I’ve been working a lot on self-care this year because I’ve found the more time I spend filling my own well, the better my life seems to be.
This Rumi quote sums it up perfectly:
One of my favorite self-care activities is to curl up under a blanket, sip some tea, and read something super inspirational.
These books are some of my all-time favorite books to do exactly that with…
Some are oldies but perpetual goodies, others are new books that I consider to be modern-day self-help classics.
Each one of these inspiring books will instantly lift your spirits and nourish your heart and soul.
So without further adieu, here is my official “Top 10” list of self-care books you should definitely read this year (or in this lifetime).
Almost Everything by Anne Lamott
In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.
Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.
“Anne Lamott gave me back some hope. Now she’s given us an entire book about hope. And it’s wonderful!”
2. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
Brene Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness.
Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
“Read this book; I cannot convey in a review how much it has the potential to change your life for the better. I read it yesterday and today in two sittings and am going back again and again to the writing, the ideas, and the inspiration to me to life more authentically and to be able to connect with others in deeper and braver ways.”
3. Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young & Janet Klosko
Two of America's leading psychologists, Jeffrey E. Young, Ph.D., and Janet S. Klosko, Ph.D., draw on the breakthrough principles of cognitive therapy to help you recognize and change negative thought patterns, without the aid of drugs or long-term traditional therapy. They describe eleven of the most common lifetraps, provide a diagnostic test for each, and offer step-by-step suggestions to help you break free of the traps.
Thousands of men and women have seen the immediate and long-term results of the extraordinary program outlines in this clear, compassionate, liberating book. Its innovative approach to solving ongoing emotional problems will help you create a more fulfilling, productive life.
“This is brilliant work. It is easy to read, there are interesting examples of all nine schema (the filters you see your life through) and the "how to" chapter offers the diligent a way to work through behaviors that no longer serve you. The reader must make the commitment to complete the exercises and be willing to get assistance when the going gets tough, but the tools are here to help you understand and accept yourself and make healthy choices.”
4. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Louise L. Hay is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: "If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed." Louise has a great deal of experience and firsthand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.
Louise says, “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.”
“This book changed my life. I know you've heard that said about a lot of books and I'm sure there are other fine books out there. But this one is the motherbook from which all others evolved.”
5. On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff
Jennifer did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given the opportunity to host her own retreats, she left her thirteen-year waitressing job and said “yes,” despite crippling fears of her inexperience and her own potential.
After years of feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless, in a life that seemed to have no escape, she healed her own heart by caring for others. She has learned to fiercely listen despite being nearly deaf, to banish shame attached to a body mass index, and to rebuild a family after the debilitating loss of her father when she was eight. Through her journey, Jen conveys the experience most of us are missing in our lives: being heard and being told, “I got you.”
“This book is for everyone. Seriously. I want to gift copies to every person in my life, because it's that good!”
6. Loving What Is by Byron Katie
In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her, and now in Loving What Is you can discover the same freedom through The Work.
The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.
“One of the most important books I've ever read. Changed my whole outlook on life and have felt more positive ever since, not up mention achieving more in 6 months than I had ever done in any previous years.”
7. Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain
In Living in the Light, Shakti Gawain introduced a powerful new way of life: that of listening to one's own intuition and relying on it as a guiding force. In the newly revised edition of that classic work, she elaborates on her original ideas, adding aspects of her own experiences and learning process over the past twelve years. I
n addition to balancing feminine and masculine energies, she now examines several other fundamental polarities we all have, such as power and vulnerability. Everyone's life journey involves developing the full range of self and acknowledging all aspects of one's personality — including both light facets and dark.
“This book is a MUST READ for anyone trying to access the inner self. It's so basic and all of it makes total sense!”
8. Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer
Change Your Thoughts--Change Your Life is the end product of my Dyer’s journey of research, contemplation, and application of the Tao Te Ching, a book of wisdom that's been translated more than any volume in the world, with the exception of the Bible. Many scholars consider this Chinese classic the ultimate discourse on the nature of existence; and it continues to be a valuable resource for achieving a way of life that guarantees integrity, joy, peace, and balance.
In fewer than 100 short passages, it describes a way of living that's balanced, moral, and spiritual, and that works for all facets of life on Earth.
“The challenge is to integrate and apply its teachings in one’s life; it is a volume to read again and again. It may be the most powerful book, I’ve ever experienced.”
9. The Magic Mala by Bob Olson
Robby Robertson is a down-on-his-luck writer who realizes that he doesn't know as much about life as he once believed. His desperate financial circumstances lead him to open his mind to new ways of living. After finding some mala beads, Robby is taken on a magical journey that teaches him the secrets to personal manifestation and happiness.
An inspiring novel that transforms the lives of its readers, this book will leave you fascinated and educated about the universal laws that govern our lives. It's a story you'll want to read often to remind yourself of its wisdom--primarily, the magic of living a conscious life.
“After reading this book I felt like I could take on the world!”
10. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Author Bhante Gunaratana, a renowned meditation master, takes us step by step through the myths, realities, and benefits of meditation and the practice of mindfulness. The book showcases Bhante’s trademark clarity and wit as he explores the tool of meditation, what it does, and how to make it work.
The reader can gain deeper understanding, inner peace, and clarity through meditation practice with the thoughtful guidance of this classic book. Written for those without any meditation background, but also an essential handbook for established students, Mindfulness in Plain English is a must-have for anyone exploring the benefits of Buddhist meditation.
“This is the best book on mindfulness and meditation that I’ve read to date!”
Want more ideas on great reads? Check out my Inspirational Books Pinterest Board to help you find more!