The Best Mental Health Books, According to Therapists

mental health books
The 14 Best Mental Health Books to Read in 2024Hearst Owned


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There's a lot to deal with these days, and our State of Men's Mental Health survey confirmed that men are definitely feeling it. It also confirmed that you're taking steps to do something about it. The right therapist is a great thing, but if you're not ready to take that step (and even if you are in therapy right now) the right book can also help get you on your way to sorting things out.

But finding that "right book"? Overwhelming sometimes. So we asked four of our favorite mental health experts—Jay Barnett, Gregory Scott Brown, M.D., Kier Gaines, and Avi Klein—for their favorite mental health books. We wondered which they go to themselves, which they recommend to clients, and which they think are just plain excellent.

While many of these books can help with aspects of life like reducing stress and living well without overthinking things, if you suspect you might be experiencing anxiety, depression or another mental health condition, it’s important to seek help from a licensed professional, as these books are not meant to provide a diagnosis or provide individual medical advice and treatment.

These books, however, may help you nail down signs to watch for, understand what's going on in and around you, and relate to individuals who have gone through something similar. Here are the favorite books from some of today's most insightful therapists.

Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind

Recommended by Kier Gaines: "Dr. Brewer lays out, in great detail, how anxiety affects the brain, how to map out better awareness of it and useful tools to cope."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0593330447?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$21.00</p><span class="copyright">.</span>

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness

Recommended by: Kier Gaines. "A great book to dissect the epidemic of anxiety."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0593655036?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$19.89</p><span class="copyright">.</span>

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

Recommended by: Kier Gaines. "A great book to help reframe the mind into conscientious examination of how social conditioning impacts society."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0735224919?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$12.99</p>

The Gift of Fear

Recommended by: Kier Gaines. "This book helped me understand how to not be disarmed by someone's kindness and become more aware of how fear can be used as a powerful tool."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316235776?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Gift of Fear</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$14.29</p>

Shop Now

The Gift of Fear

amazon.com

$14.29

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World

Recommended by: Kier Gaines. "This book comes from a more contemporary Christian perspective and it gives a very practical summarization of the ways that unnecessary hurry has crept into our thoughts and habits."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0525653090?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$13.99</p>

It's Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self

Recommended by: Avi Klein. "An excellent guide to your emotions and how to foster a better connection with them to improve your wellbeing and foster deeper connections with those closest to you."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0399588140?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>It's Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$18.29</p>

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Recommended by: Avi Klein. "I often reach for this book when a client of mine is struggling to accept big changes in their lives. This book helped me through a difficult moment in my life by showing me the rich possibilities for growth (spiritual, emotional, relational) when I accept loss and change in my life instead of fighting it."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1611803438?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$11.94</p>

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When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

amazon.com

$11.94

Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship

Recommended by: Avi Klein. "I work with many couples, and this is usually the first book that I recommend to them. It offers a helpful introduction to what creates conflict as well as closer connection in a relationship in a way that helps both people in a couple feel understood."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1648482961?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$16.30</p>

To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power

Recommended by: Avi Klein. "To my mind, this is the best book about masculinity and men's emotional wellbeing out there. It offers ways to be a man who is in touch with his emotions without shaming or denigrating our ideas of masculinity."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1683641280?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$7.49</p>

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To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power

amazon.com

$7.49

Workbook For Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky: 90 Exercises to... Strategies for Implementing Lasting Change

Recommended by: Dr. Gregory Scott Brown. "I recommend this workbook for learning how cognitive behavioral therapy can prevent negative thoughts from controlling how you act and feel."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C9SB2LGR?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Workbook For Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky: 90 Exercises to... Strategies for Implementing Lasting Change</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$9.99</p>

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

Recommended by: Dr. Gregory Scott Brown. "I recommend this book if you are indecisive, anxious, or afraid to take the next move toward accomplishing your goals."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0061735361?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$6.99</p>

Cry Like a Man: Fighting for Freedom from Emotional Incarceration

Recommended by: Jay Barnett. "Jason does a great job of articulating the importance of men possessing the ability to be vulnerable and that tears are necessary because they water the soil for our healing."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0830775943?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Cry Like a Man: Fighting for Freedom from Emotional Incarceration</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$12.94</p>

Why Didn't Daddy Fix Me?: How To Heal From and Adjust Your Expectations of Fathers and Father Figures

Recommended by: Jay Barnett. "Vincent speaks to many men who are looking for their fathers to correct the issues that we're often plagued with as sons due to the absence of a father. He challenges men to seek healing for their father's wounds so they can experience true attunement in that area."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RTYHMXQ?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Why Didn't Daddy Fix Me?: How To Heal From and Adjust Your Expectations of Fathers and Father Figures</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$15.00</p>

The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire (20th Anniversary Edition)

Recommended by: Jay Barnett. "David Deida speaks to the many layers of a man and how important it is to navigate with intentionality, grit, and a clear mental and physical focus. He also expounds on the importance of discovering oneself before entering into a romantic relationship, which is critical for any young man's development."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1622038320?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.38393341%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire (20th Anniversary Edition)</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$8.49</p>

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