The 10 Best Books for Anxiety: Experts and patients reviews

The 10 best books for anxiety: books for management of anxiety

In America, anxiety affects about 18% of the population translating to over 40 million adults. All these people cannot live life to the full potential of fear and worry.

Chronic anxiety is quite debilitating. Chronic anxiety which occurs in most anxiety can also lead to other physical and mental conditions.

There are several anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and specific phobias among others.

Anxiety is treatable. There are several ways of treating or coping with anxiety which are explored in several anxiety disorder books. Doctors will recommend one or a combination of the following treatment methods; medication, learning how to cope with stress and anxiety, psychotherapy, exercises, and positivity.

Anxiety self-help books are an excellent source of information on the modern techniques for managing anxiety. These books explore methodologies that are scientifically proven to help with anxiety.

To prevent any biases, we will avoid the books by our founder. Some of the best anxiety books include:


Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks

Dare: One of the best books for anxiety

This book offers a new approach to dealing with anxiety disorders.
It is meant to help readers whose anxiety has not responded to traditional therapies and who think anxiety cannot be conquered.

Author Barry McDonagh, one of the best-selling authors on anxiety, helps people through this book by asking them to “Dare” anxiety. This means that you accept that you have anxiety, fear, and panic attacks and face them head-on.

The author was faced with a similar situation and daring anxiety to do its worst changed his life and those of others for over 10 years. The book thus gives you a motivational and proven methodology to face anxiety and win.

The book which takes an effort to implement its advice helps you to change the response to fear or panic. This way you can control the resultant body reaction to the anxiety, or you can cope with the anxiety in your daily life. Dare: D –Diffuse, A – Allow, R – Run Towards, E – Engage.

The book borrows heavily from Dr. Claire Weeke’s ‘hope and help with your nerves’ but with Barry’s personal experience. The author makes a huge case for non-medical treatment against the recommendations of many psychiatrists who think combining therapy and medication can give relief.

The book can be used by everyone; age and background notwithstanding. However, I felt that the book has not defined exhaustively how to apply the methodologies like mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in all anxiety disorders but is excellent for panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia.

The methodologies expounded in the book include:

  • Confront the anxious conditions that you fear and avoid like driving, flying, heights, speaking among others
  • Diminish or halt the thoughts associated with anxiety and the moods of general anxiety
  • The supplements that work for anxiety
  • Techniques and skills to stop panic attacks
  • How to boost your self-esteem and confidence
  • How to get a night free from anxiety

In addition to the book, there is an app and audiobook that can help in anxiety relief.


  • The book presents methodologies that are simple to implement. The methodologies even though they take an effort and time to implement are practical. The instructions also make it easy to realize when you go wrong or where you went wrong.
  • The book has a personal touch and is friendly: Barry brings out the personal touch and friendship in the book, unlike other books where you are just a patient.
  • The book is accompanied by 21st-century solutions: Barry’s book has an accompanying app, audiobook, social media engagement, and others. These are in addition to the coaching and mindful adaptations offered by the book.
  • The book is directed to the problem: The book directs its methodologies to fear/ anxiety. This does not give management solutions for a lifelong disability but offers means to beat the anxiety.
  • The author has managed to build on work by other authors. This helps to offer solutions that are proven

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Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weeke

Hope and help for your nerves: Best books for anxiety

This book has been quoted or referred to by many authors because of the practical solution the book offers. The book has been one of the reference books for ‘Dare’, ‘The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook’ by Dr. Bourne, and others.

Claire Weekes was an outstanding author who explained that even though people who have never gotten an anxiety disorder think that the anxiety symptoms are minor, to people suffering from anxiety disorders they markedly reduce their quality of life. Dr. Claire used all her experiences in treating anxiety disorder patients to make the book.

“Hope and Help for Your Nerves” is a revolutionary book that gives simple techniques to understand and overcome how the body overreacts to some stimuli on a step-by-step basis. It focuses on how to regain control while faced with anxiety.

The only con for this book is that the book was written some time ago and thus may feel outdated by people currently.

