The best stress management books

14 authors have picked their favorite books about stress management and why they recommend each book.

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The Stress Solution

By Dr. Rangan Chatterjee,

Book cover of The Stress Solution: The 4 Steps to Reset Your Body, Mind, Relationships and Purpose

Dr. Chatterjee’s podcast Feel Better, Live More and The Stress Solution gives a fascinating insight into Dr. Chatterjee’s work with patients and how he has been coaching them into better health by reducing their stress levels. As a stress management expert myself, I am a huge advocate of learning techniques to help you reduce stress and, as Dr. Chatterjee says, it only takes a few small lifestyle changes to live a happier life. This book will give you simple steps to take that can really transform how you feel.


Who am I?

Dominique Antiglio is a Qualified Sophrologist, former Osteopath, and best-selling author based in London. Sophrology is a simple practice for mental well-being supporting everyone to tap into the unlimited resources of consciousness and become empowered in daily life. Having used Sophrology to overcome her own issues as a teenager, Dominique is passionate about how each one of us can find resilience and meaning through difficult times. She is a world-leading Sophrologist, founder of BeSophro, a leading Sophrology clinic in London and a Sophrology platform so everyone can learn to practice the method based on relaxation, breathing, visualisation and movement. Dominique gained her Master's in Caycedian Sophrology under Professor Caycedo.


I wrote...

The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology: Breathe and Connect with the Calm and Happy You

By Dominique Antiglio,

Book cover of The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology: Breathe and Connect with the Calm and Happy You

What is my book about?

In a world that can feel uncertain and overwhelming, this comprehensive guide on the practice of Sophrology will help you access resilience, confidence, and serenity in your daily life.

Sophrology is a mental well-being practice and self-development system already extremely popular in Europe, growing worldwide, and used successfully by people from all walks of life, including athletes, CEOs and mum-to-be. This simple method combines Western science and Eastern wisdom using relaxation, breathing, body awareness, and visualisation into a step-by-step practice which has the power to radically transform your life. Featuring practical tips, case studies, and 13 audio downloads, this leading book on Sophrology is a must-have self-help resource.

Humor and the Health Professions

By Vera Robinson,

Book cover of Humor and the Health Professions: The Therapeutic Use of Humor in Health Care

Another pioneer in the therapeutic humor field: this one written for the health professions. In spite of that, any reader can get a lot from this book. It introduces the benefits of humor not only as a healing tool for the patient, but as a stress management tool for the health professional as well. Certainly, any reader dealing with stress can benefit from the coping characteristics of humor.


Who am I?

Allen Klein is the world’s only “Jollytologist®”. Through his books, workshops, and keynote speeches, for the past 30-plus years, he has been showing audiences worldwide how to use humor and positivity to deal with life’s not-so-funny stuff. He is a pioneer in the therapeutic humor field and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Klein is “a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.”


I wrote...

The Healing Power of Humor: Techniques for Getting Through Loss, Setbacks, Upsets, Disappointments, Difficulties, Trials, Tribulations, and All That Not-So-Funny Stuff

By Allen Klein,

Book cover of The Healing Power of Humor: Techniques for Getting Through Loss, Setbacks, Upsets, Disappointments, Difficulties, Trials, Tribulations, and All That Not-So-Funny Stuff

What is my book about?

The Healing Power of Humor has become the quintessential book in the therapeutic humor field. Brimming with pointed, humorous anecdotes and learn-to-laugh techniques, this book combines the wisdom of the world’s great spiritual teachers with the insights of famed humorists, comedians, and others to help you turn life’s negatives into positives. It is the ideal book for anyone going through troubled times—whether it’s the loss of a wallet, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, or a stay in the hospital.

Perhaps one Amazon reviewer captured the essence of the book best when they wrote: “I was taking a training that was particularly difficult. At lunch and breaks I would open this book and read. It is like the sun coming out after a thunderstorm. It is fun and serious at the same time.”

A Smart Girl's Guide

By Nancy Holyoke, Judy Woodburn,

Book cover of A Smart Girl's Guide: Worry: How to Feel Less Stressed and Have More Fun

This book focuses on “normal” worry rather than clinical manifestations of anxiety but still, it is chock full of practical tips for stressed-out tweens. Like all of the books in the Smart Girls series, Worry educates and empowers readers, helping them understand why they feel what they feel while giving practical advice about making changes. The only downside is that – while the information in this book is universal – it is clearly pitched to girls. It’s a pity because boys could use a book like this, too.

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.

Full Catastrophe Living

By Jon Kabat-Zinn,

Book cover of Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness is a wonderful primer on Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD with a Preface by famed Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. This wonderful book shows how to use ancient modalities like breathwork and Mindfulness to heal the stresses and illnesses of the modern world. It removes the fear some may have that these are meaningless or rooted in superstition or that performing them is somehow in violation of the religion you practice. Dr. Kabat-Zinn anchors the practices in science. This book informed so much of what I added to my work as an organizer.  


