ealth is the most precious thing that we have, and it’s important to take care of our physical and mental health. Stress can be one of the biggest contributors to negative physical and mental health, but what if we could learn how to manage stress and minimize its effects? There are many ways you can reduce your stress levels: exercising, eating a healthy diet, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and spending time with loved ones. But did you know there are also plenty of books on stress and health? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best books on stress and health and why they’re worth reading.
Best Books on Stress and Health: THE LIST
1. Stress and Health | By William Lovallo
Stress and Health: Biological and Psychological Interactions, by William R. Lovallo, is a brief and accessible examination of psychological stress and its psychophysiological relationships with cognition, emotions, brain functions, and the peripheral mechanisms by which the body is regulated. Updated throughout, the Third Edition covers two new and significant areas of emerging research: how our early life experiences alter key stress-responsive systems at the level of gene expression; and what large, normal, and small stress responses may mean for our overall health and well-being.
2. Burnout | By Emily Nagoski
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “This book is a gift! I’ve been practicing their strategies, and it’s a total game-changer.”—Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Dare to Lead
This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.
Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?
Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between women and well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back. In these pages you’ll learn
• what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation
• how to manage the “monitor” in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration
• how the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies—and how to defend yourself against it
• why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout
With the help of eye-opening science, prescriptive advice, and helpful worksheets and exercises, all women will find something transformative in these pages—and will be empowered to create positive change. Emily and Amelia aren’t here to preach the broad platitudes of expensive self-care or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of “having it all.” Instead, they tell us that we are enough, just as we are—and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.
3. An Introduction to Stress and Health | By Hymie Anisma
An Introduction to Stress and Health is the first textbook to fuse the psychosocial with newer behavioral neuroscience perspectives. It provides a broad perspective of the multiple biological processes influenced by stressful events, the conditions that allow for either exacerbation or diminution of these stressor effects, and the pathological conditions that can emerge as a result of stressful events.
Anisman systematically reviews the key research over the past 30 years and presents his insights in a lively, interesting pedagogical fashion to allow you to fully appreciate the diversity of the field of stress and its impact on our health. Key features include:
- A consideration of the value of numerous therapeutic strategies to diminish distress and stress-related pathologies.
- An exploration of many new conceptual perspectives relevant to stress processes and pathology.
- Information is presented in an easy-to-read manner with lots of pointers to the key concepts to remember.
An Introduction to Stress and Health is an indispensable text for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in health psychology, stress, health, and illness.
4. Full Catastrophe Living | By Jon Kabat-Zinn
The landmark work on mindfulness, meditation, and healing, now revised and updated after twenty-five years
Stress. It can sap our energy, undermine our health if we let it, even shorten our lives. It makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, disconnection, and disease. Based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this classic, groundbreaking work—which gave rise to a whole new field in medicine and psychology—shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing. By engaging in these mindfulness practices and integrating them into your life from moment to moment and from day to day, you can learn to manage chronic pain, promote optimal healing, reduce anxiety and feelings of panic, and improve the overall quality of your life, relationships, and social networks. This second edition features results from recent studies on the science of mindfulness, a new Introduction, up-to-date statistics, and an extensive updated reading list. Full Catastrophe Living is a book for the young and the old, the well and the ill, and anyone trying to live a healthier and saner life in our fast-paced world.
5. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living | By Dale Carnegie
In this book, popular self-help motivational books writer Dale Carnegie has shared his personal experiences, wherein he was mostly unsatisfied and worried about a lot of life situations. But with time he changed his perspective of looking at things and opted for positive thinking in his life. In his book, he has told the readers about different ways that can lead them to a happier and stress-free life. With a set of practical formulas, the book teaches you certain life lessons to make your present and future happier than ever. It is divided into a few sections such as how to eliminate fifty percent of business worries immediately, avoid fatigue and keep looking young, reduce financial worries, add one hour a day to your waking life and find and be one’s own self.
6. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff | By Richard Carlson
Featured in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story starring Heather Locklear, premiering on Lifetime
Put challenges in perspective, reduce stress and anxiety through small daily changes and find the path to achieving your goals with this groundbreaking inspirational guide—a self-help classic.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff is a book that tells you how to keep from letting the little things in life drive you crazy. In thoughtful and insightful language, author Richard Carlson reveals ways to calm down in the midst of your incredibly hurried, stress-filled life.
