Book / video recommendations for the moment

There are many excellent books on mental health that can help you gain a better understanding of mental health, treatment options, and strategies for managing your own mental health. I sometimes find that I loan books out and never see them again (and this is fine, because I don’t often read a book more than once), and I confess there are books I only “know” by reputation, catching their value by seeing it lived out in others.

Here are a few recommendations which run the whole spectrum, from behavioral to mindful to existential.

  1. “An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness” by Kay Redfield Jamison – This memoir by a clinical psychologist chronicles her own experience with bipolar disorder and provides insight into the illness from both a personal and professional perspective.
  2. “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions” by Johann Hari – This book examines the social and environmental factors that contribute to depression and anxiety, and offers a holistic approach to treatment that goes beyond medication.
  3. “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk – This book explores the impact of trauma on the body and offers strategies for healing and recovery.
  4. “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David D. Burns – This self-help book offers practical strategies for managing depression and anxiety through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
  5. “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” by Andrew Solomon – This book offers a comprehensive look at depression, from its history and cultural context to its treatment and management.
  6. “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig
  7. “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
  8. “The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress” by John D. Teasdale, Mark Williams, and Zindel V. Segal
  9. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

From the YouTube world:

There are many great YouTube channels and videos that offer guided meditation practices for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. The Honest Guys – This YouTube channel offers a variety of guided meditations, including nature-themed visualizations, mindfulness practices, and sleep meditations.
  2. Headspace – The Headspace YouTube channel offers short guided meditations on a variety of topics, such as stress relief, focus, and sleep.
  3. Tara Brach – Tara Brach is a well-known meditation teacher and author, and her YouTube channel offers a variety of talks, guided meditations, and Q&A sessions.
  4. Mindful Movement – This channel offers a variety of guided meditations and yoga practices for stress relief, relaxation, and mindfulness.
  5. The Meditation Coach – This channel offers guided meditations for a variety of purposes, including stress relief, anxiety reduction, and sleep.
  6. Jason Stephenson – Jason Stephenson’s channel offers a variety of guided meditations, including sleep meditations, chakra meditations, and mindfulness practices.
  7. Calm – The Calm YouTube channel offers a variety of guided meditations, including nature sounds and guided imagery for relaxation and sleep.

With both the books and videos, it is important to find a meditation style and teacher that resonates with you and your individual needs.

These are just a few examples of the many excellent books and video on mental health. It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with mental health is unique — you may be in a place where “searching for meaning” is too early, too lofty, too abstract. In that moment, you may be figuring out how to pay your bills and make dinner. Just the next 24 hours. For those who are further down the road, particularly if you are dealing with lifelong, chronic pain, searching for meaning in the midst of loss and suffering may be exactly what you need. Chances are, your therapist will have several of these on your bookshelf, so it is important to find resources that resonate with you and your individual needs, and a professional therapist who knows you may be able to point you towards some reading (or viewing) that will help you along your journey.

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