Hardwell says the good news is that “book buyers across the country are also looking for solutions to their stress.”
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According to their sales reports, the top-selling titles include: The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne, The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points by Alice Boyes, and The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution by David Clark and Aaron Beck.
Anxiety book sales increased the most dramatically in California, followed by Michigan and Massachusetts. Conversely, Anxiety book sales dropped the most in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida, according to Barnes and Noble.
Though anxiety levels have increased for many Americans, in the same APA poll, a little over half (51%) said they have never sought care from a mental health professional.
The rise in mental health-related book sales may suggest that Americans are seeking self-treatment methods to overcome their anxiety. Whether those affected seek professional care, or self-help books, seeking out positive ways to overcome anxiety is what matters.
Mental health, along with the illnesses that can plague us, make up some of the most taboo, stigmatized topics of discussion within our society today. Historically speaking, society has always had a difficult time equating mental illnesses with the same sincerity physical illnesses foster. It’s almost as if there’s this underlying belief that people can think their way out of mental illnesses as opposed to receiving professional medical treatment.
However, within the past five or so years there has been such an uprise in the media of people coming out of the corners, shedding their shame, and openly sharing their struggles with mental health that the way we view mental illnesses has begun dramatically shifting for the better. This is even despite the stigmas society has already planted; it’s a shift that has been so necessary. Mental health is just as crucial to us as our physical health; we cannot function as whole, healthy, happy humans when the neurons in our brains are preventing us from doing so.
Stigmatizing mental health only harms our society more; insinuating that there is something to be ashamed or embarrassed of only prevents people from seeking the help they need. It’s important that we are open about our struggles. It’s vital that we are receptive to the struggles of those around us. We have to uplift and support each other, always standing up for the insanely complicated complexities of what it is to be human.
If you or someone you know is struggling, here are hotlines that solely exist to support you. Don’t be afraid to utilize them, there is no shame in feeling trapped inside of that dark, lonely place our minds can sometimes go:
24 Hour Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will receive the text and let you know that they are here to listen.
And, if you’re struggling, here are seven memoirs of people who may have been in your shoes before and have proven that even the worst is never permanent; we are alwayscapable of recovery.
In this stunning memoir, one woman brings us into her struggle with bipolar disorder and the lithium that grounded her, kept her hallucinations at bay, and led her to lead a healthy, normal life. This was for twenty years before doctors told her it was destroying her kidneys and forced her to choose between functioning kidneys, or the little pink pills that saved her life.
Lowe takes us on a raw, honest journey as she adjusts to a new medication while traveling to Bolivia and examining the world’s largest lithium mines and learn all of the mysteries about the drug that kept her sane.
Everything around me came into question: What was real, what was imaginary? What was genuine feeling and what was the disorder? Who was I in relationship to the disease? What was mental illness? How long had it been around?
This book details Times journalist Rachel Kelly’s struggle with moderate anxiety that, in a period of only three days, suddenly progressed to severe, debilitating depression. She delves deep into the darkest periods of her life and how reading poetry helped her to heal in more ways than she could’ve ever guessed.
Filled with the very poems that pulled her out of the void, this memoir acts as a lifeline for when your chest feels heavy and you don’t want to be alone.
Unlike the moment I fell ill, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I got better. This is a relative term. Depression has changed everything for me. I will never not need to manage this illness. The severity of the symptoms comes and goes. The illness is not me; I’m just someone managing it’s symptoms, in the way that many people manage many conditions.
This darkly comedic, poetic, and brutally honest collection stems from Broder’s viral Twitterpage; depicting her struggles with anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, obsession, and more. It’s a book everyone can relate to, and a good testament as to why Broder is one of the most popular contemporary writers today.
I know I have an ocean of sadness inside me and I have been damming it my entire life. I have always imagined that something was supposed to rescue me from the ocean. But maybe the ocean is its own ultimate rescue – a reprieve from the linear mind and into the world of feeling. Shouldn’t someone have told me this at birth? Shouldn’t someone have said, “Enjoy your ocean of sadness, there is nothing to fear in it,” so I didn’t have to build all those dams? I think some of us are less equipped to deal with our oceans, or maybe we are just more terrified, because we see and feel a little extra. So we build our shitty dams. But inevitably, the dam always breaks again. It breaks again and the ocean speaks to me. It says ‘I’m alive and it’s real’. It says, ‘I’m going to die, and it’s real.
Emma Forrest’s memoir takes a sharp look at her as a twenty-two year old struggling to make it in New York City, growing more manic day-by-day, and falling further into her own vortex of loneliness and destruction. She begins meeting with a psychiatrist and clinging to him as her own personal safe haven until he suddenly passes, leaving her to now pick up the pieces of her newfound mourning; all while learning how to cope with healing alone.
It is madness. And if you don’t know who you are, or if your real self has drifted away from you with the undertow, madness at least gives you an identity. It’s the same with self-loathing. You’re probably just normal and normal-looking but that’s not a real identity, not the way ugliness is. Normality, just accepting that you’re probably normal-looking, lacks the force field of self-disgust. If you don’t know who you are, madness gives you something to believe in.
