Books and Resources That Have Changed My Life

Alongside my amazing husband, extraordinary friends, and two brilliant therapists, books have been primary touchstones that have informed my growth and healing. Quite simply, I would not be the person I am today or doing the work I’m doing in the world without the treasure map of books that have accompanied me on my journey, guiding me along the rocky terrain of being human. If you’re a book lover, I imagine you have your own list of paper friends, and I would love for you to add them in the comments below. Here is my list:


The Wisdom of Anxiety by Sheryl Paul

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic by Jeffrey Bradley

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron

Dare by Barry McDonagh

Rewire the Anxious Brain by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle


Psychology, Personality Types and Dreams

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert Johnson

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron

The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Riso

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

When Love Meets Fear: Becoming Defense-Less and Resource-Full by David Richo

The Wisdom of Your Dreams: Using Dreams to Tap into Your Unconscious and Transform Your Life by Jeremy Taylor

The Book of Symbols by Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism

The Art of Dreaming by Jill Mellick


Dark Night of the Soul and Transitions

When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions (Plus) by Sue Monk Kidd

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, Revised 25th Anniversary Edition by William Bridges

The Way Of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments by William Bridges (loved this one more than the original)

Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung

The Rites of Passage by Arnold van Gennep

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) by Joseph Campbell

Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus (I cannot recommend this highly enough)

Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser (I do NOT recommend this if you’re struggling with relationship anxiety)

The Middle Passage by James Hollis


Grief and Loss

The WIld Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller

Megan Devine’s work:

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


Becoming a Woman (all novels except “Gifts from the Sea”)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth’s Children, Book One (a series) by Jane Auel

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson (highly recommend the audio read by the author)

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel (The Ya-Ya Series) by Rebecca Wells


Spiritual Growth and Guidance

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times and Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chodron (all of her books and audios)

Balancing Heaven and Earth by Robert Johnson

Sitting by the Well: Bringing the Feminine to Consciousness Through Language, Dreams, and Metaphor by Marion Woodman (audio)

Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic by Jeffrey Bradley

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel Siegel

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer

Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott


Real Love

We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love by Robert Johnson

The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck (only the chapter on Love; some other parts can be anxiety-provoking if you have relationship anxiety)

First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages by Reva Seth

Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Kate Kerrigan

Why Talking Is Not Enough: Eight Loving Actions That Will Transform Your Marriage by Susan Page

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson

101 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married by Charlie and Linda Bloom



When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions (Plus) by Sue Monk Kidd

The Middle Passage by James Hollis

Living Your Unlived Life by Robert Johnson

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg (fiction)


Physical Health

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Revised Edition): Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Dr. Christiane Northrup

Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil


Birthing, Parenting, Learning, and Education Parenting Advice Website

Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham

Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings by Dr. Laura Markham

In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness by Chris Mercogliano

All Children Flourishing – Igniting the Greatness of Our Children by Howard Glasser

The Call to Brilliance by Resa Steindel Brown

Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent by Meredith Small

The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost by Jean Liedloff

Parenting from Your Heart: Sharing the Gifts of Compassion, Connection and Choice by Inbal Kashtan (Nonviolent Communication model)

Time-Out for Parents: A Guide to Compassionate Parenting by Cheri Huber and Melinda Guyol


  1. I have a terrible memory when it comes to books, but I really remember liking “The Hobbit” in high school even though it was assigned reading. I love speaking through metaphor and I think it can be helpful to sort of externalize one’s experience. Music is also great for that.

  2. Two books written recently which made a huge impression on me are:
    Teach Us To Sit Still by Tim Parks, an English author who usually writes about Italy but wrote this to explain how he learned to listen to his inner self rather than his noisy mind. It’s particularly English in expression but he resides in Italy and it is quite hilarious in places. I return to it by dipping in and out and it is always a trip.

    The second book is quite new and is full of wonderful insight into recognising the characteristics of young children and how they can be unwittingly stifled as they grow up but this book explains how one’s dominant characteristics are recognisable through one’s facial features and gestures. It really is eye-opening and mind opening and I wish it had been written when I was rearing my children. But I am using it with them now and it is great: The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle

    • Thank you, Siobhan. I’ll check both of them out. They sound fascinating.

