stress management books

Top 10 Stress Management Books

Chronic stress happens when the body exhibits symptoms both physically and psychologically due to pressure and demanding situations. Managing stress is crucial to avoid long-term health consequences. 

Stress management books may help you with the inevitable stress at home, school, or in the workplace. Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is all about promoting quality of life with length of life. Therefore, these books are recommended to help you have a better outlook in life and regain control of it. 

Learn how to live healthier and happier from these top picks our team has curated for you. Add these books to your reading list to enjoy a more peaceful and calm mind.

Best stress management books of all time

In this article, you will find the books for stress management grouped in their respective categories below. There are a myriad of selections available in the market. But, these are some of the most informative titles on managing stress you might want to consider getting:

Books on stress and health

Stress, when not managed well, can be detrimental to your health. When you’re overwhelmed and overworked, it shows in your physical, mental, and behavioral aspects of your life. When left unnoticed, it can totally disrupt the functions in your body or your way of life. Take a look at some of these books that tackle more about health and stress.

1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
don't sweat the small stuff

Oftentimes, it only takes a change in perspective to reduce stress and anxiety. In this book, you can get inspiration on how to achieve your goals through small changes and habits

From the title itself, you’re in for a treat on what “small stuff” and “little things” you can pick up involving stress management. While the world is rapidly changing around you, this book can teach you how to be calm. That said, you can embrace a less hurried kind of life and enjoy every moment wherever you are.

2. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky
why zebras don't get ulcers

For more insights on stress and health, here’s a book that gives practical advice and guidance on controlling your response to stress. Sapolsky explains that there are risks for serious medical conditions when stress results from sleep deprivation and addiction, for example. 

This book comes with cutting-edge research on how man’s body responds the same as animals do physiologically, hence the title. It’s one of the few stress management books with detailed information on how prolonged stress can be harmful to your health.

3. The Reality Slap by Russ Harris
the reality slap

From the title alone, you’ll be intrigued how a “reality slap” hits hard. And yes, you guessed it right, it talks about the kinds of “slap” that hurts, in varying degrees, as you face the realities of life. Not everybody knows how to deal with pain. So, this book may help you to journey of healing and acceptance as part of stress management.

This self-help book is so realistic that it tells you right off the bat how you wouldn’t actually have full control of your life. And, in fact, you can’t have everything, too! But, that’s okay. Stress often comes from disappointments, frustrations, and rejections, that you can actually learn from. Harris’ book can be your guide to living a fulfilling life regardless of any challenges that come your way.

4. The Stress-Proof Brain: Master Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity
stress-proof brain

One of the best stress management books with raving reviews, this book showcases Greenberg’s objectivity and presentation on how to fight the stigma involving mental health. If you are suffering from stress, you should pick this book up.

Greenberg explains the science and inevitability of stress as part of life. Even more so in today’s chaotic and modern global climate, it’s as if stress piles up. If you always seem to have full schedules, you’re at risk of having a dramatic decline in your health. Moreover, it might be a good time to have a sanity and happiness check. 

The Stress-Proof Brain can teach you techniques on how to deal with stress and avoid unhealthy responses altogether. By training your mind and understanding your emotional responses, you can be resilient during difficult times. Backed with research from neuroscience and psychology, you can also use the tools and exercises in the book. 

Books on handling pressure

You shouldn’t be crippled by anxiety and stress, whatever is your profession or vocation. While pressure can come from anywhere and in any form, there are stress management books that can help you take control. 

5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
the power of now

World-renowned author, Eckhart Tolle, shares his own take on discovering truth and light for people to see their true self. When you find your deepest self, you embark on a spiritual journey that can help you be more present at the moment. And, when this happens, stress and pain no longer has power over you.

Readers of this book share testimonials of how their lives turned around for good healing them from emotional trauma. You may find this book opening you up to possibilities and breaking through limitations. Stress can take people to dark places. Hence, this book hopes to awaken its readers that you have the power to gain access to your consciousness.

6. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Not only is this book one of the best business books available, this is also a gem in providing insights about stress management. Angela Duckworth, a New York Times bestseller author and psychologist suggests that passion and perseverance drive success. With that said, you can expect tips and anecdotes on how struggles due to stress can actually boost performance. 

She is fascinated in how mistakes, failures, and pressing demands can make a huge difference in someone’s life. This book can enlighten you especially on how to rise above any challenges where stress is often a factor. She believes tenacity – that ‘grit’ – is one of the key things you can use to handle stress more effectively.

7. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski

A fellow New York Times bestseller author, Brene Brown, applauds the author of this book, Emily Nagoski, for boldly talking about burnout especially for women. Men and women experience stress differently. In this book, Nagoski hopes that readers better understand how to break the cycle of exhaustion and overwhelming stress.

It’s in the top ten stress management books because it is backed with science and prescriptive advice coming from a PhD, no less. You can even answer the exercises and worksheets provided that may help promote positive change in your life.

Nagoski believes that true wellness is within every single person’s reach. Get to know your brain and body, how you react to stress, and how you can handle burnout more effectively.

Books about stress in school

Students aren’t exempted from stress. High school and college life can be too stressful that there are even cases of depression, anxiety, or worse, suicide. It’s important to remind teenagers and young adults that you are only young once. If you are from this age group, check this list of stress management books that might be helpful to you.

8. Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
who moved my cheese

This timeless book known to many business entrepreneurs is a good read even for students. Spencer Johnson shares a simple parable throughout this piece unpacking profound messages of success, patience, and acceptance. 

Many students are afraid of change. Student life is filled with many ups and downs and, sometimes, you might feel like you’re only playing catch-up. In this book, you can learn how to change your attitude and perspective in the midst of chaos. Find inspiration from this simple story and discover how you can acknowledge changes around you.

It’s a classic title worth reading that can tremendously impact the way you see and respond to stressors. This book talks about situations, not only limited to the school setting, but also in every aspect of your life. 

9. Mindfulness for Stress Management: 50 Ways to Improve Your Mood and Cultivate Calmness by Dr. Robert Schachter

Do you want to improve how you respond to stress? Here’s a book that contains exercises on managing stress so you can learn how to be calm and less worried. There are actionable tips, strategies, and mindfulness techniques in this book that you can master. It is designed for all ages and whichever stage in your life. Hence, if you are a student, you can pick a thing or two on sharpening your focus as needed.

You may even be able to stay on top of your thoughts and emotions with mindfulness tips and tools here. You just have to be open, free your mind, and intentionally consider the suggested practices to make a difference in your life. It can also be your guide to healthy eating, sleeping and habits that should help you go through academic life happier.

10. The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief (A New Harbinger Self-help Workbook) by Ryan Niemiec

School can be tough. It’s a common breeding ground for chronic stress when you don’t take care of your mental health. This book has a positive psychology approach that you may find useful as a student to reduce stress in your chaotic school life.

It is one of the recommended stress management books because it is written as a workbook with strategies on how to play with your strengths, rather than your weaknesses. For example, if you know you can be an emotional trainwreck during exams day but have perseverance, you can use the latter to your advantage by preparing beforehand. After which, that same strength can be your anchor in facing your exam results head on.

Stressed? Seek help!

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute promotes quality of life with length of life. One way to do that is to learn how stress affects you and what you can do about that. Gain knowledge and have better understanding of how to handle pressure through these stress management books. 

Remember, your health is your wealth. No fortune, fame, or any kind of material possession can give you peace of mind when stress overwhelms you. If it’s too much that you’re either hurting yourself or the people around you, it’s time to seek professional help. There are many resources available online or, better yet, go to a doctor to properly prescribe medication as needed.

student stress

Top 10 Stress Management Techniques for Students

Students experience so much pressure – from school deadlines, exams, assignments, research, activities, and unrealistic expectations – that their mental health is already at stake. And so, student stress management is vital as this prevents them from experiencing the physical and mental side effects of constant tension.

The American Institute of Stress revealed that four out of five college students struggle with regular stress. When this stays unchecked, it leads to severe problems in concentrating, energy exhaustion, appetite changes, weak immune system, and troubled periods of sleep.

