The world is getting increasingly overwhelming. There is so much happening, and most of the time, we are bombarded with bad news. It’s really hard to be positive when all you hear is a truckload of negative stuff. Our mental health is just as important as our physical well-being. However, we often take our mental health for granted, mostly because we don’t know any better. Personally, I have struggled with my mental health a lot. And books have helped me so much through my depressive episodes.
Books To Read When You Are Depressed
(It’s always a good idea to visit a therapist in order to get clarity. Anyone can reach out for therapy. It has nothing to do with you being wrong. So please don’t hesitate to come out and ask for help.) I find books to be extremely therapeutic. There is so much wisdom that you can absorb by reading novels/books, and I highly recommend reading for those who are feeling low and are in dire need of some perspective. Now, without any further ado, let’s jump into our best recommendations quickly.
1. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Alright, let me confess it right here – I am a huge fan of Jen Sincero. I don’t want to sound dramatic and exaggerate anything, but Jen Sincero has legit saved me from making so many poor decisions that I would have made without batting an eyelid had I not read her words of wisdom. She is a Rockstar to me. “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” is a book about how you can stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.
So, if you are sulking with self-doubt and self-loathing, then this book is for you. Also, not to forget Jen Sincero’s writing style is extremely interactive and fabulous. It feels like she is talking to you, addressing your very own life problems. And she understands. She is so empathetic. Her writing won’t make you feel like you are being judged. In fact, she makes you feel okay about all the horrible things that you have been doing to yourself subconsciously. And then she guides you on how you can actually become a badass just like her. This book is like the Bible to me. No kidding! You can get the book here! 📖
2. Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman
This book is especially for those who aren’t very comfortable with the habit of reading. Or maybe you are a beginner and have started reading recently. Art Matters is a perfect book for almost anyone. As the name already suggests, the book is all about Art and how Art is so important for the world. Neil Gaiman talks about the significance of daydreaming, reading, libraries, and librarians in this book. And isn’t that just so freaking amazing? I absolutely loved his take on Art. And the fact that Neil Gaiman has a mastery at not only story-telling but also sharing words of wisdom makes this book a must-read if you are depressed. Art Matters will fill your heart with hope, motivation, inspiration, and positivity. So, definitely check this book out. You can get the book here! 📖
3. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
John Green is a master of framing exquisite sentences. Everything he writes feels like a quotation to me. “Turtles All the Way Down” is his most recent novel, which is about Aza Holmes, who suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This book is so important because people don’t really understand the weight of the illness. They think OCD is all about cleaning your hands and obsessing over neatness, which is so not true. OCD can be extremely exhausting and scary. And John Green did a stunning job of expressing what it feels like to be a person suffering from it. But the best part about the book is its ‘feel-good’ vibe. My major takeaway from the book is that your illness doesn’t define you. You are so much more than your illness. And that’s such a profound epiphany. You can get the book here! 📖
4. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini: This is one of the very first books that I read on the theme of mental illnesses. And, O my goodness, the author did such a fabulous job at describing depression that it’s just crazy. More than depression, I feel Ned Vizzini did a stunning job at describing the protagonist’s anxiety. This book gives you hope that no matter how difficult your illness is, you can always overcome it. Sometimes, it’s nice to read a book that describes your feelings so well. It’s like someone is validating your sufferings, and you feel like you matter. You can get the book here! 📖
5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I recommend this book to teenagers especially. Teenage is a strange phase. There is so much agony, and it’s only normal to feel everlasting waves of sadness without even recognizing the reason behind it. This book is about two boys, Aristotle and Dante, who are exploring themselves as individuals. Their friendship is so pure that it will definitely move you. There is an inherent positivity in the author’s writing style. It gives you hope and fills your heart with warmth. So, if you are feeling low or sad, then you should definitely check out this book. You can get the book here! 📖
6. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is a master at weaving magic. His books are pretty unique on their own. I love how he combines mysticism, spirituality, love, and so much more. I somehow always feel extremely positive whenever I read his books. His books have this sense of hope and goodness. And “Veronika Decides to Die” is one such book. As the name suggests, the protagonist Veronika is suicidal, and there is no heavy reason for the same, which I found so intriguing.
