When it comes to recommending mental health books I’m always quite reluctant to recommend them. However, I’ve been searching and scanning for mental health books for a while now and I feel like these are the best out there. I think some are comforting, some help with understanding and some might help you feel a little less alone.  I hope you find this list of mental health books helpful and please let me know what you would add.

What a Time to be Alone: The Slumflower’s guide to why you are already enough- Chidera Eggerue

Sometimes it’s not easy to find self-worth in a world that seems obsessed with telling us we’re not good enough. Empowering, intimate and full of heart: this highly-anticipated debut book from the online sensation ‘The Slumflower’, aka Chidera Eggerue, the unstoppable force behind the ground-breaking movement #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER, is essential reading for all young women. It’s time to take charge of your life.

In What A Time To Be Alone, The Slumflower will be your life guru, confidante and best friend. She’ll show you that being alone is not just okay: it’s just about the best freaking thing that’s ever happened to you. As she says, ‘You’re bad as hell and you were made with intention.’ It’s about time you realised.

Peppered with insightful Igbo proverbs from Chidera’s Nigerian mother and full of her own original artwork, What A Time To Be Alone will help you navigate the modern world. We can all decide our own fates and Chidera shows us how, using a three-part approach filled with sass, wisdom and charm.

Odd Girl Out by Laura James

Laura James found out that she was autistic as an adult, after she had forged a career for herself, married twice and raised four children. This book tracks the year of Laura’s life after she receives a definitive diagnosis from her doctor, as she learns that ‘different’ doesn’t need to mean ‘less’ and how there is a place for all of us, and it’s never too late to find it.

Laura draws on her professional and personal experiences and reflects on her life in the light of her diagnosis, which for her explains some of her differences; why, as a child, she felt happier spinning in circles than standing still and why she has always found it difficult to work in places with a lot of ambient noise.

Although this is a personal story, the book has a wider focus too, exploring reasons for the lower rate of diagnosed autism in women and a wide range of topics including eating disorders and autism, marriage and motherhood.

Odd Girl Out gives a timely account from a woman negotiating the autistic spectrum, from a poignant and personal perspective.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: the heartfelt, funny memoir by a New York Times bestselling therapist

Meet Lori Gottlieb, an insightful and compassionate therapist whose clients present with all kinds of problems. There’s the struggling new parents; the older woman who feels she has nothing to live for; the self-destructive young alcoholic; and the terminally ill 35-year-old newlywed. And there’s John, a narcissistic television producer, who frankly just seems to be a bit of a jerk. Over the course of a year, they all make progress.

But Gottlieb is not just a therapist she’s also a patient who’s on a journey of her own. Interspersed with the stories of her clients are her own therapy sessions, as Gottlieb goes in search of the hidden roots of a devastating and life-changing event.

Personal, revealing, funny, and wise, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone opens a rare window onto a world that is most often bound by secrecy, offering an illuminating tour of a profoundly private process.

I can’t wait to dive into this one it looks like a great addition to this list on mental health books.

cover of Talk to Someone

Speak Your Truth, Heal Your Heart: The Broken Girl’s Guide to Radical Self-Care’ by Christy Abram

The broken girl within has ruled your life long enough. She has given you fear, anger, and pain but you deserve to live a purposeful life. You are beautiful, bright, and capable. It’s time to show the world who you are. This inspiring, humorous guide, is packed with personal accounts, powerful self-reflection, and self-love tips. The book features:

  • How to heal past hurts with expressive writing
  • Tips to build healthy boundaries with unhealthy people
  • How to control and transform negative self-talk like a bawse
  • 10 powerful writing prompts for self-reflection and healing
  • An easy formula for finding forgiveness and living your best life
  • A free downloadable self-care guide to kickstart your healing journey

Speak Your Truth, Heal Your Heart, delivers a beautiful narrative designed to help you let go of discomfort and fall in love with the new you!

This Is Depression: A Comprehensive, Compassionate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Understand Depression

Depression sucks. It’s a debilitating illness that affects the mind and the body―and chances are that you or someone you love will battle depression at some point in your lifetime. This Is Depression is your guide through the darkness.

A widely respected authority on the diagnosis and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, psychiatrist Dr. Diane McIntosh provides all the information you need to understand and combat this serious and isolating disorder. Written in an accessible format with compassion and humor, Dr. McIntosh takes an evidence-based approach as she outlines the causes, impact, and treatment of depression and along the way provides encouragement that it can be overcome.

This Is Depression reveals:
· how life experience, genetics, and hormones factor into depression, and explores the common overlap between depression and other mental and physical illnesses
· how all areas of life can be impacted by depression―home, school, work, and relationships
· how to communicate about mental illness, whether with your doctor or your boss, a rude friend or nosy co-worker, or loved ones
· critical information about every available depression treatment ― and those that are on the horizon―describing how antidepressants work, which treatments are worth taking, and which are useless… or even dangerous
· when to consider psychotherapy, brain-stimulation treatments, mindfulness meditation, and exercise and what to expect from a therapeutic relationship
· essential tools to support you in your recovery or your loved one on their journey.