In this powerful, poignant memoir that’s part-biography, part-historical look, Sandra Allen translates the messy, mistyped, and fully capitalized autobiography her schizophrenic uncle, Bob, mails her one day and blends it alongside a look back at their familial history and the cultural shifts occurring during Bob’s adolescence in the sixties and seventies.
This book is such an honest, in-depth look at a mental illness that is still so publicly stigmatized, it will forever change the way you view schizophrenia.
I’M ROBERT: this is a true story of a boy brought up in berkely california durring the sixties and seventies who was unable to identify with reality and there for labeled as a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic for the rest of his life.
In this chaotic, tragic memoir, Cat Marnell details her life as a twenty-six year old associate beauty editor, popular Manhattan socialite, and uninhibited party girl who kept secret her chronic struggles with bulimia, drug addiction, hallucinations, and insomnia from the world who knew her well.
This book is such a relatable take on addiction and loneliness it will break your heart.
And you fall deeper and deeper into the earth, but it’s not the earth, exactly, it’s this series of . . . lofts built into the earth like underground tree houses, right, and another floor falls out from under you, and then you are on a different floor of the world, and you are starting to accept that things will never be the same.
In this stunning look at trauma, binge eating disorders, and the dysmorphia beneath it all, Roxane Gay boldly describes her own struggles with food, her body, and the violence that led her here.
This all-too-relatable journey of one woman’s struggle to save herself as she teeters on the line between self-care and self-destruction will leave anyone feeling capable and empowered.
I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. She is still small and scared and ashamed, and perhaps I am writing my way back to her, trying to tell her everything she needs to hear.
As a self-proclaimed introvert, I have firsthand experience of being an introvert in a world of extroverts and let me tell you, it can be a pain in the ass.
Many cultures around the world often idolize the personality traits embodied by extroverts while ignoring or minimizing the strengths of introverts. But the truth is, introverts are badass members of society who have a lot to offer.
Whether you’re an introvert who wants to further unlock your potential, someone who can benefit from some self-help advice, or you’re an introvert (or extrovert) looking to gain further understanding of how introverts brains can work, these reads can enlighten you on the hidden (and obvious) benefits of being an introvert, how to acknowledge those benefits, and how to capitalize on them.
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
The Introvert Advantage dispels introverts’ belief that something is wrong with them and instead helps them recognize their inner strengths-their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration. It helps readers understand introversion and shows them how to determine where they fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum.
It provides tools to improve relationships with partners, kids, colleagues, and friends, offering dozens of tips, including 10 ways to talk less and communicate more, 8 ways to showcase your abilities at work, how to take a child’s temperament temperature, and strategies for socializing. Finally, it shows how to not just survive, but thrive-how to take advantage of the introvert’s special qualities to create a life that’s just right for the introvert temperament, to discover new ways to expand their energy reserves, and even how, when necessary, to confidently become a temporary extrovert.
You don’t have be an extrovert–or pretend to be one–to get to the top! Jennifer Kahnweiler points to Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington, and Warren Buffett as prime examples of self-identified introverts who have done quite well for themselves. In this new, expanded edition of her pioneering book, she lays out a well-tested four-step strategy introverts can use to build on their quiet strength and make it a source of great power.
The book includes fresh information on the unique challenges faced by introverted women, how leaders can shape a more introvert-friendly workplace, customized hiring and coaching strategies for introverts, and the positive correlation between introverted leadership and company performance.
In a world that favors the outgoing, gregarious extrovert, being an introvert can be difficult. But the truth is that introverts have distinct advantages―as long as they know how to use them. Unlike extroverts, who draw their energy from social interaction, your energy comes from quiet reflection. Is it any wonder then, that mindfulness can help you hone your natural talents?
In The Awakened Introvert, mindfulness expert and card-carrying introvert Arnie Kozak provides a comprehensive set of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral tools to help you maximize your introvert strengths (such as rich access to your interior) while minimizing your introvert weaknesses (such as a tendency toward worry and rumination). In the book, you’ll learn powerful strategies to help you monitor your energy; recharge after social interactions; improve social and communication skills; and take advantage of your capacity for quiet reflection, and sweet, sweet solitude. If you’re looking to unlock the full potential of your unique introvert brain, this book provides a fun, practical, and authentic “user’s manual.”
Introversion is “in.” But there are still many misconceptions about introverts in the world. They’re shy. Anti-social. They don’t want to have close relationships. They’re all cat people. They don’t like big parties (okay, that last one might be true).
INFJoe, the cartoon persona of artist and introvert Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, is here to set the record straight. Filled with charming comic book style illustrations, this book provides invaluable insights into the introverted life with plenty of humor and wit. Full of moments that will make introverts say, “That’s so me!” as well as helpful tips on surviving at parties and in the workplace, Text, Don’t Call is the perfect gift for your quiet friends, or the extroverted ones who could use some help to better understand the introverts in their lives.
This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day.
