Reading and writing save my life on a daily basis, and I can’t help but share some of my favorites with you. These writers, researchers, and creatives all write from the heart and discover things I simply refuse to live without. I recommend them because these folks are honest in their works, act with integrity, and call me to a higher way of living.
My Favorite Books
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
A celebrated spiritual classic on everything from finding God in addiction recovery, the wonders and pitfalls of single motherhood, and celebrating imperfect communities of love.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
Dr. Kristin Neff’s compelling first book details exactly how being kind to ourselves can help change the world, one heart at a time.
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Dr Dan Siegal
Written by neuroscience psychiatrist and counselor, Dr. Siegal’s book is a fabulous introduction to interpersonal neurobiology, which is all about the power of mindsight to move us towards safety and connection in all most important relationships.
Try Softer by Aundi Kolber
Aundi Kolber’s first book is a powerful combination of the latest insights from neuroscience and ancient contemplative wisdom written by a compassionate trauma-informed therapist. A must read for anyone who’s ever navigated trauma.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brene Brown
This book is a fabulous introduction to Brown’s shame resilience work, and her ten guideposts are practical steps for creating an embodied and meaningful life with the one you have now.
The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr
An excellent book on the science and theology of the divine presence in our lives. Read this and watch your loneliness vanish as you realize we are more loved than we know!
Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
May’s short but uplifting book is part memoir, literature review, and science exploration of how our view of winter can nurture and empower us.
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
This amazing book is considered the Bible of trauma, and for good reason: Bessel writes compassionately about trauma from the lens of a scientist with the heart of poet.
The Road Back to You: an Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Suzanne Stables and Ian Cron
One of the best introductory books on the Enneagram written by two fabulous spiritual directors and therapists.
The Long Night: Readings and Stories to Help You through Depression by Jessica Kantrovitz
Jessica is a writer who knows exactly what it’s like to survive the hell of depression. Her words will meet you where you’re at with well-researched tips and a big dose of kindness.
Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
Essential reading for anyone interested in how practicing mindfulness can help you generate peace on a daily basis.
Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John Cacioppo and William Patrick
Loneliness explores the evolutions of social connection including an extensive review of primate studies and fascinating cross-cultural studies. The authors offer practical steps for reducing loneliness in society both personally and collectively.
My Favorite Blogs, Podcasts & YouTube Channels
Dr. Marisa Franco is a clinical psychologist who studies the power and importance of friendship. What makes her work relevant is studying adult platonic friendship and how these relationships enrich our lives. Her monthly newsletter offers important tips on exploring how to make our friends a priority.
My friend Taylor is a fabulous human and an atypical Aspie, a newly diagnosed woman on the Autism Spectrum. She is a brilliant woman who is a clear and dynamic communicator and sheds light on what it’s like being autistic and female. Her YouTube channel is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about being a female autistic.
Rick Hanson is a clinical psychologist and author from North California who has taught extensively on increasing your inner strengths and cultivating everyday happiness. He and his son Forest co-host a podcast called Being Well which offers a treasure trove of mindfulness-based psychological approaches to healing from depression, anxiety, trauma, and so much more.
Dr. Brene Brown has changed millions of lives with her groundbreaking work on vulnerability and shame resilience. Read The Gifts of Imperfection first as that’s a great introduction to Brown’s work and then dive into the rest of her books.
Dr. Kristin Neff’s seminal work on the benefits of a self-compassion practice will help ease worries and cultivate kindness towards yourself. A clinical psychologist, Neff’s guided meditations are pure gold. Consider using them before bed if you struggle with insomnia.
Richard Rohr is a Catholic priest and mystic in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Center for Action and Contemplation. His writings center on experiencing the love of God in the midst of suffering and radical action to alleviate suffering, especially for the marginalized. Admired by religious and non-religious alike, Rohr’s work is shaping spiritual thought and action to create a more just and loving world.