Bibliotherapy Recommendations

What is bibliotherapy?

Bibliotherapy is all about feeling good with books: reading great novels, poems and stories to help us through difficult situations and feelings.

It’s also about nurturing our sense of wellbeing and feeling better in ourselves. Reading is one of the best ways to relax and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.

Reading fiction is one of the easiest ways to relate to others when we feel isolated. Also, as we get to know characters, we get to know ourselves.

Bibliotherapy is a lifelong companion to all those who welcome it. You don’t have to hit rock-bottom before you consider it, simply pick up a book.

Remember, for severe problems, bibliotherapy is a way to complement therapy, self-care, and a healthy lifestyle. For feelings as troubling as those related to PTSD, depression, severe anxiety, or other mental health issues, fiction is clearly not enough. I would recommend using books to help your wellbeing, but only when you are sure that you are receiving the support and guidance that you need as well.


The Bibliotherapy Books List

Collected Poems – William Wordsworth

A retreat into the English countryside, joining one of our greatest poets on a leisurely walk with plenty of time for contemplation.

Tennyson's Collected Poems

"Ulysses" gave me courage to move away from the past when I needed it most.

The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett

When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book…

Collected Poems – Edward Thomas

One of my very favourite poets: a solitary soul who endured the battles of both war and depression, all the while holding a deep love for the world’s natural beauty.

Healing Without Freud or Prozac

A guide to healing, naturally.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective…

Devotions – Mary Oliver

The collected poems of one of my very favourite poets and fellow nature worshippers.

The Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim

A holiday within a novel. Set off with these women and recuperate in their Italian villa.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) – C.S. Lewis

Escape back into the magical worlds of childhood, whether you have visited Narnia before or not.

The BFG – Roald Dahl

On a dark, silvery moonlit night, Sophie is snatched from her bed by a giant. Luckily it is the Big Friendly Giant, the BFG, who only eats snozzcumbers and glugs frobscottle…

Printable Bibliotherapy Books List

Books for accepting yourself

Books for anxiety

Read more: 20 books for anxiety to relax with

Books for beauty and meaning

Read more: 8 books to appreciate how beautiful life really is

Books for breakups and heartbreak

Books for homesickness

Books for knowing yourself

Books for moving on and starting afresh

Books for low self-esteem

Books for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 

Books for persevering through hardship

Books for self-care

Read more: 7 self-care books for relaxing and unwinding with

Books for solitude

Books for unrequited love