100 books like How Emotions Are Made

By Lisa Feldman Barrett,

Here are 100 books that How Emotions Are Made fans have personally recommended if you like How Emotions Are Made. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Immaculata De Vivo Author Of The Biology of Kindness: Six Daily Choices for Health, Well-Being, and Longevity

From my list on the science behind our current behavior and health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m reading books that are centered on science and behavior and health. After decades of research on the interplay between genes and the environment, I had a strong foothold on the genetic part, but I needed to understand the environment part to make any sense of it all. This research has broadened my horizons exponentially. We know that genes are immutable, for the most part… but parts of the genome are mutable—and we can shape our lifestyle/behavior to improve our health. 

Immaculata's book list on the science behind our current behavior and health

Immaculata De Vivo Why did Immaculata love this book?

Van der Kolk argues that trauma is one of the West’s most urgent public health issues. The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse, and war wreaks havoc on our bodies.

Over time, traumatic stress is associated with lasting functional and chemical changes in the brain. But healing is still possible.

By Bessel Van Der Kolk,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked The Body Keeps the Score as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestseller

"Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society." -Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der…

Book cover of The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep

Lynne Malcolm Author Of All In The Mind: Fascinating, inspiring and transformative stories from the forefront of brain science

From my list on psychology of the human experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a science journalist and broadcaster with a degree in Psychology and a deep passion and fascination for people, their behavior, and the workings of the human mind.  For nine years, I produced and presented the popular Australian ABC radio program and podcast, All in the Mind, in which I explored a range of topics, including neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, cognitive science, mental health, and human behavior. I’ve received numerous media awards and contributed to media award judging panels. All in the Mind - fascinating, inspiring, and transformative stories from the forefront of brain science is my first book. I continue to write and communicate about the topics I am inspired by. 

Lynne's book list on psychology of the human experience

Lynne Malcolm Why did Lynne love this book?

I love this book because I am a very prolific dreamer. Dreams intrigue me, and I am fascinated by all aspects of what happens in the brain when we sleep. I found myself completely engaged in the compassionate stories based on the author’s (neurologist and sleep physician) case studies of his patients.

This book helped me to explore what happens to our brains at night. I discovered that even if they're fully asleep, some people go sleepwalking or even sleep driving! And some people act out their dreams to a terrifying extent. I loved reading about the neuroscience of nightmares, dreaming, and nighttime hallucinations—and what they can tell us about the workings of our brain.

By Guy Leschziner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A renowned neurologist shares the true stories of people unable to get a good night’s rest in The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep, a fascinating exploration of the symptoms and syndromes behind sleep disorders.

For Dr. Guy Leschziner’s patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, apnea, and sleepwalking are just a sampling of conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep—and their experiences in trying are the stuff of nightmares. Demoniac hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepless and their sleeping partners with unpredictable…

Book cover of The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling

Joanne B. Ciulla Author Of The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work

From my list on reads when your job is ruining your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

At one point in my life, I took Ph.D. classes in the morning, taught philosophy in the afternoon, and tended bar at night. I was always working, and money was tight. Then, one day at a faculty meeting, my colleagues and I discussed developing an appealing new course. I suggested one on the philosophy of work and ended up teaching it and writing my dissertation on work and moral values. I loved teaching the class to the part-time students. They came to class straight from work and shared their experiences. Those students taught me more about work than any book in the library. Years later, I wrote The Working Life.

Joanne's book list on reads when your job is ruining your life

Joanne B. Ciulla Why did Joanne love this book?

This book explains why, even though you don’t do physical labor, you’re exhausted at the end of the workday. It’s because jobs that involve interacting with the public require emotional labor. You must act your part and put on your work face. Hochschild’s research examines the toll that things like having to smile and being nice to obnoxious, insulting people can take on a person.

By Arlie Russell Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In private life, we try to induce or suppress love, envy, and anger through deep acting or "emotion work", just as we manage our outer expressions of feeling through surface acting. In trying to bridge a gap between what we feel and what we "ought" to feel, we take guidance from "feeling rules" about what is owing to others in a given situation. Based on our private mutual understandings of feeling rules, we make a "gift exchange" of acts of emotion management. We bow to each other not simply from the waist, but from the heart. But what occurs when…

Book cover of The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn't Working Today

Karla McLaren Author Of The Language of Emotions

From my list on to help you develop emotional badassery.

Why am I passionate about this?

Emotions, we’ve all been told, are less than: less than logic, or spirituality, or anything else, really. Yet no matter how smart, spiritual, or talented people are, they can be brought to their knees by an emotion they don’t understand. Emotions have been thrown into the shadow, yet in the shadow lives immense power, so I dedicated my life to finding the power in the emotional realm. It’s been a magnificent adventure because our emotions contain genius, and they’re a part of everything we think and everything we do. Emotions aren’t less than anything; emotions are everything, and I’m so glad that they’ve welcomed me into their world.

Karla's book list on to help you develop emotional badassery

Karla McLaren Why did Karla love this book?

