tress is one of the most common mental health issues in the world. Around 40% of adults reported that they experienced stress in their daily lives. Stress can be caused by many different factors, including work, family, money, and health concerns. A lot of people experience stress as a feeling of worry or “wound-up tension.” It becomes more serious when it affects your relationships with others, your mood, your energy level, and how you feel about yourself. Stress isn’t always bad though. It can be an important motivator for achievement and progress. Sometimes stress is the push we need to accomplish more than we know we are capable of doing on our own. These books on the best books on stress will help you on how to handle stress.
Best Books on Stress: THE LIST
1. Burnout | By Emily Nagoski
New York Times Best Seller
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 10 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, Ph.D., 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 this audiobook, 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 exercises, all women will find something transformative in this audiobook – 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.
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Book Riot
“Burnout is the gold standard of self-help books, delivering cutting-edge science with energy, empathy, and wit. The authors know exactly what’s going on inside your frazzled brain and body, and exactly what you can do to fix it. Truly life-changing.” (Sarah Knight, New York Times best-selling author of Calm the F–k Down)
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
2. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers | 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.
3. Full Catastrophe Living | By Jon Kabat-Zinn
It is everywhere around us. Even worse, it gets inside us – sapping our energy, undermining our health, and making us more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and disease. Now, based on Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s renowned mindfulness-based stress-reduction program, this groundbreaking audiobook shows you how to use natural, medically proven methods to soothe and heal your body, mind, and spirit.
By using the practices described within, you can learn to manage chronic pain resulting from illness and/or stress-related disorders, discover the roles that anger and tension play in heart disease, reduce anxiety and feelings of panic, and improve the overall quality of life and relationships through mindfulness meditation and mindful yoga. More timely than ever before, Full Catastrophe Living is a book for the young and the old, the well, the ill, and anyone trying to live a healthier and saner life in today’s world.
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff | By Richard Carlson
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 more calm and stress-free.
5. The Upside of Stress | By Kelly McGonigal
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.
6. 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.
7. Getting Things Done | By David Allen
David Allen reads an all-new edition of his popular self-help classic for managing work-life balance in the 21st century – now updated for the new challenges facing individuals and organizations in today’s rapidly changing world.
Since it was first published more than 15 years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.
Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.
8. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living | By Dale Carnegie
Through Dale Carnegie’s seven-million-copy best seller (recently revised) millions of people have been helped to overcome the worry habit. Dale Carnegie offers a set of practical formulas you can put to work today, formulas that will last a lifetime! Discover how to:
- Eliminate 50 percent of business worries immediately
- Reduce financial worries
- Turn criticism to your advantage
- Avoid fatigue and keep looking young
- Add one hour a day to your waking life
- Find yourself and be yourself – remember, there is no one on earth like you!
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living deals with fundamental emotions and ideas. It is fascinating to listen to and easy to apply. Let it change and improve you. There’s no need to live with worry and anxiety that keep you from enjoying a full, active, and happy life!
9. 10% Happier | By Dan Harris
Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.
After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.
We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness.
10% Happier takes listeners on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.
10. Wherever You Go, There You Are | By Jon Kabat-Zinn
When Wherever You Go, There You Are was first published in 1994, no one could have predicted that the book would launch itself onto bestseller lists nationwide and sell over 750,000 copies to date. Ten years later, the book continues to change lives. In honor of the book’s 10th anniversary, Hyperion is proud to be releasing the book with a new afterword by the author and to share this wonderful book with an even larger audience.
11. The Stress-Proof Brain | By Melanie Greenberg
Modern times are stressful – and it’s killing us. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid the things that stress us out, but we can change how we respond to them. In this breakthrough book, a clinical psychologist and neuroscience expert offers an original approach to help listeners harness the power of positive emotions and overcome stress for good.
Stress is, unfortunately, a natural part of life – especially in our busy and hectic modern times. But you don’t have to let it get in the way of your health and happiness. Studies show that the key to coping with stress is simpler than you think – it’s all about how you respond to the situations and things that stress you out or threaten to overwhelm you.
The Stress-Proof Brain offers powerful, comprehensive tools based on mindfulness, neuroscience, and positive psychology to help you put a stop to unhealthy responses to stress – such as avoidance, tunnel vision, negative thinking, self-criticism, fixed mindset, and fear. Instead, you’ll discover unique exercises that provide a recipe for resilience, empowering you to master your emotional responses, overcome negative thinking, and create a more tolerant, stress-proof brain.
This book will help you develop an original and effective program for mastering your emotional brain’s response to stress by harnessing the power of neuroplasticity. By creating a more stress-tolerant, resilient brain, you’ll learn to shrug off the small stuff, deal with the big stuff, and live a happier, healthier life.
12. The Willpower Instinct | By Kelly McGonigal
Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s wildly popular course “The Science of Willpower”, The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity.
Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. For example, listeners will learn:
- Willpower is a mind-body response, not a virtue. It is a biological function that can be improved through mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
- Willpower is not an unlimited resource. Too much self-control can actually be bad for your health.
- Temptation and stress hijack the brain’s systems of self-control, but the brain can be trained for greater willpower
- Guilt and shame over your setbacks lead to giving in again, but self-forgiveness and self-compassion boost self-control.
