The best books on happiness

Who picked these books? Meet our 347 experts.

347 authors created a book list connected to happiness, and here are their favorite happiness books.
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What type of happiness book?


The Game of Life and How to Play It

By Florence Scovel Shinn, Joel Fotinos (contributor),

Book cover of The Game of Life and How to Play It: The Complete Original Edition

Kelly Weaver Author Of Living Your Own Aloha: 5 Steps to Manifesting Your Dreams

From the list on manifesting and attracting your dreams and desires.

Who am I?

I am and always will be a teacher. For the past 25 years, I dedicated my life to inspiring students to achieve their goals and manifest their dreams. I finally decided to take my own advice and listen to the calling that has been ringing louder and louder over the years. I used my gifts to become a certified Law of Attraction coach, reiki practitioner, and Tarot reader. While I may have left the academic classroom, I was called to the world classroom. As an author, speaker, coach, and healer, I awaken the manifestation superpower that exists in all of us.

Kelly's book list on manifesting and attracting your dreams and desires

Discover why each book is one of Kelly's favorite books.

Why did Kelly love this book?

This is the OG of all law of attraction books. Many of Shinn’s principles have been used by modern authors who don’t give her credit where credit is due. “Your word is your wand” is one of the many expressions that I have highlighted in this book. When I need motivation or a reminder that I am a deliberate creator, I will pick up this book and re-read one of the many inspirational stories. Shinn’s teachings helped me release limiting beliefs and reprogram my subconscious mind, so I can manifest anything I desire.

By Florence Scovel Shinn, Joel Fotinos (contributor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Game of Life and How to Play It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explore the wisdom of a New Thought classic and master the game of life!

In this classic bestseller, Florence Scovel Shinn helped to define the personal success genre. Written in the new thought tradition, her message is simple yet transformative—we receive back what we put into the world through our actions, energy, and attitudes. Negativity and pessimism are returned in kind, but by switching the script in favor of positive attitudes and affirmations, we are able to manifest success and joy in everything we do.

Life, Shinn tells us, is not a battle of us against the world, but rather…

No One Succeeds Alone

By Robert Reffkin,

Book cover of No One Succeeds Alone: Learn Everything You Can from Everyone You Can

Grant Muller Author Of Top of Heart: How a new approach to business saved my life, and could save yours too

From the list on business that won’t bore you to death.

Who am I?

I’ve been in love with business books since I was a child and I’m also a big fan of great story telling. I didn’t realize until recently that you can have both in one book! Discovering this genre of business books that inspire and delight while passing along new and useful insights was a wonderful surprise for me that I like to share with others. These gripping stories have opened up a whole new world for me and allowed me to learn and apply their lessons much more quickly. It’s simply more fun and easier to remember new wisdom when it’s carried forward in gripping stories.   

Grant's book list on business that won’t bore you to death

Discover why each book is one of Grant's favorite books.

Why did Grant love this book?

Robert Reffkin is a Fortune 500 CEO and he’s filled this book with strategies for creating a magnificent career or business.

He tells about his life story and the moments that have shaped him with an accessible tone that draws you in from the start. You want to see the guy succeed and you become his cheerleader on the journey. In that process, you come to learn exactly why no one succeeds alone! You will close the book at the end with useful tools you can use right away to improve your network and grow your sales.

By Robert Reffkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No One Succeeds Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inspirational story of Compass CEO Robert Reffkin, whose mother, mentors, and search for belonging taught him valuable lessons that anyone with a dream can put into action today to improve their own quality of life

No one expected a dreadlocked fifteen-year-old who cared more about his DJ business than his homework to grow up to become one of the youngest-ever White House fellows, create multiple nonprofits, and found a multibillion-dollar company. But Robert Reffkin - raised by an Israeli immigrant single mother, disowned by his maternal grandparents for being Black, and abandoned by his father - has always defied…

Peace Is a Practice

By Morgan Harper Nichols,

Book cover of Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation to Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life

Elayne Fluker Author Of Get Over "I Got It"

From the list on nonfiction that embody Black girl magic.

Who am I?

