Self help books get a bad rap sometimes, I think. They’re seen as the province of walking, talking “Cathy” cartoons and hippie-dippie-fruit-loop types. That couldn’t be less true: there are many different types of self-help books for all kinds of problems. Some books are more spiritual while others are more practical, as in teaching you techniques of coping with depression and anxiety. Not only is a good self-help book cheaper than paying for therapy — even if it’s just a co-pay!— but you can circle sections, fold over pages, and come back to them whenever you read.
I scoured my own bookshelf and that of The Frisky staff to find the best self-help books we’ve ever read — ones that actually work!
This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
Disturbing news out of Illinois today: a teenage girl from Missouri escaped from a home in which she had been held captive for the past two years.
The young woman, who was 15 when she went missing, said she had been sexually assaulted and beaten almost daily by an older man. She became pregnant by her rapist and gave birth to a two-year-old child. Keep reading »
More naked pics of Prince Hot Ginge?! Two women have approached a British publicist claiming to have more dirt on Prince Harry’s Las Vegas romp this week that gave me the ginger nude pics of my dreams. Max Clifford said two American women who were apparently in Prince Harry’s Vegas hotel room offered him “lots of interesting things: pictures, video, that kind of thing.” Video? Video! Clifford turned down the ladies, so I suppose they’re on the phone with TMZ as we speak. Stay tuned for more pics of Prince Harry’s pasty white arse, courtesy of a losing game of strip pool. [Newsday]
Advice columnists are usually detestable on principle. So often they dish out finger-wagging judgment rather than empathy and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of human nature. TheRumpus.net’s Dear Sugar column — which was revealed earlier this year to be penned by author Cheryl Strayed — is beloved by readers for this very reason. It’s an advice column, but feels like therapy, church and your mother’s loving arms all at once. Whether you’re lovesick, drowning in debt, or riddled with professional jealousy, Dear Sugar understands and she wants to help. [$10.17, Amazon]
I have seen a therapist off and on since my first panic attack at age 14. Talk therapy (and the delightful mood-soothing properties of 20 mg of Lexapro) are the reason I can put on pants and leave my house in the morning. With their help, I’ve learned how to self-soothe anger and disappointment, combat the negative self-talk that leads to depression, and create boundaries with my loved ones. My current therapist is this rad little old Italian lady who not only gets me but champions my very Jessica-ness. My life is infinitely more manageable for me under her care and as such I am the world’s biggest proponent of talk therapy. [Nuh-uh, I am! -- Editor]
But all of that doesn’t change a separate fact: sometimes what really makes me feel good is retail therapy. Keep reading »