100 books like Heartbreak

By Ginette Paris,

Here are 100 books that Heartbreak fans have personally recommended if you like Heartbreak. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Mid-Life

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

I love the opening quote in this book. I’ve never, ever forgotten it since I turned the first page. It’s a quote from Dante’s Inferno: “Midway through life’s journey, I found myself lost in a dark wood, having lost the way.”

That’s exactly where I found myself when I started reading this book. Like millions of other people, I was lost when I found it. I was looking for someone or something–wiser than meto help me recognize that what I was going through in early midlife is actually a very normal, perhaps essential part of life’s journey.

By James Hollis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Author James Hollis' eloquent reading provides the listener with an accessible and yet profound understanding of a universal condition - or what is commonly referred to as the mid-life crisis. The book shows how we may travel this Middle Passage consciously, thereby rendering our lives more meaningful and the second half of life immeasurably richer.


Book cover of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

This book invited me to think about how we age and meet death in contemporary Western societies.

I have seen people close to me die. I watched as my grandma, then my grandpa, and then my father passed away. They each, in different ways, faced the brutal realities of growing old and they encountered a healthcare system that ultimately medicalized their death and the aging process–striving to ‘eek out’ more time, as though that was the only honorable thing to do.

Atul Gawande’s book really taught me to reflect critically on that.

By Atul Gawande,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Being Mortal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

'GAWANDE'S MOST POWERFUL, AND MOVING, BOOK' MALCOLM GLADWELL

'BEING MORTAL IS NOT ONLY WISE AND DEEPLY MOVING; IT IS AN ESSENTIAL AND INSIGHTFUL BOOK FOR OUR TIMES' OLIVER SACKS

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's…


Book cover of Atomised

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

I often feel like fiction "does" loneliness far better than nonfiction. This is because loneliness is so abstract and messy and the way that it is "lived" is often depicted more realistically in fiction.

I loved Michel Houllebecq’s novel because it’s a painfully beautiful portrayal of the ways that loneliness manifests in modern lives. The characters are achingly lonely in so many ways, and you can see yourself refracted in them as a contemporary human being.

By Michel Houellebecq, Frank Wynne (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Half-brothers Michel and Bruno have a mother in common but little else.

Michel is a molecular biologist, a thinker and idealist, a man with no erotic life to speak of and little in the way of human society.

Bruno, by contrast, is a libertine, though more in theory than in practice, his endless lust is all too rarely reciprocated.

Both are symptomatic members of our atomised society, where religion has given way to shallow 'new age' philosophies and love to meaningless sexual connections.

Atomised tells the stories of the two brothers, but the real subject of the novel is the…


Book cover of Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

I cried on behalf of all lobsters when I’d finished listening to the main essay, "Consider the Lobster," in this collection.

For me, it was a profound educational and emotional experience that jolted me into a deep sense of empathy for a creature I’d never really considered all that much up to now. 

By David Foster Wallace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This celebrated collection of essays from the author of Infinite Jest is "brilliantly entertaining...Consider the Lobster proves once more why Wallace should be regarded as this generation's best comic writer" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). 

Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike's deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person?

David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain's 2000 presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World's…


Book cover of Beginning to Heal: A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children

Donna Jenson Author Of Healing My Life: from Incest to Joy

From my list on pathways to healing from sexual abuse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer and advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. Since 1998, I have encouraged them to find their voice and use it through my organization, Time To Tell. Being isolated is foundational to our experience, and our culture perpetuates the isolation by often refusing to address it, acknowledge it, or expose it, as well as not listening tonor believing–survivors. This forces us to remain silent. I am certain that telling is healing. I lead writing circles for survivors to experience community and get support and encouragement. I recommend all these books not only for the wisdom offered but also the direct experience of not being alone in the reading.

Donna's book list on pathways to healing from sexual abuse

Donna Jenson Why did Donna love this book?

It wasn't until I believed healing was possible that I started to heal. It's a huge step, and this little book was perfect for helping me to start believing. It's very short but packed full of wonderful ideas, exercises, and tips. I love their list of things to do to express your anger.

Reading it gave me the first glimpse that I had a right to my anger—what a gift! The second part has stories from other survivors and how they got to healing, which are very inspiring. 

By Ellen Bass, Laura Davis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There's nothing as wonderful as starting to heal, waking up in the morning and knowing that nobody can hurt you if you don't let them.