You can learn to put things into perspective by making the small daily changes Dr. Carlson suggests, including advice such as “Choose your battles wisely”; “Remind yourself that when you die, your ‘in’ box won’t be empty”; and “Make peace with imperfection”. With Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… you’ll also learn how to:
- Live in the present moment
- Let others have the glory at times
- Lower your tolerance to stress
- Trust your intuitions
- Live each day as it might be your last
With gentle, supportive suggestions, Dr. Carlson reveals ways to make your actions more peaceful and caring, with the added benefit of making your life calmer and stress-free.
7. Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess | By Caroline Leaf
Toxic thoughts, depression, anxiety–our mental mess is frequently aggravated by a chaotic world and sustained by an inability to manage our runaway thoughts. But we shouldn’t settle into this mental mess as if it’s just our new normal. There’s hope and help available to us–and the road to healthier thoughts and peak happiness may actually be shorter than you think.
Backed by clinical research and illustrated with compelling case studies, Dr. Caroline Leaf provides a scientifically proven five-step plan to find and eliminate the root of anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts in your life so you can experience dramatically improved mental and physical health. In just 21 days, you can start to clean up your mental mess and be on the road to wholeness, peace, and happiness.
8. Why Zebras Don't Get | By Robert Sapolsky
Now in a third edition, Robert M. Sapolsky’s acclaimed and successful Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers features new chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction, as well as new insights into anxiety and personality disorder and the impact of spirituality on managing stress.
As Sapolsky explains, most of us do not lie awake at night worrying about whether we have leprosy or malaria. Instead, the diseases we fear – and the ones that plague us now – are illnesses brought on by the slow accumulation of damage, such as heart disease and cancer. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way – through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick. Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses. This new edition promises to be the most comprehensive and engaging one yet.
9. Stress and Your Health | By Hymie Anisman
Stress and Your Health: From Vulnerability to Resilience presents an evidence-based evaluation of the various effects of stress, along with methods to alleviate distress and stress-related illnesses.
- Examines myriad stressor effects and proven ways to alleviate stress in our lives
- Covers a wide range of stressor-related topics including therapeutic strategies to deal with stress and factors that hinder the treatment of stress
- Makes difficult biochemical and immunological concepts accessible to a non-specialist audience
- Addresses many of the factors that cause individuals to be more vulnerable to the impact of stressors and at increased risk for pathology
10. Stress in Health and Disease | By Hans Selye
Stress in Health and Disease presents the principal pathways mediating the response to a stressor. It discusses the clinical background of cross-resistance and treatment with stress hormones. It addresses the diseases of adaptation or stress diseases, diagnostic indicators, and functional changes. Some of the topics covered in the book are the concept of heterostasis; stressors and conditioning agents; morphology of frostbite; characteristics manifestations of stress; catecholamines and their derivatives; various hormones and hormone-like substances; FFA, triglycerides and lipoproteins; morphologic changes; and hypothalamohypophyseal system. The gastrointestinal diseases of adaptation are covered. Schizophrenia and related psychoses are discussed. The text describes manic-depressive disease and senile psychosis. A study of experimental cardiovascular diseases and neuropsychiatric diseases is presented. A chapter is devoted to the diseases of adaptation in animals. Another section focuses on the shift in adenohypophyseal activity and catatonic hormones. The book can provide useful information to scientists, doctors, students, and researchers.
11. A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook | By Elisha Goldstein
The ultimate practical guide to mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)-with more than 115,000 copies sold-is now available in a fully revised and updated second edition. In A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, two MBSR experts present a step-by-step, eleven-week program for effective stress reduction based on the concepts in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s groundbreaking book, Full Catastrophe Living.
12. When the Body Says No | By Gabor Mate
In this accessible and groundbreaking book – filled with the moving stories of real people medical doctor and best-selling author Gabor Maté shows that emotion and psychological stress play a powerful role in the onset of chronic illness, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, and many others, even Alzheimer’s disease.
When the Body Says No is an impressive contribution to research on the physiological connection between life’s stresses and emotions and the body systems governing nerves, immune apparatus, and hormones. With great compassion and erudition, Gabor Maté demystifies medical science and, as he did in Scattered Minds, invites us all to be our own health advocates.