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Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks!: A counterintuitive approach to recover and regain control of your life by Geert Verschaeve

Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks: Best books for anxiety

Many books, doctors, and friends recommend managing anxiety for people suffering from anxiety disorders. The solution for anxiety is not resisting, fighting, or ignoring it! That’s what Geert explains in the exemplary anxiety book.

The book elucidates methods that are geared to make you recover. The book helps you to focus on helping the brain to calm down.

This is because, in people with anxiety disorders, the brain has been changed to respond to little to no stimuli at all. Because of this, the brain of a person who has anxiety disorders ‘do it to themselves.

The solution for anxiety, therefore, is to train the brain to solve the big puzzle that results in anxiety in people. His ideas help to resolve the big puzzle by using several ideas creatively to attack the anxiety.

‘Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks’ uses scientifically proven and counterintuitive skills and techniques to end anxiety. The author used and perfected the techniques to fight his anxiety disorder.

The book shows you that anxiety is normal and can not cause any major harm to your body. The second step is to show you that fears and anxieties sometimes are not real.

The third step is to check the progress in tackling anxiety. The final step is to reinforce the learnings of the book if anxiety tries to return.

What does ‘Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks’ teach?

  • A detailed plan on how you should react to the fears.
  • What to think of the situations that cause anxiety
  • How to tackle agoraphobia and other fear of the fear situations
  • How do you feel when you have anxiety and how to attack those feelings
  • Things that can be avoided to prevent anxiety and panic attacks
  • How to stop fearing that an anxiety attack is about to happen and live your life

This is one of the best books ever written on tackling anxiety. Almost all the patients visiting our clinic have given this book the thumbs-up sign. This book will make you a fearless badass to anxiety. Read it and you will surely be on your way to tackling anxiety head-on.

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When Panic Attacks by Dr. David Burns

When panic attacks: The best books for anxiety

The book by Dr. David D. Burns defines people with chronic
disorders as people who walk around with fear and nervousness because their minds have convinced them that their fears are showing. The deceitful feelings of fear do not have a basis in reality, but they feel real.

These fears examples include the fear of flying, public speech, walking alone, riding a bike, and driving among others. People with these anxieties analyze every situation and try to get a negative in everything.

‘When panic attacks’ gives you the 40 skills and techniques to recognize these fears and thoughts and tackle their deceit. It gives you a reason to love yourself and take care of the self.

The Author has done several pieces of research on anxiety and depression and this book combines the research to give a great treatment for anxiety. The author has helped so many people with emotional disorders through the book ’Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.’

The book is a masterpiece for people suffering from anxiety because it packs several therapy sessions in the book for a better prognosis. People claim that the book sounds like seeing a therapist.

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The anxiety and phobia workbook by Edmund Bourne

The anxiety and phobia workbook: the best books for anxiety

This book is a classic on anxiety. The book has been recommended as one of the best workbooks on anxiety by psychiatrists and psychologists.

Edmund Bourne, the author is a cognitive-behavioral therapist. He uses his workings to give excellent methods to recognize and tackle anxiety.

‘The anxiety and phobia workbook’ paints a clear picture of the causes of anxiety concisely in addition to giving excellent ideas for the treatment of anxiety disorders. It gives a clear guide on how to start facing anxiety.

The ideas provided in this book fit all people suffering from different anxiety disorders. Since anxiety disorders present in different manners in different people, the book gives solutions that serve different presentations
of anxiety.

The book has been updated with the latest scientifically proven methods for the management of anxiety. These methods include:

  • Holding off the negative thoughts
  • Understanding the deceit that comes with anxiety feelings
  • Changes in diet and lifestyle that can help in anxiety
  • Learnings on how to relax and apply breathing techniques to manage anxiety
  • Prevention of panic attacks
  • How to cope with anxiety attacks
  • Why you need to seek and complete therapy

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Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff

Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety: Best anxiety management books

Just like the title language looks like, the book does not
mince its words when it comes to tackling anxiety. The book offers frank, direct, and blunt advice on anxiety disorders. For this reason, not everyone may appreciate it.

The book, which is delivered in a friendly and humorous manner, reduces the stigma associated with mental disorders. The methods may not be revolutionary, but it delivers the methodologies in a way everyone can relate to.

