The best books to manage bloody anxiety

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived with anxiety all my life – it’s a real bugger. At school, I would worry about wearing the wrong shoes or forgetting my shorts for football. Anxiety can be paralyzing and often coupled with its BFF depression, which I have too. Nice eh? I also know that when you face up to anxiety and start swearing at it, not letting it rule you, understand what it is and how useless it is, things start to get easier. It’s not about getting rid of anxiety, it’s about managing it, not letting it rule you. That’s what my book does, with a large dollop of humour thrown in to help things. 

I wrote...

How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

By James Withey,

Book cover of How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

What is my book about?

Despite more and more people opening up about their mental health, anxiety is still taboo. We're not supposed to be anxious; we're supposed to be resilient and able to 'get on with it'. We are expected to excel while juggling a hectic, pressurised schedule at home and at work, despite the lines between the two being more blurred than ever. This book dispels that taboo. It is for anyone who has experienced general anxiety disorder, trauma-related anxiety, clinical anxiety, and those with 'low-level' anxieties.

At once empathetic and entertaining, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off offers 40 ways to get to a better place with anxiety. They are born out of the author's personal experience of managing his own anxiety and his many years of working as a counselor helping people with their mental health.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of An Introduction to Coping with Anxiety

James Withey Why did I love this book?

I love this small book. Often with anxiety reading lengthy, complicated, medicalized books are overwhelming when anxiety is thumping us in the head. This book is accessible, and you don’t sit there and think, ‘Gawd, I’m only on page 12 and there are 436 other pages to go. How am I going to get through it?’ It’s a really good starting point when you’re not sure why you’re feeling anxious but need some foundation knowledge about what’s going on. The people that have written it know what they’re talking about, our experts in their field but it doesn’t feel preachy or patronizing. 

By Brenda Hogan, Lee Brosan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Introduction to Coping with Anxiety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Overcoming app now available via iTunes and the Google Play Store.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions worldwide, affecting millions of people each year. But it can be treated effectively with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Written by experienced practitioners, this introductory book can help you if anxiety has become a problem. It explains what anxiety is and how it makes you feel when it becomes unmanageable or lasts for long periods of time. It will help you to understand your symptoms and is ideal as an immediate coping strategy and as a preliminary to fuller therapy.…

Book cover of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

James Withey Why did I love this book?

Sometimes the simplest messages are the ones that hit home the hardest. This book won’t give you a step-by-step guide to tackling your anxiety but it will make you think and reflect. It will show you how you should treat yourself and encourage you to be more compassionate towards yourself. Along with the beautiful illustrations which help soothe you, the words seem to stick because there are fewer of them and therefore have more impact. It’s a beautiful, hopeful, inspiring book complete with a mole who likes to eat cake, and frankly, you can’t go wrong with that. 

By Charlie Mackesy,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A book for all ages, a book for all time.
Adapted into a short animated film, coming this Christmas.

Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online. They've also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows. Here, you will find them together in this book of Charlie's most-loved drawings, adventuring into the Wild and exploring the thoughts and…

Book cover of Challenging The Anxious Brain: A practical guide to overcoming anxiety with tried and tested methods

James Withey Why did I love this book?

I really like how accessible this book is. A great mix of personal stories from the author who lives with anxiety and tools and techniques to try. It’s friendly and helpful and not full of jargon or complicated exercises that make you feel more exhausted. You can come back to the tips and tricks at different points and try them again if they haven’t worked the first time. You feel like the author understands what you’re experiencing and is here to help – like a wise Uncle might do when you’re struggling. 

By Tori Warner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Challenging The Anxious Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★★ End your anxiety cycle now ★★

Having spent years trying different strategies to manage my anxiety, I feel I’ve been around the anxiety block a few times! I’ve learned a lot of simple, yet powerful, tips and tricks that really work to overcome anxiety….. and I know they can work for you too.

From my first panic attack in my twenties, through the pre and post natal anxiety of my 30’s, I fought, studied and researched anxiety. Now, through evaluating therapies and studying neuroscience research, I have cracked the code to understanding and challenging my anxious brain to live…

Book cover of Untangle Your Anxiety: A Guide To Overcoming An Anxiety Disorder By Two People Who Have Been Through It

James Withey Why did I love this book?

I like how they explain the science of anxiety in this book with clarity. It’s important to understand what your body is doing when you’re anxious and these guys live it and know what’s going on when you start to breath more heavily and your blood starts pumping 'round your body faster than a cheetah on cheap amphetamines. Don’t worry it’s not too sciency, just enough for you to get what’s happening to you. There are also some really useful stories from the authors which make you feel less alone. 

By Joshua Fletcher, Dean Stott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Untangle Your Anxiety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you struggle to understand your anxiety? Are your days often consumed by worries that have no clear answers? Perhaps you don't feel like your usual self? UNTANGLE YOUR ANXIETY was written by Psychotherapist and Best-Selling Author, Joshua Fletcher (@anxietyjosh), and the owner of Instagram's largest anxiety community, Dean Stott (@DLCanxiety), to help you overcome excessive anxiety. Having both been diagnosed in the past with anxiety disorders, then successfully overcoming them, Josh and Dean have written this honest and powerful self-help book as a reassuring aid in your recovery.

Book cover of The Unbreakable Student: 6 Rules for Staying Sane at University

James Withey Why did I love this book?

Young people’s mental health is so important to tackle; it’s so prevalent at the moment. Going to university or leaving home is one of the most stressful times in our lives and therefore crucial that we have tools and understanding to help us get through. This book has some great practical advice about how to manage. The author knows his psychology and has obviously worked with students with anxiety before, you feel like you are in trusted hands. It’s an easy to read book and you get to know the author too who writes with a light heartedness which really helps. 

By Nic Hooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Unbreakable Student as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Equal parts practical, funny and illuminating - belongs on the required reading list for life' - Sarah Knight, internationally bestselling author of Get Your Sh!t Together

Accessible and inspirational, The Unbreakable Student is the self-care guide that every university student needs.

So, you're starting university - you've learnt what to pack, where to socialise, how to cook (sort of)... but what about how to look after your mental health?

University is a whirlwind of exciting, fresh experiences. But it can also be overwhelming. You're in a strange new environment and faced with the pressure to make friends, complete difficult assignments,…

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The Woodland Stranger: A Fairy Tale with Benefits

By Jane Buehler,

Book cover of The Woodland Stranger: A Fairy Tale with Benefits

Jane Buehler Author Of The Ocean Girl

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Storyteller Introvert Romantic Norm avoider Backyard birdwatcher

Jane's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Burne’s been hiding out in the forest since deserting the King’s Guard. Each time he tries to return to the village, he begins to panic. And then one day, he encounters a handsome stranger picking flowers and hides behind a tree instead of talking.

He wants to be braver—and he’s about to get another chance. Because the stranger is Gray, a fairy and master of illusions who’s now following Burne home. And Gray’s got more on his mind than talking. Would a fairy that beautiful ever want someone like him? Stranger things have happened.

The Woodland Stranger: A Fairy Tale with Benefits

By Jane Buehler,

What is this book about?

Whoever said, Don't talk to strangers?

Burne hid behind a tree. He wanted to talk to the handsome man picking flowers at the edge of the forest, but he'd only flub it if he tried-he'd stumble over his words and blush bright red. And now the man is gone.

He tries to continue on to the village, but the same thing happens as always: his hands start shaking and panic wells up inside him. What if he runs into the bullies who tormented him in the King's Guard last spring? Ever since he deserted, he has hidden out in the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in anxiety, life satisfaction, and life skills?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about anxiety, life satisfaction, and life skills.

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