13. Stress-Proof | By Mithu Storoni
Discover simple, science-based strategies for beating stress at its own game
When’s the best time to exercise – and how much is too much? Which foods fortify the brain, and which do the opposite? How can we use music, movement, and motivation to boost our rational brain and keep our cool no matter what life throws our way?
Short bursts of stress are an inevitable part of modern life. But how much is too much? Research is uncovering the delicate balance that can turn a brief stressful episode into systemic overload, eventually leading to inflammation, anxiety, depression, and other chronic health issues.
This practical and groundbreaking guide reveals seven paths to fighting the effects of stress – to strengthen our natural defenses so that our minds remain sharp, and our bodies resilient, no matter what life throws at us.
Each chapter examines a common stress agent – including inflammation, an out-of-sync body clock, cortisol levels, and emotional triggers – and presents simple ways to minimize its harmful effects with changes in diet, exercise, and other daily habits – including surprising hacks involving music, eye movements, body temperature, daily routine, and more. Translating cutting-edge scientific findings into clear and simple advice, Stress-Proof is the ultimate user’s guide for body, mind, and well-being.
14. Zen As F*ck | By Monica Sweeney
The road to serenity is ahead, and it’s paved with a f*ck-ton of profanity. When quiet meditation and peaceful mantras aren’t enough to cut through the bullsh*t and brighten your day―hold close the pages of Zen as F*ck. On each and every page, you can give the good around you a warm f*cking hug and kick the bad on its ass. Journal your way through positive affirmations and cathartic-as-f*ck activities on your liberating journey toward something pretty close to happiness.
Sprinkle, scatter, or set off a glitter-bomb of happy vibes onto your trail of tranquility with Zen as F*ck!
• Start sparkling like the f*cking gem you are
• Learn how to rise, shine, and kick ass
• Cast your soul-shining light on others and spread some f*cking beauty
Don’t miss the other f*cking amazing titles in this series: Zen as F*ck at Work, Let That Sh*t Go, and Find Your F*cking Happy.e
15. The Self-Care Prescription LIB/e | By Robyn Gobin
Real self-care practices to enrich every part of your life
Picture your best life: Where would you work? What would your social calendar look like? What personal interests would you be exploring? This book is your prescription to turn those visions into a reality―with proven self-care strategies for every area of your life.
The Self-Care Prescription empowers you to find balance and purpose in your relationships, work, and life. From creating a plan to spend more time with family and friends, to zeroing in on a career that you can feel good about, the book will help you create a personalized self-care plan. You’ll also learn actionable techniques to fight anxiety, demotivation, or whatever else is holding you back from building the life you want to live.
The Self-Care Prescription includes:
Self-care 101―Learn what “self-care” really means, and how you can start practicing it every day. A full-spectrum plan―Bring self-care to the physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational, and social areas of your life. Best-life strategies―Unwind with mindfulness breathing practices or start eating right with healthy meal planning―you’ll find tons of actionable self-care techniques to help you reach your goals.
Be the friend you want to be to yourself and others. Be engaged with what you do. Whatever self-care means to you, you’ll find your own personal practice in this book.
16. The Upside of Stress | By Kelly McGonigal
The author of The Willpower Instinct delivers a controversial and groundbreaking new book that overturns long-held beliefs about stress.
More than 44 percent of Americans admit to losing sleep over stress. And while most of us do everything we can to reduce it, Stanford psychologist and best-selling author Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. In The Upside of Stress, McGonigal highlights new research indicating that stress can, in fact, make us stronger, smarter, and happier – if we learn how to embrace it.
The Upside of Stress is the first audiobook to bring together cutting-edge discoveries on the correlation between resilience – the human capacity for stress-related growth – and mindset, the power of beliefs to shape reality. As she did in The Willpower Instinct, McGonigal combines science, stories, and exercises into an engaging and practical book that is both entertaining and life-changing, showing you:
- How to cultivate a mindset to embrace stress
- How stress can provide focus and energy
- How stress can help people connect and strengthen close relationships
- Why your brain is built to learn from stress and how to increase its ability to learn from challenging experiences
McGonigal’s TED talk on the subject has already received more than seven million views. Her message resonates with people who know they can’t eliminate the stress in their lives and want to learn to take advantage of it. The Upside of Stress is not a guide to getting rid of stress but a guide to getting better at stress by understanding it, embracing it, and using it.
townships, and every aspect of your life.