  3. The Mindfulness Solution by Ronald D Siegel. Easy to read and provides simple and practical solutions to calm an over active mind..

  4. Sheryl – Why I’ve waited this long to check out this list is beyond me, but I recently read Anna Karenina for the first time and was blown away by how the story related to my own anxieties and the anxieties that many of us who find our way to you experience (fear, loss, need for control, expecations/obligations).

    Thanks for these other suggestions!

    • You’re welcome, KD! I’d love to hear some of your favorites!

  5. I’m currently reading The Road Less Traveled, which is excellent! However, in one of Peck’s footnotes he states that he has found in his research that open marriages are more successful than closed marriages (p. 93). That is causing some anxiousness in me – a total worrywart. So, I’m not sure how other Conscious Transitions members will feel, but I thought that might be something to consider if one should plan to read this book – may cause anxiousness!
    But it is really a very interesting and enlightening read.

    • Yes, that part can be spiky for those dealing with relationship anxiety, but I don’t think that footnote is substantiated by research. In any case, thanks for bringing it up. It’s come up on the e-course forum as well and the members have had to talk their way through it : ).

      • I agree it seems spiky at first. But when the O’Neil’s wrote that book, they didn’t intend ‘open marriage’ to mean what it means now. My understanding is that they were quite upset at the appropriation of this term, and subsequent editions of the book emphasised that their conception of the ‘open marriage’ did not (necessarily) include sleeping with other people. At least that’s my understanding; hope it helps.

  6. Sheryl do you know any good book about love or relationship that could be useful? I read everything in you “Real love list” and would like more summer books to grow. Any recommendation? Thank you 🙂

    • Those on the list are my favorite, but anything by Gary Zukov and John Wellwood are also excellent.

  7. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp definitely impacted and helped change my life. She is a woman who struggled with anxiety and panic attacks, in the past struggled to leave her home even. But she learned to count gifts each day (among other things) and it changed her life. The book is her story and she writes very artistically. It seems people either LOVE the way she writes, or don’t.

  8. Yes, One Thousand Gifts was great. I discovered that book around the same time as this website and I have been really touched by both, seeing a lot of crossover with how to deal with anxiety – i.e. the focus on gratitude, being “with” your emptiness, and letting go of our belief that if we can be or do enough we will be happy.

    • I just added it to my cart on Amazon and look forward to reading it!

  9. Sheryl, stumbled my way to your site via Googling some background on “liminality,” liking what I see though am slightly hesitant at the specter of being the only male, near as I can tell, at an all-women’s party. (On the other hand, what’s not to like about that?) 🙂

    In any case, I see James Hillman is in your background so I won’t bother elaborating, other than to relate how he shook my world many years ago. But also: everything that (novelist, essayist) Marilynne Robinson has ever written, or ever will write in the future, ’nuff said!

    And Ernest Becker’s “Denial of Death” and “Escape From Evil.” Not a lot of self-help there, to be sure, but a marvelous and unflinching look at the human project.

    I could go on, because the list is long, I’m glad to say. Thanks for this—books can always use all the help & exposure they can get!

    • Welcome to my site, Andrew, and thank you for the book suggestions. There are actually many men who find their way here and to my e-courses and programs, but they tend to remain quieter than the women : ).

  10. Hi Sheryl,
    Have you ever read Loving Each Other, by Leo Buscaglia? It’s totally outdated (from 1984) but there’s a wonderful chapter called “The Myth,” which relates directly to your lesson in the e-course on true love, and debunking the fantasy that we’re all so hooked on.

    • I haven’t read it, Maya, but I love his books. I’ll definitely check it out.

  11. Clan of the Cave Bear, The Red Tent, and The Mists of Avalon are on my list of womanhood books. Only two missing- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. I would recommend them whole-heartedly.

    • I love Memoirs of a Geisha; never read The Penelopiad but I’ll definitely add it to my list. I’m reminded now of another gorgeous novel about friendship between women in China called “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.”

