The 10 Best Stress Management Books of 2020

Feel mentally lighter and in control of your emotions with these calming reads

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Our Top Picks

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

"You’ll walk away with the motivation to change your attitude and approach toward stress and develop better coping strategies."

The Four Agreements

"Over the last 20+ years, it’s helped countless people heal and come to terms with their past struggles and traumas."

10% Happier

"Calling all meditation skeptics: this is the book for you."

The Upside of Stress

"As the name implies, you’re going to see stress in a whole new light."

Burnout

"Burnout captures how we all feel: like we’re living on edge with nothing left at the end of the day, week, or month."

Rising Strong

"This book will give you the courage to feel your emotions, do the hard work, and get back up again."

Who Moved My Cheese?

"Twenty years after its publication and this is still the number one best selling book on stress in Amazon."

Declutter Your Mind

"The goal: to reframe stress so it can’t control you."

Zen as F*ck

"The profanity-laden workbook serves a purpose: to lighten the mood."

Full Catastrophe Living

"Kabat-Zinn takes you through exactly how to strengthen your mindfulness muscle."

Our Top Picks

1

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

You know stress is damaging for your health, but do you know exactly why it has such a strong link to chronic disease—and more importantly, what to do about it? By showing how these systems intersect (how your mental state affects your health), you’ll walk away with the motivation to change your attitude and approach toward stress and develop better coping strategies so that you can give it the perspective and space in your life that it deserves. In this book, Sapolsky wins at presenting science-backed concepts in an intriguing, entertaining way.

2

The Four Agreements

We tend to be our own worst enemy. So, what if you could shed the thoughts that are actively working against you—and just feel lighter? This is a classic for a reason: over the last 20+ years, it’s helped countless people heal and come to terms with their past struggles and traumas and allowed them to move forward as their more authentic selves. You’ll want to go through with a highlighter and mark all the sections that speak to you, so you can revisit them again and again when you’re in need of a push to keep moving forward.

3

10% Happier

Calling all meditation skeptics: this is the book for you. Harris, an ABC News correspondent, takes you through his own struggles with anxiety and then shows you how tiny bits of mindfulness meditation can help you lift that cloud. This is the book for anyone who says they’re too busy, don’t have time, or don’t have the zen attitude needed to slow down and take a minute. Readers walk away from the book with a greater appreciation for their strengths and weaknesses and a belief that, yes, they can find their own version of happiness.

4

The Upside of Stress

As the name implies, you’re going to see stress in a whole new light. And that’s a good thing because when you understand what stress is and the positive role it can serve (as a motivator to get things done and excel), you can harness its secret superpowers to succeed. Psychologist McGonigal teaches you how to “get good at” stress, meaning it becomes something you use—not something that controls you or makes you lost in a worry spiral. With the helpful tools and exercises she lays out, you, too, can master the art of stress without the toxic anxiety.

5

Burnout

In one of the best new releases, Burnout captures how we all feel: like we’re living on edge with nothing left at the end of the day, week, or month. A science-backed, entertaining read, the book aims to make readers understand this is a wide-sweeping phenomenon. Better yet, gives practical solutions for dealing with the underlying stress rather than being reactive to every little thing that gets slung your way. And, oh, did we mention it’s a fun read?

6

Rising Strong

Stress isn’t just about the day-to-day stuff that bogs you down. Sometimes you have a down month, six months, or year. Sometimes you have a big fall and it’s hard to get back up again. This book will give you the courage to feel your emotions, do the hard work, and get back up again. Brown, who’s an expert in vulnerability, helps you work through what happens after life throws you a curveball, and just like all of her books, people call this one life-changing.

7

Who Moved My Cheese?

Twenty years after its publication and this is still the number one best selling book on stress on Amazon. And it deserves to be on top, too. This is the book you need if there’s a big change afoot in your life, whether personal or professional. Johnson teaches readers how to actually embrace change and make the mental shifts needed to feel like you’re in the driver’s seat, which, ultimately, helps you ride out the wave of change with ease.

8

Declutter Your Mind

Stress is all in how you see that stress. What might bog one person down for days can be easily shrugged off by another. Learn to be that person who moves forward in spite of negative thoughts by learning doable techniques like mindfulness meditation and deep breathing. The goal: to reframe stress so it can’t control you. Once you get the hang of these techniques, they become second nature. Soon you’ll realize that your monkey brain no longer jumps around from one stress to the next, and you can be more at peace.

9

Zen as F*ck

The profanity-laden workbook serves a purpose: to lighten the mood. With this new perspective, you can approach this journal and its journaling activities to see your stress in a whole new way. It makes working through stress, triggers, and anxieties…fun. And that’s hard to do. Thanks to the positive affirmations throughout, you’ll close this book feeling like you’re in a better place than when you started.

10

Full Catastrophe Living

The simple art of being present, aware, and giving a moment your undivided attention can be tough to implement in your life, but Kabat-Zinn takes you through exactly how to strengthen your mindfulness muscle. Don’t fear the title: the life-changing book is here to transform your life, help you deal with stress (not run away from it), and emerge a renewed person.

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