I am all about support, and support is a big part of Black Girl Magic. I believe that every woman should have a support system and community that values each and every person in it. Many of these authors have been featured on my podcast Support is Sexy, an interview-based podcast that introduces dynamic women professionals and the stories of their journeys to my audiences around the world. I recommended the books of these women because I love their message of self-care, self-love, support, and nurturing a healthy community. 

Elayne's book list on nonfiction that embody Black girl magic

Discover why each book is one of Elayne's favorite books.

Why did Elayne love this book?

Peace Is a Practice is the latest book from one of my favorite authors, Morgan Harper Nichols. I first met her last year when I interviewed her on my podcast, Support is Sexy, about her inspirational poetry and quotes going viral on social media. Her writing contextualizes the idea of letting go of regret and not fearing the future. Her writing is lovely and it teaches her audience to believe in themselves and the power of the Universe. 

By Morgan Harper Nichols,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peace Is a Practice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When you breathe in all the grace available to you and release everything that is outside of your control, you'll discover peace that surpasses your circumstances. All it takes is practice.

If you feel overwhelmed with anxiety about the future, you're far from alone. For many of us, when we're not worrying about what is to come, we find ourselves wrestling with things from the past. Where does that leave us today?

Morgan Harper Nichols has learned the answer to this question. She has examined stories from her own life and the lives of people around the world and noticed…

The Four Tendencies

By Gretchen Rubin,

Book cover of The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)

Mel Jolly Author Of Becoming Future You

From the list on becoming a better you in the new year.

Who am I?

In 2014 I finally came to the realization that I had become the most negative person I knew. I couldn't stand being that whiney, unhappy person anymore. So even though I didn't know how I was going to do it, I made a no-turning-back decision to kill off Negative Past Mel and become Positive Future Mel. The first step in my how was a book that taught me how to create a morning routine. That book saved me and set me on a path of personal growth and development and helped me take my first steps forward to becoming a version of Future Mel I actually enjoy being!

Mel's book list on becoming a better you in the new year

Discover why each book is one of Mel's favorite books.

Why did Mel love this book?

As far as books that help you understand yourself go, this one is at the top of my list! I never understood why I was so resistant to the pressure of others, why accountability buddies didn’t work for me (even though they worked so well for other people), and why my husband was always so insistent about following the rules! Understanding that my superpower is asking great questions is what ultimately led me to coaching and writing my own book. I promise knowing more about how you respond to expectations will help you in so many ways.

By Gretchen Rubin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



Everyone falls into 1 of 4 personality types and knowing yours could make you happier and more successful. During her investigation to understand human nature, explored most recently in her bestselling Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin realised that by asking the seemingly dry question 'How do I respond to expectations?' we gain life changing self-knowledge.

She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behaviour, so using this framework allows us to…


By Kristin Neff,

Book cover of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Lauren Cook Author Of Generation Anxiety: A Millennial and Gen Z Guide to Staying Afloat in an Uncertain World

From the list on how to cope and live with anxiety.

Who am I?

I’ve lived with anxiety for most of my life. Whether it’s been with emetophobia (a phobia of vomit) or an intense bout of panic attacks, I know the story well. Now, as a psychologist, I’ve seen up close what works and what doesn’t. I love helping my clients and the audiences that I work with learn how to accept their anxiety, rather than try to make it go away. This is often counterintuitive at first but we can still live an empowered life, even with the anxiety present. When we do this, we’ve unlocked a whole new level of liberation where we can show up fully, worries and all. 

Lauren's book list on how to cope and live with anxiety

Discover why each book is one of Lauren's favorite books.

Why did Lauren love this book?

This book is a staple in the field of psychology and mental health and for very good reason.

So many of us struggle with being kind to our mind and we worry that we’ll truly fall apart if we are compassionate to ourselves. Dr. Neff brings the evidence-backed research to prove that self-compassion is the antidote to anxiety and it has incredibly restorative potential to help us not only get back to baseline, but truly feel better.

By Kristin Neff,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Self-Compassion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Kristin Neff offers practical, wise guidance on the path of emotional healing and deep inner transformation.' Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance

Kristin Neff PhD, is a professor in educational psychology, and the world's expert on self-compassion. A pioneer who established self-compassion as a field of study, Kristin offers a powerful solution for combating negativity and insecurity - the symptoms of living in a high-pressure world.

