When it comes to mental health, one of the more accessible, affordable forms of self-care is to read useful and enriching books on the subject … but where do you start amid an overwhelming number of options? It can be hard to know which are worth the investment in time and money. This short list sifts through the dross. Whether you’re shopping for someone who loves to read or are looking for a good book to curl up with over the holidays, these five Kindle reads are worth considering.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown – This #1 New York Times bestseller has sold over three million copies and is now available in a 10th anniversary edition that reportedly includes more practical tools for embracing imperfection. As a social scientist and researcher at the University of Houston, author Brené Brown may be better known for her work on shame and vulnerability, but her discussion of imperfection is closely related to these same themes. The Gifts of Imperfection suggests “10 guideposts” for daily living that challenge readers to believe they are worthy of love and belonging, warts and all.
Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength, by Mark Nepo – In Falling Down and Getting Up, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awakening again takes up the theme of awakening, only this time through the lens of failures and life difficulties. Nepo, a well-known spiritual teacher and retreat leader, wants readers to reframe adversities as new beginnings, opportunities for self-growth, and building blocks of resilience. Readers who feel run down by their circumstances or a nagging sense of failure may come away with fresh perspective and newfound motivation for facing their challenges and growing from them.
Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir, by Marsha M. Linehan – Author Marsha Linehan is world-renowned for being the founder of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), an intervention that has shown success in treating personality disorders and suicidal depression. What many people do not know is that Linehan was once a suicidal teenager herself and spent a few years in a psychiatric facility, as her memoir reveals. It goes on to recount how Linehan found hope and healing and shared these gifts with others. What helped Linehan can be a source of help to anyone struggling with mental health issues. As Linehan famously says in a quote that also helps to encapsulate the DBT approach, “You can’t think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking.”
The Garden Within: Where the War with Your Emotions Ends and Your Most Powerful Life Begins, by Dr. Anita Phillips – Whether because of trauma or other issues, many people do not know how to relate to their feelings. Emotions can be hard to access, identify, process, and—maybe most especially—trust. In this New York Times bestseller, author and licensed therapist Anita Phillips makes the case that we must learn to embrace our emotions if we wish to flourish as human beings. She promises to show readers how to “cultivate a state of emotional well-being,” by blending meditations from faith and spirituality with discoveries from the realm of neurobiology and insights from her own research.
For those who question their self-worth, struggle with mental health issues, or are looking to improve how they handle stress or relationships, these four e-reads may be a source of strength, inspiration, and greater wellbeing.