    • Anything by Thich Nhat Hanh- truly anything, especially his mini series which simply includes, How to Sit, How to Walk, How to Relax, How to Love etc… they are bite sized pages and are so moving, simple and bring you back to breath.
      You will love them!

  12. All About Love by bell hooks was absolutely transformational for me. bell hooks writes about how people are all searching for “love,” but nobody talks explicitly about what love is. We assume people learn about love at home amongst family, but love is not necessarily always present at home. This book completely changed my perspective on love, and had me mentally assessing every relationship (platonic, familial, and romantic) in my life. I highly recommend it!

    • That sounds fantastic, Jenn. I’ll definitely have a look.

  13. Hi Sheryl, I’m absolutely loving your site….. to the point of being unsociable with my loved ones! I’m hooked. Will check out some of your treasure chest of literature. I’m sure you have come across this one, but my new ‘bible’is an amazing book called Mindsight by Daniel Siegel. It is so inspirational, about learning how to “transform your brain with the new science of love and kindness”. I’ve already recommended it to so many people. Xx

    • I have heard of Mindsight but you’ve inspired me to add it to my Amazon cart right now. Thank you! I love Daniel Segal’s work.

    • I’m in the middle of Mindsight and WOW! It’s blowing me away. I couldn’t stop reading last night and ended up staying up much too late, and ended up with tears in my eyes from the beauty of his stories. Who knew that reading about the brain could be so fascinating! Thank you so much for this recommendation. It’s going to go on my main list for sure.

  14. I have been suffering from anxiety since July 2011…I recently read (and re-read) Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. It is an amazing book and I believe a must read for all.

  15. Hi Sheryl,
    Hope your Mindsight book has arrived. And that you’re enjoying it as much as I am…I also wanted to recommend another book which again, you may already have heard of. It’s called What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen. Seeing as you work closely with women going through the huge transition into new motherhood, I think this would be invaluable in your collection. You may already have it though. I discovered it when my now-toddler was 4 months old and I think it saved me!! So incredibly reassuring, gentle and insightful towards the terrified, exhausted and sensitive mother who just wants to to do it her own way….in a loving way. By the way, I have linked your site to my blog site. Thank you so much for your amazing work and for helping me in my quest to overcome my own anxieties. Much love.

    • Mindsight just arrived today and your new recommendation sounds essential. I’ll definitely check it out, as well as your blog : ). Thank you.

  16. Thank you so much Sheryl. Enjoy the books! I have been reading through loads of your old blog entries, each one of them profoundly moving in their own way. Going to print my favourites so I can make reference on a daily/weekly basis when the need arises. Much love.

  17. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves. Alice Miller, Drama of the Gifted Child . . .I Ching. ENJOYWS reading yours.

  18. Just been given ‘The Power of Now’ – Eckhart Tolle. Just within the first few chapters so much resounds with the lessons on your E Course!
    I know a lot of members mention it on the forum. Great stuff!

  19. Hi Sheryl. I highly recommend Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. As the February selection of a provocative book club I attend, we were all atwitter because Esther “invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire….and the complexities of sustaining desire”. A must read.

  20. Hi Sheryl,

    Do you have any comments about the book “the 7 habits of highly effective people” if you have heard or know about it? I know it’s not necessarily about anxiety, more a self help book. I started it a while ago, did enjoy it and found it interesting, but haven’t gone back to it in a while. Wonderinf if I should keep reading it or not.

  21. Hi Sheryl,

    I recently got engaged and I am working through your trust yourself course right now–it’s great! I have also been reading your Conscious Bride books. I feel like I am learning so much, but I want to do some of this learning and psychological preparation along with my fiance–I have come to realize that that is what this engagement stage is for. In the last month I have already seen the incredible healing power that this kind of emotional work can have, and I know he is open to it as well. We were talking about religious marriage preparation sessions that many people take with their priest before getting married, and we see them as a great concept. However, neither of us is religious, so we were looking for other resources or types of courses that we can do together that are spiritual but not associated with a specific religion. I know that my therapist offers pre-marital sessions and that something along those lines might be a good fit, but I was wondering if you can recommend any non-religious premarital counseling books–something that we might be able to read and work through together–something that would provide some education but also be a catalyst for us to have conversations about our relationship and what we envision for our marriage. Thank you for anything you can recommend!

