100 books like Sick Enough

By Jennifer L. Gaudiani,

Here are 100 books that Sick Enough fans have personally recommended if you like Sick Enough. 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 Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

Caroline Heldman Author Of The Sexy Lie: The War on Women’s Bodies and How to Fight Back

From my list on stop worrying about your body.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child raised in abject rural poverty and homeschooled in a Pentecostal Evangelical household, my intense experiences of sexism at home and church piqued my early interest in gender justice. As a Women’s Studies professor, my work centers on how social norms perpetuate patriarchy. Decades of research on body hatred has convinced me that anti-fat bias is a pressing social justice issue that harms us all. These books, especially if read in order, bust myths of fatness, unpack the racist origins of fatphobia, provide a chilling look at the personal wounds inflicted by anti-fat bias, and provide practical tools to reject the body hatred that plagues women by design. 

Caroline's book list on stop worrying about your body

Caroline Heldman Why did Caroline love this book?

Fearing the Black Body is a startling expose of how historical racism has shaped today’s fatphobia.

Historian Sabrina Strings offers a rousing account of how fat bodies have been valued differently over time, and why. During the Renaissance, women with plump physiques were the epitome of beauty, but fatness lost its luster when it was linked to Blackness during the 1700s with the expansion of slavery.

The cultural arbiters of the time—popular art, women’s magazines, and the medical establishment—promoted thinness as the new beauty standard for white women, a vehicle for moral superiority over Black women who were stereotyped as plump, greedy, and lazy.

History books are sometimes a drag, but this is a real page turner. It will also make you feel mighty mad about the culturally constructed racist origins of today’s anti-fat bias. 

By Sabrina Strings,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Fearing the Black Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner, 2020 Body and Embodiment Best Publication Award, given by the American Sociological Association
Honorable Mention, 2020 Sociology of Sex and Gender Distinguished Book Award, given by the American Sociological Association
How the female body has been racialized for over two hundred years
There is an obesity epidemic in this country and poor black women are particularly stigmatized as "diseased" and a burden on the public health care system. This is only the most recent incarnation of the fear of fat black women, which Sabrina Strings shows took root more than two hundred years ago.
Strings weaves together an eye-opening…


Book cover of The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

Kara Loewentheil Author Of Take Back Your Brain: How a Sexist Society Gets in Your Head--and How to Get It Out

From my list on women to feel confident, powerful, and brave.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a professional feminist since I had a profession. I spent the first half of my career advocating for women's equality as a reproductive rights attorney and academic. I’ve spent the second half teaching women how to liberate themselves from the inside out as a feminist mindset coach, host of the UnF*ck Your Brain podcast, and founder of The School of New Feminist Thought. These books were all crucial in helping me create more confidence and more power to impact the course of my own life, and I know they will help you do the same. 

Kara's book list on women to feel confident, powerful, and brave

Kara Loewentheil Why did Kara love this book?

As someone living in a bigger body, it has taken a lot of active reframing and rewiring to learn to love my body. This book was a huge resource for me in that process. This book introduced me to the concept of “radical self-love” and helped me see some of how I was subconsciously (and consciously) believing that my body was already bad, a problem, not enough, and something I needed to apologize for or be grateful for anyone choosing.

What I also love about this book is that it helps us recognize the ways in which we already have what we need inside of us—we just have to learn how to listen to our own internal radical self-love instead of striving to “fix” ourselves based on what other people tell us we should be. 

By Sonya Renee Taylor,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Body Is Not an Apology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"To build a world that works for everyone, we must first make the radical decision to love every facet of ourselves...'The body is not an apology' is the mantra we should all embrace." 
--Kimberlé Crenshaw, legal scholar and founder and Executive Director, African American Policy Forum 

"Taylor invites us to break up with shame, to deepen our literacy, and to liberate our practice of celebrating every body and never apologizing for this body that is mine and takes care of me so well."
--Alicia Garza, cocreator of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and Strategy + Partnerships Director, National Domestic…


Book cover of 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience

Karyn D. Hall Author Of The Radically Open DBT Workbook for Eating Disorders: From Overcontrol and Loneliness to Recovery and Connection

From my list on recovery from eating disorders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in psychological health since I was in high school and continue to search for interventions and preventions to alleviate mental illness and build mental health. I’m a licensed psychologist and coach focusing on evidenced based treatments, with a special interest in how people connect and the impact of loneliness. Despite a growing population, more people are feeling lonely, including adolescents, and loneliness can often be a root cause of mental suffering. Loneliness is common among individuals with anorexia and other eating disorders as well as chronic depression. Addressing how to connect and how they may be blocking connections can be a complicated but needed process. My work is focused in this area.

