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Anxiety is a mental health condition manageable with different therapies, medications, and self-help techniques — many of which a person can find in books dedicated to providing symptomatic relief.

Books about anxiety will provide insight into the condition and offer readers tips on how to reduce their symptoms and manage anxious thoughts. Some books are aimed at specific audiences, such as autistic people, teens, or LGBTQIA+ people.

This article explores what anxiety is, provides a list of books a person may consider, and gives information about what to look for in self-help books.

The National Institute of Mental Health states that most people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. However, for a person with an anxiety disorder, a feeling of fear or dread does not go away, may worsen, and can interfere with their day-to-day activities.

Such disorders include:

People with an anxiety disorder may experience anxiety or panic attacks. Learn more about the difference between anxiety and panic attack.

A person may wish to consider a book’s author, including their credentials and experience. They could also think about the topics and anxiety management techniques that they are interested in most or they feel will benefit them.

Some of these techniques include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This technique aims to change a person’s way of thinking, focusing on reinforcing positive thinking patterns. Research suggests that this therapy is effective in the treatment of anxiety, but the authors noted that the amount of high quality studies is limited. Other researchers consider CBT to be the gold standard of psychotherapy.
  • Mindfulness: The mindfulness technique trains a person to be present in the moment. A 2021 study examined the effects of introducing a 6-week mindfulness program in university students in Korea. The results indicated that the program helped the students relax and reduce anxiety.
  • Breathing techniques: A person may be able to calm themselves and ease anxiety symptoms with breathing exercises, which focus a person’s attention on their breathing rate, depth, and technique. Learn more about breathing exercises for anxiety.

MNT chose which books to include in this article based on the following criteria:

  • Reviews: The books we chose have a high rating based on readers’ reviews.
  • Format: The books are available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover versions.
  • Author background: The author or authors have a doctorate, a master’s degree, or are licensed therapists or psychologists.
  • Mental health therapies: MNT chooses books based on a range of well-researched mental health therapies, such as CBT.
  • Prices: We choose books that suit a range of budgets.
  • Inclusivity: We choose books that are respectful of people belonging to different groups, such as LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Below is a list of books about anxiety. We have included books that use varying techniques that apply to a range of mental health conditions, people, and ages.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for worksheets and questionnaires: Be Calm

This book is by a licensed clinical psychologist — Jill P. Weber, PhD. The methods within this book derive from CBT.

It is a guide that includes anxiety education, encouragement, and research-based methods for reducing anxiety symptoms.

It has an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, based on over 1,000 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviews state that this book uses several techniques that may assist with anxiety, such as worksheets and questionnaires. Additionally, reviewers state that the techniques are easy to understand and apply in everyday situations.

Other pros include:

  • written by a licensed psychologist
  • organized into specific situations, such as emotional and physical symptoms
  • includes journaling prompts

However, others report that they did not find the book helpful as it focused heavily on breathing techniques, rather than focusing on why people become anxious. Other reviewers state that the examples in this book were unrelatable.

Be Calm by Jill P Weber, PhD costs $14.29 in paperback. It is also available on Kindle for $8.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

Best for those with phobias: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

Therapists reportedly recommend this workbook-style guide. It uses various techniques, including:

The author, Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, has 30 years of experience treating anxiety disorders. The book also claims to address mental health conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It has an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, based on over 4,600 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviewers state that they find this book makes them feel less isolated and more able to face the challenges that phobias bring. Additionally, others state the book gives clear guidance on steps to take at one’s own pace.

Other pros include:

  • written by a CBT expert
  • addresses a wide range of anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions
  • includes up-to-date information on some medications and research

However, some reviewers did not find the techniques useful, and others found the digital form of the book difficult to use as a workbook. Others noted that it did not use language that was inclusive of people not in relationships.

The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook costs $20.99 in paperback and $14.99 on Kindle.

