Black Romance Novels + Mental Health 

When people in our community think about Mental Health, it’s not always met with a listening and welcoming ear.

In the past, Mental Health was something you kept secret, but that’s slowly changing, more and more people in our community are openly talking about mental health and seeking professional help. 

Those open conversations are trickling down to our literature and showing up in fictional characters. We’re able to see how mental illness shows up in the family, friendships, and intimate relationships. 

This listicle is all about Black romance novels that have showcased love and mental health…

Smoke N’Stroke: Four20 Baes by Aja

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This story was the first book in the Four20 Bae nine-book series. Zaire and Nala had a unique relationship and a professional arrangement as Psychologists at the same clinic.

Zaire was a sex therapist, and Nala treated patients with mental health issues. The pair had differing strategies regarding their individual patient’s treatment, especially the use of cannabis as a treatment modality. Zaire and Nala did, however, agree on other intimate ways of communicating.

In this story, you will experience the use of cannabis in the treatment of various mental health issues and see firsthand the crisis facing many families.

You will also enjoy the encounters between Zaire and Nala as their smoke-and-stroke vibe thrives in this tale.

Each story in the Four20 Bae series deals with various mental health concerns, and they are all written by different authors. Be sure to check them out. 

Lovers Prayer: Lessons in Love Book 2 by Genesis Woods

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A therapist needing a therapist for mental health reasons was not too hard to fathom in society today.

Seeking help is closer to the norm with Black American families. If you are interested in a love story and mental health care in one setting–this story is for you. The part of the storyline that intrigued me most included the couple’s conviction to heal together. 

Chicago Blues (The Blue Series Book 1) by Tiye

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Chicago Benton was a therapist and a podcast bad boy who knew mental health issues firsthand. His mother had a mental illness, and the two struggled all of his life to keep her safe during manic episodes.

There is an honest discussion in this story about the impact that mental illness can have on an entire family and there is also a love story, which helps to balance the complex parts of the story.

Shadows and Whispers (The Collective Book 1) by K.C. Mills

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Elias and Cress were a couple to emulate within this arranged relationship trope. The depth of the story focuses on the relationship and the mental health aspects, as their entire situation includes a few crises during the storyline.

K.C. Mills did a masterful job weaving the mental health aspects into the writing as she respectfully dealt with Elias’s condition.

Cress had the monumental task of loving Elias despite his attitude and obstacles within the constraints he implored to keep Cress away from his heart. This was an excellent read. 

Don’t Call Me Crazy; I’m Just In Love: An Urban Love Triangle Book 1) by Swiyyah Woodard

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The title of this book is perfect. When you are in love, and the man you love makes you feel unwanted and unneeded… whew. 

Anika finds herself in that exact situation and depression takes over and it is a force to be reckoned with. This story dives into the process required to overcome the fears associated with her paranoia about her relationship woes and the inspiration to do better emotionally.

It’s a rollercoaster ride, but it’s one worth taking. 

With Her Own Two Hands: The Malone Sisters (A Small Town Romance Book 3) by Tasha L. Harrison

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Not only does this story have a mystical aura, but the story also deals with depression and other complex mental health issues.

The love story in this book is swoon-worthy, it’s a layered love story that starts with loving yourself, loving your partner, and then finding ways to withstand trials and tribulations as a couple. 

Holding (St Louis Sires Book 2) by Alexandria House

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Krystle and Ford’s story had a lot of energy, with comical parts and the severe issues Ford faced with his mental health condition. Alexandria House told a sports story with significant romance and the satisfying side of Ford’s willingness to be better for Krystle.

Sistah Girls, the stigma of mental health is loosening with the help of authors like the ones included in this listicle.

Mental Health needs a much louder voice in the Black American community. As each story had a different premise, the entire scope was about Mental Health in our community and facing the facts about treatment.

Until next time, it’s your journey, so choose your path!

Sistah Girls Book Club



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