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32 Books That Have Helped People Feel Less Alone

You: "Why did it take me so long to read these??"

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the books they've read that have made them feel less alone: these are the soul-hugging and relatable AF results...

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1. Adulthood is a Myth takes snapshots of adulthood-related anxieties and awkwardness and turns them into derpy, lovable cartoons that'll make you laugh for days on end.

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"Her cartoons capture the insecurities of being an artist, a female — well actually, it captures what it's like being an awkward human coping with adult life but feeling like a kid on the inside. Her second book Big Mushy Happy Lump is also a great read. They always make me feel less alone. ☺️" —Amanda B.

Get it from Amazon for $4.68+, Barnes & Noble for $8.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

2. Chemistry details the struggles of a young female scientist who has to recalibrate her life in the face of unquantifiable pressure from her demanding Chinese parents, failed academic research, and a devoted but more successful boyfriend in order to answer the age-old question we all have: "What do I ~really~ want in life?"

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"I saw what happens when the pressure mounts until it explodes, and the aftermath that follows saying goodbye to the life you've built for yourself. I saw an anxiety I recognized, and permission to use that as anxiety to re-evaluate the path you're on." —Arianna Rebolini

Get it from Amazon for $12.99+, Barnes & Noble for $12.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings instills something black women already know but sometimes have a hard time believing because of societal underpinnings: that they are worthy, beautiful, and powerful human beings that won't let anything stand in their way.

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“It's like a hug for black girls, everywhere. The way Ms. Angelou discusses growing up a young black woman, and what that does to your self-esteem is especially relatable at a time when cultural appropriation wants to make you feel that only parts of you are beautiful, but not on yourself. So, if you need a book to help you realize you are worthy just the way you are, this is my pick. Plus, it’s just really well-written, and who doesn’t want that in a novel?” —Ignacia Fulcher

Get it from Amazon for $7.99+, Barnes & Noble for $7.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

4. The Bell Jar breaks down the inner workings of the psyche so masterfully that it'll seem as if Sylvia Plath is actually inside your head.

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"It was so weird to read something and feel everything the character feels. It helped me so much to understand emotions that were alien to me." —Neringa

"It should be required reading for every teenage girl. It addresses many issues women face, as well as coming-of-age and mental health issues. I read it at 15 and realized that it was okay to think the future was scary and that needing help didn't make you a freak." —Jaci Jarman, Facebook

Get it from Amazon for $1.43+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

5. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a poignant look at one introvert's path towards self-acceptance in a world that glorifies being (or just acting) "cool" and how being awkward makes her a badass in her own right — it's as vulnerable as it is laugh-out-loud funny.

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6. Never Have I Ever is a refreshingly honest take on ~looking for love~, the intricacies of Facebook messaging, and ill-fated crushes that drives home the fact that being date-less, fling-less, and boyfriend-less doesn't make you any less complete (GOT IT??).

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"It's an honest, hilarious, and relatable memoir about being a twentysomething who has never been on a real date or had a real relationship. I related to the author so much. It made me think, 'Hey, there are other adorable, amazing, confident, and Harry Potter-obsessed young women out there who for some reason or another are perpetually single, and that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with us at all!' —Katy Herman

Get it from Amazon for $9.68+, Barnes & Noble for $9.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

7. Scrappy Little Nobody underlines a fact we all already knew: Anna Kendrick would be a fantastic BFF who would make us laugh nonstop with her unbelievably charming and relatable wit.

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"She's so down-to-earth in this book and so unashamedly awkward and hilarious. As soon as I finished reading I thought, 'I have to find her so we can be best friends!'" —Jay Tee

Get it from Amazon for $11.04+, Barnes & Noble for $11.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

8. English, August proves that everyone, even those with all the "right ingredients" for a "good life," aren't spared from feelings of extreme indecision and "What TF do I do now??"

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"The protagonist, Agastya, comes from a privileged and educated background. He is in his mid-twenties and has gotten into the coverted IAS (Indian Administrative Service), but suffers from extreme aimlessness and indecision. It made me feel that it's all right to not have everything figured out, even if you have a job and are considered an adult. Also, Agastya's black humor mirrors mine almost to a T." —Priya Sees

Get it from Amazon for $14.78, Barnes & Noble for $14.99, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

9. Depression And Other Magic Tricks is filled with lovely poetry that lets you know you have a friend who just ~gets it~, even on the shittiest days when you think no one else could possibly be in such a deep funk.