Beginning to Heal offers hope and guidance for all survivors starting the healing journey. No matter how great your pain today, you can not only heal but thrive. Based on the authors' bestseller The Courage to Heal, this Revised Edition of Beginning to Heal takes you through the key stages of the healing process, from crisis times to breaking the silence, grief, and anger, to resolution and moving on. It includes inspirational highlights, clear explanations,…


Book cover of Spontaneous Healing: How to Discover and Enhance Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself

Brandon LaGreca Author Of Cancer, Stress & Mindset: Focusing the Mind to Empower Healing and Resilience

From my list on to read after a cancer diagnosis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 32 when diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a clinician, and now cancer survivor, I’ve become increasingly focused on empowering cancer patients through and beyond remission. Nearly two decades of clinical practice have taught me that an informed and committed patient makes better decisions about their care, harmoniously interfaces with their healthcare team, and stays focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve read countless books about cancer, but this list outlines the essentials that I recommend to patients beginning their healing journey.

Brandon's book list on to read after a cancer diagnosis

Brandon LaGreca Why did Brandon love this book?

The perennial classic on a healing mindset, legendary integrative medical doctor Andrew Weil, shares stories of natural healing with case studies covering many disparate health challenges, including a chapter dedicated to cancer. Dr. Weil reviews his eight-week program for optimal healing and how to avoid obstacles to wellness, such as medical pessimism and environmental toxins. Spontaneous Healing leaves little doubt that the body’s natural ability to heal can be enhanced when the power of the mind and spirit are properly leveraged.

By Andrew Weil,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this work Dr Andrew Weil aims to show how the the concept of spontaneous healing can change all our lives for the better. Examining the mechanisms and processes of the body's own healing system he describes the operation of this system and explains its interactions with the mind, its biological organization and its methods of self-diagnosis, self-repair and regeneration. Numerous case histories provide evidence of the success of spontaneous healing in dealing with serious medical conditions, ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer. Calling on his traditional training as a medical doctor, and his knowledge of alternative treatments,…


Book cover of Ancestral Tarot: Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future

Tania Pryputniewicz Author Of Heart's Compass Tarot

From my list on tarot improvisation for writers and artists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, tarot muse, and artist whose childhood experiences with vivid night-time dreams and a handful of years on a commune in the cornfields ignited my passion for exploring inner imagery. I read voraciously from science fiction to fairytales to channelings. I discovered tarot in my twenties, using it to read for others, mend my broken heart, and get squared away enough to apply to graduate school for poetry in the heartland at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Ever since, tarot is my favorite mirror for self-reflection. Author of two poetry collections, I wrote a workbook to help others apply the tarot in joyful, healing ways through writing and art.

Tania's book list on tarot improvisation for writers and artists

Tania Pryputniewicz Why did Tania love this book?

Because I love understanding the roots of my present by looking at my past, I loved using Nancy Hendrickson’s Ancestral Tarot exercises to begin a relationship with my own ancestors. Hendrickson defines types of ancestors (blood, place, and time) and suggests practical ways to connect. Journaling prompts encourage you to create a paper trail of your journey. Hendrickson gives us layouts and delves into tools (sigils, moon energy, pendulums runes, oracles). You can dive deep to look at patterns surrounding addiction, generational incarnations, DNA, and more. As soon as I brought this book into my home (while preparing to teach a class with it) I had a powerful and moving dream that connected me to a loving ancestor.

By Nancy Hendrickson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A practical, hands-on guide for using tarot to connect with your ancestors and gain access to their insights for healing, self-protection, and personal powers.

With a tarot deck in hand, readers will learn how to identify and access ancestral gifts, messages, powers, protectors, and healers.

Tarot expert Nancy Hendrickson guides readers through the basics of finding recent ancestors, and navigating the confusing maze of DNA and ethnic heritage. As a longtime tarot enthusiast, she shows readers how to incorporate a metaphysical tool into a world of tradition.

Ancestral Tarot spreads are included in relevant chapters. Each chapter includes three journal…


Book cover of Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Own Power, and Use It For Good

Laura E. Anderson Author Of When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High-Control Religion

From my list on why religious trauma is trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

My professional work has always been inspired by the personal journey I've gone on–which means that my interest in religious trauma stems from my own healing as well as client work and research. Previous research and therapeutic interventions have suggested atheism as a cure for religious trauma which is often unhelpful and can create just as much rigidity as someone experienced in a high control religion. I approach religious trauma as trauma–which means that resolving religious trauma can occur in the same ways that we use to resolve other trauma. Understanding religious trauma this way opens the door for a decrease in shame, more compassion towards self, and ultimately living a whole life.