Best for changing thought patterns: Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks

This book on CBT is a 7-week course that claims to help people manage anxiety and depression by teaching them practical CBT techniques. Each week builds upon the approaches an individual learned the previous week, and aims to change a person’s thought patterns over time.

The author, Seth J. Gillihan, is a psychologist who treats many people with his CBT methods.

The book has an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, based on over 6,000 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviews are mostly positive, with readers stating that the book is beginner-friendly and contains practical methods that lower anxiety.

Other pros include:

  • written by a psychologist
  • can be used whenever symptoms of anxiety occur
  • makes CBT more financially accessible

However, some readers noted that it is not suitable for people who are already familiar with CBT as it is aimed at newcomers to the technique. Additionally, other readers found its combination of advice for anxiety with depression unhelpful as the two conditions do not always occur concurrently.

Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 weeks costs $10.29 in paperback and $6.99 for Kindle.

Best for increasing self-confidence: Essential Strategies for Social Anxiety

This book is specifically for those with social anxiety.

It aims to educate and offer techniques from various disciplines, including CBT, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). It also shares real-life anecdotes to show how these methods may help.

The author is a cognitive-behavioral therapist and coach.

On Amazon, this book has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 179 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviews are mostly positive for this book. Readers state that it is an ideal book for beginners as it is easy to understand and follow. Others say it outlines and details practical ways of addressing a person’s fears.

Other pros include:

  • written by a licensed psychotherapist and CBT therapist
  • draws on a range of anxiety management techniques
  • includes exercises to try

However, it may not be suitable for those who have other conditions besides social anxiety, as it tends to address strategies specific to this type of anxiety. Additionally, it has a relatively low number of reviews on Amazon compared to other books in this article.

Essential Strategies for Social Anxiety costs $11.69 in paperback or $9.99 on Kindle. It is free with Kindle Unlimited.

Best for teenagers: Feeling Better: CBT Workbook for Teens

This book is for teenagers who experience anxiety. It uses mostly CBT techniques and features interactive exercises that target negative thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

It also features some mindfulness and ACT therapy approaches.

The author, Rachel L. Hutt, PhD, works with children, teenagers, and parents using CBT.

This book has an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on over 860 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviewers state that the book gives solid, helpful guidance in assisting teenagers to cope with anxiety. Others say that the worksheets help teenagers work through and recognize personal triggers which may bring on anxiety.

Other pros include:

  • written by a licensed clinical psychologist
  • specifically geared to young people’s concerns
  • uses CBT, ACT, and mindfulness techniques
  • includes self-assessments to help teens understand their feelings

However, some reviewers report that the exercises were not in-depth enough for their needs.

Feeling Better: CBT Workbook for Teens is available as a paperback for $11.99 or $9.99 on Kindle. It is free with Kindle Unlimited.

Best for parents and caregivers: Freeing Your Child From Anxiety

This book is for parents and caregivers of toddlers and teenagers. It shares exercises that they can implement with their children that could help them reduce anxiety and control their fears. It also covers how to handle the pressure that can come with tests and exams.

Tamar Chansky, the author, has written many anxiety books relating to children and is the founder of the Children’s and Adult’s Center for OCD and anxiety.

The book has an average customer rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, based on over 630 ratings.

Pros and cons

Reviewers state that this book has helped them understand and see their anxious child’s thoughts and feelings in a new light. Additionally, the book uses helpful strategies to help the parent or caregiver de-escalate the child’s negative emotions, and turn these into positive ones.

Other pros include:

  • written by psychologist and childhood anxiety expert
  • focuses on the unique challenges young children and teens may face
  • empowers parents and caregivers to understand and manage childhood anxiety

However, it is a lengthy read at 480 pages. Some reviewers write that it does not give enough guidance on anxiety in teenagers. Others note that it does not use gender-inclusive language.

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky, PhD, costs $15.99 paperback and $12.99 on Kindle.

