• Erin Zaranec

Boost Your Mental Health with Books

I'll be honest - I'm not HUGE into the self-help book space. I get really weary of reading aspirational quotes from people whose lives will never reflect mine. So, I either avoid most traditional help books or go into them pretty skeptical.

I've found a few reads the way, though, that have really stuck with me. Some may not be full on self help, but are full of gems of wisdom that have truly impacted my attitude and life.

Here's some of my favorites:

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa Terkurst

Terkurst combines personal stories with biblical tales to illustrate how, even when you feel outright rejected, you are still loved by God. If you aren't religious, this book still has really strong reminders of how vital your place in the universe is. If you are religious, this book reminds you how much grace God gives you at all times, even when you feel as though everyone and everything else has left you alone. I took SO many notes and highlights in this book and plan to read again.

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

This book leans more memoir, but Gottlieb showcases the importance of therapy in a stunning way through her experience being a therapist going to therapy. I loved her vulnerability writing about her relationships with patients and her relationship with her own therapist. This book made therapy seem accessible and not as intimidating as it can seem, and I loved that! Reading through Gottlieb's conversations with a patient approaching death grounded me and gave me reminders of how I should live my own life. Reading through Gottlieb's conversations with her own therapist reminded me of the power of sharing your emotions, even when you feel they may be silly or out of place.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

OF COURSE this is on my list! Glennon Doyle is just so dang cool. Untamed speaks so intimately to the longings that many people, women in particular, face. This book covers so many topics - from figuring out your relationship with religion and the universe to loving your body and accepting yourself for exactly who you are. Doyle is a powerhouse and this book is a wake up call to start living authentically and stop hiding behind the standards society presents to you.

No Happy Endings by Nora McInerny

This is a book for anyone who feels like their whole life, or part of their life, has fallen apart. McInerny writes about loss in a way that is so brutally honest - from the days of tears to the moments of laughter you can find in the midst of tragedy. This is a book about love, loss, our need for others and our need to support ourselves. It's a great book to read if you've ever experienced any type of loss - no matter how big or small.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I would start a fan club for this book if I could. Creative expression is such a great way to unleash mental anguish, stress, or tension in your life. But, it's not always easy to unlock your creative side. Gilbert writes about inspiration and creativity as a being, not just a concept. She writes about the danger of perfection, the truth of failure, and ways to embrace your creative journey. I read this book a few years ago and continue to reference it whenever I'm in a bit of a funk.

What are your favorite self help reads? Do you like the genre? Tell me more on Instagram at @RatherBeReadingCLE!


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