Through tried and tested exercises and audio downloads, readers learn the 3 core components that will help to heal destructive emotional patterns…

Book cover of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Ronnie F. Lee Author Of Know Money No Problem: A Guide to Positive Personal Economics

From the list on creating a better you.

Who am I?

I'm an ordinary person who was able to achieve an extraordinary life for myself. My parents, who currently do not own a home, have always struggled to make ends meet. When I left the US Army at 23 with only $3,000 in savings, I quickly spent it while trying to adjust to civilian life in a foreign country. With a limited college education, I turned to books for inspiration. These books provided me with insights into the details behind success stories and changed my mindset. I was motivated to write my own book, Know Money No Problem, to pay it forward and help others achieve their own version of success. 

Ronnie's book list on creating a better you

Discover why each book is one of Ronnie's favorite books.

Why did Ronnie love this book?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is the perfect guide for achieving a well-rounded success story. This book reminds readers that the weight of the world does not rest solely on their shoulders, and that not every problem is theirs to solve.

Mark Manson encourages readers to accept failure and to learn from it, reminding them that it's okay to stop, take a breath, and accept that not every interaction needs to be positive. This dose of reality is refreshing, as it acknowledges that bad days are inevitable, and that at times, we may be the source of our own problems.

When striving for personal growth and success, balance is crucial. It's important not to become consumed with the false idea that perfection is attainable. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is the type of book that should be revisited every few years to remind us…

By Mark Manson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is-a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today.…

Book cover of The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book about Living

Jennie Dear Author Of What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights Into the Experience of Dying

From the list on the experience of dying.

Who am I?

When my mother enrolled in hospice after years of living with cancer, the nurse asked her: Do you want to know what will happen to your body as it starts shutting down? That was the first time anyone talked with us about the dying process. The question came as an immense relief, eventually inspiring this book. After witnessing the difficulties and surprising joys of my mother’s dying experience, I began hospice volunteering. Later, I spent three intensive stints volunteering at San Francisco’s Zen Hospice Project. And as a former journalist and associate professor of English, I began researching and interviewing experts. Their deep caring and knowledge inform this book.

Jennie's book list on the experience of dying

Discover why each book is one of Jennie's favorite books.

Why did Jennie love this book?

I sometimes read aloud from this book to hospice patients because when you’re dying, it’s easy to believe that it’s too late—too late to make amends, too late to reconnect, too late to do anything more for the world you’re leaving behind. Byock, a doctor who has worked extensively with dying people, says that’s not the case. Instead, he urges his patients to communicate with their friends and family members, to say thanks, to forgive, to apologize, and to express their love. The book is filled with examples of times people on the edge of death were able to connect more deeply or heal old wounds, changing the lives of those close to them for the better.

By Ira Byock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Four Things That Matter Most as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Four simple phrases-"Please forgive me," "I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you"-carry enormous power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These four phrases and the sentiments they convey provide a path to emotional wellbeing, guiding us through interpersonal difficulties to life with integrity and grace.

Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, explains how we can practice these life-affirming words in our day-to-day lives. Too often we assume that the people we love really know that we love them. Dr. Byock demonstrates the value of "stating the obvious" and provides practical insights into…

Anything You Want

By Derek Sivers,

Book cover of Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

John Lamerton Author Of Big Ideas... For Small Businesses: Simple, Practical Tools and Tactics to Help Your Small Business Grow

From the list on ambitious, lifestyle business owners.

Who am I?

I used to hate lifestyle businesses, looking down my nose at them, saying (as many others do!) that they weren’t real businesses. After a “lightbulb moment,” I now proudly describe myself as an ambitious lifestyle business owner – someone who designs their business around their lifestyle, rather than the other way around. Work to live, not live to work! As well as Big Ideas... for Small Businesses, a bestselling book about how to build a lifestyle business, I also host the Ambitious Lifestyle Business podcast, where I interview other lifestyle business owners, discovering how what an ambitious, lifestyle business looks like for them.

John's book list on ambitious, lifestyle business owners

Discover why each book is one of John's favorite books.

Why did John love this book?

My dream job description is: to do what I want...when I I want...where I want...if I want!

Do you know what you want? Too many people spend their life chasing things that don't actually make them happy! 

