Books to help with your mental health

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: EMILY STEWART
Journals, colouring books, guide books, memoirs, and workbooks can all be used as tools to help your mental health.

Reading is a relaxing way to enjoy your leisurely time. Reading fictional books can help you escape to a new world and focus on the characters’ problems, while forgetting about your own for a second.

In addition to fiction, other books can help you with your mental health and even heal you as you navigate through your path to wellness.

Rather than recommend specific books, as everyone’s mental health journey is different, here are a list of the different kinds of books to check out.

Guide Books

As self-explanatory as it can get, guide books offer strategies and clarity on how to navigate through tough times and behaviours negatively impacting your mental health. Scenarios are also listed throughout these books to provide examples and solutions to similar situations you may be facing.

These books are typically dense, so you will need to take your time reading through them. However, it’s worth getting to the last page with a new toolkit filled with coping mechanisms.

You can also use sticky notes and/or highlighters to mark down information you know you’ll need to revisit later.


In school, students use workbooks as a way to apply what they learned in the classroom and solve problems. There are workbooks also available to teach you coping skills to work through any tough situation and to recognize where you need to apply the strategies to your life.

As well, there are themed journals with wellness related prompts.

Memoirs and Autobiographies

Reading such non-fiction books can be a fun way to get to know celebrities you admire and authors you didn’t hear about before you picked up the book. The authors also highlight the ups and downs of life, as a way for you to realize you’re not alone during tough times, to explain how they got through it, and to indirectly offer advice to readers.

Colouring Books

Being creative can be therapeutic. Adult colouring books, which have become popular in the past few years, can help you unleash your creative side. Sure, all of the drawings are already outlined, but the colouring books have such fine detail that there’s lots of room to experiment with colour coordination, shading, and other drawing techniques.

Because of their popularity, there’s no limit to the kind of colouring books you can find. Whether you want to explore the world of Harry Potter or just want to fill in patterns through pencil crayons, there’s a colouring book for everyone.


Sometimes, all you want to do is to vent and not get any insight. Other times, you deal with a situation that you know you’re upset about, but you don’t want to confide in anyone about it. A journal can help you write down your feelings and thoughts without any reprisal and can provide some relief.

There are other ways to go about writing in your journal besides unleashing everything you’re feeling, of course. You can use your journal to write down your goals, the aspects in your life that you’re grateful for, and your to-do lists. Bullet journaling is also a popular way to organize how you’re feeling and to set your goals.

Another great part about keeping a journal is that there’s no limit to what can be your journal. It doesn’t matter whether you use a notebook with loose leaf paper or a hardcover journal bought from a stationary shop, just as long as you can write in it.

Of course, what works for one person may not work for another, so if you find none of these kinds of books help you, that’s OK. For those who are curious about trying any out any of these books, absolutely give them a chance. All of these books can be found on and