The best books to thrive as a highly sensitive person

Who am I?

As a human behavior professor, award-winning executive coach, and trained therapist, I’ve spent the last decade helping thousands of high-achieving, highly sensitive professionals discover ways to enjoy their success without self-doubt, stress, and emotional overwhelm. I’m a highly sensitive person myself, so I intimately understand what it’s like to navigate the world as a deep thinker and feeler. Trust Yourself is the actionable guide I wish I had had as a big-feeling, driven person trying to find my way in my career and figure out how to believe in myself in the process.


I wrote...

Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work

By Melody Wilding,

Book cover of Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work

What is my book about?

Being highly attuned to your emotions, your environment, and the behavior of others can be the keys to success, but they can also lead to overthinking everything and burnout. Trust Yourself offers concrete steps to help you break free from stress, perfectionism, and self-doubt so you can find the confidence to work and lead effectively. Learn to: achieve confidence and overcome imposter syndrome; find your voice to speak and act with assertiveness; build resilience and bounce back from setbacks; and enjoy your success without sacrificing your well-being.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

Melody Wilding Why did I love this book?

I first read this book in my 20s and it changed my entire life. Up until that point, I had always felt different than my peers. I never understood why I was more affected by everything, held onto criticism for days (or weeks), and experienced more stress. Discovering there was a term for deep thinkers and feelers like me was enlightening and empowering. Dr. Aron is the foremost researcher on high sensitivity and I appreciated that this book is both evidence-based and practical. It’s a seminal must-read. 

By Elaine N. Aron Phd,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Highly Sensitive Person as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION of the original ground-breaking book on high sensitivity with over 500,000 copies sold.

ARE YOU A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON?
 
Do you have a keen imagination and vivid dreams? Is time alone each day as essential to you as food and water? Are you noted for your empathy?  Your conscientiousness? Do noise and confusion quickly overwhelm you? If your answers are yes, you may be a highly sensitive person (HSP) and Dr. Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person is the life-changing guide you’ll want in your toolbox.

Over twenty percent of people have this amazing, innate trait.…


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

Melody Wilding Why did I love this book?

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) have more active mirror neurons, which means they can more acutely sense other people’s emotions. I have found that my empathy can be a tremendous gift, but without the right tools, feeling others’ energy can be draining. I enjoyed that Dr. Orloff’s presented a comprehensive toolkit, particularly for navigating relationships at home and work. This book isn’t a one-time read. It’s the type of book you reference and revisit over time. 

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 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Melody Wilding Why did I love this book?

I felt like this book peered into my soul. I count myself among the 70 percent of highly sensitive people who are also introverted. That means I need time to think before I act and more space to adjust to changes. I tend to be more reflective, serious, and dislike being observed and being the center of attention. Before reading Quiet, I assumed that these qualities were character faults. But now I understand that they are not only part of my wiring, but that they can also be my greatest superpowers. I love Cain’s use of engaging stories and research. It makes for an immersive read. 

By Susan Cain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SUSAN CAIN'S NEW BOOK, BITTERSWEET, IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

A SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE HOW YOU SEE INTROVERTS - AND YOURSELF - FOREVER.

Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can't name and don't understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we're embarrassed.

That fact is whether we're an introvert or an extrovert.

The most fundamental dimension of personality, at least a third of us are introverts, and yet shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as…


Book cover of The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Melody Wilding Why did I love this book?

For most of my life, self-doubt had been a constant companion. I was someone who looked successful on the outside, but didn’t feel that way within. I kept pushing in my career – trying to earn validation and compensate for my insecurities – until I hit severe burnout. That’s when I first read The Gifts of Imperfection. This book helped me unpack the thoughts and conditioning that were contributing to my sense of inadequacy and set me on a path to rebuilding my self-worth and confidence as a highly sensitive person. 

By Brené Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In hardback for the first time, this tenth-anniversary edition of the game-changing #1 New York Times bestseller features a new foreword and brand-new tools to make the work your own.

For over a decade, Brene Brown has found a special place in our hearts as a gifted mapmaker and a fellow traveller. She is both a social scientist and a kitchen-table friend whom you can always count on to tell the truth, make you laugh and, on occasion, cry with you. And what's now become a movement all started with The Gifts of Imperfection, which has sold more than two…


Book cover of Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself

Melody Wilding Why did I love this book?

I’m a recovering people-pleaser. Setting boundaries is a struggle. I find it hard to say no because I don’t want to hurt, offend, or disappoint others. I often overextend myself to make other people happy. I’m also a therapist by training and I’ve read umpteen books about setting boundaries, but they all felt too theoretical. Enter Tawwab’s book. It’s like the boundary bible. I love that the book features tons of specific scripts. It’s skimmable and easy to consume – perfect for a busy, time-strapped reader like myself. 

By Nedra Glover Tawwab,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Set Boundaries, Find Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

End the struggle, speak up for what you need, and experience the freedom of being truly yourself.

Healthy boundaries. We all know we should have them in order to achieve work/life balance, cope with toxic people, and enjoy rewarding relationships with partners, friends, and family. But what do "healthy boundaries" really mean - and how can we successfully express our needs, say "no," and be assertive without offending others?

Licensed counselor, sought-after relationship expert, and one of the most influential therapists on Instagram Nedra Glover Tawwab demystifies this complex topic for today's world. In a…


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By Celia Haddon, Daniel Mills,

Book cover of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

Celia Haddon Author Of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Mad cat lady Love study Kitten rehabber

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What is my book about?

Being Your Cat takes you inside the mind and body of your feline. See what your cat sees. Feel how your cat runs or leaps high to get into the armchair. Discover how your cat feels and thinks.

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Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

By Celia Haddon, Daniel Mills,

What is this book about?

Ever wondered why your cat won't sit on your lap? Why she would suddenly watch the football on television, how she sees the world and what she thinks of you and your family?

Prepare to enter the mind of your cat and revolutionise the way you see the world and your enigmatic pet.

Bestselling cat author Celia Haddon and veterinary expert Dr Daniel Mills take you into the mind of your feline and, drawing on the latest scientific research, describe how your cat experiences the world. This is a unique book drawing on a wealth of veterinary science and studies,…


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