mental healthSelf-Help books

40 Self-Help Books Recommended by my Readers

40 Self Help Books Recommended by my Readers on trauma, parenting, personal development, spirituality

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I love a good self-help or personal development book. And summer is the perfect time to catch up on some reading. The only problem is there are so many great self-help books to choose from!

This list was compiled from suggestions from my amazing Facebook fans. I’m sure you’ll find something that peaks your interest. And feel free to leave additional book recommendations in the comments.


Dysfunctional Families

  1. Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
  2. If You Had Controlling Parents by Dan Neurharth



  1. Why Is it Always about You: The 7 Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss
  2. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans
  3. Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson
  4. Who’s Pulling Your Strings by Harriet Braiker
  5. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman



  1. The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children by Shefali Tsabary


Codependency and Boundaries

  1. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  2. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  3. Take Control of Your Life: Escape the Grip of Codependency by James Richards
  4. Don’t Call it Love by Gregory Jantz and Tim Clinton
  5. Let Go Now: Embracing Detachment by Karen Casey
  6. The Disease to Please by Harriet Braiker
  7. Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz


Books for Women

  1. Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood
  2. Why Does He Do That? By Lundy Bancroft
  3. Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters by Susan Forward
  4. The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
  5. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
  6. 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz


Trauma and Healing

  1. Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman
  2. The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van der Kolk
  3. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay


Spirituality and Personal Growth Books

  1. Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy By Anne Lamott
  2. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  3. How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell
  4. A course in Miracles by Alan Cohen
  5. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
  6. The Purpose of Driven Life by Rick Warren



  1. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  2. I Thought It Was Just Me (But it Isn’t) by Brene Brown
  3. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  4. Love Warrior by Glennon Melton Doyle
  5. Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
  6. Forgive for Good by Fred Luskin
  7. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  8. Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko
  9. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
  10. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey





©2017 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.


Sharon Martin is a psychotherapist, writer, speaker, and media contributor on emotional health and relationships. She specializes in helping people uncover their inherent worth and learn to accept themselves -- imperfections and all! Sharon writes a popular blog called Happily Imperfect for and is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Navigating the Codependency Maze.

4 thoughts on “40 Self-Help Books Recommended by my Readers

  1. A great list thanks Sharon. Recently I’ve read a couple of books on narcissism and healing from this insidious behaviour. “Out of the Fog…” by Dana Morningstar and “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare…” by Shahida Arabi. I found both these books fascinating.

    1. I am trying to free myself from another abusive relationship this one way more abusive than the last. I started counseling Although it is only once a week and I’ve only had two, I’m afraid that I might not be able to gain strength in time for his trial. This person continues to emotionally and mentally manipulate me.

  2. “Choosing Happiness, Life & Soul Essentials” by Stephanie Dowrick is a really insightful and enjoyable book. Have found it very useful and easy to read and re-read. It’s a book that doesn’t have to be read consecutively. The author has delivered the information in a “concentrated episodic form”. You can “snack ” on it rather than having to sit down to a “four course read”

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