Here are six self-help books for students to read this lockdown

Because your mental health matters

New year, new lockdown. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us in so many ways, whether it be the challenges of isolation with online uni or struggles with anxiety.

2021 may not have started the exact way we all would’ve hoped for, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Wherever you find yourself this January, and however you may be feeling, it’s important to remember you are not alone.

Whether you’re looking for a way to perk your mood over the next few weeks, vent out those emotions, have a few laughs, or even learn more about your brain, these books are a great place to start.

Pick Me Up by Adam J Kurtz

@adamjk on Instagram

If you loved the ‘Wreck this Journal’ experience, you’ll adore Adam J Kurtz. His sense of humour is guaranteed to lift your mood, and this interactive journal is a good way to keep track of your emotions over the next few weeks.

Being creative is also great for distracting yourself from any pesky intrusive thoughts, and this book will give you both a pep-talk and some very real-world advice about everything from self-doubt and anxiety to keeping productive.

It’s OK to Feel Things Deeply by Carissa Potter

@peopleiveloved on Instagram

This book is that truthful reminder that emotions are in fact, normal. Who knew?

This book is vibrant and has the cutest illustrations, all whilst reminding you that you, and your feelings, are valid. Whether you’ve been suffering from anxiety, depression or loneliness, this book will help you to process your emotions and inspire you to be your best self.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

@jennitaur on Instagram

It’s fair to say most of us aren’t feeling the most productive right now, and with this comes a sense of guilt for many.

This book makes you rethink the concept of productivity, and help you to embrace this quieter period. Instead of dwelling on the many things we may be missing right now, this book will help you rediscover your sense of purpose.

One Page at a Time by Adam J Kurtz

@adamjk on Instagram

Kurtz has made the list again here with another interactive self-help journal, but this time the focus is on making the most of each day and reflecting to become the best you.

Each page is a short exercise to help express your emotion, giving you space to vent out all those feelings (who isn’t at least a little miffed that uni has been entirely online this year?). Five minutes with a pencil each day at the very least gives you some time off the screen, and with 365 tasks, you’ll get to enjoy this witty book and its benefits all year round.

How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley

@leecrutchley on Instagram

We all need time to rediscover the simple pleasures in life, and this book will help you to do just that.

With the limitations that lockdown brings us all, now is a good time to reflect. This isn’t one of those hard-hitting books, but a casual read that helps you figure out your emotions, and hopefully, feel a bit brighter even in hard times.

It’s All Absolutely Fine: Life Is Complicated So I’ve Drawn It Instead by Ruby Elliot

@rubyetc_ on Instagram

If you’re a fan of dark humour and saying it like it is, this is the book for you.

This book tackles some of the most stigmatised mental health issues and sheds light on many people’s experiences. If you’re looking for something darkly funny that you can relate to,  this could be the one. The unfiltered truth shown in this book will help you realise that yes, you are in fact human.


The one thing all these books have in common is showing that it’s totally okay to feel a bit crappy from time to time and to not be thriving every day of the week. Lockdown is a challenging time for many people, so remembering to take time to look after your mental health is important now more than ever.

You can still access university-provided mental health support throughout lockdown here.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Liverpool student creates petition demanding more mental health support during lockdown

Things you’ll only get if you’ve dated a football lad

Ways Liverpool students can make money alongside their studies