The most recommended books on resilience

Who picked these books? Meet our 35 experts.

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


Book cover of The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

Damon P. Coppola Author Of Introduction to International Disaster Management

From my list on expanding your thinking on disaster risk management.

Who am I?

As a professional emergency and risk management practitioner, I’ve spent my career supporting and shaping emergency management policy and practice in every context from the village to global levels. What I’ve found to be most rewarding are those opportunities where I’ve been able to translate this knowledge and practice into training the next generation of emergency managers. The textbooks I’ve written, which include the first comprehensive book on emergency management (Introduction to Emergency Management, currently in its 7th edition) and the first book on homeland security in the United States (Introduction to Homeland Security, currently in its 6th Edition), are currently in use at hundreds of universities worldwide.

Damon's book list on expanding your thinking on disaster risk management

Damon P. Coppola Why did Damon love this book?

This is the obvious recommendation, but a ‘must read’ nonetheless. 

Whereas Cialdini’s text focuses on our response to messaging (on risk or otherwise), Ripley’s book focuses on our response to the incident itself (…and so where the former leaves off, the latter picks up).

The Unthinkable gives readers a deep look into our own psyche to prepare us for how we are likely to response when faced with physical or mortal danger. Nobody knows exactly how they will respond in a high-hazard incident because so many instinctual processes take over.

But as Ripley so effectively explains, it is possible to know what these phenomena look like so that when we are experiencing them we can adjust accordingly to be more effective responders.

Amanda Ripley’s approachable journalistic style effectively turns a collection of meaningful risk management messages into a hard-to-put-down page-turner. 

By Amanda Ripley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Have you ever wondered how you would react to a disaster? Do you think you would be paralysed with fear, like the diplomat who froze, drink still in hand, as terrorists invaded the Dominican Republic's embassy in Colombia in 1980? Or might you find yourself pretending it hadn't happened, like the 9/11 survivor whose first instinct on feeling the shockwaves of the plane crashing into her building was to stay put? Or then again might you suddenly find hidden strengths in yourself, like Joe Stiley, who not only escaped from a dreadful plane wreck, but also managed to survive thirty…

Book cover of Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges

Linda Graham Author Of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being

From my list on resilience and how to cope skillfully with life’s difficulties.

Who am I?

Resilience - helping people recover their capacities to deal with any adversity, stress, loss or trauma – is the heart of my work as a licensed psychotherapist (25 years) and an international trainer of mental health professionals (more than a decade). Bouncing Back is the book I wanted to be able to hand my clients to help them learn to use the capacities of resilience innate in their brains to develop more effective patterns of response to life crises and catastrophes. No such book was available at the time, so I wrote my own. It has become a tremendous resource for people to learn to how to be more resilient, and to learn that they can learn.

Linda's book list on resilience and how to cope skillfully with life’s difficulties

Linda Graham Why did Linda love this book?

A highly readable presentation of the latest scientific research on ten “resilience factors” that help survivors of any trauma recover their strengths and the power to make meaningful choices in their lives. Truly inspiring and useful.

By Dennis S. Charney, Steven M Southwick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most of us at some point in our lives will be struck by major traumas such as the sudden death of a loved one, a debilitating disease, assault, or a natural disaster. Resilience refers to the ability to 'bounce back' after encountering difficulty. This book provides a guide to building emotional, mental and physical resilience by presenting ten factors to help anyone become more resilient to life's challenges. Specific resilience factors such as facing fear, optimism, and social support are described through the experiences and personal reflections of highly resilient survivors. These survivors also describe real-life methods for practicing and…

Book cover of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

Norman Farb Author Of Better in Every Sense: How the New Science of Sensation Can Help You Reclaim Your Life

From my list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life.

Who am I?

I am a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who studies the social neuroscience of the self and human emotion, with a focus on how biases in self-representation shape emotional reactions that determine well-being. I am particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation and yoga foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to disorders such as depression. I’ve always wished we had better ways of communicating fascinating and important discoveries in neuroscience and mental health to a wider audience, so we combined our teaching experience in the fields of mindfulness, yoga, sports, and clinical psychology to write this book.

Norman's book list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life

Norman Farb Why did Norman love this book?

There is this myth that with a perfect system, strategy, or set of habits, you can live a stress-free life; the trouble is, we adapt to any situation and still find ways to become stressed when the world inevitably changes around us.

I love this book because it starts by acknowledging this point rather than promising that we will never find ourselves overwhelmed. The author, Susan David, does a masterful job in providing practical and engaging anecdotes and advice for learning to pivot with life’s changes, acknowledging the inevitable upsets that occur, and then being intentional about how we can channel our efforts into activity that gets positive emotions flowing once more.

It is a great read for anyone feeling overwhelmed and stuck by the everyday.

By Susan David,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Emotional Agility as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for lovers of Quiet and The Power of Now, Emotional Agility shares a new way of relating to yourself and the world around you

Every day we speak around 16,000 words - but inside minds we create tens of thousands more.

