8 Mental Health Book Recommendations

October 29, 2020 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Book Recommendations, Books, Features

So October is Mental Health Month in Australia, with the message – to look after yourself and be open to having conversations when you’re struggling. It’s a great reminder to open up the communication with your loved ones and say “hey, I think I need to talk to someone”. With isolation and distance during this pandemic, sometimes a friendly face or conversation is all you need to share your worries & concerns when you’re struggling.

Here’s some book recommendations about mental health that we recommend:

For coping with mental health in the family:

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Sometimes mental health isn’t just about us, sometimes it’s about coping with a family’s mental health as well. In this book, Anna Chiu is learning how to support her family when her mother suffers from debilitating depression which leaves her unable to leave her bed. Along with fantastic own voices Chinese diaspora rep, this book also tackles cultural attitudes about mental illnesses which felt really relatable. (Jeann)

Check out my full review here! 


For the aftermath of suicide, trauma & grief

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Trauma, grief and distancing oneself from others who care about you is a common reaction to losing a loved one, which is what The Last Time We Say Goodbye explores. In this book, Lexxie is just trying to cope after losing her brother to suicide. Through her diary entries, its told in an extremely raw, honest and powerful way. Definitely pull out the tissues for this one.  (Jeann)

Check out my full review here! 


For hallucinations, co-dependency & pyromania

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

This book is a dark mental health read about two boys in an incredibly co-dependant relationship, where one of the boys sees a fantasy, dream land overlapping with his own. It explores being tied so closely to one another that you go down together, rather than leaving the other person to suffer themselves. It also features fantastic bisexual representation and a unique format which made it magical to read. (Jeann)

Check out my full review here! 


For anxiety disorders

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder follows a main character who suffers from severe anxiety and selective mutism as a result. The novel also features a non-hearing character and the friendship and relationship that forms between the two characters. (Jenna)

Check out Jenna’s full review here!


The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

This is one of my favourite books of all time because of the very accurate representation of obsessive compulsive disorder. Despite exploring the very serious effects of this anxiety disorder on the individual and those around him, the book is still able to bring in humour to make it an enjoyable read. Adam, the protagonist of the novel is relatable and endearing, and will have you falling in love with The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B as well. (Jenna)

Check out Jenna’s full review here!


Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

I’ve read a lot of books about agoraphobia but Highly Illogical Behaviour is definitely one of my favourites. It’s short and written from multiple perspectives: Solomon who has agoraphobia and Lisa, an aspiring psychologist who thinks she can fix Solomon. The book is beautifully written and will have you laughing and crying. (Jenna)

Check out Jenna’s full review here!


I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

This is another one of my favourite books of all time, for it’s beautiful story and exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder. The novel follows Skylar who’s from a small town and just wants to escape. Enter, Josh, a former colleague of hers who has returned from Afghanistan with serious injuries and PTSD. I’ll Meet You There is a wonderful story that explores PTSD in a sensitive and accurate manner. (Jenna)

Check out Jenna’s full review here!

Have you read any of these books? What are your mental health recommendations?


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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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3 responses to “8 Mental Health Book Recommendations

  1. Thank you for sharing this list! Mental Health Awareness month is earlier in the year in the US, but it’s nice to see recommendations at other times of the year too! I also wasn’t aware some of these titles dealt with mental health, I’m bumping them up on my TBR now.

  2. These sound really interesting.
    I’ve been trying to get more into health rep books so I will definitely try these!
    You could almost turn this post into a mental health awareness book tag!
    Emma xx

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