100 books like When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend

By Mark Meynell,

Here are 100 books that When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend fans have personally recommended if you like When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

I bought this book, thinking it would be about Andrew Peterson’s creative process as he writes songs. Well, yeah, it’s about that. It’s also about his struggle with depression. He talks candidly about how he hid from others, wept, and thought he was worthless. And as I read his descriptions of his depression… I knew I was not alone. This is an intimate look at a singer and the darkness he battles. Thankfully, it’s not only brutal about depression, but also points to the light we have in Jesus. 

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Adorning the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson. 
Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year. 

Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can’t be done alone.
 
Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a film—all in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the…


Book cover of Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a Weary World

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

We’re all broken in so many ways. This book presents a number of letters to different kinds of broken people. Have you been rejected? Are you scared? Are you alone? There are letters here that will touch your heart. They touched mine! I found someone who could speak poetry into my darkness and make me know that I was not alone. Reynolds also points to real hope, so that even in darkness, I could see a shining light. 

By Rebecca K. Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Courage, Dear Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The world is broken. I am broken. And my need is dire.”

This stark revelation is the path to divine surrender. Our courage has a chance to flourish when we reach a point where we have no control and nothing to lose.

In a series of letters, Rebecca Reynolds uses imagery to breathe truth to the lonely, the weary, the restless, and afraid. If you feel the ache of brokenness, you will be refreshed by the source of all courage illuminated in these pages. God is available and wants to join you, in the midst of any mess. You can…


Book cover of Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

This book isn’t specifically about depression, but it helped me with my depression so, so much. Much of my depression was based on thinking I had to get people to like me, I had to accomplish so much, I had to… But this book reminded me in powerful ways that it’s not about what I do. It’s about what Jesus has already accomplished. This book will help with a lot of the “other things” that can make depression worse, so you can work directly on depression without having to worry about other spiritual pressures. 

By Tullian Tchividjian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jesus + Nothing = Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A proclamation of Christ's sufficiency that frees us from self-righteousness and keeps us anchored through storms. Stemming from a year of great turmoil, Tchividjian details the power of the gospel in his life.


Book cover of I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

And sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only one who struggles. This is Pastor Todd Peperkorn’s struggle with depression. He writes about how hard it has been for him, including his struggle with suicidal thoughts. This is not a happy sunshiny book. It’s one that sighs and moans with pain. Peperkorn is very forward about how he’s hurt, and how Jesus has helped. As a pastor, it helped me see that I’m not the only one in ministry with this struggle! 

By Todd A. Peperkorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Trust When Dark My Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rev. Todd Peperkorn’s autobiographical account is a gift to us, particularly those of us who are God’s blood-bought children. Peperkorn, a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor, has granted us the privilege of looking deeply into the heart, mind, and soul of a Christian in the clenches of mental illness. We are a bit unnerved to imaginethat a Lutheran pastor, called to preach God’s Holy Word and to faithfully administer the Sacraments, could possiblysuffer such a fate. He challenges all our myths. In his story we see a bright, articulate man serving his church and hisparish as God gave Him light. We…


Book cover of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

Amanda Stern Author Of Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life

From my list on mental anguish from inside a body in distress.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of The Long Haul and Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life and eleven books for children written under the pseudonyms AJ Stern and Fiona Rosenbloom. I publish a newsletter called “How to Live” where I simplify complex theories from psychology and offer ideas for their practical applications. My work explores the complexities of emotion, addiction, neglect, and issues surrounding mental health. I am prone to write from inside the body, to capture the visceral resonance of the somatic experience and consciousness.

Amanda's book list on mental anguish from inside a body in distress

Amanda Stern Why did Amanda love this book?

I am a superfan of Andrew Solomon’s and I urge you to read absolutely anything you can get your hands on, but this book is the actual Bible for understanding depression from the inside out. 

