Ten Best Books on Mental Health You Cannot Miss in 2021

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Namrata Roy

11 March 2021

12 Min

Ten Best Books on Mental Health You Cannot Miss in 2021

Table of Contents

What mental health needs are more sunlight, more candour, more unashamed conversation - Glenn Close.

Mental health education fails to be a priority in the majority of schools and institutions in India. But that doesn't discount away its importance, which is why Now&Me has curated a list of the top ten best books on mental health.

Books can largely contribute to the awareness and elimination of the stigma associated with open discussions on mental health. In this blog, you will discover books about mutual aid, non-fiction, and fiction books available online or in the nearest bookshops. And guess what? All of these books are recommendations by the members of our amazing Now&Me community.

Table of Contents:

  1. Ikigai
  2. Think Like a Monk: The secret of how to harness the power of positivity and be happy now
  3. Good Vibes, Good Life
  4. How to Do the Work
  5. Unlearn
  6. Things That You Can See Only When You Slow Down
  7. The Ultimate Gift
  8. Dear Stranger, I Know How You Feel
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  10. Resurrection

image of ten best books on mental health in 2021

Ten best books on mental health recommended by the Now&Me community:


Ikigai is a Japanese concept, and Google has given many definitions for it. What I liked the best was - the process of allowing oneself with possibilities to blossom.


The Japanese people believed that everyone has an ikigai (a reason to jump out of bed each morning). According to the people of the Japanese island of Okinawa – the world's longest-living people – obtaining ikigai is the key to a longer and more accomplished life. Inspiring and refreshing, this book will give you the life-changing tools to reveal your ikigai. It will teach you how to leave urgency behind, find your destination, nurture bonds and throw yourself into your desires.

The message of this book focuses on the longevity of life and self-introspection. The past year has been a tough one for almost all of us. Amidst a global pandemic and an evolving work culture, all we need right now is - ikigai.

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Think Like a Monk: The secret of how to harness the power of positivity and be happy now

Monks can withstand temptations, refrain from criticizing, deal with pain and anxiety, quiet the ego, and build lives that brim with purpose and meaning. - Jay Shetty (Think Like a Monk)


In this book, Shetty draws on his time as a monk to show us how we can clear the roadblocks to our potential and power. Uniting age-old wisdom and his rich personal experiences in the ashram, Think Like a Monk explains how to defeat negative thoughts and habits and obtain the calm and persistence that lies within all of us. He reconstructs abstract lessons into guidance and lessons we can all apply to overcome anxiety, cultivate relationships, and give the benefits we find personally to the world. Shetty proves that everyone can—and should—reflect like a monk.

My favourite part? It was the distinction between the monk mindset and the monkey mindset. (For instance, a monkey mind overthinks and procrastinates, whereas a monk analyzes and articulates.)

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Good Vibes, Good Life

Self-love is a balance between accepting yourself as you are while knowing you deserve better and then working towards it.


In this book, Vex King draws from his personal experience and his intuitive wisdom to inspire you to:

  • practice self-care, overcome toxic energy and prioritize your wellbeing
  • cultivate positive lifestyle habits like mindfulness and meditation
  • change your beliefs to welcome significant opportunities into your life
  • manifest your goals using tried-and-tested techniques
  • overcome fear and flow with the Universe
  • find your higher purpose and be a shining light for others

Here's what our community has to say:

"Good vibes, Good life" by vex king is the book to read for anyone struggling to love oneself or who wants to grow into a better person. This book helped me gain insight and motivated me to change by cultivating positive lifestyle habits, like mindfulness and meditation. It encourages the reader to prioritize one's wellbeing. It most importantly taught me to have faith in myself and the Universe. I hope it helps you too to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel."

  • Yashika

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How to Do the Work

In her book, How to Do the Work, Nicole LePera brilliantly demystifies life-changing therapeutic principles in a way that is easy to digest. -- Gabby Bernstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author


Etching on the most advanced research from various scientific disciplines and healing modalities, Dr LePera helps us understand how adverse experiences and trauma in childhood live with us, resulting in full-figure dysfunction. It activates harmful anxiety responses that keep us stuck engaging in impulsive crudity patterns and trauma links. Unless spoken, these self-sabotaging habits can quickly become cyclical, leaving people feeling miserable, unfulfilled, and ailing.

In the book How to Do the Work, Dr LePera extends readers the support and mechanisms that will help them break free from toxic behaviours to restore and recreate their lives. Nothing short of a paradigm change, this is a recognition of empowerment that will permanently change the way we address mental wellness and self-care.