17. The Highly Sensitive Person | By Elaine Aron
ARE YOU A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON?
Do you have a keen imagination and vivid dreams? Is time alone each day as essential to you as food and water? Are you noted for your empathy? Your conscientiousness? Do noise and confusion quickly overwhelm you? If your answers are yes, you may be a highly sensitive person (HSP) and Dr. Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person is the life-changing guide you’ll want in your toolbox.
Over twenty percent of people have this amazing, innate trait. Maybe you are one of them. A similar percentage is found in over 100 species because high sensitivity is a survival strategy. It is also a way of life for HSPs.
In this 25th anniversary edition of the groundbreaking classic, Dr. Elaine Aron, a research and clinical psychologist as well as an HSP herself, helps you grasp the reality of your wonderful trait, understand your past in the light of it, and make the most of it in your future. Drawing on her many years of study and face-to-face time spent with thousands of HSPs, she explains the changes you will need to make in order to lead a fuller, richer life.
Along with a new Author’s Note, the latest scientific research, and a fresh discussion of anti-depressants, this edition of The Highly Sensitive Person is more essential than ever for creating the sense of self-worth and empowerment every HSP deserves and our planet needs.
“Elaine Aron has not only validated and scientifically corroborated high sensitivity as a trait—she has given a level of empowerment and understanding to a large group of the planet’s population. I thank Dr. Aron every day for her having brought this awareness to the world.”
—Alanis Morissette, artist, activist, teacher
18. The Anxiety Journal | By Corinne Sweet
A fluttering in the chest, constant worrying, sleepless nights with your breath squeezed from you. One in four people suffers from anxiety, and the symptoms can feel overwhelming. But you can take control. Let psychologist Corinne Sweet help you on your way to eliminating anxiety with this journal full of:
• Inspiring quotes for when you need a quick fix of motivation
• Grounding facts about anxiety that work as much-needed coping mechanisms
• Soothing exercises to enhance mindfulness
• Writing prompts grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy to help identify the causes of your anxiety for long-term peace of mind
• Lined pages to record your thoughts and track your progress
• A heavy cover designed to survive wear and tear through repeated use
Practical and uplifting, the perfect size to carry around with you, this journal is an indispensable companion on your journey to a peaceful mind.
19. The Stress Solution | By Rangan Chatterjee
Brought to you by Penguin.
Narrated by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee
From the author of the Sunday Times best-selling The 4 Pillar Plan
It’s thought that between 70 and 90% of GP consultations are related to stress.’
This has to change.
Now he’s on a mission to show that combatting stress is easier than you think.
He shows how a small change in the way you approach your
Can help you lead a more fulfilled, calmer life.
In The Stress Solution, Rangan offers simple and achievable interventions to help you re-set your life, offering simple tools for how to cope with modern-life, including:
- How to design your morning routine effectively
- How to keep a touch diary
- How to mute your digital world and make maoi mates
- How to eat the alphabet
Packed with personal accounts and patient cases, this audiobook will become your blueprint on how to live stress-free in the modern world.
Final Thoughts on the Best Books on Stress and Health
When it comes to your health, the less stress you have on your mind and body, the better. Stress can lead to depression, heart disease, headaches, sore muscles, and even infertility. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce stress in your life. One of which is by reading books on the subject. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best books on stress and health that can help you learn about stress relief techniques and how they work for you. From breathing exercises to mindful meditation, this list has got you covered.
Do you see a book that you think should be on the list? Let us know your feedback here.
James is the editor-in-chief at biggerinvesting.com. James is a workaholic and an entrepreneur who has been in the tech industry for over ten years. He has worked with Microsoft, owns multiple websites, and now owns a mattress shop. Furthermore, when he has time left over, he will be in his woodworking shop building furniture as a side hustle. James has a B.S. in Business Management Information Systems and a Master’s in Business Administration from Liberty University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Executive Leadership, and once he completes that, he will pursue his Ph.D. in Business Administration – Entrepreneurship. James also seeks investment opportunities, putting his money to work instead of himself.