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"She put into words what I could not, especially her heart-wrenching piece about explaining depression to her mom. This book is like a big cuddle for the soul." —Anne Mariem

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $9.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

10. The Mysterious Benedict Society emphasizes that it's totally ok to have different interests (and strengths!) than your peers and to CELEBRATE the fact that you *leans closer* genuinely enjoy school.

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"When I read it in middle school, it was the first time I felt like it was okay to be a kid who preferred reading and logic puzzles to TV and video games. This is a book emphasizes many types of intelligences and that all of them are necessary. It also made me more comfortable and confident as a kid who, unlike my peers (or at least how they appeared to me), thoroughly enjoyed school." —Theresa Thimons

Get the Complete Paperback Collection (all three original books, a prequel, and a companion puzzle book) from Amazon for $30.19, Barnes & Noble for $30.38, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

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11. Through a collection of intensely sympathetic poems (which were responses to advice-seeking letters sent to the author), Letters to a Young Poet gets you through unimaginably tough life events and stresses the important of giving yourself enough room to process, breathe, and heal.

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"I read it for the first time a few days before my dad passed away and it has since gotten me through the worst times in my life. Rilke talks about how life can be difficult because it's growing into something new, how the worst things in life can turn into something beautiful if you face them with kindness and courage, and that it's okay not to have all the answers. It made me feel like I wasn't the only one going through a difficult time and that I would get through it." —Why Not Say The Word

Get it from Amazon for $8.55+, Barnes & Noble for $1.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

12. Some Assembly Required is a mind-opening look into the everyday struggles that transgender folks face with bravery and authenticity — and it serves as a reminder that the path towards self-acceptance is ongoing but extremely fulfilling.

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"This book helped me realize I'm not alone in my struggle with being transgender and there is a light at the end of the tunnel." —Oeuf Hater

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $9.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

13. Fangirl taps you on your shoulder as a reminder that being in love with fictional worlds and characters is 100% wonderful and valid and does *not* make you too weird or zany.

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"It caught my eye because I also write and read a lot of fanfiction, but as I started reading, I identified so much with Cath but it never occurred to me that she had social anxiety until I read a review online. Earlier this year, I went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with social anxiety, so it was comforting to read about someone who is exactly like me." —Ana Elisa

"Though I cringe at the title, it came to me at a time when I really needed it. Surprisingly, the main character was in the exact same situation as I am: first year at college, a parent struggling with bipolar disorder, and worrying about being the less attractive, less socially successful twin. This book simply showed me that what I was going through was not beyond the realm of a person's imagination and none of these subjects were too taboo to talk about. —Jessica L.

Get it from Amazon for $2.98+, Barnes & Noble for $9.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

14. It's Kind of a Funny Story is like a warm hug for severely depressed people who might question the effectiveness of seeking help: it illustrates that if you choose to get help — whether that takes place in a psychiatric hospital or anywhere else — you'll find plenty of co-conspirators who have gone through what you have and are still some of the most lovable and wonderful humans you've ever met.

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"It helped me put a name to what my depression and anxiety felt like. I suddenly had words to talk about the feelings I was walking with and hiding." —Carson McCain G.

Get it from Amazon for $6.99+, Barnes & Noble for $6.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

15. I Don't Want To Be Crazy captures the cyclical nature of living with a psychological disorder in an extremely visceral way guided by free verse: scattered, intense, and unashamedly honest.

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"Written in free verse, this is a great book for anyone who has anxiety, panic attacks, or depression." —Jackie L.

Get it from Amazon for $5.99+, Barnes & Noble for $5.99, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

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16. Furiously Happy reaches a hand out to you when you feel lonely, discouraged, and like you constantly have to justify how you feel, instead of being accepted for who you are at ~all times~ and learning how to deal with life at all points of the emotional spectrum.

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"I recommend this book to everyone I meet. Jenny Lawson takes you through the horrible times, holds your hand, and makes you laugh. She reminds you that you're not alone and that it will get better. This book has literally saved my life." —Jen Fraser

"The whole book is amazing, funny, and empowering, but the thing that helped me the most: Jenny Lawson says multiple times that her anxiety, depression and other mental health struggles are just how she's made — and that was huge for me. I'd been told so many times that my problems couldn't be real because they didn't have a cause. When I read this book and saw that it was written by someone whose struggles are rooted in the same way mine are, I cried. It was like someone reached out their hand." —Heidi Wempen

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $9.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

17. Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto flips the ever-popular script of portraying loners as weirdos and pity cases, distinguishes aloneness from loneliness, and reminds its audience that aloneness is sometimes, in fact, entirely one's preference.