In Anything You Want, Derek Sivers makes the case that, as a small business owner, you get to make a little universe where you create all the laws. It's a really nice short read, about 90 minutes, and contains 40 short chapters, packed full of insights, and "aha!" moments.

By Derek Sivers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'I love this book! If you want a true manifesto, a guidebook with clear signposts, and a fun ride you'll return to again and again, you have it here in this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did' Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

The iconic manifesto on lessons learned while becoming an entrepreneur


You don't need a visionary master plan, loads of funding or a brilliant team to start a business.

When Derek Sivers started CD Baby, he wasn't planning on building a major business. He was a successful independent musician who just…

Book cover of Everything is Better Than You Think: How Gratitude Can Transform Your Life

Denise Kiernan Author Of We Gather Together: Stories of Thanksgiving from Then to Now

From the list on gratitude making every day feel like Thanksgiving.

Who am I?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls of Atomic City, the Last Castle, and We Gather Together. Throughout her career as a journalist and an author, she has explored underrepresented stories and characters and the impact they have had on history. These stories of the unsung offer fresh perspectives on historical tales we think we already know. At the heart of many of Kiernan’s nonfiction explorations are women from a variety of different backgrounds and time periods. She has devoted her last three books to the history of Thanksgiving and gratitude, writing separate books for all ages.

Denise's book list on gratitude making every day feel like Thanksgiving

Discover why each book is one of Denise's favorite books.

Why did Denise love this book?

It’s really quite simple: if you focus on negative things, you’ll feel miserable. If you focus on the things that are wonderful in your life, you will feel better. And chances are, you’ve got plenty of wonderful things in your life.

The author of this book is a Maryland pastor, but I don’t think you need to be a Christian to enjoy or even grasp the message of the book. I like that he references the science that has brought gratitude to the masses, and written about it in such a straightforward manner.

By Will Johns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything is Better Than You Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Want to feel fully alive? You can feel your best right now by following the simple method laid out in this book. Your life is actually much better than you think it is. It all depends on what you focus on. Order now to find out how you can be your best every day by changing your focus. It is like having a magical set of glasses that you put on each morning. Your entire day will look different when you look at your life through the lens of gratitude. You will begin to notice the good that is already…

You Are Awesome

By Neil Pasricha,

Book cover of You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life

Randy Ross Author Of Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

From the list on the best way to find happiness.

Who am I?

My entire career has revolved around helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their life and work. It’s a fact that happy people are healthier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with life, and are more productive. But, happiness for most folks is elusive. Through my research, personal experience, and coaching and consulting practice, I have found that there is a distinct connection between hope and happiness. Fireproof Happiness is my attempt to show this connection and offer practical wisdom and sound advice to craft a brighter tomorrow, no matter what you may be facing today.

Randy's book list on the best way to find happiness

Discover why each book is one of Randy's favorite books.

Why did Randy love this book?

Few people have the tools to handle tumultuous times and failure. Instead of allowing challenging times to crystalize their character, many folks respond to challenges and setbacks by curling up in a ball and crying. In You Are Awesome, Pasricha builds the case that you can actually turn your adversities into an advantage. You can tell yourself a different story and write a brighter future.

In You Are Awesome, you will find principles and practices that will help you navigate change, wrestle effectively with failure, and live an intentional life. You will learn how to establish routines to eliminate stress, change your perspective and grow stronger in the process.

By Neil Pasricha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Are Awesome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


From Neil Pasricha—New York Times million-copy bestselling author of The Book of Awesome series and The Happiness Equation, thought leader for the next generation, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world—comes a revelatory and inspiring book that will change the way we view failure and help us build resilience.

Why is life getting harder instead of easier?
How do I get back up after life knocks me down?
And how do I grow stronger and live more intentionally?

We no longer have the tools to handle failure…or even perceived failure. When we fall,…

On the Brink of Everything

By Parker J. Palmer,

Book cover of On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old

Eileen McDargh Author Of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

From the list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times.