We live with so many toxic myths about happiness, and many of these myths come from books about happiness! The Happiness Myth steps up to defend happiness from all the nonsense. It’s a rollicking and often-hilarious tour through the history of human happiness, full of surprises and strange-but-true ideas to ponder. 

Historian and poet Jennifer Michael Hecht challenges our current certainties in this irreverent and well-researched exploration of what our ancestors (and we!) need to live happy lives. She’s a wonderful and witty person to spend time with, and she’ll help you become more intelligent about the true and everlasting nature of human happiness. Happy now?

By Jennifer Michael Hecht,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Historian Jennifer Michael Hecht looks at contemporary happiness advice, explains why much of it doesn't work, and why it drives us crazy and makes us miserable. Using a social/pop-culture look at the world, she begins her inquiry through the lens of today's most oft perused paths towards attaining happiness - money, mood-managing drugs, knowledge, celebration, and bodies - and then reveals unsuspected insights about how these approaches have faired throughout history. With a new-found historical perspective, Hecht liberates us from the scolding, quasi-scientific messages that insist there's only one way to care for our minds and bodies. Rich with anecdotes…

Book cover of The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

Anna E. Hampton Author Of Facing Danger: A Guide Through Risk

From my list on navigate danger in humanitarian work.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went to Afghanistan under the first Taliban government as a humanitarian aid worker. During the following decade, I experienced inadequate emotional, mental, and theological support from those who had sent me out. I began to research the field of risk and found a wealth of literature on how humans make decisions, how we see (or don’t see) danger, how to manage risk and fear, and more. We ignore the best practices and common sense of these fields to our peril. I am passionate about helping people not feel isolated and alone when they choose to serve in dangerous situations.

Anna's book list on navigate danger in humanitarian work

Anna E. Hampton Why did Anna love this book?

Reading this book a second time, I felt my anger growing from a lifetime of hearing the Church’s teaching on fear: “Ignore it.” This is at least negligence and, at worst, abuse. De Becker makes it abundantly clear that we should listen to our fear (he differentiates it from anxiety) and learn to trust the inner voice (intuition).

We are “experts” in our situation, and he skillfully showed me how to listen to myself and see the signs of danger. I realize I need to re-read the final chapter to integrate the common wisdom of knowing myself, seeing danger, and understanding how fear works. It is possible to have faith in God, manage my fear, and more likely avoid violence without resorting to trite spiritual naivete or blind faith in God.

By Gavin de Becker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the US' leading expert on violent behaviour, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger - before it's too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including: how to act when approached by a stranger; when you should fear someone close to you; what to do if you are being stalked; how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls;…

Book cover of Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature

Jon Marro Author Of The Keepers of Color: A Creative Hero's Journey Into the World Within

From my list on to help you become unafraid of the dark.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I could hold a crayon, I was drawing. I often don’t know how I truly feel about something until I make art about it. Led by imagination and curiosity, I'm a seasoned traveler in liminal spaces and love guiding people between the mystical and the mundane. With 20-plus years of experience as an Artist and Creative Director, I've discovered that solutions to any problem can be found through triumphs in imagination and a willingness to view the situation from a different perspective. By peeking into my own shadow, darkness, and hidden places, I've gained a profound reverence for the human soul and deeper compassion for what it is to be alive.

Jon's book list on to help you become unafraid of the dark

Jon Marro Why did Jon love this book?

I feel like this book was the best college course I never got to take. Meeting The Shadow is a collection of essays from psychologists, therapists, scholars, and artists who have scoured the depths of the psyche. I love the work of Carl Jung, but I’ve found it quite difficult to parse through entire books of his. This book however, by drawing from such a diverse group of thinkers makes shadow work incredibly accessible, captivating, and illuminating. It is also formatted into specific sections like Emotional Suppression, Sexuality, The Dark Side of Spirituality, The Psychology of Evil, The Shadow of Politics, Dream Analysis, Shadow in Gender, and Owning Your Dark Side Through Art & Creativity. There’s something for everyone in here, every chapter a dark and alluring cave inviting you to explore its harrowing and majestic landscape. I can’t recommend this book enough for anyone being called to look within…or…

By Connie Zweig, Jeremiah Abrams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author offers exploration of self and practical guidance dealing with the dark side of personality based on Jung's concept of "shadow," or the forbidden and unacceptable feelings and behaviors each of us experience.

Book cover of The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions

Rob Boddice Author Of The History of Emotions

From my list on what your emotions are and where they come from.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian of emotions, science, and medicine, with more than a decade of experience in meddling in other scientific affairs, especially in the worlds of psychology and neuroscience. I’m fascinated by human emotions in part, at least, because I feel we’re living in a crude emotional age. I’ve worked in five different countries since gaining my PhD in 2005. In that time I’ve written or edited 14 books of historical non-fiction, as well as dozens of articles and reviews. You can freely read my work in Aeon or History Today. I live between Canada (my adopted country) and Finland, where I frequently lament the loss of my European citizenship.

Rob's book list on what your emotions are and where they come from

Rob Boddice Why did Rob love this book?

This was my entry point to emotion research, as it is for many others. Reddy’s work is of seismic importance to me and for most of the people I know. It is largely responsible for making the field in which I now work, or at least for making other people take it seriously.

