13 Best Books for Mental Health – Favbookshelf

When we talk about self-care, I bet you might have imagined a long shower, binge-reading, maybe a me-time, chilling over Netflix. But have you thought, what about our inner wellbeing? And what exactly makes us stressed? Or how do we identify what we are feeling is more than sadness? So today, we are here with the best-handpicked books for mental health.

P.S: I have mixed fiction and non-fiction books, and don’t worry; they are not dull with theories. They have a lot of activities and exercises stored for you!

books for mental health
Books for Mental Health

So, let’s get started. Here are the best books for mental health:

#1 Art Therapy and Emotion Regulation Problems by Suzanne Haeyen

About the Book

Art Therapy and Emotion Regulation Problems: Theory and Workbook by Suzanne Haeyen
Art Therapy and Emotion Regulation Problems by Suzanne Haeyen

Title: Art Therapy and Emotion Regulation Problems: Theory and Workbook

Author:  Suzanne Haeyen

Genre: Self-help/Psychology

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Type: Standalone

Pages: 357

P. S: There are no Goodreads ratings yet; let’s explore the unexplored one!

Suzzanne Haeyen is an art therapist in Netherland, and this book provides ideas behind art therapy, and you come across many diagnostic terms. This book is divided into two parts. In the first part, the author introduces us to art therapy and the theory behind the art therapy techniques to regulate emotions. In the second part, there are activities we can perform by ourselves and in a group. This book is valuable to all curious minds who want to explore expressive psychology.

Why do we recommend this book?

I would be honest, the theory part of the book was difficult to digest as there are many technical terms. This is not an easy read, but the best part is part II, where we get exposed to plenty of therapeutic practices, which we can experiment on ourselves and others in a group. The tone is generic and technical; you may feel like this book is meant for practicing art therapists. But I would recommend it to all readers who want to know the theory behind therapeutic practices. It might help someone you know or yourself; it did help me!

To buy/gift Art Therapy and Emotion Regulation Problems, click on the below link :

#2 Brink by S.L. Bhyrappa

About the Book

Brink by S.L. Bhyrappa
Brink by S.L. Bhyrappa

Title: Brink 

Author:  S.L. Bhyrappa ( Orginal author), R Ranganath Prasad (Translator)

Genre: Fiction/Psychology

Publisher: Niyogi Books Pvt ltd

Type: Standalone

Pages: 420

Goodreads rating: 3.7/5

The story is about Someshekar, a widower, and Amrita, an estranged woman. This tale addresses the moral stigmas, societal structure, and Amrita’s temperaments and mood swings. At the core of the story is compassion, and Somashekhar is the very personification of compassion. He brings love and warmth into Dr. Amrita’s melancholic life. But time and again, she loses her temper and undergoes swift mood changes. In such times, she inflicts pain and torture on Somashekhar despite his sincere love for her. Will Somashekhar be able to help her overcome depression through his perseverance and sacrifice? Packed with internal drama, tension, and flashbacks, the book promises to impart an aesthetic experience to the reader.

Why do we recommend this book?

The book’s original name in Kannada is ‘ Anchu,’ whose meaning is ‘the edge’; a metaphor for how a person feels when he reaches the level of the emotions between sanity and insanity. We often forget those living around the people dealing with the trauma. The destructive behavior towards the support system is shown in depth through the characters Amrita and Someshekar. Someshekar shows how his emotional composure can handle disturbing behaviors. Recommended.

To buy/gift Brink, click on the below link :

#3 Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

About the Book

Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One (Chicken Soup for the Soul); books for mental health
Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Title: Chicken soup for the grieving soul

Author: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Genre: Self-help

Publisher: Backlist, LLC 

Type: Series

Pages: 272

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

At some point in life, we have lost our loved ones and may have experienced a different level of grieving. Maybe we wondered how to move on? How to heal? This book is a collection of souls who went through the same feeling. Some might have lost a family member or a pet, and here they are retelling how they got healed from that emotion. What did they do to overcome grieving from loss? This is a crucial part of this series.

Why do we recommend this book?

Chicken Soup for Grieving Souls is an all-time favorite. This is the first series I picked up a year ago in a book store, and guess what? It was a delightful read. Through its various themes and the collection of real-life stories, it heals, lives, and relives in our memories. This particular book addresses the severe issue of grieving. You cry, feel relief, and feel the life within as you read.

