Best Books on Anxiety: Things to Help You Master Your Mind

best books on anxiety and depression

Searching for the best books on anxiety? This list contains books to help you on your journey to master your mind.

As someone who struggles with anxiety, I’m always looking for books that will help. I’ve read a couple of anxiety books over the years, but I certainly haven’t read them all.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to get any thoughts of “this book will cure my anxiety” out of your head. I find it best to let go of any expectations when you read a book. That way, you not only won’t be disappointed, but you’ll also be open to the concepts presented to you.

Even the best anxiety books won’t work for everyone. We’re all unique, and our anxiety works differently. But anxiety books can help you figure out what does and doesn’t work for you, as well as give you some tips and techniques to master it.

Since anxiety does offer a similar bodily experience, you will find that there is a repetition of content in the books. You’ll likely learn about your body (eg. the amygdala and the nervous system). But each book will have something different to offer you.

Whether you’re looking for anxiety books for teens or adults, this collection has something for everyone.

books for anxiety

Best Books About Anxiety

Aiming to read every anxiety book that ever exists isn’t practical. Gathering all the knowledge you possibly can on anxiety can be valuable, but if you don’t apply it to your life and take what is said into account, you’re just conducting research. It becomes intellectual instead of emotional.

You need to find a balance between thinking and feeling. The best books to help with anxiety usually have information and journal prompts or activities for you to do. These allow you to internalise the content, relate it to your own life and start feeling.

Things You Think About When Your Bite Your Nails: A Fear and Anxiety Workbook

Discovering the root of your fear is terrifying but also so enlightening. Learning about what scares you and why it happens is useful. Knowledge turns anxiety from a big scary nothingness into a form that you can understand. I bought this book from the airport before I went on holiday when I was still extremely anxious about leaving the house.

I hoped that getting away from my home would be the push I needed. I was heading to a place that I’d always loved and thrived in. At the airport, I found this book. My fear and anxiety ruled my life, and I was ready to do something about it.

On this trip, I pushed myself and did the things I wanted, but I was still so anxious the entire time. And I was taking medication every day to calm myself down. Without the medication, I wasn’t able to leave the house. To add to that, I was so worried about getting addicted to the meds. All in all, it was an anxiety-riddled trip.

But this book helped. If you’re looking for books on fear, this one is great. It gave me knowledge, made me laugh and taught me I wasn’t the only one who was terrified of leaving the house. It was so refreshing to read about someone openly admitting their fears. Plus, she included information on well-known people who also have irrational fears.

If you’re looking for books on overcoming fear, you won’t regret buying this one.

Buy Things You Think About When Your Bite Your Nails: A Fear and Anxiety Workbook by Amalia Andrade

Untangle Your Anxiety

This book changed things for me. It gave me the tools and the courage I needed to break through my agoraphobia and start living my life again. I was in a space where I was terrified to leave the house. But through the information and guidance in this book, I got my feet out the door.

What makes this book special is it’s written by two people who have actually experienced this type of life hindering anxiety. And they’ve figured out the art of anxiety and mastered it.

I started following the authors on Instagram (@dlcanxiety and @anxietyjosh). And as soon as they released a book, I went out and bought it. I have since recommended it to so many people. And if you’re looking for a great anxiety podcast, Josh hosts the panic pod.

At first, when I read it, I was overwhelmed because it wanted me to throw away my safety nets and face the things I was terrified of. But I did it (with some minor adjustments to make it work for me).

If you’re in the market for a panic attack book, I would highly recommend this one.

Buy Untangle Your Anxiety by Joshua Fletcher and Dean Scott

anxiety books

Best Books for Anxiety

Along my anxiety journey, I’ve found some books that aren’t technically about anxiety but have made a massive impact on me as I’ve discovered the art of anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t just appear. It has roots in your life. There are likely things you’ve experienced that triggered the anxiety. But learning about how your anxiety works isn’t going to help you find the birthplace of your fears.

There are also techniques for mastering your anxiety that aren’t strictly anxiety related. Things like understanding burnout, finding inspiration, feeling your feelings and learning how to deal with what breaks you down are equally important.

Mastering anxiety is more than just understanding your brain. It’s learning about who you are. These books have all helped me to do that in some way.

Recover From Your Childhood

Your anxiety comes from somewhere. Your fears and triggers are unique to you. And if you think about the first time you felt this way, it’s likely in your childhood. If you’re looking for books that help with anxiety, this one is a must-read.

