Self Help Books for Anger

Lady looking angry, about to punch something.

What is Anger?

Anger is an emotion or feeling usually felt when someone has been unfair or unkind towards you or someone else. I’m sure many of you have felt that intense feeling building up inside you as if you are going to burst, and quite often blurted something out and maybe felt guilty later on when the anger has subsided.

Is this a problem? Generally speaking no, in fact anger does have a few positives e.g. recognise if someone is hurting us, make us realise that we may need to make a change and can give us a burst of energy ‘fight or flight’ response.

So when does it become a problem? Basically if your anger is out of control, regularly hurting yourself or others around you and having a negative impact on your life you may need to address the problem. Anger can also lead to aggression, this doesn’t just include the physical, outward aggression but also inward aggression – hating yourself, denying yourself things that make you happy and even self harming. Then there is passive aggression – making it obvious to others that you are angry – blanking or not responding to others, being sulky, refusing to do things etc.

Symptoms of Anger

Anger can affect everybody differently but the following symptoms are the most commonly recognised. Firstly the most common effects on your body.

Tension, tense muscles

Weak, wobbly legs



Excessive sweating


Butterflies or churning in your stomach

Chest feels tight

Rapid heart rate

Next are some commonly recognised affects on you mind.


The ‘red mist’

Resentment towards others


You probably won’t see all of these symptoms and possibly have some that are not listed. That is fine, this is just a list of some commonly noticed symptoms. The important thing is to recognise the feelings you have associated with your anger, this is the first step in learning to deal with your anger.

Self Help Books

There are lots of strategies and techniques that can be used to help identify and treat anger problems. These include talking therapies/counselling, different anger management programmes and help for violent or abusive behaviour. If your anger is very bad then please get help and advice from your GP. However there are plenty of really good self help books available which can be used to help control your anger and also offer help and support for your family or support group.

Below I have chosen my top 5 self help books for anger. Please let me know your thoughts and how you helped your own anger problems.

Overcoming Anger and Irritability, 2nd Edition: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques by Dr William Davies 

Available as a paperback, Kindle, audiobook and audio CD versions. This is a great book based on Cognitive Behavioural Techniques and describes clearly what can provoke your anger and how to prevent it in the short and long term. This book is also recommended by the national Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for England.

Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky 

Available as paperback, hardcover and Kindle formats. This is an incredible book with over 1,100,000 copies sold. This book is again listed in the NHS bibliography programme. Using CBT to beat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems. Containing worksheets, step-by-step plans and helps set achievable goals and helps track your progress.

Mindfulness for Anger Management: Transformative Skills for Overcoming Anger and Managing Powerful Emotions by Stephen Dansiger PsyD

Available in paperback and Kindle formats. This is a newly published book, it is well laid out and covers an introduction to anger, offers practical exercises and real world applications. The idea is that mindfulness is not just a philosophy but a daily practice which will enable you to run your own life.

Anger Management For Dummies by Gillian Bloxham and W. Doyle Gentry 

Available in paperback and Kindle formats. Many people are aware of the ‘dummies’ series of books which cover many subjects. The writing style and illustrations make these books clear and easy to read. This edition guides you through the whole process of identifying and dealing with the underlying causes of anger and how to deal with this anger in a constructive way. 

Cool That Volcano: How to Help Children Stay Calm, Manage Anger and Master Emotions by Peter Black.

Available in paperback and Kindle formats, this book takes a step-by-step approach to teaching children how to manage their emotions. Many parents are quite aware of temper tantrums and explosive behaviour and this book is jam packed with techniques and methods which will help improve yours and your child’s life. 

Thanks for reading

Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thanks Justin


  • John 14/12/2018 at 6:04 pm

    I have had some anger problems in the past. I will look into the books that you recommend to see if I can temper my anger.
    Do you think that meditation can help with anger, I have started some meditation and have not had any problems since.

    • Justin 14/12/2018 at 6:26 pm

      Hello John,
      thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.
      I do believe meditation definitely has its merits for helping with anger management. There are plenty of books available to help guide you through the meditation process. I will be covering these in a future post.
      All the best, keep up the meditation and thank you for your comment.

  • Jennifer 15/12/2018 at 12:18 am

    I saw John’s comment above and I myself have been listening to a lot of speakers lately talk about meditation. I have my bouts with anger and it has served me very well in the past as a kid having to take up for myself and others. I can go from calm and collected to “Hulking” out fairly quickly and as an adult that doesn’t serve me very well. I see you favor all 5 books above for good reason but which one would say would be the best place to start?

    • Justin 15/12/2018 at 7:14 am

      Hi, thank you for visiting and leaving a comment and question. My personal favourite is ‘Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think’ by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky. The step-by-step approach and worksheets really work for me. I also struggle to make worthwhile goals and the way this book guides you through the goal setting process and helps track your progress is really great. In addition the guidance also have a positive impact on other aspects of your life. A great book.
      Keep looking into meditation as that can have some great results. I will be recommending some self-help meditation books shortly.
      I will also look at putting the books into an order as you suggest to make it easier to choose.
      I hope this answers your question, please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
      All the best.

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