I was reading through old notes on Evernote the other day and I stumbled across a list of personal development books I that I read and loved a few years back when I was beginning this journey. Here are 10+ books I read during my recovery that I found to be helpful (there were more self help books, but I only included my favorites :)).
While I was learning how to be happy again, I came across a lot of different personal development books and things that helped me figure out my life and get things back on track. These are a few self improvement books that I love in particular.
10+ Best Personal Development Books | Best Self Help Books for Overcoming Depression
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is an amazing personal development book about how to succeed in every area of your life – and these principles definitely apply to making you happy and overcoming depression, too.
This book is really, really long (600 pages!) but there are dozens of different principles broken up into little chapters so if you wanted, you could just read about one principle that sounds interesting because each one of them is a game-changer.
And when you combine them all, you could seriously change your life. I know it helped me a lot, and a lot of what he talks about is what I talk about too. Click here to check out The Success Principles.
Spirited and the Spirited Companion are two books about fear, dreams, self-sabotage, comparison, and more. Spirited is part storytelling and part workbook, while the companion gives you a monthly guide on how to deal with your demons head-on. Beautifully designed and full of wisdom. Click here to learn more.
From reading Spirited I got the idea to ask yourself, “How am I sabotaging myself?” and I finally realized why I kept slipping back into old patterns and getting depressed even if I had been doing well for a while. Now I don’t self sabotage anymore because I’m aware of it before it happens. 🙂 There are also a lot of other good things in these two ebooks.
- 15 Gifts for Someone with Depression
- What’s the Best Way to Overcome Depression?
- 8 Best Essential Oils for Depression and Anxiety
- The Ultimate List of Resources for Overcoming Depression
This one is more of a planner than a book, but it’s incredible. I used the Dailygreatness Journal and loved how it keeps you on track with your goals and intentions for the day, week, month, and long term. It’s beautifully designed and also reminds you to write down lists of what you’re grateful for, what your most important actions and tasks are, appointments and reminders, and much more.
4. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
A Return to Love is a beautiful and insightful book. I’ve read this at least once already all the way through and have reread my highlights many times and will probably reread it a few more times because it’s just that good. Based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles.
5. Spirit Junkie and May Cause Miracles
Spirit Junkie and May Cause Miracles are two books by Gabrielle Bernstein and they are a great introduction to concepts like spirituality, self love, and forgiveness. They’re based on the metaphysical text A Course about Miracles, and will help guide you to a place of loving yourself and letting go of past hurts. Gabrielle has the experience of being a previous junkie (hence the title of her book) and feeling really low and depressed.
6. The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle Laporte
The Firestarter Sessions is a book about following your spark and doing what you love. It’s a catalyst for action and inspiration in your life, and could be the spark you need to get started on an important journey.
7. The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now is one of the best books to read if you want to learn about mindfulness and living in the present moment. That’s what the whole book is about. 🙂 A great read about learning to detach yourself from your thoughts and just “be.”
A New Earth is a pretty cool book about transcending the “ego” and petty problems like anger, stress, etc, and becoming happy. He also talks about the collective consciousness of the world and other neat ideas.
8. Peace is Every Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh
I love everything from Thich Nhat Hanh (my favorite Buddhist monk! And Pema Chodron). This book is about learning to be mindful with everyday actions. Now I see hand washing dishes as a form of meditation, and it’s actually very relaxing!
9. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Next, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks is a major game changer and life changer. I actually teach principles from this book in some of our classes, such as the idea of having upper limits to the amount of happiness or success we’ll allow in our lives before we start to self-sabotage.
It’s like this quote, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” If you want to allow more happiness in your life and not keep relapsing and sabotaging your results, get this book.
10. Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
Ive said it before, but Bittersweet (and anything from Shauna Niequist) is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a Christian book but even if you’re not Christian you’ll still appreciate her beautiful, poignant, and descriptive writing. Bittersweet is about finding the good in the bad, and vice versa.
Cold Tangerines is another beautifully-written book about finding the joy in everyday life, from the color of the sky to drops of water on tangerines. Similar to mindfulness.
11. 30 Day Negativity Detox by Resilient
Here’s an ebook from us. 😉 The 30 Day Negativity Detox is an ebook (or email course, if you prefer that option) that guides you through day-by-day baby steps you can take to let go of the negativity and unhealthy influences in your life, and then add in more of the positive, good stuff.
12. Recovery Diary by Resilient
Bonus! Just for fun, I thought I’d include my book – the Recovery Diary! It’s not a book per se but a journal. At the beginning it has a collection of some of our best articles and then 365 daily entries with journal prompts and checklists to keep you on track in your recovery journey.
Those are just a few of what I think are the best self help books of all time. 😉 I’ll update this list from time to time with new recommendations and as I read new things that I think will help you. 🙂