The best anxiety disorder books

5 authors have picked their favorite books about anxiety disorder and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Okay Fine Whatever

By Courtenay Hameister,

Book cover of Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things

An uproarious tell-all about blooming late, taking chances, and being vulnerable. In an effort to cope with the loss of a defining career and face down a lifetime of insecurities about her body, the author decides to tackle anything (self-exploratory-wise) that would normally send her screaming for the hills. Reluctantly but determinately, she takes the plunge into internet dating, professional cuddling, sensory deprivation, polyamory, Brazilian waxing, and more—all the while getting throat-punched by anxiety. Self-deprecating and ribald, Hameister’s anecdotes illustrate that sometimes pulling up one’s big girl panties can actually mean taking them off.


Who am I?

When writing my memoir about serving in the Peace Corps, I knew with every keystroke I was opening myself up for public censure. The things that I needed to get down on paper were not pretty things; they did not show me in a favorable light. I also knew it was the only way to tell my tale. Honesty is compelling even (perhaps especially) when the truth is ugly. Female voices in contemporary literature are raw, messy, and unapologetic. The appeal of candid “femoir” is undeniable, as evidenced by runaway bestsellers in recent years (I’m looking at you, Eat, Pray, Love and Wild). Discover more hidden gems below.


I wrote...

The Color of the Elephant

By Christine Herbert,

Book cover of The Color of the Elephant

What is my book about?

An outstanding new voice in memoir, Christine Herbert takes the reader on a “time-machine tour” of her Peace Corps volunteer service as a health worker and educator from 2004-2006 in Zambia. Rather than a retrospective, this narrative unfolds in the present tense, propelling the reader alongside the memoirist through a fascinating exploration of a life lived “off the grid.” 

At turns harrowing, playful, dewy-eyed, and wise, the author’s heart and candor illuminates every chapter, whether she is the heroine of the tale or her own worst enemy. Even at her most petulant, the laugh-out-loud humor scuppers any “white savior” mentality and lays bare the undeniable humanity—and humility—of the storyteller. Through it all, an undeniable love for Zambia—its people, land, and culture—shines through. A must-read for the armchair adventurer!

The Anxious Truth

By Drew Linsalata,

Book cover of The Anxious Truth: A Step-By-Step Guide To Understanding and Overcoming Panic, Anxiety, and Agoraphobia

Without a doubt, this book has to be one of the best anxiety recovery books that I could recommend. Drew writes with compassion, humility, outstanding knowledge, and his own personal experience clearly shows that he really does understand anxiety disorder beyond just textbook knowledge. Relatable and informative, this book offers a level of comfort alongside some great actionable tips to help you on your anxiety recovery journey.


Who am I?

A self-confessed anxiety disorder nerd, I have a deeper level of understanding beyond the textbooks and training. I grew up in Manchester, UK, and was once diagnosed with crippling anxiety; suffering from panic attacks, agoraphobia, health anxiety, and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), as well as intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, and all the other fun stuff that comes with a nasty anxiety condition. I’m now a qualified psychotherapist and it is my mission to help as many people as I can recover from anxiety disorder and live happy, healthy lives.


I wrote...

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

By Joshua Fletcher, Dean Stott,

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

What is my 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.

At Last a Life

By Paul David,

Book cover of At Last a Life

An incredible story of one man’s journey through anxiety disorder and out the other side. It’s a simplistically written book that cuts through all of the jargon and fluff that can sometimes make it difficult to understand exactly what we should be doing to help ourselves. Incredibly relatable, it’s another fine example of one previous anxiety sufferer sharing their story to help you on your own recovery journey.


Who am I?

A self-confessed anxiety disorder nerd, I have a deeper level of understanding beyond the textbooks and training. I grew up in Manchester, UK, and was once diagnosed with crippling anxiety; suffering from panic attacks, agoraphobia, health anxiety, and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), as well as intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, and all the other fun stuff that comes with a nasty anxiety condition. I’m now a qualified psychotherapist and it is my mission to help as many people as I can recover from anxiety disorder and live happy, healthy lives.


I wrote...

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

By Joshua Fletcher, Dean Stott,

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

What is my 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.

Fear of Flying Workbook

By Dr. David Carbonell,

Book cover of Fear of Flying Workbook: Overcome Your Anticipatory Anxiety and Develop Skills for Flying with Confidence

An extensive and powerful read. Whilst it focuses on the fear of flying (including in-depth worksheets and exercises that you can start using straight away) David breaks down exactly how this fear came to be and what you can do to break the anxious cycle. Even if fear of flying is not something you struggle with, all of the information in this book can be applied to various anxiety disorders. A great source of psychoeducation! 


Who am I?

A self-confessed anxiety disorder nerd, I have a deeper level of understanding beyond the textbooks and training. I grew up in Manchester, UK, and was once diagnosed with crippling anxiety; suffering from panic attacks, agoraphobia, health anxiety, and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), as well as intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, and all the other fun stuff that comes with a nasty anxiety condition. I’m now a qualified psychotherapist and it is my mission to help as many people as I can recover from anxiety disorder and live happy, healthy lives.


