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

In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust

Got time to spare? Think reading Tolstoy is a doddle? Set Proust as your next challenge.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window of the old people’s home, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his unlikely journey.

Tennyson's Collected Poems

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

All Creatures Great and Small: The classic memoirs of a Yorkshire country vet – James Herriot

A marvelous collection of stories from a Yorkshire vet about the creatures great and small he comes across – and the people. You can read this again and again.

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…

Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog – Jerome K. Jerome

A comic masterpiece that has never been out of print since it was first published in 1889.

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.

The Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim

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

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