May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Many people use fitness to help their mental health. We know exercise won’t cure us but it can help keep depression and anxiety at bay. Some days it can be hard to get going, especially when the depression sets in, but getting out will almost always make you feel a bit better. 

When I’m feeling down I do the 15-minute trick. I commit to 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes I want to call it quits? I do. Although 99.9% of the time, I keep going and finish my planned workout. Getting your fitness on will release endorphins and help take your mind off whatever is going on. 

Find what you love and do it each day. 

But what about the time outside of your workout? What can you do to help yourself? I like to pick up a book. I’ve read a lot of self-help books (for lack of a better word) and here are my favorite ones that combine running and mental health. 

Seven running books to help with mental health:

  1. Running is My Therapy by Scott Douglas
  2. Strong by Kara Goucher
  3. Shut Up and Run by Robin Arzon
  4. The Brave Athlete by Simon Marshall and Lesley Patterson
  5. How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzerald
  6. Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor
  7. The Happy Runner by David and Megan Roche

Each book provides different approaches. I can’t pick a favorite because I have all of them and re-read or reference them all often. And of course, I have several other books in my TBR (to be read stack) and a plethora on my Kindle. Any excuse to use the word plethora. LOL

What are your favorite books for mental health? They don’t have to be running related. I love finding new books to check out!


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.