Self help books for social anxiety

Social Anxiety Books - 16 Social Anxiety Books You Won't Regret Reading

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Ultimate List of Social Anxiety Books

Are you looking for books on social anxiety to help you feel better? While going to therapy might cost hundreds of dollars a month, books written by psychologists and other mental health professionals can be a great, affordable way to get help.

Some of the best books on social anxiety include “How to Be Yourself” by Ellen Hendriksen, “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Edmund Bourne, and “The Confidence Gap” by Russ Harris. These books offer different perspectives on social anxiety and its causes, as well as specific tips and exercises to help you overcome your fears.

If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve created a list of recommendations for you below. Once you find a few that look promising, check them out from your local library, buy them from your favorite local bookstore, or purchase them through an online retailer like Amazon.

(*Note: We all know social anxiety can be hard to manage. This book on Amazon is the best I have found to deal directly with the problem. Listen for free with your 30-day trial of Audible.)

What if you want to read them all? I’d recommend signing up for an audiobook subscription service like Amazon’s Audible. I have a subscription myself, and love that I’m curating a library of books that I can listen to over and over again. You can get a 30-day free trial here and start listening to your first book right away.

1. How to Be Yourself by Susan Cain

How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety 

It can be hard to know how to “be yourself” if you have social anxiety—after all, part of the problem is that you’re afraid of being judged by others. In this book, psychologist Ellen Hendriksen offers practical advice for overcoming your fears and learning to accept yourself.

Dr. Hendriksen lives with social anxiety herself and has devoted her career to helping others. In “How to Be Yourself” she shares her own personal experiences, as well as the latest scientific research on social anxiety.

(Watch the video below to hear Dr. Hendriksen talk about social anxiety!)

2. Overcome Social Anxiety Step-by-Step by Thomas Richards

Overcome Social Anxiety Step-by-Step

Dr. Thomas Richards is the director of the Social Anxiety Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been treating social anxiety for more than 25 years. In his book, he provides a step-by-step guide to overcoming social anxiety disorder, including how to identify and challenge the negative thoughts that fuel your fears. He also offers tips on how to build self-confidence and assertiveness skills.

Dr. Richards has lived with social anxiety himself, so he knows what you’re going through and can offer valuable insights and advice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to overcoming social anxiety, this is the book for you.

3. The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by Martin M. Antony and Richard P. Swinson

The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook

The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook is one of the most popular and well-reviewed books on social anxiety. It’s written by two clinical psychologists who specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders, so you can be sure that it’s based on sound scientific principles.

The book is divided into two parts: The first part focuses on helping you understand your social anxiety and how it might be impacting your life. The second part is made up of a variety of exercises and activities that you can use to start working on your social anxiety.

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4. Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety by Erika Hilliard

Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety

Erika Hilliard is a therapist who specializes in the treatment of social anxiety, and she’s also someone who’s lived with social anxiety herself. In Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety, she offers readers a relatable and compassionate look at what it’s like to live with social anxiety.

The book includes chapters on topics like understanding your social anxiety, learning to cope with anxiety-provoking situations, and building self-confidence. Hilliard also includes a section with resources for further help and information.

5. Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness

Gillian Butler is a psychologist who has written a number of popular self-help books, including Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness. This book takes a cognitive-behavioral approach to social anxiety, which means that it focuses on changing the way you think and behave in order to reduce your anxiety.

Butler begins by helping you understand what social anxiety is and how it affects your life. She then provides a variety of exercises and techniques that you can use to start overcoming your social anxiety. The book also includes chapters on topics like dealing with perfectionism and improving your self-esteem.

6. The Social Skills Guidebook by Chris Macleod

The Social Skills Guidebook: Manage Shyness, Improve Your Conversations, and Make Friends Without Giving Up Who You Are

The Social Skills Guidebook is written by Chris MacLeod, based on his personal experience of overcoming social anxiety. MacLeod is a self-proclaimed “social skills geek” who has spent years studying and practicing the art of socializing.

