My favorite books for women to grow in recovery

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and have been helping addicts thrive in recovery since 2009. My first book, The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction, has sold over 70,000 copies and been published in several countries. Books can offer inspiration, comfort, support, and relief during recovery. In my writing, as in my work with clients, I hope to offer a path to greater fulfillment and joy after addiction.

I wrote...

The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction

By Rebecca E. Williams, Julie S. Kraft,

Book cover of The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction

What is my book about?

If you're recovering from addiction, The Gift of Recovery offers quick, in-the-moment tips and tricks to help you cope with daily stress and stay firmly on the path to wellness. With this gentle, easy-to-use guide, you’ll learn how to navigate relationships, take time for self-care, and build a mindful, sustainable, and joyful recovery.

Deciding to get help for addiction is the first step toward recovery. But addiction recovery doesn’t happen all at once—it’s something that must be worked for, every day. Sometimes, it will be easy. When things are going well, you may not be tempted to give in to your cravings. But when life is stressful, you’ll need strategies to help you cope.
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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types

Julie S. Kraft Why did I love this book?

I love the gentle blend of spirituality and psychology in the Enneagram. I think it is the most accurate of the personality types, usually offering profound insights into how we all tick. The nine personality types are mapped out in deep detail in this book, with sections on childhood patterns, social and sexual instincts, fears, red flags, and more. If you are looking for deeper self-awareness, with guidance on how to access the best parts of yourself and avoid your stumbling blocks in recovery, this is the book. Learning about my “type” gave me great understanding of how I move through the world. 

By Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first definitive guide to using the wisdom of the enneagram for spiritual and psychological growth

The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today's most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world's foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for personal transformation and development. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life.

The Wisdom of the Enneagram includes:

Two highly accurate questionnaires…

Book cover of The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

Julie S. Kraft Why did I love this book?

I can’t overstate how much I learned from this book. I used to avoid anger at all costs. I was suffering from “nice lady syndrome.” Now I have come to see anger as a terrific little alarm system, letting me know a boundary of mine has been crossed. Like all emotions, as well as being temporary and tolerable it is a guide. I can listen to it and learn from it. I recommend The Dance of Anger to clients who experience discomfort with anger in general, marital problems, stressful in-law situations… the list goes on. If anger has been a trigger for your addiction, or you wonder how to deal with anger in recovery, this book is for you. 

By Harriet Lerner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fresh new jacket design brings this classic self-help guide up to date for a contemporary readership. One of the forerunners to today's pop psych market along with Women Who Love Too Much, this multimillion bestseller shows us how anger affects women's relationships and explains how to turn this often destructive force into a constructive one.

For many women, anger is a destructive force that perpetuates all the harmful dynamics of their most intimate relationships.

This classic, inspirational book from internationally respected feminist psychologist Harriet Lerner explores the ways in which anger can lead into a destructive 'dance' within women's…

Book cover of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Julie S. Kraft Why did I love this book?

Like every book on my list, I did a lot of underlining and scribbling in the margins when I read The Four Agreements. For me, there are fundamental truths in this small, simple book. “Find your voice to ask for what you want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask” (p. 72). “Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be” (p. 19). “You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you” (p. 60). It can be challenging to “find your voice” as a woman, especially in recovery from addiction when guilt, shame, and relationship challenges can complicate things even further.  I found the insights in this book easy to grasp and to use.

By Don Miguel Ruiz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

•  A New York Times bestseller for over a decade
•  Translated into 46 languages worldwide
“This book by don Miguel Ruiz, simple yet so powerful, has made a tremendous difference in how I think and act in every encounter.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Don Miguel Ruiz’s…

Book cover of Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

Julie S. Kraft Why did I love this book?

So many women in recovery from addiction have also experienced disordered eating. The food behaviors might exist alongside your other addiction, be your primary concern, or emerge in recovery as a new attempt to cope with the feelings that are left behind. Geneen Roth is, in my opinion, the guru of emotional eating recovery. All of her many books are worth exploring, but I chose this one because of its deeply spiritual message. While she doesn’t use the word “mindfulness” explicitly, Roth encourages a mindful relationship with food and with your body: “Because when you evoke curiosity and openness with a lack of judgment, you align yourself with beauty and delight and love—for their own sake” (p. 106).

By Geneen Roth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Embraced by Oprah, the #1 New York Times bestselling guide that explains the connection between eating and emotion from Geneen Roth—noted authority on mindful eating.

No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all.

After three decades of studying, teaching, and writing about our compulsions with food, bestselling author Geneen Roth adds a powerful new dimension to her work in Women Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: the way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror…

Book cover of Eat Pray Love

Julie S. Kraft Why did I love this book?

I’m afraid this one might have lost its luster after they turned it into a mediocre film. I think it is still worth all the hype it got when it came out! Elizabeth Gilbert has a warm, engaging writing style, and I love any writer (and person) who can be honest about the good, bad, and ugly of a human life. This is a wonderful story of self-exploration and the many paths available to grow our spiritual lives. 

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Eat Pray Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________ OVER 15 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE _________________ 'Eat, Pray, Love has been passed from woman to woman like the secret of life' - Sunday Times 'A defining work of memoir' - Sunday Telegraph 'Engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining' - Time _________________ It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own…

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The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

Book cover of The Unproposed Guy

Bhavik Sarkhedi Author Of The Unproposed Guy

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Wanderlust Film Aficionado Bibliophile Solo Traveler Movie Buff

Bhavik's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Unproposed Guy is a captivating journey through the life of Kevin, a character stuck in a mundane existence and unfulfilling relationships, who discovers his passion for stand-up comedy and rapping amidst an existential crisis.

This contemporary fiction is peppered with humor, sarcasm, and poignant insights into modern relationships and societal expectations. Kevin's struggles and transformations offer a unique blend of comedy and emotional depth, making it a must-read for those seeking a fresh, humorous perspective on love, life, and self-discovery. Dive into Kevin's character of failed relationship and who portrays himself as "Every guy's best friend and every girl's worst nightmare".

The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

What is this book about?

There has been no significant change in the life of Kevin—a monotonous routine, ordinary family, and miserably failing relationships—until he finds out he is going through something abnormal: 'Existential Crisis'.

He has always been a marvellous entertainer, but has a mysterious way of putting off girls. The talent in him is growing creatively, and abundantly, but his inability to impress a girl keeps pulling him down slowly. He realises he can be any guy’s best friend, but he also seems to be every girl’s worst nightmare.

Hop onto the rollercoaster journey of Kevin’s life, as he navigates through mocking friends…

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