward the light. The Book of Joy is a best-seller and combines the science behind happiness with personal stories and testimonies along with details on specific practices and teachings that will help anyone become more joyful. These two have a great sense of humor, are compassionate, and have the goal of spreading their wealth of knowledge surrounding the idea that anyone can be happy, and they’ll tell you exactly how to go about it. 

 A positive review on Amazon:

I just read the chapter on loneliness and it is so profound and I wish every human would read it. This isn’t your normal self help book. I have tons of self help books, and they are mostly the same message said in a different way. These are two great friends discussing deep and meaningful human things.

You Are a Badass Every Day 

By: Jen Sincero

How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable––is also what the title says. Many of us need to read this. In these challenging times, people often struggle to see themselves as the awesome person they truly are. Allow your self-confidence and motivation to be a badass come back while reading Jen Sincero’s work. Gain tips, motivational inspiration, and work on yourself a bit during this simple and easy read. 

 A positive review on Amazon:

This book is less of a novel and more of a daily motivator. You have quotes and sections you can read at any given moment when you need a little daily motivation. I love Jen Sincero and have read You Are A Badass 2 1/2 times so far and it has motivated me so much. This book is so great for inspiration and it’s nice that you can carry it with you and pick it up any time and get a boost of “let me live this badass life!”

Want more?

Mental health is the talk of the town. Whether it be in schools, in the office, on social media, or on the news, the topic of mental health is ubiquitous. If you can’t get away from it, then you might as well embrace it! Work on your own mental health by reading some of these popular choices, or search online or in your local bookstore for something similar. We all can benefit from a little reading! Check out these mental health books.

Get Out of Your Head

By: Jennie Allen

The Self-Care Prescription

By: Robyn L. Gobin

Brittany Cerny

Master of Education (M.Ed.) | Northeastern State University

Behavior and Learning Disorders | Georgia State University