Karyn's book list on recovery from eating disorders

Karyn D. Hall Why did Karyn love this book?

This book gives the perspective of a therapist and a former client who is now a therapist herself. 

This book can create realistic hope and includes self-disclosures of the author’s own experiences. The authors recognize that eating disorders serve a purpose and it’s not about food. They also emphasize the importance of reaching out to people which is a key factor for recovery.

By Carolyn Costin, Gwen Schubert Grabb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is no ordinary book on how to overcome an eating disorder. The authors bravely share their unique stories of suffering from and eventually overcoming their own severe eating disorders. Interweaving personal narrative with the perspective of their own therapist-client relationship, their insights bring an unparalleled depth of awareness into just what it takes to successfully beat this challenging and seemingly intractable clinical issue.

For anyone who has suffered, their family and friends, and other helping professionals, this book should be by your side. With great compassion and clinical expertise, Costin and Grabb walk readers through the ins and outs…


Book cover of The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life

Karyn D. Hall Author Of The Radically Open DBT Workbook for Eating Disorders: From Overcontrol and Loneliness to Recovery and Connection

From my list on recovery from eating disorders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in psychological health since I was in high school and continue to search for interventions and preventions to alleviate mental illness and build mental health. I’m a licensed psychologist and coach focusing on evidenced based treatments, with a special interest in how people connect and the impact of loneliness. Despite a growing population, more people are feeling lonely, including adolescents, and loneliness can often be a root cause of mental suffering. Loneliness is common among individuals with anorexia and other eating disorders as well as chronic depression. Addressing how to connect and how they may be blocking connections can be a complicated but needed process. My work is focused in this area.

Karyn's book list on recovery from eating disorders

Karyn D. Hall Why did Karyn love this book?

Eating disorder behaviors often reflect a coping skills deficit and this workbook focuses on skills to manage emotions and address the issue of a need to be in control. This workbook offers new ways to overcome distress and negative body image beliefs that keep you stuck in a destructive cycle. This workbook uses multiple exercises to help you learn and practice skills rather than just understanding skills, which makes a difference. 

By Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher, Michael Maslar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the root of bulimia is a need to feel in control. While purging is a strategy for controlling weight, bingeing is an attempt to calm depression, stress, shame, and even boredom. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia offers new and healthy ways to overcome the distressing feelings and negative body-image beliefs that keep you trapped in this cycle.

In this powerful program used by therapists, you'll learn four key skill sets-mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness-and begin using them right away to manage bulimic urges. The book includes worksheets and exercises designed to help you…


Book cover of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

Karyn D. Hall Author Of The Radically Open DBT Workbook for Eating Disorders: From Overcontrol and Loneliness to Recovery and Connection

From my list on recovery from eating disorders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in psychological health since I was in high school and continue to search for interventions and preventions to alleviate mental illness and build mental health. I’m a licensed psychologist and coach focusing on evidenced based treatments, with a special interest in how people connect and the impact of loneliness. Despite a growing population, more people are feeling lonely, including adolescents, and loneliness can often be a root cause of mental suffering. Loneliness is common among individuals with anorexia and other eating disorders as well as chronic depression. Addressing how to connect and how they may be blocking connections can be a complicated but needed process. My work is focused in this area.

Karyn's book list on recovery from eating disorders

Karyn D. Hall Why did Karyn love this book?

Our survival and health depends on the food we eat, yet so many have a conflicted relationship with food. In Mindful Eating, the author helps the reader regain joy in eating through eating mindfully. She discusses the nine types of hunger as well as six guidelines for mindful eating. A Zen teacher, her writing is clear and easy to understand. 