Kate Aitchison, counseling and mental health team manager at Newcastle University explained that stress is normal. And that can be helpful and productive when still controlled due to the adrenaline that the body produces. The difficulty happens when this turns out to be distress, that’s when it becomes detrimental to the body. Thus, you must do something about this while you still can.

What are the causes of student stress

Teenage and college years can be both challenging and fulfilling. With adrenaline and hormones all over the place during these periods, student stress is inevitable. School life can be difficult if you don’t understand what makes you feel like you’re pressed in every direction. 

Here are some of the common reasons for student stress:

​​Tuition, Finances, Budget

Students are pressured from loans, bills, payments, and fees for course materials, requirements, and projects. Not everyone is privileged to handle the financial aspect of their studies without the struggles.

Depression and anxiety 

For students who are in boarding school, you may be feeling homesick at times which can lead to depression. If you’re anxious about being alone or away from family, that can add stress especially if you’re still finding your footing to living independently.

Dependency on drugs and substance abuse

High school and college students get easily swayed by peer pressure. If you’re not careful who you’re hanging out with, you may be influenced to misuse substances that are harmful to you. Worse, if you keep the bad company of schoolmates, you may be exposed to drug use. 

Peer and family pressure

While in school, students may be involved in romantic relationships that could be toxic and stressful for some. Sometimes, there are emergencies, death, or problems at home that may add stress to students. You need to be able to manage all these well so your grades won’t be affected. In some cases, cohabiting with roommates and socializing with strangers and different personalities in school can be stressful, too.

Schedule conflicts, coursework and exams

Due to a tight schedule in high schools and universities, students also feel stressed with the demands of school work. For instance, there are required book readings that you need to complete only for a few weeks. In the meantime, you need to research for another coursework while you need to set aside time to review for upcoming exams. If you don’t plan your schedule ahead of time, this can add a lot of stress to you.

Top stress management techniques

​​There are three (3) main areas you should understand to respond to student stress more positively. These are self-care, time management, and extrinsic factors affecting your behavior and habits.


Taking care of your physical body is the first step in managing student stress. You are in the prime of your life during your high school and college years. So, it may sometimes feel like you have the energy to do anything and everything under the sun. However, your body can only do so much. When overworked and hyperactive, you will feel weak and drained, too.

How you treat your physical body will have rippling effects in other areas in your life such as emotionally and mentally. Hence, keep yourself in check, be well-rested, and have a good headspace whenever you possibly can.

1. Sleep

An erratic sleep schedule can be worrisome to students because it might affect their memory and focus. However busy your schedule gets, make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Sleep deprivation may result in disorientation, reduced levels of attention, and poor learning abilities, consequently, leading to student stress.

2. Healthy and balanced diet

Are you one of those who often skip meals because you are cramming to do your projects in school? Or, maybe you lose track of mealtime while reviewing for upcoming exams, for example. Energy bars are good for studying. However, too much coffee and energy drinks can be dangerous. Hydrate. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Sometimes, you settle for cheap, convenient food. But, eating such can be counterproductive because they don’t have the nutrition your body needs. High-fat foods, for instance, make you more sluggish and crave more unhealthy food which does no good for your brain.

3. Move around and exercise

Contrary to what others believe, exercise can energize you. This is one of the best techniques to manage student stress because working out releases endorphins – the happy hormones. These hormones boost your energy and improve your mood, thereby, reducing stress. Walking around campus for a few minutes each day is good for your heart and lungs. It’s a great way to stay fit and lose those extra pounds away, too! Alternatively, you can join online workout classes so you are still active in the comforts of your own home.

4. Meditate

Whenever you’re feeling stressed, pause whatever it is that you’re doing even for a few minutes. Relaxing your mind, eyes, and other senses can lower your adrenaline and cortisol levels – the hormones responsible for stress. When needed, you can also listen to calming music (nature sounds playlist in Spotify are great!). Another technique is to be consciously aware of your breathing which helps you focus and be present wherever you are.