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Give a damn about yourself first, then those who give a damn about you, and then see if you have any damns left to give.


Humble sees life with unprecedented transparency. In Unlearn, he encourages us to identify the opportunities that await us and the challenges that hinder us from realizing our dreams. With his innate honesty and forthrightness, he helps us cast the dubious lessons we've learned throughout our lives that confine us, from sabotaging habits, to thickened mindsets, to prior regrets and relearn new, unconventional ways of moving through life. Among his 101 lessons are:

  • Fitting In Is a Pointless Activity
  • Don't Trust Everything You Feel
  • Killing Expectations Births Happiness
  • Comparisons are Killer
  • Baby Steps Add Up
  • You Decide Your Worth Profound in its simplicity, Unlearn is the ideal message for a new start and continues a life of attainment.

Unlearn 101 is one of the best books on mental health that you can sit down with a neon highlighter in one hand and a cup of coffee on another and read repeatedly. The anecdotes shared in this book about life can help you reconsider the way you look at life. Humble the poet, an Instagram sensation, has done a fantastic job in this book to communicate self-love and mental health proactively.

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The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down

When the mind is compassionate and joyful, the world is too.


The world is racing, but that doesn't imply we have to. In this guide to mindfulness, Haemin Sunim offers guidance on managing setbacks to dealing with death and relationships, combining his teachings with calming full-colour illustrations. Haemin Sunim's messages - which he first wrote when he acknowledged the requests for help on the internet - speak directly to the anxieties that have become part of contemporary life and remind us of the energy and satisfaction that come from slowing down. Haemin Sunim is a Zen meditation teacher whose instructions transcend spirituality and boundaries and resonate with people of all ages. With insight and empathy drawn from a life full of change, the mega-monk succeeds at inspiring all of us to notice that when you slow down, the world slows down with you.

Every chapter in this book opens with an essay, followed by short paragraphs of wisdom and advice. The book helps you reflect on your busy life and change your mindset for the greater good.

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The Ultimate Gift, The Ultimate Journey, The Ultimate Life,

Summary of The Ultimate Gift:

What would you do to acquire a million dollars? Would you be prepared to transform your life? Red Stevens has departed, and the more venerable family members get their millions with greedy expectations. But an unusual fate awaits juvenile Jason, whom his great uncle Stevens believes may be the last remains of hope in the family. "Although to date your life seems to be a sorry excuse for anything I would call promising, there does seem to be a spark of something in you that I hope we can fan into a flame. For that reason, I am not making you an instant millionaire." What Stevens does give Jason heads to The Ultimate Gift. Young and mature will deliver this timeless tale to heart.

Summary of The Ultimate Life:

An intense follow-up to the bestselling novel and compelling motion picture is The Ultimate Life. When Jason Stevens discovered he had to leap through hoops to get an unnamed legacy from his billionaire grandfather, he was not surprised. By the time he'd completed learning the lessons, he'd grown into a different man. Ready to undertake the responsibilities of managing a multi-billion dollar trust, he is once again thwarted by his rebellious family this time. Not satisfied with their cattle farms and oil fields, his uncles, aunts, and even his origins are determined to see every last money consigned to their self-serving pockets. With none of the objections he initially displayed for the Gift, he gladly accepts the challenge. He thrusts himself to show to his family and the court and the world that with determination and the Gift's simple tenets, anyone can lead The Ultimate Life.

Summary of The Ultimate Journey:

Jim Stovall has written three refreshing tales for anyone who aspires to be motivated or give the present of inspiration. In The Ultimate Gift, Jason Stevens learns to recognize his life's value, while in The Ultimate Life, he realizes the importance of love. Now, in the satisfying termination to the trilogy, Jason learns that life's journey is all about progressing well—not about the goal. In The Ultimate Journey, readers will explore the secrets of a flourishing life, including:

  • Wealth helps pay for the journey but should never be a target
  • Companions make the trip worthy
  • Laughter decreases the load of any uneven or rugged, difficult path
  • You may assign in small or substantial parts, but the time is what counts
  • Do you know how to make your life a resolution? The Ultimate Journey ties a piece of powerful advice for all generations.