Who am I?

I am known as The Zen Organizer and the author of 10 books on organizing. I’ve been working one-on-one with clients for over 30 years. I grew up in Brooklyn and now make Los Angeles my home. We tend to see our lives in unrelated compartments. I grew up with organized parents. As an adult I began to study the body from nutrition to movement. I opened myself to therapy initially to be a better actress. All of these interests dovetailed in the world of organizing and I found my life’s purpose. Zen Organizing creates a physical environment that nurtures you as you find and fulfill your Life Purpose.


I wrote...

One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week by Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good

By Regina Leeds,

Book cover of One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week by Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good

What is my book about?

A successful battle with cancer 20 years ago showed me that organizing was more than closets, kitchens, or file systems. It was in fact a way of thinking that would enable you to face any challenge life offered from chemotherapy treatments to taming an unruly closet. Organizing was a tool in a grab bag of self-help tools that might include modalities like meditation, aromatherapy, or Feng Shui.

The book is a combination of how-to organizing instructions and my philosophy called Zen Organizing™. The newly updated version will be out in late December 2022. It’s now a very Mindful book.

Overload

By Joyce Meyer,

Book cover of Overload: How to Unplug, Unwind, and Unleash Yourself from the Pressure of Stress

I read this book in a particularly trying period in my life, when it just seemed like everything was going wrong. The title caught my eye because I sure did feel overloaded! Joyce helped me identify the worries in my life and offered practical, effective advice and scriptural wisdom I needed. I still grab it when I feel overwhelmed, and it helps me to manage stress. We all get stressed—from work, relationship challenges, financial trouble, or an overabundance of information. But Joyce shares inspiring insights from the Bible, and shows me how God’s strength can help me triumph over stress to achieve the joyful, peaceful life that God intends!


Who am I?

I’ve been a writer for most of my life, and when a publisher approached me to write a book, they asked me to write about how I managed to overcome the death of my husband at such a young age and move forward into a successful life. I meet people all the time who have had hard things happen, and I wanted to help them get past the pain. Hard times don’t have to be the end of the story! They can strengthen us and equip us to help others. That’s why I love books about how to keep going in times of trouble and overcome.  


I wrote...

Why, God, Why ?: What to Do When Life Doesn't Make Sense

By Karen Jensen Salisbury,

Book cover of Why, God, Why ?: What to Do When Life Doesn't Make Sense

What is my book about?

When I was 37, my husband (a pastor, also 37 and father of our two sons) died suddenly in our bed on New Year’s night. He hadn’t been sick – he just went to bed and went to heaven. And I had questions! Sometimes things happen in life that completely shatter us – we can’t make sense of it. Not only death, but other life-changing events and devasting disappointments. We just didn’t see it coming, and now we don’t know how to go on. I wrote this book years later – it’s a testimony of how God brought my sons and me through, and how you can ask Him all your tough questions and move forward. I call it “a manual for getting past the pain.” 

Overcoming Overwhelm

By Samantha Brody,

Book cover of Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out

Dr. Samantha Brody takes a look at the full spectrum of the stressors that are affecting us and creating overwhelm. This is a great book that centers on our physical health, but not myopically so. The last part of the book is especially good for creating a personal plan that incorporates both short and long-term fixes.


Who am I?

I’m Charlie Gilkey, and I help people start finishing the stuff that matters. I’m the founder of Productive Flourishing, author of Start Finishing (2019) and The Small Business Lifecycle (2012) as well as the forthcoming book Workways. Before starting Productive Flourishing, I worked as a Joint Force Military Logistics Coordinator while simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. With over ten years of coaching clients and managing the workload of running a business, I know a thing or two about how to spot burnout in a team or organization, and the steps to take to overcome it and prevent it.


I wrote...

Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done

By Charlie Gilkey,

Book cover of Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done

What is my book about?

How much of your time and attention lately has been focused on things that truly matter to you? Most people's honest answer is: Not enough. Everyone is buried by busy work, responsibility, distraction, and fatigue. The joy-producing, difference-making ideas are waiting for when the time is right, when the current project is over, when they have a little more money, when the kids are grown, or when they get a more understanding boss. They are waiting for someday. The trouble is: someday never comes on its own.

Start Finishing presents a nine-step method for converting an idea into a project by addressing the challenges you'll face and getting the project on a reality-based schedule.

Relax and Renew

By Judith Hanson Lasater,

Book cover of Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times

My copy of the original, 1995 edition of this book (published by Rodmell Press), is filled with paperclips and sticky notes marking my favorites among these very nourishing practices. Lasater is a physical therapist, with a PhD in East-West Psychology, who has taught yoga around the world since 1971. Back when yoga was becoming popular in the West--and many people viewed it as a “work-out”—Lasater pioneered the relaxing practice of restorative yoga, which was designed to help heal the effects of chronic stress. The book features dozens of restful poses, where the body is supported with various props—such as bolsters and blankets—arranged to make you as comfortable as possible so you can relax, breathe easily, find your center, and release tension from your body and mind.  