Who am I?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make a difference—by helping others become wiser and/or happier. But how? Colleagues, clients, and friends tell me that I have a capacity for energy that is boundless. I resisted that statement. It sounded “fluffy”. How could I make a difference if I saw “energy” as being some flighty firefly? Then, when I went through 2 bouts of burnout, I realized that energy was the secret—the secret to resilience, the secret to growth and service. Reading, writing, and speaking fill me with the energy to grow, learn, laugh, and serve. I trust these books and my writing will bring the same to you.

Eileen's book list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times

Discover why each book is one of Eileen's favorite books.

Why did Eileen love this book?

On my nightstand, I have a journal in which I copy poems, writings that inspire, or insights I have. Two pages are filled with sentences I have copied from this book.  Why? Because getting older in these times of insanity and division can leave me anxious and without a rudder.

Parker has an amazing gift for making a statement that recharges and renews me:

“Calamites I once lamented now appear as strong threads of a larger weave, without which the fabric of my life would be less resilient.” Wow!

“Forget ego. Today’s peacock is tomorrow’s feather duster.”   Got it.

Or this one:  “Gravity pulls my skin down. But there is a counterforce called levity…Levity is the kind of humor that makes life’s challenges easier.” Get a blank book, a highlighter. Then read Palmer

By Parker J. Palmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From beloved and bestselling author Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, Healing the Heart of Democracy), comes a beautiful book of reflections on what we can learn as we move closer to "the brink of everything."

Drawing on eight decades of life -- and his career as a writer, teacher, and activist -- Palmer explores the questions age raises and the promises it holds. "Old," he writes, "is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to dive deep into life, not withdraw to the shallows."

But this book is not for elders…

Keeping the Love You Find

By Harville Hendrix,

Book cover of Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide

Jiveny Blair-West Author Of How to Make the Biggest Decision of Your Life

From the list on learning about relationships.

Who am I?

Growing up with two parents who specialised in relationship therapy gave me a unique insight into the importance of relationships from an early age. My father's words ‘Jiveny there is nothing to life but relationships’ instilled in me a natural curiosity to understand how to make the most of them. Later in life, my own experiences of heartbreak motivated me to get even more serious about learning how to build better relationships. Now, as a dating and attraction coach, I have used my experience and expertise, as well as feedback from my clients, to compile my top 5 books for understanding relationships.

Jiveny's book list on learning about relationships

Discover why each book is one of Jiveny's favorite books.

Why did Jiveny love this book?

This one is specifically aimed at singles, though I believe it’s an interesting read for anyone – single or not! In Keeping the Love You Find, Harville Hendrix provides an insightful look into how our experiences through childhood can affect our ability to form healthy relationships as adults and what we can do about it.

What I found particularly interesting was the explanation of the different developmental objectives of each stage of childhood and what can happen when those goals are disrupted. Of course, all insights are backed up by research and personal experience, making them both informative and very relatable. Additionally, Hendrix provides readers with exercises that can be used to help them better understand their own needs and form more meaningful connections with others.

Overall, I found this really insightful and interesting to reflect on, particularly in its relevance to my own childhood as well as how I…

By Harville Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Keeping the Love You Find as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller featured on Oprah!
"Keeping the Love You Find is a model that explains healthy love and what to do in a relationship to become whole."Alanis Morissette, Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter
Read the powerful follow-up to the runaway bestseller, Getting the Love You Want.
Do you dream of finding a partner in life? It's a natural human instinct and your dream is perfectly achievable. However, even the most well-adjusted people can have unresolved conflicts that make them seek out unsuitable romantic partners, unwittingly sabotage their relationships, and run from commitment without ever knowing the reasons why.…


By Matthieu Ricard,

Book cover of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

Paul J. Zak Author Of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

From the list on happiness that will improve your life.

Who am I?

In my view, there is no bigger quest than to understand how to live a long and fulfilled life. Most of my professional life has focused on running neuroscience experiments in my academic laboratory and developing technologies for companies I have started to understand and increase happiness. I have devoted 20 years to this quest and I continue to work to build a happier and healthier world. I am one of the most cited scientists in this area and also regularly communicate to the general public through TED talks, books, magazine articles, and public lectures.    

Paul's book list on happiness that will improve your life

Discover why each book is one of Paul's favorite books.

Why did Paul love this book?

