10 New Mental Health Books to Transform Your 2020

Written by Aislinn Pluta

It’s been said that books have the power to heal, and the books on this list are exemplary of that. Whether you’ve been suffering through low mood and low motivation, stress and anxiety, or simply want to use these next months to transform your life for the better, these new books of 2020 can help.

If you’ve been feeling down, be sure to also check out our “How to Find a Therapist – The Ultimate Guide” and “5 Tips For Comparing Depression Apps”

Best Depression Books of 2020

The Hilarious World of Depression
By John Moe
This is a funny and honest book, written by the host of a popular podcast with the same title. It’s filled with engaging stories, both personal and from interviews, and tackles some of the most serious themes of depression while managing to make you laugh, gain validation, and feel inspired.

Learned Hopefulness: The Power of Positivity to Overcome Depression
By Dan Tomasulo, Ph.D.
With depression, it’s easy to feel like things are hopeless, but this book is designed to help you believe that a better future is possible, while also providing the tools and motivation to change your life. Rooted in Tomasulo’s background in positive psychology and counseling psychology, this is an accessible, engaging guide for greater well-being.

The Long Night: Readings and Stories to Help You through Depression
By Jessica Kantrowitz
This is an intimate book to cuddle up with that helps you feel validated and less alone. Kantrowitz writes with a warmth and compassion that makes you feel like you’re talking with a good friend. She shares her own experience with depression, what helped and hindered it, and a gentle reassurance that the long night of depression will not last forever.

Best Anxiety Books of 2020

Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World
By Meredith Arthur, Art by Leah Rosenberg
This is a book for the over-thinker, with beautiful illustrations that soothe your mind. It’s an easy and engaging read that guides you through techniques and actionable tips for overcoming anxiety.

Own Your Anxiety: 99 Simple Ways to Channel Your Secret Edge
By Julian Brass
This book is packed with easy but useful tips for generating more calm, as well as encouraging readers to view their anxiety as a gift that can transformed into a positive force. Brass’ goal is to help you “not just survive but to thrive with anxiety.”

Best Mental Health and Thriving Books of 2020

The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help you Deserve
By Rheeda Walker, PhD
This book centers on the experience of mental health in the Black community, impacted by a history of trauma and systemic racism. It provides important tools to identify mental health needs, receive the best care possible, and build up psychological fortitude to live more fully.

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization
By Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.
In this book, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is reinvigorated with modern-day research, providing a rich compass toward self-actualization, transcendence, connection with others, and our needs for security as well as growth. Kaufman’s goal is to help you connect to both your highest potential and to others.

The Self-Care Check-In: A Guided Journal to Build Healthy Habits and Devote Time to You
By GG Renee Hill
This guided journal provides thought-provoking writing prompts, quotes, and exercises to help you nurture your creativity, reach your goals, manage stress, and improve your self care. The journal’s mission is to help you cultivate greater joy and wellness.

The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
By David Brooks
The book explores the question of how to live a life of meaning and purpose. It centers around four central themes of having a spouse and family, choosing a vocation, rooting in a philosophy or faith, and integrating into community. Throughout it, Brooks encourages the reader to lower their individualism and mend our torn social fabric.

Stop Missing Your Life: How to be Deeply Present in an Un-Present World
By Cory Muscara
As a monk who spent six months in silence, and as an international teacher of mindfulness and wellbeing, Cory deeply understands the beauty and benefits that being more present can have on one’s life. The practices shared help you be more accepting of your human flaws, finally put down your guard, and embrace a fuller, richer life.

Mental Health Books to Pre-Order for 2020

This list would be incomplete without mentioning that Dr. David Burns is coming out with a new book you can pre-order for September: Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety. This is a follow-up to his best-selling book “Feeling Good,” which has sold over 5 million copies and covers the tenets of CBT.

Other noteworth mentions available soon are My Therapy Cards: A Guide for Self-Discovery and Insight, by Dr. Ebony, which is a deck of cards to help women of color elevate their mental health, and You’re Smart, Strong and You Got This: Drawings, Affirmations, and Comfort to Help with Anxiety and Depression by Kate Allan, a series of whimsical, beautiful illustrations with powerfully uplifting messages.

About the Author
Aislinn is UpLift's Content Director. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master's in Applied Positive Psychology, the scientific study of the factors that lead to a full and meaningful life.