Reading is a stress relief and can add years to your life! It is True! After a day of working, planning or playing, there is nothing I enjoy more than listening to my audio book in my car on the way home!

I do not need another reason to dive into a good book. Trying out someone else’s life in my imagination is fun all by itself. It is certainly good to know that I am adding the benefit of stress relief to the mix!

A 2009 study done at the University of Sussex found that reading is better for stress relief than walking or drinking a hot cup of tea. Escaping into a good book lowers your heart rate faster.

Imagination is a wonderful thing! Reading is an escape from all of those things that bog down your mind and cause the stress.

A more recent study, in the journal Social Science and Medicine (September, 2016), found that book readers lived an average of two years more than people who did not read. The risk of dying prematurely was shown to drop by 23% by reading 30 minutes a day.

Whether I am reading them in the form of a paperback, ebook, or listening to an audiobook, I am an avid reader. I am one of those nerds you might see walking vigorously with earbuds in my ears. I am not jamming to a fine tune, but am more likely to be listening to the startling turn of events in my latest find!

You have worked hard, dedicating yourself to continual professional development.

breathe-stress relief

Just breathe

Try some of my choices out for a little stress relief!

These are not the newest books on the shelves, so they may be easier to find. As you can see, I tend to go for authors who write a series of books because I like to follow the characters.

  1. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum Novels)
  2. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
  3. The Black Echo by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch Novels)
  4. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson Novels)
  5. 1st to Die by James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club Novels)
  6. The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman (Decker/Lazarus Novels)

(Affiliate links are incuded in this post. If you use these links to make a purchase, I will make a small commission. I ONLY recommend products I personally use and like.)

Stress Relief Pick #1     

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is one of those main characters that gets into the oddest situations working as a bail bondsman, for her cousin. This job was the last thing she ever imagined taking, but had to in desperation. Stephanie entertained me with her crazy antics!

This is the first book in the Stephanie Plum series. Janet Evanovich gives her characters so much personality.

Books that make me laugh out loud are list-worthy to me! In this first book, Stephanie lowers her standards chasing down bad guys in her hometown of Trenton, NJ.

Her first case is to chase after a local cop. The $10,000 pay-off keeps her going after him. The pay-off turns out to be more than she bargained for!

I think Plum could really use some quiet time to read a little and relieve some stress of her own!

Stress Relief Pick #2

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Wow! This book took some really surprising turns that I did not expect! While I was reading this, I told a few co-workers about it. Each morning I would give them the updates. I got them all curious about what would happen next.

While walking home in the rain, lives change when a mother lets go of her son’s hand and he gets hit by a car. The chapters are told through the eyes of the different characters in the book, including the police investigators.

This is the only book on my list that is not part of a series, but I was so drawn into it. I had to put it on my list!

Stress Relief Pick #3

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly


The first in a series of novels about Harry Bosch, an LAPD detective. A body of a fellow Vietnam Vet is found in a tunnel. Then the memories came flooding back of a time Bosch would like to forget. He deals with more than just solving another case.

The first time I heard of this series was when my husband started playing the episodes on television.

I ordered the first book after seeing episode 1. It is not my usual choice to watch the show or movie first, but it caught my attention. Needless to say, episode 2 was put on hold until I could read the first book.

Low and behold, the shows are quite different than the books. I enjoyed comparing the two formats.

Harry made my list because he tows the line between justice and vengeance. Each book in this series explores more and more of his psyche.

Stress Relief Pick #4

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones


Fun, fun series to read because it is so different than my normal read! It is categorized as a paranormal romantic suspense book by Amazon.

As a part-time private eye and a full-time grim reaper, Charlie Davidson has her hands full. Her sassy attitude and sense of humor carry throughout all of the books in the series. She also has a strong  friendship with her next door neighbor and her daughter, which reminds of some of my own best gal pals.

Back to the grim-reaper job, she lets the dead pass through her. They often hang out in her apartment until she solves the mystery of their deaths. Creepy, right!!

The dead then pass through her and she is able to see all of the important events of their lives. So cool!

Worth your time and a great escape from reality!

Stress Relief Pick #5

1st to Die by James Patterson


Is there any book that James Patterson writes that is not awesome!?! I don’t think so! 

What do you get when you gather  a detective, a newspaper reporter, a medical examiner, and an assistant DA together? Oh yeah, and they are all females! Lindsay Boxer leads these ladies, referred to as the Women’s Murder Club. In this first book, they chase after a prestigious writer that others avoid interrogating.

Together, these ladies uncover clues that may take them outside of their required boundaries just a tad. Supporting each other, however they roll, they get the job done!

Stress Relief Pick #6

The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman


Yet another LAPD detective series (completely coincidental) that kept me wanting to read more! Detective Peter Decker is brought to an Orthodox Jewish community in the Hollywood hills to solve a  crime that is unimaginable to them.

Rina Lazarus is the  only one who is willing to talk with him about it because of the strong beliefs and rituals of the community.

As he questions her and begins to question his own faith, they form a bond that brings closure to the case but not to their relationship.

Religion has many facets to it. I found myself wanting to learn more to understand the unfamiliar.

Now my secret is out! I wish I were brave and smart enough to be a detective!

As I let myself become friends and colleagues with these characters in my mind, I feel the stress relief almost instantaneously.

stress relief, reading

Just Breathe

Getting in the habit of allowing yourself to read for 30 minutes a day is well worth the payoff!

  • LONGER LIFE (to read some more

You may also consider reading my post on reflecting and recharging for stress relief.

Once you do this for yourself, how much easier would it be for you to pass it on to your students?!?

What are your favorite picks to provide yourself with some stress relief?

Please share in the comments below.