As I’ve been going through my emotional-healing-personal-growth journey in the last 10 years, I’ve read a lot of books. I’m a total book worm and reading has been my favorite way of to consume information and learn from the wisest people in the world.
I have carefully compiled for you a list of my top 10 emotional healing books. These books aim to help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, foster self-compassion and self-awareness, and assist you in healing different aspects of your life.
It may be that not all of these books will resonate with you at this moment in time. It’s alright! See which 2 or 3 books stand out and grab your attention – and go with that!
1. “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay
This book is a must-have if you’re embarking on an emotional healing journey. Louise Hay was a renowned author, motivation speaker and so-called godmother of self-help. She’s the one that created Hay House – a publishing empire under which most self-help books are being published.
In the book “How to Heal Your Life”, Louise explains the mind-body connection and the power of beliefs, affirmations, and thoughts in healing. I first read this book when I was 13 years old and it changed my life.
I credit this book for putting me on a personal development journey and understanding how our emotions, beliefs, and thoughts affect our life. This is a must-read!
2. “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk M.D
This book is a comprehensive exploration of how trauma impacts the body and mind, and how recovery can be achieved. The book draws upon decades of the author’s research and clinical work with trauma survivors.
Dr. van der Kolk combines expert analysis with gripping patient narratives to illustrate how traumatic stress physically reshapes the brain, alters the automatic nervous system, and embeds itself in our very bodies.
The book illuminates the ways in which trauma manifests differently in different people and provides a nuanced picture of the healing process. Importantly, the book discusses a variety of innovative treatments and methods for healing, ranging from traditional talking and pharmaceutical therapies to practices such as yoga, mindfulness, and neurofeedback.
Many respected authors, speakers, therapists, and clinicians reference this book because it explores the topic of trauma in-depth + discusses how we can heal from trauma.
3. “Letting go: The Pathway of surrender” by David R. Hawkins
This book is a guide to understanding and practicing the process of letting go, or surrendering, as a path to personal growth and healing. The book argues that most negative emotions are due to suppressed and denied feelings, and releasing these through the process of surrender leads to greater peace and happiness.
Dr. Hawkins employs practical techniques, combined with an in-depth exploration of emotional development, to facilitate personal transformation.
In this book you will learn about the various emotional states we experience, from apathy to love and enlightenment, as categorized by Hawkins’s unique Map of Consciousness. You’ll gain insight into the mechanics of emotional, physical, and spiritual health, discovering how these areas are interconnected.
I first read this book in 2017 and it truly opened up my eyes to the power of real surrender. Since then I’ve re-read this book about 3 times, and every time I read it, I learn something new.
4. “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A. Singer
I absolutely love this book and this man. I first read his book “The Surrender Experiment” and was in awe. Then, I decided to read “The Untethered Soul”. This is the book that I’ve recommended most to other people.
“This book”The Untethered Soul” is for those who are interested in exploring spirituality and how it interlinks with consciousness, healing, and mindfulness. The book delves into the question of who we truly are beyond our personal identities and life roles.
It presents a compelling argument that true freedom and peace are found when we learn to observe our thoughts and emotions without judgment or attachment, thus allowing us to transcend our personal limits.
Michael A. Singer talks about the concept of self-observation and how we can learn to apply it as a tool for personal growth, spiritual development, and emotional healing. The examples are personal and relatable and he breaks down the concepts into easy-to-understand terms.
5. “How To Do The Work” By Dr. Nicole LePera
I first came across Dr. Nicole LePera on instagram. Her account @the.holistic.psychologist is full of guidance for emotional healing. She covers everything from trauma, co-dependence, and people pleasing to setting boundaries, healthy relationships, and how to break behavioral patterns.
Her book “How To Do The Work” is a holistic guide to mental wellness that integrates principles from various disciplines, including psychology, spirituality, and somatic therapy.
Dr. LePera promotes the concept of ‘self-healing’ and encourages you to become your own therapists. She explores the mind-body connection and emphasizes the significance of understanding our past and recognizing our patterns to foster healing and personal growth.
In the book you can learn practical tools and strategies to break cycles of trauma, anxiety, depression, and dissatisfaction. She shares a lot of personal examples that are very relatable (and with which I struggle myself), so it feels like a fresh breath of air.
