The Top 13 Best Books For Dealing With Anxiety

Anxiety, Depression, Stress

Books Recommended By Psychologists For Reducing Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives, but some people experience it all the time.

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America estimates that 40 million US individuals suffer from an anxiety disorder.

If you suffer from anxiety yourself or are a parent of a kid or teen who struggles with anxiety, reading about anxiety might be helpful.

According to Peggy Loo, PhD, a licensed psychologist in New York City and Director at Manhattan Therapy Collective,

“I honestly believe knowledge is power — that reading about anxiety will demystify your sensations or refute myths about them and provide you a blueprint to navigate uncomfortable moments.”

Additionally, according to Nina Kaiser, PhD, a licensed psychologist and the creator of Practice San Francisco.

“Reading and learning about anxiety helps normalize the experience of anxiety in a way that makes us feel less alone.”

It “may influence how we feel and think about our own experience, and it can also provide us with fresh ideas and approaches to attempt.”

Although classic psychological books are excellent sources, Loo and Kaiser also suggested a lot of worksheets.

According to Loo, “workbooks give material in smaller bits, usually with a quick exercise for processing or application, and frequently in a planned sequence that builds on what you have learned.”

Because the knowledge is easily absorbed, boosts confidence, and most importantly is actionable, they actually provide the ideal structure for a mind that is nervous.

We’ve compiled a list of the top books for anxiety management below, including both guided workbooks and self-help books supported by therapy.

The Top 13 books for calming anxiety include:

1. Workbook With A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Foundation

“Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, author of “Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks,” is priced at $10.29 on Amazon.

This workbook is a wonderful fit “for anyone who appreciates learning a strategy to anxiety backed up by considerable research,” according to Loo.

It is “a great beginning to managing anxiety and also has applications for depression utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy.”

One more advantage of this book? It gives a timescale for growth, according to Loo.

Anyone who is strongly motivated to make adjustments and get relief quickly may find comfort in this.

2. A Self-Help Book With A Social Anxiety Component

By Ellen Hendriksen, PhD, “How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety,” available at Amazon.

“How to Be Yourself” does an excellent job delving into the mental underpinnings that underlie social anxiety.

According to Loo, for anyone who relates with the line “self-consciousness on steroids.”

The author “weaves relatable anecdotes, actionable suggestions, and graphics (for all my visual learners out there) with sound psychological theory to address the too-loud inner critic who goes unchallenged.

Our cycles of avoidance, and the impossible expectations we have of ourselves in social situations.”

3. A WorkBook For Comprehending Sadness And Anxiety

Available at Amazon “The Anxiety and Depression Workbook” by Michael A. Tompkins, PhD ABPP and Judith S. Beck, PhD (Foreword).

According to Kaiser, “This book provides fundamental cognitive-behavioral tactics that we know are useful in changing how we think and feel about worry.”

The fact that “Dr. Tompkins presents concrete techniques that are firmly anchored in research” and does it, “In a manner that is both comprehensive and accessible” is what Kaiser claims makes this workbook so successful.

4. A Manual For Dealing With Intrusive Thoughts

Sally M. Winston, PsyD, and Martin N. Seif, PhD’s book,

“Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Overcoming Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts,” is available at Amazon.

For anyone who thinks that the strange thoughts that enter their minds are too taboo, bizarre, or abnormal to ever speak them aloud, this book is “one of the more validating reads” Loo has come across.

According to Loo, “this book gives the facts and dispels popular fallacies about intrusive thoughts, one of which is that almost everyone experiences intrusive thoughts, and this is normal.”

5. A workbook for phobia management

Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, author of “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,” is priced starting at $20.99 on Amazon.

It is “a well-known resource with a balanced perspective ranging from the more frequent forms of anxiety.

Such as panic attacks and worry, to specialized phobias,” according to Loo.

Going beyond explanations and solutions to offer a more comprehensive knowledge of anxiety.

Kaiser claims that “this is a practical and compelling book that many evidence-based therapist training programs employ as a crucial element of their curriculum.”