    • 101 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married by Charlie and Linda Bloom!

  22. Hi Sheryl. It’s been incredible to participate in your most recent Trust Yourself and Open Your Heart programs these past few months and to know there are many more resources available (such as this list) to continue learning and deepening. Reviewing your book recommendations, it gives me pause to realize that I did read Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser during a fairly anxiety-ridden time in my life. I wonder if you could elaborate a bit on your parenthetical and/or provide some insight into addressing some of the challenges it might trigger for a particularly anxious person? Thank you!

  23. Hi all,

    Have been doing the conscious brides (groom) ecourse and it has helped amongst other resources (a holistic therapist etc) and also found 101 things I wish I knew before I got married to be a ‘balm’ as Sheryl would say. Just wanted to relate a difficult issue and how I am hoping another book is helping at the moment – the issue of attraction to others when in a marriage – one poster has already mentioned the power of now by Eckhart Tolle, think it is really good to identify with what he terms ‘pain bodies’ and how they work (and how to remove their power over you). Also, as I’m sure other people have noted as they have gone through a multitude of resources to help them with any relationship anxiety/depression, so much of the stuff out there mirrors each other (mindfulness, the power of now, noticing bad feelings rather than identifying with them etc etc), I have particularly just had the revelation about how having a loving partner can help to grow you as an individual – if you want to know what I mean, read chapter 7 of ‘Practising The Power Of Now’. It’s all about moving from addictive to enlightened relationships (which again ties in with what Sheryl’s mum talks about when she says that any relationship issue can be resolved).

    Hoping my wife likes the new me!

  24. Another really good one that you should add to this list is “Radical Acceptance” written by former psychologist Tara Brach. Most of her teachings relate to Buddhist meditation, and this book really breaks down the concept of radical acceptance and how you can use it to defeat anxiety. An article you had posted about “The Voices in Your Head” relate heavily to the teachings in this book. It also breaks down how to work through those fear based beliefs.

    • Thank you, bondgirl. I love Tara Brach’s work.

  25. I have been enjoying all these recommendations so much! So far I have read (and would highly recommend!) The Conscious Bride and Conscious Bride Wedding Planner, First Comes Marriage, Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, and When the Heart Waits (this was probably my least favorite, it was a much heavier read than the others. I just bought All About Love thanks to other’s recommendations. Thanks!

  26. A book that I loved and that very much relates to the topic of “Filling your well of self” that Sheryl talks about regularly is: A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller. I could not do his book justice in a short description–but the main idea is about how we get pulled into the fast pace of our culture but we can find our way to honoring the rhythm of life and appreciating that everything we do in each moment is beautifully and completely enough. He is an excellent writer and it’s an amazing book.

    • That sounds like an amazing book; thank you. I’m adding it to my Amazon cart right now!

  27. Hey Sheryl,
    I came across two books today. One is “What I wish I’d known Before I Got Married” and “Love is a Verb” by
    Gary Chapman. I haven’t read them, but I was thinking if you’ve heard any positive things from them? I’m looking to give it a try.

    • I haven’t read those but Gary Chapman’s work is excellent.

  28. Hey Sheryl!

    I recently purchased Journey of the Heart, the Path of Conscious Love by John Welwood. Is this a good book to read while taking your break free course? Just want to make sure before I read! Thanks.

    • I havne’t read that specific book but I love John Welwood’s work in general.

      • I’ve started it and I love it so far. A lot of his ideas are parallel to your work (so far)!

  29. Hey there Sheryl:

    Have you heard of “The Mindfulness Solution” by Ronald Siegel? Nice read, interactive activities to follow throughout the book.

    He is in fact, the brother of Daniel Siegel, author of your recommended “Mindsight”.


