World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day and if you’re anything like me, you may use reading as a form of self-care. As a person who has anxiety, I am especially fond of books that allow me to escape my own worries, but lately I have begun to appreciate the sense of being understood that I’ve gained from some of the books I’ve been reading lately. The list that follows is far from comprehensive, but contains books that have been helpful to me as I’ve learned to cope with my anxiety. I hope that one of these books might be that to you as well, but I also hope that you have books that you can leave for me in the comments so that I can have more books to read.

1. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

I know, I know, I haven’t stopped talking about this book, but honestly, the coping strategies Livvy uses in this book are worth reading even if you hate romance novels. Livvy has depression, I think, and has previously made a suicide attempt. She is also so unbelievably strong and wonderful. I think that for those of us who sometimes listen to the voice, the stigmas in the world, that tells us we’re weak, Livvy is both relatable and a dragon-slayer. She attacks her negative thoughts head on and with coping strategies that you can easily integrate into your own life. I genuinely cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Also, if you aren’t convinced by my fangirling, you can watch Fangirl Musings fangirl about it’s perfection in her latest video.

2. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I’ve raved about this book too, but talk about a book that made me feel seen. Taylor is overweight, has anxiety, and Asperger’s. She is also a great friend, amazing cosplayer, so smart, and and and. None of our mental health problems are the sum total of who we are, but I think sometimes it can feel as though they take over for us, which makes it easy to forget that we’re more than that. One of the things I loved the most about Taylor were her descriptions of what the anxiety felt like because it was like Wilde put the words in my mouth. I saw so much of myself in Taylor and I cannot say enough how much I appreciate that.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I love this book for a multitude of reasons, but one of those is how relatable I found Cath. She’s an introvert, but that’s in part due to how much anxiety she feels about socializing with people. She finds it easier to write than to speak aloud sometimes, which is definitely something with which I can empathize. Plus, how can you not relate to Cath? Fangirl life is and will probably always be my life. I need to re-read this because I love it so much.

4. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

Etta is in recovery from an eating disorder not otherwise specified and while I haven’t personally experienced an eating disorder, I have friends who have. The thoughts Etta has throughout this book felt like sentiments my friends have expressed. Additionally, Emma from emmmabooks has attested to the fact that the rep is great in terms of eating disorders. Additionally, the book tackles biphobia, which is always something to support and applaud.

5. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater

If you’re looking for a fantasy read that has some mental health aspect to it, I think Maggie Steifvater delivers in the third book in her The Raven Cycle series. Gansey starts to experience panic attacks in this book, which is actually so great in terms of rep because Gansey always comes across as the clear leader in the group. Not to mention, he’s Richard Gansey. And his friends rally to his side and they help him, which shows that you can be powerful and lean on your friends, even if your pain is internal rather than external.

What are some of your favorite mental health reads? I’ve been paying much more attention to mental health rep of late than I have in the past so please send me all of your recommendations.


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