The best books on resilience and how to cope skillfully with life’s difficulties and crises

Who am I?

Resilience - helping people recover their capacities to deal with any adversity, stress, loss or trauma – is the heart of my work as a licensed psychotherapist (25 years) and an international trainer of mental health professionals (more than a decade). Bouncing Back is the book I wanted to be able to hand my clients to help them learn to use the capacities of resilience innate in their brains to develop more effective patterns of response to life crises and catastrophes. No such book was available at the time, so I wrote my own. It has become a tremendous resource for people to learn to how to be more resilient, and to learn that they can learn.

I wrote...

Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being

By Linda Graham,

Book cover of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being

What is my book about?

The award-winning Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being is a groundbreaking integration of practical tools and techniques. The book is informed by Eastern contemplative practices, Western relational psychology, and the emerging neuroscience of resilience, to help people learn how to rewire their patterns of coping with the disappointments, difficulties, and even disasters inevitable in a human life, and to learn that they can.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges

Linda Graham Why did I love this book?

A highly readable presentation of the latest scientific research on ten “resilience factors” that help survivors of any trauma recover their strengths and the power to make meaningful choices in their lives. Truly inspiring and useful.

By Steven M Southwick, Dennis S. Charney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most of us at some point in our lives will be struck by major traumas such as the sudden death of a loved one, a debilitating disease, assault, or a natural disaster. Resilience refers to the ability to 'bounce back' after encountering difficulty. This book provides a guide to building emotional, mental and physical resilience by presenting ten factors to help anyone become more resilient to life's challenges. Specific resilience factors such as facing fear, optimism, and social support are described through the experiences and personal reflections of highly resilient survivors. These survivors also describe real-life methods for practicing and…

Book cover of Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Everything

Linda Graham Why did I love this book?

The touching story of navigating the loss of a child that illuminates the strategies most helpful in navigating overwhelming grief, and steadily, reliably, recovering new joy and new meaning in life going forward.

By Lucy Hone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Resilient Grieving as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The death of someone we hold dear may be inevitable; being paralysed by our grief is not. A growing body of research has revealed our capacity for resilient grieving, our innate ability to respond to traumatic loss by finding ways to grow - by becoming more engaged with our lives, and discovering new, profound meaning.

Author and resilience/well-being expert Lucy Hone, a pioneer in fusing positive psychology and bereavement research, was faced with her own inescapable sorrow when, in 2014, her 12-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. By following the strategies of resilient grieving, she found a proactive…

Book cover of Bouncing Forward: The Art and Science of Cultivating Resilience

Linda Graham Why did I love this book?

Beautifully written stories of survivors of trauma, many well-known to the public, revealing the strategies and inner resources they drew on to “transform bad breaks into breakthroughs.”

By Michaela Haas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bouncing Forward as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Engaging stories of modern survival with uplifting and often surprising takeaways." -Gay Hendricks, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of The Big Leap and Conscious Loving

"Bouncing Forward shows us how adversity can turn us toward our deepest inner resources of trust, wisdom, and love." -Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

"Discover the advantages of adversity and find meaning in the messiness...[Bouncing Forward] shows the reader how to cultivate the mindset of resilience that can catalyze healing and growth from catastrophe. Brilliant, inspiring, to be read, re-read, and treasured." -Linda Graham, MFT, author of Bouncing Back…

Book cover of Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness

Linda Graham Why did I love this book?

An excellent blueprint, drawn from positive psychology, modern neuroscience, and ancient contemplative practices, for recovering and sustaining 12 core traits we need for resilience: calm, compassion, courage, grit, gratitude, and more.

By Rick Hanson, Forrest Hanson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Your key to lasting happiness, self-love and inner peace

'A master of his craft' - Prof Mark Williams, bestselling author of Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

Rick Hanson, author of the New York Times bestselling Hardwiring Happiness, is known for his trademark blend of neuroscience, positive psychology and contemplative practices. In Resilient, he explains how to build the very foundations of well-being by harnessing the power of positive experiences to build an unshakeable core.

Dr. Hanson poses that anyone can build up resilience, the key to a positive mindset, unshakeable sense of self and…

Book cover of Raising Resilience: The Wisdom and Science of Happy Families and Thriving Children

Linda Graham Why did I love this book?

In a charming, reader-friendly style, this book offers ten universal principles for skillful parenting that lead to genuine goodness and happiness in their children. A delight to know it’s possible.

By Christopher Willard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Raising Resilience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In every spiritual tradition, we find teachings on the virtues and qualities that we most want to pass on to our kids-such as generosity, kindness, honesty, determination, and patience. Today, a growing body of research from neuroscience and social psychology supports these teachings, offering insights into cultivating these virtues in ourselves and in our families. Raising Resilience is a practical guide for parents and educators of children from preschool through adolescence, detailing ten universal principles for happy families and thriving children.

Bridging the latest science with Eastern wisdom to explore ourselves and share with our children, Dr. Christopher Willard offers…

You might also like...

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (illustrator),

Book cover of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

Manni Coe Author Of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a gay man born into an evangelical Christian family, my coming out story was wrought with pain, trauma, and separation from family and loved ones. In the same year I lost my best friend in an accident. My world tumbled and I had to crawl back to a place of reckoning. Walking became my path to healing. So when my brother Reuben, who has Down's syndrome sent me a message from the isolation of a care home in the pandemic, I knew he was in trouble. Those five words - ´brother. do. you. love. me.´changed our lives. I thought I might know a way to save him.

Manni's book list on memoirs that capture the struggle of everyday life

What is my book about?

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me. is a true story of brotherly love overcoming all. Reuben, who has Down's syndrome, was trapped in a care home during the pandemic, spiralling deeper into a non-verbal depression. From isolation and in desperation, he sent his older brother Manni a text, "brother. do. you. love. me."

This cry for help, this SOS in the sand unleashed a brotherly love that had Manni travelling back to the UK mid-pandemic to rescue his brother from the care home, and together they sheltered from the world in a cottage in deepest, darkest Dorset. There began a journey of recovery and rediscovery. Little by little, the brothers had to piece back together Reuben's world, help him to find his voice and find ways for him to trust the world again. This is a book about care, about Down's syndrome, about love. It is a story of resilience and patience in a world that Reuben thought had abandoned him.

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (illustrator),

What is this book about?

The story of two brothers, one with Down syndrome, and their extraordinary journey of resilience and repair.

"Profoundly moving and hugely uplifting."—Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Reuben, aged 38, was living in a home for adults with learning disabilities. He hadn’t established an independent life in the care system and was still struggling to accept that he had Down syndrome. Depressed and in a fog of antidepressants, he hadn’t spoken for over a year. The only way he expressed himself was by writing poems or drawing felt-tip scenes from his favorite musicals…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in resilience, parenting, and death?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about resilience, parenting, and death.

Resilience Explore 24 books about resilience
Parenting Explore 326 books about parenting
Death Explore 333 books about death