books for music therapists 2022 blog

Non-Music Therapy Books for Music Therapists in 2022

by Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC


Looking to add some helpful titles to your work bookshelf in 2022? Look no further! As an avid reader, these are books I found to be really insightful and beneficial to my growth as a clinician and as a person. Some of them involve inner work and self-reflection, while others are just really informative or provide great information that can be applied to our practice, even if the book itself isn’t necessarily geared toward therapists. Most of these are mental-health related, but I feel like a lot of what’s discussed in these books can be applied across contexts. 

books for music therapists 2022

For Self-Growth and Therapy:

  • Love’s Executioner by Irvin Yalom
  • The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk
  • Man’s Search for Himself by Rollo May
  • The Courage to Create by Rollo May
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
  • While Psychiatry Slept by George Mecouch
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  • The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
  • The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by Erich Fromm

For Useful Information and New Perspectives:

  • The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs by Jack M. Gorman
  • Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
  • Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century by Alice Wong
  • Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepenza-Samarasinha
  • Insane: American’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness by Alisa Roth
  • Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker
  • [Don’t] Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health by Kelly Jensen


  • Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang
  • Ripping off Black Music by Margo Jefferson
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson
  • Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It by Bob Boilen
  • Hip-Hop and Other Things by Shea Serrano
  • Lyrical Darkness: 11 Dark Fiction Stories Inspired by the Music That Rocks Your Soul by Donnie Light et al.

“But what if I don’t like to read?” you say. No worries! There are also some amazing podcasts out there with incredible content that lend themselves well to our practice as music therapists. 

Non-Music Therapy Podcasts for Music Therapists


  • No Skips with Jinx and Shea – available on Spotify, Ringer, and Apple Podcasts 

  • NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts – available on Spotify, NPR, and Apple Podcasts

  • NPR’s All Songs Considered – available on Spotify, NPR, and Apple Podcasts

  • Questlove Supreme – available on Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Apple Podcasts

  • Song Exploder – available on Spotify, Radiotopia, and Apple Podcasts


  • Unlocking Us – available on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts

  • Therapist Chat with Laura Reagan  – available on Spotify, PodBay, and Apple Podcasts

  • Mental Health Happy Hour – available on Spotify, MentalPod, and Apple Podcasts

Bonus resource!

Find all of these books, track your progress, and share your own music therapy must-reads on this public Goodreads list!@

If you’re on a book budget, check out your local library! Many of these titles are available in hard copies and in ebook formats through apps like Libby. If you have Kindle Unlimited, some are free on there as well. If you’re purchasing a book, be sure to support your local bookstores – find a bookstore near you here

What are some of your must-reads for music therapists this year? Leave us a comment and let us know, then add your books to the Goodreads list linked above.

Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist – Board Certified

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