I borrowed Recover From Your Childhood from an ex-boyfriend who bought it only to impress me. I fell in love with it and never gave it back. This book is phenomenal. It took me a while to read through it because the journal prompts took a lot out of me. They required me to go back to places I didn’t want to go and think about things I deliberately tried not to.

Judy Klipin describes the concept of an adult child, and it resonated so much with me, and I can imagine it would do the same for many others.

Buy Recover From Your Childhood by Judy Klipin

Recover From Burnout

Unfortunately, many people with high anxiety end up pushing themselves professionally. This constant sacrifice of self-care can lead to burnout. Judy Kilipin breaks burnout down in this book and teaches you how to recover from it and prevent it.

The concepts she introduces make a lot of sense. I was on the verge of burnout, and this book encouraged me to take a step back and realise that what I was giving wasn’t worth what it was taking from me. Reading this book was probably one of the first steps I took on the journey that led me to quit the job that was toxic for me. Which eventually led me to write this blog.

If you’re someone who has suffered from burnout before, is in the process of burning out, has burnt out or has a tendency to sacrifice your self-care, this book is a fantastic resource.

Buy Recover From Burnout by Judy Klipin

First Aid for Broken Hearts

Last year I broke my own heart. There was someone else involved. But it was the decisions that I made, and the clear signals that I chose to ignore that led me to cry inconsolably on my bedroom floor for hours.

I found this book at a factory book sale and picked it up even though I was consciously like, “I’ll never need this”. When I was convinced my heart was in pieces, I finally opened this book. First Aid for Broken Hearts got me through my heartbreak. It gave me practical advice when I was being REALLY impractical. I was stuck in my feelings, and this book showed me a way out.

It is divided into different sections for different parts along your journey. One of the best things this book taught me was doing a ‘Triage’. Essentially this is a process in which you assess injuries to determine what’s wrong and what needs attention first. It helps you to focus on what is most important for your survival.

And I actually use this technique when I have a panic attack. It helps me come into the present and figure out what I need to tackle first.

If you’re broken-hearted or grieving, this book is such a valuable tool.

Buy First Aid for Broken Hearts by Dr Alan Wolfelt

Milk and Honey

While not a self-help or anxiety book, this collection of Rupi Kaur’s poetry is a great way to get into your feelings. She puts emotions into words, and I found it to be so valuable. She has poems on multiple different aspects of life. It teaches you that you’re not alone in this.

There is such power in vulnerability, and this book is pure vulnerability from Rupi Kaur. It doesn’t teach you about your physical body, but her words encourage exploration of what you’re feeling.

Buy Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Keep Going

This book is pure magic. Whether you’re feeling lost in life, on a creative project, feeling demotivated or just stuck, Keep Going is a little book that will inspire you not to give up.

This book was another airport find. And I spent the entire 2-hour plane journey reading it, taking pictures and feeling so inspired. It was exactly what I needed at that moment.

Complete with cute illustrations, a down to earth writing style and overall lightheartedness, this is one of those books you’ll want to keep with you for life.

Buy Keep Going by Austin Kleon

Atlas of the Human Heart

Emotions make us human, but they can also make being human so much harder. We owe it to ourselves to connect with our feelings and truly embrace them. But emotions are tricky, the way they feel can confuse us, and they can even be triggers when it comes to anxiety.

Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Human Heart dives into the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. Once again found in an airport bookstore, this stunning book will challenge how you think about feelings. She also has a TV series by the same name

Buy Atlas of the Human Heart by Brene Brown

The Artist’s Way

One of the most powerful ways I’ve found to channel my anxiety is through art. This book intends to assist you on your spiritual path to higher creativity. Through my worst anxiety and depressive episodes, art got me through. It helps you get through creative blocks, allowing great inspiration to flow through you.

Her morning journalling pages are a great way to get all your worries down onto paper before starting your day. Our thoughts often jumble in our minds, but writing them down can help us sift through them and kindly remove those not serving us.

This book was another airport buy, and finding it felt like the universe’s way of guiding me to what I needed. As far as good books for anxiety go, this one offers something unique and powerful.

Buy The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Which Anxiety Books Have Helped You?

Everyone is on their own journey, and we’re all so different. But if you’re here, you probably have struggled or know someone struggling with anxiety. What books have guided you, opened your mind or taught you something about your anxiety and yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

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