The best books for building resilience in hard times

Molly Young Brown Author Of Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning
By Molly Young Brown

Who am I?

As a teacher, counselor, and author, I aspire to support people’s personal and spiritual unfolding for the benefit of all life. I studied psychosynthesis with its founder, Roberto Assagioli, and explored peace psychology and eco-psychology. During my Masters of Divinity studies in the 1990’s, I began working with Joanna Macy, which led to our co-authoring Coming Back to Life and focused my professional life on the Work That Reconnects. The challenges of climate disruption, systemic racism, and economic inequity and instability require us all to act from our most mature, creative, and loving dimensions, which I believe these books can help engender.


I wrote...

Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning

By Molly Young Brown,

Book cover of Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning

What is my book about?

Based on the transpersonal psychology of psychosynthesis, Growing Whole guides the reader along a path of personal and spiritual growth in order to participate more fully in the Great Turning toward a just, harmonious, and sustainable future. The book offers numerous psychosynthesis exercises that build the self-awareness, inner strength, and resilience we all need in these challenging times.

Chapter titles include: Self-Awareness; Strengthening Center; Dreams, Vision, and Purpose; Working with Blocks in Our Path; Transforming the Demons Within; Living Will Fully; Challenges of Spiritual Awakening; Relationships—Growing Whole Together; Service: The Practice of Wholeness.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy

By Joanna Macy, Chris Johnstone,

Book cover of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy

Why this book?

The enormous challenges humanity faces today can be overwhelming to even think about, much less know how to respond. Drawing on the empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, Active Hope has helped me do the inner work needed to face challenges like the climate crises, social and economic injustice and upheaval, species extinction, systemic racism, and increasing threats to democracy. The perspectives and practices the book offers have enabled me to tap into gratitude, resilience, and creativity, and find my own “path of heart” in service to my community, humanity, and the living Earth. (Revised edition to be published in 2022.)


Savage Grace: Living Resiliently in the Dark Night of the Globe

By Carolyn Baker,

Book cover of Savage Grace: Living Resiliently in the Dark Night of the Globe

Why this book?

These two well-known and courageous authors confront us with the stark realities of the global predicament and our desperate need to develop “Reconnection, Resistance, Resilience, and Regeneration” in response. I especially appreciated their “no holds barred” approach to truth-telling and their call to act from our deepest most sacred Self.


Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change: A Clinician's Guide

By Leslie Davenport,

Book cover of Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change: A Clinician's Guide

Why this book?

This very readable book gave me insights into the psychological causes of climate denial (which we all suffer from to some extent) and helpful suggestions and practices for breaking through denial with courage, integrity, and resiliency. Although the book is written especially for therapists and counselors, I believe everyone will find it enlightening because we all face the catastrophic effects of climate collapse together.


Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth

By Margaret Klein Salamon, Molly Gage,

Book cover of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth

Why this book?

I found this book to be an inspiring and practical self-help book for the 21st century, challenging us to overcome denial about the global climate emergency and honor our grief, fear, and anger, so we can better take part in the urgently needed transformation of our society and economy.


Blessed Disillusionment: Letting Go of What Cannot Save Us, Turning to What Can

By Michael Goldstein,

Book cover of Blessed Disillusionment: Letting Go of What Cannot Save Us, Turning to What Can

Why this book?

This highly readable exploration of our global predicament and its underlying causes and dynamics is at once alarming and enlightening. Goldstein offers a way to radically change our economic and political systems for the benefit of everyone—including the ecosystems that support life. Local groups could use the book as a manual to study what needs to change and how to take effective and loving action in their communities as part of a larger movement of radical transformation.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in environmental degradation, global warming, and environmentalism?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about environmental degradation, global warming, and environmentalism.

Environmental Degradation Explore 17 books about environmental degradation
Global Warming Explore 52 books about global warming
Environmentalism Explore 103 books about environmentalism

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Ecological Rift, The Uninhabitable Earth, and Climate if you like this list.