To buy/gift Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul, click on the below link :

#4 Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

About the Book

Emotional intelligence: why it can be more than IQ by Daniel Goleman; books for mental health
Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Title: Emotional intelligence: why it can be more than IQ

Author:  Daniel Goleman

Genre: Self-help/Psychology

Publisher: Bloomsbury India

Type: Standalone

Pages: 352

Goodreads rating: 4.0/5

What is emotional composure? Can we survive alone with our intelligence without emotional intelligence? What are those five skills to shape strong emotional intelligence? Daniel Golemon takes us through the concept through lucid examples in his book Emotional Intelligence. Have you come across the topics like how our brain grows? And what is an emotional Hijack? etc.? Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they shape our destiny.

Why do we recommend this book?

This book is for those struggling with emotional composure and those who want to know why emotional literacy is crucial in all aspects of life. I want to quote one of the examples of how Goleman describes the exuberance of one local driver who turned the pale expressions of passengers into a beautiful journey. The best thing I liked about this book was the many examples that enabled me to visualize what Goleman was trying to convey. A worthwhile and informative read for all curious readers.

To buy/gift Emotional Intelligence, click on the below link :

#5 Essential Art Therapy Exercises by Leah Guzman MA

About the Book

Essential Art Therapy Exercises: Effective Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD by Leah Guzman MA; books for mental health
Essential Art Therapy Exercises

Title: Essential Art Therapy Exercises

Author: Leah Guzman MA

Genre: Art/Mental Health/Self help/Non-fiction

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Type: Standalone

Pages: 227

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

 Essential Art Therapy Exercises integrates art in her techniques to comfort the emotions and feelings of the mind. Leah Guzman shows how creating art can help ease depression, anxiety, PTSD, and life’s other challenges. Art therapy activities like drawing, painting, and sculpting will help you better understand your state of mind to control your emotions and improve your self-esteem. This book is less of theory and more of creative therapeutic activities. From drawing a representation of your favorite song to writing affirmations and taking photos to match, these therapeutic exercises will help overcome the mindsets that are holding you back and leading you toward inner peace. just chill, you need not be an artist or experienced to try over 75 creative focused exercises. All you have to do is take some time for yourself.

Why do we recommend this book?

This book has a straightforward and interactive language. It helps you to draw your mental models through various art exercises. It’s like identifying your emotions and giving them a visual structure. The exciting part about the book is that the activities are divided into several sections, like photography, painting, collages, etc. Though I felt the exercises were repetitive through midway, I would surely recommend this book because it’s worth trying to experience art as a therapy.

P.S.: This book is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, then you can read this book for free.

To buy/gift Essential Art Therapy Exercises click on the below link :

#6 Hellfire by Leesa Gazi and Shabnam Nadiya

About the Book

Hellfire by Leesa Gazi and Shabnam Nadiya
Hellfire by Leesa Gazi and Shabnam Nadiya

Title: Hellfire

Author:  Leesa Gazi and Shabnam Nadiya

Genre: Fiction /Psychology/Thriller

Publisher: Eka

Type: Standalone

Pages: 204

Goodreads rating: 4.0/5

What if a home becomes a cage? What possible trauma could one go through? And how would one react to the freedom from the cage? Hellfire is a tale of two sisters, Lovely and Beauty, curfewed by their mother inside the house. The story starts with the lenience on Lovely’s birthday when she is allowed to have a solo trip to Gausia Market on her fortieth birthday. What happens next is the crux of the story. The author successfully knits the complex psychological impact on a person due to socio-cultural background.

Why do we recommend this book?

Why Hellfire? A trauma lived for 40 years by Lovely is shown on one day of her freedom walk in Gausia Market. The emotions are raw, and the way of narration leaves you perplexed at the end. When I picked up this book, I read the whole book in a single breath. It was engrossing, keeping me hooked till the end. Certain stages shocked me for the toxic environment they were dealing with, and those punishments were so shocking to know how one can get traumatic experiences without physical violence. The narrative is back and forth in time, where past trauma is revealed through Lovely’s memories when she had her freedom for one day in the market, and the revelation, in the end, was horrifying and spine-chilling.

To buy/gift Hellfire, click on the below link :

#7 Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles 

About the Book

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles 

Title: Ikigai

Author: Francesc Miralles 

Genre: Self-help

Publisher: Hutchinson

Type: Standalone

Pages: 208

Goodreads Rating: 3.8 / 5

This book uncovers the Japanese secret to a long, happy and healthy life. The people of Japan believe that everyone has an Ikigai – a reason to jump out of bed each morning. And according to the residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa – the world’s longest-living people – finding it is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life. Inspiring and comforting, this book will give you the life-changing tools to uncover your personal ikigai. It will show you how to leave urgency behind, find your purpose, nurture friendships and throw yourself into your passions.