Best for humor: Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety

A slightly different approach to self-help, this book is for people who find it difficult to read self-help books and would rather delve into something lighter.

The author, Robert Duff, PhD, is a psychologist whose goal is to break down mental health issues into plain language to make the information easily accessible.

As the title indicates, the book contains many expletives and humor throughout its short 74-page length. There are many tips and practices a person can implement to tackle their anxiety based on Duff’s professional experience and lived experiences.

It has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of a possible 5, based on over 1,900 reviews.

Pros and cons

Readers state that this book is highly enjoyable to read and that techniques are very easy to implement.

Other pros include:

  • Kindle version is very affordable
  • offers lighthearted discussion of mental health topics
  • a quick read at 74 pages
  • may not be suitable for younger readers due to the adult language

However, some readers found the book oversimplified and others felt that the level of cursing was too high. Additionally, it is not the most recently published book on this list, having come onto the market in 2015.

Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety is available for $9.99 in paperback or $2.99 on Kindle. It is free with Kindle Unlimited.

Best for illustrations: Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind

This book uses illustrations alongside mindfulness, CBT, and ACT techniques to tackle anxious thoughts. It states a person should stop feeding their “monkey mind,” which refers to negative thoughts, rather than getting rid of them completely.

The author, Jennifer Shannon, is a psychologist with over 30 years of experience in CBT and treating anxiety.

The book has an average customer rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon based on over 780 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviewers state that this book is well written and easily relatable, with some reporting that they noticed long-term benefits after using the strategies in the book.

Other pros include:

  • written by a psychotherapist
  • uses CBT, ACT, and mindfulness techniques

However, some reviewers noted it may not be suitable for people with GAD as it focuses on situational anxiety. Additionally, some readers struggled with the structure of the book.

Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of Anxiety, Fear, and Worry costs $14.69 paperback and $11.49 on Kindle.

Best for LGBTQIA+ people: The Queer Mental Health Workbook

This book addresses the mental health challenges LGBTQIA+ people may face. It uses a range of therapeutic approaches, techniques, and activities that the reader can delve into at their own pace. These include CBT, compassion-focused therapy (CFT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). The book aims to make the reader feel empowered and able to face challenges.

Split into two sections, the first section explores identity, psychological well-being, and mental health challenges. It aims to contextualize the techniques explored in the second section, which explores issues such as:

The author, Doctor Brendan Dunlop is a Principal Clinical Psychologist and a Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. Dunlop’s research centers around minority mental health, in particular, the mental health of those who are LGBTQIA+.

The book has an average customer rating of 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, based on 16 reviews.

Pros and cons

All the reviews on Amazon are positive. However, there is a very limited number of online reviews for this book as it was published in March 2022. Readers state that the book is comprehensive and can be useful not only to those who are LGBTQIA+ but to their friends and other healthcare professionals too.

Other pros include:

  • focused on the unique challenges people in LGBTQIA+ community face
  • includes advice on a wide range of experiences and challenges

However, some people in the LGBTQIA+ find the term “queer” offensive, which is used regularly in this book. It is also the most expensive book on this list, which may make it unsuitable for some with smaller budgets.

The Queer Mental Health Workbook: A Creative Self Help Guide costs $24.95 in paperback and $13.19 on Kindle.

For in-depth LGBTQIA+ resources, visit our dedicated hub.

Best for autistic people: Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum

This book uses CBT to target the interpersonal difficulties, anxiety, and depression that autistic people may experience. It may be suitable for people across the autism spectrum and those who have not been diagnosed by a healthcare professional.

The author, Lee Wilkinson, is an applied researcher, educational psychologist, and certified cognitive-behavioral therapist. His research and writing focus on behavioral consultation and therapy in autism.

This book has an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, based on 104 reviews.

Pros and cons

Some reviewers state that this book explains the principles of CBT and helps to change negative thinking habits into more positive ones. Additionally, readers have written that the questionnaires and worksheets frame autistic traits positively.