The book is aimed at helping people with social anxiety learn how to make friends, have successful conversations, and feel more confident in social situations. MacLeod also talks about how to be yourself, and not end up feeling like you’re faking it or putting on an act.

7. The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Jennifer Shannon

The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens: CBT and ACT Skills to Help you Build Social Confidence

The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens is written by Jennifer Shannon, a licensed therapist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. The book is designed specifically for teenagers who are struggling with social anxiety.

Shannon begins by helping readers understand what social anxiety is and how it might be affecting them. She then provides a variety of exercises and activities that teens can use to start working on their social anxiety. The book also includes chapters on topics like dating and social media, and ways to build self-confidence.

8. Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle

Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic & Worry

Rewire Your Anxious Brain is written by Catherine Pittman, a psychologist, and Elizabeth Karle, a writer. The book is based on the latest scientific research on anxiety and the brain, and provides readers with a step-by-step guide to understanding and addressing their anxiety.

Pittman and Karle begin by helping readers understand how the brain works when it’s anxious, and then provide a variety of exercises and activities that can help rewire the brain. The book includes chapters on topics like managing stress, developing a healthy lifestyle, and using mindfulness to manage anxiety.

9. Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong by Kelly Wilson & Troy DuFrene

Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong

Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong is written by Kelly Wilson, a psychology professor, and Troy DuFrene, a psychotherapist and author. The book takes the stance that rather than trying to get rid of anxiety, it’s more helpful to learn how to live with it.

This approach to anxiety management is rooted in Buddhism and acceptance and commitment therapy techniques. The book includes a variety of exercises and activities that readers can use to start accepting their anxiety and learning to live with it. Wilson and DuFrene also provide advice on how to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, and build a life that’s meaningful despite anxiety.

10. The Anxiety & Worry Workbook by David Clark and Aaron Beck

The Anxiety & Worry Workbook

The Anxiety & Worry Workbook is written by David Clark, a professor of psychology, and Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist and the founder of cognitive therapy. The book is based on cognitive therapy techniques, which are aimed at helping people understand and change their thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the world around them.

Clark and Beck provide a variety of exercises and activities that readers can use to start changing their thoughts and beliefs about anxiety. The book also includes chapters on topics like managing stress, coping with panic attacks, and developing a healthy lifestyle.

11. The Anxiety Workbook

The Anxiety Workbook 

I wrote this book in 2017 and it is now available on Amazon! The Anxiety Workbook is a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing anxiety.

The book includes chapters on the different types of anxiety, how to identify your triggers, and strategies for managing anxiety. I also provide a variety of exercises and activities that readers can use to start managing their anxiety.

12. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety & Shyness by Jan Fleming and Nancy Kocovski

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety & Shyness

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness is written by Jan Fleming, a psychologist, and Nancy Kocovski, a professor of psychology. The book is based on the principles of mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy, and includes step-by-step exercises and activities that readers can use to start managing their social anxiety. Fleming and Kocovski provide advice on how to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, and help readers learn to accept themselves and their social anxiety.

13. In the Spotlight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing by Janet Esposito

In the Spotlight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing

This book is based on the author’s own personal experience and professional expertise from years of successfully helping people overcome their fear of public speaking. The book is designed to help any person – from beginner to experienced speaker – rid themselves of stage fright for good.

The book starts with an overview of stage fright, its causes, and how it manifests itself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Janet Esposito then provides readers with a step-by-step program for overcoming their fear of public speaking. The program includes exercises and activities designed to help people understand and manage their anxiety.

14. The Solution to Social Anxiety: Break Free From the Shyness that Holds You Back by Aziz Gazipura

The Solution to Social Anxiety

The Solution to Social Anxiety is written by Aziz Gazipura, a clinical psychologist. The book is written primarily for men to help them speak up assertively, advance in their career, stop worrying about what people think, and become more charming. This book also delves into how men can become more successful with women by improving their social skills.