Here's what our community has to say: "So the books I would like to recommend are written by Jim Stovall, He is blind, but the books he writes are marvellous. The books are The Ultimate Gift, The Ultimate Journey, The Ultimate Life. So these bools are basically about a guy who is a spoiled brat. His late grandfather had a vast empire, after his death, he believed only that spoiled brat could handle his kingdom, so with the help of his best friend (lawyer), he makes him learn the value of gifts of life, like the Gift of friends, money, problems, hard work and many more in the next book his family filed a case on him. How the same lawyer helped him and how he used those gifts in practicality, in the last book the billionaire left his journal, he wrote his entire divided among those gifts and how they helped change a spoiled brat to his best form, it was his best evolution. I think that people who believe their life to be a mess should give it a shot."

  • Pranum Sethi.

Dear Stranger, I Know How You Feel

The truth is you are at war with yourself. That's why you find yourself at war with others. - Ashish Bagrecha

Ashish Bagrecha's message on the cover of the book:

Dear Stranger, I don't know much about you, but I do know how you feel. You are feeling lost, lonely, and misunderstood. You are tired of pain and suffering. Depression, anxiety, and negativity chase you. You don't know where to find hope and how to heal yourself. Trust me, I have been there myself, and I know it's not easy. So, I am writing these thirty letters and poems to let you know that you are not alone and understood. You are still cared for. Please read one of these letters every day, and I promise you, together, we will get through this. Life is difficult, but not if we take it one day at a time. Trust the Universe and never give up. Love and light, A stranger who feels you

Here's what our community has to say: "Dear Stranger, I know how you feel is a book with 30 letters and a beautiful collection of poems that are related to various aspects of life. The Author has covered Failure, Anxiety, Pain, Success, Gratitude, Hardwork and many other life topics, which lead to hope and healing. The book makes each reader feel that there is someone for you, and you think the practical connect with each letter. I recommend this book to burst all the negative energy and attract an individual towards self-love and development. This book makes you strong towards facing a various problem and ultimately build confidence in you stating you are not alone who is having life issues. A book which helps to get along with the journey of hope and healing !!!"

  • Esha Agarwal

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. Even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.


This unforgettable novel about the predicament of passivity vs. passion signifies the remarkable debut of a compelling new voice in modern fiction: The Perks of Being A WALLFLOWER. This is the story of what it feels like to grow up in high-school. More informal than a diary, Charlie's letters are unique, witty, and overwhelming. We might not know where he abides. We might not know to whom he is lettering. All we know is the life he experiences. Caught between trying to love his energy and attempting to run from it puts him on an unfamiliar course through undiscovered territory—the realm of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas, and unusual friends. The world of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, drugs, and sex, when all one needs, is the perfect song on that perfect night to feel limitless. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has built a profoundly gripping coming-of-age story, an influential best-seller that will take you back to those exciting and touching roller-coaster days known as growing up.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower book is a famous teenage classic later made into a movie. The book is an honest and profound revelation through the eyes of the 15-year-old protagonist Charlie, who shares his traumas and experiences in the form of letters. If you are looking for a classic fiction book that emphasizes children's mental health, this book is absolutely for you.

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All were happy. But grown-up people -- never left off cheating themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred, not the beauty of God's world-- a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love.


Resurrection (1899) is one of the last of Tolstoy's major novels. It revolves around the story of a man's attempt to redeem the suffering his juvenile philandering caused on a rustic girl who ends up a prisoner in Siberia. Tolstoy's vision of salvation, achieved through forgiveness and his denunciation of violence, dominates the book. A private, emotional tale of guilt, anger, and forgiveness, Resurrection is at the same time a picturesque account of social life in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century, revealing its Author's outrage at the social unfairness of the world in which he lived.

Resurrection is one of the timeless classics written by Leo Tolstoy and probably, the last one among his major novels. This book is an age-old portrayal of war and peace and is perhaps one of the best books on mental health you can read.

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Also, in case you like multitasking and listening to books, you must try Audible. They're a great way to get some book reading time in while doing other chores. It works well for me! Ikigai is available on Audible as well [There's a free 30-day trial as well that you can try]

You may try it out here [audible]

From the Editor's Desk

Get Out of My Head

Calm your thoughts, navigate your stress, and understand your anxiety with this compact illustrated guide for overthinkers everywhere.


Get Out of My Head by Meredith Arthur is among the best books that helped me overcome my anxiety problems back in college. This book motivates and encourages you to take care of your mental health. I really liked the book because it deals with daily-life emotions such as overthinking and stress in a very natural way that we all can relate to. It also provides various scientific and biochemical explanations regarding mental health issues such as depression and emotional exhaustion. Give it a read if you can!

Happy reading!

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