Who am I?

I'm a yoga therapist, health journalist, and author, and my passion is helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. In my work with hundreds of yoga students and yoga therapy clients, and in my own life—facing some serious health challenges—I’ve found that taking yoga off the mat and into daily life with these simple practices is a powerful way to relieve stress and find ease in body and mind. In our busy, hectic lives, Yoga Sparks offers a welcome chance to pause, breathe, and connect to our inner wisdom. They will help you pay attention and move mindfully through your own precious life. 


I wrote...

Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less

By Carol Krucoff,

Book cover of Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less

What is my book about?

You only need a minute—or even less—to get the stress-relieving and health-enhancing benefits of yoga. This book is a collection of simple yoga “micro-practices” you can weave into your day to create transformative moments that turn ordinary activities—like answering the phone or waiting in line—into opportunities to stretch and strengthen your body, quiet your mind, and lift your spirits. 

Yoga Sparks arose through my 45 years of yoga practice and two decades of teaching, and they focus on four main aspects of yoga: postures, breathing, meditation, and principles (such as gratitude). No need for a yoga mat or special clothing, they’re designed for anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.  If you can breathe, you can do Yoga Sparks

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

By Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay

Book cover of The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

My copy is the sixth edition, but this groundbreaking workbook now offers a seventh edition and is based on the authors’ decades of clinical experience working with clients suffering from varied symptoms of stress including insomnia, worry, hypertension, poor digestion, depression, and anger. This hefty book offers a comprehensive compilation of stress-reduction strategies—including techniques for relaxation, managing time, dealing with stressful thoughts and feelings, and effective communication. The workbook format provides helpful guidance to create a personal action plan for stress reduction.  


Who am I?

I'm a yoga therapist, health journalist, and author, and my passion is helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. In my work with hundreds of yoga students and yoga therapy clients, and in my own life—facing some serious health challenges—I’ve found that taking yoga off the mat and into daily life with these simple practices is a powerful way to relieve stress and find ease in body and mind. In our busy, hectic lives, Yoga Sparks offers a welcome chance to pause, breathe, and connect to our inner wisdom. They will help you pay attention and move mindfully through your own precious life. 


I wrote...

Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less

By Carol Krucoff,

Book cover of Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less

What is my book about?

You only need a minute—or even less—to get the stress-relieving and health-enhancing benefits of yoga. This book is a collection of simple yoga “micro-practices” you can weave into your day to create transformative moments that turn ordinary activities—like answering the phone or waiting in line—into opportunities to stretch and strengthen your body, quiet your mind, and lift your spirits. 

Yoga Sparks arose through my 45 years of yoga practice and two decades of teaching, and they focus on four main aspects of yoga: postures, breathing, meditation, and principles (such as gratitude). No need for a yoga mat or special clothing, they’re designed for anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.  If you can breathe, you can do Yoga Sparks

Breathe

By Ela Manga,

Book cover of Breathe: Strategizing Energy in the Age of Burnout

This book is about a new and elegant approach to healthcare called ‘energy management’. Dr. Manga’s passion is in bringing mindfulness into medicine and in inspiring conscious living as a way of restoring and supporting health and wellbeing. She teaches high performers how to access authentic energy instead of relying on adrenalized energy. Dr. Manga offers simple yet powerful ways to integrate what she calls “recovery loops” into our everyday lives. This book is full of real-life stories about the effects of stress and is a treasure trove of practical tips for preventing and recovering from it. In fact, I believe that this book will do more to help you prevent and recover from stress and burnout than anything you have learned or that has been published to date.


Who am I?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 


I wrote...

Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

By Dan Brulé,

Book cover of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

What is my book about?

What if you could control your outcomes and change results simply by controlling your breath? Now you can. In this definitive handbook, world-renown pioneer of breathwork Dan Brulé shares for the first time his Breath Mastery technique that has helped people from every walk of life all over the world.

Just Breathe is a simple and revolutionary guide that reveals the secret behind what the elite athletes, champion martial artists, Navy SEAL warriors, and spiritual yogis have always known—when you control your breathing you can control your state of well-being and level of performance. So if you want to optimize your health, clear and calm your mind, and spark peak performance—the secret to unlock and sustain these results comes from a free and natural resource that’s right under your nose.

Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves

By Trevor Romain, Elizabeth Verdick, Steve Mark (illustrator)

Book cover of Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves

This book contains lots of great ideas for handling your stress, again with humor. The book gives a “Stress’s Job Description,” notes how “sneaky” stress can be in getting you upset, and gives directions on how to become a “panic mechanic” by learning to identify what’s wrong (the “stress mess” and ways to cope) and how to avoid the world’s worst stress relievers, such as hurting or blaming others.


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.  

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