It seems uncommon that when your life is going well, when everything seems to be working out in your favor, that depression should descend and rob you of all your joy, but that’s exactly what happened to Andrew Solomon. The way he writes about depression is beyond comprehension because it’s beautiful and profound, exacting and sweeping. Reading this, or anything of his, is like getting your organs tattooed with the ink of his experience. This isn’t simply one man’s account of his uncompromising depression, rather it’s a survey and sociological account of depression. Inspired by a 1998 article Solomon wrote for The New Yorker, this book is a wild achievement. Yes, it’s long and…

By Andrew Solomon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WITH A NEW EPILOGUE BY THE AUTHOR

Like Primo Levi's The Periodic Table, The Noonday Demon digs deep into personal history, as Andrew Solomon narrates, brilliantly and terrifyingly, his own agonising experience of depression.

Solomon also portrays the pain of others, in different cultures and societies whose lives have been shattered by depression and uncovers the historical, social, biological, chemical and medical implications of this crippling disease. He takes us through the halls of mental hospitals where some of his subjects have been imprisoned for decades; into the research labs; to the burdened and afflicted poor, rural and urban. He…


Book cover of Happiness is a Choice: New Ways to Enhance Joy and Meaning in Your Life

Randy Ross Author Of Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

From my list on the best way to find happiness.

Why am I passionate about this?

My entire career has revolved around helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their life and work. It’s a fact that happy people are healthier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with life, and are more productive. But, happiness for most folks is elusive. Through my research, personal experience, and coaching and consulting practice, I have found that there is a distinct connection between hope and happiness. Fireproof Happiness is my attempt to show this connection and offer practical wisdom and sound advice to craft a brighter tomorrow, no matter what you may be facing today.

Randy's book list on the best way to find happiness

Randy Ross Why did Randy love this book?

Happiness is a Choice is a faith-based, definitive work that defines and helps people deal with the troubling elements of depression. Drawing from their professional training and counseling experience Minirth & Meier provide a thorough analysis of the factors that contribute to depression and offer solutions to cure it.

This book will deal with the vital connection between spiritual life and psychological health and establish basic steps that can be taken to recover from depression and maintain a happy, healthy, and fulfilling existence.

By Frank Minirth, Paul Meier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Happiness is a Choice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether depression is felt mildly or acutely, temporarily or persistently, it strikes just about everyone at some point. Drs. Minirth and Meier believe, however, that the emotional pain of depression can be overcome and avoided. Drawing from their professional training, counseling experience, and biblical knowledge, they explore the complex relationship between spiritual life and psychological health and then spell out basic steps for recovering from depression and maintaining a happy, fulfilling life.


Book cover of The Red Tree

Mónica Armiño Author Of A Wolf Called Wander

From my list on pictures that you will enjoy more as an adult.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a professional illustrator for 20 years. In all this time I have gathered a vast collection of picture books, animated movie artbooks, children's books... I use them as a source of inspiration for my work, but I really collect them because they are my treasure. I don't just look for books with beautiful illustrations, but that really give me something, that make me think, or that stay in my memory. They are timeless books, that are not aimed at any age, that anyone can enjoy, but that at the same time have deep meaning if you know how to look at them. Not all picture books are just for kids.

Mónica's book list on pictures that you will enjoy more as an adult

Mónica Armiño Why did Mónica love this book?

I bought The Red Tree many years ago because I thought its cover was so beautiful. I didn't even know its author, but from then on he became one of my favorite illustrators. And even today, I can say that The Red Tree is my favorite book of all time. It may seem it's about sadness or depression, but I prefer to think that it's the book that best defines hope. It is a book that I usually give to my friends when they are having a hard time. Because in the end, it is about this: we cannot avoid sadness, gray days, or feeling miserable, but we can look within ourselves for our little red tree and take care of it so that it grows strong and protects us.

By Shaun Tan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Red Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Awakening one day to a dark and somber mood, a little girl faces a day where everything goes very badly, and seeks hope amid her sadness.


Book cover of The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist's Memoir of Depression

James Withey Author Of How To Tell Depression to Piss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Brighton based writer. I’ve lived with bloody depression and frigging anxiety, since a child. I’m the founder of The Recovery Letters project, which publishes online letters from people recovering from depression, addressed to those experiencing it. It was published as a book in 2017 and Cosmopolitan named it "One of the 12 mental health books everyone should read". I also edited What I Do to Get Through: How to Run, Swim, Cycle, Sew, or Sing Your Way Through DepressionMy fourth book, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off, is due out in 2022.