Laura's book list on why religious trauma is trauma

Laura E. Anderson Why did Laura love this book?

I recommend this book time and time again because of the easy to understand trauma education as well as the practical exercises that guide the reader all the way through the trauma resolution process.

Whereas many books give tips and tricks on preparing someone to re-process their trauma, Kimberly gently guides and prepares the reader for resolving trauma on their own. Though the book is written for individuals born/socialized female, I believe this book is extremely helpful regardless of gender.

By Kimberly Ann Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From trauma educator and somatic guide Kimberly Ann Johnson comes a cutting-edge guide for tapping into the wisdom and resilience of the body to rewire the nervous system, heal from trauma, and live fully.

In an increasingly polarized world where trauma is often publicly renegotiated, our nervous systems are on high alert. From skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety to physical illnesses such as autoimmune diseases and digestive disorders, many women today find themselves living out of alignment with their bodies.

Kimberly Johnson is a somatic practitioner, birth doula, and postpartum educator who specializes in helping women recover from all…


Book cover of How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self

Shannah Kennedy and Colleen Callander Author Of Elevate: Unlock Your Extraordinary Potential

From my list on that will change your life.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are thrilled to present this carefully curated book list. As passionate advocates for leadership, self-mastery, and health and well-being, we have handpicked these titles to inspire and empower individuals on their journey toward personal and professional growth. Each book within this collection resonates with principles that we believe are pivotal for fostering resilience, achieving self-mastery, and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Whether you're seeking leadership insights, self-help guidance, or ways to enhance your overall well-being, these books offer a diverse range of perspectives and actionable strategies. We hope this collection becomes a valuable resource for you on your path to personal excellence. – Colleen Callander & Shannah Kennedy. 

Shannah's book list on that will change your life

Shannah Kennedy and Colleen Callander Why did Shannah love this book?

This book is a fabulous read, as I am incredibly interested and passionate about understanding spirituality and psychology for leadership and living in the modern day. I also love a book that invites the reader to reflect and delve into self-awareness, which is the most powerful way we find our base and can begin to work with our own internal narratives and behaviours.

As a high-performing human being, this book highlights again the incredible importance of mindfulness, with practical tools for healing in this fast-paced world we live in. I can never get enough of this practice, and this book was a great and empowering read for me, adding to my own personal roadmap for life.

By Nicole LePera,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Do the Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'My favourite Instagram account in the world.' Dr Rangan Chatterjee

'If LePera's Instagram feed is full of aha moments illuminating the inner workings of your psyche, the revelations in the book are more like a full firework display.' Red magazine

'This book is a must-read for anyone on a path of personal growth.' GABBY BERNSTEIN, author of number one New York Times bestsellers Super Attractor and The Universe Has Your Back

'The book I wish I had read in my twenties.' ELIZABETH DAY, author of How to Fail

'How to…


Book cover of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity

Rebecca E. Williams Author Of The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger That Trigger Addictive Behaviors, 2nd Edition

From my list on ridiculously simple self-care in addiction recovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a psychologist, an award-winning author, and a yoga and meditation devotee. Growing up in the Bronx, New York I saw firsthand the devastating impact addiction can have on individuals and families. That is why I have dedicated my professional life to understanding and supporting people recovering from addiction, mental illness, and life's challenges. I’m also the co-author of The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction, which offers lots of strategies to manage daily stressors. I wholeheartedly believe there is a path back to wellness. It takes a foundation of self-compassion and daily focus on your healing. You deserve to be healthy and happy.

Rebecca's book list on ridiculously simple self-care in addiction recovery

Rebecca E. Williams Why did Rebecca love this book?

If you desire to be well this is the first step on the journey. Dr. Saundra is a truly kind and compassionate doctor. She guides us through the tough issues of not taking proper care of ourselves and offers inspiration on how to give us a soft place to rest. She gives us action steps we can do every day to reclaim our emotional, physical, and spiritual health. I was thrilled to be an invited guest on her ground-breaking I Choose My Best Life podcast to talk about resilience and recovery from addiction. I hope you love this book as much as I did!

By Saundra Dalton-Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested-now there's a challenge.

How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In SACRED REST, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have…


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