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Introduction to Guide

Welcome to Read to Restore: Leisure Books for Mental Wellness! This guide contains a bibliography of leisure reading materials intended to support good mental health and well-being.  Throughout the pages, you will also find links to music, videos, and additional resources to promote mental health.  Browse the tabs on the left-hand side to find books from various genres and subject areas to help you de-stress, recharge, and practice good mental health! 

Note: This guide is not a source of clinical or diagnostic information. If you or someone you know are in need of counseling help, please refer to the links on the right side bar.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn't.

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On Art and Mindfulness: Notes From the Anderson Ranch

In On Art and Mindfulness, world-renowned artist and celebrated teacher Enrique Martínez Celaya shares his views and advice on the art-making process, the development of a practice, the management of obstacles, and the day-to-day choices we must make in order to remain creative and honest.

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

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Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body

Jessamyn Stanley, a yogi who breaks all the stereotypes, has built a life as an internationally recognized yoga teacher and award-winning Instagram star by combining a deep understanding for yoga with a willingness to share her personal struggles in a way that touches everyone who comes to know her. Now she brings her body-positive, emotionally uplifting approach to yoga in a book that will help every reader discover the power of yoga and how to weave it seamlessly into his or her life.  

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Letters to a Young Muslim

From the Ambassador of the UAE to Russia comes Letters to a Young Muslim, a bold and intimate exploration of what it means to be a Muslim in the twenty-first century. In a series of personal and insightful letters to his sons, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a vital manifesto that tackles the dilemmas facing not only young Muslims but everyone navigating the complexities of today's world.

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The Sound of Being Human: How Music Shapes Our Lives

Shaped around twelve songs, Jude Rogers explores, in detail, why music plays such a deep-rooted role in so many lives, from before we are born to our last days. At its heart is Jude's own story: how songs helped her wrestle with the grief of losing her father at age five and concoct her own sense of self as a lonely adolescent

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A black British poet making her thrilling American debut explores the importance of "quiet" in producing forms of community, resistance, and love. These poems dwell on ideas of black interiority, intimacy, and selfhood, and they celebrate as fiercely as they mourn. With a metaphysical edge and a formal restlessness attuned to both the sonics and the inadequacies of language, Quiet navigates the tension between the impulse to guard one's inner life and the knowledge that, as Audre Lorde writes, "your silence will not protect you."

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Tending to the Sacred: Rituals to Connect with Earth, Spirit, and Self

Tap into your own healing power, and nourish your mind, body, and soul with 50 rituals for greater connection to life, love, and purpose. What if every moment were a portal to the sacred? A pathway back to remembering your interconnectedness with the earth, the deep wells of wisdom within you, and your true spiritual sovereignty? In Tending to the Sacred, multidimensional artist and healer Ashley River Brant invites us to walk this path and step into our own sacred truth through the art of ritual.

The Science of Stuck: Breaking Through Inertia to Find your Path Forward

We all experience stuckness in our lives. We feel stuck in our relationships, career paths, body struggles, addiction issues, and more. Many of us know what we need to do to move forward--but find ourselves unable to take the leap to make it happen. And then we blame and shame ourselves, and stay in a loop of self-doubt that goes nowhere. The good news is you're not lazy, crazy, or unmotivated. In this empowering and action-oriented guide, you'll discover why we can't think our way forward--and how to break through what's holding us back.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.   

Self-Care for Black Women: 150 Ways to Radically Accept & Prioritize Your Mind, Body, & Soul

Prioritize your wellbeing with these 150 self-care exercises designed specifically to help Black women revitalize their outlook on life, improve their mental health, eliminate stress, and self-advocate. Between micro- and macro-aggressions at school, at work, and everywhere in between, it's tough to prioritize physical and mental wellness as a Black woman, especially with a constant news cycle highlighting Black trauma. Now, with The Self-Care for Black Women you'll find more than 150 exercises that will help you radically choose to put yourself first. 

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Home Bodies: Tactile Experience in Domestic Space

How do acts of caring for the sick or grieving for the dead change the way we move through our living rooms and bedrooms? Why do elderly homeowners struggle to remain in messy, junk-filled houses? Why are we so attached to our pets, even when they damage and soil our living spaces? In Home Bodies: Tactile Experience in Domestic Space, James Krasner offers an interdisciplinary, humanistic investigation of the sense of touch in our experience of domestic space and identity.

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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Researcher and speaker Dr. Brene Brown offers an all-embracing new philosophy that provides encouragement to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly and to courageously engage in life, whatever it brings. Dr. Brown challenges preconceived ideas about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather the clearest path to courage, engagement and meaningful connection.

How to use this guide

For each book on this guide, there are two links next to the title that you can use to find copies of the book:

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1. DePaul Library Catalog


The first link is a graphic of a book that will direct you to the book in the DePaul Library catalog.  Only those affiliated with DePaul are able to access print books and ebooks in the library collection. 

This link is intended for DePaul University students, faculty, and staff. 

2. WorldCat Catalog


The second link is a graphic of a computer screen that will direct you to the book in the WorldCat catalog and display a list of libraries worldwide that own the book.  You can change the location and distance to see where the book is available near you.  If a library near you does not have the title, you can ask your library for an inter-library loan!

This link is intended for the general public and users outside of DePaul University.

Supported by a Carnegie Whitney Grant from the American Library Association

The creation of this guide was funded by the American Library Association (ALA) Carnegie-Whitney Grant.  The Carnegie-Whitney Grant provides grants for the preparation of popular or scholarly reading lists, webliographies, indexes and other guides to library resources that will be useful to users of all types of libraries in the United States.


This guide was curated through the joint efforts of Susan Shultz, Grace Spiewak, and Kristin Lansdown of the DePaul University Library.  Thank you to Haley Sauls, our student research assistant of the University of South Florida, for helping create this guide and designing the graphics and images.

Quick Links - General

Below are resources that can be used by anyone in the United States:

Quick Links - DePaul Services

Below are a list of campus resources for DePaul University students: