The best books to survive your teenage years while living with anxiety

Who am I?

I’ve been living with anxiety since I was a child. I had no idea what it was back then, or how much it controlled my life. I wish I had the numerous resources that we have today, and all the knowledge at our fingertips. For me, the way to really truly understand something is through a story. Seeing a beautifully chaotic life unfold before me, and riding alongside the characters, offers me so much hope and lets me know I’m not alone in this. You are not alone in the anxiety battle. By working together, sharing our stories, we’ll find a way through the darkest times and embrace the light.


I wrote...

Daphne's Questionable Bet

By Sara Jo Cluff,

Book cover of Daphne's Questionable Bet

What is my book about?

When sixteen-year-old Daphne Richards moves back to her hometown, she finds herself next door to her mom's high school rival – with a daughter the same age as Daphne. Eager to redeem her mother's name, Sierra offers Daphne a simple bet: Who can get the gorgeous and charming Bentley Anderson to ask her to prom?

Confident in her ability, and unable to turn down a challenge, Daphne takes the bet. Both girls quickly go to work, doing everything in their powers to woo Bentley – while sabotaging the other. Only, another guy at school quickly catches Daphne's eye, and her ever-building anxiety mounts when a picture involving Care Bear underwear risks getting out. If Daphne can't sift through her emotions and figure out how to handle the bet, she'll not only risk social suicide, but the chance at true love.

The books I picked & why

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By Your Side

By Kasie West,

Book cover of By Your Side

Why this book?

Going through anxiety can be tough and lonesome. I know most of us are stubborn and want to go things alone, just like Autumn does in this book. West paints a picture of how keeping our trials to ourselves can hold us back and keep us from growing. It can damage friendships and relationships. By giving your close friends and family a chance to see the world through your eyes, you’re giving them a way to truly and deeply understand you, which is all anyone really wants.


Finding Audrey

By Sophie Kinsella,

Book cover of Finding Audrey

Why this book?

Anxiety can be paralyzing. Like make getting out of bed and stepping out into the world seem like the most terrifying thing in the world. Kinsella captures that debilitating fear perfectly through Audrey’s eyes. She also discusses the psychology behind it and the benefits of having a well-educated therapist. Kinsella doesn’t skirt around the awful truth. Instead, she pulls us right into it in such a raw and refreshing way, which I absolutely admire.


The Words We Keep

By Erin Stewart,

Book cover of The Words We Keep

Why this book?

Oh my goodness, this book hits all the feels. Stewart is a beautiful writer. Her unique style is refreshing and captivating. This definitely deals with the darker side of anxiety, including self-harm and suicide. Stewart perfectly nails that inner beast, that voice in our heads telling us we’re not going enough. That voice questioning everything anyone says or does, thinking it’s directed at us. This book is heavy and dark, yet light and uplifting. It’s brilliant.


Meet Me There

By Judy Corry,

Book cover of Meet Me There

Why this book?

Even the people we least expect have anxiety. We are all dealing with hidden battles, even those that look so perfectly put together. So much pressure can be put on teenagers, to fit in, to live up to a certain standard, to get the highest grades, and sign-up for every extra-curricular activity known to mankind. I love how Corry dives into that world, really grasping the core of it all and how it affects all of our relationships, and showing us we don’t have to go it alone.


Eliza and Her Monsters

By Francesca Zappia,

Book cover of Eliza and Her Monsters

Why this book?

Anyone with anxiety knows that sometimes it can be so much easier to deal with people in the confines of your own room, safely behind a computer screen, instead of face-to-face. Socializing can be draining and confusing. Eliza’s monsters are so real and relatable. You truly understand her fear. This book is about finding that balance of having your alone time but also being a contributing member of society. Zappia’s format is creative and fun, and boy, does she know how to pull at the heartstrings.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in anxiety, mental disorders, and mental health?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about anxiety, mental disorders, and mental health.

Anxiety Explore 122 books about anxiety
Mental Disorders Explore 86 books about mental disorders
Mental Health Explore 95 books about mental health

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Kind of Sort of Fine, The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You, and Ten Rules for Faking It if you like this list.