Best Young Adult Mental Health Novels

Reading is great for mental health in that it’s an activity you can do alone without feeling lonely. Even though you are by yourself while reading, you can still connect with characters and become part of their story. If a book has a movie adaptation, sometimes watching the movie with friends can help start discussions surrounding mental illness and how to overcome struggles. For those who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, reading can be beneficial as it gives your brain something else to focus on other than your problems.

Another great thing about books is that they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of therapy. This helps make them more accessible to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. While not all books are created equal when it comes to improving mental health symptoms especially if they deal with topics surrounding death or suicide, in this article we are going to look at some young adult novels that tackle these issues head-on:

Enjoy This: Books About How Mass Incarceration Affects Mental Health

Best Young Adult Mental Health Novels

The following is the list of 7 best young adult mental health novels that we can recommend to young adults who needs insight about mental health.

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

If you’re looking for a book that will make you cry and laugh at the same time, All the Bright Places is a great choice. The novel is about two teenagers who meet on the ledge of a bell tower and fall in love. The story explores mental health issues, including suicide and its impact on others. It also highlights how people can help each other through hard times and find hope together when it seems like there’s none left in the world.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age novel that follows the life of Charlie, an introverted high school freshman. The book is written in the form of letters to an anonymous friend, which allows readers to get inside his head and understand what he’s thinking and feeling.

Charlie has a lot going on: he deals with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts as well as trying to figure out how to fit in at school and make friends. But he also has some great people in his corner—including Sam, an older girl, Patrick, her brother, and Angela, a new friend.

“13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

If you’re looking for a book that deals with bullying, depression and suicide in a raw way, 13 Reasons Why is the perfect pick. But be warned: this book is about as graphic as it gets when it comes to depicting suicide. Asher uses an audiobook left behind by Hannah Baker, the teenage girl who takes her own life, as the main source of narration and through this device he explores how she was treated before her death and how each person involved had impacted her decision to end her life.

13 Reasons Why is controversial because of its portrayal of suicide, but if you can handle it then we highly recommend giving this one a shot.

“Far From the Tree” by Andrew Solomon

Far From the Tree is a book about mental health, but it’s also so much more than just that. Solomon writes about everything from autism to schizophrenia to Down syndrome, in addition to some other diseases and conditions. The book is split up into sections for each chapter, with each of these sections telling stories about different people who have been affected by the same condition or illness.

The format of this book makes it easy for young adults who are struggling with mental health issues to read and relate to because they can see themselves within it Solomon gives many examples of how someone might react if they were living through something similar. This makes Far from the Tree an excellent choice for young adults looking for something that will help them cope with their mental health struggles without feeling like they’re being talked down to or lectured on what life should be like when dealing with such issues.

More Mental Health: What Percentage of Adults Needing Mental Health Care Receive It?

“A Tragic Kind of Wonderful” by Eric Lindstrom

In Lindstrom’s novel, 15-year-old Charlie has been struggling with depression for years. He spends most of his time alone and is bullied at school. When he meets Alice, a girl who also struggles with mental health issues, they create a plan to take revenge on their bullies. Together they begin working toward something that will soon become much bigger than either of them could have imagined.

This book offers an honest look into the life of someone suffering from depression and what it means for their family members too. It shows how hard it can be when your child has serious medical problems and how important it is as parents to seek help from professionals who can help you find resources in your community like support groups so you can all heal together as a family unit

“The Bell Jar (Memoir)” by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical novel about Esther Greenwood, a young woman who suffers from depression. The book was written by Sylvia Plath and published in 1963. It went on to become a bestseller and even became a movie in 1979.

The story follows Esther as she struggles with both mental illness and life as an aspiring writer, exploring the pressures that come with both of these things while also looking at how they affect those around her.

“She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb

Dolores Price is the main character in this novel, and she’s struggling with depression. It’s a story about her growing up and becoming a woman, but it also discusses her mental health issues in depth. This book was made into a movie starring Debra Winger, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. A popular book club read that has been praised by fans everywhere.

Interesting: Books On How Social Media Affects Mental Health

Reasons Why Books Can Address Mental Health Effectively

There are many reasons why books can help with mental health.

1.     Reading Is A One-Person Activity

The reader brings the book to life, and it’s up to them to make sense of it. How you interpret a book can have a huge impact on how you feel about that story, whether it’s positive or negative. A great novel offers insight into the human experience by teaching us about ourselves through characters who are just like us but also unique in some way that makes them stand out from other people or situations we’ve experienced in our lives.

2.     Reading Can Help with Stress and Anxiety

Reading can help with stress and anxiety because by giving yourself over to another world for a few hours at night or during your lunch break or any other time, you’re doing something different from what you’d normally do in real life.

When you read, you learn to relax. You learn how to meditate and breathe properly, which can help you sleep better at night. Reading will also teach you how to cope with stressors in your life by helping you understand yourself better.

3.     Books Are an Affordable Way to Start Therapy

Books are an affordable way to start therapy. If you’re like me, you might not have the money for a therapist or can’t make it to one often enough. However, if you’re working through struggles in your life and have been advised by a professional that self-care is important.

4.     Books Can Help You Get in Touch with Your Feelings

When it comes to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, it can often feel like there’s something wrong inside of us that we need to fix before we can be happy again. Books provide an opportunity for us to talk about what’s going on inside our heads without judgment from others or ourselves–and sometimes even give us permission not only for these thoughts but also the emotions they bring up.

5.     Books Offer a Sense of Community for The Reader

If you’re like me, reading is a solitary activity. You can read alone in your bedroom, on the bus, at the park or anywhere else you can find a quiet spot and a good book. It’s also true that reading offers us an escape from our own lives for a little while but it doesn’t have to be just about escaping. For example: when I need to get away from stressors in my personal life, I like to read books about other people who are dealing with similar issues like mental health.

Read More: What Is Collaborative Care in Mental Health?


Reading about mental health issues is a healthy way to educate yourself and get help if you need it. It’s a great way for teenagers to learn about what’s going on in the world around them, and books have proven to be an effective way for teens to deal with their own mental health issues. These novels are fantastic examples of the best young adult mental health literature out there today, and we highly recommend giving any one of them a read if you or someone you know needs some inspiration.

Also See: 40 Best Mental Health Novels For All Ages

Dave P
Dave P
Be a little better today than yesterday.
Stay Connected

Read On