Benefits of Reading Books for your Mental Health

Benefits of Reading Books for your Mental Health

  1. Your private motivator

Whether it’s a romance novel or a self-help book, the perfect book may inspire you to never give up and to be positive. Whenever you are lost, find some stories from successful people to know how they’ve been through tough times. You will be inspired and get back on track again. A motivational speaker - Zig Ziglar said “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily”. How to do that? I would recommend making reading your habit.  

  1. Teach empathy

People don’t usually think of this benefit when they’re about to pick up a book but it does teach us how to relate to others by frequently placing us in the shoes of the narrator. Reading fosters empathy by regularly exposing us to thoughts and experiences that are not our own. Children and empathy: Developing an ethical code article stated that reading helps children to develop empathy and compassion from the point of view of characters in the story. Like role-playing games, they can see the world through the character’s eyes which allows them to develop an understanding and respect others' experiences (Rymanowicz, 2017).  

  1. Increase general knowledge

Whether you read non-fiction or fiction, books are always filled with interesting facts. Therefore, it helps provide useful information and enhance your general knowledge. Certain knowledge can be acquired by taking a deep dive into a topic or subject. There is no doubt that having a strong knowledge base is helpful in processing new information and solving daily life problems.  

  1. Build up your brain

Do you usually go to the gym? Maybe you don’t but you surely know how it works. Reading is exactly like taking your brain to the gym. It helps to work out all of the important muscles that are needed to keep your mind active and stronger. Paying attention to words will also improve your memory skills and build up your vocabulary.

Keeping your brain active also reduces the chance of getting Alzheimer’s. According to a recent study (Friedland et al., 2001), older people who read regularly are 2.5 times less likely to get Alzheimer’s. The earlier you start the better for your health, it also helps to prevent many symptoms of dementia if you start to read at a young age.  

  1. Help to reduce stress

Reading has the ability to transfer you to another planet and away from your mundane daily routine. Reading has been shown to reduce stress, heart rate, and blood pressure. Research from 2009 found that reading can reduce stress in participants by 70% and is more effective than other activities such as drinking a cup of tea or listening to music. And reading for 30 minutes could reduce stress as much as a yoga session of the same duration (Rizzolo et al., 2009).

  1. Set a positive example

Reading is an important part of early literacy development, and you can support your child’s growth by making reading a regular part of your daily schedule. As a result, your children will notice and learn to do the same.

Click here to see "How to Develop a Reading Habit That Stick"


Rizzolo, D. et al., (2009) ‘Stress Management Strategies For Students: The Immediate Effects Of Yoga, Humor, And Reading On Stress’. Journal of College Teaching & Learning. Available at: (Accessed: Nov 28, 2022)

Friedland, P.R. et all., (2001) ‘Patients with Alzheimer's disease have reduced activities in midlife compared with healthy control-group members’. Biological Sciences. Available at: (Accessed: Nov 28, 2022)

Rymanowicz, K. (2017) ‘Children and empathy: Developing an ethical code’. Available at (Accessed: Nov 30, 2022)

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