Taking some time off to read a few good books is mentally refreshing. It’s especially nice when you have a little time to relax and recharge, or even if you’re just looking for something to do for a couple of minutes, whether it’s in the middle of the day or at night before you go to bed.
Reading has been proven to be healthy on both a mental and physical level, so it’s no wonder that self-help books are popular. Sure, reading about how to be happier or feel more confident can seem like just another thing to worry about, but science says that being happy can actually help you live longer, and being confident will make you feel better about yourself.
If you’re stressed out about something in your life, reading can give you an escape from reality for a little bit. You may never get the time back that was lost worrying or stressing over whatever was going on with your life, but if you can take a little time out and distract yourself with something relaxing like reading, it may help you deal with things better when they come back around again.
The best part of self-help books is that they’re mostly positive—they may have advice on how to overcome negative thoughts and feelings, but they’re not just telling you what’s wrong with your life.
Here’s the list of 10 self-love books we love:
The Power of Fun by Catherine Price
Journalist and screen/life balance expert Catherine Price argues persuasively that our always-on, tech-addicted lifestyles have led us to obsess over intangible concepts such as happiness while obscuring the fact that real happiness lies in the everyday experience of fun. We often think of fun as indulgent, even immature and selfish. We claim to not have time for it, even as we find hours a day for what Price calls Fake Fun—bingeing on television, doomscrolling the news, or posting photos to social media, all in hopes of filling some of the emptiness we feel inside..
In this follow-up to her hit book, How to Break Up with Your Phone, Price makes the case that True Fun—which she defines as the magical confluence of playfulness, connection, and flow—will give us the fulfillment we so desperately seek. If you use True Fun as your compass, you will be happier and healthier. You will be more productive, less resentful, and less stressed. You will have more energy. You will find community and a sense of purpose. You will stop languishing and start flourishing. And best of all? You’ll enjoy the process.
Weaving together scientific research with personal experience, Price reveals the surprising mental, physical, and cognitive benefits of fun, and offers a practical, personalized plan for how we can achieve better screen/life balance and attract more True Fun into our daily lives—without feeling overwhelmed.
Groundbreaking, eye-opening, and packed with useful advice, The Power of Fun won’t just change the way you think about fun. It will bring you back to life.
Recovery by Gavin Francis
When it comes to illness, sometimes the end is just the beginning. Recovery and convalescence are words that exist at the periphery of our lives – until we are forced to contend with what they really mean.
Here, GP and writer Gavin Francis explores how – and why – we get better, revealing the many shapes recovery takes, its shifting history and the frequent failure of our modern lives to make adequate space for it.
Characterised by Francis’s beautiful prose and his view of medicine as ‘the alliance of science and kindness’, Recovery is a book about a journey that most of us never intend to make. Along the way, he unfolds a story of hope, transformation, and the everyday miracle of healing.
Stressilient by Dr Sam Akbar
So many of us feel stressed in our daily lives but lack the ability to respond to life’s hurdles effectively and overcome these challenges. We can build resilience to stress by taking action to live our lives in a more meaningful way.
The answer is to become stressilient.
Dr Sam Akbar will show you how. As a clinical psychologist with over ten years of experience, Dr Sam draws from her own professional expertise to provide sensitive and realistic guidance to feel calmer, less stressed, and more resilient to life’s challenges.
From understanding how your brain works, managing your emotions and challenging your thought-processes, to opening up your perspective and having more self-compassion, Stressilient offers an indispensable, easy and effective go-to guide to help you get from surviving to thriving.
How to Be You by Jeffrey Marsh
An interactive experience, How to Be You invites you to make the book your own through activities such as coloring in charts, answering questions about how you do the things you do, and discovering patterns in your life that may be holding you back. Through Jeffrey’s own story of “growing up fabulous in a small farming town”–along with the stories of hero/ines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age, and gender–you will discover that you are not alone.
Learn to deepen your relationship with yourself, boost your self-esteem and self-worth, and find the courage to take a leap that will change your life.
