Resources for young people experiencing anxiety or worry

Thanks to the Service Pupil Advisor in Argyll & Bute Council for compiling the list of resources

Books for young children 

The Huge Bag of Worries 

by Virginia Ironside, Illustration by Frank Rodgers
(For ages 3-8 years) 

Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her – in a big blue bag. They are there when she goes swimming when she is watching TV, and even when she is in the lavatory. Jenny decides they will have to go. But who can help her?

The Great Big Book of Feelings

by Mary Hoffman, Illustration by Ros Asquith
(For ages 4-7 years) 

How are you feeling today? Happy? Sad? Excited? Scared? We all experience lots of different emotions, sometimes angry or silly, sometimes jealous or upset; sometimes lonely or worried. However you feel, sharing and talking about your feelings will make you feel better.

This fresh, optimistic look at all the feelings we experience explores feelings in family life, at school and everywhere with warmth, wit and sensitivity. Featuring lots of different children in various situations, brief text captions and questions and plenty of humour, this is the go-to book to learn about feelings. 

What’s Going on Inside my Head?

Written by Molly Potter, Illustration by Sarah Jennings
(For ages 4-7 years) 

We all know that healthy minds are really important but how do we make sure we look after our mental health from a very young age? What’s Going On Inside My Head? is a book for children that explores practical ways we can keep our minds in good shape as well as our bodies.

By talking about positive self-image, emotional intelligence, relationships and mindfulness, this book will help children develop healthy habits and good coping strategies from the start. Presented in a warm, child-friendly but no-nonsense way it will help establish solid foundations for every child’s current and future wellbeing.

Cover: What's Going on Inside my Head?

Lucy’s Blue Day

Written by Christopher Duke, Illustration by Federica Bartolini
(For ages 4-7 years) 

Lucy has magic, colour-changing hair. When she’s happy, it turns purple. When she’s jealous, it turns green. One day she wakes up and her hair has turned blue, and she doesn’t understand why.

This book follows Lucy as she learns more about her emotions, and learns that it’s okay to not be okay.

Cover: Lucy's Blue Day

How I Feel

Written by Michael Gordon, Illustration by Max Larin
(For ages 4-6 years) 

From dealing with disappointment, working through anger and anxiety, or how to handle their emotions in healthier ways, this books helps children recognise their big emotions and how to deal with them.

Cover: How I Feel

How are you Feeling Today? 

by Molly Potter, Illustration by Sarah Jennings
(For ages 4-8 years) 

This book provides children with several straightforward, entertaining and appropriate interactive ideas to help them deal with a selection of significant emotions.

A great dip-in book where children can choose a feeling that relates to them and then turn to the page that provides child-friendly strategies for dealing with that feeling. Helpful parent notes at the back of the book provide more ideas for parents to use with their child and other strategies to try out. 

Cover: How are you feeling today

When My Worries get too Big!

A Relaxation Book for Children who live with Anxiety  

by Kari Dunn Buron
(For ages 4-8 years) 

Worry and anxiety are on an upswing. In fact, anxiety is the most frequent of all mental disorders in children.

High levels of stress and big emotions related to social situations, sensory issues, or general frustration are common in children who live with anxiety. Such stress can lead to a loss of control, resulting in aggressive behaviour, such as screaming, throwing things or even hurting someone. Prolonged anxiety can also seriously impact success in academic achievement and cause children to avoid social and extracurricular activities. 

Cover: When my worries get too big!

What’s worrying you?

by Molly Potter, Illustration by Sarah Jennings
(For ages 4+ years) 

This is a book for small children who have big worries.

It has step-by-step solutions for problems including falling out with a friend and getting in trouble at school. It will help young children understand and deal with worries and give tips on controlling them. It has ideas for things to do when feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings and even has step-by-step tips to get through various scenarios. 

Cover: What's Worrying you?

No Worries!

An Activity Book for Young People who sometimes feel anxious or stressed 

by Dr Sharie Coombes, Illustration by Katie Abey
(For ages 7+ years) 

No Worries! is an interactive self-care activity book for children aged seven plus to colour and doodle their way to happiness, calm and confidence. 

The encouraging and simple activities and exercises tackle anxiety, sadness and stress; children will enjoy using their creativity to combat negative feelings, work out why they feel worried and how to put stress back in its place through writing, colouring, doodling and drawing.

Cover: No Worries!

I’m Worried (Your Feelings) 

by Brian Moses, Illustration by Mike Gordon
(For ages 6-11 years) 

A picture book that helps young children with feelings of anxiety and worry they may feel in their early years.

From feeling left out when playing with friends, taking a test, or speaking in a school assembly, to a stay in hospital or seeing other family members worry during anxious times, this book suggests ways that can help children put their worries into perspective.

This book is part of the Your Feelings series, which examines feelings in an amusing but ultimately reassuring way. Each book contains notes for parents and teachers with suggestions of ways to help children deal with their emotions. 

Cover: I'm worried by Brian Moses

What to Do When You Worry Too Much

A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety  

by Dawn Huebner, Illustration by Bonnie Matthews
(For ages 6-12 years) 

What to Do When You Worry Too Much is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12-year-olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioural techniques most often used in the treatment of generalised anxiety.

Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. It includes a note to parents by psychologist and author Dawn Huebner, PhD. 

Cover: what to do when you worry too much

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

A Child’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Written by Poppy O’Neill
(For ages 7-11 years) 

This practical guide combines proven cognitive-behavioural therapy methods used by child psychologists in schools with simple activities to help your child to overcome anxiety. It’s aimed at children aged 7–11 because a lot happens in these years that can impact a child’s emotional well-being, not just now but for years to come. 

Your child will be guided, with the help of Fiz – a friendly and supportive character they can identify with – through fun and engaging activities which are interspersed with useful tips, inspirational statements and practical information for parents. 

Cover: Don't Worry Be Happy

Books for teenagers

Fighting Invisible Tigers: Stress Management for Teens

by Earl Hipp
(For ages 13+ years) 

Stress is something we all experience, but research suggests that adolescents are affected in unique ways that can lead to increases in impulsive and risky behaviour.

While eliminating stress completely isn’t realistic, young people can learn to control how they respond to it. “Fighting Invisible Tigers” offers proven techniques that teens can use to deal with stressful situations in any environment – in school, at home, even among friends.

It also includes fully up-to-date information on how stress affects health and decision making, as well as the latest stress management skills. Filled with interesting facts, real-life stories, and fun activities, this is a great resource for teens everywhere. 

Cover: Fighting invisible tigers

The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens

by Jennifer Shannon
(For ages 13+ years) 

Based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This book is not a substitute for seeking help via a GP, but useful for teens who don’t meet the threshold for support through CAMHS and are being supported by family members.

Cover: The anxiety survival guide for teens

Helpful websites