Why Reading is So Important for Mental Health

Why Reading is So Important for Mental Health

In mental health by Tree House Recovery

Most of us have been told since we were kids that reading is important. It makes us smarter, more aware of the world around us, and more in tune with ourselves. Reading broadens our vocabulary, gives us insights into other worlds and other peoples’ experiences, and offers us a respite from the routines of daily life. Whether you’re reading a romance novel on the beach, a biography of a historical figure, experimental poetry, or the newspaper, reading is an excellent way to pass time and expand the mind. Reading is good for our brains in more ways than one. Devouring a good book can have positive impacts on mental health and overall wellbeing. Here are a few more reasons to become a voracious reader.

Reading reduces stress levels.

Yes, according to research, reading can actually help us relax. A study at the University of Sussex concluded that reading for six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Next time you’re feeling stressed, pick up your favorite book and do some reading. It only takes six minutes!

It enhances brain function.

When we read, we’re engaging so many of our senses. We’re making connections between characters and events in the book and in our own lives. Reading also involves a lot of visualization. We’re imagining the events of the plot and painting pictures of the characters in our minds. We also have to follow along on the narrative arc or story of the book, article, or essay. In the case of poetry, we have to get creative about our interpretations and get immersed in the world of metaphor and imagery. There’s no doubt that reading greatly improves brain function, thereby boosting mental health and overall connectivity. 

Reading improves attention span.

Whether we’re immersed in a captivating magazine article or reading a dense work of literature, reading requires us to sit, pay attention, and focus. In our busy, technology-filled lives, we often don’t make room to curl up with a good read. 


Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474