The Best Mental Health Books to Read


In case you haven't noticed, books are having a moment. They're back in a big way—not just as physical objects on shelves but also as topics of conversation and content for social media feeds. Not surprisingly, with this resurgence comes an increase in the number of books about mental health and related topics. And while there are tons of them out there (and not all of them good!), we've rounded up seven titles that can help you get educated on different aspects of your own mental health or someone else's:

The Body Keeps the Score

One of the best books on recovery from trauma is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk. In this book, he writes about how our bodies hold onto a lot more than we realize and how to let go of those memories. Van der Kolk has worked with many people who have suffered sexual abuse or other types of abuse and works with them to heal their minds as well as their bodies through his methods. He uses several different techniques such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness training and other therapies in order to treat PTSD patients struggling with chronic pain or addiction issues that stem from traumatic events in their pasts (like war veterans). This book will give you insight into how your body can help you heal during stressful times by looking at things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from an alternative perspective than most psychologists would normally take when treating these kinds of issues.

Hope and Help for Your Nerves

This book is a great resource for those suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias. It explains how the body responds to stress and how to manage it. The book includes practical strategies for dealing with stress by using breathing exercises and meditation. This is an excellent book if you’re looking for hope and help with your nerves!


"Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions" is a book about a man who was addicted to drugs and alcohol and how he recovered from his addictions. It also tells the stories of several other people who have also had problems with drugs or alcohol, as well as other issues like gambling, sex addiction and bulimia.

The author, Lance Dodes M.D., explains how addiction works in the brain—how it changes the way we think and feel about ourselves; why people become addicted; what happens when they try to stop using drugs or alcohol; why some people are more likely than others to become addicted; how treatment for addiction works today (including medications); what happens if you relapse after treatment ends; and much more.

The key message of this book is that recovery requires taking care of yourself in every possible way: emotionally, spiritually/religiously (if applicable), intellectually/intellectually (if applicable) and physically/physically

Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts

If you're looking for a book that addresses a variety of common mental health issues, look no further than Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure and Other Everyday Hurts. Written by psychiatrist Richard O'Connor MD, this book is divided into four parts:

  • Part I: Emotional First Aid

  • Part II: Dealing with Rejection

  • Part III: Dealing with Guilt

  • Part IV: Dealing with Failure

It Didn't Start with You

It Didn't Start with You is about the impact of childhood trauma on adult behaviour, as well as its causes and effects. The book is based on the author's own experiences with trauma, and it was written by an academic psychologist with a PhD in clinical psychology. It is a New York Times bestseller, which means that it has been read by thousands of people for many years now. If you're interested in learning more about how childhood traumas affect our lives as adults or simply want to understand what it feels like to be affected by them, this book will help!


Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller is a book that looks at how we form relationships, and how we can improve them. It focuses on building secure, satisfying relationships.

The book also examines attachment styles. Attachment styles are how we tend to relate to others when it comes to intimacy and closeness. An individual may have an avoidant attachment style (meaning they avoid closeness in their relationships), or they may have a secure attachment style (meaning they feel comfortable with intimacy). The authors discuss the different types of insecure attachments, such as anxious-ambivalent or dismissive-avoidant. They also discuss how these styles can change over time using certain strategies and exercises like mindfulness meditation, self-soothing techniques, positive thinking exercises etc...

The Highly Sensitive Person

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine Aron

This book is all about being a highly sensitive person (HSP). HSP is a personality trait, which means that it's something you're born with and can't change. But in this book, Aron will help you understand what it means to be an HSP and how you can manage your ability so that it doesn't get too overwhelming.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

If you're looking for a self-help book that can help you become more effective in all areas of your life, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the one to read. This bestselling book was published in 1989 by Stephen Covey and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Bill Clinton has said he considers it one of his top 10 favorite books, while Tony Robbins called it "the most influential management book ever written." Oprah Winfrey also recommends this classic work as one of her all-time favorites—and you know how much she loves her books!

The 7 Habits are:

  • Habit 1: Be proactive

  • Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

  • Habit 3: Put first things first

These books may help give you some insight into your mental health issues or those of a loved one.

If you're looking for some reading on mental health, these books may help give you some insight into your own issues or those of a loved one.

  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): This is an extensive reference guide that covers all major categories of mental disorders. It's highly technical but offers a wealth of information about specific diseases and treatments.

  • The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness: Norman Cousins writes about how he healed himself from life-threatening illness by taking up laughter therapy. He developed his own method based on laughter as medicine, which he describes here in detail.


We hope that you’re able to find some useful information in this list of books about mental health. Whether you’re just trying to figure out what is going on with yourself, or looking for ways to help someone else deal with their own issues, there are plenty of resources available.

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