Thoughts such as 'I'm not spending enough time with my children' or 'I'm not good enough to present my work' can seem to be unshakeable facts. In reality, they're the judgemental opinions of our inner voice.

Drawing on more than twenty years of academic research and her own experiences, Susan David PhD, a psychologist and faculty member at…

Book cover of Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness

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

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

Who am I?

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

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

Rebecca E. Williams Why did Rebecca love this book?

Resilient is a book to savor slowly. In recovery from addiction, sometimes one’s foundation is shaky and unstable. Resilient provides a beautiful way to build a new solid foundation based on compassion, confidence, and courage. Rick Hanson is a popular psychologist and has lots of great books (along with a terrific podcast with his son) but I keep returning to this one. As a psychologist myself, I think Resilient hits all the themes that are important for a mind well-cared-for and a life well-lived.  

By Rick Hanson, Forrest Hanson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Your key to lasting happiness, self-love and inner peace

'A master of his craft' - Prof Mark Williams, bestselling author of Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

Rick Hanson, author of the New York Times bestselling Hardwiring Happiness, is known for his trademark blend of neuroscience, positive psychology and contemplative practices. In Resilient, he explains how to build the very foundations of well-being by harnessing the power of positive experiences to build an unshakeable core.

Dr. Hanson poses that anyone can build up resilience, the key to a positive mindset, unshakeable sense of self and…

Book cover of Teach Resilience: Raising Kids Who Can Launch

Annie Fox Author Of Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century

From my list on helping kids become themselves.

Who am I?

In college, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies and found my calling – to work with kids and create SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) content for them. While still an undergrad, my first book was published (People Are Like Lollipops - a picture book celebrating diversity.) Throughout my career, I’ve continued writing books and creating multimedia content for kids and teens while helping parents support their kids’ character development in the digital age. I read a lot of parenting books, but I don’t always learn something new that opens my heart and mind. Each book I’ve recommended here did that for me. I hope the books on my list will help you on your parenting journey.

Annie's book list on helping kids become themselves

Annie Fox Why did Annie love this book?

Dealing with disappointment and rejection is part of growing up. But our kids also face unique challenges and social stressors that did not exist when we were their age. That’s why it can be hard to give them the kind of help they really need in those moments when they feel particularly vulnerable. Dr. G, a family physician, international speaker and mom of four boys, has written a book to help us help our kids in compassionate and practical ways. Her goal ought to be a top parenting goal for everyone: Teach kids resilience – i.e., the ability to move through and beyond your emotions and figure out what your next best move will be. With resilience as a life skill, kids have what they need to rebound in the face of any setback.

By Deborah Gilboa, MD,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You will will be amazed by this pocket-sized book! Bad things will happen to our kids. Resilience is what they do after that. The ability to overcome adversity makes Resilience one of the 3 R's that can help kids thrive and succeed at any age. As a parent, you can play a big part in helping them build resilience. This BITE-SIZED book is perfect for busy people! Filled with 50 fun and practical tips by Doctor G., this book is designed to give you resilience-building activities for every age, plus helpful resources to launch your kids forward starting now!

Book cover of Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

Robert Pagliarini Author Of Badass Retirement: Shatter the Retirement Myth & Live with More Meaning, Money, and Adventure

From my list on retirement to help you create more meaning.

Who am I?

If my early childhood was any indication, I would be the last person you would want to take financial and retirement advice from. Why? Growing up, we never had any money! Every day was a struggle for my single mom of five. At an early age, I knew I didn’t want to be poor and struggle for everything. I knew I wanted to enjoy life and experience it to the fullest. I’d watch adventure movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and dream of going to exotic countries and on adventures like Indiana Jones. From those early years, I’ve been committed to creating and living the best life possible for myself and my clients.

Robert's book list on retirement to help you create more meaning

Robert Pagliarini Why did Robert love this book?

I’ve always been someone with big goals and driven to do more, but after listening to this book, I realized that I was setting my sights too low.

What I love about his story and message is that no matter where you start, there is always an opportunity for greatness. I think this is especially important to remember in retirement – it’s not the finish line. You’re just getting started.

If you are looking for that something more and want to be inspired, this book is an absolute must. The story is about retired Navy SEAL David Goggins, and holds no punches. He dishes about his abusive childhood, his struggles as a young adult, and his decision to want something more from life and from himself.

Listen to the audiobook if you can. The author and the narrator engage in a free-form spirited discussion at the end of each…

By David Goggins,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Can't Hurt Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Best Seller

Over 4 million copies sold

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare -- poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world's top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name…

Book cover of Comeback & Beyond: How to Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks

Karen Jensen Salisbury Author Of Why, God, Why ?: What to Do When Life Doesn't Make Sense

From my list on when you’re going through hard times.

Who am I?

I’ve been a writer for most of my life, and when a publisher approached me to write a book, they asked me to write about how I managed to overcome the death of my husband at such a young age and move forward into a successful life. I meet people all the time who have had hard things happen, and I wanted to help them get past the pain. Hard times don’t have to be the end of the story! They can strengthen us and equip us to help others. That’s why I love books about how to keep going in times of trouble and overcome.  

