Mental health is a massive struggle in the United States. Add in quarantine, school, work, bullying, social media, bills, and so many other factors, and sometimes your head isn’t as quick to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you struggle with mental illness or you want to educate yourself – here are 10 of the best mental health books that can completely change your life.
Reasons To Stay Alive
This book is a true story about how the author, Matt Haig, came through his illness that almost left him for dead. He learned to live again. The book is moving, funny, and a great example of how to live life again. It allows readers to take a look into another’s mind. Learn the empathy that is needed when talking to someone who is mentally ill. This will change your life and your outlook on how others live life differently than yours.
(Don’t) Call me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Healthy Edited
Thirty-three different voices, 33 different lives, and 33 everyday experiences Kelly Jensen took something taboo and allowed people to share their experiences and have an open dialogue. Something that most will shut down because of the fear of being uncomfortable. This is why this mental health book is perfect for anyone who has struggled with mental health. It allows you to start a conversation that you didn’t know you needed.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams
You’ve probably heard the term, “there are two sides of a coin.” Well, you are a coin. Everyone has a light and dark side to who they are. We don’t mean you are evil or have the urge to hurt someone, but sometimes our minds go dark and bleak. It’s human nature, which is why the author, Debbie Ford, wrote this book. She explains that the dark side of who we are should not be hidden from the world. By denying it, we are rejecting a side of us that will allow us to live our best lives. This is the perfect mental health book that will enable you to explore a side of you; you didn’t know you needed to explore.
Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ
A bestseller for a reason! Daniel Goleman shows us that we allow human intelligence to dictate who we are as people when our emotions play a massive part in our lives and should get the credit. He argues that our emotions play a role in our thought, decision making, and individual successes. He believes people who embrace qualities such as self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, motivation, empathy, and social deftness are people who excel in their day to day lives. Crack this book open; who knows you might just be able to unfold another layer about yourself!
Being and Loving: How to Achieve Intimacy With Another Person and Retain One’s Own Identity
Nothing is fulfilling, like finding someone you love and finding yourself. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t see one or the other – sometimes both. Dr. Horner, a teacher, and a psychotherapist focus on the image of self and of others formed in the first three years of life. She guides you, the reader, down a carefully chosen road that can work out a solution to your problem. She can help you find yourself.
The Power of Now
The Power of Now is the self-help book of all self-help books. Tolle demonstrates how to live a healthier and happier life by living in the present moment. We all know how hard that is! We get so caught up in our day to day lives that we kind of just forget to stop and smell the roses. Unlike Debbie Ford, Tolle talks about how to leave your mind and your ego behind in the shadows as you focus on the life that is being lived around you. She’ll teach you to love life again.
More of a memoir, this book will allow you to see depression in a whole new light. Styron wrote down everything, from his misery and exhaustion, to when and how he decided to write his suicide note to his recovery. He takes the most misunderstood illness there is and brings a whole new light from someone’s point of view – not the doctors, not the families, and not friends. His point of view. His pain. It’s harsh, but it’s the reality you need to read.
A Child Called It
A lot of people probably read this book in either middle school or high school, but just in case you haven’t – you need to. The book is a true story about a small boy who was brutally beaten and starved by his alcoholic mother. He became nothing when he was no longer a boy, but an ‘it.’ Dave wrote down everything from what he slept on, where he slept, what food he was finally allowed, and where he ate it. It’s heartbreaking, but a book that needs to be read—a book to show that survival can happen.
History is all you left me
This isn’t a self-help book, a memoir of the author’s life, or even a how-to book. It’s fiction. None of it is real; however, what the issues that the LGBTQ community goes through are real. The book follows Griffin, who has lost the love of his life, his ex, and his best friend, Theo, to an accident. He has to deal with his grief, his OCD, and his love life all at once. He then allows his ex-boyfriend’s boyfriend to help him move on from his pain and how to deal with his OCD. Now another conflict arises with that. What makes this perfect for reading is because of the mental anguish of living your life as part of the LGBTQ community and also having OCD – a mental health issue on its own. A tough but compelling read.
The Color of My Mind: Mental Health Narratives From People of Color Edited
The Color of My Mind isn’t your typical essay, worded bound book. It is a photo essay based on the online photo series: “People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project.” It started with Dior noticing a trend in the homogenization and misrepresentation of mental health conditions and the people that are affected by it. The photo essay tries to highlight the diversity in mental health where 34 people of different backgrounds discuss their struggles, strengths, and lessons learned while living as a person of color with mental illness. This mental health book is written in both English and Spanish.
Mental health is not easy; it’s sorrowful, hard, and above all else, saddening. This is why learning, exploring, using what you read of these books are essential.
Do you have any specific mental health books that you find beneficial? Let us know in the comments below!
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Hey! My name is Pauline and I'm from Los Angeles! Super nice to have you all read my articles! A little about me: I am a college graduate. I received my B.A. in Journalism and New Media in 2019. I have a passion for writing anything about lifestyle. If there is a story to tell; I'll tell it!