The most recommended books about anxiety

Who picked these books? Meet our 180 experts.

180 authors created a book list connected to anxiety, and here are their favorite anxiety books.
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Book cover of The Courage to Be

Kirk J. Schneider Author Of The Spirituality of Awe: Challenges to the Robotic Revolution

From my list on meaning and purpose of life.

Who am I?

Because of some early life-challenges, I have long been fascinated with human behavior and experience (my own and others). In this light questions about meaning and purpose in life, the big questions, have long been a passion of mine. I want to do everything I can to promote these inquiries, and the books I recommend are integral to that calling.

Kirk's book list on meaning and purpose of life

Kirk J. Schneider Why did Kirk love this book?

Tillich’s work is foundational for any “mystery-based” religiosity, or to put it another way, “awe-based” spirituality, and The Courage to Be is one of his most accessible and popular works. The Courage to Be, which influenced generations of humanistic and existential-oriented thinkers and therapists is about the willingness to face the anxieties of existence in the service of maximal participation in the life-space we are granted. It is all about boldness and risk-taking, with full awareness of limitation and fragility, to meet the demands of creative participation in love and work. 

By Paul Tillich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Selected as one of the Books of the Century by the New York Public Library

"The Courage to Be changed my life. It also profoundly impacted the lives of many others from my generation. Now Harvey Cox's fresh introduction helps to open up this powerful reading experience to the current generation."-Robert N. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley

Originally published more than fifty years ago, The Courage to Be has become a classic of twentieth-century religious and philosophical thought. The great Christian existentialist thinker Paul Tillich describes the dilemma of modern man and points a way to the conquest of the…


Book cover of Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

Liz Amos Author Of All the Truths Between Us

From my list on helping you seize the day.

Who am I?

Growing up, no one needed to tell me that I’m a highly sensitive person – although they did. The label was confusing: was it a bad thing? I wasn’t sure. So, I tried to keep myself in check and followed my love of words into a legal career. Other people’s books became my refuge: a safe place to explore the full reach of my empathy and find connection. Reading still gives me sanctuary. Only now, since leaving law to become an author and poet myself, I also embrace the emotional rollercoaster of sharing my own creativity. It’s balm for my bittersweet soul.

Liz's book list on helping you seize the day

Liz Amos Why did Liz love this book?

I bought this book when I was looking for something else: its title hit me between the eyes. The word “bittersweet” encapsulates everything I often feel; I was nodding along in self-recognition.

If I’m honest, I’ve probably internalised a certain amount of shame around my strong emotions. Definitely, I’ve longed to feel less viscerally about the highs and lows of life. Or, at least, to feel them sequentially – instead of jumbled together: wonderful things tinged with the sadness of impermanence; hard things somehow glowing around the edges with the feeling of being really alive.

What to do with all the emotions? That’s been my recurring question. This book answers – gently, but insistently – make art.

By Susan Cain,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Bittersweet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER -- FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING

In her inspiring new masterpiece, the author of the bestselling phenomenon Quiet describes her powerful quest to understand how love, loss and sorrow make us whole - revealing the power of a bittersweet outlook on life.

Bittersweetness is a tendency towards states of longing, poignancy and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world. It recognizes that light and…


Book cover of Information Anxiety

Jeff Davidson Author Of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

From my list on to help you have more breathing space.

Who am I?

I hold the registered trademark as "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," and work with organizations that seek to enhance their productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. I've spoken to Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health Group, Lockheed, American Express, the IRS, Wells Fargo, and Westinghouse. My books have been published in 19 languages and have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers, as well as Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. At heart, I'm a simpler living advocate. I believe in giving back to his community and am an active volunteer for Art Space in downtown Raleigh, and the North Carolina Museum of Art.


Jeff's book list on to help you have more breathing space

Jeff Davidson Why did Jeff love this book?

This book took me and the business world by storm. Wurman truly nailed a feeling that was widely experienced but had not yet been named. He explained how information anxiety resulted from constant overstimulation, especially when we don't have the time or opportunity to make an orderly transition from one idea to the next.

He explained how no one functions well when figuratively gasping for breath. Learning, he said, requires ‘way-stations’ where we have the chance to stop and think about an idea or subject matter before moving on to the next. So true! I particularly like his analogy that basing your view of the world on isolated events is like basing you knowledge of music on what you hear in an elevator.

Most important to me are the five ways to organize information as laid out in the book. If you're wondering, they include by category, time, location,…

By Richard Saul Wurman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Tackling the problem of the ever widening gap between "what we understand - and what we think we should understand", the book offers tools to sort through daily data and offers suggestions for print media, meaningful charts, graphics and statistics. From the author of the "Access" guides.


