Inspiring Reads: For Bad Days

Must read books: for bad days via

Do you ever just want to crawl into bed at 7pm and pretend your day never happened?? I have had a lot of these nights, and sometimes a book is the perfect cure. There are two ways to go about reading yourself out of a bad mood. One way is to read something that lets you lean into the badness.... something dreary, and hopeless, and just plain miserable. The other method is to pick up a book that you can't help but be better off for reading. The following list is a great combination of books to do one of those two things on the worst of your bad days.

Inspiring Reads:
5 Books for a Bad Day

Some stories suck you in and don't let you go, for better or for worse. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a completely breathtaking read, that sucks you in and pulls your heartstrings all before you realize that you already know it can't possibly end well---because the narrator has already pretty much told you so. The narration in this is amusing, honest, and just simply well done. This one will both distract you with a fascinating story as well as make you hurt a little on the inside for the characters involved.

Want to read a story where the happiest possible ending is still disturbing and incredibly sad? This is a great book for digging your heels into your bad mood, and letting a story with no simple resolution rock you. There are some hints of dark suburban humour, magic realism, and a healthy dose of science fiction in this read, all while being a decent hot toddy for your sore day. 

3.  The Waves, Virginia Woolf (fiction)

Okay, I can admit it's bold to put Virginia Woolf on a blog reading list. A bit lit-snobby of me. But this book pulls you in, and under, and back up again in marvellous ways. Even if it distracts you from your bad day with a fascinating mode of storytelling and perspective that will blow your mind right out of its negativity. There isn't a happy story in sight to peeve you off, I promise.

As a lover of fairy tales, The Bloody Chamber is an absolute mood booster for me. Not only is it a potent collection of adult fairy tales, but I feel a distinct sense of "haha, suckers" when I read through this. As a short story collection, it is almost like a Tylenol of blood, guts, and a necessary restructuring of what is right and what is wrong. The real heroes get their due in this collection, and its hard to be in a sucky mood when things are set straight right beneath your eyes.

This was a hard one to put on this list for me. I think it made its way here innocently, and I plan to explain the heck out of that.

Hidden Lives is a beautifully curated collection of short stories and accounts of mental illness. There are success stories, there are tragedies, and there are many stories that will bring you up before you crash back down again.

I see this story collection as being a great read for a bad day not because it will drag you down and make you think, "Oh this is the worst possible thing", and definitely not because you will look at it and think, "Oh I have to cheer up, there are so many worse fates than this." I chose to add to this book to this list because it is humbling, and sometimes, on a bad day, you need something to ground you. You need a reminder that you do relate a bit more than you thought to someone who has made lemonade out of life's lemons. You need a reminder that you don't relate as much as you thought to someone who has crashed and burned. You need a reminder that anything can happen to anyone, at anytime, and maybe just to have some perspective on that. Not because mental illness is the worst possible scenario, because it isn't. And not because being occasionally unhappy even though you're healthy makes you a selfish twit, because that's just not realistic.

Sometimes the reminders to be humble are just a good healthy way to detox from a bad day, and to accept your life or find the motivation and strength change something in it to make it more acceptable.

Do you prefer to lean into your bad days and cry it out, or distract yourself with something awesome?? I'd love to hear your remedies!! 

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  1. Thanks for the list of books, Carole. I will add these to my Nook!! They all sound very interesting.


    1. Hope you enjoy them! There will be a few more posts like this with reading suggestions to come. :)


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