B. 5 Powerful BOOKS to Help You Navigate Depression and Anxiety

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Whenever I’m really struggling with depression or anxiety I find it kinda helpful to read books about it. I don’t just stick to one type. I like a good mix of funny, inspirational and how-to.

I’ve outlined my top five favorite reads EVER and I hope you find them useful too.


Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

From heartbreaking to hilarious and everything in between this is Lawson’s memoir about her struggle with depression, anxiety, avoidant personality disorder and more; yet vowing to not let it rule her. I appreciate the humor in darkness when it’s coming from somebody who knows the depths of hell that mental illness can bring.


Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Memoirs are definitely my favorite genre to read. I love to read inspirational stories about people who have gone (or are going) through the same things I’m struggling with. It reminds me I’m not alone and that can be pretty comforting when I’m feeling down and alone.


The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

This book will speak your language if you struggle with depression. Some say it may be too dark for those who are currently depressed but I’ve always felt like the more real and raw something is, the more it comforts me. It might be hard to get through and I might “break” a little at times, but ultimately I’m better for it – kind of like a tough therapy session. I feel like somebody else out there really understands the pain with being depressed.


You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I love the bluntness and sassiness that is Jen Sincero. This book isn’t just for people who are struggling mentally, it’s motivating for everyone! It’s filled with advice, personal stories, exercises and some swearing. I don’t get turned off by swearing and some of hers made me laugh out loud. I listened to the audiobook and I highly recommend it! I also wanted a hard copy because there were so many takeaways I wanted to dogear and highlight.


13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

As soon as I heard this was coming to Netflix I knew I had to read the book first and I’m glad I did. I cried while reading the book and I sobbed while watching the Netflix series. Why? Because I could relate to the main character in so many ways. It really brought me back to my own high school years. I appreciated how raw it is. It felt so real to me and very close to my personal experiences. I completely understood her despair and why she wanted to kill herself. I think this is another book everyone should read. It’s perfect for those struggling and those who know somebody who is to help them understand.


The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

This is just a bonus that everyone should read to help them understand themselves and their relationships with other people.

This book was recommended to me several times before I actually read it. I thought there’s no way I’m reading some silly book about secrets to lasting love. Once I started reading the book, I was sold.

Basically Chapman outlines the five love languages which are ways we express and experience love with the people in our lives.

The Five Love Languages:

  • receiving gifts
  • quality time
  • words of affirmation
  • acts of service (devotion)
  • physical touch

I found it so fascinating to learn about these and then I started to figure out what kind of love language the people I’m close to “speak”. It really is helpful to understand your relationships with people and learn how to serve them in a way that they’ll respond best to.

*Note: I’m a little acts of service and a lot of quality time.


Crawling Out of Darkness: 12 Strategies to Implement Now to Help Battle Depression Naturally by Melinda Friedland (yours truly)

Shameless plug for my own book but I believe it can help people. I have received great feedback – even from my own teenagers. I’ve read so many books and memoirs about depression that I started to feel like I should write my own and share my own experiences and tips. I did that by asking myself what I was always wanting to know or wanted help with and it turned into a labor of love for sure.

If you prefer the natural methods of battling depression, this book is for you. It talks about several different ways to cope with your depression – even if it feels like it never really goes away.

I told you I liked a good mix!

xo Mindi

Q. Have you read any of these books? What’d you think? Are there others you would recommend?

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My name is Mindi and I'm an office manager and blogger living in Minnesota with my husband and our blended family of four children. Thank you for visiting Lifting Makes Me Happy! I fight depression and anxiety with healthy living and writing. I hope you are encouraged and motivated by the things I share here. I appreciate you stopping by!
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