I wrote...

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

By Joshua Fletcher, Dean Stott,

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

What is my 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.

Name and Tame Your Anxiety

By Summer Batte,

Book cover of Name and Tame Your Anxiety: A Kid's Guide

Directed at middle school-age kids, this book offers practical advice to pre-teens on how to practice anxiety-taming strategies. It even includes a chapter on medication. Quotes from real kids also make the subject matter more relatable and let kids know that they’re not alone. The sections on what therapy is like and how you can advocate for yourself can be empowering for kids as well as teaching lifelong skills.


Who am I?

Let’s face it—kids’ anxiety has gone through the roof over the last two years since the start of the pandemic. Not being able to play with friends, participate on sports teams, or even have sleepovers has had an impact. For kids, play is one of their main ways to relieve stress.  Here are my five go-to books for kids dealing with anxiety, worries, and stress. 


I wrote...

What to Do When You're Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids

By James J. Crist,

Book cover of What to Do When You're Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids

What is my book about?

I wrote this book back in 2004. My goal was to take what we know about anxiety in adults, its causes, and treatments, and bring it down to a child’s level. Learning about how your brain is wired to react quickly when it thinks you’re in danger has kept us safe for thousands of years. Changing your thoughts, desensitizing yourself to things you fear, and practicing relaxation techniques all help kids feel better and reduce their anxiety.  

Starving the Anxiety Gremlin

By Kate Collins-Donnelly,

Book cover of Starving the Anxiety Gremlin: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Anxiety Management for Young People

This book manages to convey lots of information about anxiety without feeling overwhelming to tween readers, in part due to an effective layout and the use of workbook activities (quizzes, questionnaires, word searches, etc.) that encourage kids to personalize and practice what they are learning. Anxiety is externalized in the form of a gremlin, which readers are taught to recognize, challenge, and ultimately tame. There is the added bonus of a UK author – and plenty of British-isms - helping US readers remember the universality of anxiety.

Who am I?

I am a Clinical Psychologist and the parent of a once-anxious child who grew up before I developed the expertise I now have, which means I did just about everything wrong. The silver lining, I guess, is that I see anxiety not only from a therapist’s perspective but also through the eyes of a child who is suffering and a parent who has no idea how to help. All of the books I have written, and all that I have recommended, speak respectfully to children and the adults reading with them about real struggles and real solutions. I feel privileged to be able to do this work.


I wrote...

Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid's Guide to Managing Anxiety

By Dawn Huebner,

Book cover of Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid's Guide to Managing Anxiety

What is my book about?

Worry has a way of growing, shifting from not-a-big-deal to a VERY BIG DEAL in the blink of an eye. This big-deal Worry is tricky, luring children into behaviors that keep the anxiety cycle going. Children often find it hard to fight back against Worry, but not anymore.

Outsmarting Worry teaches 9 to 13-year-olds and the adults who care about them a specific set of skills that makes it easier to face – and overcome – worries and fears. Smart, practical, proven techniques are presented in language immediately accessible to children with an emphasis on shifting from knowing to doing, from worried to happy and free.

Getting Past Your Past

By Francine Shapiro,

Book cover of Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy

EMDR stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing,” which as a trained neuropsychologist was a phrase that made me want to roll my eyes (pun intended)—until I tried it. Being a woman of science, I don’t like that we don’t have a definitive explanation about why EMDR works for resolving things like trauma and anxiety (synchronization of the brain's two hemispheres? similarity to the eye movements during REM sleep?). But it does work (confirmed by solid research), and Francine Shapiro is the pioneer. In Getting Past Your Past, she takes EMDR treatment strategies and translates them into self-help techniques, giving even more people access to the potential transformation of emotional pain.


Who am I?

When people ask me what my focus is after 25+ years as a psychologist/neuropsychologist, my simplest response is “relationships”—even though I don’t see couples in my practice. Your relationship with yourself, and being committed to ongoing growth and “becoming,” is essential for all healthy relationships—not just with yourself, but with your partner, your kids, your boss, your friends. I wrote Rewire Your Brain For Love to weave together three of my passions, all of which are vital pathways for growth and well-being: the brain’s capacity to change, our innate drive to become the fullest version of ourselves, and the fundamental importance of meaningful connection.


I wrote...

Rewire Your Brain For Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness

By Marsha Lucas,

Book cover of Rewire Your Brain For Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness

What is my book about?

It’s so easy to get tangled in the same old unhappy relationship patterns, tripped up by habits that get in our way whether we “know better” or not. In Rewire Your Brain for Love, neuropsychologist and psychotherapist Marsha Lucas helps you untangle those relationship snarls, bringing together the latest neuroscience with a practice consistently shown by world-class research to literally change the brain: mindfulness.

