25 Best Books to Read cope with anxiety and stop overthinking
It may sound cliche but books can change your life. But the best books for overthinking and anxiety can truly change your life.
Reading self-help books and books by others who have struggled with anxiety helps you find inner peace and resilience, and a calmer, more mindful existence.
The trouble with anxiety and overthinking is that they trap you in your own head with thoughts you can’t escape and fears you feel you can’t escape.
And the more you overthink, the worse it gets until you get completely shut in, and paralyzed by your own mind, which makes you even less likely to take any action at all, and so you get even more anxious.
When you have anxiety or suffer from overthinking, it helps to speak to someone else, preferably a professional to help you get out of your head.
In addition to seeking professional help, reading self-help books such as the best books for overthinking and anxiety can help tame your restless thoughts and holds the keys to a more tranquil mind.
Anxiety, which goes hand in hand with overthinking is a big mental health problem across the globe. In fact, according to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect about 264 million people around the world.
And anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental illness in the US affecting 40 million adults ages 18 and older every year or 19.21% of the population.
Unfortunately, more people are indeed suffering from excess stress and anxiety than ever before especially since 2020 and the COVID crisis. And it still feels like since then so many world events and changes have so many of us on edge increasing the number of anxiety and overthinking sufferers.
There are many forms of anxiety including:
- GAD- or generalized anxiety disorder,
- social anxiety,
- panic disorder,
- as well as specific phobias.
Since anxiety has a profound adverse effect on the quality of life depending on severity, it is important to understand it, get insight, and learn different ways of coping to make life easier, calmer, and happier.
And that is exactly where this list of the best books for anxiety comes in.
Read these books on anxiety so you understand yourself, your brain, and your anxiety, and learn to calm your anxious thoughts down.
Also, some of the books in the list let you go along other people’s journey as they find answers to their anxiety from which you can learn as well to keep your mind calm.
The thing is that learning and finding information plays a big part in the journey to healing from anxiety and mental illness.
We must educate ourselves about our health conditions so we can deal with them appropriately, and learn how to heal ourselves.
Think about it-, whenever you have a problem, do you research it, read about it, and try to understand it as much as possible?
At least that is what I do. I know many other people do the same.
And anxiety is one of those problems that are so common, yet so elusive and puzzling. Only now we are starting to understand more about how our brains work. Neuroscience is breaking ground on the root cause of anxiety and how we can manage it.
Reading self-help books aimed at managing anxiety and overthinking is a good place to start healing your anxious mind.
And in this post, I list the best books for anxiety that offer practical advice based on scientific research to help you conquer negative self-talk and anxiety
But apart from the books written by mental health experts, this list also includes books written by other anxiety sufferers offering help based on their personal experiences.
I think it is good to hear how others who have health with anxiety have risen above the grip of anxiety.
So if you would like to learn more about the beast that anxiety is, and how to tame it, these books on anxiety will help you find not only understanding, and insight, they will arm you with tools to finally start getting your power back from the grips of anxiety.
Let the power held in the pages of these books light your way out of the labyrinth of overthinking and the shadows of anxiety into light and joy and peace.
So let’s dive right in and peruse the list of the best books to read for overthinking and anxiety.
But first, heads up! This post contains affiliate links and that means if you click through I may get a tiny tiny commission at no cost to you. See the disclosure here.
The best books for overthinking and anxiety
1. Stop Overthinking, Master Your Emotions & Start Taking Action: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Unproductive Thoughts, Beat Negativity and Unlock Your Unlimited Potential by Taking Decisive Action
This is a great book to read if you struggle with overthinking. The author shows you the negative effects of overanalyzing things and how it holds you back. If you want to reprogram your mind and beat overthinking this book will help.
Here is just a fraction of what is included in this book:
- Understand the root causes of your overthinking
- How Overthinking affects your personality
- Effective ways to stop and overcome overthinking
- How to Resolve mental clutter
- How to reprogram your mind
- Discover your Ikigai
- How to control your emotional state to your advantage
- Learn to leverage the Power of Focus
Rewire Your Mind: Stop Overthinking. Reduce Anxiety and Worrying. Control Your Thoughts To Make Better Decisions by Steven Schuster
In Rewire Your Mind: Stop Overthinking, Schuster understands the source of our anxious minds in the 21st century.
It’s likely that you have overblown expectations due to our modern lifestyles in this age.
This book goes to the root of the overthinking brain by helping keep your expectations in check.
