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5 Humorous Books to Help Melt Away Stress

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Reading before bed is a great way to unwind for better sleep. This month's reading recos provide humor therapy.


When it comes to your health, a good laugh can do wonders, particularly when it comes to stress management. Tackling stress with humor might help to relieve the stress that keeps you from falling asleep and staying asleep.


From side-splitting memoirs, to rip-roaring science fiction, these humorous books are sure to have you chuckling under the covers — and help you forget your worries so you can fall sleep.


  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Douglas Adams' much-lauded science fiction novel consistently makes lists of the best humorous books. Why? In this story about the end of the Earth to make way for a galactic freeway, Adams deftly marries sci-fi with satire and social commentary in a cosmic tour-de-farce. If you like the first book, there's four more that follow.


  • Oh, the Flesh You Will Eat!: These three stories by Mike Levine, aka Dr. Vireuss, are a grossly hysterical (pun intended) riff on Dr. Seuss's oft-given graduation book with a similar-sounding title. The publisher's recommended age range is 1 to 16, but, like Adam Mansbach's Go the F**k to Sleep, parents and adults will find this compilation about flesh-eating bacteria wonderfully absurd. Give this one to young graduates instead, but be sure to read it yourself before you wrap it!

  • Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things: Jenny's Lawson's third humorous memoir is her most raw and real yet. With humor and pathos, The Bloggess blogger shares the frustration of suffering from severe depression and anxiety — with tales of her love of real stuffed animals (her father is a taxidermist) thrown in for good measure. You'll LOL even while wanting to hit the sad face emoji simultaneously.

  • This Could Hurt: Layoffs aren't funny, but Jillian Medoff makes the machinations behind them zing in her new satirical novel about one dysfunctional human resources department in a corporate consulting firm. A former management consultant herself, Medoff weaves an office dramedy around five colleagues with heart, humor and biting, sometimes all-too-real scenarios.

  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Sometimes people laugh because the alternative is crying. This collection of essays by African-American comedian and blogger Samantha Irby doesn't make laughing and crying an either/or choice. Irby recounts her own struggles with poverty, dating, being a black woman in the U.S. and rescuing homeless kittens in a way that is both snarkily humorous and heartbreakingly real.


While getting a good laugh in before bed helps you de-stress, find out why laughing during sleep might be cause for concern.


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