Fight Fear With a Good Book (Or Ten)


Must-Reads to arm you in the battle against fear & anxiety

Turn on the news lately – or just surf social media for a few minutes - and you can’t help but feel at least a little fear. When you already struggle with fear and/or anxiety, any given day’s updates can become paralyzing. While I know from personal experience that counseling and even medication is sometimes needed to help overcome anxiety, there is also no discounting the role of faith and practical steps to advance the victory over this all-consuming emotion.

These ten reads (plus a couple of bonus books because I have a book habit) belong in the arsenal of anyone who has struggled with fear and anxiety – or loves someone who does. 

The Power of Praying® Through Fear by Stormie Omartian. Nobody writes a book on prayer quite like Stormie Omartian. You can be sure this practical guide is full of Scripture and easily accessible concepts. (HARVEST HOUSE, Nov. 2017, 226 pp.)

Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg. In this honest and courageous book, popular Bible teacher and self-described “hot mess” Margaret Feinberg shares her journey through cancer and gives you another weapon to use in the battle against fear – JOY. (WORTHY PUBLISHING, Jan. 2015, 216 pp.)

Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie. If there was a field manual to go a few rounds in the boxing ring with fear, this book just might be it. Balarie knows what fear can do to you, and she writes this practical guide from a place of experience. (BAKER BOOKS, Jan. 2017, 242 pp)

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. This devotional book is a compilation of the best of Downs’ writings on being brave, as well as some brand new content. Her signature style of humor and authenticity add to the book’s warmth and speak to anyone who is letting the challenges of life hold them back from stepping forward with courage. (ZONDERVAN, Oct. 2017, 233 pp.)

Brave Enough by Nicole Unice. Sometimes we’re simply afraid to rest in who we are, heaping unnecessary loads of anxiety on ourselves to be who we think we should be. Unice gives you the freedom and the practical tools (including Scripture and prayer prompts) to be “brave enough” for where God has placed you right now. (TYNDALE MOMENTUM, Aug. 2015, 240 pp.)

Winning the Worry Battle by Barb Roose. Pulling lessons from the book of Joshua, Roose avoids platitudes and instead gives you three tools to fight against fear. She also ties these lessons into the New Testament concept of “fighting the good fight of faith” to equip you to victoriously transform your life and the world around you. (ABINGDON PRESS, Apr. 2018, 240 pp.)

Fierce Faith by Alli Worthington. In this “woman’s guide to fighting fear, wrestling worry, and overcoming anxiety”, Worthington shares her own battles with fear in an honest and witty voice. She offers strategies to identify fear-based thinking and stop the anxiety spiral, and she uses Scripture and practical advice to do so. (ZONDERVAN, Jan. 2018, 225 pp.)

Fearless by Max Lucado. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read on overcoming fear and living fearless. In his gripping prose that just draws you in, Lucado shows you what a life without fear looks like, with insight that sinks into your heart and Biblical truth that does the same. (THOMAS NELSON, Feb. 2012, 241 pp.)

Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado. Oops. Yep. I just went to Max Lucado again, but there’s something so gently profound about his way with words. In this book, he dives into an exploration of the “anxiety verses”, Philippians 4:6-7, and explains the concepts as only he can. (THOMAS NELSON, Sept. 2017, 240 pp.)

Breaking the Fear Cycle by Maria Furlough. This is a hands-on book for anyone who wants to overcome fear once and for all. Her own personal story is a stepping-off point for the insight she gleans from Scripture, and the tools she offers are steeped in these Biblical insights as well as her gifted way with words. (REVELL, Mar. 2018, 162 pp.)

I promised bonuses, too, didn’t I?

Sometimes it helps to know we aren’t alone, so if you struggle with anxiety that refuses to let go make sure you add Rachel McMillan’s new novel Murder at the Flamingo (THOMAS NELSON, July 2018) to your TBR pile!

Do you have a child who is afraid (particularly of thunderstorms)? Make sure you pick up a copy of Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco (PUFFIN BOOKS, Aug. 1997)

Finally, for the young adult in your life, check out Sadie Robertson’s Live Fearless (THOMAS NELSON, Feb. 2018).



BooksCarrie Schmidt