I have read so many self-help books I should be perfect, slim, zen, stunning, strong, successful and problem-free right now! And I am!! Just kidding. I am maybe 10% more centred than I was before, but I’m sure a lot of that is good old life experience wisdom. Some of it is from reading. Usually every book has at least one great takeaway idea that I put into play.

In honour of Mental Health Week in Canada May 1-7, here is a list of some of my favourite books and authors. Most have an online presence you can reference as well.

Here is my list:

  1. Mood Mapping by Dr. Liz Miller.  She speaks from her own experience as a neurosurgeon, Occupational Health Physician and as a patient with bipolar disorder.  You learn how to identify and prevent your own triggers, the 4 basic types of moods, and most importantly, several easy and practical strategies to help yourself feel better. She helped me notice how much my surroundings influence my mood. Chaos, noise and clutter all around create mental angst for me.
  2. Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. Andy is a Clinical Meditation Consultant, a former Buddhist monk and the creator of the successful meditation app Headspace. There are many books to read about mindfulness, and frankly most of them are looong. (Full Catastrophe Living comes to mind, I’m still only halfway through it after a year and a half). Headspace is a pleasant 210 pages long and a breeze to read and understand. I also used the app for my first year of meditating and it was so helpful and an easy introduction to meditating.
  3. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Almost everyone has heard of this one, and for good reason. This is an account of her own year of self-improvement and her ideas are very well-researched. You can pick and choose the ideas that appeal to you. I’ve read all her books, follow her blog and clearly, I am a big fan!
  4. The illustrated Happiness Trap by Russ Harris and Bev Aisbett. Based on one of the first accessible books about mindfulness-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, this user-friendly guide is a quick visual summary of the principles and a good reference.
  5. Just One Thing by Rick Hanson. Rick is a neuropsychologist who writes about brain plasticity and how we can change our brain, our minds, and our moods. There are 52 simple ideas, one to try every week. Some examples are: Take in the Good, Find Beauty, and Notice You’re All Right Right Now (which is a good mantra when you’re in a panic situation).

Other authors I enjoy are Dale Carnegie, Martha Beck, Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle Mellon, Brene Brown and so many more that I can’t think of right now.

Who or what have I missed that you would like to recommend?


4 thoughts on “Best Self-help Books

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