Self-help books can be a wonderful addition to your emotional wellness and self-care journey. I, personally, like to alternate fiction with self-help or even read just a few pages of a self-help book daily as I find it is easier to digest and incorporate ideas this way. It was challenging for me to pick just five of my favorite self-help books, so you can likely expect a round-two in the near future!
By Tara Brach Ph.D
For many of us, feelings of inadequacy are abundant. It doesn’t take much – comparison, conflict with a loved one, or making a small mistake, to make us feel unsettled, unwhole, or unworthy. Beginning to understand how our lives are layered with these feelings of unworthiness can help us to move through some of these inadequacies that may be holding us back in different ways in our lives. This book is particularly helpful for those who identify with having low self-esteem, lack of confidence, or difficulty accepting themselves for who they are due to perceived flaws that are inherent in each of us.
Wherever You Go There You Are
By Jon Kabat-Zinn
I find this to be one of the most digestible books about mindfulness and meditation. It is practical and grounded in relevant suggestions to help us live more mindfully and focus on unlocking the calming powers of the mind. It’s also an effective reminder to enjoy the simple things in life. It contains short and helpful chapters which teach practical knowledge enriched by meaningful anecdotes and also explains exactly what mindfulness is and why it is not reserved for Buddhist monks.
By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi conducted studies on “optimal experience” which have helped to illustrate that what makes an experience truly fulfilling is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience immense enjoyment, creativity, and engagement with their experience. This book could be particularly useful for those searching for some deeper engagement in their lives, questions related to their life’s purpose, or feeling as if something in their experience is missing.
By Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
The authors, both prominent health professionals in the field of nutrition and eating disorders, have developed an approach to disordered eating which includes building body positivity and reconnecting with one’s intrinsic wisdom about food and eating. Their ultimate goal is to help us to unlearn everything we were taught about diet culture. This is my favorite book geared towards those with any type of disordered eating or even people who just feel confusion or distrust around their hunger and cravings.
Man’s Search For Meaning
By Victor E. Frankl
Based on his experiences in Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, in the 1940s, Frankl’s timeless memoir on finding meaning in the midst of suffering argues that man cannot avoid suffering but can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose and hope. This book can be challenging and painful to read at points but the central message is so beautiful and applicable to the human experience relating to going through painful and traumatic experiences and how we find meaning during challenging times.