I like and dislike this book! Ricard is a scientist and a Buddhist monk, and is reported to be the happiest man on earth. I know, respect, and like Ricard, and this book harkens back to the Stoics by suggesting that moderation is the key to happiness. My research says yes and no to this.  Ricard is correct that spending too much time worrying about the past or future will drag down one's happiness. My research, and that of many others, have shown the positive effect of meditation on happiness and here Ricard is masterful in explaining how and why meditation is important. Calmness and self-insight are very important to avoiding depression and setting the conditions for happiness, but, as Ricard notes, we must be in communities of other people to truly thrive. A little wildness is awesome, go for it!

By Matthieu Ricard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Combining science and spirit, a cell biologist turned Buddhist monk blends new scientific research with traditional Western philosophy to reveal how readily attainable happiness is.

Book cover of Healing the Shame That Binds You

Pouline Middleton Author Of One Woman Three Men: A Novel about Modern Love and Sex

From the list on how to get a deep and fulfilling love life.

Who am I?

I was living one of the darkest periods of my life when a friend took me to a Louise Bourgeois show. I wandered among her pieces feeling numb. Then I entered a large room filled with Passage Dangereux from 1997. A most depressing art piece that put me into contact with the restrictions in a family, the limitations we set for each other, and the unhappiness everywhere. When I left the room, I felt a lift in my spirits. I’m a writer to try to put more precise words to what goes on inside ourselves when we are alone and when we fall in love and enter into a relationship with another person. 

Pouline's book list on how to get a deep and fulfilling love life

Discover why each book is one of Pouline's favorite books.

Why did Pouline love this book?

This is a very dear book to me since I came across it in a book review 15 years ago. It is an amazing book if you struggle with toxic shame, which I did and do, since such a thing never leaves completely. It can be put into you at a very young age and if that is taking place it becomes invisible. This book made it visible for me. It also gave me the tools to deal with it. But the book mainly gave me what felt like the full insight into a force that was governing my life without me knowing anything but a mere fraction of it. Thank you, John Bradshaw!

By John Bradshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Healing the Shame That Binds You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I used to drink," writes John Bradshaw, "to solve the problems caused by drinking. The more I drank to relieve my shame-based loneliness and hurt, the more I felt ashamed."

Shame is the motivator behind our toxic behaviors: the compulsion, co-dependency, addiction and drive to superachieve that breaks down the family and destroys personal lives. This book has helped millions identify their personal shame, understand the underlying reasons for it, address these root causes and release themselves from the shame that binds them to their past failures.

Key Features
This is not just a recovery book. Among other things, it…

The Magic of Surrender

By Kute Blackson,

Book cover of The Magic of Surrender: Finding the Courage to Let Go

Margaret Paul Author Of The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting with Your Divine Guidance

From the list on healing and connecting with your Divine guidance.

Who am I?

I’ve known since I was 5 years old that my passion in life was helping people be all they came to this planet to be. I have been working with individuals, couples, businesses, and groups, and teaching courses for 54 years. Having had many years of my own psychotherapy, and 17 years into practicing traditional psychotherapy, I was not happy with the results, so I prayed for a teacher or a process that would really work. 38 years ago, I met Dr. Erika Chopich and we co-created the powerful Inner Bonding process, brought to us by our higher guidance, that rapidly heals on a very deep level, far beyond traditional psychotherapy. 

Margaret's book list on healing and connecting with your Divine guidance

Discover why each book is one of Margaret's favorite books.

Why did Margaret love this book?

This book is deeply inspiring to me. I not only love Kute’s writing, but I love how he takes us on his personal journey to being able to let go of control. His stories are captivating and kept me glued to the book. I know Kute because he is a fellow member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and he lives what he teaches. Many of my clients have been inspired by this book.

By Kute Blackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the boldest voices in the world of personal growth and motivation, a guide to moving past inner struggle to discover the power of relinquishing control.

Too often we limit our lives by putting conditions on them. We think things should go a certain way, and when they don't, we hold on to what isn't working, reinforcing what is causing us pain and affirming our lack of trust in the universe. There is another way: We can harness the power of relinquishing control and discover more purpose and meaning in our lives.

After the passing of Kute Blackson's…


By Maxwell Maltz,

Book cover of Psycho-Cybernetics

Kurt Mortensen Author Of The Laws of Charisma: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

From the list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic.

