A common question which gets asked by people who are feeling down or going through a difficult phase in their lives is: What are some good books to read to when you’re feeling down?  

There are many books that have been recommended by doctors to people who are suffering from depression.  Reading these before any treatment begins has been shown to help – See 10 Self Improvement Books Recommended By Doctors.

But what if you want just a feel good story to read when you are feeling down, not a ‘how to’ type book?  A book you will come back to time and time again to pick you up like a warm blanket & hot cocoa (or bowl of chicken soup?) and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

These books are entertaining and uplifting and will definitely make you feel happier than before.

1. Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K Jerome

A humorous and comic novel about three hypochondriac young men (to say nothing of the dog, Montgomery) who discover the “joys” of roughing it on a boating trip along the River Thames. Funnier than Mark Twain, a 19th Century English predecessor of National Lampoon’s vacation; its a tonic best re-read regularly.

2. These Old ShadesGeorgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer writes humorous, witty and warm-hearted British Regency period novels. Whilst at heart a romance story, you will also enjoy the historical detail and strong characterizations. With much more depth than a typical ‘Mills and Boon’ romance; These Old Shades and it’s sequel, Devil’s Cub, will cheer you up with its witty dialog, pure romance and beautiful passionate characters.

3. Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Amy Newmark

With hundreds of books of short, real life stories in the series, there is a Chicken Soup book for everyone. We love the original book, as well as Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-Life Stories by Real Teens (Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul) and the sappy Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul. Read anytime for a figurative dose of chicken soup guaranteed to pick you up and make you smile.

4. A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L’Engle

Not quite a superhero story, yet not fully science fiction, this timeless children’s classic has the typical battle between the forces of good & evil, as the characters travel through a magical universe. If you didn’t read this as a child, treat your inner child now. Allow your adult self to enjoy the breathless wonder of a kid discovering a life long favorite.  Read regularly for best results.