The book also uses a language free from scientific terminologies thus making it easy to read for all. This way the book makes sure the anxiety self-help book is not a task in itself.

The book is a must-read for anyone suffering from anxiety and depression.

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My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of
 by Scott Stossel 

My age of anxiety: Best books for anxiety

People experience anxiety in different ways. For this reason, you may experience anxiety in your way. For the author,
Scott Stossel, anxiety mattered to him because he was a victim.

From his personal history, Scott looks at every facet of anxiety. He researched for years about anxiety and combined his personal history into this great book.

‘My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind’ has several ideas on how to cope with anxiety. The book looks at the causes and triggers of anxiety. The book explores anxiety causes such as social, mental, and environmental, and how to minimize or stop the actions of these triggers in your body.

The 2 major differences between this book from others are that it gives specific examples of people who have faced anxiety and the impact of medication on anxiety disorders. The book is therefore a great read because it explores all facets of anxiety and its treatment. It does not only major in one area but several areas that affect anxiety.

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The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points by Alice Boyes PhD

The anxiety toolkit: the best anxiety books

In many of the books we read on anxiety, a focus was on techniques, methods, and skills on how to beat anxiety. The books will claim that achieving an anxiety-free life takes a lot of effort and energy. Yes, this is true but is not inspiring or requesting you to act.

‘The anxiety toolkit’ is quite different from most of the other books. It offers inspiration and motivation by design that even though the process requires effort, you can do it. The book gives a guide on how to apply the techniques by focusing on the hearty emotions (being gentle to yourself) to make you act.

The book explores the underlying common habits that are seen in anxieties. These are the areas where even though we try getting treatment, we are stuck.

The book while acting on the emotion for inspiration, looks at the causes of anxiety and offers step-by-step skills and techniques to reduce anxiety. Some of the solutions to our anxieties are simple, like mindfulness meditation.

The book includes interactive materials like quizzes to help you understand the content and apply it.

Dr. Alice Boyes, the author, uses scientifically proven methods that are used in therapy and translates them to everyday life’s hacks. The tips and tricks make your life less anxious and thus you can enjoy a good quality of life.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry by Seth J Gillihan PhD

Cognitive behavioral therapy made simple: best books for anxiety

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-researched and effective method to treat anxiety, stress, and depression. The book gives simple and necessary methods that can be applied to emotional disorders.

The anxiety help book relates CBT to life situations thus making it easy for a person suffering from anxiety to understand and apply the techniques and skills learned. It is a great book to accompany CBT therapy sessions or to read on its own.

CBT should help a person to change whether through therapy sessions or not. This book helps you to be the primary agent of change as a person suffering from anxiety.

Some of the things that this book helps to change include negative thoughts, maladaptive behaviors, and core beliefs among others.

The author, Seth Gillihan, has a wealth of experience in anxiety disorders. In the book, Seth translates the scientific jargon used in workbooks with simple and easy-to-use strategies for anxiety disorders.

The book offers the following:

  • Simple and applicable elucidation of the 10 CBT principles that are essential for success.
  • A goal-setting strategy that has a detailed way to achieve them
  • Self-evaluation tools to track the progress in healing and change track if you are stuck.

Since Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be very effective in the management of anxiety, ‘cognitive behavioral therapy made simple’ is a must-have for anyone suffering from anxiety. The book is also essential for anyone who is not sure whether to use CBT or not.

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Be Calm: Proven Techniques to Stop Anxiety Now by Jill Weber PhD

Be calm: Best books for anxiety

This book gives a detailed account of the science behind anxiety. This is inclusive of how the body reacts and the emotional components of anxiety.

Science about anxiety is explored in this book to give the best approach to tackle anxiety. The technique works in foul thoughts and moods, negative thinking of the end results of anxiety, and the behavior of chronic fear that reinforces anxiety.

The practical self-help anxiety book enables you to be prepared for anything that the anxiety throws at you. For this reason, the book is also effective in stress management.

The delightfully written book gives approaches that are very effective in tackling anxiety and is unique. The best thing about be calm is that it throws in some techniques which most people have never heard of in a user-friendly manner.

Since it is based on science, the methods are definitely destined to succeed. It taps on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness meditation to reduce anxiety.

