51 books like Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

By Arthur Freeman,

Here are 51 books that Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda fans have personally recommended if you like Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Magic

Liisa Kyle Author Of Self-Worth Essentials:  A Workbook to Understand Yourself, Accept Yourself, Like Yourself, Respect Yourself, Be Confident, Enjoy Yourself, and Love Yourself

From my list on to treat yourself better.

Who am I?

As a life coach and author of two dozen self-help books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people treat themselves better. Doing so is fundamental to personal growth and making real, purposeful change. When you fully appreciate yourself and treat yourself well, you will feel so much better! You will be in a much stronger position to overcome challenges, achieve your goals, and get more out of life. 

Liisa's book list on to treat yourself better

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

Step one in treating yourself better is to cease focusing on what isn't going well and to put your attention on what is. Be truly thankful for your blessings. No matter what challenges or situations you are facing, there are things you can be grateful for. You have air to breathe and water to drink, for example. Start there. The more you focus on the positives in your life, the more good things you will attract. This book guides you through a month of gratitude activities that will have you feeling better about every aspect of your life. 

By Rhonda Byrne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Magic a great mystery from a sacred text is revealed, and with this knowledge Rhonda Byrne takes the reader on a life-changing journey for 28 days. Step by step, day-by-day, secret teachings, revelations, and scientific law are brought together to form 28 simple practices that open the reader's eyes to a new world, and lead them to a dream life.


Book cover of The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome

Chloe Carmichael Author Of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety

From my list on anxiety from a psychologist's perspective.

Who am I?

I'm Dr. Chloe Carmichael, clinical psychologist and USA Today bestselling author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety (endorsed by Deepak Chopra). As a clinical psychologist, a lot of people ask me how to get rid of their anxiety. They're often surprised to learn that actually, we don't always want to get rid of anxiety—because the truth is that anxiety actually brings many benefits, if we know how to unlock them. Anxiety’s healthy function is actually to stimulate preparation behaviors. In this book, I share nine tried and tested tools with step-by-step instructions and real life examples to help readers harness the healthy power of anxiety.

Chloe's book list on anxiety from a psychologist's perspective

Chloe Carmichael Why did Chloe love this book?

This book is another great book for people with anxiety. The desire for social acceptance can be very anxiety-provoking for many people. This can lead to a pattern of self-denial and people-pleasing behaviors. This book teaches how to have healthy boundaries while still having positive relationships, thereby reducing anxiety. This book is very well-written, simple, easy to follow, and highly recommended by therapists and counselors.

By Harriet Braiker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What's wrong with being a "people pleaser?" Plenty!

"A fascinating book... If you struggle with where, when, and how to draw the line between your own desires and the demands of others, buy this book!" Kay Redfield Jamison, bestselling author of An Unquiet Mind and Night Falls Fast

People pleasers are not just nice people who go overboard trying to make everyone happy. Those who suffer from the Disease to Please are people who say "Yes" when they really want to say "No." For them, the uncontrollable need for the elusive approval of others is an addiction. Their debilitating fears…


Book cover of Feel the Fear...and Beyond: Mastering the Techniques for Doing It Anyway

Liisa Kyle Author Of Self-Worth Essentials:  A Workbook to Understand Yourself, Accept Yourself, Like Yourself, Respect Yourself, Be Confident, Enjoy Yourself, and Love Yourself

From my list on to treat yourself better.

Who am I?

As a life coach and author of two dozen self-help books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people treat themselves better. Doing so is fundamental to personal growth and making real, purposeful change. When you fully appreciate yourself and treat yourself well, you will feel so much better! You will be in a much stronger position to overcome challenges, achieve your goals, and get more out of life. 

Liisa's book list on to treat yourself better

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

Another thing that prevents people from treating themselves well is fear. Jeffers’ first book (Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway) is a classic for working through worries and anxieties. I usually recommend this book instead because it has more practical activities and suggestions for managing fear. When you do, you boost your self-confidence, your self-esteem, and your self-worth.