Karen's book list on when you’re going through hard times

Karen Jensen Salisbury Why did Karen love this book?

If you’ve been alive longer than 15 minutes, you’ve probably suffered a setback. I know I have! When hopes and dreams turn into a nightmare, it may seem like life is over and there’s no way out. But this book reminds me that God is in the business of resurrecting dead visions, and He has already prepared a comeback. Tim shares the strategies and motivation I needed to turn tragedy into triumph! 

By Tim Storey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Say Goodbye to Failure, Disappointment, and Fear. Get Ready to Live the Life That You Were Meant to Live!

In these uncertain times, setbacks can happen to anyone — the rich and the poor, the famous and the unknown. It is your response to the setback that determines your comeback. Tim Storey candidly shares from the experiences that led him to discover the powerful truths contained in this book. You will uncover the reasons why setbacks happen, and more importantly, you will be armed with step-by-step direction on what you can do NOW to turn your situation around...not tomorrow, not…

Book cover of Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges

Dona J. Matthews Author Of Being Smart About Gifted Learning: Empowering Parents and Kids Through Challenge and Change

From my list on loving and raising challenging kids.

Who am I?

I love prickly children. I was one myself, and I’ve quite a few of them in my family. I’ve also worked with desperate families over the years, children who are out of control, parents feeling overwhelmed, nobody knowing what to do to find the calm and loving core of connection we all yearn for. I feel the suffering these authors document—the child’s sense of being misunderstood and punished unfairly, and the parent’s desperation. So, when I read a book that offers intelligent and caring solutions driven by science, compassion, and experience, I share it with everyone who will listen. I’m delighted to have a chance here to do that.

Dona's book list on loving and raising challenging kids

Dona J. Matthews Why did Dona love this book?

In Beyond Behaviors, Mona Delahooke makes a clear, strong case for parents’ self-compassion and for parents’ compassionate responses to their children’s “bad” behavior. Using solid brain science evidence and case histories from her decades of working with very challenging kids, Dr. Delahooke illustrates that children begin to thrive when they feel understood—not judged, not punished—when they lose control. The reader comes to see that misbehavior is a precious clue to a child’s troubled inner reality. A parent’s impatience, irritation, annoyance, or anxiety not only exacerbates the problem, increasing the child’s suffering, but is also a sad, wasted chance at providing the sense of security the child needs, which is a necessary first step on the road to doing better. 

By Mona Delahooke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NEW approach to solving behavioral challenges.

In Beyond Behaviors, internationally known pediatric psychologist, Dr. Mona Delahooke describes behaviors as the tip of the iceberg, important signals that we should address by seeking to understand a child’s individual differences in the context of relational safety.

Featuring impactful worksheets and charts, this accessible book offers professionals, educators and parents tools and techniques to reduce behavioral challenges and promote psychological resilience and satisfying, secure relationships.

Neuroscience-based effective tools and strategies for children labeled with:
- Conduct Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)
- Reactive Attachment Disorder…

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 my 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

Randy Ross 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,…

Book cover of Resilience from the Heart: The Power to Thrive in Life's Extremes

Nancy Reyner Author Of Create Perfect Paintings: An Artist's Guide to Visual Thinking

From my list on for painters to stay creative.

Who am I?

When I was nine years old, I saved enough allowance money to buy a big box of oil pastels. I was mesmerized by its amazing display of gorgeous colors. Never could figure out why my girlfriends played with dolls when it was more exciting to paint. It wasn’t until high school, and time to apply to colleges that I made the decision to go to art school. Another key moment for me was after graduating from art school and landing in New York City. It was then that I made a brave decision to never waitress again, and instead do whatever it takes to stay in the arts. 

Nancy's book list on for painters to stay creative

Nancy Reyner Why did Nancy love this book?

While this book is not written for artists or even about art, I found it very helpful for me as a painter. To achieve the best for my paintings, I realize I need to trust my intuition over intellect. If I get too intellectual about any of my ideas for a painting, the end result is not as fulfilling if instead, I follow my intuition or inner voice. Braden goes into depth in this book about having two sources of intelligence – the brain and the heart. I like his take on this which can also be thought of as right and left brain or intellect vs intuition. By thinking about Braden's ideas on our powerful heart-brain connection, I am able to tap into deeper modalities on what it is that I am painting about. Very interesting read that sticks with you for a long time and easily becomes a…

By Gregg Braden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We solve our problems based upon the way we think of ourselves and the world. From peak energy and peak debt to failing economies and the realities of climate change, everyday life is showing us where we've outgrown the thinking of the past. It's also showing us where big changes in the world mean big changes in our lives. Through dramatic shifts in our jobs, our relationship to money, our health, and even our homes, it's clear that our lives are changing in ways we've never seen, to a degree that we're not prepared for, and at speeds that we've…