This is the best book to read to help you understand your thoughts, clear the clatter, and get rid of negative thoughts that cause anxiety.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The power of Now calls us to harness our spiritual nature and learn to silence the ego which is the cause of our anxiety.
This book will teach you how to focus on the present moment, access your deepest self, a spiritual awakening, a personal growth journey, and discover truth and light by freeing us from the chaos our minds create.
Tolle shows us how we create our pain and how to free ourselves from pain by living fully in the now.
Reclaim Your Brain: How to Calm Your Thoughts, Heal Your Mind, and Bring Your Life Back Under Control, by Joseph A. Annibali.
A chief Psychiatrist at Amen clinics, Dr. Annibali has treated thousands of anxiety sufferers some of whom described their brains as in chaos, or felt like their brains were on fire.
So with his years of experience is well aware of some of the symptoms that accompany anxiety and overthinking.
In this prescriptive mind management book, he offers practical tips to reclaim your anxious brain and reclaim your life and peace of mind.
Anxiety and negative thinking are exhausting and learning to take control of your mind and restoring cognitive calm, will straighten the chaos and extinguish the fire in your anxious brain.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer The Untethered Soul is a must-read book.
Read The Untethered Soul and free yourself from negative overthinking.
Overthinking causes so much emotional distress, sometimes only presenting to use only the worst possible outcomes in any scenario.
And so, if your overthinking mind has you tied in knots of limiting beliefs, if you are going round and round in cycles of worry, Singer will show you how to free yourself from negative thought patterns.
You will discover peace and serenity and soar above habitual negative emotions that limit you.
With the help of this book, you will learn how to let go of the past and painful thoughts so you can feel happier and achieve self-realization and learn to dwell on the present moment.
Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World
I love this book. I can personally say this book saw me through a dark and very anxious part of my life and I still come to it over and over again when I feel stress and anxiety over life events starting to overtake me.
This book is based on Christian principles and references the bible, so if you are a believer this book will give you very calming and helpful tips to trust that all will be well.
Mike Lucardo invites you to let God and stop letting worry and fear control your life.
This book is easy to read and very calming when you feel things are scary and out of your control.
The Overthinker’s Guide to Love: A Story of Real-Life Experiments Turned Practical Wisdom By Kristen Ruth Smith
We all know that love sex and relationships can be rife with anxiety and a hotbed for overthinking.
If you are someone navigating these areas of life and feeling unsure and anxious, let Kristen help you find your way as you navigate love and relationships without the anxiety and overthinking this area of life can entail.
Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
If your mind has become a battlefield of warring thoughts, Winning the War in Your Mind is the book for you.
Craig Goeshel draws upon Scripture and the latest scientific research offering strategies to help us become free from destructive negative thoughts and find joy and peace as God intended us to live.
You can also get the accompanying working book, Winning the War in Your Mind Workbook.
Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Healing the Impact of Loss by Claire Bidwell Smith.
Claire Bidwell Smith’s Anxiety uncovers the connections between loss, grief, and anxiety.
Remember the 5 stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler Ross?
So anxiety is that missing stage of grief.
This book analyzes the psychology of anxiety and grief, offering practical help to you heal, and unpack the fears and vulnerability we feel due to loss.
Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief offers tools to help deal with anxious thoughts and panic attacks in a compassionate and practical way.
How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety
The biggest cause of social anxiety is that we are so afraid to be our true authentic selves. If you have social anxiety, How to Be Yourself is a must-read.
Dr. Hendriksen uses her own life experience with social anxiety, scientific evidence, new research, and actionable tips plus real-life stories of people who have survived social anxiety to show you that you too can beat social anxiety.
The Book of Overthinking: How to Stop the Cycle of Worry By Gwendoline Smith
In the Book of Overthinking, Psychologist Gwendoline Smith explains the concept of positive and negative overthinking and shows the truth about worry and how to deal with what she calls the thought viruses holding you back from having a calm and peaceful, and happy life.
Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time
Seth Godins Poke the Box belongs on any book list about books to read for anxiety and overthinking. And this book speaks to me.
As a professed overthinker and dreamer, I feel called out here.
How many of us overthink so much that we give up on our dreams?
Have you talked yourself out of the thing that you want the most? A dream job, the courage to talk to someone you would like a meaningful relationship with, a business idea? S many dreams die because we overthink.
So Seth Godin is asking you to embrace the fear of failure because you may likely very well succeed.