Book cover of An Introduction to Coping with Anxiety

James Withey Author Of How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody anxiety.

Who am I?

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. 

James' book list on manage bloody anxiety

James Withey Why did James 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 Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin

Thomas Cathcart and Danny Klein Author Of Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between

From my list on a taste of philosophy.

Who are we?

Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein have been thinking deep thoughts and writing jokes for decades, and now they are here to help us understand philosophy through jokes, and jokes through philosophy. They like philosophy and they like jokes, not necessarily in that order. Best of all, they like combining them. 

Thomas' book list on a taste of philosophy

Thomas Cathcart and Danny Klein Why did Thomas love this book?

The acknowledged father of existentialism actually makes anxiety interesting (if you’re into that sort of thing.) Not for sissies.

By Søren Kierkegaard, Alastair Hannay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1844, Soren Kierkegaard's concise treatise identified-long before Freud-anxiety as a profound human condition, portraying human existence largely as a constant struggle with our own spiritual identities.


Book cover of This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, Ptsd, Ocd, Adhd, and More

Lauren Cook Author Of Generation Anxiety: A Millennial and Gen Z Guide to Staying Afloat in an Uncertain World

From my list on how to cope and live with anxiety.

Who am I?

I’ve lived with anxiety for most of my life. Whether it’s been with emetophobia (a phobia of vomit) or an intense bout of panic attacks, I know the story well. Now, as a psychologist, I’ve seen up close what works and what doesn’t. I love helping my clients and the audiences that I work with learn how to accept their anxiety, rather than try to make it go away. This is often counterintuitive at first but we can still live an empowered life, even with the anxiety present. When we do this, we’ve unlocked a whole new level of liberation where we can show up fully, worries and all. 

Lauren's book list on how to cope and live with anxiety

Lauren Cook Why did Lauren love this book?

The research on the gut-brain axis connection and how what we are eating and drinking contributes to our anxiety is beyond fascinating.

A cookbook and a breakdown of the foods to eat and avoid depending on the mental health concern, this book is one for the ages. When you consider how our foods are contributing to inflammation in the body, and thus an increased stress response, it’s no wonder we feel more anxious. Thankfully, Dr. Naidoo makes astute recommendations on how we can shift the course of our anxiety but changing what we put in our mouths.

By Uma Naidoo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked This Is Your Brain on Food as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eat for your mental health and learn the fascinating science behind nutrition with this "must-read" guide from an expert psychiatrist (Amy Myers, MD).

Did you know that blueberries can help you cope with the aftereffects of trauma? That salami can cause depression, or that boosting Vitamin D intake can help treat anxiety?
When it comes to diet, most people's concerns involve weight loss, fitness, cardiac health, and longevity. But what we eat affects more than our bodies; it also affects our brains. And recent studies have shown that diet can have a profound impact on mental health conditions ranging from…


Book cover of We're All a Little Broken

Céline Perron Author Of The Next Right Thing

From my list on women in fiction taking center stage.

Who am I?

I personally love to draw attention to not only books in women’s literature but also to encourage and support my fellow female authors whom I see as the best company a girl can ask for. Knowing that these strong individuals are living out their dreams while also filling page after page of stories varying anywhere from mystery, intrigue, love, loss, grief, etc. fills me with such gratitude and hope for the future. Because their stories are just the beginning. I'm a proud indie author and female author who enjoys writing mysteries and thrillers. I'm forever encouraging my fellow author colleagues to embrace their dreams and unique skillsets as it’s one no one else has. 

Céline's book list on women in fiction taking center stage

Céline Perron Why did Céline love this book?

I am recommending this book as it was written by a dear friend and colleague of mine who is also an incredibly talented author who doesn’t shy away from writing about matters such as mental illness, family dynamics, and what makes us human. Her book is the first in a beautifully written series.

By Tiffany Andrea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We're All a Little Broken as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This women's fiction novel can be read as a standalone or as book 1 of the You Are Enough series.

Zara Levy is an introvert with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, who lives according to what her mental health dictates. At twenty-nine years old, she has dedicated the last decade of her life to helping other young people who are battling their own disorders and attempting to make a difference where she can. Her kind heart and generous nature make her well-loved amongst those who know her, but her brain continues to convince her she's not worthy. She has certain dreams and…


Book cover of How Best to Avoid Dying: Stories

Erica Buist Author Of This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals

From my list on to deal with general death anxiety.

Who am I?

I’m Erica Buist, a writer, journalist, lecturer, and playwright based in London. I became interested in death anxiety when I realised mine was out of control after my partner and I found his father dead. Reading up on death anxiety, it struck me that some cultures seem to deal with it by throwing festivals for the dead, which seemed to be the very opposite of our policy of not talking about it unless absolutely necessary. I thought I’d better go and see how they managed that—so I did. Six years, eight countries and about a million espressos later, my book was published.