There were many times throughout reading this book where I though to myself “Okay, i’m not crazy. Other people also feel this way. Other people also have these self-destructive patterns and behaviours”. Put this book on the top of your list!
6. “Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of a Buddha” by Tara Brach
The book “Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha” is an insightful exploration into Buddhist teachings, coupled with personal anecdotes and patient stories, to guide you toward self-acceptance and inner peace.
Brach underscores the importance of accepting oneself without judgment or self-criticism, a concept rooted in the core of Buddhist philosophy. She promotes mindfulness and compassion as essential tools for overcoming feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy.
This book provides practical strategies for interrupting patterns of thoughts and behaviors that lead to self-judgment and fosters an awareness that can open the door to self-healing.
7. “Elements of the Real in Man” by A.H. Almaas
The “Elements of the Real in Man” was recommended to me by my psychologist. He gave me his copy of the book to read, and after reading it, I had to buy a copy for myself. This book is deeply profound (so profound and mind-blowing that certain chapters I had to re-read 2 or 3 times).
A.H. Almaas, a noted spiritual teacher, incorporates elements of psychology, Sufism, Buddhism, and other wisdom traditions. In this book, Almaas elucidates how different aspects of our reality, which he terms as ‘elements’, can help us to better understand our true nature.
The text delves deeply into concepts of essence, ego, and personality, aiming to guide you towards an experiential understanding of their spiritual nature. I particularly loved a chapter about growing up and the difference between a “childish” adult and a “real” adult.
I briefly touched upon this book in my video + shared a favorite excerpt of mine. You can check it out here and see if resonates with you.
8. “What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” by Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey
This book is a collaborative exploration into the impact of traumatic experiences on the human mind and body. The book combines Oprah’s personal life experiences and insightful questions with Dr. Perry’s professional knowledge as a renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist.
The authors aim to shift the perspective from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” in order to understand the profound effects of trauma and adversity.
In this book you can learn about the science of how trauma affects the brain and shapes behavior, especially during early childhood. The concept of post-traumatic growth and resilience are also touched upon. I’m biased because I really like Oprah, but this book was really insightful.
9. “Inward” by Yung Pueblo
This is a beauuutiful book. I suggest having this on your bedside table and reading a couple of pages before you go to bed.
“Inward” by Yung Pueblo is a compilation of poetry and insightful thoughts aimed at encouraging personal transformation and inner healing. Pueblo’s writing focuses on themes of self-love, self-awareness, and the release of self-destructive patterns.
His powerful, concise prose provides reflections on the journey of personal growth, emphasizing the importance of introspection and inner peace as paths to freedom and happiness.
Yung Pueblo touches upon deep themes of humanity and personal development distilled into simple yet profound phrases. Each page encourages introspection and self-awareness, and fosters a deeper understanding of how personal transformation contributes to collective healing.
I love, love, love this book. It’s always on my bedside table and it never ceases to amaze me that just a couple of sentences can make me feel such strong emotions. He’s also a great follow on instagram!
10. “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle
I first read this book when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve re-read it about 5 times. I tend to gravitate towards this book whenever I feel a bit lost, confused and begin to question myself + my life. I first tried reading Echart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”, but couldn’t get into it (it wasn’t the right time). However, this book blew my mind.
“A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” aims to help you understand your identity beyond the personal and physical, and awaken to your life’s purpose. The book emphasizes the importance of transcending ego-driven thinking to achieve a state of higher consciousness.
Tolle talks about the destructiveness of the ego and how to identify its manifestations in your thoughts and behavior (this was a reality check for me). He also presents practical strategies for recognizing and dissolving the ego, facilitating a shift towards a more enlightened state of consciousness.
If spirituality, ego-work, and consciousness is your thing – this book goes into the depths of emotional healing.
If you’re on an emotional healing journey, I hope these books help you. Remember, at this moment in time, some of them might not resonate with you. That’s okay!
However, books that caught your attention may be great teachers for you, allowing you to go deeper into your healing journey.
If you’ve enjoyed this article you might also enjoy this piece I wrote about triggers in romantic relationships.