Why do we recommend this book?

I will admit that some points mentioned in this book are cliche and very general. But others are worth reading and understanding and implementing in your life. These points are going to help you change yourself for the best.

If you want to buy/gift Ikigai, then click on the link below: 

#8 Sharapanjara Cage of Arrows, Translated from Kannada by C Vimala Rao

About the Book

Sharapanjara Cage of Arrows, Translated from Kannada by C Vimala Rao; books for mental health
Sharapanjara Cage of Arrows, Translated from Kannada by C Vimala Rao

Title: Sharapanjara Cage of Arrows

Author:  C Vimala Rao ( Translator), Triveni ( Original author)

Genre: Fiction /Psychology

Type: Standalone

Pages: 188

Goodreads rating: 3.9/5

This tale is about Kaveri and Sathish, a perfect couple everyone dreams of. However, the fairytale gets shattered when Kaveri gets affected by postpartum depression, depression that occurs after childbirth. She comes back home from rehab and gets recovered but how the actions of her family members lead her to lose her emotional string is the crux of the story. Initially written by Triveni, a famous Kannada author, we found this rare book translated into English by C Vimala Rao. To tell about Triveni, she was an author around 1950-60, died young, around the age of 36 years but left behind great novels, out of which many are woven around mental health and social stigmas. Her books mainly dealt with complex psychological issues, and it was a kind of modern approach in those days.

P.S: Her many works are featured in local sandalwood films.

Why do we recommend this book?

This left a long-lasting impact on me. It will travel you back to the mid-1960s when mental health issues were not welcoming. The stigma and stereotypes were clouded, and the author Triveni shows how this impacts a person dealing with mental health issues and depicts how not to treat a patient with mental health issues. This is an eye-opener fictional tale that tells to show love and care toward the mentally affected people. Sharapanjara means a cage of arrows, which represents the entangled mind and inner suffering. I definitely recommend this book.

To buy/gift Sharapanjara Cage of Arrows, Translated from Kannada by C Vimala Rao, click on the below link :

#9 The Anxiety Workbook by Arlin Cuncic & Seth J. Gillihan

About the Book

The Anxiety Workbook. A 7-Week Plan to Overcome Anxiety, Stop Worrying, and End Panic by  Arlin Cuncic & Seth J. Gillihan; books for mental health
The Anxiety Workbook by  Arlin Cuncic & Seth J. Gillihan

Title: The Anxiety Workbook

Author: Arlin Cuncic & Seth J. Gillihan

Genre: Mental Health/Self-help/Non-fiction

Publisher: Althea Press

Type: Standalone

Pages: 228

Goodreads rating: 3.8/5

The Anxiety Workbook is an anxiety workbook filled with practical advice and in-depth strategies proven to conquer everyday anxiety. This book provides well laid seven-week plan to address the anxiety and is a mixture of theory and workbook. It’s important to know what, why, and when aspects of the problem before diving into a practical approach. So the author has divided the book into two parts, the first part gives a detailed explanation of the problem, and the second part starts with seven weekly action plans. Each week comes up with one area of concern and an action plan to follow for that week. All you need is a journal, pen, and determination.

Why do we recommend this book?

There are several books on dealing with anxiety, but this one is the best. It is rather exciting and action-oriented. Before, my teacher had gifted me a pocketbook on stress as she had noticed the peak of anxiousness in me. But the book was full of jargon and was challenging to comprehend. And now, recently, I came across this book, and everything seemed simple. Simplicity and practicality are what I liked about the book. Commitment to oneself is essential to healing, and this seven-week commitment is a gift to self.

To buy/gift The Anxiety Workbook click on the below link :

#10 The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Dalai Lama

About the Book

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Dalai Lama
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Dalai Lama

Title: The Art of Happiness

Author: Dalai Lama

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Riverhead

Type: Standalone

Pages: 348

Goodreads Rating: 4.1 / 5

Nearly every time you see him, he’s laughing or smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He’s the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual and temporal leader, a Nobel Prize winner, and an increasingly popular speaker and statesman. Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. Together with Dr. Cutler, he explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life’s obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace.

Why do we recommend this book?