  30. Hi Sheryl,
    Have you read ACT with Love by Russ Harris (he also wrote The Happiness Trap)? I am just starting it, but the book discusses how there is no perfect partner and how it is important to perform acts of love even when not feeling in love. I am looking forward to reading the rest!

    • I haven’t read it but it sounds like it’s very aligned with my work!

  31. Ladies, i was wondering if anyone can help me. Im searching for a book to help me with my relationship anxiety, I have had it for 1.5 yrs now and need something else to try help me get through this hard time.

    thanks in advance

    • I suggest that you read through most of the books on this list and then read my site from the beginning. Many people have been enormously helped through their relationship anxiety just from my blog alone.

  32. Hi Sheryl
    I just started with you training breakfree from relationship anxiety. In already imazed by the amount of work you have put in this course. Just started at lesson 1/2. ;). You did read Tolle too right? Power of now, new earth. Of not, buy them, or i will purchase them for you ;). Its so good to have à guideline finaly to improve my relation. Thx man. I made music my self. Of you like ill send you, and we dan be fan of eachother. Say yeah, rutger

  33. Sorry for the language miscorrections. I cannot work with an apple…

  34. Hello Sheryl how about Blink by Malcolm Gladwell ?

  35. My all time favorites since childhood have been Enid Blyton’s books, William by Richmal Crompton, Agatha Christie’s and Mary Higgins Clark.

  36. I too am a therapist and recently learned about you from a client. Yes, I also have a list of books that have changed my life. Some of yours are on my list as well. I have a short list and a longer list, both too numerous to name here but 3 of my absolute favorites, which were life altering are Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain, Transcending Loss by Ashley Davis Prend and Emmanuel’s Book by Pat Rodegast & Judith Stanton.

  37. Hi Sheryl 🙂

    After my mom passed away,someone gave me “Tear Soup” by Pat Shwiebert-it was pretty good.To the point,honest,great illustrations.Written with kids in mind,it really is for everyone and is not condescending.

    also,”The Wild Edge of Sorrow” is an incredible book by Francis Weller.He runs groups at Commonweal,for those dealing with terminal diagnoses.Beautiful writing and much needed perspective.

    Would love to see you write another book Sheryl.You’re a wonderful writer!

    • Those both sound like excellent resources, Jen.

      Writing another book is on my list. It will happen ;). Thank you!

  38. Good morning Sheryl,

    I see quite a few books on dreams and you talk about using your dreams for growth alot in your blog and the break free course. I used to dream alot and I always liked their mystery (except of course the bad ones)
    But I’ve noticed in the last few years that I dont really remember dreaming that much. I do dream here and there. But I only remember such small bits a pieces.

    And lately in my anxiety state it feels as tho I am in some half-way state where all my anxiety ridden thoughts come up.

    It kind of feels like I am in the dream state but half awake, tossing and turning, talking to myself. Arguing with myself. Going back and fourth berating myself for each negative thought.

    I dont want to google what it means because I just can’t trust what the internet says, but I do trust you, so I was wondering if you may have some insight.

    And maybe others have had this happen.
    Thank you

    • Good morning Brittany: I know you’re starting therapy soon so I encourage you to bring these questions to your therapist. It’s very difficult to make sense of these inner states alone.

    • Good idea. I Will ask her!

      And also thank you for bringing new light to suffering.
      I cant imagine how many loving relationships would have ended if you had never brought your beliefs to light.
      How many people would continue to believe that their relationship is the only means of finding happiness.

      So much gratitude for you. I hope you have a beautiful day

  39. Hi Sheryl,

    I was just wondering if you had an updated reading list to share?


    • Whenever I read a book that has been life-changing I add it to the list, so it’s updated at the moment ;).

  40. Hi Sheryl,

    I am currently in the thick of your Break Free from Relationship Anxiety course and it is wonderful and ridiculously hard work. I’m so grateful that I found your website and I am determined to change my relationship with anxiety and give attention to all of my old wounds and sadness (actually, it’s less of a determination, more of an absolute necessity!) Addressing fear is a big thing for me and I am very much interested in reading David Richo’s book ‘When Love Meets Fear’. I am slightly worried that it’ll be a bit spiky for me. Would you recommend it to go alongside the Break Free course?