Jill Weber the author, gives the reassurance that ‘be calm’ techniques will always work to reduce anxiety.

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How to choose the best book for anxiety

You’re feeling anxious about something. Maybe your test is tomorrow, or maybe you’re about to give a speech at work, or maybe you’re just going to an unfamiliar place. Whatever the cause, you feel nervous and excited all at the same time.

  • Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, and it’s something we’re all likely to experience at least once in our lives. But if you have a high level of anxiety, that feeling can last, and it can be hard to shake. If you’re looking to reduce your level of anxiety, you want to learn how to choose the right books for you. Here’s what you should know.

You need to pick the best books for anxiety that work for your needs. If you have generalized anxiety disorder, this book might not be the best fit:

Don’t worry about picking the best book for your needs too quickly. You want to take your time picking out a book and make sure it’s the right one for you.

Medication-free strategies

To reduce your anxiety, you want to find a strategy that doesn’t involve medication. While there are medications that can help with anxiety and it may be worth trying those if you’re not getting relief, this article is about strategies for reducing anxiety without medication.

One way to reduce your level of anxiety involves finding things that make you feel calm. Find what works for you—it could be yoga, reading, or watching a soothing show on TV.

Another way to reduce your level of anxiety is through meditation. Meditation has been shown to help people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in particular by teaching them how to change their thoughts and reactions to stressful situations.

There are also some books out there that can help people with GAD learn more about their own mental health and learn ways to better manage their condition; these books are often written by experts or people who have dealt with GAD themselves, which makes them especially valuable.

What if you just want to be encouraged?

If you’ve been struggling with anxiety for a long time, reading about other people’s struggles can be tough. But if you’re looking to just be encouraged, there are a lot of great books out there.

Here are a few books that might help:

  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  • If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher
  • Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

These books all have different focuses, but they all share the same promise: that no matter how anxious or worried you feel right now, life will get better.

What if you have a specific worry to address?

If you want to resolve a specific worry, then it’s best to read books specifically about that worry. For example, if you want to be able to speak in public, you would buy a book on public speaking techniques.

A good place to start is by looking for books with reviews on Amazon. If the reviews are great, then you know the book will address your problem and help you out!

If you’re looking for a general approach to anxiety reduction, there are many books that can be helpful. Books like “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn or “What You Focus On Expands” by Sonia Choquette can teach readers how to reduce their level of anxiety and live more peacefully in just about any situation.

Self-help strategies

Some books for anxiety may include strategies to help you feel better. For example, some may teach you how to change the way you think about things, or teach you various relaxation techniques. The best self-help books for anxiety are ones that are easy to read and follow and don’t offer too many steps in order to be successful.

Fiction books that help lessen anxiety

If you’re looking for a book to read that will help you feel less anxious, fiction books are the way to go. Fiction books tend to have an escapist element in them, which can make the reader feel less stressed.

A lot of fiction books, like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, create a world that which readers can lose themselves in and forget about their worries.

If you think you’d enjoy reading something like this but are hesitant because of your anxiety levels, try reading with a friend so you’re not alone. This will help take your mind off things and give your anxiety some relief.

When you’re feeling stressed, it can be calming to read something that takes you elsewhere. For this, fiction is a great option. The best books for reducing anxiety are often fictional novels or short stories. This genre will take your mind off of the stress and let you explore new worlds or get lost in old memories.

Many popular authors have written excellent works of fiction which can help reduce anxiety levels. If you enjoy literary works, try reading any one of these famous authors: Margaret Atwood, Harper Lee, Alice Walker, or Edith Wharton. These women are all known for writing stories that are both entertaining and thought-provoking – perfect for when you’re feeling stressed!

If you prefer more contemporary literature, try reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Lowland” or Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.” Both authors create strong female protagonists who struggle to find their place in society and keep their mental health intact amidst difficult circumstances.

If you enjoy science fiction or fantasy novels, look into Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” or Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness.” These novels offer powerful narratives about overcoming oppression while also exploring themes like gender identity and sexuality that are important to people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Nonfiction books that will help you reduce anxiety

One way to reduce your anxiety is to read a book on the topic. There are many non-fiction books on anxiety and other related topics, and they can be especially helpful if you just want to understand what your anxious feelings are about. For example, Anxiety 101: A Simple Guide for Understanding Anxiety Disorders is a great choice for anyone who wants to learn more about what anxiety is, why it happens, and how to manage it.

