The best books for women to grow in recovery

Julie S. Kraft Author Of The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction
By Julie S. Kraft

Who am I?

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.

The books I picked & why

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

By Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson,

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

Why 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. 

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

By Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson,

Why should I read it?

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


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

By Harriet Lerner,

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

Why 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. 

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

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…


The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

By Don Miguel Ruiz,

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

Why 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.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

By Don Miguel Ruiz,

Why should I read it?

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


Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

By Geneen Roth,

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

Why 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).

Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

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.


Eat Pray Love

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Book cover of Eat Pray Love

Why 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. 

Eat Pray Love

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

3 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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