The best books for understanding and overcoming anxiety

Who am I?

I am a podcaster, author, and psychoeducator in the field of anxiety and anxiety disorders. I am also—as of 2022—a graduate student in clinical mental health counseling on the way to becoming a licensed psychotherapist. My own experience with anxiety and depression over 25+ years has fueled a passion for the theory and mechanics behind anxiety disorders and how they are treated. It would appear that my superpower is not only understanding these things, but also explaining them in a way that people can then understand for themselves. If that means I can help, then I’m happy to be doing what I do every day.

I wrote...

Seven Percent Slower - A Simple Trick For Moving Past Anxiety And Stress

By Drew Linsalata,

Book cover of Seven Percent Slower - A Simple Trick For Moving Past Anxiety And Stress

What is my book about?

Are you rushing around when anxious, stressed, or afraid? Seven Percent Slower is a friendly easy-to-read guide to understanding and breaking the speed habit that helps to fuel the anxiety and stress cycle. If you are in search of a calmer, less stressed, and less frantic life, learning to slow down can go a long way toward achieving that goal. Full of practical advice and sprinkled with humor, Seven Percent Slower is destined to become a useful addition to your anxiety recovery and life skills toolbox.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

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

Drew Linsalata Why did I love this book?

I love Untangle because it does exactly what the title says! People suffering through panic attacks, agoraphobia, or other anxiety-related conditions are often completely confused by what’s happening in their bodies and mind. Josh and Dean did a tremendous job of providing a friendly, easy-to-understand explanation of the mechanisms that drive panic and anxiety. If you’re struggling with panic attacks or other anxiety problems and not sure why or what to do about it, this book is a great place to start learning!

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 Panic Attacks Workbook: A Guided Program for Beating the Panic Trick

Drew Linsalata Why did I love this book?

David Carbonell is a bit of a legend in the anxiety and anxiety disorders community. His Panic Attacks Workbook is a great example of why he’s so highly regarded in those circles. David is not only an expert on the mechanics of panic attacks and anxiety disorders, but he’s genuinely funny and has a great knack for providing practical, actionable advice that you can use when struggling to overcome recurring panic. Full of excellent worksheets and exercises you can do on your own, The Panic Attacks Workbook is an excellent resource that I highly recommend.

By David Carbonell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Panic Attacks Workbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Master your anxiety and regain your freedom to drive, travel, and do everything else that panic has taken from you, with proven techniques and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) exercises.

Panic attacks trick millions of people into fearing disaster and giving up so many of the activities they used to enjoy without fear. This practical workbook full of proven strategies and helpful advice on how to master your anxiety and panic is here to help you reclaim your life.

Author and clinical psychologist David Carbonell, PhD, uses his extensive clinical experience to help you understand the true nature of your panic…

Book cover of Needing to Know For Sure: A CBT-Based Guide to Overcoming Compulsive Checking and Reassurance Seeking

Drew Linsalata Why did I love this book?

Overthinking and the inability to tolerate uncertainty are two huge problems for many people struggling with anxiety and anxiety disorders. The need to know and control can be so powerful that it sometimes goes off the rails, becoming a serious problem that creates anxiety, stress, and fear. Needing to Know For Sure is a no-nonsense accessible explanation of how being uncertain is a fact of life for everybody and how even the most dyed-in-the-wool overthinkers and control freaks and overcome the excessive need for assurance and control. You can learn to be “sure enough”, and it can change your life!

By Martin N. Seif, Sally M. Winston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Needing to Know For Sure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Powerful skills based in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you break free from the fear of uncertainty and put a stop to compulsive checking and reassurance seeking.

"How do I know I made the right decision?" "What if I'm wrong?" "I need to know for sure."

Do you have thoughts like these-thoughts that cause you to second-guess yourself, and lead to anxiety, stress, and worry? Do you find yourself repeatedly checking your email for no reason, asking others for their opinions about something again and again, or lying awake at night overgrazing and planning ahead in an attempt to…

Book cover of The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD: Lean Into Your Fear, Manage Difficult Emotions, and Focus on Recovery

Drew Linsalata Why did I love this book?