By Susan Jeffers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At last, step-by-step guidance and concrete exercises that tailor the Feel the Fear program to the demands of your busy life!

With her phenomenal bestseller Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, renowned author Susan Jeffers has helped millions of people overcome their fears and move forward in their lives with confidence, action, and love. Now in this new work, Dr. Jeffers takes us by the hand and gives us step-by-step examples that help us to incorporate her profound insights into our daily lives.

Tailored for both individual and group use--including an invaluable 30-Day Power Planner--Feel the Fear . .…


Book cover of Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live

Liisa Kyle Author Of Self-Worth Essentials:  A Workbook to Understand Yourself, Accept Yourself, Like Yourself, Respect Yourself, Be Confident, Enjoy Yourself, and Love Yourself

From my list on to treat yourself better.

Who am I?

As a life coach and author of two dozen self-help books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people treat themselves better. Doing so is fundamental to personal growth and making real, purposeful change. When you fully appreciate yourself and treat yourself well, you will feel so much better! You will be in a much stronger position to overcome challenges, achieve your goals, and get more out of life. 

Liisa's book list on to treat yourself better

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

First, I love how Martha Beck writes. She’s funny! Also wise and candid. I would happily recommend any of her books. This particular one is helpful in treating yourself better because it guides you through specific exercises to evaluate your essential self, to appreciate it, and to pursue your unique, authentic path. 

By Martha Beck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding Your Own North Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author and Life Designs, Inc. creator Martha Beck shares her step-by-step program that will guide you to fulfill your own potential and create a joyful life.

In this book, you'll start by learning how to read the internal compasses already built into your brain and body--and why you may have spent your life ignoring their signals. As you become reacquainted with your own deepest desires, you'll identify and repair any unconscious beliefs or unhealed emotional wounds that may be blocking your progress.

This will change your life, but don't worry--although every life is unique, major transformations…


Book cover of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Peter Vernezze Author Of Blogging The Plague: Camus, Covid-19, and the Current Chaos

From my list on psychotherapy and its philosophical origins.

Who am I?

As an emeritus professor of philosophy now working as a licensed therapist, I feel uniquely qualified to span the two worlds of philosophy and psychotherapy. In addition to dozens of academic articles which no one has ever read, I’ve published books on modern China, ancient Greek Stoicism, Bob Dylan, and the TV show The Sopranos, which at least a few people seem to have picked up.

Peter's book list on psychotherapy and its philosophical origins

Peter Vernezze Why did Peter love this book?

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is premised on the belief that our thoughts are at the root of our negative feelings, and to alter those feelings, we need to alter our thoughts. The connection between reason and emotion can be traced back to Stoicism. Hence it is no surprise that the late Dr. Albert Ellis, the developer of the very similar Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, used to have a quote from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus on his webpage. In addition, the Cognitive Distortions which form the heart of CBT can mostly be found in The Art of Thinking (1662) by Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole.

By Judith S. Beck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cognitive Behavior Therapy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hundreds of thousands of clinicians and graduate students have relied on this text--now significantly revised with more than 50% new material--to learn the fundamentals of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Leading expert Judith S. Beck demonstrates how to engage patients, develop a sound case conceptualization, plan individualized treatment, structure sessions, and implement core cognitive, behavioral, and experiential techniques. Throughout the book, extended cases of one client with severe depression and another with depression, anxiety, and borderline personality traits illustrate how a skilled therapist delivers CBT and troubleshoots common difficulties. Adding to the third edition's utility, the companion website features downloadable worksheets…


Book cover of The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Patrick Ussher Author Of Stoicism & Western Buddhism: A Reflection on Two Philosophical Ways of Life

From my list on modern-day adaptations of Buddhism and Stoicism.

Who am I?

I’ve long been interested in what different traditions have to say about how to live our best lives. While a graduate student, I naturally drifted towards studying both Stoicism and Buddhism and wrote my MA dissertation on a comparison of both (which ultimately, much later, became the basis for my book). During my time as a Ph.D. student, I was actively involved in the Modern Stoicism project. As well as running the blog for the project, I was also involved, along with a team of academics and psychotherapists, in creating adaptations of that ancient philosophy for the modern world. I also draw on both philosophies in coping with chronic illness.