15. The Self Confidence Workbook by Barbara Markway and Celia Ampel

The Self Confidence Workbook

The Self-Confidence Workbook offers practical advice on self-acceptance and self-compassion. It includes a 5-step program, interactive exercises, and a guide to understanding self-confidence. The book is written by Barbara Markway, a clinical psychologist, and Celia Ampel, a journalist.

16. The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris

The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt

The Confidence Gap is based on the principles of mindfulness and acceptance. Written by therapist and coach Russ Harris, the book offers a different approach to managing anxiety—one that is non-judgmental, compassionate, and accepting. If you’ve ever struggled against your social anxiety or unsuccessfully tried to control it, this book offers an alternative path to recovery.

Whatever book you choose, remember to sign up for Audible to get your first audiobook free! Audible has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks, plus podcasts, original series, and more. With Audible, you can listen on your commute, while you work out, or wherever you are. And, with Audible’s free app, you can listen to your favorite audiobooks anytime, anywhere. Sign up and start listening for free now!

Do you have any favorite books or resources on overcoming shyness or social anxiety? Let me know in the comments!

Related Articles about the Best Social Anxiety Books
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  • 10 Must-Read Books about Social Skills
  • 12 Amazingly Helpful Public Speaking Books


Social Anxiety Books You Need for Self-Help

Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools

Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope you’ll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, I’ll earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.

Online Therapy: For online therapy, I have personally used and like the service offered by Betterhelp. It's easy to get started from the comfort of your home. You'll even get a discount on your first month of therapy when you use my link.

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Audible Subscription: I recommend a lot of self-help books on this site, but I actually prefer an audiobook subscription over print books! My favorite subscription service is Audible because it has all the best-sellers and they stay in your digital library forever (even if you end your subscription). You can sign up for a free trial and listen to your first two books for free.

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4 books to help overcome social anxiety, recommended by therapists


If you suffer from social anxiety, you know how it feels at the exact moment the anxious thoughts start to creep in: You're out with friends or co-workers and your heart starts racing. Suddenly you're too overwhelmed to contribute, even a little, to the conversation.

And it's not only in group settings that social anxiety can appear, says Pamela Larkin, a therapist who specializes in anxiety and relationships at Optimum Joy. It can be during one-on-one interactions too.

"It really does impact all spheres of someone's life," she says "Dating, work life, family life, and even friendships."

Being nervous for a date or a large party, while normal, is not the same as experiencing social anxiety.

Those with social anxiety, sometimes called social phobia, avoid everyday activities for fear of being judged negatively. This could manifest in declined party invites or canceled dates, but could also affect smaller interactions like returning items to a store.

If you're looking for a way to cope with your social anxiety, there are a number of books that offer some aid. "Anxiety is your body telling you there is some level of unsafety you're going to experience," she says.

Reading these books can help you start thinking: "This might feel uncomfortable but I am safe."

Here are four therapist-recommended ones.

1. How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendrikson

"This book is written by a person who also struggles with social anxiety, allowing the reader to feel that she can relate to the experience," says Jessica Small, a therapist at Growing Self Counseling & Coaching in Denver, Colorado.

2. Hey Warrior by Karen Young

"Hey Warrior" is a children's book which explains what anxiety is and where it comes from. "I think it's a really great way to get some psychoeducation on anxiety," Larkin says.

3. The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by Dr. Martin M. Antony and Dr. Richard P. Swinson

In this book you'll find daily activities that can help you find your strengths and weaknesses through self-evaluation. "I like it because it allows you to address your anxiety at your own pace," Larkin says.

4. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety by John P. Forsyth and Georg H. Eifert

Also a workbook, this offers exercises that focus on mindfulness and how to approach your anxieties and fears. Both Larkin and Small suggest this book.

"This is based on Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which is a common theory used by therapists to manage anxiety and has a strong mindfulness component," Small says.

