If you’re feeling anxious then a good book is a good place to start your road to recovery. But with a plethora of titles available where do you begin? It’s enough to give you anxiety on its own! So here are my top 5 books for anxiety, in no particular order, that will help you begin your journey.
I’ve deliberately chosen books here that are short and to the point, often with a good story. Anxiety and huge medical tomes don’t go well together!
Live More Think Less by Dr Pia Callesen
A great little book that’s not overly long and uses clear language to help you overcome anxiety (and depression)! Dr Callesen uses her knowledge of meta-cognitive therapy which has a lot of similarities to solution-focused work.
I particularly like her description of negative thoughts being like a train – you can let the carriages pass you by and stay on the platform. Lots of great examples and stories are used to illustrate points and guidance on how you can use the principles of the therapy on yourself, too.
Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Pittman and Karle
When it comes to books for anxiety I really love this one as it gives scientific backing to explaining anxiety, where it originates in the brain and how you can use neuroplasticity to overcome it.
I’ve recommended this often to clients with long-term anxiety who felt that they were stuck with it for the rest of their life. On reading this, they understood that they had control over their thoughts and symptoms and could create the change they needed easily. A fascinating read altogether.
Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind by Jennifer Shannon
A CBT based approach to understanding anxiety and its triggers. I know people that have tried a range of different therapies and still found this book useful due to its rational perspective. It explains how you should stop feeding that chatter in your brain and find the calm instead.
It’s written by a therapist who has first-hand experience of anxiety, so I found it insightful and genuine in its tone.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
This book is a little different, in that it’s not written by a therapist but by someone who has a great perspective. The premise of the book is that if you imagine you have only a certain amount of limited f*cks per day, then you are going to have to let some things go.
And that really is the key to anxiety – we could worry about absolutely everything, and our mind is designed to do that. But limiting what we need to worry about is the first step to limiting our negative thoughts.
Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson
A lovely story of four mice who are trying to navigate the maze of life. It’s a bit of a parable really and very light-hearted. You get to the end and feel that it’s really taught you something.
I loved it and often recommend this as a light-hearted suggestion just to get concentration going and an interest in how the mind perceives things. Originally published in 1998, I think it’s stood the test of time (2.5 million copies sold worldwide!).
Over to you! I’ve deliberately not made this list of books for anxiety exhaustive. And you don’t have to read them all. See what you like the sound of and start with that.
And if you’re looking for more, check out my book and podcast recommendations for managing anxiety and stress!
Happy reading (or listening if you like an audiobook)!