By Jan Chozen Bays,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Turn food from foe to friend with this bestselling guide to developing healthy eating habits through mindfulness practices—from a beloved Zen teacher

Food. It should be one of life’s great pleasures, yet many of us have such a conflicted relationship with it that we miss out on that most basic of satisfactions.  But it is possible—and not really all that difficult—to reclaim the joy of eating, according to Dr. Jan Bays. Mindfulness is the key. Her approach involves bringing one's full attention to the process of eating—to all the tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings that arise during a meal. She…


Book cover of Decoding Anorexia: How Breakthroughs in Science Offer Hope for Eating Disorders

Karyn D. Hall Author Of The Radically Open DBT Workbook for Eating Disorders: From Overcontrol and Loneliness to Recovery and Connection

From my list on recovery from eating disorders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in psychological health since I was in high school and continue to search for interventions and preventions to alleviate mental illness and build mental health. I’m a licensed psychologist and coach focusing on evidenced based treatments, with a special interest in how people connect and the impact of loneliness. Despite a growing population, more people are feeling lonely, including adolescents, and loneliness can often be a root cause of mental suffering. Loneliness is common among individuals with anorexia and other eating disorders as well as chronic depression. Addressing how to connect and how they may be blocking connections can be a complicated but needed process. My work is focused in this area.

Karyn's book list on recovery from eating disorders

Karyn D. Hall Why did Karyn love this book?

In Decoding Anorexia, a past sufferer of anorexia and a scientist, discusses the neuroscience and biology that underlies the disorder. She notes the reasons for the call to starvation and the characteristics of the people who are at risk for this disorder. She demystifies the disorder by offering a clear science-based explanation that includes the biological and environmental factors that can lead to the disorder. Understanding biology can be helpful in understanding the ups and downs of recovery and why it’s a difficult journey.

By Carrie Arnold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Decoding Anorexia is the first and only book to explain anorexia nervosa from a biological point of view. Its clear, user-friendly descriptions of the genetics and neuroscience behind the disorder is paired with first person descriptions and personal narratives of what biological differences mean to sufferers. Author Carrie Arnold, a trained scientist, science writer, and past sufferer of anorexia, speaks with clinicians, researchers, parents, other family members, and sufferers about the factors that make one vulnerable to anorexia, the neurochemistry behind the call of starvation, and why it's so hard to leave anorexia behind. She also addresses:
* How environment…


Book cover of It's Always Been Ours: Rewriting the Story of Black Women's Bodies

Jenna Hollenstein Author Of Intuitive Eating for Life: How Mindfulness Can Deepen and Sustain Your Intuitive Eating Practice

From my list on reality-check your relationship with food and body.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m obsessed with the connections between Buddhist philosophy, meditation, Intuitive Eating, eating disorder and addiction recovery, body liberation, and intersectional social justice work. These connections are everywhere! It may not seem like it, but how we relate to food and our bodies reflects how we feel about all bodies. How we speak to ourselves reflects how we feel about difference, difficulty, and interdependence. Challenging our entrenched beliefs about health, eating, food, and body helps us to ultimately recognize the inherent worthiness of all bodies. This is how we both come to know ourselves authentically and how we change the world for the better. 

Jenna's book list on reality-check your relationship with food and body

Jenna Hollenstein Why did Jenna love this book?

Jessica Wilson, an eating disorder dietitian and storyteller, makes the undeniable case for how the diet culture has preyed on and harmed Black women in particular.

I appreciate her excavation of diet culture, revealing how it is rooted in white supremacy and therefore needs to be systematically dismantled through intentional expressions of body love, joyful expression of Black culture, and embracing your food lineage. 

By Jessica Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It's Always Been Ours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WE WILL REWRITE THE NARARTIVE OF BLACKNESS THAT CENTERS AND CELEBRATES OUR JOY.

In It’s Always Been Ours eating disorder specialist and storyteller Jessica Wilson challenges us to rethink what having a "good" body means in contemporary society. By centering the bodies of Black women in her cultural discussions of body image, food, health, and wellness, Wilson argues that we can interrogate white supremacy’s hold on us and reimagine the ways we think about, discuss, and tend to our bodies.

