The best books for empaths and highly sensitive people

Who am I?

I always sensed I was from another planet, here to help create a new world by nature of my heightened sensitivity and ability to perceive beneath the surface of our supposed reality. After decades of struggling and nearly dying through addiction to mute my sensitivity, my healing path led me to see how being an empath is the greatest gift, once we learn to take care of ourselves and refine our abilities. My book The Empath Experience is the guide I wish I had when I was born, that tells my story and guides life-changing practices to master your energy and harness your empathic gifts as the superpowers they are.

I wrote...

The Empath Experience: What to Do When You Feel Everything

By Sydney Campos,

Book cover of The Empath Experience: What to Do When You Feel Everything

What is my book about?

Learn to lead an empowered life with this supportive and positive guide for those who are discovering their empath abilities and looking for information to help in understanding their gift, as well as how to embrace it and thrive in everyday life.

This is the book I wish I had when I was born, so I wrote it :-) It is an easy guide to understanding what it means to be an empath and how you can start to work with your sensitivity and energy as a gift instead of a burden. I included all the practices in here that I was sharing with energy healing clients for years – frankly, things I had taken for granted on my own path after going through so much to find solutions to my struggles. You never know how your medicine, especially what you take for granted because of familiarity, can change others' lives.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Sensitive Is the New Strong: The Power of Empaths in an Increasingly Harsh World

Why did I love this book?

I love this book from Anita – it feels like it resonates a lot with the messages in my original book on the empath experience yet includes some other stories and anecdotes that can relate to an even broader audience. I appreciate her core thesis that empaths are really the world’s healers especially at this time – here to teach empathy, compassion, and true connection simply by being who they truly are.

By Anita Moorjani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sensitive Is the New Strong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of Dying to Be Me returns with “a gorgeous and powerful field guide to the empath living in today’s wild world” (Laura Berman, PhD, author of Quantum Love) and how they can fully embrace their gifts of intuition and empathy.

Empaths not only sense other people’s emotions, but also absorb them—sometimes to their own disadvantage, often leading to overwhelming sensory overload and feelings of confusion or low self-esteem. Their willingness to help and please others might make them prey to opportunists or cause them to give away more energy than they can afford.


Book cover of Become The Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment

Why did I love this book?

This book changed my life when one of my first holistic healers/life coaches I ever worked with recommended it to me. The practices blew me away and helped me to start cultivating an awareness of my sensitivities and subtle energetic perceptions. I can’t recommend this enough especially for someone just starting out on their path of empath empowerment. The simplicity in exercises is incredible – reminds me that the most simple practices can lead to the most potent transformation.

By Rose Rosetree,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Become The Most Important Person in the Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Become" was written from 2005-2009: Seriously outdated, by now, according to the author, Rose. So she has brought it up-to-date, made the book more helpful than ever. Please, get the newer book, published in 2018 as "Empath Empowerment in 30 Days." The ISBN is 978-1-935214-46-5.

Book cover of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Why did I love this book?

This is a classic guide on empath empowerment and HSPs that offers some more scientific approaches to these topics along with some other practices that are great to consider. Personally I resonate with learning more from others’ unique more memoir-style experiences of healing and transformation, which are included in this book too, but overall I would say this one reads more like a textbook that speaks to those of us that resonate more with an intellectual/conceptual frame of reference. Great to have in the tool kit.

By Judith Orloff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Empath's Survival Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is the difference between having empathy and being an empath? "Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain," says Judith Orloff, MD. "But for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others' emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have." With The Empath's Survival Guide, Dr. Orloff offers a practical tool set to help sensitive people develop healthy coping mechanisms in our high-stimulus world-while fully embracing the empath's gifts of intuition, compassion, creativity, and spiritual connection.

This practical, empowering, and loving book was…

Book cover of The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness

Why did I love this book?

This is one of my favorite books for learning about how to utilize your intuitive gifts. The way it’s written is so beautiful: in a friendly tone where it feels like you’re speaking with an old friend. It includes great practices for awakening your intuitive abilities and working with your empathic gifts as well which naturally give way to intuitive prowess.

By Penney Peirce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Intuitive Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A renowned intuitive and visionary shows you how to know what you need to know just when you need to know it.

Intuition is not a rare gift that only a gifted few possess but an innate human capacity that can be enhanced and developed. Synthesizing insights from psychology, East- West philosophy, religion, metaphysics, and business, this hands-on workbook in the tradition of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, can teach anyone to achieve a heightened state of perceptual vitality and integrate it into daily life. Intuition, writes Penney Peirce, is “not the opposite of logic,” but rather “a comprehensive way…

Book cover of Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

Why did I love this book?

This book is so genius in its ability to straddle so many different dimensions of experience – from science to medicine to intuition to energy healing and everything in between. I love Carolyn Myss as a great example of what’s possible in bridging worlds – her story of bringing medical intuition into more mass consciousness is brilliant and endlessly inspiring. This book helped me to affirm what I was already sensing as an energy healer – that all dis-ease and pain is rooted in an underlying spiritual or energetic issue. This book provides great precedents for how we can truly heal and recover from seemingly hopeless ailments by actually getting to the root of our supposed problems and meeting them with love, grace, and acceptance.

By Caroline Myss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anatomy of the Spirit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Encoded within your body, teaches Caroline Myss, is an energy system linking you directly to the world's great spiritual traditions. Through it, you have direct access to the divine energy that seamlessly connects all life. On Anatomy of the Spirit, Myss offers a stunning picture of the human body's hidden energetic structures, while revealing its precise spiritual code and relationship to the sacred energy of creation.

Our most revered wisdom traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, hold in common essential teachings about seven specific levels of spiritual development, the stages of power in life. These seven great truths also grace…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in empathy, intuition, and self-actualization?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about empathy, intuition, and self-actualization.

Empathy Explore 118 books about empathy
Intuition Explore 14 books about intuition
Self-Actualization Explore 160 books about self-actualization

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Quiet, The Gifts of Imperfection, and The Highly Sensitive Person if you like this list.