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What to read for anxiety and panic attacks: "Anxious brain", "Don't feed the monkey!" and other books


Vika Arakelyan

August 16, 2021 13:29

According to the American publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, people have become three times more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety disorders during the pandemic. Coping with such conditions can be difficult. Hiring a specialist is still the best solution, but it's good to have tools on hand to help yourself. nine0003

The Anxious Brain

Joseph A. Annibali

The American psychiatrist's original title is Reclaim Your Brain. Annibali believes that an overloaded brain underlies the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders, from post-traumatic to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Describing cases from his practice in the Amen clinic, he illustrates various "breakdowns" of consciousness and suggests ways to get rid of them.

Anxious Brain is good because, unlike many self-help books, it does not dissuade the reader from drug therapy and does not promise miraculous healing. On the contrary, Annibali talks in detail about what drugs you can be prescribed and what to expect from them. The chapter on each disorder also ends with a small list of dietary supplements that have actually shown their effectiveness in research: for those who want to try to do without "big pharma". nine0003

Publishing House



MV Novikova

“Return to Life”

Paul David

The book of Paul David does not have an official Russian publication, but amateur translations are often published on thematic forums and publics . David is not a psychiatrist, but an ordinary person who has suffered from a severe anxiety disorder for 10 years. He speaks the same language with readers and describes sensations that are understandable and close to every "anxiety person" - this is what many lack in books written by psychiatrists. In Resurrection, David addresses conditions that are rarely covered in the self-help literature, such as derealization and depersonalization syndromes. This is one of those books that you can read right during a panic attack or an acute attack of anxiety: David's confidence that your healing is possible no matter how many months or years you live with the disorder is therapeutic in itself. nine0003



Anxiety Therapy.

How to deal with fears, anxieties and panic attacks without medication

David Burns

Anxiety Therapy is a new book by psychiatrist David Burns, author of the bestselling Mood Therapy, about self-help for depressive disorders. Despite the clickbait headline (the attractive “no drugs” won’t work for everyone, of course), this is a good guide to applying the principles of CBT. Inside the book, Burns offers an anxiety profile test and gives you a mood journal template to fill out daily. This is followed by a dozen chapters with different CBT techniques that psychotherapists use in their practice (and which you can apply yourself). Burns also helps to understand how to recognize the cherished recovery and stop fearing the recurrence of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety Therapy is more like a real workbook than any other book in the collection: it is expected that you not only read it, but also regularly perform the tasks and practices described. nine0003


Alpina Publisher


A. Kogteva

“Don't feed the monkey! How to get out of the vicious circle of worry and anxiety

Jennifer Shannon

A pretty book by CBT psychotherapist Jennifer Shannon is more suitable for people with a high level of daily anxiety, but "not holding up" to clinical manifestations. Shannon writes about perfectionism, over-responsibility, cycles of worry, and fears. The disturbing mind in the book is embodied in the image of a monkey, which is proposed to be tamed and trained. "Don't feed the monkey!" Written in simple language and illustrated with clear and funny infographics, it can make life easier for those who worry about little things every day. nine0003




E. Davydova, L. Kolodyazhnaya

“Anxiety, fear and panic attacks. Self Help Book”

Andrey Goloshchapov

In 2010 Andrey Goloshchapov received his Ph.D. at the University of California and worked for several years as a research fellow in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. And in 2020 he released this book, which clearly traces the experience of foreign psychological practice. In Russia, the methods of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and EMDH (desensitization and processing by eye movement) are not yet so widespread, but are gradually appearing in the arsenal of psychotherapists. These methods of working with trauma and anxiety are more body-oriented: in one, special patterns of tapping on different zones on the body play the main role, in the other, eye movements. And despite the fact that it sounds rather esoteric, the effectiveness of such techniques has a serious evidence base. Goloshchapov in his book teaches readers the basics of TES and EMDH and adapts them for various disorders (panic, post-traumatic and others). A separate chapter is devoted to bodily practices: after all, anxious people especially often feel disconnected from their own bodies. nine0003

Publishing house


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Pannyknieki attacks on psychotherapy


David Berns

90,000 6 books, which will help to cope with anxiety

Events in Ukraine and their consequences led to an anxiety increase. in society. The editors of RBC Trends have prepared a list of books that can help you pull yourself together

The material was prepared in collaboration with the AST publishing house. nine0003

Calm down in the moment

“Be calm. Proven Anxiety Management Techniques, Jill Weber

Jill Weber, International Anxiety Specialist, has put together techniques that work to overcome anxiety. These are three sets of strategies for dealing with different manifestations of anxiety.

