Does reading help with anxiety?

This blog answers: Does reading help with anxiety? Which are some books for anxiety? Which are some audiobooks that help with anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Does reading help with anxiety?

Reading is proven to help reduce stress and anxiety while making a person feel relaxed. Reading books helps individuals to focus on their minds and imagination.

Many researchers believe that reading has a therapeutic quality where the brain can concentrate on a particular task which reduces stress and enhances relaxation.

Studies indicate that people who read as little as six minutes show lower heart rate, lower muscle tension, and reduced levels of stress.

As Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele wrote, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” rightly stated in the eighteenth century.

Evidence indicates that reading does not only help with anxiety and stress but is also responsible for good brain health in old age. People who read consistently across their life tend to show higher mental capacities as they age.

Mental health practitioners prescribe reading as a mode of treatment for various mental health conditions. Apart from therapeutic effects, it is believed that reading makes people even more empathetic.

Reading interest-based books and books that speak about anxiety, both can help significantly in managing one’s anxiety.

Which are some books for anxiety?

Some books that address and help with anxiety are:


Written by Barry McDonagh, the book revolves around how to challenge anxious thoughts and tackle them actively rather than dwelling on them.  

The techniques mentioned in this book are based on scientific evidence and ways of helping people deal with anxiety.

Declutter Your Mind

Declutter your mind is a book that talks about how decluttering one living space can be helpful with the philosophy that negative and anxious thoughts take up a lot of mental space.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

This is a workbook that is made to help individuals learn a few skills and tools to manage their symptoms of anxiety effectively. It is written by a cognitive behavioral therapist and is based on clinical research done on anxiety and its management.

The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution

This book offers ways to carry out a balanced diet as an unbalanced diet can have negative effects on an individual. It also talks about brain chemistry and emotions.

Hope and Help for Your Nerves

This book equips individuals with various techniques to understand and analyze their symptoms of anxiety so they can regain control.

Which are some audiobooks that help with anxiety?

Some anxiety audiobooks which can help individuals in their process of dealing with anxiety are:

Mindfulness For Worriers (5 hours)

Mindfulness for worries is an extensive manual that helps to understand various techniques for handling one’s anxiety and stress. It includes all the required tools that individuals require to practically deal with their anxiety on a day-to-day basis.

It has clear explanations of how to perform the mindfulness techniques that can help to change a person’s life. The techniques that are introduced in this audiobook are well tested and can be adopted by anyone experiencing anxiety.

Mindfulness: The 8 Week Meditation Program For Frantic World (2.5 hours)

Mindfulness the eight-week meditation program provides easy to follow introduction to mindfulness. It can act as a great guide to mindfulness to overcome one’s anxieties using by using the respective discipline.

It includes many stress-busting techniques which are simple to follow and practice. The author also delivers the effects of multiple medications over time and how they can help individuals to feel a sense of comfort.

Rewire Your Anxious Brain (6.5 hours)

Review your anxious brain includes interesting approaches to overcome one’s anxieties and fears. It helps to understand the way various parts of the brain that controls an individual’s fear response and how these fear responses are triggered leading to anxiety and anxiety-related disorders.

Review your anxious brain helps individuals to feel more empowered and helps people gain a deeper understanding of why they suffer due to anxiety. People can feel more knowledgeable about the natural processes that happen leading to such uncomfortable feelings.

Anxiety Rebalance (6 hours)

Anxiety rebalance revolves around how the author overcame a lifetime of anxiety. As the author has experienced anxiety himself it makes it more relatable to individuals who are going through the same.

It has techniques that individuals can adopt to fight their anxieties. The author also speaks about the true nature of anxiety and depression and how their meanings are different for different people.

The author suggests that having a rebalance in habits and emotions can change the way they view their anxiety. This ultimately also leads to one approach to recovery.

The Anxiety Solution (5.5 hours)

The anxiety solution is narrated by therapists Chloe Brotheridge. She has helped many people to manage and overcome their anxiety through her powerful and simple program.

In this 5 1/2 hours of program, she delivers simple techniques to overcome anxiety. She covers topics such as understanding why an individual is anxious in the first place, a fear of failure, and the social media pressure and anxiety

She believes that every individual is naturally happy and confident and has become a victim of anxiety and worry. According to her solution to dealing with anxiety is consciously bringing ourselves back to the surface.

This anxiety audiobook is rated one of the best by many individuals.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aid individuals in carrying out a stress-free life.


Reading both mental health-related books and other general books can be very therapeutic and reap many benefits. However, reading can not be a replacement for therapy and medication for managing anxiety.

Frequently asked questions: Does reading help with anxiety?

Which are the best books to overcome anxiety?

Some of the best books for people with anxiety according to many psychologists are:

  • The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook.
  • The Perfectionism Workbook.
  • The Stress-Proof Brain
  • The Highly Sensitive Person.
  • The Anxiety Toolkit.
  • The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook.
  • The Worry Trick.
  • Full Catastrophe Living

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety can be caused due to the buildup of smaller stressful life experiences. These experiences can range from weekly exams to the loss of a loved one.

Are audiobooks good for anxiety?

Audiobooks can be a great tool for those individuals to deal with and manage their anxiety. It can also act as a companion and have a relaxing influence on an individual due to the calming voice of the narrator.


Four compelling reasons to shut off your screen and open a good book

The Best 7 Anxiety Audiobooks That Can Change Your Life

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