10 Mental Health Books & Resources a Child Therapist Recommends

Keri Sawyer, Children, Teens & Adolescents

Childhood mental health is a topic that is often overlooked. However, it is important to address your child’s mental health issues head-on in order to improve their overall well-being.

If you are looking for mental health books, apps, or resources for your family, then look no further!

In this blog post, we will discuss the top mental health books that therapists recommend, as well as some great mental health apps and resources. We hope that this information will help you and your kiddos on the journey to better mental health!

4 Mental Health Books a Child Therapist Recommends

Stop and Smell the Cookies

by Gibson Frazier, Illustrated by Micah Player

Stop & Smell the Cookies is a picture book that teaches kids how to pause and slow down big emotions and to recognize the sensations in their bodies.


Amazon Description: “Sometimes Dash gets so excited that his chest feels warm and fuzzy, his toes dance, and his fingertips tickle the air. When that starts, he can’t seem to control what he does next, and often, trouble follows.

Luckily, with a little help, Dash finds a way to slow himself down when big feelings threaten to take over.

This joyous picture book introduces a clever technique to engage the imagination and relax the mind, perfect for those who are impulsive like Dash, those who hold in their feelings, and everyone in between.”

Sam’s Pet Temper

by Sangeeta Bhadra, Illustrated by Marion Arbona

Sam’s Pet Temper is a picture book that teaches kids that their negative behavior is not their identity and they can do something about it through regulation techniques. 


Amazon Description: “This funny but poignant title by Sangeeta Bhadra offers a perfect representation of just how frustrated and angry small children can get when circumstances in their lives make them feel helpless. Though never heavy-handed, Bhadra also manages to convey what the consequences can be when that anger takes over a child’s behavior.

The quirky yet stunning illustrations by Marion Arbona keep the emotional focus on the Temper, as a way to help children identify that their anger is not who they are. The emphasis on feelings makes this a terrific tie-in for character education lessons on self-discipline and taking responsibility for your actions, as well as on patience and perseverance when solving your own problems.”

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

by Dr. Kristin Neff

In Self-Compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff shares a mindful approach to learning self-compassion and being kind toward yourself. Neff also has guided meditations and body scans available on her website.


Amazon Description: “More and more, psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion in the treatment of their patients—and Dr. Neff’s extraordinary book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.”

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

by Daniel J. J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

No-Drama Discipline is a helpful book for parents to understand how to tame their child’s tantrums in a developmentally and neurologically appropriate way.


Amazon Description: “Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.

Complete with candid stories and playful illustrations that bring the authors’ suggestions to life, No-Drama Discipline shows you how to work with your child’s developing mind, peacefully resolve conflicts, and inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family.”

3 Mental Health Apps a Child Therapist Recommends


Daylio is a mood diary app that allows you to track daily moods and activities. It is fully customizable and allows you to add notes and pictures. It also provides you with statistics of how your activities impact overall mood patterns.

Worry Dolls

Worry Dolls is a versatile app that is appropriate for kids as young as 4. It allows the user to share their stressors and worries with a doll like you would a journal, with the idea that the worries are transferred to the worry doll.


Calm is an app that helps manage a variety of distressing emotions through guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.

Description: “Calm creates unique audio content that strengthens mental fitness and tackles some of the biggest mental health challenges of today: stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. The most popular feature on Calm is a 10-minute meditation called, ‘The Daily Calm,’ that explores a fresh mindful theme and inspiring concept each day. Calm also contains 250+ Sleep Stories (bed-time stories for all ages), plus sleep music, meditation lessons, nature sounds, Calm Masterclasses delivered by world experts, and more.”

3 Mental Health Podcasts a Child Therapist Recommends

Teenager Therapy Podcast

The hosts of this podcast are all teenagers in high school who openly talk about their struggles, mistakes and growth opportunities. I have had many teens tell me this podcast makes them feel like they are not alone.

Parenting Without Power Struggles Podcast

The host of Parenting Without Power Struggles, is Susan Stiffelman, an author and family therapist. This podcast has brief episodes detailing a wide variety of parenting struggles. She provides new and alternative perspectives and insights on parenting.

Parent Matters Podcast

Hosted by Susan Stutman, a seasoned child and play therapist, this podcast helps moms, dads, and caregivers navigate the challenges of parenting kids who struggle with anxiety, anger, and other mental health challenges. Their motto is “don’t parent alone” and that is how you feel when you listen to this podcast: no longer alone in the struggle.