A narrative that spans the year of racial reckoning (that wasn't), It’s Always Been Ours is an incisive blend of…


Book cover of Reclaiming Body Trust: A Path to Healing & Liberation

Jenna Hollenstein Author Of Intuitive Eating for Life: How Mindfulness Can Deepen and Sustain Your Intuitive Eating Practice

From my list on reality-check your relationship with food and body.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m obsessed with the connections between Buddhist philosophy, meditation, Intuitive Eating, eating disorder and addiction recovery, body liberation, and intersectional social justice work. These connections are everywhere! It may not seem like it, but how we relate to food and our bodies reflects how we feel about all bodies. How we speak to ourselves reflects how we feel about difference, difficulty, and interdependence. Challenging our entrenched beliefs about health, eating, food, and body helps us to ultimately recognize the inherent worthiness of all bodies. This is how we both come to know ourselves authentically and how we change the world for the better. 

Jenna's book list on reality-check your relationship with food and body

Jenna Hollenstein Why did Jenna love this book?

Written by a powerful eating disorder-dietitian and -therapist duo.

This book encourages us to get our hands deep into the soil of our messy imperfectness by intentionally and compassionately working with our grief, our pleasure, and the emotional and practical aspects of our relationship with food and body.

I love their radical and holistic approach to working with our whole selves. 

By Hilary Kinavey, Dana Sturtevant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reclaiming Body Trust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A holistic and powerful framework for accepting and liberating our bodies, and ourselves.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable or not “at home” in your body? In this book, the founders of Body Trust, licensed therapist Hilary Kinavey and registered dietician Dana Sturtevant, invite readers to break free from the status quo and reject a diet culture that has taken advantage and profited from trauma, stigma, and disembodiment, and fully reclaim and embrace their bodies.
 
Informed by the personal body stories of the hundreds of people they have worked with, Reclaiming Body Trust delineates an intersectional, social justice−orientated path to healing…


Book cover of Heavy: An American Memoir

Reginald (Reggie) L. Reed Jr. Author Of The Day My Mother Never Came Home

From my list on promoting the power of human healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I experienced severe trauma at an early age in life, which involved numerous challenges that tested my resilience and inner strength. However, through perseverance, self-reflection, and seeking support, I was able to overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger than ever. My experiences have taught me the importance of resilience, the power of healing, and the transformative impact of sharing stories, including the messy ones. I believe that by recommending books that explore these themes, I can inspire and empower others who may be facing similar challenges to find hope, resilience, and a path toward healing.

Reginald's book list on promoting the power of human healing

Reginald (Reggie) L. Reed Jr. Why did Reginald love this book?

I recommend this book for its raw honesty, reflections, and unflinching exploration of personal and societal struggles. Laymon's fearless approach to storytelling digs deep into themes of identity, trauma, and resilience, resonating deeply with the narrative depth of my true crime memoir.

Through Laymon's journey of self-discovery and reckoning with the complexities of American life, readers gain profound insights into the human experience, confront uncomfortable truths, and find moments of profound clarity and connection.

By Kiese Laymon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son…


Book cover of Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated with the science and psychology behind sugar addiction ever since I started graduate school at Princeton University. When I was deciding what to study for my dissertation. I knew my topic needed to be something big, important, and meaningful. At the time, we were starting to hear about the dangers of obesity, and I wondered if it was due to our changing food environment, which had more and more sugar in it. I never would have imagined that this project would lead me to over 20 years of research. Learn all about it in my book Sugarless

Nicole's book list on science and psychology of food addiction from a distinguished neuroscientist and nutrition expert

Nicole Avena Why did Nicole love this book?

I cannot recommend it enough! Dr. Tarman aptly uses the science of sugar addiction to create a convincing clinical profile of the sugar/food addiction syndrome. She explains the stages of food addiction and empowers readers by showing how recovery is possible and sustainable.

I truly feel that Food Junkies is a must-read for patients, students, and clinicians that are interested in addiction medicine and obesity management.

By Vera Tarman, MD,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fact-filled guide to coping with compulsive overeating problems by an experienced addictions doctor who draws on many patients' stories of recovery.

Overeating, binge eating, obesity, anorexia, and bulimia - Food Junkies tackles the complex, poorly understood issue of food addiction from the perspective of a medical researcher and dozens of survivors. What exactly is food addiction? Is it possible to draw a hard line between indulging cravings for "comfort food" and engaging in substance abuse? For people struggling with food addictions, recognizing their condition remains a frustrating battle.

This revised second edition contains the latest research as well as…


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