Time Management

Stress, caused by concerns around time, is common to students because of the highly demanding environment in school. There seem to be so many things that need to be accomplished all the time, right? It’s like your workload and coursework keep increasing no matter how hardworking you are. 

To alleviate student stress involving time, you need to learn how to manage time. Here are a few stress-free techniques:

5. Keep a planner to stay organized

Manage your time by organizing your tasks hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. It always helps to keep a record of your schedule. That way, you can visibly check what you need to do now and what can be done later. It will help you stay on top of your priorities, too. To reduce student stress, the 80-20 Pareto principle can help you work smarter. Spend more energy and time on your tasks that will produce more favorable results!

6. Avoid procrastination

Do you get easily distracted by a friend’s party invite or a new episode of the Netflix series you’re following? If you do, it means putting off doing your assignment for later, which may cause sleepless nights even. Procrastinating will put a dent in your school performance because you’re limiting the amount of time you would otherwise give to an important task. It teaches you to have discipline in setting aside more time studying, reviewing, and preparing for what’s required from you.

7. Learn an effective study method

You can take control of the way you study and navigate school life to avoid student stress. How? Find a study method that works for you. It may involve setting up your study desk in your room or writing down important reminders in sticky notes on your wall. You are managing your time better when you develop an effective study method. It helps you remember and focus on your study materials better.

Responding to extrinsic factors affecting behavior and habits

The first four (4) techniques under self-care and the next three (3) tips under time management wouldn’t be complete without understanding extrinsic factors that often cause student stress. You can avoid a lot of stress when you plan or you can adapt and change your stressful situation to something better.

8. Know your stressors

Identify what triggers stress for you and evaluate how you can change your behavior and/or habits around it. For example, does it stress you out when you have unexpected visitors? If so, you can schedule them to after-study hours. Tell your friends or family ahead of time to accept your deliveries on your behalf, if you need to. When pressed for time reviewing for exams, you can gamify your study time by answering questions more quickly like a quiz show. You can find an outlet such as dancing around the room whenever you get the correct answers as a reward to yourself. It can be several different things and can be unique for different people. So, stay more in tune with yourself and what issues tick you off that can add to your stress.

9. Manage your expectations and set realistic ones

Examine your values and actions so you can accept what your realistic goals are. You only have one life and you will inevitably make mistakes every once in a while. You also have to understand that you can’t be 100% all the time. It’s healthy to choose tasks and activities you can do to avoid unnecessary student stress and expectations from others.

10. Have an accountability partner or join an accountability group.

Doing research projects can be a lot better when you are working with someone you can trust. Or, bounce ideas off a friend or your roommate to stimulate your brain further and see another person’s perspective. Ask for help because everyone needs a support system. Stress management often involves relationships and socializing. Join review groups or study sessions when it fits your schedule. Meeting new friends can be beneficial to your mental health.

Importance of stress management for students

There are physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that typically show among college students indicative of stress. They can lead to adverse effects greatly affecting your academic performance.

Stress management can be your lifeline to situations where your body feels flying or fighting as a response. If you aren’t aware of what triggers student stress, it may result in long-term health problems. When negatively impacting situations recur, stress manifests in the form of migraines, profuse sweating, tension headaches, or shortness of breath. More stressful situations that occur repeatedly over longer periods may even cause weight gain/loss, memory degradation, and an overall negative outlook in life. 

Learning these stress management techniques for students may help avoid the development of mental, physical, and emotional health conditions. Knowing where you are and what ticks you is the first step. Adapting to situations and accepting what you can’t control will be your next steps.

Many schools offer health services to students which are highly recommended especially if your stress levels are through the roof. Don’t be afraid to seek help because school life should be fun and a learning experience altogether. Get the treatment or speak to someone you trust at the first sign of student stress.

You can navigate through your high school and/or college education much better when you open yourself up. You don’t have to feel alone or do things on your own. Remember that these times of your life prepare you for the “real world.” How you respond to stress in school will be ingrained in you when you land your first corporate job or start your own business. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute supports you in having a quality life with a length of life. Though stress is unavoidable, there are ways you can overcome them. These stressful situations can build character as you welcome these challenges through these techniques.