The best romance books with mental health representation

The Books I Picked & Why

The Heart Principle

By Helen Hoang

Book cover of The Heart Principle

Why this book?

I think all of Hoang’s books are masterpieces, but this one in particular hit me right in the feels. The heroine, Anna, is faced with many life changes all at once. A new autism diagnosis, a family tragedy, a break-up, and a caregiver role all culminate in extreme autistic burnout. As an autistic woman, I felt incredibly seen in this beautiful book. The story really captures how devastating burnout can be, while also showing the hero, Quan, give Anna the love and care she needs during a hard time. Their story doesn’t fall into the trap of saying love fixes everything but instead shows how it allows one to experience painful emotions in the safety of being supported. 

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Ever After Always

By Chloe Liese

Book cover of Ever After Always

Why this book?

Liese is a game-changing voice in neurodivergent romance, and her portrayal of generalized anxiety disorders in Ever After Always is spot on. The hero, Aiden, has to navigate the overwhelming feelings of having anxiety, battling his demons, and his fears of being vulnerable with his wife. This is also probably the best marriage in trouble romance I’ve read, really showing the work of two people finding each other again after they build up walls. It shows the power of vulnerability, the reality of mental illness, all perfectly mixed with hilarious banter and glorious sibling hijinks. 

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Float Plan

By Trish Doller

Book cover of Float Plan

Why this book?

Float Plan offers one of the most nuanced looks at grief and healing that I’ve read in a book. Anna, the heroine, is mourning the loss of her boyfriend, Ben, after he takes his life. This gorgeous novel follows Anna while she sails through the Caribbean, fulfilling a plan she and Ben had before he died. Along the way, she meets Keane, a heart on his sleeve, patient, and gentle man that reminds Anna that pain and mourning aren’t mutually exclusive with healing and love. Their love story is tender and wonderfully written, and is a raw and honest depiction of healing after a loss. 

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Take a Hint, Dani Brown

By Talia Hibbert

Book cover of Take a Hint, Dani Brown

Why this book?

This very well may be one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Hibbert delivers a gloriously alpha heroine with Dani and the softest hero in the world with Zaf. The pair accidentally land in a fake dating situation, and, despite their attempts to avoid them, the feels hit them hard. I loved this book because of the ADHD rep for Dani. It was incredibly well done and I felt so seen in the depiction of it. Zaf deals with anxiety, and his story and experiences really resonated with me. Overall, one of my favorite rom-coms of all time. 

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The Charm Offensive

By Alison Cochrun

Book cover of The Charm Offensive

Why this book?

This is a warm, comforting hug in book form. Our heroes, Charlie and Dev are awkward, delightful, loving people that stole my heart and never let go. Charlie is staring on a bachelor-esque reality dating show, and Dev is his handler. We see the sometimes challenging reality of anxiety and panic disorders through Charlie’s journey, and the tenderness and care of his mental health, both in the narrative and through Dev, made for a gorgeous novel. To top it off, this book is clever, hilarious, and delightfully unique. A must-read! 

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