Erica's book list on to deal with general death anxiety

Erica Buist Why did Erica love this book?

The only fiction book on my list, I picked up Owen’s book of short stories while I was at a writer’s residency in Vermont, writing my own book. It’s a delightful collection, wickedly funny, with the exact mix of dread, terror, humour, and lightheartedness I was looking for.

By Owen Egerton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Best to Avoid Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this devilishly clever collection of short fiction, renowned humorist Owen Egerton leads us on a wildly surprising, darkly comic, and often heart-wrenching ride into the terrible beauty of life's end. With razor wit and compassionate insight, Egerton has a crafted a work that brilliantly explores the pain and wonder of life, knowing that with the turn of any corner death could be panhandling for your soul.


Book cover of King's Day Out: The Car Wash

Noel Foy Author Of ABC Worry Free

From my list on showing anxiety who’s boss.

Who am I?

From personal experience living with an anxiety disorder, I’ve discovered that once you learn about anxiety and how it works, it’s not so frightening! I’ve applied this knowledge and background to my roles as a mom, award-winning children’s author, and former teacher who transformed into a neuroeducation consultant. I specialize in workshops and one-on-one coaching for schools, families, organizations, and corporations on anxiety, stress management, executive function, and growth mindset. My books are inspired by my desire to engage kids and adults in fun, playful, and empowering stories. My passion to equip others with practical problem-solving tools to decrease stress, promote healthy change and maximize their unique potential is boundless! 

Noel's book list on showing anxiety who’s boss

Noel Foy Why did Noel love this book?

It’s not uncommon for kids with sensory processing challenges to feel anxious, especially when faced with new adventures. That’s why I’m so excited Maggie and Dr. Amy teamed up to create this endearing, problem-solving picture book designed to empower kids, parents, educators, and pediatric professionals.

Meet King, a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, who has to deal with uncomfortable sights, sounds, and feelings when he and his best friend Ben go to their first car wash. Armed with an “adventure bag” that helps Ben manage his anxiety and sensory differences, Ben shares his tools with King as they bravely face this unknown situation. Ride along with King and Ben as they put Ben’s adventure bag tools to good use, support each other and make an unfamiliar adventure a positive experience.

By Maggie Van Galen, Amy Wheadon, Leslie Beauregard (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked King's Day Out 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?

Ride along with King, a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, and his best friend, a boy named Ben, as they go on an adventure to the car wash. The two friends' senses are tested to the limits as King and Ben experience the sights, sounds, smells and feelings associated with this new activity. Ben, a child with sensory differences, shares the tools he's learned in occupational therapy (OT) to help King overcome his fear and anxiety. In the end, King and Ben are proud of themselves for conquering the car wash and excited to head to the park for some playtime!…


Book cover of Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom

Gabrielle K. Byrne Author Of The Edge of Strange Hollow

From my list on mythology-inspired middle grade fantasy.

Who am I?

I had a lot of troubles as a kid, and my favorite escape was getting lost in fairy tales and mythology. For me, those stories were a window into ancient worlds full of strange rules and powers, where magic was real and nothing was outside the bounds of possibility. As an author, I get to build my own stories and worlds inspired by the tales I loved so much as a kid, and I’ve loved reading about new heroes and heroines whose tales are rooted in the powerful traditions of peoples from all over the globe. I’m happy to be sharing some of my recent favorite mythology-inspired books!

Gabrielle's book list on mythology-inspired middle grade fantasy

Gabrielle K. Byrne Why did Gabrielle love this book?

Kiki manages her anxiety by drawing stories featuring her family ancestors, but when her sketchbook becomes a doorway into the world of Indian mythology, she’s dropped into a fight between a Hindu Goddess and a Demon King trying to escape into the real world. 

I love stories featuring kids who doubt themselves, but who learn they are strong and capable. Any kid struggling with anxiety will surely see themselves in Kiki. The adventure is fantastic, Mandanna’s writing is lovely, and Kiki and her friends are all easy to care about. Whether readers are new to Indian mythology, or they’ve already burned through the Aru Shah and Kiranmala stories—this is an exciting and expansive tale promising much more to come.

By Sangu Mandanna,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Kiki Kallira is more of a worrier than a warrior - but today she will learn to be a hero. The mythical beasts she loves to draw have come to life, and she is the only one who can defeat them. A middle-grade fantasy inspired by Hindu legends about anxiety, creativity and finding your own strengths. For 8+ fans of Abi Elphistone and The Land of Roar.

Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mum is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one…