James' book list on manage bloody depression

James Withey Why did James love this book?

This book is a beautiful, inspiring weaving tale of a psychiatrist who has recurrent depression and has worked with people with depression. She doesn’t disguise how hard depression is, she doesn’t patronise, she explains depression from her personal point of view, explores what happened in her childhood, and explains a clinician’s point of view of depression. 

It’s embedded with bucket loads of empathy, compassion, and hope. You hear about the patients she’s helped and you come out feeling humbled and grateful for her telling her story. Very useful for professionals working in psychiatry and mental health but equally useful for those of us with this terrible illness.

By Linda Gask,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.'

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Having spent her life trying to patch up the souls of others, psychiatrist Linda Gask came to realise that being an expert in depression didn't confer any immunity from it - she had to learn take care of herself, too. Artfully crafted and told with warmth and honesty, this is the story of Linda's journey, interwoven…


Book cover of Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong

James Withey Author Of How To Tell Depression to Piss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Brighton based writer. I’ve lived with bloody depression and frigging anxiety, since a child. I’m the founder of The Recovery Letters project, which publishes online letters from people recovering from depression, addressed to those experiencing it. It was published as a book in 2017 and Cosmopolitan named it "One of the 12 mental health books everyone should read". I also edited What I Do to Get Through: How to Run, Swim, Cycle, Sew, or Sing Your Way Through DepressionMy fourth book, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off, is due out in 2022.

James' book list on manage bloody depression

James Withey Why did James love this book?

This book saved my life. And no, I’m not exaggerating. I read it at the peak of my depression when I’d lost all hope and my emotional pain was at its peak. I spent the whole time going ‘Yes! That’s me, that’s happening to me! Thank god someone understands’. 

It is short, so that you can actually finish it. This is SO important when your concentration has evaporated due to depression. It’s written by a psychiatrist who understands what your brain is doing but also, crucially, tells you what to do and emphasises how serious this illness is.

By Tim Cantopher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Depressive Illness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'People affected by depression tell me this is the most powerful and helpful book ever written on the topic. I keep meeting people who say this book changed their lives.' - Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

Do you have depression?
Firstly, stop blaming yourself.
Secondly, don't struggle on alone - read this book instead. It has helped thousands of people just like you.

Dr Tim Cantopher knows two essential truths about depression and depressive illness.

One: it's strong people who are most vulnerable to it; people whose standards are high, whose ethics are powerful, who want their lives to be…


Book cover of Not Today, Celeste!: A Dog's Tale about Her Human's Depression

Anthony Lloyd Jones Author Of The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

From my list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had depression when I was young, but I didn’t know what that meant or what to do about it. So much of mental health is invisible and nobody knew. I didn’t have the language to explain how I felt, or to ask for help, and I didn’t know how to find out. Any book that could have helped me jump those hurdles would have been incredibly valuable. Children relate to stories, characters, metaphors and pictures more than words. Giving children the tools to explore how they feel in ways they can relate to is really important. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I did. 

Anthony's book list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

Not Today, Celeste! is another terrific book that explains to young readers how to recognise depressive symptoms in others, and how these symptoms might affect your relationship with them. Celeste is a wonderful choice of protagonist - a dog whose human, Rupert, begins to suffer from depression. She is initially worried and wants to help, but doesn’t know how to, and is happy when he’s able to finally get help and go back to being his old self again. A perfect reader surrogate for a child whose parent or other loved one is struggling with depression. A very hopeful and warm book for a time when things might seem bleak and confusing.

By Liza Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not Today, Celeste! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Celeste thinks she is the happiest dog in the world. But when she notices something different about her human, Rupert, she wonders if things will ever be the same again.

Charmingly illustrated, this heart-warming story for children aged 3+ reflects some of the feelings and experiences that a child whose parent or carer has depression may face. When it comes to periods of low mood in a parent or carer, children can often feel that they are to blame, or even that the parent doesn't love them anymore. The story provides reassurance by explaining what depression is and how it…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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