Get a copy of Poke the Box today and learn how to quiet your fear to go beyond your comfort zone so you can leave overthinking behind and live your dream life.
Rewire Your Anxious Brain
Rewire Your Anxious Brain uses the fascinating insights from neuroscience to go deep to uncover what is happening in the brain to cause anxiety.
The authors, Elizabeth M. Kerle and Psychologist Catherine Pittman show how the amygdala and the cortex areas in the brain play a part in the neuropsychology of anxiety.
I think understanding something is the first step in controlling it, and this book shows you how worries and ruminating thoughts are being produced in the cortex and how the amygdala contributes to anxiety.
Amygdala is our primal response center- the fight or flight center, and where fears are sensed and acted on without you even realizing it due to the primal protective nature of this primitive brain area.
Learn in this book how you can tap into these two areas of the brain to calm your anxiety. Get a copy of Rewire Your Anxious Brain on Amazon.
Read Practicing Mindfulness and harness the calming power of the 75 essential Mediations in the book that will help you reduce stress and improve your mental health vastly to live a more centered life.
Matthew Sokolov, the author of Practicing Mindfulness shows us how to use mindfulness to ground us and to find calm, mental fortitude, and resilience. And this practice of mindfulness is so crucial to living a happy life.
When you develop mental resilience it helps you overcome bad days and bad situations so you are not running into circles of repetitive self-destructive thoughts.
You learn through CBT_ and cognitive behavioral therapy how to overcome these thoughts and feelings.
This book contains 75 grounding meditations plus expert advice on dealing with wandering distorted thoughts.
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World
The Highly Sensitive Person By Elaine N. Aron is a transformational book. So many people suffer as highly sensitive people and feel overwhelmed by the world.
This book offers actionable ways to cope and calm the anxiety that overwhelms the highly sensitive person.
Pick the book on Amazon, today and start finding the insight you need to thrive as a highly sensitive person through effective tips and coping skills outlined in this book.
Fear Is Fuel: The Surprising Power to Help You Find Purpose, Passion, and Performance
By Patrick Sweeney II.
This is a powerful book on using the fear that drives our anxieties to actually live more fully. Instead of being anxious when faced with fear, you confront it, and in so doing you understand it and move past this fear to live more fully abundantly.
Think about the many things we avoid doing and in so doing fail to live to our full potential. We can overcome these roadblocks placed before us by our fearful anxious minds and go after our most brave and audacious goals.
Be Calm: Proven Techniques to Stop Anxiety Now
What I love about Stop Anxiety Now: Be Calm by Jill Weber, is that it offers practical ways to stop anxiety on the spot. That is powerful!
Think about all the times you have felt a panic attack or an anxiety attack at some unfortunate time or moment.
That can be very frightening. It leaves one feeling quite helpless to be in some public place and your brain starts having a meltdown.
With the tips in this book, you can quickly stop anxiety on the spot. This is a must-have book because we just never know when our brains are going to totally fail us spiraling into anxiety in an effort to protect us at the wrong time and in the wrong place.
Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You Into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It
Break free from the cycle of worry with the Worry Trick, so aptly named if I dare say. Neuroscience is now showing how our brain sometimes tricks us and makes us think the worst in some situations.
In anxiety, you question everything and magnify things into these great monstrous catastrophic events. Read The Worry
Trick and Let Psychologist and anxiety expert David Carbonell help you stop your thoughts from hijacking your brain so you can finally break the cycle of anxiety.
Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind
The essence of ” Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind ” really is that your self-talk and the things you may be doing to control anxiety are actually making it worse. That is you are feeding these cyclic toxic thoughts.
Do you think you do things to feed the monkey mind?
Psychologist Jeniffer Shannon knows about the monkey mind- the way the anxious brain goes from one awful thought to another and from scenario to awful scenario, and she is armed with CBT therapy to help you stop feeding your anxious thoughts.
. Shannon shows you how to identify your anxious thoughts and question them and also discover the main fears behind these thoughts.
You can pick up a copy of Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind on Amazon today.
How to Fail
In How to Fail, Elizabeth Day has a new approach to failure. She advocates not to fear failure but to celebrate it.
And the thing about it is that many times we see only success and never the many failures that came before the glorious moment of success.
We have all heard about the Wright Brothers and other famous people who failed epically over and over before achieving phenomenal success.
Yet we spend so much time avoiding things, fearing things, and being so anxious about failing and not being perfect.
