According to a Morbidity and Mortality weekly report,  40% of US adults have been struggling with mental health or substance abuse in late 2020. It is easy to feel lost while being cooped up in your house for a long period of time. In such a situation, books can definitely be your best friend. There are a lot of self-help books that focus on sensitive topics such as depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Here are some which I have found helpful.

1. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

In this book, David D. Burns, M.D., a prominent psychiatrist, explains the amazing, clinically validated methods of feeling healthy. Feeling Good is an attempt at demystifying depression on the basis of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)  method. This book teaches you how to apply cognitive strategies to many different upsetting feelings such as low self-esteem, procrastination etc.  It also discusses how emotions can not be deemed as facts. According to Burns, just because someone has negative feelings does not affect their self worth in any way.

2. Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety

If you are a person constantly in battle with your internal anxiety, you would know how irritating and counterproductive anxiety is. This book approaches anxiety in an unconventional way. Instead of battling anxiety and trying to get rid of it, the authors — Kelly G. Wilson and Troy Dufrene — tell the readers to sit with their anxious thoughts, make it a part of their lives while taking it not too seriously. Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong talks about the role and reason for anxiety. The idea behind this book is moving forward with your life even when faced with difficult situations.

3. Living With Your Body and Other Things You Hate

Body image issue is a universal problem troubling people of different gender, race and age groups. Living With Your Body and Other Things You Hate offers a unique approach to addressing people’s struggle with body image. The book bases its theory on proven effective acceptance and commitment therapy. The authors of this book are Troy Dufrene and Emily K. Sandoz, who believe that the right way to deal with body image issues is not to tell the victims that their perception is wrong, rather it is better for the sufferer to accept the distressing thoughts. If you are constantly worried about your physical appearance, this book works as a useful guide to eliminate that worry.

4. Get Out of Your Mind and into Your Life

This book is all about using the processes of paying attention to your thoughts and taking them a little bit less seriously so they don’t govern your feelings. This book is based on ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). ACT is a scientifically based therapy that takes a look at why we suffer. According to ACT and this book, we suffer primarily because we try to fight the emotions of pain, sorrow, anxiety, etc. ACT is not about resisting emotions rather feeling them completely but not turning your choices over to them. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or anger issues, this book can help you immensely.

Although all of these books’ theories are scientifically backed and are capable of helping you, the most important part is to actually implement the lessons learned through these books in your life. Because knowing is only half the battle as the famous quote goes.