Who am I?

Kurt Mortensen is an international authority on charisma, negotiation, and influence. Kurt has spent over 20 years researching influence, leadership, sales, persuasive presentations, and he teaches at the university level. Kurt is the author of Persuasion IQ, Laws of Charisma, and the best-selling book Maximum Influence. His books have been translated into 28 languages. He is also the host of the popular podcast Maximize Your Influence. Mortensen teaches that professional success, personal relationships, and leadership all depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. The key is to get others to want to do, what you want them to do and like doing it. 

Kurt's book list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic

Discover why each book is one of Kurt's favorite books.

Why did Kurt love this book?

This book is a classic. The reality is that if you can’t influence yourself – you can’t influence other people.  If you can’t lead yourself – you can’t lead other people. I call this book self-persuasion. There is a reason this book has sold 35 million copies. Maltz was the first to talk about the importance of your self-image.  He uses science to teach you how to reprogram your mind for success and increased motivation.

By Maxwell Maltz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The landmark self-help bestseller that has inspired and enhanced the lives of more than 30 million readers.

In this updated edition, with a new introduction and editorial commentary by Matt Furey, president of the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, the original 1960 text has been annotated and amplified to make Maxwell Maltz's message even more relevant for the contemporary reader.

Maltz was the first researcher and author to explain how the self-image (a term he popularized) has complete control over an individual's ability to achieve, or fail to achieve, any goal. He developed techniques for improving and managing self-image visualization, mental rehearsal and…

The Fifth Agreement

By Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz, Janet Mills

Book cover of The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery

Yong Kang Chan Author Of The Disbelief Habit

From the 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

Discover why each book is one of Yong's favorite books.

Why did Yong love this book?

This book inspires me to write my book on my inner critic. One of my favorite books of all time is The Four Agreements, by the same authors. In this book, they introduce a new fifth agreement, which is to be skeptical, but learn to listen.

After reading the book, I apply this teaching to my mental chatter. Even though I listen to the thoughts in my head, I am more skeptical and have more discernment of my thoughts. I know that what my inner critic tells me may or may not be the truth. Instead of feeling hurt by my critical thoughts, I am able to let them go more readily.

By Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz, Janet Mills

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the international bestselling author of The Four Agreements

In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz revealed how the process of our education, or “domestication,” can make us forget the wisdom we were born with. Throughout our lives, we make many agreements that go against ourselves and create needless suffering. The Four Agreements help us to break these self-limiting agreements and replace them with agreements that bring us personal freedom, happiness, and love.

In The Fifth Agreement, don Miguel Ruiz joins his son don Jose Ruiz to offer a fresh perspective on The Four Agreements and a powerful new agreement…

The Choice

By Edith Eva Eger,

Book cover of The Choice: Embrace the Possible

Karen Cassiday Author Of The No Worries Guide to Raising Your Anxious Child: A Handbook to Help You and Your Anxious Child Thrive

From the list on becoming a better human even when you're not sure you want to.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated with how people overcome terrible circumstances ever since my childhood when my parents took me through the Tower of London and told me people survived the horrible torture devices on display. I got into reading biographies of war heroes, concentration camp survivors, and athletes who survived torture, betrayal, illness, and cruelty only to become people I admire. I became a clinical psychologist because I love inspiring others to discover their own greatness during life’s worst moments. I’ve had to learn how to find love, hope, and meaning when trauma, disability, death, and broken promises have ground me down to a bloody pulp.

Karen's book list on becoming a better human even when you're not sure you want to

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

This memoir is a gripping narrative of Eva's survival as a gifted dancer and gymnast in pre-war Hungary, the Nazi concentration camps, and her long journey toward wholeness after immigrating to the United States. 

She details the mental and interpersonal ravages of complex trauma poignantly describes her struggle to gain mental wellness in a world that contains suffering.

She is one of the world's experts on healing from trauma and it shows in her riveting descriptions of how she and her patients learned to bear the pain of great suffering while reclaiming the beauty of compassion, forgiveness, and loving relationships.

By Edith Eva Eger,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Choice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Even in hell, hope can flower

'I'll be forever changed by her story' - Oprah Winfrey

'Extraordinary ... will stick with you long after you read it' - Bill Gates

'One of those rare and eternal stories you don't want to end' - Desmond Tutu

'A masterpiece of holocaust literature. Her memoir, like her life, is extraordinary, harrowing and inspiring in equal measure' - The Times Literary Supplement

'I can't imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger's book is a triumph' - The New York Times

In 1944, sixteen-year-old…

Book cover of Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

Amanda Stern Author Of Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life

From the list on mental anguish from inside a body in distress.

Who am I?

I’m the author of The Long Haul and Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life and eleven books for children written under the pseudonyms AJ Stern and Fiona Rosenbloom. I publish a newsletter called “How to Live” where I simplify complex theories from psychology and offer ideas for their practical applications. My work explores the complexities of emotion, addiction, neglect, and issues surrounding mental health. I am prone to write from inside the body, to capture the visceral resonance of the somatic experience and consciousness.

Amanda's book list on mental anguish from inside a body in distress

Discover why each book is one of Amanda's favorite books.

Why did Amanda love this book?

Confession: as of this writing I am only ⅓ of the way through this book, but I like it immensely and find it immensely soothing and validating. A cursory search on Dr. Julie Smith, a therapist, tells me that she is “TikTok famous” and remains very popular on social media. This is not how I came across her work, or this book. This book is an excellent primer for how to survive being human in this world, with vital inside information from decades of therapeutic practice on how to face daily challenges and become attuned to our mental health. Filled with insights, strategies, and explanations that are both practice and relatable, this is a great book to gift to people of all ages.

By Julie Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Sound wisdom, easy to gulp down. I'm sure this book is already helping lots of people. Great work, Dr Julie' MATT HAIG, bestselling author of REASONS TO STAY ALIVE

'Brilliant. Bite-size. Easy to understand. Easy to flick through. It's like a reference to how you feel' Phillip Schofield on ITV's THIS MORNING


'Julie Smith is the psychology teacher you wish you'd had at school' EVENING STANDARD
'This book is a goldmine. I truly treat it like a handbook now' STYLIST
'It's real, it's authentic . . . Very practical and very, very helpful' LORRAINE…


By Kay Redfield Jamison,

Book cover of Exuberance: The Passion for Life

Claudia Kalb Author Of Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities

From the list on how our chaotic, imperfect minds crackle with genius.

Who am I?

As a kid, I read the New Yorker—first, just the cartoons; later, the articles—and dreamed about becoming a writer. Sentences danced in my head as I fell asleep. I’ve always been especially interested in human behavior and the match-up between our insides and outsides. How do the roadmaps in our brains inform the way we act around others? Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of studies and interviewed countless experts to inform my writing about well-known figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, and Maya Angelou. But I’m just as captivated by everyone outside the spotlight. We all have stories to tell.

Claudia's book list on how our chaotic, imperfect minds crackle with genius

Discover why each book is one of Claudia's favorite books.

Why did Claudia love this book?

Like Sacks, Jamison is the rare scientist whose writing is both research-based and accessible.

In An Unquiet Mind, the memoir she published in 1995, Jamison shared her diagnosis of manic depression, chipping away at stigma by opening up about herself. In Exuberance, she takes readers in another direction by delving into a single human characteristic.

I have always been fascinated by people who are positive, upbeat, and charming—people who seem to be enveloped in joy. Jamison explores the history of exuberance and the people who exude it, from Teddy Roosevelt to P.T. Barnum.

Jamison’s enthusiasm for her subject springs from the page. Exuberance “leaps, bubbles, and overflows, propels its energy through troop and tribe,” she writes. “It spreads upward and outward, like pollen toted by dancing bees…” 

By Kay Redfield Jamison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A national bestselling author examines one of the mind's most exalted states—one that is crucially important to learning, risk-taking, social cohesiveness, and survival itself. 

“[Jamison is] that rare writer who can offer a kind of unified field theory of science and art.” —The Washington Post Book World

With the same grace and breadth of learning she brought to her studies of the mind’s pathologies, Kay Redfield Jamison examines one of its most exalted states: exuberance. This “abounding, ebullient, effervescent emotion” manifests itself everywhere from child’s play to scientific breakthrough.

Exuberance: The Passion for Life introduces us to such notably irrepressible…