Books to read throughout your mental health journey

3 min readOct 4, 2021


recommend me some more, please!

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic self-hatred—whatever ails you, there’s always a solution, whether it’s altering your way of living, talk therapy, exploring your past by yourself through guided meditation exercises, journalling using helpful prompts, or doing body-based work such as yoga or dancing. Most likely it’s doing all of the above.

Learning also belongs to the above list of solutions. Knowledge is not only power but it can heal. Just like talk therapy leads to insights, reading, the act of acquiring new information, can give you a better understanding of what you’re going through and what can help (you have to apply what you read too, of course), and also validates your experience. So check out my current list of books which I’ve found helpful— I have yet to finish all of them. I read everything at once, you know, and keep going back to all of them once in a while. Some of these books are listed here for their usefulness to mental health professionals, not necessarily for my personal use only.

[There’s no ranking here]

  1. The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
  2. The ACT Workbook for Depression and Shame, Matthew McKay
  3. Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig
  4. The ACEs Workbook, Glenn Schiraldi
  5. Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers, Fred Rogers
  6. The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk
  7. The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy, Allan Schore
  8. Drama of the Gifted Child, Alice Miller
  9. Toxic Parents, Susan Forward
  10. How Can I Get Through to You?, Terrence Real
  11. Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing, A.S. Neill
  12. Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child, John Bradshaw
  13. Self-Love Workbook, Shainna Ali
  14. Mothers Who Can’t Love: a Healing Guide for Daughters, Susan Forward
  15. Healing from Hidden Abuse, Shannon Thomas
  16. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Kristin Neff
  17. Expressive Writing: Words that Heal, James Pennebaker and John Evans
  18. The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm
  19. Understanding Life, Alfred Adler
  20. Choice Theory, William Glasser
  21. When The Body Says No, Gabor Mate
  22. What They Forgot To Teach You At School: Essential emotional lessons needed to thrive, The School of life [Alain de Botton]
  23. The Emotionally Absent Mother, Jasmin Lee Cori
  24. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, Lindsay Gibson
  25. Facing Codependence, Pia Mellody
  26. Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed : A Guide to Coping with Difficult, Narcissistic Parents and Grandparents
  27. Rethinking Narcissism, Craig Malkin
  28. Coping with Trauma: Hope through Understanding, Jon G. Allen
  29. Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide, Jeffrey Young
  30. The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron
  31. On Becoming a Person, Carl Rogers
  32. Cinderella Liberator, Rebecca Solnit
  33. Playing and Reality, Donald Winnicott
  34. The Examined Life, Stephen Grosz
  35. Internal Family Systems Therapy, Richard Schwartz
  36. Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Gerald Corey
  37. In Therapy: How Conversations with Psychotherapists Really Work, Susie Orbach
  38. Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain, Sue Gerhardt
  39. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did), Philippa Perry
  40. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second Edition: Basics and Beyond, Judith S. Beck
  41. Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Carl Jung
  42. The Gift of Therapy, Momma and the Meaning of Life, Love’s Executioner, Existential Psychotherapy, all by Irvin Yalom
  43. Moving Beyond Trauma : The Roadmap to Healing from Your Past and Living with Ease and Vitality, Ilene Smith
  44. My Mother, My Self, Nancy Friday

What else would you add to this list?




All things life, spirituality, healing, psychotherapy, trauma-related, & mindfulness. Occasionally food & poetry.