National Mental Health Awareness Month: Listen, Watch, and Read

Did you know May is National Mental Health Awareness Month? 1 in 5 U.S. adults and  1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience mental illness each year according to the National Alliance on Mental illness. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, widespread hardship has caused many people to struggle with mental health. The music, videos and books listed below can help you cope with mental health during this tough time. 

Soothe: Music To Quiet Your Mind & Soothe Your World

Music (62 mins)

Jim Brickman

New Age

Unlimited Mental Abilities Subliminal Affirmations & Guided Meditation Hypnosis With Relaxing Music

Music (84 mins) 

Subliminal Threshold Affirmations

New Age

Best Of Relaxing Music

Music (184 mins) 

Relaxing Music

Easy Listening 

New Calm Relaxation – Anti-Stress

Music (59 mins)


New Age

Let Go Of Pain And Anxiety

Music (69 mins)

David Ison 

New Age 

The Mindfulness Movie – The Benefits of Mindfulness 

Video (70 mins)

A fun and educational journey showcasing worldwide brain research proving the benefits of mindfulness and the public’s increasing awareness and acceptance of the practice. The movie celebrates those who have reshaped mindfulness into everyday, practical skills.

Free the Mind 

Video (120 mins)

Free the Mind follows neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson as he conducts an unusual experiment. Following the practices of Buddhist monks and the advice of his friend the Dalai Lama, Dr. Davidson utilizes meditation and yoga in an attempt to physically alter the brains of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Living in Fear: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Video (19 mins)

Anxiety is a real struggle for many individuals. understanding the hardships of this disorder empowers healthcare workers to give patients the appropriate care. In this program you will learn the criteria for having a Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the manner in which anxiety can become a pervasive reality in people’s lives.

Crooked Beauty

Video 1 of playlist “Mad Dance: A Mental Health Film Trilogy – Featuring Crooked Beauty”

Video (35 mins)

Crooked Beauty is an internationally acclaimed poetic documentary that chronicles artist-activist Jacks McNamara’s transformative journey from psych ward inpatient to pioneering mental health advocacy. It is an intimate portrait of her intense personal quest to live with courage and dignity, and a powerful critique of standard psychiatric treatments.

Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness

Video (59 mins)

Here is an inside look at what it is like to live with a mental illness and how individuals and their families find their way through medical, governmental, societal and spiritual issues–to hope.

Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking by Leaf, Caroline

print book | ebook 

Our toxic thoughts, depression and anxiety are frequently aggravated by our chaotic world, and they are sustained by an inability to manage our thought life. The author provides a 5-step, 63-day plan, the Neurocycle, to find and eliminate the root of anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts in your life so you can experience dramatically improved mental and physical health.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain For Happiness and Success by Morin, Amy

print book | ebook | audiobook 

Morin expands upon the 13 Things from her viral post and shares her tried-and-true practices for increasing mental strength. Increasing your mental strength can change your entire attitude. It takes practice and hard work, but with Morin’s specific tips, exercises, and troubleshooting advice, it is possible to not only fortify your mental muscle but also drastically improve the quality of your life.

The Art of Taking It Easy:  How to Cope with Bears, Traffic, and the Rest of Life’s Stressors by Brian King    

print book | ebook 

Dr. Brian King got a degree in psychology before becoming a world-touring comic and the host of humor therapy seminars attended by more than ten thousand people each year. In this brilliant guide he presents hands-on techniques for managing stress by rewiring our brains to approach potentially difficult situations through a lens of positivity.

Your Brain Needs a Hug : Life, Love, Mental Health, and Sandwiches by Earl, Rae 

print book | ebook

Rae Earl offers her personalized advice on the A to Zs of mental health, social media, family and friendship.Your Brain Needs a Hug is filled with her friendly advice, coping strategies and laugh-out-loud moments to get you through the difficult days.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma  by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. 

print book | ebook

An expert on traumatic stress outlines an approach to healing, explaining how traumatic stress affects brain processes and how to use innovative treatments to reactivate the mind’s abilities to trust, engage others, and experience pleasure.

-Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Reads for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which celebrates the inspirational lives and considerable contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  Join in the celebration by reading a few of the many writings by and about Asian and Pacific Americans and their heritage and cultures.

The list includes recently published novels, non-fiction memoirs and essay collections that touch on the themes of Asian American identity, immigration and what it means to belong, as well as stories that explore familial bonds and romantic love.  All are available to borrow in book or ebook format with your Livingston  library card.

The Bad Muslim Discount : A Novel by Syed Masood

Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 90s through to San Francisco in 2016, a comic novel about being Muslim immigrants in modern America.

Bestiary : A Novel by Kristin Chang

Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this spellbinding, visceral debut about one family’s queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

With humor and heart, Zauner tells of growing up the only Asian-American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence (; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the east coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, performing gigs with her fledgling band–and meeting the man who would become her husband–her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. 

The God Equation The Quest for a Theory of Everything by Michio Kaku

Kaku, renowned theoretical physicist tells the story of the greatest quest in all of science.

Gold Diggers: A Novel by Sanjena Sathian

An Indian-American serio-comic and magical realist epic love story about the perils of ambition, tracing the mysterious alchemy of its characters’ transformation from high school in an Atlanta suburb through young adulthood in the Bay Area.

If I Had Your Face : A Novel by Frances Cha

A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.

Heart of Fire : An Immigrant Daughter’s Story by  Mazie K. Hirono

Mazie Hirono is one of the most fiercely outspoken Democrats in Congress, but her journey to the U.S. Senate was far from likely. This intimate and inspiring memoir traces her remarkable life from her upbringing in Hawaii, where the family first lived in a single room in a Honolulu boarding house while her mother worked two jobs to keep them afloat; to her emergence as a highly effective legislator whose determination to help the most vulnerable was grounded in her own experiences of economic insecurity, lack of healthcare access, and family separation. Finally, it chronicles her evolution from dogged yet soft-spoken public servant into the fiery critic and advocate we know her as today. 

Minor Feelings : An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

A fearless and provocative blend of memoir, cultural criticism, and history that exposes fresh truths about racialized consciousness in a poet, essayist and daughter of Korean immigrants.

My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee

A brilliant, exuberant and entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese-American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on a global adventure. 

Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli

Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want–and she is ready to prove to her mother, her sister, and the aunties in her community that a woman does not need domestic bliss to have a happy life.

Sex and Vanity : A Novel by Kevin Kwan

A glittering tale of love and longing as a young woman finds herself torn between two men–the WASP establishment of her father’s family and George Zao, a man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with and two very different cultures.

Speak, Okinawa : A Memoir by Elizabeth Miki Brina

A searing, deeply candid memoir about a young woman’s journey to understanding her complicated parents–her father a Vietnam veteran, her mother an Okinawan war bride–and her own, fraught cultural heritage. 

Tell Me Who You Are : Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi

The authors recount their experiences talking to people from all walks of life about race and identity on a cross-country tour of America. Spurred by the realization that they had nearly completed high school without hearing any substantive discussion about racism in school, the two young women deferred college admission for a year to collect first-person accounts of how racism plays out in this country every day–and often in unexpected ways. Featuring interviews with over 150 Americans accompanied by their photographs, this intimate toolkit also offers a deep examination of the seeds of racism and strategies for effecting change.

What We Carry : A Memoir by Maya Shanbhag Lang

In this deeply moving memoir that manages to be both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking, novelist Lang uses the story of her relationship with her mother as a strong foundation while she explores the nuances of women’s choices, the complex emotional demands of caregiving for a parent, the turbulence of early parenthood, and the nature of creativity. Short chapters and a nonlinear narrative enhance the thematic preoccupations and serve well to deliver the layered story of Lang’s evolution from an uncertain daughter of Indian immigrant parents to a self-assured writer and mother.

Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian