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10 Mental Health Books to Put on Your Summer Reading List

While May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness month, you should add the following 10 books to your pile and read whenever you have the chance. After all, books are one of the best sources to expand your knowledge and find inspiration.

1. A Beginner's Guide to Being Mental, An A-Z by Natasha Devon

“Whilst statistically one in three of the population will struggle with their mental wellbeing in a way that is recognized within the scope of medical diagnostic criteria . . .” writes Devon A Beginner's Guide to Being Mental: An A–Z, “. . . three in three people have a head with a brain in it.” What does that exactly mean? “We all exist somewhere within a spectrum of mental health.”

Pulling from her own experiences and experts in the field of psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology, this book can best be described as comedy meets science to help debunk mental health misconceptions.

2. How to Come Alive Again: A Guide to Killing Your Monsters by Beth McColl

If you’re searching for a beginner’s guide on seeking mental health treatment, then look no further. Drawing from personal experience, McColl shares practical advice on how to mend your life, accept yourself and learn to live again.

3. Detox Your Thoughts by Andrea Bonior, Ph.D.

“With compassion and humor, Dr. Bonior brings the art and science of therapy to the page and guides us toward real change. A must-read for anyone ready for true transformation.” -- Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

4. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson

Several reviews of this New York Times bestseller have proclaimed that it’s one of the best books they’ve read about anxiety. And, it’s easy to see why. It’s comforting, funny, and offers practical tips on how to curb your anxiety like practicing gratitude and embracing meditation.

5. My Strong Mind: A story about developing mental strength (1) (Social Skills & Mental Health for Kids) by Niels van Hove

My strong mind tells the story of Kate and the various situations she encounters in life. For children, this is a great book to help them grow a positive mindset, mental toughness, and how they can overcome daily challenges.

6. Anxiety Relief for Teens by Regine Galanti, Ph.D.

If you feel like anxiety and stress are interfering with your teen’s life Dr. Galanti teaches CBT-based skills and mindfulness techniques to help them change and manage thoughts, behaviors, and physical reactions.

7. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison


“As a founder of UCLA's Affective Disorder Clinic and a co-author of a standard medical text, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison may be the foremost authority on manic-depressive illness. She is also one of its survivors. And it is this dual perspective -- as healer and healed -- that makes Jamison's memoir so lucid, learned, and profoundly affecting.

Even as she was pursuing her psychiatric training, Jamison found herself succumbing to the exhilarating highs and paralyzing lows that afflicted many of her patients. Though the disorder brought her seemingly boundless energy and mercurial creativity, it also propelled her into spending sprees, episodes of violence, and an attempt at suicide.

Powerfully candid, exceptionally wise, An Unquiet Mind is one of those rare books that has the power to transform lives -- and even save them.”

8. The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health by Rheeda Walker, Ph.D.

“This is a must-read for anyone interested in embracing hope and living one's best life.” -- Helen A. Neville, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Educational Psychology and African American Studies

9. Changing Minds: The go-to Guide to Mental Health for You, Family and Friends by Dr. Mark Cross and Dr. Catherine Hanrahan

A compassionate and insightful guide that can help you demystify mental health issues so that can help yourself and/or your loved ones.

10. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This memoir, which was a New York Times bestseller and included Oprah’s O Magazine and Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, focuses on listening inward so that you can discover who you truly. More importantly, it serves as a wake-up call for you to stop pleasing others and start living your life.

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