Paulo took a very different route in this book. He has talked about depression in depth. I loved how honest he described everything. He did not romanticize the illness, not even once. And yet he showed the readers a path to hope. The ending of the book is pretty good, in my opinion. It’s something that the reader can take away with themselves. You can get the book here! 📖
7. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
We complain about our long commute to work. We constantly criticize our siblings and parents for not doing things our way. There are so many things that just tick us off, and we go down the spiral of negative thinking. And most of the time, these things are pretty trivial, to say the least. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is one such book that will make you believe in the potential of humanity and willpower.
Especially if you take life for granted, which honestly, so many of us do so often, then you should definitely read this book. The book follows the real-life story of Lale and Gita, who meet each other inside the concentration camp of Auschwitz and fall in love with each other. They do everything in their power to save each other and their friends inside the camp. If you have lost faith in mankind and love, you should definitely read this book, as it will revive your faith in goodness. You can get the book here! 📖
Self-love is the key to living a good and happy life. Vex King’s book “Good Vibes, Good Life” is all about positivity, raising your frequency to a higher level in order to receive goodness and self-love. In a world where we constantly compare ourselves with others, it’s highly important to have a strong sense of identity and appreciation for yourself. Competition may turn into a vile thing if not dealt with maturity.
Personally, I loved this book to bits. It changed me so much, and while I was reading the book, I could feel a positive shift in my mentality. I especially recommend this book because it walks you through how you can also attract goodness and positive experiences. You get to learn some really significant lessons from this book and bring positive changes in your life. You can get the book here! 📖
9. Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson
Mark Manson doesn’t mince his words or sugar-coat them. He is all about tough love and telling the truth right to your face. And I know many people don’t like tough love, but you can’t deny the fact that sometimes you just need to face the hard realities of life in order to sustain. Mark Manson’s previous book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” was all about how not to let your external environment mess with your internal environment.
I recommend reading that book, as well. But his recent book “Everything Is F*cked” is all about hope. And hope, my dear friend is an extremely important thing. One can easily come out of crazy situations just with the power of hope. I also think the approach of the book is pretty mature, and anyone can easily comprehend the lessons. You can get the book here! 📖
10. Man’s Search for Meaning: The Classic Tribute to Hope from the Holocaust by Viktor Frankl
I guess the name of the book is already enough to communicate why I am recommending this book. “Man’s Search for Meaning” is one of those rare books that have the ability to change your life only if you give it a chance. Viktor E. Frankl was a doctor himself, and in this book, he shares his experiences of the time that he spent stuck inside the concentration camps of Auschwitz.
He shares anecdotes of other prison mates who killed themselves because they couldn’t take the torture anymore. And he also shares the stories of those hopeful bunch of people who visualized their freedom and felt the joy of living with their families once again. The book is so informative that I feel you will definitely gain some much-needed perspective if you are struggling through a tough period of time. You can get the book here! 📖
Books have the ability to save you only if you have faith and pick the right book for your situation. All the books that I have mentioned above will help you in some way or the other. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab a book right now! Have you read any of these books? Let us know if we missed any of your favorite books as well! Happy Reading!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)❓
Is reading books good for depression?
Yes! The key is to pick the books you really enjoy reading, the ones that’ll take you to a different world filled with your favorite fictional and mythical characters. And just pick a spot where you can sit comfortably for hours and start to read peacefully. You can keep your favorite beverage next to you as well.
Will reading make me happier?
Reading can give you a unique feel that transforms you into a totally different person. Take some time every day to read a few pages of any book you like. That kind of dedication will change your whole lifestyle better altogether.
Sneha Banerjee has been writing for half a decade now. She is also a professional copywriter and has worked for many businesses. She is a voracious reader, and her ultimate dream is to turn everyone into a reader.