While reading this type of book can be beneficial in some cases, there are also drawbacks. If you’re simply looking for relief from your anxiety, these books may not provide enough of a solution because they usually focus on understanding the emotions you’re feeling rather than what specific actions to take. You also have to find a book that matches your personality and interests to get something out of it.

Nonfiction books are a great, low-cost solution to anxiety. They offer techniques and strategies you can use to manage your levels of stress.

When choosing which nonfiction books to read, look for titles that offer you insights into the causes of your anxiety and how to develop coping mechanisms.

How to Tell If a Book Will Benefit Your Anxiety

The first thing you should do when choosing a book to reduce your anxiety is to think about what type of anxiety it is. If you have general anxiety, you might want to try a specific self-help guide. If your anxiety stems more from social situations, then a book on social anxiety could be helpful.

Next, you should make sure the book offers some sort of reassurance or calming thoughts. This could come in the form of stories about others who suffered from anxiety and overcame it, or it might just offer advice on how to combat feelings that arise naturally. You don’t want to read a book that will just add to your stress levels by being too negative or frightening.

Finally, choose a book that has an ideal length for you. Not everyone feels comfortable reading a lengthy text and then sitting with it for any length of time before taking action–some people need something shorter and more digestible.

What to Read to Ease Your Nerves

There are books that can help you feel less anxious. And there are books that won’t do anything to ease your nerves. If you’re looking for a book to reduce your level of anxiety, these are the ones you should read:

  1. Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
  2. The Anxiety Solution: How Everyday People Defeat Worry, Panic, and Fear by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky
  3. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness by Daniel G. Amen

Your Favorite Authors and Their Books on Anxiety

Let’s start with your favorite authors. They may not have written a book on anxiety, but they can still help you through the experience.

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors, and she has a ton of books on anxiety and self-help that you might find helpful. John Green is another author who has dealt with anxiety as well, and his books are worth checking out.

Beyond your favorite authors, there are some great books for anxiety that are worth looking into. Let’s take a look at some of the best books for anxiety:

  1. “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Treating Fear;”
  2. “The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind And Moving Past Your Stuck Points;”
  3. “Anxiety-Free Kids: 30 Days To An Easier Child By Teaching Skills For Managing Stress And Anxiety;”
  4. “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living (Dover Thrift Editions);”
  5. “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook For Anxiety: Learn How To Live In The Present Moment With Inner Peace And Outer Calm”

Will Reading Help Reduce Your Anxiety?

The books on this list might not be the most engaging or interesting to everyone. It’s important to note that the true purpose of these books is to help you find peace from your anxious thoughts.

Whether it’s an anxiety-inducing test or an upcoming presentation, these books will help you take a step back and put things in perspective.

That being said, reading alone may not completely cure your anxiety. If your anxiety has been ongoing for a long time, it may require a doctor’s care. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms and what you should do next if they persist.

Conclusion on Best books for anxiety

There are so many good anxiety books that have been published. We explored the best anxiety books for teens and adults too.

These books can help you to end anxiety. However, therapy has its place in anxiety disorders.

Books can be both a source of anxiety and a cure for it. If you’re feeling anxious about your life or the world, reading about other people’s lives and perspectives might feel like an impossible burden. But if you find the right books, they can make a world of difference in your life.

The preeminent example is “Catcher in the Rye,” which has been shown to dramatically reduce symptoms of high-level anxiety in its readers. This is due to the main character’s ability to relate to any reader, his honesty about his feelings, and the way he deals with high-level anxiety himself.

Ending high-level anxiety is easier said than done–but with the right books for your needs, it might not seem so hard after all.

To explore other anxiety books and books from our founder, David H Barlow, click here.

Dr. David Barlow

David is a well-known researcher and author in the anxiety disorders area with extensive research on their etiology, nature, and treatment. He started the site to share his real-life experiences on the management of anxiety disorders with successful diagnosis and treatment being his motivation to write or review the content on this site.