- Giving up control is sometimes the only way to gain self-control.
- Willpower failures are contagious – you can catch the desire to overspend or overeat from your friends – but you can also catch self-control from the right role models.
In the groundbreaking tradition of Getting Things Done, The Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice and complementary exercises to help listeners with goals ranging from losing weight to more patient parenting, less procrastination, better health, and greater productivity at work.
- Four causes of mental clutter
- How to reframe all your negative thoughts
- Four strategies to improve (or eliminate) bad relationships
- The importance of decluttering the distractions that cause anxiety
- A simple strategy to discover what’s important to you
- 400 words that help identify your values
- The benefit of meditation and focused deep breathing (and how to do both)
- How to create goals that connect to your passions
Declutter Your Mind is full of exercises that will have an immediate, positive impact on your mindset. Instead of just telling you to do something, we provide practical, science-backed actions that can create real and lasting change if practiced regularly.
13. Winning the War in Your Mind | By Craig Groeschel
We’ve all tried to think our way out of bad habits and unhealthy thought patterns, only to find ourselves stuck with an out-of-control mind and off-track daily life. Pastor and New York Times best-selling author Craig Groeschel understand deeply this daily battle against self-doubt and negative thinking, and in this powerful new book, he reveals the strategies he’s discovered to change your mind and your life for the long term.
Drawing upon Scripture and the latest findings of brain science, Groeschel lays out practical strategies that will free you from the grip of harmful, destructive thinking and enable you to live the life of joy and peace that God intends you to live. Winning the War in Your Mind will help you:
- Learn how your brain works and see how to rewire it
- Identify the lies your enemy wants you to believe
- Recognize and short-circuit your mental triggers for destructive thinking
- See how prayer and praise will transform your mind
- Develop practices that allow God’s thoughts to become your thoughts
God has something better for your life than your old ways of thinking. It’s time to change your mind so God can change your life.
14. 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.
15. Undoing Perpetual Stress | By Richard O’Connor
The author of Undoing Depression presents an effective guide to modern anxiety and shows how you can recognize—and rescue yourself from—its effects.
Twenty-first-century life evolves at a breakneck pace—and with it, stress seems to multiply by the day. We work long, harrowing hours. We fret over our families and finances. Our e-mail beeps and our cell phones ring. But our nervous systems were never meant to handle so many stressors.
In this groundbreaking book, psychotherapist Richard O’Connor explains how a wide range of common problems—both emotional and physical—are actually side effects of modern life, and how you can undo their damage. Combining expertise with down-to-earth language, Undoing Perpetual Stress explains how you can:
• Recognize the hidden effects of stress on your brain and body
• Understand your inner sanity in conflict with a crazy world
• Develop self-control over how you think, act, and feel when stressed
• Regain a sense of meaning and purpose in your life
You already know how to “do” stress. With the help of this book, you can undo it, too.
16. Let That Sh*t Go | By Rita Emmett
From the author of bestselling journal Zen as F*ck, Monica Sweeney gives the gift of letting go with this journal for leaving your bullsh*t behind and creating a happy life.
With Let That Sh*t Go, you’ll find moments of profanity-laced catharsis and joy through journaling activities and inspirations that are positive as f*ck. Within these truly charming pages, you’ll find ways to let go of the bullsh*t and lift your spirit a little f*cking higher.
17. Stress Management for Dummies | By Allen Elkin
It’s impossible to get through life without encountering stress. And unfortunately, most of us learn the incorrect ways to cope with it. Thankfully, Stress Management For Dummies gives you trusted, time-tested guidance on teaching your body and mind to properly cope with stress while keeping your sanity intact.
Whether it’s love, work, family, or something else that has you in the red zone, this updated edition of Stress Management For Dummies will help you identify the stress triggers in your life and cut them down to size – all without losing your cool.
- Shows you how to use stress in a positive, motivational way instead of letting it negatively affect your life
- Teaches you to retrain your body and mind to react positively to stress
- Helps you overcome common stresses faced in modern life
If you want to manage stress and get back to living a normal life, Stress Management For Dummies has you covered.
18. 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.’
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee knows this better than anyone. As a practicing GP, he’s seen first-hand how stress affects his patients and has found simple but effective methods to help them.
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.
19. 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.
Final Thoughts on the Best Books on Stress
Stress is a normal human emotion that can sometimes become an unhealthy obsession. Stress can result from a variety of factors, including work, finances, family life, and relationships. The way we respond to stress can be a major determinant in its effects on our health. We often rely on self-help books to help cope with stress. Here are some helpful books on the best books on stress for dealing with the different types of stress in your life.
Do you see a book that you think should be on the list? Let us know your feedback here.
Meet Maurice, a staff editor at Bigger Investing. He’s an accomplished entrepreneur who owns multiple successful websites and a thriving merch shop. When he’s not busy with work, Maurice indulges in his passion for kayaking, climbing, and his family. As a savvy investor, Maurice loves putting his money to work and seeking out new opportunities. With his expertise and passion for finance, he’s dedicated to helping readers achieve their financial goals through Bigger Investing.