The first half of the book traces Debbie’s final year in college: socializing with peers, dating, falling in love (with an extrovert!), moving in, getting married, meeting new people, and simply trying to fit in. The second half looks at her life after graduation: finding a job, learning to live with her new husband, trying to understand social obligations when it comes to the in-laws, and navigating office life. Ultimately, Quiet Girl sends a positive, pro-introvert message: our heroine learns to embrace her introversion and finds ways to thrive in the world while fulfilling her need for quiet.
Is there a hidden part of you that no one else sees? Do you have a vivid inner world of thoughts and emotions that your peers and loved ones can’t seem to access? Have you ever been told you’re too “quiet,” “shy,” “boring,” or “awkward”? Are your habits and comfort zones questioned by a society that doesn’t seem to get the real you? If so, you might be an introvert.
On behalf of those who have long been misunderstood, rejected, or ignored, fellow introvert Jenn Granneman writes a compassionate vindication—exploring, discovering, and celebrating the secret inner world of introverts that, only until recently, has begun to peek out and emerge into the larger social narrative. Drawing from scientific research, in-depth interviews with experts and other introverts, and her personal story, Granneman reveals the clockwork behind the introvert’s mind—and why so many people get it wrong initially.
Love is tricky for everyone–and different personality types can face their own unique problems. Now the author of The Introvert’s Way offers a guide to romance that takes you through the frequently outgoing world of dating, courting, and relationships, helping you navigate issues that are particular to introverts, from making conversation at parties to the challenges of dating an extrovert.
Life is short. You can, if you work hard and are lucky, get more of almost anything, but you can’t get more time. Time only goes one way. The average American has a lifespan of less than 30,000 days. So how you choose to live matters.
That’s the topic of this book. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I’m still learning every day, and many of the good ideas here I’ve picked up from other people either directly or by reading. But this is what’s worked for me. (Via Amazon)
This is a self help book for people who don’t have time or are wary about reading self help books. It’s an easy to read book that will fill you with optimism. You might even finish it by Tuesday!
Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear’s genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father’s attention–first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father’s biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father’s legacy–and make his own mark on the world. (Via Amazon)
Tom Rachman is the author of The Imperfectionists,which has been translated into over 20 languages, and Basket of Deplorables, a collection of short stories that provides a satirical look at current America. The Italian Teacher is a book of never-ending hope and perseverance. It may ignite a fire in you to do something you haven’t been able to.
“The strange, illuminative true story of Tommy Nutter, the Savile Row tailor who changed the silhouette of men’s fashion—and his rock photographer brother, David, who captured it all on film.” (Via Amazon)
Take a look back at an influential era in fashion and music through the hands of the ‘rebel’ tailor to the stars and the eyes of the photographer who made sure they were seen. This book recounts the trials and triumphs of two brothers who helped make things happen. It’s chock full of interviews, contains close to 200 pictures, includes diary entries, letters, and drawings. House of Nuttter is sure to delight you and provide that enthusiasm you need to make it to Friday.
I’ve done it almost my whole life, practically everyday, and for every situation. I know, it could be worse, but it’s still a pain in the ass. Perhaps that’s why I chose to become an English major: it’s our job to overanalyze and look deeply into everything. Regardless, being an over-thinker isn’t something to always be proud of.
Overthinkers, or ruminators as they’re sometimes called, can take a simple situation and twist it into something completely different. Usually we make it negative when that’s not the case at all. If someone does one thing out of the norm, they must be annoyed with us. If that guy is talking to you, he must be manipulating you into a date. You got that new job, but what if they hate you after a month?
Please, no! Stop right there. That mind frame without a doubt ruins everything. Life is too short and some things are just too good! Will you ever know what the future holds? No way in hell. If that simple fact can’t break your habits, then give the next few books a chance, from one over-thinker to another.
For all my analytical ladies out there, this one is for you. Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema, a renowned psychologist, has broken down the growing number of women stuck in an overthinking rut. From anxiety to depression, overthinking can be so much more than annoying thoughts. The good doctor gives us concrete examples for how to overcome those thoughts, and simply enjoy life.
If you’re not into serious self-help books, this is a story worth reading. Bob Miglani had one chance to go back to India, his place of birth. Leaving behind financial and familial worries, he crossed paths with people he never could’ve imagined. Marriage after two dates, struggling to make ends meet, buses packed with a hundred people. All these and more came with lessons that taught Miglani what it means to truly live in every moment.
Those who can’t seem to break free from the chains of overthinking should give this book a go. Really get into your brain by delving into the psyche and what sets off these tangents of negative thoughts. There’s tips on how to reverse them, how to avoid social media involvement, and plenty of advice for the ruminators.
This is actually perfect if you’re looking to settle your mind and gain a better perspective. This book holds 121 questions with space for your answers, thoughts, and notes. Each one only takes about five minutes, but they’re proven to better your well-being and physical and emotional health. I have two different journals and I can say this: they definitely help. Get all those thoughts onto paper and let them stay there. Questions don’t have to be complicated and never-ending; sometimes the answer is right in front of you.