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"I learned for the first time that not everyone wants to be around other people and that it was okay that I didn't, even though my parents (and my psychologist!) said it wasn't normal." —Funny Valentine

Get it from Amazon for $10.90+, Barnes & Noble for $11.35, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

18. Every Harry Potter book carves out a special place in your heart, but the introduction of Professor Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is especially eye-opening for anyone who struggles with balancing mental illness, personal relationships, and a professional life (amid lots and lots of self-doubt).

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"Harry did everything despite his PTSD and was friends with the weird kids; Hermione was bookish and could still punch Draco in the face; Hagrid loved animals and still worked hard despite the prejudice against him; Remus loved his son despite the risk of passing his disease on. There's so much more I could say about everything this book has done for me, but I don't know if I could fit all of it. I just know Harry Potter has changed my life and I'll never be able to thank JKR enough for this." —K

"Specifically Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because while the plot is great, it was more the arrival of Professor Lupin into the series that made me realize that I'm not alone with my own mental illness (though yes, he was a werewolf) and that you can still have friends despite the struggles of living with said illness, even if you constantly doubt yourself and feel that no one will ever love you or want to be around you for it." —Megan Dykeman, Facebook

Get it from Amazon for $8.20+ (free with Kindle Unlimited), Barnes & Noble for $8.59+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

19. I Don’t Care About Your Band chronicles every terrible case of douchebaggery in hilarious detail so you remember that everyone — and I mean everyone — has been fooled into falling for the wrong person, and that we're stronger because of it!

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“It's a great autobiography told through the comedian’s downfalls with men. It’s a really personal, hysterical, and empowering novel that tells other girls who may have struggled that we’ve all been fooled by less-than-adequate men." —Brat Mobile

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+, Barnes & Noble for $8.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

20. Though Note To Self covers one individual's deeply personal journey, his struggles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and developing real connections in a world that places too much value on shares and likes are direct reflections of many peoples' thoughts.

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"It impacted me more than anything I've ever read. Finally, someone understood what was going on inside my head! I can't even describe the experience of reading a book that seems to have been written about you, but just know that I was crying throughout the whole thing. It gave me the reassurance that I was not alone in my thoughts and that everything would be alright someday, no matter how confusing and lonely life is at the moment." —Lana Loo

Get it from Amazon for $11.99+, Barnes & Noble for $17.11, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

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21. Even if you never planning on doing a solo hike up the Pacific Coast Trail, Wild helps you work past previous "failings" so you can have new (and better!) adventures.

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"It helped me realize that it's ok to forgive myself for my past mistakes and to move forward. It also inspired me to pursue more adventures and to challenge myself beyond what I thought I was capable of." —nc89

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $9.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

22. Thirteen Reasons Why is a hauntingly beautiful and complex story about suicide and school life that's been a repeat read for teens for years before the hit Netflix show premiered.

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"It showed me that the issues I see and face as a teenager can happen to anybody. It's also a great conversation starter. Grab some tissues and READ THE BOOK BEFORE WATCHING THE NETFLIX SERIES! You'll cry either way." —Trey Lyrics Stokes

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+, Barnes & Noble for $8.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

23. Chasing Slow grapples with materialism and society's obsession with always chasing after being a better, more successful, and richer version of yourself — and that even when you're at your "highest" point, you can still feel just as lost and unfulfilled.

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“She talks about chasing these grand things before the market crashed and she lost her nice home in California, forcing her to move back to the Midwest to her in-laws' basement. Later she and her husband find success again through her blog and HGTV, but still didn't feel settled. She eventually learns about minimalism and slowing down, enjoying life, and trusting God. She says it is a continuous struggle to keep with it and there’s always that urge to chase for more and she has to fight it every day. The book was so real and honest and resonated with my flaw of wanting more and more until I’m buried in 'stuff' but still not happy. It’s a fantastic read." —Ashley Z.

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+, Barnes & Noble for $8.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

24. Prep deals with the all-too-familiar experience of feeling like an outsider and cultivating an identity that allows you to peacefully coexist while still being true to yourself.

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"The first time I ever read this book, it was like reading my own insanely awkward and anxious ideas that I thought no one else had. The spine of my copy is now torn and it's filled with little post-its marking my favorite passages, but I still return to it whenever I am feeling lost. —DCS

Get it from Amazon for $6.60+ or Barnes & Noble for $10.07+.