Patrick's book list on modern-day adaptations of Buddhism and Stoicism

Patrick Ussher Why did Patrick love this book?

I was really intrigued to learn that Albert Ellis, who created Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), actually cited Stoics like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius as some of his main inspirations.

To my mind, Donald Robertson’s book masterfully traces the links between Stoicism and CBT, showing us how Epictetus’ key insight (that it is not events that harm us but our opinion about those events) actually underpins the entire nature of modern-day therapy.

I enjoyed Robertson’s exploration of all the shared assumptions and similarities between CBT and Stoicism, but I also appreciated his clear delineation of the differences. After all, Stoicism is ultimately about valuing virtue first and foremost, and that is something that CBT wouldn’t ever touch with a barge pole. In this way, I also appreciated how Robertson’s book reminds us of what makes Stoicism different.  

By Donald Robertson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This exciting new edition of The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) demonstrates how techniques and concepts from Socratic philosophy, especially Stoicism, can be integrated into the practise of CBT and other forms of psychotherapy. What can we learn about psychological therapy from ancient philosophers? Psychotherapy and philosophy were not always separate disciplines. Here, Donald Robertson explores the relationship between ancient Greek philosophy and modern cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy.

The founders of CBT described Stoicism as providing the "philosophical origins" of their approach and many parallels can be found between Stoicism and CBT, in terms of both theory and practise. Starting with hypnotism…


Book cover of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies

Roxane Lapa Author Of How I Overcame Panic Disorder Without Drugs

From my list on overcoming anxiety.

Who am I?

I’ve experienced crippling anxiety personally, to the point of nervous breakdown. I’ve researched this topic extensively and have been panic-free for over a decade due to the knowledge and coping skills accrued.

Roxane's book list on overcoming anxiety

Roxane Lapa Why did Roxane love this book?

If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, depression, or similar mood disturbance, but don't want to take SSRI drugs and antidepressants, this book is incredibly helpful. It contains various psychological exercises to help you overcome negative thought patterns and behaviour, and shows you how to set goals so that you can move forward to emotional freedom.

By Rob Wilson, Rhena Branch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dozens of practical exercises and easy to perform techniques for banishing negative thoughts before they take hold Whether you're trying to overcome anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, beat addiction, lose weight, or simply improve your outlook, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) offers a practical, sensible approach to mastering your thoughts and thinking constructively. In this updated and expanded edition of the companion workbook to their bestselling Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies, professional therapists Rhena Branch and Rob Wilson show you, step-by-step, how to put the lessons provided in their book into practice. Inside you'll find a huge number of hands-on exercises…


Book cover of Reinventing Your Life: How to Break Free from Negative Life Patterns and Feel Good Again

Yong Kang Chan Author Of The Disbelief Habit

From my list on calm the inner critic and make peace with thoughts.

Who am I?

I grew up with low self-esteem. As an introvert, I found it difficult to make friends in school and I feel I wasn’t good enough for others. Even when I had my first job, I found myself tearing up in the restroom cubicle one day, feeling defective and unable to fit in. That set me off on a journey to improve my self-esteem. I began reading a lot and taking courses on this topic. For years, I felt more confident and worthy. However, it wasn’t until I had a depression that I was truly transformed. After I recovered, I become committed to living peacefully.

Yong's book list on calm the inner critic and make peace with thoughts

Yong Kang Chan Why did Yong love this book?

Even though many of us have an inner critic, the triggering event could be different. What I love about this book is it tells you what the triggers are, so you can stop the negative cycle.

This book has a questionnaire that helps you identify your most faulty patterns of thinking, also known as “life traps” in the book. There are a total of 11 life traps. 

After completing the quiz, I found out that social exclusion, emotional deprivation, and subjugation are most likely to set my inner critic off. With this knowledge, I am more aware of my negative beliefs and how they got developed in the past. I am then able to change the narrative.

By Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reinventing Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn how to end the self-destructive behaviours that stop you from living your best life with this breakthrough programme.

Do you ...

Put the needs of others above your own? Start to panic when someone you love leaves - or threatens to? Often feel anxious about natural disasters, losing all your money, or getting seriously ill? Find that no matter how successful you are, you still feel unhappy, unfulfilled, or undeserving?

Unsatisfactory relationships, an irrational lack of self-esteem, feelings of being unfulfilled - these are all problems that can be solved by changing the types of messages that people internalise.…


Book cover of The Power Of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

Dan Pontefract Author Of Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team that Flourishes

From my list on making you think about purpose and meaning.

Who am I?

Since 2014 I have studied, researched, and written about the concepts of meaning and purpose. In 2016, I published a book entitled The Purpose Effect dedicated solely to the topic. In Work-Life Bloom, two of the key work-life factors that make up the accompanying model focus on meaning and purpose. I am known for urging people to declare their purpose, writing it down, and sharing it far and wide. My declaration is as follows: “We’re not here to see through each other; we’re here to see each other through.”

Dan's book list on making you think about purpose and meaning

Dan Pontefract Why did Dan love this book?

Daniel Pink provides a unique perspective on finding meaning and purpose in life by embracing the transformative potential of regret.

As you explore your sense of meaning and purpose, this book offers valuable insights into how reflecting on past experiences and learning from mistakes can enrich your life's journey. It made me rethink past so-called regrets, and whether they might have positively or negatively influenced my sense of meaning.

Through thorough primary research and compelling stories, Pink demonstrates how regret can inspire personal growth, self-improvement, and a clearer understanding of your life's direction. The book encourages you to use regret as a powerful resource, which only can help your sense of meaning and purpose.

By Daniel H Pink,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The world needs this book.” —Brené Brown, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of Dare to Lead and Atlas of the Heart

An instant New York Times bestseller

As featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post

Named a Best Book of 2022 by NPR and Financial Times

From the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of When and Drive, a new book about the transforming power of our most misunderstood yet potentially most valuable emotion: regret.

Everybody has regrets, Daniel H. Pink explains in The Power of Regret. They’re a universal and healthy part of being human. And…


Book cover of The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment

Joe Hart Author Of Take Command: Find Your Inner Strength, Build Enduring Relationships, and Live the Life You Want

From my list on personal growth and building strong relationships.

Who am I?

As a young man, I pursued law school and practiced with a major firm. However, it wasn't until I enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course that I discovered my true passion for personal growth and building strong relationships. Now, as the CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates, I am dedicated to helping individuals and businesses unlock their full potential through personal growth. I believe that everyone has untapped potential, and with the right tools and mindset, they can achieve greatness.

Joe's book list on personal growth and building strong relationships

Joe Hart Why did Joe love this book?

Marshall Goldsmith provides a powerful guide for anyone seeking a higher purpose in their personal and professional life.

Goldsmith draws on his experience as a world-renowned executive coach to provide practical advice and exercises aimed at helping readers live a life aligned with their overarching purpose, regardless of the eventual outcome.

Taking inspiration from Buddhism, Goldsmith reveals that the key to living an earned life, unbound by regret, requires committing to a habit of earning and connecting that habit to something greater than the isolated achievements of careerism.

With illuminating stories from Goldsmith's legendary career,  this book provides a roadmap for ambitious people seeking to close the gap between what they plan to achieve and what they actually get done, and to avoid the trap of existential regret that reroutes destinies and persecutes memories.

By Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover the steps to earning your path to fulfillment and living without regrets—from the world-renowned executive coach and New York Times bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

ONE OF SUMMER’S BEST BUSINESS BOOKS: Inc., Society for Human Resource Management • “My life changed for the better when I started working with Marshall Goldsmith. The Earned Life is a wonderful book.”—Dr. Jim Yong Kim, served as president of the World Bank

“We are living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort we make in each moment align…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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