5 Books Anxiety Sufferers Should Read Now

May 1, 2019 TJ DeSalvo

Books focusing on anxiety are helpful, but these nontraditional anxiety-related books are worth the read for anxiety sufferers.

Those who have been following this blog for a while know I love to read, and know I often read to help me better understand my mental health. These five books are not only some of my all-time favorites, but have been incalculably helpful for me in terms of coming to terms with my anxiety, and so I want to recommend them to you.

5 Best Books for Anxiety Coping

#1: Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor who moonlit as a philosopher. He was a devotee of the Stoic school, whose adherents strove to find tranquility in a world that so often seemed indifferent to their suffering. Obviously, the applications such work has to anxiety should be obvious. His meditations are short and aphoristic, making them perfect for a quick read during a sudden period of high stress.

#2: William Styron, Darkness Visible

Technically, this book is about major depression, but it’s been invaluable to me regardless. Darkness Visible is a short memoir detailing Styron’s descent (and recovery) from a major depressive episode that almost cost him his life. Though less than 100 pages, Styron discusses an impressive variety of topics, such as medication, stigma, and the relationship between mental illness and creativity. Above all, his book is a powerful testament that regardless of how far down one can plunge into darkness, you can rise above it.

#3: Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Rilke is one of the greatest German-language poets who ever lived, and this book comprises 10 letters written in response to a young poet asking the master to critique his work. To give an adequate summary in one paragraph is impossible – regardless, Rilke spends a lot of time passionately imploring his disciple to develop his inner self, which is advice that, during periods of darkness, has given me great solace.

#4: Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety

With a title like that, this book was bound to make the list. One of the first books to discuss anxiety on a philosophical level, Kierkegaard argues anxiety stems from our freedom of choice. He cites the biblical story of Adam’s decision to eat from the tree of knowledge as a profound example. Though anxiety may bring the potential for ruin, Kierkegaard also argues that it is only through anxiety that we can know ourselves and what we are capable of.

#5: Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

You don’t need to be a devout Catholic to appreciate the artistry of Dante’s masterwork. The notion of feeling lost in a dark wood midway through the journey of one’s life is universal. The architecture of the afterlife is comforting, as it reinforces the idea that everything (and everyone) will find their proper place. Plus, Dante is one of the greatest writers who ever lived, and even in reading in English translation, this is more than evident

Give these books related to anxiety a try. What anxiety-related books have you found to help you make it through the rough times?

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2019, May 1). 5 Books Anxiety Sufferers Should Read Now, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: TJ DeSalvo

Find TJ on Facebook.

Lizanne Corbit
May, 3 2019 at 8:20 pm

Love seeing the Marcus Aurelius book here. Books are such an amazing resource and source of general comfort. Looking forward to brushing up on these. Thanks for sharing!

May, 6 2019 at 12:44 pm

You're welcome! The Marcus Aurelius is probably my favorite of all the five, if only because it's so inviting and easy to read whenever you need it. It's a good companion! I often bring it with me wherever I go.

Leave a reply