Books to Read When You’re in a Terrible Mood

Posted by Rose Moore

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

November is a bit of a down month. Summer is long gone, the fun of Halloween is over, Christmas is still too far away to get excited about, it’s probably raining outside, and suddenly, it’s getting dark before you even leave work. It’s no wonder that this is a bit of a gray, grumpy month and that all we want to do is stay at home with a good book and a giant mug of tea (or wine). Whether you just have the November blues or you are dealing with something else that’s got you down (a bad breakup, a lost job, or just a day where everything has gone wrong from the moment your feet hit the floor), these books are guaranteed to make you feel just a little bit better about life.



Radical Self Love by Gala Darling

The beautiful bright pink cover of Radical Self Love is enough to brighten a gray November day — and that’s before you even start reading. Gala Darling started out as a blogger and has become a phenomenon for her work on how to be happy, love yourself, and generally feel good in your skin. Radical Self Love is packed with ideas on how to stop hating your body, start loving your own company, and living like you love yourself. It's the perfect antidote to those early winter blues.



My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

If you’ve been spending too much time on social media, getting deep into a little self-flagellation about how perfect everyone else’s life looks while yours is anything but, pick up My Not So Perfect Life. Sophie Kinsella works her usual magic with this quick novel about a woman learning to stop comparing herself to everyone else, and trying to pretend that her life is better than it is (especially when it’s not so bad to begin with). It’s sweet, funny, and definitely hits home; and as an added November bonus, it’s set in December, so it’ll start to get you feeling festive without being cloyingly Christmassy. 


The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

If there’s one series that is guaranteed to brighten your spirits, it’s Harry Potter. Dive back in to the world of the Boy Who Lived as he discovers his own magic, and remember why this series became a worldwide phenomenon. Whether you read it for the wonder of the fantasy elements, for the heartfelt lessons about doing the right thing and finding courage, or for the nostalgia, this is pure escapism with a heart of gold. It’s a perfect bad-mood read even if you can already quote every line. 



Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Sometimes, all you want to do is wallow, and Me Before You is the perfect tear-jerker for those days when you don’t want a book to cheer you up. The story of a very ordinary young woman who gets a job as companion to a gorgeous young man who was paralyzed in an accident, JoJo Moyes bestselling book explores some serious subject matter and doesn’t shy away from the hardest parts, but it will have you smiling through your tears by the end. And even if you just want to wallow in your bad mood, it’s hard to read this and not feel grateful for all the things you have.



Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson, aka the Bloggess, brings her inimitable voice to this mostly true memoir that wanders through her unusual upbringing, her awkward teen years, and her married life. It’s dark, funny, and earnest all at once and brings humor to serious topics like anxiety and depression in a series of hilarious anecdotes (accompanied by pictures, just in case you don’t believe her). Let’s Pretend This Never Happened will have you cracking up at Lawson’s quirky life, but at it’s heart it’s also incredibly encouraging and uplifting, the perfect choice for readers in a bad mood who aren’t interested in self help or fiction. 



Hector And The Search For Happiness by Francois LeLond

"Once upon a time there was a young psychiatrist called Hector who was not very satisfied with himself." Doesn’t that describe a lot of us on gloomy days? In this uplifting novel, Hector has a perfectly satisfactory life: a good job, a relationship, a lovely house, and a nagging feeling that despite it all, he’s just not happy. Hector And The Search For Happiness charts his journey around the world, trying to discover what makes people happy, and making some fascinating discoveries along the way. Unique and utterly charming, this is a phenomenal book for a bad mood. And it's also a film, if your mood is so bad that all you want to do is lay on the couch in front of Netflix.  


What is your go-to read for a bad mood? Tweet at @quirkbooks and let us know!