Depression can be a lonely, debilitating illness, but sufferers are not alone, and there is always a path forward. This book is the first step on that path.

This book looks so practical and I think when it comes to mental health books this has to be on your list.

Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting

Terrie Williams knows that Black people are hurting. She knows because she’s one of them.

Terrie had made it: she had launched her own public relations company with such clients as Eddie Murphy and Johnnie Cochran. Yet she was in constant pain, waking up in terror, overeating in search of relief. For thirty years she kept on her game face of success, exhausting herself daily to satisfy her clients’ needs while neglecting her own.

Terrie finally collapsed, staying in bed for days. She had no clue what was wrong or if there was a way out. She had hit rock bottom and she needed and got help.

She learned her problem had a name — depression — and that many suffered from it, limping through their days, hiding their hurt. As she healed, her mission became clear: break the silence of this crippling taboo and help those who suffer.

Black Pain identifies emotional pain — which uniquely and profoundly affects the Black experience — as the root of lashing out through desperate acts of crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, workaholism, and addiction to shopping, gambling, and sex. Few realize these destructive acts are symptoms of our inner sorrow.

Black people are dying. Everywhere we turn, in the faces we see and the headlines we read, we feel in our gut that something is wrong, but we don’t know what it is. It’s time to recognize it and work through our trauma.

In Black Pain, Terrie has inspired the famous and the ordinary to speak out and mental health professionals to offer solutions. The book is a mirror turned on you. Do you see yourself and your loved ones here? Do the descriptions of how the pain looks, feels, and sounds seem far too familiar? Now you can do something about it.

Stop suffering. The help the community needs is here: a clear explanation of our troubles and a guide to finding relief through faith, therapy, diet, and exercise, as well as through building a supportive network (and eliminating toxic people).

Black Pain encourages us to face the truth about the issue that plunges our spirits into darkness, so that we can step into the healing light.

Cover of Black Pain

We’re All Mad Here: The No-Nonsense Guide to Living with Social Anxiety- Claire Eastham

Anxiety is a crafty shapeshifter that can take on many forms: the tiger that sinks its claws in with physical symptoms and distressing thoughts, the cruel and belittling bully creating insecurity and self-doubt and, worst of all, the frenemy rewarding avoidance of social situations with no physical symptoms, no cruel thoughts… and no life beyond your sofa!

This no-nonsense guide to beating social anxiety covers everything from surviving university and the workplace, through to social media and making it through parties and dates (whilst actually enjoying them!) With honest insights about her own social anxiety and a healthy dose of humour, award-winning blogger Claire Eastham describes what social anxiety is, why it happens, and how you can lessen its effects with lifestyle choices, talking therapies or even a hug from your favourite canine friend!

The Sun and her Flowers- Rupi Kaur

From Rupi Kaur, the bestselling author of Milk and Honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. Illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. It is a celebration of love in all its forms.

I know poetry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I adore this book and feel it is a great addition to any list on mental health books.

The Little Book of Mindfulness by Patrizia Collard

Mindfulness is the easy way to gently let go of stress and be in the moment. It has fast become the slow way to manage the modern world – without chanting mantras or setting aside hours of time for meditation.

Dr Patrizia Collard will show you how to bring simple 5- and 10-minute practices into your day in order to free yourself from stress and, ultimately, find more peace in your life.

This beautifully illustrated book will set you and your family on the road of mindfulness so you can lead a more mindful, peaceful and relaxed life. Find long-lasting happiness with The Little Book of Mindfulness!

I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier by Shaheen Bhatt

I don t write about my experiences with depression to defend the legitimacy of my pain. My pain is real; it does not come to me because of my lifestyle, and it is not taken away by my lifestyle. Unwittingly known as Alia Bhatt s older sister, screenwriter and fame-child Shaheen Bhatt has been a powerhouse of quiet restraint-until recently. In a sweeping act of courage, she now invites you into her head.

Shaheen was diagnosed with depression at eighteen, after five years of already living with it. In this emotionally arresting memoir, she reveals both the daily experiences and big picture of one of the most debilitating and critically misinterpreted mental illnesses in the twenty-first century. Equal parts conundrum and enlightenment, Shaheen takes us through the personal pendulum of understanding and living with depression in her privileged circumstances. With honesty and a profound self-awareness, Shaheen lays claim to her sadness, while locating it in the universal fabric of the human condition. In this multi-dimensional, philosophical tell-all, Shaheen acknowledges, accepts and overcomes the peculiarities of living with depression.

A topic of massive interest to anyone with mental health disorders, I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier stretches out its hand to gently provide solace and solidarity.

What would you add to this list of mental health books? I’d love to know.