I love this book because Kim Quinlan takes a somewhat nebulous concept and explains it in very practical and engaging terms. People struggling to overcome OCD often wind up beating themselves up and treating themselves very un-kindly, making a difficult situation even more difficult. Kimberley strikes many chords in this book in the way she explains why being kind and compassionate to yourself is so important when working to overcome OCD. She doesn’t stop there. She offers many excellent, practical ways that one can explore and practice self-compassion. A must-read for anyone dealing with OCD.

By Kimberley Quinlan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A compassionate guide to help you manage OCD symptoms, overcome feelings of shame and stigma, and revitalize your life!

If you're one of millions who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you're all-too-familiar with feelings of anxiety, panic, shame, and uncertainty. In addition, the stigma associated with OCD can make you feel unworthy of receiving the compassion and kindness you need and deserve. You may even experience unwanted intrusive thoughts that result in harsh self-judgment-which can actually hinder your recovery and lead to additional mental health problems. So, how can you break this destructive cycle and start feeling better?

The Self-Compassion…

Book cover of Hope and Help for Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now

Drew Linsalata Why did I love this book?

This book, and Dr. Claire Weekes, will always be special to me. When I was first experiencing panic attacks at the age of 19, Hope and Help For Your Nerves changed everything for me. Dr. Weekes was a pioneer in the way she explained what panic attacks are, how they work, and why they are not dangerous. When you are terrified because it seems that your body is suddenly your enemy and you can’t find a way to stop it, this is the book to start with. The language and some of the references are a bit dated at this point, but Dr. Weekes writes like she is speaking directly to you and the concepts are every bit as valid today as they were when she wrote this masterpiece.

By Claire Weekes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hope and Help for Your Nerves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling step-by-step guide that will show you how to break the cycle of fear and cure your feelings of panic and anxiety.

My heart beats too fast. My hands tremble and sweat. I feel like there’s a weight on my chest. My stomach churns. I have terrible headaches. I can't sleep. Sometimes I can't even leave my house....

These common symptoms of anxiety are “minor” only to the people who don't suffer from them. But to the millions they affect, these problems make the difference between a happy, healthy life and one of crippling fear and frustration.

In Hope…

You might also like...

Deep Roots

By Sung J. Woo,

Book cover of Deep Roots

Sung J. Woo Author Of Deep Roots

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Novelist Tennis fan Cinephile Gamer

Sung's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

After solving her first case, private eye Siobhan O’Brien is hired by Phillip Ahn, an octogenarian billionaire with his own personal island in the Pacific Northwest. Ahn, a genius in artificial intelligence, swears that Duke, his youngest child and only son, is an impostor. Is Ahn crazy, or is Duke really someone else? As Siobhan attempts to arrive at the truth, her biggest challenge will be dealing with Ahn’s family, who all live under the same gilded roof: his current wife, his two ex-wives, and their awful, privileged children.

What is the real reason that Siobhan was brought to this isolated estate? If she can keep her head – literally and figuratively – she’ll learn that family secrets have some very deep roots.

Deep Roots

By Sung J. Woo,

What is this book about?

After solving her first case, Siobhan O’Brien faces her biggest challenge yet – Thanksgiving!  With her lawyer boyfriend Craig in tow, Siobhan travels to Minneapolis to endure small talk with the extended O’Brien clan and chow down on some seriously delicious turkey and dressing.  Everything’s swell until her sister-in-law Gwen tells her about her brother Sven's frequent late-night meetings with his co-workers.  Since Siobhan’s next case is just a ferry ride from their house in Washington state, she asks for Siobhan’s help.
Big sister is happy to oblige, though she’s got her hands full.  Hired by Phillip Ahn, a Korean…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD.

Anxiety Explore 175 books about anxiety
Panic Attacks Explore 19 books about panic attacks
OCD Explore 25 books about OCD