15 Books That Will Lift Your Spirits On Your Lowest Days

Even if you don't have depression, you're bound to have low days. You know, the ones where you can't get out of your funk and everything seems like a lot less fun than normal? Those days suck, especially when your normal entertainment sources don't even seem to satisfy you. I mean, what are you supposed to do when your favorite rom-com just isn't funny anymore?

For the days you feel like crawling into bed and staying, there's one entertainment option that might appeal to you: reading. Now, hear me out: you're going to be in bed anyway, and it's better to curl up with a good book than alone, isn't it? That's what I thought.

See, books understand when you aren't having a good day, or week, or year. They'll never make you feel worse when you can't get any lower, and they won't rush you to being "normal" again. Books are patient helpers, and they can be your best friends when you feel as if no one else cares.

Here are my top 15 books to lift your spirits on those down-in-the-dumps days and bring you back to your old, good-humored self. They might not work instantly, but they won't make you feel worse, and they'll keep you entertained while you sort out all your bad feelings.

Image: Bowy Gavid Bowie Chan/Flickr

'Bridget Jones's Diary' by Helen Fielding

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Bridget Jones isn’t having a good time right now. She’s single, fat, and pushing 40, but she is trying really, really hard to not let that stop her from living her best life. Her hilarious misadventures will make yours seem small by comparison.

'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams

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Speaking of seeming small by comparison, what if you were the only human to survive the destruction of Earth to make way for a massive, interstellar superhighway? Yeah, Arthur Dent is feeling pretty small right now. If you’ve never read it before, or if it’s been a while, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is bound to make you laugh.

'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' by Maria Semple

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Eccentric artist Bernadette isn’t handling her life very well. She’s got a loving family, sure, but the outside world just keeps butting in and making her more and more reclusive. Now she’s disappeared, leaving her teenage daughter to sort out the pieces of her life. Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a fresh, funny mother-daughter adventure you won’t want to miss.

'White Noise' by Don DeLillo

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This hilarious send-up of academic life follows the Gladney family as they navigate life following an airborne toxic event. Confronted with their own mortalities, the Jack Gladney and his wife, Babette, begin a futile pursuit of life without fear of death in this tongue-in-cheek comedy for the ages.

'I Was Told There'd Be Cake' by Sloane Crosley

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Struggling young folk will love Sloane Crosley’s memoir, I Was Told There’d Be Cake . It’s full of all the hapless, erratic, and self-deprecating jokes we’ve come to expect from humorists of today, but with a decidedly Gen-X twist.

'Hyperbole and a Half' by Allie Brosh

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Who knew depression could be hilarious? Based on the webcomic of the same name, Allie Brosh’s graphic novel, Hyperbole and a Half, is just the endearing, side-ripping story you need when you’re feeling blue.

'The Santaland Diaries' by David Sedaris

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I can’t imagine many jobs worse than a Christmas mall elf, and I’ll be you can’t either. David Sedaris’ stories from holiday hell will not only make you cry with laughter, but will also force you to appreciate just how great life as a non-elf is.

'Don Quixote' by Miguel de Cervantes

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If you want proof that we’ve been romanticizing the past and longing for the simpler times for basically forever, look no further than Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel, Don Quixote . It’s a wonderful, engaging, and humorous story about a man who will stop at nothing to claim the glory days he’s been denied.

'In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash' by Jean Shepherd

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Working class life in middle America is uproariously funny. If you don’t believe me, just read Jean Shepherd’s comic recollections of life in the midwest. In God We Trust was the basis for the 1983 cult-classic film, A Christmas Story.

'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde

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It’s a romantic comedy about two men, neither of whom are named Ernest, both pretending to be named Ernest. If it sounds confusing, trust me when I say it isn’t. Oscar Wilde’s comedic play, The Importance of Being Earnest , will bring a smile to your face as you read through the characters’ farcical adventures.

'Cheaper by the Dozen' by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

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If having 12 children doesn’t drive you to massive levels of efficiency, nothing will. Cheaper by the Dozen is a hilarious and heartwarming look at life in an overflowing household run by two productivity experts and social scientists.

'Killing Yourself to Live' by Chuck Klosterman

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There’s nothing like the deaths of the rich and famous to make you marvel at your own life. Killing Yourself to Live is the tale of journalist Chuck Klosterman’s gonzo road trip from rockstar death site to rockstar death site, searching for the meaning of life and a dose of good drugs all along the way.

'A Walk in the Woods' by Bill Bryson

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail will provide you with plenty of opportunities for reflection. But if you’re stuck where you are and don’t want to risk tangoing with a bear, better let Bill Bryson do the storytelling. A Walk in the Woods is a funny travel read you won’t soon forget.

'Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? (And Other Concerns)' by Mindy Kaling

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One of America’s favorite funny women has written an awkward, self-effacing memoir for a generation. Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? perfectly captures life as a quirky, competent, and mildly functional young woman.

'You're Only Old Once!' by Dr. Seuss

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Even if you aren’t there yet, Dr. Seuss’ ode to old age can make you giggle on the saddest day of the year. You can learn how to enjoy oldness and all its unique attributes by reading You’re Only Old Once! You’ve got a lot to look forward to, so take your youth easy while you can.