Best mental health books: Top 6 picks for a happier life!

Reading books can be an excellent way to alleviate anxiety and lead a happy life. Here are some of the best mental health books to help stay positive and happy.
Read mental health books to feel happier. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Updated: 17 Jun 2024, 12:16 pm IST
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Happiness, joy, hope, and enthusiasm are all necessary emotions that help you lead a healthy and happy life. Happiness is often believed to be the key to good health. However, negative thoughts can affect your mental health, and you end up wondering how can be happy. It is not impossible. Yes, you will have moments of sadness, loneliness, jealousy, and anger, but all of it can be handled. One way to be happier in life and manage your emotions is to read mental health books. Here are some of the best mental health books to help you keep happy and positive in your life.

6 best mental health books for a happier life

Check out the best mental health books that will help transform your inner peace.

1. Stop Negative Thinking By Nick Trenton

Learn how self-acceptance and kindness can change your life through this book by Nick Trenton. ‘Stop Negative Thinking’ is about being aware of your difficulties, tackling insomnia, heightened reactivity, sensitivity, and other issues. The author, who has had similar challenges, provides valuable advice on these topics. The book dives into the psychology of negative thinking, demonstrating how detrimental self-perceptions cause cognitive distortions. It then walks you through preempting, managing, and ultimately conquering these thoughts. Thus, this book guides you on ways that can help change your negative thoughts to more positive ones and help you lead a happier life.

Also Read: 10 effective tips to manage negative thoughts and be positive in life

2. You Can By George Matthew Adams

Do you ever doubt if you truly can achieve your objectives, overcome challenges, and succeed in life? George Matthew Adams’s book You Can is written to promote personal growth, learn happiness hacks, and work on your well-being. It discusses ways that help you pave the way to a fulfilling, successful life, such as sitting for an hour in silence to shape your creative vision, going the extra mile in serving others, letting your character rule your work, studying your mistakes, learning to use time, and many more. It is a strong guide that says that you can do whatever you set your mind to lead a happy life.

3. Ikigai by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

Héctor García and Francesc Miralles’ book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, delves into the Japanese concept of “ikigai,” or reason for being. The book mixes research, interviews with Okinawan centenarians, and practical advice to show how discovering a purpose may lead to a long, joyful, and satisfying life. The main concepts include determining what you enjoy, what you excel at, and what the world requires. The book also emphasizes simplicity, mindfulness, and community as critical components in achieving balance and enjoyment. It is an interesting read that promotes living a purposeful and fulfilling life.

4. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia Nagoski

This pioneering book explains why women suffer burnout differently than men, and it offers a straightforward, science-based method to help women deal with stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life. In this book, the writers encourage the reader not to overextend themselves, not to add to their stress, but rather to eliminate some of the activities they are doing to live with joy and encouragement. You will be pushed to believe that you must be so many things to so many people, but in reality, you may only need to focus on one thing which is just sit down and relax to keep stress at bay.

Also Read: On the verge of burnout? An expert tells you how to stay cool

5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb, a therapist, ended up on the therapy couch following an incident that left her terrified and confused. She has the education to be a doctor, but her experience has transformed her into a patient, allowing her to comprehend and feel both sides of a therapy meeting. In this funny, engaging story of self-discovery, she explores the truths and lies we all tell ourselves, as well as the harm they may cause when left unchecked. “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” will make you feel content and encourage you to open up to those who are willing to listen.

6. Stop Overthinking by Nick Trenton

This book, “Stop Overthinking,” is designed to break you free from the mental prison you have built and stop the cycle of dwelling on the past or fearing the future. It recognizes that overthinking is a major source of unhappiness and offers practical techniques to help you redirect your brain, manage your thoughts, and develop new habits to make you live happily. With a focus on scientific approaches, you will learn to identify triggers for negative thinking, and anxiety, and shift your focus towards relaxation and taking action to live with joy and enthusiasm. It contains proven methods that will help you overcome stress and declutter your mind to unlock your full potential and start living a life free from self-doubt and sleepless nights.

What are the benefits of reading books for mental health?

Here are some of the potential benefits of reading books.

1. Keeps Alzheimer’s disease at bay

Reading stimulates your brain, which is a positive thing. Those who engage their brains with hobbies such as reading, chess, or puzzles maybe 2.5 times less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than those who engage in less stimulating activities, as found in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

2. Improves sleep

Reading a physical book before bed is more relaxing than staring at a screen. Mobile and tablet screens can keep you up longer and hinder sleep, according to a study published in the Sleep Medicine Journal.

3. Increases life span

You may be shocked to find that a study indicates that reading printed books can help you live longer. People who read books (as opposed to other content) had a 20 percent lower chance of dying early, as found in a study published in the Innovation and Ageing Journal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When should I see a mental health professional?

Mental health books can be an excellent source for learning skills and tools to help you live a better life. However, if you are dealing with problems that are interfering with your everyday life, limiting your capacity to function, or feeling overwhelmed on most days, you should consult a mental health expert. A skilled mental health practitioner can discuss your issues and propose appropriate treatments, which may include books, to help you get closer to your goals.

2. Does reading books improve your mental health?

Reading has numerous other advantages, including improved mental health. Reading helps relieve stress and psychological suffering, but understanding and applying skills from mental health books can also help you cope with issues affecting your mental health.

3. Can reading books make people happier?

Reading can help alleviate anxiety and despair. Reading books helps to remove the negatives from our lives which can help us live a happier life. It is also essential to remember that reading can be an effective tool in our battle against anxiety and sadness.

(Disclaimer: At Health Shots, we make a constant effort to break the clutter for our readers. All products listed are carefully curated by the editorial team but use your discretion and an expert’s opinion before using them. Their price and availability may differ from the time of publication. If you buy something using these links in the story, we may earn a commission.)

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About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

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