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Audiobooks for Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month—a time dedicated to educating the general public about mental health. Adults and kids alike can help fight the stigma of mental illness by listening to audiobooks. For adults, explore educational, historical, and personal perspectives with nonfiction. For kids and teens, we’re recommending fiction titles with representative characters to help young listeners approach mental health (others’ and their own) with empathy and kindness.

For Adults

In The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain and exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal.

In Nobody’s Normal, anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker argues that stigma against mental illness is a social process that can be explained through cultural history, a process that we learn from within our communities, and that we ultimately have the power to change.

How Not to Fall Apart is an audiobook about what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression, panic attacks, self-harm and self-loathing–and it’s also a hopeful roadmap written by someone who’s been there and is still finding her way.

Author: Matt Haig
Read By: Matt Haig

When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health. Notes on a Nervous Planet takes a look at how the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness.

For Teens

Author: A.S. King
Read By: A.S. King

A surreal and timely novel about the effects of isolation and what it means to be connected to the world from the Printz Award-winning author of Dig.

“Poignant, propulsive, and profound.”—Publishers Weekly

Author: John Green
Read By: Kate Rudd

Aza Holmes never intended to pursue the disappearance of a fugitive billionaire, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake. Aza is trying to be a good daughter, friend, student, and maybe even a good detective, while within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

“Rudd offers poignant pictures of Aza’s struggles through vivid portrayals of other characters.”–AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Darius has never fit in at home, and he’s sure he won’t in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab and everything changes.

“Harris brings out all of Sohrab’s earnest sweetness, and his sensitive narration emphasizes the connection between the boys…”–AudioFile

Author: Helena Fox
Read By: Candice Moll

How it Feels to Float is a story about inter-generational mental illness, and how living with it is both a bridge to someone loved and lost. Helena Fox explores the hard and beautiful places loss can take us, and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

For Tweens & Kids 

Now more than ever, kids need to feel empowered as they work through anxiety and low self-esteem. With its helpful, hands-on suggestions and tips, Superpowered will be embraced by every kid with insecurities, worries, and anxious thoughts.

Author: Sara Nickerson
Read By: Fred Berman

Moving to a new town is supposed to be a chance for Josh to leave behind problems. Problems like Big Brother, his best and imaginary friend. But Big Brother reappears–and he’s not alone. Only this time one of Josh’s imaginary friends seems to be interacting with another boy at school. Can Lucas see them, too?

“Berman immerses listeners in the ambiguous, atmospheric setting”–AudioFile

A touching story about a little boy whose worry monster follows him everywhere he goes. Having struggled with anxiety for as long as she can remember, Nadiya Hussain has written this heartfelt story to ensure that no child suffers in silence—no matter what shape their worry monster may take.

Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in?