Dr. Lucas’s clear, highly readable, often laugh-out-loud style invites you to explore how your brain functions in relationships, and how you can rewire it. With compassion, wisdom, and humor, she takes you through seven key relationship benefits—everything from keeping your fear or anger from running the show, to cultivating healthy, balanced empathy—and offers specific mindfulness practices for each.

Untangle Your Anxiety

By Joshua Fletcher, Dean Stott,

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

I like how they explain the science of anxiety in this book with clarity. It’s important to understand what your body is doing when you’re anxious and these guys live it and know what’s going on when you start to breath more heavily and your blood starts pumping 'round your body faster than a cheetah on cheap amphetamines. Don’t worry it’s not too sciency, just enough for you to get what’s happening to you. There are also some really useful stories from the authors which make you feel less alone. 


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. 


I wrote...

How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

By James Withey,

Book cover of How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

What is my book about?

Despite more and more people opening up about their mental health, anxiety is still taboo. We're not supposed to be anxious; we're supposed to be resilient and able to 'get on with it'. We are expected to excel while juggling a hectic, pressurised schedule at home and at work, despite the lines between the two being more blurred than ever. This book dispels that taboo. It is for anyone who has experienced general anxiety disorder, trauma-related anxiety, clinical anxiety, and those with 'low-level' anxieties.

At once empathetic and entertaining, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off offers 40 ways to get to a better place with anxiety. They are born out of the author's personal experience of managing his own anxiety and his many years of working as a counselor helping people with their mental health.

All Birds Have Anxiety

By Kathy Hoopmann,

Book cover of All Birds Have Anxiety

I will not mince words: this book is silly. It follows a very simple formula of describing the symptoms of anxiety, general worry, and stress alongside photographs of birds. The funny expressions candidly captured on the bird’s faces somehow seem to always illustrate the specific situations and emotions being described in the text more perfectly than I even could as a professional illustrator. It’s really good fun and would be an especially great resource for a parent/carer/teacher to read along with an anxious child - jumping off and discussing how they relate to what the birds look like they’re feeling as they go.


Who am I?

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. 


I wrote...

The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

By Anthony Lloyd Jones,

Book cover of The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

What is my book about?

The Princess and the Fog is a picture book to help sufferers of depression aged 5-7 cope with their difficult feelings. It uses fairy tale tropes, vibrant illustrations, a sense of humour, and metaphor to create a relatable, enjoyable story that describes the symptoms of childhood depression while also providing hope that things can get better with a little help and support. 

The Princess and the Fog is one of the first children’s books that I’m aware of that deals with childhood depression, rather than to help children understand depression in adults. As somebody who had depression as a child, I made it to help kids like me understand what they are going through and what to do about it.

Finding Audrey

By Sophie Kinsella,

Book cover of Finding Audrey

“Bittersweet” is the best word I can use to describe Finding Audrey. The story is about a fourteen-year-old girl whose life is disrupted by an anxiety disorder. What I like so much about this book is that it’s not depressing. The story brings to light a serious problem with a lot of levity and charm. I can really empathize with Audrey during her trip back to sanity after being bullied out of school. I laughed a lot, teared up a little, and smiled as Audrey is set on a new path, thanks in part to a pretty sweet romantic connection. The romance was totally unexpected and unfolds very naturally. The author’s light tone on this serious subject reminds me of the sage advice from the wise and wonderful Mary Poppins: a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down. 


Who am I?

I love to laugh! Laughter is a universal sort of magic that helps us connect with others, build rapport and trust, reduce stress, and overlook differences. It’s hard to be mad at someone you’re laughing with. How do I know so much about humor? Because I wrote the book on it. Literally. My debut book, The Joke Machine, teaches middle graders how to create a funny line. I wrote it after researching humor for years, analyzing jokes, and trying to figure out why each one made me laugh. I found patterns and my joke-making philosophy was born! Since then, I’ve been reading funny books, writing funny books, and best of all, laughing at funny lines.


I wrote...

Calling Dibs, Jinx, Shotgun and Other Things No One Knows the Rules To: Funny Try-Not-to-Laugh Challenges for the Whole Family!

By Theresa Julian, Kim Griffin (illustrator),

Book cover of Calling Dibs, Jinx, Shotgun and Other Things No One Knows the Rules To: Funny Try-Not-to-Laugh Challenges for the Whole Family!

What is my book about?

Who gets dibs on the last slice of pizza? Who's "it" when two people call "not it" at the same time?

Stop wondering and start learning the rules to these and other *must know* things in life like: Frontsies; Saving Seats; Rock Paper Scissors; Crossing Your Fingers. This tween book lays out the rules for the everyday stuff no one knows the rules to in an attempt to restore peace in family rooms across the globe. It includes try-not-to-laugh challenges in each section. This very funny book is great for road trips, family time away from screens, and fun kid and teen parties. It encourages creativity and helps kids learn through play by using their imagination. No matter how you use this book, it's hours of ready-to-go fun!

Or, view all 23 books about anxiety disorder

New book lists related to anxiety disorder

All book lists related to anxiety disorder

Bookshelves related to anxiety disorder