Up until this book came out, there was nothing that could compare in terms of its theoretical sophistication and its careful application. I go back to this book again and again, for support, clarity, and direction. It is, probably, the most thumbed thing I own.

By William M. Reddy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions, William M. Reddy offers a theory of emotions which both critiques and expands upon recent research in the fields of anthropology and psychology. Exploring the links between emotion and cognition, between culture and emotional expression, Reddy applies this theory of emotions to the processes of history. He demonstrates how emotions change over time, how emotions have a very important impact on the course of events, and how different social orders either facilitate or constrain emotional life. In an investigation of Revolutionary France, where sentimentalism in literature and philosophy…

Book cover of The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

Melanie McNally Author Of The Emotionally Intelligent Teen: Skills to Help You Deal with What You Feel, Build Stronger Relationships, and Boost Self-Confidence

From my list on revolutionize your life from a personal development enthusiast.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always looked to books for support, even as a child when in need of comfort from my parents’ constant fighting. As I became older, I looked for ways to build stress resilience and optimism, so it was only natural that I would turn to books again. I would spend hours in libraries and bookstores reading the self-help books. I eventually went on to get a master’s degree in counseling and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, each providing plenty of opportunity to expand my collection. I now write my own self-help books and cherish the idea of giving someone else the support I once so desperately needed.

Melanie's book list on revolutionize your life from a personal development enthusiast

Melanie McNally Why did Melanie love this book?

I thought I had a fairly strong understanding of how the mind works until I read this book!

I was blown away to learn how our thoughts, feelings, and actions are impacted by our environments, movements, and others.

Not only was it informative, I learned how to change things up immediately so that I’m more in tune with my body and know what I need to do to think more clearly and focused.

By Annie Murphy Paul,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Extended Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Washington Post Best Nonfiction Book of 2021
A New York Times Notable Book

A bold new book reveals how we can tap the intelligence that exists beyond our brains—in our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships

Use your head.
That’s what we tell ourselves when facing a tricky problem or a difficult project. But a growing body of research indicates that we’ve got it exactly backwards. What we need to do, says acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul, is think outside the brain. A host of “extra-neural” resources—the feelings and movements of our…

Book cover of Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

Charisse Cooke Author Of The Attachment Solution: How to develop secure, strong and lasting relationships

From my list on how to create a great relationship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fortunate enough to meet my husband over 17 years ago, and we have packed a lot of life in since then. Along with two kids and a dog, we’ve had our fair share of tough moments: financial challenges, bereavement, family issues, marital disagreement, and traumatic life events that taught me just as much as my two decades-long career as a relationship psychotherapist has. This, combined with working with individuals, couples, and partners in search of what love means and how to practically go about achieving it, has clarified for me just how much we all need tools and teachings when it comes to matters of the heart.

Charisse's book list on how to create a great relationship

Charisse Cooke Why did Charisse love this book?

This book exploded my (at that stage–limited) understanding of relationships and might have even inspired me to become a therapist. It highlighted for me how complex human dynamics are and how vital it is for us to have self-awareness and stay accountable in our partnerships.

It was so ahead of its time, tackling subjects like people-pleasing and gaslighting long before they were a thing. Groundbreaking when it came out in 1986, it is still relevant today and a true classic. I have recommended this book countless times to clients and friends alike and return to it often for Melody Beattie’s compassion, wisdom, guidance, and clarity.

By Melody Beattie,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Codependent No More as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is someone else's problem your problem? If, like so many others, you've lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else's, you may be codependent--and you may find yourself in this book.

The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America's best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency--charting the path to freedom and a lifetime…

Book cover of Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Sarah Rose Cavanagh Author Of Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge

From my list on help us face our monsters and embrace mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

Three biographical facts that well equip me to write about both monsters and mental health: I am a psychologist who researches, writes, and teaches about emotions, learning, and quality of life. I am also someone who suffers from panic disorder. I am also someone who enjoys interacting with the world of the dark and spooky, in part to tame my internal fears. I think that many of us use fiction in general and horror in particular as a sandbox of sorts—a safe place where we can expose ourselves to our fears, to test out scenarios, and to explore hidden parts of our psyche.

Sarah's book list on help us face our monsters and embrace mental health

Sarah Rose Cavanagh Why did Sarah love this book?

Much of my book focuses on educational approaches to supporting youth mental health, and Hammond’s is one of my favorite books on how to construct a classroom that honors and celebrates all the diverse voices in the room, and how to do so through what she (and others) call being a “warm demander.”

The book is inspirational, important, and wise. I revisit it often.

By Zaretta L. Hammond,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold, brain-based teaching approach to culturally responsive instruction

The achievement gap remains a stubborn problem for educators of culturally and linguistically diverse students. With the introduction of the rigorous Common Core State Standards, diverse classrooms need a proven framework for optimizing student engagement and facilitating deeper learning

Culturally responsive pedagogy has shown great promise in meeting this need, but many educators still struggle with its implementation. In this book, Zaretta Hammond draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction.

The book includes:

Information on how one's culture programs the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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