25. Matilda is a children's classic but resonates with ~anyone~ who'd rather be buried in a great book than...just about anything else.

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"I was pretty bookworm-y in elementary school (as well as middle and high school) but Matilda made me feel cool for being really into reading. Never developed magical powers though." —Taylor F.

Get it from Amazon for $7.56+, Barnes & Noble for $7.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

26. Turtles All The Way Down breaks your heart in a way only John Green is capable of: through a deep, authentic, tear-jerking, and oftentimes lighthearted dive into the complexities of OCD and extreme anxiety.

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"The book centers around a teen girl with OCD, and as someone with the disorder, reading this book was the first time I’d ever seen myself in a character. John himself has OCD so there is an authenticity that is so often missing from books about mental illness. This book allowed me to connect with a character who was dealing with the same struggles." —Lex

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

27. You don't need to hop around the world to find yourself, but Eat Pray Love drives home the fact that it's ok to feel confused, stuck, and unfulfilled, even if life ~appears~ to be fine.

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"It wasn't the traveling that made me love the books, but the sentiments of heartache, loss, and the frustration you feel when you're stuck. My favorite part was when she detailed lying on the floor of her bathroom, contemplating her life and how she got to that point; I've unfortunately been there and done that! My favorite quote is: 'This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.'” —LBG

Get it from Amazon for $1.99+, Barnes & Noble for $1.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

28. Even if you have a great support system at home, The Last Samurai explores going out into the world and finding ~your people~, biology and tangential connections be damned.

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"It's about a boy genius looking for his father and deciding that biology should be no bar and that he's just going to find the best father available. I have a great relationship with my dad, so it's not that I relate to. It's about feeling alone in the world because you're just too damn weird and going out and finding family who's equally weird. It's about finding your chosen family. When I finished reading it, I literally hugged the book and felt warm inside." —Gitai Ben-Ammi, Facebook

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

29. Catcher in the Rye isn't a classic for no reason: anyone who is or has been a teenager can relate to feeling disillusioned when their visions and expectations of the real world are shattered and toyed with.

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"I know it’s cliche, but reading this when I was a teenager made me feel like I had found a kindred spirit in a fictional character. I didn’t get how everyone could just go through the steps of what was expected in life when it seemed really pointless and arbitrary. I love knowing that I’m not the only one struggling with looking around and just not quite getting it." —Amy Laurel, Facebook

Get it from Amazon for $6.79+, Barnes & Noble for $11.95+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

30. Hyperbole and a Half doesn't romanticize depression like popular culture might and — even in cartoon form — depicts it fully and truthfully, which oftentimes means feeling nothing at all.

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"It was the first time I ever read/saw depression depicted the way I actually experience it: a vast expanse of nothingness in which you do things and experience things and live your life, and everything is boring, dreary, and meaningless for weeks and months on end. And just when you think you've felt something, the vague, empty feeling is back and you're sitting on your couch watching Desperate Housewives all the way through and ignoring the dishes in your sink, your friends, and everything you care about because you don't even have enough feeling in your body to feel sad about the things you're neglecting. For me, like Alie, depression isn't feeling sad all the time, like you see in many books in movies. It's feeling nothing at all." —Elyssa Mann, Facebook

Get it from Amazon for $12.99+, Barnes & Noble for $12.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

31. Les Misérables puts your own struggles into perspective and lends hope that those dealing with problems far beyond your imagination can still find reasons to keep fighting.

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"This came into my life at the perfect time for me. I had been dealing through too much in my life and it made me realize one of two things: People have got it worse than me and I'm not alone in my pain, nor will I ever be alone emotionally. Since then that story has been something to keep me grounded and to keep me from hiding my emotions. What better way to let them out than cry for an hour after turning that last, gut-wrenching, tear-filled page?" —Song Bird

Get it from Amazon for $0.42+, Barnes & Noble for $5.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

32. On the Edge of Gone represents autism in its full light and capacity, aka what should be the norm.

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"It's an apocalyptic sci-fi novel about an autistic girl written by an autistic author. I read it very soon after I found out I was on the spectrum and it felt so great to finally see a character in a fiction book who had the same tics and idiosyncrasies that I have and *wasn't* pitied, 'cured' by the end, or treated as a burden." —Katy Moore

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $9.07+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

By the way: Books are a great way for a lot of people to feel less alone, but they're not a substitute for professional treatment. Here's a beginner's guide to starting therapy, just in case. Or if you need to talk to someone immediately, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and the Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting HOME to 741741. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found here.

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The submissions used in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

The submissions used in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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