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My Favorite Books for Mental Health (Not what you'd expect)

A book list for mental health?! Uh, frick yeah! I found that unless you are actively filling yourself with positivity and inspiration, the dark clouds of your mind will happily take over. I get told regularly, "You seem so happy." "Looks like you're crushing it." As truly humbled as I am by these comments, I'm able to battle my mental health because I eat well, exercise, because I read or listen to personal development every single day. The following books have been absolute game-changers when I was struggling and I highly encourage you to peek into one of my unconventional picks.

#1 Harry Potter (any of them) by J.K. Rowling

You might be thrown off by this at first, but this series if filled with fantastic messages of choosing the light within you instead of the dark. I mean, the dementors are J.K. Rowling's fictitious embodiment of what depression is! Get whisked away into this wonderful tale and seriously take a second to absorb everything Albus Dumbledore says, you won't regret it.

"But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

#2 Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith

Whether you identify as an artist or not, this book is seriously uplifting. But, for my artist friends out there, if you haven't read this, you really need to. It details the author's trials and tribulations while also discussing and quoting people from all walks of life. If you like listening to audio books, this is a great one as Smith narrates it her self, flavoring her words with accents and unwavering truth.

"You asked me about confidence. How to work on confidence... Confidence is a static state. Determination is active."

#3 The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This children's book has some of the most prophetic messages I have every read hidden within it. What may at first seem like a standard picture book quickly turns into metaphor after metaphor of real, adult problems. It will make you laugh and cry from page to page.

"What are you doing there?" he asked the drunkard...


"Why are you drinking?"...

"To forget,"...

"To forget what?"...

"To forget that I'm ashamed,"...

"What are you ashamed of?"...

"Of drinking!"

#4 How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World by Colin Beavan

Okay, the title of this one definitely sounds more like your standard self help book, but it's not. It documents Colin Beavan's year of attempting to live without impacting the planet in any way. Along his journey, the author realizes multiple differences in his happiness by living a different lifestyle. I read this book when I was in a serious slump and it truly gave me something to get back on my feet with.

“We can all change the people around us by changing ourselves.”

#5 Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Every moment of Girl, Stop Apologizing will have you saying, "Yaaaaas" out-loud. This inspiring work is best in audio format, as Hollis is a motivational speaker and narrates the book herself. You will walk away ready to take on you biggest dreams and challenges.

“Not having the knowledge makes you teachable, not stupid. Not being in shape makes you moldable, not lazy. Not having the experience just makes you eager, not ignorant.”

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