Other pros include:

  • may be useful for autistic people and friends and family alike
  • does not exclude people without a formal diagnosis

However, others report that the book is best suited to autistic people with low support needs. Additionally, it is not recently published, having been on the market since 2015.

Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum costs $16.48 in paperback and $13.17 on Kindle.

Best for learning how the brain creates anxiety: Rewire Your Anxious Brain

This book teaches readers about the amygdala and the cortex, areas of the brain which are responsible for fear and worry. By understanding how anxiety begins in the brain, this book claims to provide readers with the necessary foundation to develop effective coping strategies for their symptoms.

This book is written by two authors, Catherine Pittman, and Elizabeth Karle. Catherine Pittman is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of brain injuries and anxiety disorders. Elizabeth Karle has personal experience with anxiety disorders and has provided research for this book.

This book has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon based on over 2,800 reviews.

Pros and cons

Reviews are mostly positive, with readers saying the book is easy to read. Other readers say the book has helped them gain insight into anxiety and helped them implement strategies for anxiety.

Other pros include:

  • written by a licensed psychologist and author with personal experience with anxiety
  • reportedly recommended by therapists

However, some reviewers did not find its focus on relaxation, sleep, nutrition, and exercise helpful. Additionally, some found that it did not include any new information on anxiety. As the book was published in 2015, this increases the chances of information included in the book being outdated.

Rewire Your Anxious Brain costs $13.40 in paperback and $9.99 on Kindle.

People may wish to seek professional help if they experience symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, social anxiety disorder, or phobias that interfere with everyday life.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • feeling tired
  • difficulty concentrating
  • always feeling on edge
  • feeling more irritable and worried than usual
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • stomach aches
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Anxiety disorders can have a serious impact on a person’s life and overall well-being.

A doctor may prescribe medication, therapy, or a combination of both to treat anxiety.

Learn more about the treatments for anxiety.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

The table below compares each book in this article for topic, techniques used, and price.

TopicTechniques usedPrice
Be Calmreducing anxiety symptomsCBTPaperback: $14.29
Kindle: $8.99
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbookmanaging anxiety, OCD, and PTSD• meditation
• mindfulness
• breathing
• exposure therapy
• exercise tips
• nutrition tips
Paperback: $20.99
Kindle: $14.99
Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks7-week CBT course for anxiety and depressionCBTPaperback: $10.29
Kindle: $6.99
Essential Strategies for Social Anxietysocial anxiety• CBT
• mindfulness
• ACT
Paperback: $11.69
Kindle: $9.99
Feeling Better: CBT Workbook for Teensanxiety in teens• CBT
• mindfulness
• ACT
Paperback: $11.99
Kindle: $9.99
Freeing Your Child From Anxietytips for parents to reduce anxiety in childrennot specifiedPaperback: $15.99
Kindle: $12.99
Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxietyhumorous advice on managing anxietynot specifiedPaperback: $9.99
Kindle: $2.99
Don’t Feed the Monkey Mindaddressing anxious thought cycles• CBT
• mindfulness
• ACT
Paperback: $14.69
Kindle: $11.49
The Queer Mental Health Workbookmanaging mental health concerns in LGBTQIA+ people• CBT
• CFT
• DBT
Paperback: $24.95
Kindle: $13.19
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrumanxiety and depression in autistic peopleCBTPaperback: $16.48
Kindle: $13.17
Rewire Your Anxious Brainunderstanding how anxiety begins in the brainnot specifiedPaperback: $13.40
Kindle: $9.99

Many different books aim to help people manage their anxiety symptoms. These books can target various different aspects of anxiety, including social anxiety, panic attacks, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Many are written by professional therapists and psychologists. While many books are aimed at the general population, others focus on the needs of specific groups, such as autistic people or LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Books about anxiety can help people to understand and manage their symptoms, but people should speak with a doctor if anxiety is interfering with everyday life.