Book Recommendations

Updated: Jul 2, 2020



I grew up with a mother with a mental illness. It was hard as a child to understand why my mom decided to sleep all day instead of care for me. It was hard to understand why one day she would wake up happy to be my mother and the next day hated the sight of me. As a therapist, you may know exactly what my mom was dealing with, but as a child, I had no idea. One day my mom was sent off to a mental institute. I didn't understand why my mom wanted to leave me. A friend gave me a book. This book explained what my mom was going through and how I may feel about it. After reading this book over and over again I finally had all of the answers I needed. This book made me come to the realization that my mom did love me and she could not help that she had a mental illness. It made me see that she didn't leave me, but that she went to get better. If this list that I put together can help just one person understand someone's mental illness than this is the most important blog post I have ever written. I will constantly add to this list as I discover new book recommendations. I also encourage you to help me build this list and let me know if you have a recommendation that you think should be added to this list.


Books to Help Children Understand Mental Illness:

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book By Michael Rosen

Up and Down the Worry Hill by Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D.

Helicopter Man by Elizabeth Fensham

The Princess and the Fog by Lloyd Jones

Why is Dad So Mad? by Seth Kastle

The Bipolar Bear Family by Angela Holloway

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall



Female Empowerment, self-worth, confidence:

The Search for Significance by Robert McGee

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Assertiveness Guide to Women by Julie de Azevedo Hanks PhD LCSW

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Warrior Goddess Training by HeatherAsh Amara

Get Out Of Your Own Way 21 Days to Stop Self Sabotage by Brittany Johnson

Presence by Amy Cuddy

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Choose Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae


Eating Disorders:

8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costine

It's Not About Food: End Your Obsession with Food and Weight by Normandi MFT, Carol Emery, Laurelee Roark

Coginitive Behavior Therapy and Eating Disorder by Christopher Fairburn

The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-Smith

Handbook Treatment for Eating Disorders by David M. Garner amd Paul E. Garfinkel

Life Without ED by Jenni Schaefer, Thom Rutledge

It Will Never Happen To Me by Claudia Black

8 Keys to Recovery from An Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin, Gwen Schubert Grabb

Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston

Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro

Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown

The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin Surviving an Eating Disorder by Michele Siegel


Abusive Relationships:

The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist by Debbie Mirza

Trauma Bonding by Patrick Carnes

Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft

Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships by Dr. Marni Feuerman

You're Not Crazy - You're Codependent by Jeanette Elisabeth Menter

Reveal: Embody the True Self Beyond Trauma and Conditioning by Harmony Kwiker

The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

Healing from Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

But He Never Hit Me by Dr. Jill A. Murray


Parenting young children:

Peaceful Parent Happy Child by Laura Markhams

Parenting on Purpose by Dr Bob Barnes

Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Five by Penelope Leach

Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel

1 2 3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan

No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury

Parenting with Love and Logic byFoster W. Cline

Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore by Kent Hoffman

Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills by Jane Nelsen Ed.D.

The Incredible Years: A Trouble-Shooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 2-8 Years by Carolyn Webster-Stratton

The Conscious Parent by Dr Shefali Tsabary

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne


Dealing with emotions (feeling all the feels):

Living Like You Mean It by Ronald J. Frederick

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

I don't Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Facing Codepedence byPia Mellody

ACT Made Simple: An Easy-To-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Russ Harris

The Reality Slap: Finding Peace and Fulfillment When Life Hurts by Russ Harris

Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Steven C. Hayes PhD


To add a book recommendation to this list please email me at:

Stressfreeva@gmail.com






164 views0 comments