    Congratulations on your up-coming book too. I will definitely be getting a copy when it comes out!


    • I would absolutely recommend reading “When Love Meets Fear” concurrently.

  41. “Dance of Intimacy” by Harriet Lerner

    “I Thought It Was Just Me” by Brene Brown

    Both of these books were huge for me in figuring out my anxiety before I found my way to your work. I would recommend any of their books to anyone.

    I also love that you recommend Pema Chodron. Her audiobooks and lectures are just amazing and so helpful and calming.

  42. Ben Okri – The Famished Road. Life changing to read for me and definitely many aha moments. This helped me in my early twenties when I was struggling after a trauma.. But now, whilst reading all your work, I can see so many overlaps regarding loss and love, transitions and the journey of always learning. Hope it brings someone some enjoyment.

    • Thank you, Laura. I’ll check it out ;).

  43. Hi Sheryl,

    Some books that have shaped me are

    1. Attached. – Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. I liked this book because it was the first time I had ever heard of attachment styles in relationships and it helped me understand what kind of men I should avoid and helped me have more confidence in choosing my husband who’s secure attachment is a great fit for my anxious attachment. 🙂

    2. How to avoid falling in love with a Jerk – John Van Epp. Although i read this many times before i got married, (anxiety…bleh) I kept learning so much from it! I feel like our current society takes a backwards approach to relationships not allowing them to develop properly.

    3.The fascinating girl – Helen Andelin. This book is pure magic. It definitely has a conservative view on women….some may say a bit sexist. However, i felt like it allowed me to learn some unexpected tools to bring joy into my husbands and I’s relationship…as well as showed me how much power I have as a woman.

    I hope that maybe you haven’t read some of these and you could enjoy them! Thank-you for all you do. I look forward to your emails every Sunday.



  44. The Course of Love by
    Alain de Botton

    • Yes! I love that book. Caveat: There are a couple of spiky parts for those struggling with relationship anxiety.

  45. I haven’t read it but I love his book “When Love Meets Fear.”

  46. Reasons to Stay Alive (and anything else by Matt Haig) as it’s a pretty recent and decent look at how modern life fuels anxiety;
    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon because it’s a raw, hilarious and brutal account of pure ocd.
    The Go-Giver by Bob Burg is a neat little parable on giving to receive, which made me feel good when I read it – I need to read it again!

  47. I read The Wisdom Of Anxiety and it’s changed my life!!! I feel like a new person. I’m currently struggling with step parenting and since I trust the opinion of people following the guidance of Sheryl and Sheryl herself, I thought I’d ask here…does anyone have any books that may help with step parenting. I know it’s not something that’s been addressed here a lot, but I could use the help!

  48. “If You Build It” by Dwier Brown is a fantastic memoir of the guy Kevin Costner asked to ‘have a catch with’ at the end of Field of Dreams.

    Brown takes the reader through 25 years of people coming up to him and asking him, “what’s Kevin Costner like?” and then sharing stories of their father.

    Some stories are uplifting, some poignantly illustrate the psychic father wound so many people have. All of them are worth reading!

  49. I am just beginning my journey into the self-compassion literature and am finding self-compassion to be an important missing link for my highly sensitive self. I’ve read “The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook” by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer and “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” by Kristin Neff. They offer concrete exercises to develop self-compassion and include combining mindfulness, connecting to common humanity, and using self-kindness. A quote from their work, “Rather than simply holding our difficult experience in spacious awareness, we warm up the embrace.” Brilliant.

  50. Thank you so much, Sheryl! This list inspires me to continue the inner journey. I am wondering what you liked most about ‘Anna Karenina’? I am reading it right now, and thought author’s language and his insights into life and people are brilliant, some of the scenes make me feel quite uncomfortable, especially those concerning cheating, love in marriage and thoughts people have about each other. I am sure there is much wisdom that can be seen, but the major impression is rather hopeless.

    • I actually haven’t read that book in decades so I might have a different opinion if I read it today!


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