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary
Every day, American women and girls are besieged by images and messages that suggest their beauty is inadequate, inflicting immeasurable harm upon their confidence and sense of wellbeing. In Beautiful You, author Rosie Molinary encourages women to feel wonderful about themselves — even when today’s media-saturated culture tells them not to.
Drawing on tools for heightened self-awareness, creativity, and mind-body connections, Beautiful You incorporates practical techniques into a 365-day action plan that empowers women to embrace a healthy self-image, shore up self-confidence, break undermining habits of self-criticism, and champion their own emotional and physical wellbeing.
Modern and meaningful, these doable, enjoyable daily actions encourage women and girls to manifest a healthy outlook on life, to live large, and to love themselves and others.
Choosing ME Before WE by Christine Arylo
Full of sass, soul, and the type of empowering wisdom that no woman should live without, Choosing ME before WE is like a heart-to-heart with your closest girlfriend. And best of all, you’ll discover that your closest girlfriend is your own truest self, inside you, always ready to offer wise, loving advice about what is best for you.
Designed to challenge and guide women to create the relationships they want instead of the ones they often find themselves stuck in, this book is packed with stimulating questions to uncover what’s true for you, powerful techniques to change old habits that sabotage your dreams, and real-life experiences shared by the author, her friends, and her clients.
Author Christine Arylo, who almost married the wrong guy for all the wrong reasons, speaks to women of all ages, whether they’re seeking a relationship, evaluating a less-than-fulfilling one, rebounding from a bad breakup, or working through issues with a partner. Choosing ME before WE teaches women to stop settling, to get real about the kind of partner they’re looking for, and to start exploring and creating what they truly want in themselves and their relationships.
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t by Andrea Owen
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t is a straight-shooting approach to self-improvement for women, one that offers frank truth-telling about the most common self-destructive behaviors women tend to engage in. Andrea Owen — a nationally sought-after life coach — crystallizes what’s behind several invisible, undermining habits, from catastrophizing and people-pleasing, to listening to the imposter complex or to one’s inner critic. Powerfully on the mark, the chapters are short and digestible, nicely bypassing weighty examinations in favor of punch-points of awareness. Her book kicks women’s gears out of autopilot and empowers them to create happier, more fulfilling lives.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lillies by Tara Schuster
By the time she was in her late twenties, Tara Schuster was a rising TV executive who had worked for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and helped launch Key & Peele to viral superstardom. By all appearances, she had mastered being a grown-up. But beneath that veneer of success, she was a chronically anxious, self-medicating mess. No one knew that her road to adulthood had been paved with depression, anxiety, and shame, owing in large part to her minimally parented upbringing. She realized she’d hit rock bottom when she drunk-dialed her therapist pleading for help.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies is the story of Tara’s path to re-parenting herself and becoming a “ninja of self-love.” Through simple, daily rituals, Tara transformed her mind, body, and relationships, and shows how to
• fake gratitude until you actually feel gratitude
• excavate your emotional wounds and heal them with kindness
• identify your self-limiting beliefs, kick them to the curb, and start living a life you choose
• silence your inner frenemy and shield yourself from self-criticism
• carve out time each morning to start your day empowered, inspired, and ready to rule
• create a life you truly, totally f*cking LOVE
This is the book Tara wished someone had given her and it is the book many of us desperately need: a candid, hysterical, addictively readable, practical guide to growing up (no matter where you are in life) and learning to love yourself in a non-throw-up-in-your-mouth-it’s-so-cheesy way.
The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser
Too many people seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves first or go after their own dreams out of fear of being selfish or sacrificing others’ needs. The Self-Love Experiment rectifies this problem. Whether you want to achieve weight loss, land your dream job, find your soul mate, or get out of debt, it all comes back to self-love and accepting yourself first. Shannon Kaiser learned the secrets to loving herself, finding purpose, and living a passion-filled life after recovering from eating disorders, drug addictions, corporate burnout, and depression.
Shannon walks you through her own personal experiment, a simple plan that compassionately guides you through the process of removing fear-based thoughts, so you can fall in love with life. If you want to change your outcome in life, you have to change your daily habits and perspective. Shannon takes you on this great journey into self-love and true self-acceptance.
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