The first section contains recommendations for people who may experience this psychological condition with emotions and bodily symptoms such as anger, irritability, sadness, shortness of breath, feelings of hopelessness, or insomnia. Another group of techniques is focused on cases where increased anxiety manifests itself in actions - quarrels with relatives and friends, or inability to perform daily activities, such as washing dishes or driving a car, talking with relatives and friends. The third section helps you organize your racing thoughts and cope with winding yourself up. This small - 170 pages - book can be used as needed as a reference guide. nine0003

Don't fall victim to the information war

Noise by Daniel Kahneman

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's hard-to-read book continues the theme of cognitive distortions covered in his bestseller Think Slow, Decide Fast. In this book, Kahneman and co-authors focused on exactly how information noise affects decision making, and what manifestations of this phenomenon we can find in medicine, jurisprudence, economic forecasting and forensics. An unprepared reader may find the statistical analyzes given in the book to be complicated. But in the end, understanding the mechanism of distortion will help reduce the impact of information noise and make more rational decisions. nine0003

Allow yourself to worry

“Tender to yourself”, Olga Primachenko

Olga Primachenko is a journalist from Belarus, ex-editor-in-chief of LADY. TUT.BY, who shares her experience of experiencing difficult situations with readers. Faced with divorce and other personal struggles, she tried different techniques and approaches, and put together an anthology of different techniques, generously flavored with words of encouragement. The book is like a friend who can take your hand and reassure you: it is normal to experience the feelings that overwhelm you now, you have every right to defend your beliefs or, conversely, refrain from online battles in the comments. At the end of the book, the reader is waiting for a marathon - a month of daily self-love practices. nine0003

Understand how our feelings work

“How not to go crazy. Bring order to thoughts and feelings, Philippa Perry

Philippa Perry is a British psychotherapist with 25 years of experience. In the book, she addresses how our brain works, why we experience certain emotions, and talks about how to gain psychological stability.

Based on four principles, guided by which, according to the author, one can get out of a personal psycho-emotional crisis. First of all, it is self-reflection - the habit of observing and tracking your feelings and actions, as well as their true causes and triggers. The second point is relationships with others. Deep connections with family, friends, a mentor, a child, or any other person in life is an essential part in the foundation of psychological health. The third section is devoted to good stress - those tests that do not exhaust and kill us, but really make us stronger and smarter. And our attitudes and beliefs complete the list of pillars of emotional stability. They can limit us and prevent us from moving forward, or, on the contrary, they can nurture self-confidence and help. nine0003

Face the fear of death

“Looking into the sun. Life without fear of death”, Irvin Yalom

The most famous book by the American psychotherapist and writer Irvin Yalom has gone through several reprints and remains on the bestseller list. The fear of death is inherent in people, it can manifest itself in panic attacks, or maybe in a random search for new experiences. Changes and crises can reinforce this fear.

Yalom talks about the ideas and approaches that help people come to terms with the finiteness of life and regain control over their condition using the examples of his patients' stories. One of the approaches Yalom calls the ripple effect: we can not always change the world, but everyone can do some small things that help specific people, who, in turn, can pass this goodness on. nine0003

To endure no matter what

“You are flint! How to Become Mentally Resilient Damon Zachariadis

This book was not written by a psychologist, but by the founder of a content marketing agency. In the field of digital, a year counts as two, and the author certainly has experience of perseverance. In the book "You are a flint!" collected practical advice on how to keep stress and pressure. For example, it describes the technique of the American "fur seals" on how to develop psychological resilience. The author contrasts willpower with habits.

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