Through humor, and honest insight Elizabeth Day gives us the okay to fail and not go through life anxious and fearful. We can learn and grow so much from failing.
Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks!
In the book Bad Ass Ways to End Anxiety &Stop Panic Attacks, author Geert Verschaeve shows you the counterintuitive ways to cope with anxiety and calm your mind.
This book offers a practical step-by-step guide for dealing with anxiety such as how to act and the thoughts to think when you are in a situation that makes you anxious, dealing with the fear of fear and anticipatory anxiety, and more.
The author will walk you through a science-based approach with specific stages that finally lead you to actually live an anxiety-free.
This book will help you to make the very things that scared you and caused anxiety to lose the power to cause you any anxiety and baseless fear.
Learn how to end anxiety and stop panic attacks. Get yourself a copy of Bad Ass Ways to End Anxiety on Amazon now.
Breaking up with anxiety
In Breaking Up with Anxiety, the author Whitney Rose chronicles her life’s journey fighting anxiety and looking for answers for most of her life. First, she was misdiagnosed at a young age, and many times in her life
Can anyone relate? Struggles with mental health are not easy and when someone opens a window to their soul and life and lets us in, it helps us to see ourselves in that struggle, or at least recognize it in others we know.
This is an inspirational book that shows you can fight against anxiety and win.
It is easy but compelling reading that anyone who knows this struggle will relate to and still learn from. Whitney reminds us that life has many ups and downs that may be the triggers and causes of anxiety but there is hope and you too can decide to break up with anxiety and win this battle.
Come along on Whitney’s journey and as you see her struggle you may have more understanding of yours.
However, even if you don’t have anxiety, this is a gift to understand those who struggle and hopefully be better support for them. Get a copy of Breaking Up with Anxiety on Amazon.
Unfuck Your Brain: Getting Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs, and Triggers with Science (5-Minute Therapy)
Well first, those may be strong words but sometimes it does take strong words to wake your brain up, shake it, and put it on the right path.
First I love the next part of the title: Getting Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs, and Triggers with Science (5-Minute Therapy). 5-minute therapy!
Get quick simple ways to shake out anxious thoughts and move past those bad moments quickly.
This is a go-to book to get science on your side to calm down any triggers just within 5 minutes.
Dr. Faith Harper understands what is going on in the brain, especially in cases of trauma responses.
She will walk you through retraining your brain to overcome these responses and empower you to form new wholesome responses to the regular old freakouts to non-threatening situations that our anxious brains tend to so magnify leaving us cowering shakily in the corner.
Be bold and your brain makes new neuro-pathways untangle your brain. Get a copy today on Amazon.
How to Come Alive Again
By Beth McColl
This one is a Keeper. Beth writes this book from a place of compassion and understanding, both telling you it’s okay not to be okay sometimes and just take those moments to just be.
But she also is encouraging us to continue working towards healing and growth. Beth brings the topic of mental illness out of the closet and lets us see that it is okay to talk about it openly. She also encourages us to seek help.
I couldn’t agree more. We need to normalize talking openly about mental illness as we do about high blood pressure for example.
The reviews on this book are outstanding on this book. It is truly a breath of fresh air that is very needed in the dark corners of anxiety and any form of mental illness.
I highly recommend this book. This is what one of the reviewers had to say: “One of the warmest, funniest, and most helpful books about mental health that I’ve read so far.
I read this book whenever I have a difficult time and it helps me to be kind and patient with myself. It’s so good – honestly, please buy it.”
You can get a copy of How to Live again now on Amazon.
First We Make the Beast Beautiful By Sarah Wilson
In First, We Make the Beast Beautiful Sarah Wilson advises embracing your anxiety and learning how to live fully with it.
The book offers practical advice on thriving every day despite anxiety by learning the things that help quiet the beast, minimize its ferociousness, and really take the time to practice a mindful approach to life.
And that is really sound advice making “First We Make the Beast Beautiful” one of the best books for overthinking and anxiety.
You can get a copy on Amazon and start making your beast beautiful today.
There are many more books on calming anxiety and overthinking I can recommend. But for now, let’s start with this list.
Anxiety is a condition that requires many resources to cope and reading self-help books for anxiety and overthinking is a great way to find the calm in life we need when living with anxiety.
Tell me in the comments if there are other books you recommend so that hopefully many more people can be helped to manage anxiety and find calm and joy in life.