In addition, Loo says, “I liked that it included vital themes like nutrition, exercise, and the function of pharmaceuticals, rather than just focusing on tactics like relaxation and stress management.”

6. A book written with perfectionists in mind

Available at Amazon for $15.29 is “The Anxious Perfectionist:

How to Manage Perfectionism-Driven Anxiety Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” by Clarissa W. Ong, PhD, Michael P. Twohig, PhD, and Randy O. Frost, PhD (Foreword).

According to Loo, this book “speaks on the relationship between perfectionism and anxiety” and is a great resource.

“It challenges you to identify the question of who you want to be, not who you should be,” the author writes.

“It fosters a brutally honest self-appraisal of how being perfectionistic affects your wellbeing.”

7. A Worksheet With An OCD Focus

The “The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD” by James Claiborn, PhD ABPP (Foreword), Tom Corboy, MFT, and Jon Hershfield, MFT, costs $14.99 on Amazon.

Many people think of handwashing or repetitive habits when they hear the word “OCD,”

But Loo says she sees more patients who have obsessive thoughts or what she refers to as “compulsive thinking” without the outward behaviors”.

This book is suggested by Loo because it provides a thorough explanation of obsessional thinking, along with a number of instances and OCD-related themes.

The book also provides a helpful and useful introduction to mindfulness and shows how, contrary to popular belief, practicing mindfulness while obsessing can help you overcome your obsessions.

8. A Guide For Worried Parents

Carla Naumburg, PhD, is the author of “You Are Not a Sh*tty Parent: How to Practice Self-Compassion and Give Yourself a Break,” which is available at Amazon for $15.80.

Nearly every parent wonders occasionally if they are a good parent. This book focuses on self-compassion and offers helpful tips to assist with emotions of uncertainty or inadequacy.

According to Kaiser, comparison and self-criticism are frequently deeply ingrained in anxiety.

“We can lessen our experience of worry if we can learn to have compassion for ourselves as parents.”

9. An Anxiety-Related Book For Expectant And Postpartum Mothers

Karen Kleiman, MSW, and Molly McIntyre (illustrator), “Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: A Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers,” available at Amazon for $12.92.

Because of the supermom mythos, Loo claims that “this is a wonderfully open, illustrated book that gives voice to all of the totally typical fears in pregnancy and parenting that aren’t aired out in public.”

It contains brief, useful activities along with some much-needed comedy.

10. A Book Written For Worried Parents Of Teenagers

Tamar Chansky, PhD, author of “Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life—from Toddlers to Teens,” is a licensed psychologist. Available at Amazon.

Kaiser adds that because it “give parents a clear explanation of child anxiety and how to engage with your anxious child around creating skills that we know work.”

She recommends this resource to practically every parent of an anxious child who walks through her door.

This involves, in Kaiser’s words, “the capacity to recognize and alter worrisome thought patterns and to apply behavioral coping mechanisms to assist manage the experience of anxiety in the moment.”

11. A book for young people with anxiety

Eli R. Lebowitz, PhD, author of “Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD:

A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents,” whose book costs as little as $16.16 at Amazon.

While a parent, we are hard-wired to protect and support our children, so helping them as they face their fears is a necessary part of parenting an anxious child or teen, according to Kaiser.

She continues by saying that this book has ground-breaking research from Yale University that gives parents suggestions to utilize at home.

12. A guidebook for understanding teens’ worried thoughts

Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, and Katherine Martinez, PhD, authors of “My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic,” are selling it for $14.98 on Amazon.

“This book provides a teen-friendly introduction to the experience of anxiety and how teens can deal — it relies largely on evidence-based frameworks and practices that we know are successful,” Kaiser adds.

It was written expressly for younger people.

13. An adolescent textbook on anxiety

Available at Amazon for $15.89, “The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens: CBT and ACT Skills to Help You Build Social Confidence” by Jennifer Shannon, LFMT

According to Kaiser, this book “taps into evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy skills for teens” and is another one written specifically for teenagers.

The “teen-friendly format with practical and effective practice assignments and methods to do at home” is what makes it so approachable for younger readers.

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