There are many reasons I love to read. I love being able to enter other worlds or meet other people through reading. I love learning and growing through what I read. And maybe most of all, I love that books have helped me feel less alone. This is true for many reasons, and one in particular is that there are so many books that have helped me throughout my mental health journey, giving me words to express how I’m feeling, showing me that I’m not the only one, and assuring me that others have made it through.
Here are a few of my favorite books that have accompanied me throughout my mental health journey and made a positive impact on me.
Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher [Buy on Bookshop]
Hannah Brencher was already one of my favorite writers before I read this book, so maybe that’s why I’m so partial to this one in particular. I’ve read it three times at this point and given it as a gift multiple times. I love how open Brencher is about her journey with depression, her relationship to antidepressants, and what she did to get through the toughest days. This book makes me feel less alone because I see so much of myself in Hannah Brencher and she made it through. She still battles with depression, but she is also thriving and spreading so much goodness to the world.
The Art of Showing Up by Rachel Wilkerson Miller [Buy on Bookshop]
This is probably one of the best self-help books I’ve ever read because the author consistently takes into account that not everyone has the same resources or privileges available to them. This book provided me with language to set boundaries and to ask for the help and accommodations I sometimes need from my friends or family. It also showed me the wide range of ways I can take care of myself and that I don’t always need To do everything perfectly. I particularly appreciated the section About how to deal with going through a difficult time. I’m currently flipping through this book again and rereading some of what I previously underlined.
Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim [Buy on Bookshop]
This collection of poetry by the wonderful Sabrina Benaim is one of my favorites to pick up when I’m feeling low. She puts into words so many feelings that I’ve had over the years, sharing how difficult it is to communicate what her depression feels like. While a large portion of these poems are dedicated to this topic, She also talks about unrequited love and friendship,and deals with both topics in such a beautiful and relatable way.I will always read anything Written by her and I’m excited for her upcoming poetry book.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb [Buy on Bookshop]
This New York Times bestseller was so highly praised that I absolutely had to read it shortly after it came out. It’s written by a therapist, about her experience both going to therapy as the patient and as the therapist. I had just gone back to therapy for the first time in a few years when I picked this one up, and it really helped me feel better about the process. It also gave me hope that therapy could really make a positive impact in my life, which it definitely has. (Shout-out to my therapist who I even discussed this book with and have discussed many other books with as well.)
The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care by Anna Borges [Buy on Bookshop]
Borges takes us alphabetically through a variety of methods of self-care, as she also explores how much that term has been watered down and how complex the concept of self-care can actually be. This book is a great reminder to me on my low days of some of the ways I can make sure to take care of myself, even if I’m not feeling great. I flip through it from time to time to remind myself of how many options I have available to me, depending on the type of self-care I am looking to practice.
What are some of your favorite books on the topic of self-help? I would love to hear about What you have read on the topic. If you read any of these, I would love to hear your thoughts on them
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