The best books for self care and motivation

Who am I?

As a career and life coach, I am always encouraging my clients to take care of themselves so that they can pursue their ambitions. I am equal parts advocate and mother, coach asking you to push yourself and best friend bringing you an ice cream cone. I believe in the duality of self-care and ambition, and that pursuing hard things is part of self care, and solid self care gives you the strength to pursue hard things.

I wrote...

Personal (R)evolution: How to Be Happy, Change Your Life, and Do That Thing You've Always Wanted to Do

By Allison Fishman Task,

Book cover of Personal (R)evolution: How to Be Happy, Change Your Life, and Do That Thing You've Always Wanted to Do

What is my book about?

It’s time to take charge of your life—and do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Personal (R)evolution is your very own life coach in your pocket. Best-selling author and coach Allison Task will help you take control of your life and move from where you are now to where you want to be.

Inside this refreshing how-to book filled with humor, inspiration, real-world client examples, and tools, Task will help you: Create a clear vision for what you want out of life, so you know where you’re going and why you’re going there.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Why did I love this book?

Of all of Brene’s books, I found this one to be the most inspired, the most “yes, I have to do this thing I’ve been wanting to do”. Rising Strong is a necessary follow-up, and Daring Greatly is her best. It’s not the critic who counts...

By Brené Brown,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Daring Greatly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Now on Netflix as The Call to Courage**

'She's so good, Brene Brown, at finding the language to articulate collective feeling' Dolly Alderton

Every time we are faced with change, no matter how great or small, we also face risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings - or feel guilt for feeling them in the first place.

In a powerful new vision Dr Brene Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability, and dispels the widely accepted myth that it's a weakness. She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is…

Book cover of The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life

Why did I love this book?

When you have happiness as a baseline, life is just better. Shawn takes you through the academics of happiness, and all the research. Like Brene, Shawn is Texan, and they are both gifted storytellers. Easy, fun read. By an academic for regular folk, this book is full of useful information and exercises to make your life better.

By Shawn Achor,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Happiness Advantage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most people want to be successful in life. And of course, everyone wants to be happy. When it comes to the pursuit of success and happiness, most people assume the same formula: if you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you'll be happy. The only problem is that a decade of cutting-edge research in the field of positive psychology has proven that this formula is backwards. Success does not beget happiness.

Based on the largest study ever conducted on happiness and human potential (a survey conducted by the author of more than 1,600 students),…


By Glennon Doyle,

Book cover of Untamed

Why did I love this book?

Glennon can write. There are so many ideas in this book you just want to underline for self-care. She’s an artist with a sentence. She’s also evolved from someone with a serious drinking / casual sex problem to a mother in a loveless marriage to a man, to Abby Wombach’s wife. Who wouldn’t want to read that story?

By Glennon Doyle,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Untamed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade •…

Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

Why did I love this book?

It’s the original self-help book. Frankl chronicles what gave men a sense of hope and purpose while in concentration camps during World War Two. It is a first eye account of what made some hurl themselves into an electric fence, while others gave away their last piece of bread. Magical.

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

36 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.

Book cover of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal

Why did I love this book?

Remen is a doctor and gifted storyteller. She shares insight into what truly heals, through these magical-yet-true vignettes. Spoiler alert: love and connection. Yes, there are times we desperately need modern medicine and other times when we desperately need our hands to be held.

By Rachel Naomi Remen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Kitchen Table Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I recommend this book highly to everyone." --Deepak Chopra, M.D.

This special updated version of the New York Times-bestseller, Kitchen Table Wisdom, addresses the same spiritual issues that made the original a bestseller: suffering, meaning, love, faith, and miracles.

"Despite the awesome powers of technology, many of us still do not live very well," says Dr. Rachel Remen. "We may need to listen to one another's stories again." Dr. Remen, whose unique perspective on healing comes from her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness, invites us to listen from…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in risk, the meaning of life, and work?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about risk, the meaning of life, and work.

Risk Explore 9 books about risk
The Meaning Of Life Explore 38 books about the meaning of life
Work Explore 25 books about work

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The New Jim Crow, The Myth of Sisyphus, and As a Man Thinketh if you like this list.