Find hope in these books as they take you on an incredible journey of suffering and anxiety with their characters (sometimes painfully) accurately illustrating what it truly means to live with the condition and how to triumphantly overcome it.

 best books on depression, recommended books on depression

Furiously happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things (Non-fiction) by Jenny Lawson


Grab your copy here.

The Bell Jar (Fiction) by Sylvia Path



A rational narrative of irrationality, The Bell Jar is a superb account of what it means to be gripped by insanity. It takes the reader to the darkest corners of the human psyche, in a way that makes the whole experience so real that we question whether this is insanity or simply another version of reality. Plath herself struggled with severe depression and whilst the fictional novel is semi-autobiographical, it is based on a woman named Esther Greenwood who during an internship at a New York fashion magazine has a major mental breakdown contemplating suicide. Get ready to literally experience Esther’s horror with each page of the book. A fascinating and insightful read.

Grab your copy here.

Thirteen Reasons Why (Fiction) by Jay Asher



Grab your copy here.

Veronica Decides to Die (Fiction) by Paulo Coelho



Twenty-four-year-old Veronika is young, beautiful, in a meaningful relationship and has a loving family and fulfilling job. Yet she pines for more – there is an absence that haunts her constantly. Eventually she overdoses on sleeping pills hoping to never wake up. She survives; waking up to a mental hospital where she learns that she has days to live.

A beautiful meditation on the borders of conventional sanity – Coelho explores what is considered ‘normal’ and what is not – and who defines that. Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of sanity. Brilliantly illuminating, it is a fascinating story of a young woman grappling with life and death, hope and despair, gratitude and irreverence with a hopeful silver lining. 

Grab your copy here.


Looking for something more specific? Get something more tailored with our personalised book prescriptions within 48 hours. You might also find it helpful to explore these feelings in a bibliotherapy session or learn some bibliotherapy techniques to help you process these feelings by completing our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course or our book Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading.


A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course. We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc). There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish two books called Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading and The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines. I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications. If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at or

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