Let me quote one of the lines Dalai Lama says, “Four sources of happiness are wealth, worldly satisfaction, spirituality, and enlightenment. But, above all, our state of mind is the key to lead a happy and healthy life”. This book will help you re-prioritize things in your life. And I will recommend this book to you, especially when you are struggling with stress and anxiety.

If you want to buy/gift The Art of Happiness, click on the link below:

#11 The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression by William J. Knaus

About the Book

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression by William J. Knaus
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression by William J. Knaus

Title: The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression

Author: William J. Knaus

Genre: Self-help/Psychology

Publisher: New Harbinger

Type: Standalone

Pages: 368

Goodreads rating: 3.8/5

Do you think you could lessen or overcome your feelings of depression if only you had the proper tools? Are you ready to help yourself stop feeling depressed? If so, then you’ve found a powerful resource. The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression is a complete, comprehensive, step-by-step approach you can use on your own or working with a therapist to manage and conquer depression. Through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), this book shows how to guard oneself against self-harming thoughts. In addition, this book has an incredible layout divided into chapters, a combination of theory and practical tools.

Why do we recommend this book?

If you ask me about this book, I suggest you go for it. More than the activities, this book consists of a detailed explanation of depression. It may not cover all medical aspects of depression, but it exposes one space of the whole canvas. I found this book helpful to navigate a state of mind which was unknown to me, and knowing what we are going through is more important before we start practicing the tools given in the book.

To buy/gift The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression click on the below link :

#12 The Magic by Rhonda Byrn

About the Book

The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
The Magic by Rhonda Byrne

Title: The Magic

Author: Rhonda Byrne

Genre: Self-help/Psychology

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Type: Series

Pages: 254

Goodreads rating: 4.0/5

Many of you might have come across The Secret series, a world in law of attraction. Unlike other series, The Magic comprises practical activities to practice positivity. It is 28 day-long journey to feel the magic within ourselves. This book reinforces how practicing positive thoughts alter our actions and impact our life decisions. Rhonda Byrne has introduced powerful tools like gratitude and journaling to strengthen relationships.

Why do we recommend this book?

So, you may wonder, why this book? And why I am categorizing this in the list of mental health books? Usually, we indulge in negative thoughts and emotions or keep on counting those unpleasant moments or the betrayal of our close ones. This quakes the mental surface at times, and I am one of them who experienced this kind of heartache!. This book and the activities in it did help me compose myself many times. Though I felt bland between some exercises, like a ‘magic check’ activity where you have to write your desired money to earn. But other than that, this book is the best shot to start a day with gratitude and positivity.

To buy/gift The Magic click on the below link :

#13 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

About the Book

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson; books for mental health
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Author:  Mark Manson

Genre: Self-help/Psychology/Non-fiction

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

Type: Standalone

Pages: 304

Goodreads rating: 3.9/5

 This book asks us to stop trying to be “positive”. For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked, and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. Instead, he tells it like a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Why do we recommend this book?

This book is as raw as it gets. And as the title says, it is the guide to stop giving f*ck about every small thing. It is a guide to self-acceptance and accepting we are not perfect, and that’s okay. It talks about serious stuff in such a hilarious way that you will surely finish the book in one sitting.

To buy/gift The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, click on the below link :

It’s okay to feel emotions, just like an occasional fever and headaches. Talking about mental health is not a secret anymore!

That’s all for now. These books will surely help you gain better knowledge about mental health.

P.S: Some books recommended here are available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, then you can read these books for free. Check out this article: Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

SO, to conclude, here is the list of the Best Books for Mental Health:

1Essential Art Therapy Exercises by Leah Guzman Buy Now
2The Anxiety Workbook by Arlin Cuncic MABuy Now
3The Magic by Rhonda Byrne Buy Now
4Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression by William J. KnausBuy Now
5Art Therapy and Emotion Regulation Problems by Suzanne HaeyenBuy Now
6Sharapanjara by Triveni/Vimala C RaoBuy Now
7Hellfire by Gazi Leesa/ Shabnam NadiyaBuy Now
8Emotional Intelligence by Daniel GolemanBuy Now
9Brink by S L Bhyrappa/R. Ranganath PrasadBuy Now
10Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul by Jack CanfieldBuy Now
11Ikigai by Héctor García and Francesc MirallesBuy Now
12The Art of Happiness by Dalai LamaBuy Now
13The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark MansonBuy Now
Best Books for Mental Health

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DisclosureAll our recommendations are honest. Also, some links in this post are affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend.

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